Health consultations with Oliver Cowmeadow
I began my studies of Oriental medicine with macrobiotics and shiatsu at the age of 24, back in 1980. I was amazed and enthralled by the depth and breadth of the Oriental understanding of life and health, and dived into intensive studies in London, Amsterdam, Switzerland and Boston, USA. In the mid-1980’s. I began giving health consultations with dietary and lifestyle advice, and shiatsu treatments for a wide range of health problems.
Through seeing many clients I began to see that many needed to address emotional issues to be able to make positive dietary and lifestyle changes in their lives. So in the 1990’s I trained in emotional counselling, rebirthing and past life healing. I now incorporate emotional healing into my health consultations when thi is appropriate.
Over the last 32 years I have seen thousands of clients, and helped many people strengthen their health and heal a wide variety of health problems. It still amazes me how attending to the basics of health – our food, way of cooking, exercise, positive attitude, emotional healing and spiritual connection can have a profoundly healing effect on our bodies and minds.
Here are some of the health problems that I have helped people with over the years.
Sleep and energy problems such as insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, poor concentration and memory, fibromyalgia.
Digestive problems including bloating, acid reflux, ulcers, chronic constipation and diarrhoea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Candidiasis, leaky gut, Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease and colitis.
Menstrual problems or lack of periods, infertility, endometriosis, polycystic ovary disease; breast pain, cysts and cancer, ovarian cysts, menopausal symptoms.
Male problems including prostate enlargement and cancer, excessive or deficient sexual drive.
Lung and skin problems such as asthma, hayfever, allergies, sinusitis, snoring, weak immunity, eczema and psoriasis.
Heart and circulatory problems including palpitations, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, angina, high blood pressure, Reynaud’s disease, and poor circulation.
Hormonal problems especially hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and adrenal fatigue.
Baby’s and children’s health problems like frequent colds and infections, earaches, rashes, frequent fevers, tonsillitis, over-activity, and slow growth.
Muscular problems including frozen shoulder, back pain, chronic headaches and migraines, tennis elbow, sciatica and trigeminal neuralgia.
Eye and ear problems - blocked ears, deafness, tinnitus, glaucoma, squint, and certain vision problems.
Bone and joint illnesses especially rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoporosis, and scoliosis.
Bladder problems including chronic cystitis, incontinence, frequent peeing in the night, and night sweats.
Weight problems both over- and under-weight, eating difficulties and body image problems.
Serious or life-threatening diseases including various types of cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
Emotional and mental problems including anxiety, shock and fear, depression, and dementia.
Some clients choose to primarily use a natural approach to their health problems by making changes in their diet and lifestyle. Some use a combination of the best of Western medical treatment along with a dietary and lifestyle approach to healing, especially in the case of serious illnesses like cancer; this can work very well and give the best chances of recovery.
What happens in a first health consultation
A first appointment is usually 1 ½ hours, or 2 hours in the case of serious or life-threatening illnesses. I begin by listening to your concerns, and asking about your present and past health, any medical treatments or medications you are currently using, and what you typically eat each day. I also ask questions to get to know about your life, family, work, and lifestyle, so I can understand your life and health as a whole. If it feels appropriate to me and a client, we may also explore the emotional causes of present physical health problems or emotional difficulties.
I may then examine your hands, forearms, eyes, tongue, or feet, and feel your back and abdomen to get a deeper idea of what is happening inside your body.
From all this I create a picture of the imbalances and disturbances in the body from an Oriental medical point of view, and what has caused these in your food, lifestyle, emotional and life experiences etc. I explain this picture to clients, to empower people by understanding the possible causes of their health problems or difficulties, which then leads onto what they can do to help themselves move towards greater health and happiness. People often find great relief in at last having an explanation for their problems, and feel empowered to be able to start taking positive action to help themselves.
I then create a healing plan, using an extensive booklet of information which you take home with you, which includes varying amounts of dietary advice, lifestyle changes, specific physical or breathing exercises, and emotions to work on. This advice is tailored to your needs, and I endeavour to make these recommendations practical and doable within your daily life, so you can achieve success in making positive changes and getting the healing and wellbeing you desire.
After this first consultation I welcome questions by email to help you put the recommendations into practice.
Follow up consultations
Sometimes one health consultation may feel enough to give you some good guidelines on how to move forward with your health. Most people find that over time they benefit from coming back for 1 hour follow up consultations, to help them keep moving forward with their healing plan. This may be at intervals of one to three months. The fee for a hour follow up consultation is £60.
