Billed as the “serious alternative health expo”, the show definitely fills an empty niche in the UK’s expo calendar by offering those struggling with health challenges a new perspective on ‘getting well’. Throughout the event, visitors had access to a wealth of information and education, plus exposure to products, services and health professionals that exist outside of the conventional medical system. Potentially controversial, the event's entire raison d'etre is to showcase the innovative and proven therapies and remedies that offer a new path to wellbeing for people whose chronic health problems aren’t being cured by conventional medicine.
Post show, it's clear that filling this particular empty niche was much needed. Visitors came in their droves to meet and hear leading names from the natural health and lifestyle medicine world share cutting-edge, science-based, practical methods to create health and wellbeing. Many were seeking solutions for multiple health conditions that had plagued them for years, for which conventional medicine had no answers. Others were there to gather information on behalf of friends, family and loved ones.
This show, born out of Lynne and Bryan’s deep passion for wanting to help people and recognising a gaping need to connect sufferers with information they would not normally come into contact with, was somewhat of a gamble. Thankfully the risk paid off and attendees came from all over Europe in their thousands to speak to more than 85 exhibitors, listen to 30 speakers and watch demonstrations on a range of natural health therapies.
Each person was drawn to the expo because of a desire to create a better health outcome and positively impact their lifestyle and wellbeing. Having the door opened to becoming an empowered health creator creates an upsurge of hope, which was tangible throughout what turned out to be an extremely busy and somewhat intense event. We felt humbled by people's deep gratitude and appreciation at being given what must have felt like multiple lifelines when you thought your ship was sinking.
Central to the weekend were the presentations given by ANH founder, executive and scientific director, Rob Verkerk PhD, and executive coordinator, Meleni Aldridge, who is also a health professional. All four of the presentations were recorded and will be available on a pay-to-view basis via our webshop. Your financial support is greatly appreciated as ANH-Intl is funded purely on donations.
Below is a brief summary of the first two, but stay tuned till next week for the next two. You’ll find a wealth of information as well as practical tools in each of them.
Hone your gut-brain connection
First up was Rob, on Friday morning. It was standing room only as attendees from around the exhibition hall gathered to hear the first of his two presentations.
Rob kicked off his presentation by bringing his attentive audience up to speed on the physiological basics of brain and autonomic nervous function, gut function and the history, both older and recent, of the study of the physical interconnection between the two via the vagus nerve. The journey took the audience into the detail of our autonomic nervous system, with Rob stressing how modern lives contributed to so many of us becoming over-active on the sympathetic 'fight and flight' side of our autonomic system, something that can now be readily measured via heart rate variability (HRV). He went on to emphasise the importance of eating while in a parasympathetic dominant state that helps us 'rest and digest'.
The second half of Rob's presentation was focused on giving the audience practical advice as to what they could do to enhance the gut-brain connection that is so important to robust, resilient and vibrant health. At the heart of this is improving not only the function of the brain and gut individually, but also the all-important connection between our 'first' and 'second' brains, the vagus nerve.
Two days after his presentation, Rob was approached by a member of the audience who reported an incredibly positive effect on her long-standing anxiety after she took on board one of his pieces of advice around healthy eating practices that focus on creating a relaxing and socially engaging atmosphere at mealtimes. This was something that had not previously been brought to her attention as being important.
Click here to pay-to-view the video recording of this presentation
Nature’s own thyroid fix – Turn your thyroid into a world-class conductor of your hormonal and metabolic orchestra
Despite being vocally challenged following a recent remedial procedure to one of her vocal folds, Meleni gave a fascinating insight into the essential role that the thyroid gland plays in metabolic and immunologic flexibility. Largely accepted for being the master conductor of energy metabolism, the thyroid is less conventionally recognised for being the master of our hormonal orchestra, and it’s role as a ‘permissive organ’ for the immune system is even less well known. Drawing on her background in clinical psychoneuroimmunology, using the lens of epigenetics and evolutionary biology, Meleni shows us why the thyroid gland is critical for maintaining health and resilience and why any hint of dysfunction should be addressed immediately.
Yet thyroid imbalance, dysfunction and disorders are becoming all too commonplace today. We’re in the grip of a thyroid epidemic with many suffering needlessly. Whether you’re tired all the time, low in motivation, weight challenged or moving down an autoimmune pathway, Meleni’s message is that there is so much you can do yourself, and with the support of a functional and integrative medicine practitioner, to regain your thyroid health with nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Meleni is not only an experienced practitioner of some 30 years, but she has also triumphed over her own autoimmune thyroid disease, which was anything but resolved by having her gland surgically removed when she was 20. Meleni’s presentation created a number of light bulb moments for members of the audience, but also outlined simple and practical techniques to work with our genetic blueprint, not against it. The process of regaining thyroid health not only helps regain vitality and zest for life, but also reinstates the thyroid to its rightful place as the ‘conductor of the metabolic and hormonal orchestra’.
Click here to pay-to-view the video recording of this presentation
In contrast to many expos, this was a deeply enriching and heart-warming event. We’d like to give a huge shout-out to Lynne McTaggart, Bryan Hubbard and their wonderful team for going out on a limb and taking a risk to make this happen. We met such an inspiring array of people, many of whom were completely new to natural, sustainable and lifestyle-mediated approaches to health. Welcome to the community!
If you have any questions on our work or the information in any of the presentations please do drop us a line at [email protected].
We’re already looking forward to the Get Well Show 2021 – we’ll be there, we hope you will too!