Why is there pain in my Lower Back?

Vertebrae and joints
We are an interconnected being. Your organs attach to the spine and the motor neurons cell body is located in the spine.

Why do I get Back Pain / Sciatica?

Some of the muscles controlling the functions of the pelvis are the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, Piriformis and Tensor Fascia Lata. When any of the muscles tighten the pelvis will  rotate. This may cause your pain.

A few of the nerves within the pelvis region are the Sciatic nerve, Inferior/superior Gluteal nerve and Pudendal nerve. When the nerves get trapped in the body they send a shooting sensation.

The nervous system connects the brain, spine and organs altogether. If the organs are depleted of energy (food, water, qi etc) it will reflect in the spine.

What exercises will help my lower back pain / sciatica?

All the exercises listed below have variations, please ask if you require assistance.

Lie on your back, bend the knees and place the balls of the feet on the floor,
shoulder width distance apart. Place your right ankle on top of left knee and take your right hand in between both legs and wrap your hands behind your left thigh. Draw the left thigh into the chest. Hold for 8 breaths and change sides.

Stretch for the hip and buttock area
Gently stretch for 2-5 minutes, breathing fully and allow the rest of the body to relax.

Ancient Squat:

Place your feet shoulder width distance apart and slowly, pushing your bottom away and keeping your heels down, lower your pelvis towards the floor.
Ensure your back is straight and the chest is open. Hold for 8 breaths. If you cannot keep the heels on the floor please ask Sarah for a variation.

Realign the pelvis and stretch the leg muscles.
If you need assistance getting your bottom towards the floor without lifting your toes roll up a mat, place it under your heels and perform the stretch again.

Shoulder Stand:

Lie on your back, bend at the knee and place the balls of the feet on the floor, shoulder width distance apart. Slowly lift your pelvis off the floor so that you knee, pelvis, chest and shoulders are in one straight line. Hold for 8 breaths.

Exercise to strengthen lower back and core muscles.
Ensure that your pelvis and knees are in alignment. Do not allow your knees to cave in or splay outwards.

Active Balance accepts no liability for any injury caused whilst performing these exercises.

Drink lots of water. Eat nutritious food. Get plenty of rest. Exercise at least 3 times a week. Ask a professional about Herbal Medicine. Avoid stress.

What is Sacroiliac Strain?

Sacroiliac Strain is where the pelvis twists, with either the left or the right side dropping and the other side fixating to counteract the movement. If one of the nerves gets trapped it may feel like sciatica.

Active Balance will always make sure that your head, pelvis and feet are in alignment before your treatment is complete. By taking on board the advice that is given, relevant to your physical and internal condition, this will prevent the imbalance from returning. Please bear in mind the longer you have had the condition the longer it is to fix, so book
yourself an appointment sooner rather than later. It will not go away on its own, unless you do something to change it.


How are Cilia in cells and Chakras similar?

Linking Science and Spiritually.

How are Cilia in cells and chakras the similar?

Inside nearly all mammalian cells are cilia which are are microscopic, hair like structures that protrude downwards at a 45 degree angle playing a part in our cells cycle of proliferation and progression.

As the cicila are constantly beating this creates a left-ward flow of the liquid inside that circulates around the cell.

Motile Cilia

Source: Amelia Shoemark

There are two types of cilia. Motile and non-motile. Motile (moving Cilia) have a rhythmic wave keeping our airways clear allowing us to breathe easily. Smoking and poor diet can damage and burn the cilia causing a build up of mucus and phlegm in the lungs, respiratory track and middle ear.

Non-Motile cilia receive signals from other cells or fluids nearby, igniting a crucial role in some of the organs. Cilia in our kidneys, alert the cells that there is a flow of urine and they bend with the urine flow.

Long before technology chakras were born. There are 7 chakras that run up the mid-line of the body and are still used today to centre, balance and enlighten the body and mind.

Chakra is an old Sanskrit word that means wheel. The life force, prana, spins and rotates inside our body and brain and must keep doing so to maintain ultimate health.

The connection between ancient cultures and the planet we live on is evident with the colours of the chakras relating to the colours of the rainbow with Red being at the bottom and Violet at the top of the head.

The human body is an energetic field that has been created, somehow, by the marvels of the universe. Whether you are logical and want to believe in the science or creative enough to give spiritually a chance it is finding a happy medium of the two that uses the left and right hemisphere of the brain giving us a deeper and more fulfilling understanding. Whatever you choose to learn, practically applying will feed and nourish the body and brain leading to a healthy, enlightened being.



Will a massage make my pain go away?

Have you ever heard someone say ‘if you are in pain, punch somewhere else and make the pain go away?’ This is what doctors call ‘referred pain.’ The idea is similar to holistic massage, whereby, if for example, your hamstrings are tight they can become suppler with a massage to your lower back; this is because your hamstrings are connected to your pelvis, which joins to your spine and thus relaxing one area helps the other.

To Japanese Medicine Practitioners the spine is the most important part of your skeletal system and, therefore, the back is where we will most commonly massage. If it is necessary to massage other areas of the body, instead of or as well as the back, we will do so in a direct approach as this is going to be more sustainable for the reduction of your symptoms.

Clients have reported reduced abdominal pain e.g. digestive issues after a holistic massage, less tension in their back neck and shoulders and feeling a sense of calmness. There are studies to support the positive effects of a holistic massage on the body’s immune system by stimulating the lymph nodes. It is also said to improve the condition of the body’s largest organ, your skin, by promoting tissue regeneration so reducing scar tissue and stretch marks. Also enhancing circulation by pumping oxygen and nutrients into your tissues and vital organs.

To ensure you feel the most amount of relief from your pain Natural Medical Clinic T/A Active Balance uses a combination of Acupuncture, Physical Therapy, Cranial Sacral Therapy and Massage in one treatment.

Active Balance practices in Croxley Green with clients travelling from surrounding areas such as Rickmansworth, Watford, Moor Park, Maple Cross and places further afield like Chalfont St Peter, Slough, Luton, London and even Birmingham. Sarah has experience with, and is happy to travel, to treat the disabled. Please visit our contact page to make arrangements.


What is Frozen Shoulder? Help!

What is Frozen Shoulder?

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint that sits between the scapula and the humerus. It is mainly dependent on the muscles and tendons for movement. When an area is damaged bands of scar tissue form inside the shoulder capsule causing a chemical reaction of prostaglandins to be produced. Prostaglandins control several processes in the body, especially the body’s healing process. The chemical reaction caused in the creation of this hormone causes inflammation making the area thicken, swell and tighten which in turn limits the movement of the shoulder.

What do I need to do to make it better?
The body is a complex system with ten trillion cells, a million nano -filtration units in the kidney and a brain that can be adapted to cope in human civilization.
As holistic practitioners Active Balance believe we have the power to heal ourselves through the use of natural remedies and with seven years clinical and personal experience has seen the body go from injury to recovery in a short amount of time.
We recommend Evergreen to support the recovery of your injury, as they comply to the US Pharmacopoeia and the World Health Organisation standards, producing the highest quality Chinese herbs.

Remedial exercises:
There are many different exercises to assist the recovery of your shoulder. Please ask Sarah for the relevant exercises according to your needs. Some examples of exercises are set out below.

Drawing an arm across the chest to stretch the muscles in the shoulder and arm.
One of the numerous stretches to aid the recovery of a frozen shoulder.

Arm extension:
Draw the arm across the body shoulder height, holding the arm on the upper or lower part of the arm (not on the elbow joint), and pull the arm into the body until you can feel a stretch on the upper part of the arm. Hold for 8 breaths.

Improve core strength with the plank.
Be careful you do not allow your lower back to collapse down towards the floor. This may cause pain.

Shoulder Press:
Lie face down on the floor and place your hands underneath the shoulders, shoulder width distance apart. Extend the legs straight behind you and lift your body off the floor.
Keep your eye line in front, so that the head pelvis and feet are in one straight line and slowly lower your whole body down to the floor, allowing your elbows to bend, ensuring they are pointing away from the body. Breathe out on the way and in on the way up.
Repeat 12 times. For easier variations please ask.

Finger walking anywhere.
Mobility exercise for your fingers and shoulder.

Finger Walking:
Stand in front of a wall ¾ of an arm length away. Starting at hip height walk the fingers slowly and mindfully up the wall, making sure to use the thumb and four fingers to propel the movement, not the arm muscles. Keep moving the fingers up as high as possible, without causing a strain to the body. Repeat this movement at least 12 times a day.
Active Balance accepts no liability for any injury caused whilst performing these exercises.


Can Acupuncture cause harm?

Part of every acupuncturist’s theory is to learn the ‘five elements.’ These elements work with what we call the ‘meridian lines’ which in turn govern the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, vessels and skin of the body. The five elements, driven by nature, are: fire, earth, metal, water and wood and give good reason as to why there are no hazardous side effects to an acupuncture treatment, unless there are contraindications to the symptoms you are displaying, which a trained professional should notice, eradicating any harm.

The connection between nature and the body isn’t seen as obviously in the 21st century because of the ‘out of touch’ environment that we have created to function as ‘easily’ as possible using convenience, generally, wherever we can. The holistic part of an acupuncturists role is to take the ‘patients’ symptoms and turn them around, including lifestyle, emotional and physiological advice, changing how the body is adapting to its current climate.