In a follow up consultation I ask questions to assess how you have been getting on with making the dietary, lifestyle, exercise etc. advice, and what changes have happened in your health and wellbeing. I may then examine the hands, eyes etc. to gauge how your health has changed since I saw you last.
I can then help you with any difficulties you have had with implementing your healing plan, maybe finding alternative foods, dishes or exercises that are easier for you to do, or working out how to eat well when you are also cooking for children or partners. I usually also give more detailed recommendations, to make the healing plan more effective, and we may explore and release emotions that are holding you back in your life and healing.
People generally find these follow up sessions very supportive, they are a chance to ask all the questions you are wanting to ask, and to get a deeper understanding of how you can continue to move forward to greater health and healing.
For people with serious and life-threatening health problems, it is necessary to have regular follow up sessions, to keep optimising their diet, exercises etc. and to make changes in the recommendations as their internal health changes over weeks and months.
Bringing Partners or Children
Some people like to bring their partners to their health consultation, which is fine. This can be especially useful if a partner is cooking meals or otherwise actively helping in a person’s healing. Sometimes people like to have some time on their own in a consultation to begin with while they describe their problems, and then their partner comes in for the practical guidance on making changes in diet, exercise, lifestyle etc.
Please avoid bringing your children along, as this can be very distracting. It may be difficult to leave a young baby, and it can work to bring them with you if they are generally quiet and sleep well.
Consultations for babies or children
I will obviously need to see a baby or child to understand their health and be able to make a health assessment, however part of the consultation will be giving practical recommendations, and during this time it helps if either someone else can come and look after them, or that you bring some things for them to play with or do so you can better concentrate of the guidance.
Getting further support in your healing
When making big changes in your eating, exercising and lifestyle, it can be very helpful to support yourself by attending some cooking classes, yoga or other exercise classes, or to see another type of complementary therapist or emotional counsellor. Please have a look at the classes offered by the International Macrobiotic School to see if these could be useful to you.
In the case of serious illness, it is really essential to attend some cooking classes, as food is being used as a primary healing tool, and how the food is cooked plays a big role in making the food as healing for the body as possible.
Shiatsu and Emotional Counselling
I also give shiatsu treatments, either on their own in 1 ¼ hour appointments at £55, or in combination with a health consultation such as giving a ¾ hour follow up health consultation and ¾ hour shiatsu treatment at £90.
Shiatsu is particularly useful for some muscular and joint problems like back pain, sciatica and frozen shoulders, and is great at releasing deeply held tension from the neck and shoulders and others parts of the body.
Shiatsu is also a great therapy for those who are deeply depleted, and in need of support for their body, and bringing more energy into their body.
Shiatsu or some form of body therapy is also advisable for anyone who is wanting to make big changes in their health, or are wanting to heal serious health problems, as shiatsu will speed up recovery time.
I often use some emotional counselling within health consultations, but where some clients feel that they want to focus on healing emotional issues, I give separate sessions of 1 hour at £50 an hour.
Face to Face Appointments
I mainly work at the International Macrobiotic School just outside Totnes in south Devon, and occasionally in Belgium, London and elsewhere. There is a good train service to Totnes from London, Bristol and the north.
For people living at a great distance I also give health consultations using internet video such as Skype. I always recommend a face to face consultation if this is possible, especially for the first consultation, so I can make a thorough examination and make a more accurate assessment of a person’s health condition. However this is not always possible, and then a Skype consultation can work well.
Often clients living a long way away or in another country come for a face to face first appointment, and then have follow up sessions on Skype. With serious and life-threatening health problems like cancer, I strongly recommend beginning with a face to face appointment.
Skype appointments are also 1 ½ hours for a first consultation and 1 hour for follow up appointments. Following the first appointment I fill in an extensive booklet of recommendations giving you a individually tailored healing plan, and send this to you by email.
The cost of the first appointment is £110, covering the Skype time and additional time filling in the guidance booklet.
Follow up appointments of 1 hour are £60, with no additional charges.
How this works practically
Please get in touch by email or phone, so we can arrange a time for the health consultation. Before the consultation I ask that you send a list of your health concerns, and copies of any relevant medical records like blood tests or results from scans. Also some good recent photographs of your head and face, and of your whole body in light clothing.
These can either be sent in the post, or by email with photos attached and scans of any relevant medical documents. Please make sure any scans are readable!
Please read the ