Blog & News 

Can’t believe it’s two years this week since I became an NHS pensioner 

For the last couple of years working in my management job I was incredibly stressed and unhappy. It hadn’t always been that way. I had enjoyed many happy years firstly as a “hand on” nurse and then supporting front line staff improve their clinical practice but with more and more cut backs the job I loved and the team I led were suddenly axed and I was shoehorned in to a job requiring me to meet what I considered to be meaningless performance targets. 
I had no real say over what I was doing anymore, I was angry, deeply upset and my stress levels were through the roof. My therapy and training practice didn’t generate enough to pay my bills and I didn’t want to completely leave the NHS anyway as it’s in my blood. 
The emotional benefits of nurturing physical touch 
But did you know that nurturing touch triggers oxytocin a hormone that reduces levels of cortisol in the body reducing blood pressure, improving gut motility and decreasing intestinal inflammation? 
Do you value the reassuring hug from a close friend when you are feeling low or when you receive bad news and your partner holds you close? 
But what if you don’t have a partner or family close by who can offer that physical contact? maybe you are going through a relationship breakdown or you partner or best friend has died and you are suddenly alone. 
Where did this idea come from? 
Over the 15 years I have been working as a self- employed therapist & trainer. 
I have built up a large collection of mind/body/spirit related books, training DVDs, CDs and affirmation cards (over 400 at the last count) by authors such as Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Gary Craig, Caroline Myss, Steve Andreas, Rudolf Steiner & Ester & Jerry Hicks.  
Back in the days when I was looking at opening a charity based healing centre with some like- minded therapists my intention was to include a lending library but sadly we ran out of funding options and the project never got off the ground. 
Last night I watched a very interesting programme on BBC 2 
“Can my brain cure my body?” in which the lovely Dr Michael Mosely carried out an experiment on 100 people from Blackpool with chronic severe back pain. 
They were led to believe that they were taking part in a clinical trial whereby half of them would be taking a new miracle pain killer and the other half placebos.  
As with such trials none of them would know which they were taking but they believed there was a 50/50 chance they were on the pain killers. 
However, there was a twist with this study …. unknown to them, all of them were actually taking placebos! 
I trained as a registered mental health nurse in the 1980s.  
This was around the time of Beverley Allitt (the nurse who killed a number of children in her care and remains a long term patient at Rampton Hospital). 
There was already huge stigma surrounding mental illness and the press at the time made a great deal of Allitt’s mental health history. As a knee jerk reaction it became very difficult for anyone with a history of mental health problems to train as a nurse. 
Having experienced anxiety and for a period of time, clinical depression, I suddenly felt very vulnerable. 
Well here we go! This is my first blog ever. 
It has been an eventful week for me as I took early retirement from my NHS job and although I will still do some bank nursing shifts, I am now able to focus more attention on my own therapies practice. 
It can be scary taking risks especially giving up a secure income and leaving valued colleagues behind but this way I will be able to spend more time helping people without the burden of paperwork and management that is now part of NHS life. 
People often ask me what made me become a mental health nurse in the first place and the answer may sound a bit corny but it really was to understand people and help them. 
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings