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A message from our Founder...

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

I am thrilled that after six years of building, restoration and enhancement we are now welcoming clients. We had a successful soft launch this summer and are gradually navigating our way through the endless media and marketing avenues open to this type of business. This is a very poignant time for me. Torside is my home and the last years have truly been a labour of love. That continues in my work in the grounds and also in the retreat itself. Torside Health & Wellness is the happy result of past challenges and I hope will serve as proof that with every challenge in life comes the possibility of silver linings.

In this first blog I want to share a little more about me, how I arrived here and why Torside Health & Wellness has been created...

Kinesiology to the Rescue I suffered for much of my twenties with M.E. after a nasty bout of norovirus. It was a desolate time, one which I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, but I truly would go through it all again because it ultimately brought me to a much better place. I had been living the average life of a twenty-something. I worked, I partied, I didn’t take much time to rest but I hadn’t had any health issues to date. So when I found myself unable to heal I didn’t understand why. What I hadn’t realised was that that ‘average modern lifestyle’ meant my health was actually balanced on a knife edge, as so many people's is. After many disappointing attempts at finding effective professional help (I was seeking cures not cover ups), I began to realise that my future really was in my hands. So I had to stop putting down what had happened to me as bad luck and start to look deeper into what I had done to make myself vulnerable to developing that condition. It forced me to put my ego to one side and take a deeply critical look at myself. What I found was that despite having a healthy diet and exercising regularly, being constantly on the go, the stress that I had been harbouring since my Masters degree, the perfectionist in me pushing myself too hard, my youthful mindset of considering rest boring and lazy instead of an enjoyable necessity, the constant seeking of distraction to avoid the things I didn’t want to deal with, living too much in my head and not taking the time to ground myself, had resulted in me neglecting my body’s wellbeing and eroding it’s reserves. Subsequently my defences were weak and a prolonged state of ‘fight or flight’ had left me unable to heal. I had to learn from this and change if I wanted to gain back any quality of life. I was blessed with finding a guide, an Iraqi-born, Oxbridge educated engineer turned Systematic Kinesiologist. This man showed me the path out of the darkest place I had ever been. I had never heard of Kinesiology but I was desperate and willing to try anything at that point. I was struck with how methodical and logical it was. In the first session he fully addressed my worst symptom, which no one else had been able to do with any effect. After two weeks it never bothered me again. And by that I don’t mean that the symptom had been covered up, but that the proper functioning of the organ had been restored. It wasn’t rocket science and it wasn’t voodoo, it was nutritional healing in response to what my own body had indicated it needed and it was encouraging the sympathetic nervous system to calm. He took the trouble to explain exactly why I had been having that symptom, something no one else had done. He also helped me to understand the bigger picture of why I had ended up developing my condition. In doing so, he took the fear away and showed me that there was so much I could do to help myself if I understood my body’s healing processes. It took time, but it was a road to restoration, not just a grapple to claw back some form of normality. I owe that man my health and much of my own since-gained knowledge in that field today. He eventually became my teacher and I could not have learned from a more skilled and intuitive practitioner.

When the Body Says No I had feared I would never be the same again. I was right. M.E. had changed me and my body simply could not return to how I had previously existed. As Gabor Maté so simply puts it, ‘the body said no’. But what I hadn’t realised was that a better version was possible. Because I chose to stop fighting myself and start to listen to my body’s needs I had come back so much stronger, healthier, resilient, confident, empowered, more alive than before. And although things were challenging at times and I had to live carefully for a while, I haven’t had to live a puritanical existence to maintain that. My new self was more robust, more attuned. I had developed an understanding of how to support myself against the challenges of modern life. Knowledge is power. What I learnt during that time was that so much of my suffering had been self made. Not intentionally, but through ignorance and mind-driven ego, that belief that if the mind is willing the body should comply. I had had a bad virus and my gut was damaged but there was a reason it hit me so hard and that reason was me - my reactions, my lifestyle, my treatment of my own self. Like so many of us are prone to do, I did not cultivate an environment where my body was regularly able to heal.

The Body Speaks To Us

Humanity is becoming less and less healthy and detached from natural order. We have seen an enormous rise in too many conditions and diseases in recent decades - obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, osteoporosis, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, gut dysbiosis to name just a few. We know that lifestyle is a way to manage them, to help mitigate them, but there is still little support or adequate education around these issues (Google is not the answer!). We have become used to the idea of being medically pigeon-holed, categorised without much thought given to how we got to this point in our health, our only responsibility remembering to take our meds.

Since my recovery I have wanted to help others as I was helped. I want to empower people struggling with persistent and complex health issues in all the many ways they can support their own health, and support it in a natural, practical, achievable way. Health is not something to be feared, it is something to nurture. And suffering is not a penance, it is the body screaming for change. Aches and pains aren’t an inevitable aspect of ageing. Feeling burnt out is not just part of life. Visceral fat is not just the result of eating too much. Living on pain killers is damaging. Acid reflux is a sign of more than poor digestion. Hangovers that last a day are an indication of bigger issues. Brain fog is not normal. Skin problems won’t be solved with expensive creams. Craving sugar is something to be concerned about. Getting a headache if you don’t have your morning coffee is worrying. You should not need to starve yourself or follow unnatural diets to maintain your figure. And mood swings, anxiety and insecurities are not just part of who you are. These common issues are signs the body needs change. They are all painting a much bigger picture and that picture will deteriorate if not addressed. That sounds like doom and gloom, I know. It seems like too big a mountain to climb. But it’s not. Those symptoms, and so many others, are the body’s only means of communicating. It wants to be heard so that you can thrive. And you can only truly live when thriving, otherwise you're just existing.

