About Sarah Stacey

Sarah Stacey is the Health Editor of the Mail on Sunday YOU magazine and is co-author (with Jo Fairley) of the world’s bestselling series of beauty books, The Beauty Bible. She edits, with Jo Fairley, the accompanying website, www.beautybible.com

Posts by Sarah Stacey

Cast On … And Cast Away Stress

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

The email from my friend Rose that arrived one Monday recently was headed ’I LOVE Knitting!’. She’d volunteered to trial the calming potential of a ‘Simple Knitting’ weekend in Cornwall. Like many, she was drawn to the idea of meditation for its stress-relieving effect but found it ‘tricky in practise’. Knitting, however, has proved a ‘perfect way to switch off and relax’.

Run by knitting expert Erika Knight at the Bethruthan Steps Hotel in Mawgan Porth, the two-day workshop was ‘the ultimate wellbeing retreat’. Although a total knitting novice and self-confessedly cack-handed, Rose easily mastered casting on, then plain and purl – and started on a simple pattern. ‘Erika told us there’s no need to make a jersey to enjoy knitting: simply creating texture and playing with colour can be deeply fulfilling. More experienced participants started with stripey tea cosies, but I just made an egg cosy.’ Read More…

New Rules for Herbal Medicines

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According to research, 26 per cent of UK adults in the UK have used an over the counter (OTC) herbal medicine for mild common complaints in the past two years. Like many others, I’ve used herbal products for many years because they are often as or more effective, gentler, and have fewer side effects than pharmaceutical drugs, both prescription and OTC.

However, there is a problem. To date, there’s been no regulation governing herbal medicines. The majority of people believes that ‘natural equals safe’ but that’s not necessarily true. Some plants are poisonous. So the EU has introduced an Herbal Medicines directive, starting this month, to ensure the safety of herbal medicines (it doesn’t cover homoeopathy, aromatherapy or flower remedies). All OTC herbal medicines must have a Traditional Herbal Remedy licence, from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, mhra.gov.uk), which allows the product to carry a THR certification logo. The ‘traditional’ bit means the herb, or combination, has been on the market for at least 30 years, 15 of them in Europe. Read More…

Get Your Back on Track

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt, 39, is a former Premiership footballer who had to retire in 2003 due to persistent lower back pain, which manipulative therapies failed to help long-term. Then he discovered Somatics (aka Hanna Somatic Education or HSE), which teaches you how to release muscles that have involuntarily contracted. He was so impressed with the results he trained as a Somatics therapist himself – and is now playing football again semi-professionally. Knowing a colleague had a chronic knee and back problem, I suggested she went to see Jonathan. Here’s her report:
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Give Toddlers Time For Motion

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At a recent press launch I found myself in the middle of a group of mothers of youngish babies, all agitatedly discussing the problem of constipation in their little ones. They were very distressed about it so I asked GP and writer Dr Rob Hicks for advice. This is what he says:

‘Constipation in babies and children is common: about one in three parents report that their child has experienced constipation at some time. It need not mean not going to the loo at all. A person is constipated if they go less often than they would normally, produce less motion than normal – usually small hard dry pellets – or have to strain to go. Some babies and children normally go once a day, some more often, and others only a couple of times a week. Any of these patterns can be normal for that child. Read More…

Give Your Skin An Eastern Boost

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A majority of Western women say they have touchy skin, prone to break outs, rashes, itchiness, even stinging. But for some, the sensitivity can be extreme. When registered nurse Denise Leicester fell ill with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) in 1993, her skin rejected every brand of skincare she tried. In particular, products based on petrochemicals (mineral oil is a common ingredient) inflamed her skin and left it looking tired. As a yoga teacher too, Denise saw it as a problem of energy. Her skin mirrored her physical and mental condition – all were drained of energy, the vital life force known as ‘prana’ in Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, and ‘chi’ in traditional Chinese medicine.
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Join The Retro Remedy Revival

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

When GP Dr Rob Hicks was growing up, his family often used natural remedies from the garden or kitchen. ‘It wasn’t because they were particularly passionate about them, or against other kinds of medicine, but the belief that you didn’t trouble the doctor unless something was serious,’ he says. At work, he offers patients natural remedies and complementary therapies as well as conventional treatments. And now, so we can safely treat ourselves, Dr Hicks has put them in a book, called ‘Old-Fashioned Remedies from Arsenic to Gin’ – here are his tips for spring. Read More…