Katrina's experiences of health restoration from a digestive disorder and from rheumatoid arthritis

At the age of 21 after many years of suffering from Crohn’s disease I began to get pains in some very strange places. It started on the back of my hands, then my toes, and before I knew it, it was everywhere. I was experiencing disabling arthritis which affected my joints, tendons, and muscles, even to the point that sneezing and yawning was very painful. All I could do was sit in a chair and not move. To appear normal to my friends and family I would dose up on painkillers, which allowed me to pretend that I was a somewhat functioning person, however the downside of a change of mood and behaviour didn’t help me in making social connections with people.

When I had restored my health and all the pain and deformities had gone, I would tell people about it, and they would say, “But if arthritis is curable why isn’t it on telly?! Why haven’t I heard about it?” I had achieved for myself what other arthritic people were not achieving with the normal processes, I was fit and healthy again by deciding to take my health in my own hands.
I like Einstein’s definition of insanity which he described as, Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I could see that over almost a lifetime of illness I had tended towards following the same recommendations over and over again, and expecting that my body would suddenly become healthy. This had not been my experience; the more intervention I received the faster my health deteriorated. I decided that there must be a better way.

Katrina aged about 3. Katrina had been prescribed permanent antibiotics for a year by this time, and would continue with them for another year! Zoom in to the image and you might see that her baby teeth showed signs of enamel breakdown. This was one of the first signs that something was going wrong.

My own experience of Einstein’s definition of insanity began when I was two years old. I had a persistent cough for which my GP prescribed antibiotics, non-stop, for two years! They didn’t work because we discovered I had childhood asthma for which antibiotics are not helpful. The GP didn’t want to stop doing the same thing over and over again, expecting those different results that never came – as I continued to cough. After two years, my mother got frustrated with the GP as yet another prescription for the same antibiotic was handed to her. Two years is a very long time to be on antibiotics and I remember by the age of four experiencing health signs indicating the beginning of something going very wrong. I became very allergic to household dust, to perfumes, to laundry detergents to the point that I couldn’t be taken down the supermarket aisle that displayed the cleaning products. I remember feeling weary and just a bit out of sorts.

The real cataclysm for my health began when I was nine when I became very frail. With symptoms of gut pain and diarrhoea, I was tested ruthlessly and carelessly for psychiatric problems because it was believed that I was inventing my symptoms! Children apparently didn’t get these symptoms, it was believed! Very soon, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and was immediately put through many treatments and we continued to follow the same path expecting those ‘different results’. Unfortunately I reacted badly to all of the treatments and I became even more poorly than I had been before diagnosis.

As I got older I began to wonder whether there was a better way rather than just try to reduce inflammation. The steroids had worked well at reducing inflammation - while I was on them, but then I suffered the side effects of breaking bones, stunted growth and that unpleasant, overwhelming hunger that can’t be satisfied. Also the ‘moon face’ gave me trouble at school. The doctors did their very best with what they had, but I began to realise that the promise of a new discovery and a cure just around the corner was just a continual, never-ending dream.

By my mid-teens I could see what was on offer. I had tried the treatments and I could see my fellow Crohn’s patients not progressing and resorting to bowel resections. I was very interested in keeping my bowel intact so I decided that I had to take my health in my own hands. My last consultant had actually been the most helpful when he shared with me that being careful with my diet was key to my recovery. He didn’t say which diet, what foods (I don’t think he believed there was a universal diet, just tendencies to tolerate some foods less well), but nevertheless for the first time I was given hope and the responsibility to find out for myself. Here was one of the top consultants in the field who wasn’t keeping me hanging on by assuring me that my only hope lay with the medical drugs.

With my new found sense of responsibility I knew that my health was down to me and I worked out the foods to which I was reacting and I avoided them. I knew nothing then about how to improve health, my health research journey was only just beginning! So having improved my bowel function enormously in as much as I didn’t get diarrhoea anymore, I thought I had dealt with the whole issue until...the joint pain began about 3 years later.