It is not uncommon for people to suffer fatigue, constipation, depression, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, high cholesterol and much more without giving it any consideration, unaware that they could feel so much lighter, brighter and more energetic if they sought the help they needed.

Acupuncture was originally used, over 2,000 years ago, as prevention. Using the same principles now, as they discovered way back then, it is more often called upon to find a cure, as we are ignoring our bodies first signs that it is in danger. Pain is one of the body’s primary symptoms, which is its unique way of knocking on your body’s front door alerting you that there is damage. Leaving the damage, thinking it will go away on its own without making any effort to find what is causing the initial response, will lead you down the sticky path of ill health and therefore it is important to see a practitioner as soon as your symptom/s arise regardless of your age.

Being comfortable around your practitioner is essential for your own well being. Connecting, trusting and opening up to them, giving them as much information about your case, past and present. As there are many medical acupuncturists around it can feel like trying to find a needle in a hay stack but start by asking friends and family who have had positive experiences, look online for good reviews and booking a practitioner once does not mean you have to keep returning to them. If you have had a bad previous experience with a practitioner please take into account that every practitioner has had different training, from different teachers and learning a different syllabus so try, try and try again. As there will be one out there who can suit your needs, giving you answers that can turn your life around.

Homemade Vegan Nachos 15 Minute Feast

Avocado, Soya, Tomato, Onion, Coriander, tortilla wraps and koko cheese
Simple and quick to make from scratch

The local Waitrose has started a vegan section, wooohooo. The branded produce in the ingredients listed below was purchased from there.


  • 8 Tortilla/corn wraps (I prefer corn wraps but they are not always available)
  • 1 extra large ripe avocado
  • 6 big fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 packet Vivera Shawarma Kebab
  • Koko diary free alternative to cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


Heat oven to 180 degrees. Keep the Cut tortilla/corn wraps stacked on top of one another and cut to into 8 triangles which will give you 64 triangles in total. Cover 2 large mixing trays with tin foil. Separate your tortilla triangles so they each have as much space as possible. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are slightly golden and crispy on the edges.

Meanwhile cut open the avocado. Carefully remove the stone and scoop the inside into a mixing bowl. With a fork start to mash the avocado until it has a more creamy texture. Place to one side.

Cut half an onion into small cubes. Chop all six tomatoes into small pieces. Cut up the basil leaves. Put the onion, tomatoes and basil into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the drop and stir to make the salsa. Season with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and black pepper.

Take your tortilla wraps out of the oven and place them all onto one baking tray. Grate  200g of Koko Diary Free over the baked wraps. Put back into the oven for 5 minutes.

Put your 1 teaspoon of hot coconut oil into a frying pan. Let the oil melt and then get the Vivera Shawarma Kebab in the pan. Heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the wraps and Koko from the oven and start to assemble the nacho feast. Scoop smashed avocado onto the wraps. Empty the salsa mixing bowl onto the nachos. Get Vivera Shawarma Kebab off to heat and onto the nachos. Voila. Your 15 minute feast is complete.

Detoxifying, Relaxing Retreat, Lose Weight, Become PainFree, Ditch Your Medication

Four spaces left @ our relaxing retreat, in the tranquil surroundings of the kent Coast and Countryside.

Three days at an all inclusive countryside break for only £390!!

Arrive Monday 17th September @ 3pm for a welcome drink. Meet and greet the other guests.

4-5pm Optional weigh in and waist measurement

6-7.30pm Mindfulness of Breathing Workshop

7-8..30pm Dinner

Tuesday 18th September

8am Smoothie/Light breakfast and supplements

9am-10.30am Chakra Balancing workshop

11am Snack

12pm Walk

1-3pm Free time (Smoothie/Light lunch)

4-5.30pm 5 element workshop

6pm Dinner

Wednesday 19th September

8am Smoothie/Light Breakfast and supplements

9am – 10.30am Taoism Techniques

11am Snack

12pm Walk

1-3 Free time (Poetry, drawing, reading, hot tub, socialise, face masks, nail painting) & (Smoothie Light/Lunch)

4-5.30pm Deepen your practice

6pm Dinner

8pm: Group Q & A

Thursday 20th September (optional)

8am Smoothie and supplement

9am : Beach

12: Pub lunch (not included in price)

2pm Free time / Hometime

Number of days in advance of holiday start date: Cancellation charge payable

70 days or more: Deposit paid and any supplement costs

69 – 43 days: 40% of total holiday cost

42 – 29 days: 60% of total holiday cost

28 – 8 days: 90% of total holiday cost

7 days or less: 100% of total holiday cost

When booking your holiday you must pay a non-refundable deposit as stated at time of booking.

Payments can be made in instalments.

For more info please call: 0333 444 0460

To book Simply Pay £80 deposit:

Or call Sarah 0333 444 0460