Modern life seems inherently hectic. We work more and stress more about work, finance and life generally than ever before and the western world in particular takes pride in claiming that you should work endlessly and always be pursuing some imagined end goal of having more money and stuff than you had before. 

Whether this is your thing or not there is now a far greater appreciation for different strategies to recover better. Whether you are a professional athlete or work 70hrs a week in an office cubicle focussing on your recovery will make you happier.


Back in the 80s the West started to promote surviving on very little sleep as some kind of maxim for success. Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher both famously excelled on four hours sleep (both died with extremely bad cases of dementia as it happens) and through the 90s and 2000s the claim of surviving on as little sleep as possible was almost a mark of greatness. (I too survived for many years on six hours a night and thought this was fine)

Thankfully in the last five years or so there has been a movement to re-establish sleep as what it is, the only way the body and mind can optimally recover, repair, rebuild and optimise. There is simply nothing else that will substitute for good, deep, restful sleep . All the other things in this section are great tools but none of them can come any way close to replacing good sleep.

Unfortunately modern technologies , shift work, families and our own failure to prioritise sleep have put us in a situation where the vast majority of adults say they don’t sleep well.


So what can you do?


is your friend to promote good sleep. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time regardless of whether it’s a work day or not. If like me you were a shift worker at least make sure that whatever shift you are on follow this principle. From an evolutionary perspective our bodies operate best when we go to bed when the sun sets and get up when it comes up. If you stick to this principle as close as you can you won’t go far wrong.

Sleeping pills

The number of pharmaceutical drugs for sleep that will allow you to enjoy deep, restorative sleep utilising all three stages of sleep (light sleep, rapid eye movement sleep REM and deep sleep) and allow you to wake up energised and non-groggy is zero. I am not saying that there is never a time for these but if you use these regularly you are destroying your inherent, natural ability to sleep. As a long time shift worker I can tell you that since I stopped taking any medicated sleep aids my sleep has improved exponentially and it took at least two years to get myself into a good sleeping pattern without these drugs. There are some natural , non addictive sleep aids that I have and still do use. I have found that to be honest different things seem to work for different people and you might need to find what works for you. 

  • Valerian has been used for thousands of years to promote and improve sleep
  • Magnesium levels being low is an indicator of sleep problems. Magnesium promotes relaxation and many people have low levels without realising.
  • Tart cherry juice helps relax the body and helps you fall asleep quicker.
  • Kiwi fruit has similar qualities to tart cherry juice.

Sleep hygiene

How’s your bedroom? Your bedroom should be a place for sleep primarily. You should consider banning electronic items from the bedroom. Make sure your bedroom is dark enough. We sleep much better in a dark environment and blackout blinds and removing all artificial light will really help. Temperature is also vital . We sleep much better in a cool bedroom so make sure you can use air conditioning where you can. Noise is also another invasive sleep killer. I have lived in busy streets and quiet areas and there is no doubt sleep quality is better with less noise. Preparation for sleep is key too. Do you just turn off the TV and roll over? Ideally try and have at least an hour before bed to wind down and start to relax prior to bed time. In the BREATHE [hyperlink] section you will find some breathing techniques that you can use to down regulate your nervous system and start to prepare the body for sleep.

Blue light

All of our much loved electronic devices emit a large amount of blue light which does a marvellous job of disrupting our brain’s production of melatonin which in turn disrupts our ability to go to and stay asleep. Ideally we should avoid anything emitting blue light for at least a few hours before bed but that’s not always possible so consider buying a pair of blue light blocking glasses and wear them after sun down when you are watching TV or using a phone or computer. I brought a pair a couple of years ago and I definitely feel they help me transition into sleep mode and go to sleep quicker.

Hot and cold therapy (section 2)


Have you ever sen the iceman Wim Hoff? He has become pretty well known internationally for his crazy feats of cold endurance and his advocation of the cold as a way of improving physical and mental health.

The thing is you don’t need no swim around icebergs in your underwear to enjoy the benefits of cold exposure. It’s available to us all and is a powerful mechanic to improve your immune system, cellular health, reduce inflammation, improve injury and muscle soreness recovery as well as build powerful resilience and mental strength.

So how do I start?

I am not recommending anyone goes to the servo and buys 10 bags of ice to sit in the bath with on their first go. The cold is powerful, start small and build it up. Buy a cheap shower timer and start off with the last 10 seconds of your shower just cold water. Initially this will be hard but I guarantee that you will feel invigorated and alive afterwards.

From here gradually increase the length of your cold shower until you eventually will just be using cold water. Once you are comfortable with this you are ready to transition to an ice bath or maybe want to set up your own home ice bath using a chest freezer (check out our YouTube video on this). Again this is powerful stuff and you want to start small and gradually build up the time and reduce the temperature. Maybe start with the sea or a river and build up from there.

What I can be sure of is once you have made the cold water part of your life you will never let it go as the mental and physical benefits are so profound that you will need them in your life.


Saunas, steam rooms and hot spas have been used throughout human history for their health benefits. From Roman times to today ,humans have found the heat and sweat a great way to relax and ease tired bodies. What we now know through research is that the effects of heat exposure are much more profound that simply feeling better. Regular sauna use has shown a massive impact on all cause mortality as well as improving the metabolic health of the body.

There are a few different ways to get your heat on. In terms of how long you need to do, the simple rules of thumb is that you need to get to the point of discomfort to start to get the maximum benefits.

Traditional or Swiss sauna

This is the hottest kind of sauna and is a dry heat. Temperatures can get as high as 200c and this kind of sauna has been shown to produce the most heat shock proteins in the body which drive a lot of the metabolic benefits. These can be hard to find. Your local leisure centre might have one or maybe a local business runs a mobile one. If you have a bigger property then consider building your own which is a great value way of adding something to your life that will benefit you forever.

Infra red sauna

These have got a lot cheaper in the last few years and are probably the most practical for a typical home setting. We have one in the garage and I try and use it 4-5 times per week for 45 mins to an hour. Although these do not get as hot as the traditional sauna (max about 150c) they have the added benefits of the infra red light exposure which has been shown to have many benefits including reducing inflammation, increasing blood circulation, lung function and helping the body get rid of waste. They are also very cheap to run and can be easily disassembled if needed. I love mine.


Although not as hot or as beneficial as saunas, a hot spa at home still delivers a lot of benefits. Hot water is relaxing , is great to use before bed to improve sleep and if hot enough will still help your body repair better and ease pains and inflammation.


This is a very personal choice in my opinion. Some people prefer a Chiro and some a Physio. Whatever works for you, just make sure you are seeing and feeling a benefit after treatment and if you are not happy change your practitioner, read reviews and ask friends and colleagues for recommendations.

I think regular massages are essential, particularly as you get older. At the end of the day I think we all need to prioritise self-care more and be prepared to invest in ourselves as we are the only body we will ever get.


This is why our practices are offered on a value for value model.

Which means you pay what the treatment is worth to you and what you can afford, as we want everyone to benefit from these practices designed for health & wellbeing but made with unconditional LOVE!

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