I went for the diagnosis, I had the X-rays, I was offered very strong medication! I decided that I wasn’t going to repeat that journey all over again (insanity! J) and I decided to use painkillers to keep myself out of the horrendous pain that I was experiencing. My earlier experience with Crohn’s enabled me to walk away from the offers of medical help without the fear that many sufferers with health problems, and their families, do experience. I knew that there really was nothing that medicine could do apart from provide palliative care for the symptoms, but I didn’t want to go through any more problems with medications. 

With my very strong painkillers to keep me almost sane through the pain, although very dopey and dreamy from the opiate reaction, I went off to research my own recovery strategy. I was older, and better read about healthy living so I had some basic understanding to work with, although I wasn’t immune to the misguided health fads. The internet had been introduced to my life and this became an amazing tool for my research. It revealed to me that there was so much more to learn about the body, its food needs, and nutrients - their form and quality, and absence from fruit and vegetables. Then the most significant coincidence happened that would lead to my health turnaround. Chris Puckey was doing a talk about nutrition and health and the avoidance of toxins, and I slipped into the room for the last 30 mins after my choir practise. As he talked about ‘my’ subject I knew that he knew his stuff! He hadn’t just gone and done a cheap correspondence course in nutrition, he had extensively researched this area, to achieve his own health restoration from osteoporosis and liver tumours, and he knew all that I had found out and much, much more.

I discovered that our food isn’t as nutritious as it used to be so just eating yourself well wasn’t going to be totally successful all on its own. The quality of the soil, whether the food was harvested before it was ‘ripe’, how long it was stored and travelled before it arrived on the plate, even hybridisation, were all important factors that caused depletion of nutrients in our food. Chris was able to share with me how he overcame this problem with our food by locating some powerful nutritional formulas that he had used for his own health restoration, and I learned that not all nutritional formulas are powerful enough when you are looking to achieve a body overhaul.

I began to notice improvements in my general well being after about six weeks of using some special mineral nutrition and a high tech, broad spectrum antioxidant. Later I introduced some other very potent formulas that turned my health around, and as I got a little stronger with an increase in energy, I was able to research more about food and nutrition, and I made improvements to my diet that helped with my health regain.

It took about 3 years to achieve a total absence of joint pain, which only returned to a much, much lesser degree of severity when I was under stress or my diet was neglected. However I was left with a lingering, intense fatigue because I still hadn’t dealt with the main issue which in my case was bowel immunity. I read a book by gastroenterologist and neurologist Dr Natasha Campbell McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition), (author of ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’), and I attended one of her talks. I got to grips with her great information about how the digestive system works, what harms it, what heals it, how to heal the mind all at the same time, and I set to work with my new knowledge of diet and nutrition based on Natasha’s work and experience.

If I had had access to this information at the beginning of my health strategy, my health regain would have been fast and complete in much less than the three years it took me. I estimate that based on my client’s responses, when they have been as severely affected as I was, it would have taken me about 1 year to achieve significant health improvements in bowel, liver, kidney and joint areas, with no return of pain even under stress, or with food choices. In the second year it would then have required a refining of the process, nutritionally supporting and strengthening key areas until the body was restored to a healthy balance.

A total health regain isn’t only measured by the reduction of pain. Reduction of pain is significant especially to the sufferer, but real health regain is achieved when the joints, tendons and cartilage begin to repair, any bowel involvement is addressed, the organs of the body are returned to good health, and when the immunity especially the immunity from the bowel is nourished and restored to proper function. While this is being achieved the person can go through more pain at times, as the toxins are released into the blood stream and cleared out (this is our present understanding, and is known as the Herxeimer Reaction). The person may not feel a sense of well-being for many months but over time they begin to feel the effects of all those months of repair and regeneration.