Supporting You

I know that feeling where the body cannot thrive, where maintaining some form of normality is an effort. I know the exhaustion behind closed doors, the half-existence that no one else sees. I know how it feels when people don’t understand because ‘you look fine’. I know the guilt that comes with not being able to achieve what you would wish. I know the fear and anxiety of not understanding what’s happening to you or why you feel the way you do. I know the frustration of not finding satisfactory answers or solutions or support. I still feel those scars. What I needed at that time was someone in my corner, not trying to pacify me, not trying to give me false promises but explaining to me, in detail, what was going on. I needed someone translating what my body was saying to me. I needed someone giving me the direction I needed in order to have the courage to try. I needed someone telling me that understanding is the key to healing. I needed someone actively helping my body to switch off its fight or flight mode. I needed someone showing me how to tap into that great resource which is our body's own healing ability. That’s what Torside Health & Wellness is all about - supporting you, guiding you, empowering you.

Practical Natural Therapies I am passionate about supporting the body naturally and holistically (and by holistically I mean treating the body as a whole). And supporting it in a practical way that is both maintainable and not a life sentence of self-denial. Knowledge of your own self is the most important you will ever attain. I know from first hand experience that there is so much that can be done to make us more resilient, emotionally, mentally and physically, to the many challenges of our modern lifestyles. Holistic therapies can get a bad rep. Admittedly some offer a lot of show and little substance, but other therapies are ancient and have lasted the test of time for a reason whilst others are just good common sense health practices. My aim at Torside is to open up holistic therapies to those who are interested but cautious or are new to natural healing methods. I want to show how these therapies can be used pragmatically and to their utmost benefit as a means of returning the body to homeostasis. Kinesiology is a relatively new modality which draws on both Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern Chiropractory. It is a widely applicable diagnostic tool that can address anything from nutritional deficiencies and food intolerances to physical injury and emotional trauma. It is a means by which the body is able to communicate what it needs to restore balance, in order to thrive. To compliment this work I teach Pilates to my clients to assist their bodies to become more functionally efficient. A balanced, aligned body works better in every way.

Helping You To Thrive Again

We are led to believe that our bodies are not enough when in fact they are an incredible piece of bio mechanics, far more advanced than humanity has the ability to replicate outside of our own procreation. Through Kinesiology I have experienced time after time the body’s ability to heal, and heal quickly, when the stressors, the chemicals, the toxins, the stimulants, the sugars, the excess hormones, the trauma and negative emotions are removed and the nutrients it needs provided. I am in ever greater awe of just how remarkable our bodies are and ever more saddened how they are so generally misused and misunderstood. The retreat is designed for an individual visitor so that they receive the most focused, personal care. We treat you as a person, as a whole. We are open to anyone, from those suffering with life-threatening diseases to those just wanting to reset and revive in a positive and uplifting place. We are able to focus on aesthetics as well as deeper health issues. Indeed, it all goes hand in hand. I have a wonderful (and growing) team working alongside me offering a wide range of treatments, all of whom I consider excellent in their fields. All of the treatments we offer I consider to be beneficial to induce the natural healing abilities of the body and enhance it’s optimal functioning. At the same time we aim to ground you and bring you back to yourself. To take you out of your head and remind you of where you were long ago before life took over and started to erode your wellness. We aim to empower you with understanding of your own self and show you all you can do to get back so much of what you have lost - your energy, your vitality, your confidence, your power, your contentment, your peace, your hope.

Supporting You, Empowering You It’s not always easy to begin with which is why we are there to support you. It needs determination, commitment to yourself and strength of mind. It needs you to love yourself enough to look in that mirror, to accept that the brain should not always dictate and to start listening to your body, learn who you are, how you work and address the traumas of your past instead of run from them. But the results can be utterly liberating, life-changing in the best possible way. And the knock-on effects make it even more worth it - glowing skin, happy tummy, elevated mood, to name a few. And what's more, you don’t have to go to extremes to do it. You don’t have to become vegan, you don’t have to meditate 5 times a day, you don’t have to wear tie dye and you don’t have to believe the Earth is flat. And perhaps most importantly, it does not mean you have to turn your back on Allopathic Medicine. These modalities are indeed complimentary to it and do not work in opposition.

Nature Heals

Glastonbury Tor is a deeply spiritual place. So many feel it's pull. Having lived on it for six years I can attest to the energy of abundant love that it radiates. It is truly a positive place, a sanctuary for healing. An uplifting and safe space to return to yourself. Torside's grounds, being part of the Tor, also impart this and I find that to simply be in them brings so much grounding and peace. Our visitors are able to take advantage of this during the entirety of their stay.

A Place of Restoration

What I want for Torside Health & Wellness is to be a springboard for people’s wellness. Whether they are struggling with severe illness, heavy burdens, trauma, seeking to improve their health and appearance or simply in need of focusing on themselves for a while, this is the place where it is possible to address that. Torside is a place to find grounding, replenishment and to stimulate natural healing. It is as much about education as it is the treatments we offer. It is personal and friendly and positive and focused solely on you. It aims to embed in you this message… there is hope, there is a solution and it’s within your power. Blessings from Avalon Pia

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