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84


The Grayshott Health Regime restores the body’s digestive and immune systems, explains the UK spa’s director of natural therapies Elaine Williams [Interview by Mark Smith]


In perfect harmony I


Meet the expert


Elaine Williams, Director of natural therapies


Having created the Department of Natural Therapies at Grayshott Spa over 20 years ago, Elaine WIlliams continues to practice acupuncture and cranial osteopathy at the spa. A Registered Nurse, she has studied (among other disciplines) clinical psychology, osteopathy and naturopathy as well as massage, aromatherapy and reflexology.


t is said of many people that the way to their heart is through their stomach, but that could be the way to a healthier body too. A year in development, the new Grayshott Health Regime works on the principle that correcting a maltreated digestive system is crucial for a return to health. “Lots of things can damage the gut and this in turn damages the body’s immune system,” advises Elaine Williams, director of natural therapies, at Grayshott Spa in Surrey, UK, who devised the regime with clinical nutritionist Stephanie Moore. “Stress, alcohol, antibiotics and weight all impact on gut health. The programme is designed to restore the gut to optimum function.”


The science behind the regime Over the course of a seven-day residential stay, consultations, education, exercise, therapeutic treatments and a strict eating protocol are combined to set guests on the road to optimum digestive health.


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Food selection is central to the regime’s philosophy, which draws from aspects of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. “This removes complex carbohydrates from the diet as they don’t offer the body energy in the right way – the body has trouble breaking them down and they can ferment,” explains Williams. Another influence on the regime’s key concepts was the work of Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride and the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet, which noticed a link between gut function and mental illness, including autism, depression and schizophrenia. In addition, the Grayshott retreat includes elements


of the Paleo, or Caveman Diet – which removes most grains – and follows the 5:2 ‘fasting’ diet in restricting calories on two out of the seven days.


Absorbing the facts Williams is keen to remind us that “we are what we eat,” but more importantly, she insists “we are what


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