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Start your Quit Smoking or Vaping Journey now.

Jan 06, 2022

Are you ready to Quit the Smoking or Vaping habit for good?

Are you going to take control of your health before your health takes control of you?

If you are still unsure if now is the right on. If your answer is yes you are on the following information will just confirm that you are making one of the most important positive decisions of your life. Congratulations

Did you know?

Cigarettes release over 5,000 different chemicals when they burn

Many of these chemicals are poisonous and up to 70 cause cancer

Here are just a few: Be warned if you didn’t know what you were inhaling you may never smoke again after you read this list:-


Tar is a sticky-brown substance that collects in the lungs when you breath in cigarette smoke. It can stain fingers and teeth a yellow-brown colour.

Tar contains cancer-causing chemicals. But it can cause more than just lung cancer. It also increases the risk of other lung diseases. This includes emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Carbon Monoxide

Cigarette smoke contains a poisonous gas called carbon monoxide. You can’t smell, see or taste it.

Carbon monoxide stops your blood from carrying as much oxygen. This means your heart must work harder, and your organs don’t get the amount of oxygen they need. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

What ingredients in cigarettes cause cancer and other smoking related deaths?

Up to 70 of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke cause cancer. Many of these cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke have other surprising uses.

What's in a cigarette?

1,3-Butadiene is used in rubber manufacturing

Arsenic is a poison

Benzene is an industrial solvent, refined from crude oil

Beryllium is used in nuclear reactors

Cadmium is used in batteries

Chromium is used to manufacture dye, paints and alloys

Formaldehyde is used as a preservative in science laboratories and mortuaries

Polonium-21 is a highly radioactive element

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a group of dangerous DNA-damaging chemicals, including benzo(a)pyrene g.

How does your health improve when I stop smoking?

Stopping smoking not only improves your physical health but also is proven to boost your mental health and wellbeing. Quitting can improve mood, and help relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice changes to your body and health. Look at what happens when you quit for good.

After 20 minutes

Check your pulse rate, it will already be starting to return to normal.

After 8 hours

Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half.

After 48 hours

All carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improvin 

After 72 hours

If you notice that breathing feels easier, it's because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also your energy will be increasing.

After 2 to 12 weeks

Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.

After 3 to 9 months

Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year

Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker's.

After 10 years

More great news! Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker's.


Mar 23, 2021

What is ARFRID? (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, more commonly known as ARFID, is a condition characterised by the person avoiding certain foods or types of food or a restricted intake in terms of the amount eaten, or both.

A person avoids and/or restricts their intake for varied reasons.

Some of the most common presentations are the following:

They may have had a traumatic / distressing experience with food, such as choking or vomiting, or experiencing stomach pain or upset. This can cause the person to develop feelings of fear and anxiety around eating or food and can lead to them to avoiding certain foods or textures. Some people may experience more general worries about eating that they find hard to put into words and restrict their intake to what they regard as ‘safe’ foods. Significant levels of fear or worry can lead to avoidance based on concern about the consequences of eating.

They might be very sensitive to the taste, texture, smell, or appearance of certain types of food, or only able to eat foods at a certain temperature or will only eat ‘safe’ food from their perspective and experience.

In some cases, the person may not recognise that they are hungry in the way that others would, or they may have a poor appetite. For them, eating might seem a chore or challenge and not something that is enjoyed, resulting in them struggling to eat enough.

ARFID is sometimes described as an ‘umbrella’ term – it includes a range of different types of difficulty. Nevertheless, all people who develop ARFID share the central feature of the presence of avoidance or restriction of food intake in terms of overall amount, range of foods eaten, or both.

Other key aspects of ARFID are that it can have a negative impact on the person’s physical health and as well as on their psychological wellbeing. When a person does not take in enough energy (calories), they are likely to lose weight. Children and young people may fail to gain weight as expected and their growth may be affected, with a slowing in height increase. When a person does not have an adequate diet because they are only able to eat a narrow range of foods, they may not get essential nutrients needed for their health, development, and ability to function on a day-to-day basis. For some people, serious weight loss or nutritional deficiencies may develop, which need treatment. In people whose food intake is limited, nutritional supplements may be prescribed. In some cases, a period of tube feeding may be recommended if physical risk is judged to be high.

Being limited in terms of what they can eat often causes people to experience significant difficulties at home, at school or college, at work and when with friends. Their mood and day-to-day functioning can be negatively affected. Many people with ARFID find it difficult to go out or to go on holiday, and their eating difficulties may make social occasions difficult to manage. They may find it difficult to make new friends or establish close relationships as social eating occasions are often part of this process.

According to the DSM-5, ARFID is diagnosed when:

An eating or feeding disturbance (e.g., apparent lack of interest in eating or food; avoidance based on the sensory characteristics of food; concern about aversive consequences of eating) as manifested by persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs associated with one (or more) of the following:

Significant weight loss (or failure to achieve expected weight gain or faltering growth in children).

Significant nutritional deficiency.

Dependence on enteral feeding or oral nutritional supplements.

Marked interference with psychosocial functioning.

The disturbance is not better explained by lack of available food or by an associated culturally sanctioned practice.

The eating disturbance does not occur exclusively during anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and there is no evidence of a disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced.

The eating disturbance is not attributable to a concurrent medical condition or not better explained by another mental disorder. When the eating disturbance occurs in the context of another condition or disorder, the severity of the eating disturbance exceeds that routinely associated with the condition or disorder and warrants additional clinical attention.


Treatment for ARFID is usually best tailored to the needs of the individual. Most often, treatment can be delivered in an outpatient setting. Treatment commonly involves a multi-disciplinary approach such as Hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, anxiety management and exposure. Sometimes, medication may be suggested, most often to help with anxiety. The person’s physical health should also be monitored and managed, for instance by their GP or a physician or paediatrician. Treatment may also involve nutritional management through support from a dietician and help with sensory problems.

There is more information available now, the following are useful resources:

You Tube

Beat’s free, confidential Helplines are open 365 days a year 9am–8pm Monday to Friday and 4–8pm Saturday, Sunday, and bank holidays.

Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677

Binge eating disorder

Mar 23, 2021

The past 12 months I have seen an increase in the presentation of Binge Eating Disorders especially amongst young girls some as young as nine! 

This is not simply an occasional over eating episode but a debilitating way of life that affects peoples relationship with food and even more so with themselves. 

More often than not there is perpetual cycle of eating large amounts of food in one sitting or over a short space of time and then experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment and disgust that often motivates the next binge, restricting episode or extreme exercising.

Binge eating is classified as a mental health issue and this needs to be supported on the road to recovery.

Establishing regular eating patterns, moderating exercise and addressing the perceived mindset about yourself are all important steps to recover.

I can help you on that road to recovery. With Hypnotherapy I can help you to emotionally process and establish why you developed an eating disorder and this can help you take back control of your life. More often than not early feelings of 'not being good enough' can trigger a poor relationship with self and an eating issue cn be triggered. But of course this is not always the case.

I understand from personal expereince how it feels when an eating control has control of you, I also know from expereince that you CAN recover.

This information is current NHS guidelines.

Binge eating disorder involves regularly eating a lot of food over a short period of time until you're uncomfortably full.

Binges are often planned in advance, usually done alone, and may include "special" binge foods. You may feel guilty or ashamed after binge eating.

Men and women of any age can get binge eating disorder, but it usually starts in the late teens or early 20s.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder

The main symptom of binge eating disorder is eating a lot of food in a short time and not being able to stop when full.

Other symptoms include:

eating when not hungry

eating very fast during a binge

eating alone or secretly

feeling depressed, guilty, ashamed or disgusted after binge eating

People who regularly eat in this way may have binge eating disorder.

Warning signs of binge eating disorder in someone else

Someone you care about may have an eating disorder if they:

eat a lot of food, very quickly

try to hide how much they're eating

store up supplies of food

put on weight (but this does not happen to everyone with binge eating disorder)

Getting help for binge eating disorder

If you think you may have binge eating disorder, see a GP as soon as you can.

They'll ask you about your eating habits and how you're feeling, and check your weight and overall health.

The GP should refer you to an eating disorder specialist or team of specialists if they think you have binge eating disorder or another eating disorder.

It can be hard to admit you need help with an eating disorder, so bringing a friend or loved one with you to your appointment may help.

You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from eating disorders charity Beat by calling its adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.

Surviving Parenthood

Sep 08, 2020


Anger is a normal and useful emotion.

But anger can become a problem if a child's angry behavior becomes out of control or aggressive.

Why is my / our child angry?

There are lots of reasons why your child could be angry,

here are just a few examples:

  • seeing other family members arguing or being angry with each other
  • Problems at home
  • Friendship problems
  • Being bullied
  • Struggling with schoolwork or exams
  • feeling very stressed, anxious or fearful about something
  • coping with hormone changes during puberty

It may not be obvious to you or your child why they are feeling angry.

If that's the case, it's important to help them work out what might be causing their anger.

Read More

Healthy boundaries for families

Sep 08, 2020

People talk a lot about the need for “boundaries,” but what does this word really mean?

As a parent, you can think of a boundary as the line you draw around yourself to define where you end and where your child begins. This isn’t always easy. And let’s face it, children push the boundaries every day, all the time. They are wired to test us and see how far they can go; it’s in their nature. As parents, we sometimes cross boundaries ourselves in our attempts to fix things for them. Understand that one of our most important jobs as parents is to stay loving and but sometimes separate from our children.

Read More

Holly Bowden Holmes

FAPHP (acc) DHP HPD Supervisor (acc)
NLP, Coaching
Accredited Member and Supervisor
of the APHP


ARFID therapist Essex.
Child Behaviour and Eating Disorder Specialist. 

The Bowden Effect approach to helping Children and Young People with Issues attending School.

As with any therapy no guarantees or refunds can be offered but I will do everything within my power to help you address, overcome or achieve whatever had brought you to my office. My commitment to my profession and to my clients is an ethical lifetime obligation  for which I am passionate.

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