During my process of healing myself I was becoming stronger, less tired, and more able to continue to research for longer periods of time. Thanks to some enormously helpful web sites such as www.mercola.com, I developed a much greater understanding of food energetics and how different types of food produce different effects. The most significant area of research that brought the most benefit to me and subsequently, to my clients today, was in the study of the traditional diets of the long lived and robust, indigenous tribes of the world. These peoples were studied extensively and their foods and food preparation techniques were recorded by Dr. Weston A Price. Their food was nutrient dense and they did the opposite to our ‘healthy’ food practices. They prepared their bodies with nourishing foods before conception to ensure that their children would develop well, they didn’t have words in their language for cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis or any of our degenerative diseases because these illness were unknown. They lived long lives and usually died of old age or in accidents. These peoples are still in existence. Simply by following those principles and by developing a knowledge of the food practises of other cultures, tremendous health results can be achieved, and for some people the use of nourishing food and better food preparation is the only change they need to make. For others we need to do a lot more but the good, supportive food must be present to achieve the best results.

I am now completely well, with no arthritic pain anywhere, all the deformities in my fingers and hands have gone, and my muscles are strong and healthy. I am healthier and more resilient than I can ever remember. A cold virus to me is a rise of temperature with a slight weariness in the evening which is completely gone by the next morning and I thank my body that for the first time in years it is working well and is now allowing me to live simple, but wonderful and busy days.

Moving forward with a new and healthy attitude

The lesson that this life experience taught me was to question everything – always! When someone tells me I can’t do something – is that true? If someone tells me that my illness is incurable – is it true? When the health media tell me that this food is bad and this food is good – is it true? When someone tells me that I can only get better with their help – this can’t be true!

This new way of questioning the world extends to all areas of life; the government tells us that we are healthier and living longer – is that true? With cancer affecting 1 in 2.5 people today compared with 1 in 200 in 1908 (two separate studies by two doctors in London and Yorkshire created data for their practices from 1908), and heart disease is now the biggest killer, not to mention all the suffering that degenerative illnesses cause, the governments’ idea of ‘healthier lives’ is rather unusual! Any story can be told with statistics – when more babies survive and grow into adulthood than in previous centuries it puts the average age of death very much higher, so then it looks like we are all living longer. Actually we are only living 6 months longer than we did 20 years ago (comparing life expectancy of a 25 year old male 20 years ago compared to today) – the average age of male death is 73.2 and for women it’s 79.4 (www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/death1203.pdf) with many years of ill health before death. We are neither healthier nor very much more long-lived than before! Knowing this encourages us to take action rather than believing that we’ve had a good innings when we reach 70, or that our aches and pains are only to be expected now that we are so healthy and aged!

When I naively told some doctors about my restored health the more scientific response was, “Hmmm... I’ll have a look at some research on those nutrients”, and the unscientific response was, “you must be in remission, anything else? Goodbye!” So, before I became too downhearted with the responses of doctors and other sufferers to my wonderful news, I became much more careful about which roof tops I shouted from!

What is my response when people say:

“But if arthritis was curable why hasn’t my doctor told me?”

“If there was something I could do about it my doctor would have said!’?

There is no answer I can give that doesn’t sound cynical and people are suspicious of hints of conspiracy or cynicism. They are absolutely right to be suspicious too; we often need to be careful that the conspiracy theory isn’t itself, the conspiracy! However, if you don’t mind me sounding cynical for just a minute, I would suggest that drug companies are not charities – they need to make a profit, and good profits they make too! I would suggest that doctors are trained to promote and use their drugs, and that however well-meaning that person with the big heart was when they entered medicine, they may end up being a drug promotor for drug companies who send in the reps, who advertise to the doctors. I met such doctors from the age of 9. They worked hard, very hard. Some of them even cared about their patients…some really didn’t! They gave me drugs, drugs and more drugs! Now I understand why they didn’t tell me about the diet that had been found to be an effective treatment for digestive disorders of all kinds. They didn’t know!!! If they did know, they weren’t allowed to share with people like me, that diet IS the cure.

Today we would suggest, don’t ask your doctor for a diet cure! This is not what they are trained for, and this is not something they are allowed to share with you at any great level, even if they had some personal ideas about it. Ask them to patch you up and provide pain relief and intensive care when you are in danger. Other than that, we must take ourselves in hand and look after our own health, - we feed us, sleep us, exercise us.

You can Regain control of your life and Turnaround your prospects from symptom control and management, to renewing vigour and strength.

We CAN do it! You CAN do it, you can find a better way.

Find our contact details on this website, and get in touch if you find that you need help.


Here is Katrina displaying her 'moon face' from high dose steroids. The steroids made her very overweight and ravenously hungry! A hunger that could not be satisfied...an awful feeling!

Katrina was attached to this drip that you see bandaged on to her hand, until her veins burned with pain, and then collapsed. Doctors continued to try to needle those veins not believing Katrina's pained protests, until there was a mass of bruising over her hands! Around this time a tube was inserted into her nose and down into her stomach to feed her a liquid solution with absolutely no food intake allowed....for three months! Overcoming food addictions for Katrina began early in life! Attending school for those three months, and in such a state was rather dramatic for her!

The trauma of medical procedures stayed with her, far into adult-life.

Still under construction. More information soon.

Far Infrared 'HealthMate' sauna

Included as part of the Tuina massage session. Also used as a separate therapy.
Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (2009)

In all patients, a clinically relevant improvement was seen during the IR sauna treatment with pain and stiffness decreasing 5 to 24 points. Pain reduced approximately 40% and 60% and stiffness approximately 50% and 60% for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, respectively. All patients felt well during and after IR treatment, and 30 min after the end of treatment, 88.2% of patients felt “comfortable” or “very comfortable”. The results of this study show that the use of IR sauna as treatment is feasible and well tolerated in patients with inflammatory arthritis.

clinical cardiology: review | beneficial effects of sauna bathing for heart failure patients (2007)

Repeated sauna therapy (60°C for 15 min) improved hemo- dynamic parameters, clinical symptoms, cardiac function and vascular endothelial function in patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) […] Sauna therapy improved the cardiac index, mean pulmonary wedge pressure, systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance, and cardiac function. Sauna treatment is considered safe for CHF patients with NYHA classes I, II and III. It seems that sauna treatment may help improve clinical symptoms and hemodynamic parame- ters secondary to an improvement in the endothelial func- tion of patients with CHF whose endothelial function is impaired.

The information below is largely taken from HealthMate's website. Visit https://www.health-mate.co.uk for more information about this process.

Far infrared Sauna benefits

The benefits of infrared therapy have been extensively researched for over 40 years. While the practice of sauna usage dates back before the 16th century, infrared saunas now provide the same health and beauty benefits, with a more comfortable and relaxing environment. From pain relief to beauty indulgences, feel the power of infrared sauna benefits.

  • Absorbed directly by the body in the form of heat
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Stimulates cell renewal process
  • Can be used at lower temperatures to achieve the same results
  • Form of exercise for people with physical constraints, age, etc.
  • Easier to breathe than in a steam or conventional sauna
  • Relieves tension, relaxes muscles
  • Burns Calories while you relax
  • Works your cardiovascular system
  • Hospitals have been using infrared heat for decades to keep newborns warm

The science

Infrared light – a safe, natural resource

Infrared waves make up the majority of light waves that compose natural sunlight.

Infrared Light

Far Infrared is distinct from Ultra Violet: it cannot damage skin

The power of infrared light to warm and heal from within has been employed since the 1960s: it is used to keep babies warm in neonatal units; it is used by physiotherapists to treat joint and muscle injuries; it is used by beauticians in skin treatments.

Infrared penetration – the optimal range of far infrared light

Infrared comes in a range of wave lengths from 0.76-1,000 microns. Most infrared cabins use far infrared light (more than 5.6 microns). But only Health Mate UK use bespoke Tecoloy heaters designed specifically for the human body. Our heaters emit far infrared light at the optimal wave length for human penetration.

The ability of infrared to heat from within the body, creates a more comfortable and enjoyable experience compared to traditional saunas.

How infrared therapy works

Health Mate Infrared cabins use Tecoloy heaters which generate far infrared light. This infrared light is absorbed naturally by most objects, including the human body and has the ability to penetrate the skin and generate deep heat from within. Far infrared light has distinct advantages compared to other heat sources:

  • It is naturally occurring and safe for humans – infrared is used for warming neonatal incubators.
  • It generates deep warmth within objects, but does not warm the air in between, delivering all the benefits and more of traditional saunas at much more comfortable temperatures (45-65 Celsius, compared with 85-100 Celsius in a traditional sauna).
  • Infrared is a distinct frequency from Ultra Violet light and therefore does not damage skin.
Infrared penetration – relaxing and enjoyable

The power of infrared to heat from within creates a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience than traditional saunas.

Infrared penetrates objects to heat from within, but it does not heat the air that it passes through. If that’s hard to get your head around, think of the sun: the sun is immensely hot and we feel warmed by sunlight, but the space between the sun and the earth is freezing.

This characteristic means Health Mate UK’s infrared cabins deliver all the benefits and more of a traditional sauna, without the extreme temperatures

Infrared Sauna Therapy

The sun’s infrared light

Why is it that in the sun we feel warm while in the shade it is cool? Most of the warmth of the sun that we feel comes from infrared light. The majority of the light from the sun is infrared light and unlike ultra violet, it is completely safe for humans. The most interesting characteristic of infrared light is that it warms up objects without warming the air in between those objects. The easiest way to understand this is to look at the light of the sun. The sun is hot, but space between us and the sun is freezing cold yet, standing in the sun light makes us feel warm. This is because the infrared part of the sunlight warms up object directly without having to warm up the air first.


Chromotherapy is the science of using colours to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony. Each colour possesses frequencies of a specific vibration, and each vibration is related to different physical symptoms. Our bodies need the sun’s light to live.

Each Health Mate Sauna is equipped with LED Colour Light and a remote control. A fun feature that bathes you in a colour of your choosing, the LED colour light also houses beneficial properties used in Chromotherapy. The spectrum of colour usage is endless, with its ability to elevate moods, produce soothing mindsets, stimulate cell regeneration, and help in healing. When used with our far infrared sauna mates and their healing benefits, nurture from nature is a light switch away.


The colour red as passionate is not just a cultural association. Red light has been shown to enhance libido and increase energy. Additionally, red activates collagen cells and helps stimulate skin to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It energizes organs and promotes faster healing when used in conjunction with infrared therapy.


Orange light therapy is traditionally used to stimulate mental activity and induce cheerful emotions. Orange hues can increase energy levels and improve a person’s mood.


Yellow colour light therapy can be used to help a person feel spiritually grounded while maintaining a positive outlook. It may help individuals feel more optimistic and lighthearted.


We depend on the colour green to feel calm. Individuals who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues” may consider using green to restore a sense of vividness.


Used in colour therapy to ease symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression. Some research shows blue cools down inflammation, lowers fevers, helps high blood pressure and relieves migraines. Other research has shown blue is effective in reducing acne because the blue lights kill bacteria which is a major source of acne infections.


Purple colour light therapy helps individuals maintain a sense of “mind over matter” when dealing with chronic pain. It is often recommended for neurological pain caused by conditions like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. This colour slows down an overactive heart, and stimulates the spleen and white blood cells. It promotes a true sense of tranquility, reduces anxiety, and detoxifies.


This is the most common colour to be used in LED colour therapy. It uses the three primary colours (Red, Green, & Blue), making it easy to receive the benefits from all the colours used for colour therapy. Research has shown that white light can even increase vitamin D levels.


  • Azeem, Y;Raza SM (2005). “A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution”
  • Anderson, M (1986). “Colour Therapy”
  • Grubson, L (1982). “Color has a powerful effect on behavior, researches assert”
  • Van Wagner, K. “Color Psychology; How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors”

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