The early years
I was raised in a Nottinghamshire mining village and enjoyed a happy, tomboyish childhood, during which the value of hard work and the determination to never give up were firmly implanted into my being. I credit my straightforward and unpretentious approach to life to my no-nonsense parents and grandparents, who taught me to treat people with honesty, fairness, and respect.
I was lucky to have loving parents and two sets of grandparents, who were very involved in my upbringing. My grandparents have been dead many years now, but I still miss them.
My husband, Kevin, and I have been together since 1976 and were married in 1980. We have one son, Colin. We are a very tight-knit family. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we do have our disagreements – what family doesn’t? – but we all get along very well. If we didn’t, our Just For Tummies family business would not be as successful as it is. You can’t run a family business if the family is not completely together.
We all have a strong work ethic with high standards, customer service being particularly important to us.
How it all began
My passion for natural medicine was fuelled by the childhood influence of my master herbalist paternal grandfather, who restored his health with homemade tinctures, ointments, and liniments after being shot in the mouth during the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey and then being shipped out to fight in the trenches of the Somme during the First World War. As you can probably imagine, he returned home from both these wars broken, both physically and mentally, but natural medicine healed him.
Some of my earliest memories are of me as a young girl visiting my grandparents and walking into the kitchen – I can see it in my mind now – walking through the back door, looking up at the ceiling, seeing nettles, dock leaves and other wild flowers and herbs hanging there, all at various stages of being dried out; then there would be an old saucepan full of nettles and water bubbling on the stove, and herbs simmering in a pot on the coal fire. I can see him sitting in his chair to the right of the fire, mixing up some concoction or potion of herbs. He swore by the power of nettles as a blood cleanser and would drink a mugful every day. He would tell me the importance of picking the young nettle shoots and that they were a natural source of iron.
One of my greatest treasures is the Culpeper herbal book that belonged to my grandfather. Here it is with his campaign medals and a photograph of him with his Army peers and one of him at The Chelsea Hospital, Brompton Road, London, recuperating from the operations he had as a result of the gunshot.
My career path
My career in natural medicine began in 1992, and over the years, I’ve gained an array of qualifications in a number of natural health disciplines, ranging from remedial massage, therapeutic ultrasound, acupuncture, and naturopathic nutrition to colon hydrotherapy. On my first day of training as a colon hydrotherapist, I knew at once that I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right person teaching me in a therapy that would change not only my own life, but that of thousands of others too.
And so, in 2005, I began running what soon became one of the UK’s most successful natural digestive and gut disorders clinics, carrying out over 100,000 consultations and treatments.
Colon hydrotherapy is – and always will be – my first love in the holistic health field. When my husband, Kevin and I had to close the clinic in March 2020 due to Covid rules, we took the opportunity to reflect upon our work-life balance; with Just For Tummies growing rapidly and demanding more of our time and energy, we made the decision not to re-open the clinic and focus on Tummies and our growing family commitments – our granddaughter, Jessica was born in February, 2020, a month before the first lockdown, and our son and daughter-in-law needed us. Something had to give, and we decided that it had to be the clinic, much to the dismay of many of our regular clients. However, we were able to refer them to very well qualified practitioners in our area.
Some of my other skills
- I am one of the few Mayr medicine-trained therapists in the UK, having studied at the world-renowned Viva Mayr Clinic in Austria, under the tutelage of its Medical Director, Dr. Harald Stossier, rated as one of the top 5 digestive health doctors in the world.
- I am regulated by The Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), the complementary health regulator set up by the Government and Department of Health, in the categories of Naturopath and Colon Hydrotherapist.
- I am a member of The General Naturopathic Council and I have been a member of the UK’s oldest and largest colon hydrotherapy association, The Association of Registered Colon Hydrotherapists (ARCH) since 2005; for six years, I sat on the Committee, three as Vice Chair and one of my main responsibilities was organising the AGM and annual conference.
- I also sat on the Advisory Board of the UK’s IBS charity, The IBS Network, for three years, gaining further insights into the world of digestive and gut health, and the debilitating impact it can have on a person’s family, work, and social life.
How Just For Tummies came to be
Developing Just For Tummies wasn’t my idea, it was my husband, Kevin’s. I’d never even thought of developing a targeted range of supplements for digestive and gut issues. I was too busy working 6 days a week in the clinic. It was only when Kevin heard me speaking to someone who wanted to book in with me on the telephone, and I was explaining that my waiting list was 6 months long, that he mentioned the idea to me. He’d heard me tell this particular lady that I could not book her in for at least 6 months, but noticed how I was giving her dietary advice and recommending supplements that she could take in the meantime, after discussing her symptoms. Kevin asked if I’d ever thought of developing my own range, applying all my years of clinical experience into putting the formulas together, sorting the wheat from the chaff in terms of which ingredients to use. My riposte was, ‘Don’t you think I’m busy enough in clinic, without developing a range of supplements and setting up a completely new company?’ However, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when a young woman came to me for a consultation and colon hydrotherapy treatment, and she entered my treatment room with a gym bag full of all the supplements she was taking, none of which were having any effect on her bloating and constipation. She burst into tears of frustration, not to mention the upset of being a few hundred pounds out of pocket every month for the supplements! I decided I had to develop my own range.
And so, my Just For Tummies range of digestive and gut health supplements was born – out of my long-held desire to raise awareness around the importance of good digestive and gut health for a strong immune system, and overall health and wellbeing, and to be able to offer good, professional advice on which supplements were needed to help reduce certain symptoms.
The Tummies Family
There are a lot of moving parts running Just For Tummies, and we all wear different hats depending upon what needs doing. I’m the one who replies to most of the enquiries, whether it be via email, phone, or social media; I also write the newsletters, keep the blog content updated, produce our free fact sheets, all with the help of my amazing copywriter, Emma. Kevin attends to all the orders, with the help of his assistant. He also ensures we have plenty of stock, packaging material, etc and if you phone the office, it will probably be Kevin that you speak with. Colin sorts out the financial side of the business, liaising with the bookkeeper and accountant, as well as putting together key performance indicators (KPIs), analytics, and handling social media support, Facebook ads etc. We outsource other work to a small team who have been working with us since we launched.
My approach – holistic and wholistic
My natural protocols for healing the digestive system and gut do not come from a single methodology; they come from a unique layering of tried and tested methods that I’ve perfected in over three decades in clinical practice and running Just For Tummies. Whenever I receive enquiries from people about their digestive, gut, bladder, vaginal or immune health issues, I never ever treat them like a number or group them into a category. Each of us is unique, just as our medical histories are, which is why I’m a firm believer in personalised healthcare that looks at the whole person, from a wholistic and holistic viewpoint. Every person brings with them a complex and interconnected set of circumstances that contributes to the development and exacerbation of their conditions, and it is my mission to always look beyond the composite of symptoms and the ‘problem’ that needs to be solved. There is usually so much more at play that needs to be addressed, before I can recommend the right solutions.
That’s why I take the time to get to know each person and find out about all areas of their life, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, interactions with their environment and others, stress levels, past experiences and personality type. Only then am I able to recommend targeted supplement protocols.
This is what makes Just For Tummies stand out; you won’t find any other natural supplement company giving this level of personalised advice. Knowing that I am able to share my tried and tested supplement protocols with people who have often been struggling, unnecessarily, with digestive and gut health issues for many, many years, and then hearing things like ‘You’ve given me my life back’, ‘These supplements have been a complete game-changer’, ‘I feel like me again’, I am reminded how all the hard work that I put into building this business is worth it, time and time again.
The other hats that I wear
I’m also the Founder of a well-established online support community, Tummy Talk, which brings together a network of highly experienced and knowledgeable natural health practitioners to provide support and expert tips to the many millions of people looking for ways to manage their health issues. Request to join here.
I love to write and talk about not only digestive and gut health, but also women’s health, and other complementary health disciplines; I regularly update my blog and vlog here.
A results-driven therapist
Yes, that’s me! I don’t know when to stop! I can’t stop, not when there is so much ill health in the world and when much of this ill health can be improved through simple diet and lifestyle changes, and with the aid of targeted supplements. In my 30+ years in the field of natural medicine, I’ve built a large network of healthcare professionals, both from orthodox and complementary medicine, enabling me to assess a person’s symptoms and refer them to the right practitioner for the treatment that I feel will help them. I’m a results-driven therapist with a holistic and wholistic approach, using a combination of my targeted supplements and dietary/lifestyle advice to bring remarkable results to the many thousands of people I have helped.
“It’s my belief that everyone struggling with a chronic health problem, whether it be chronic back pain, debilitating period pain, energy-sapping UTIs or IBS, constipation, digestive health issues and gut-related disorders, can be helped. It’s just accessing the treatments, protocols and supplements that work.”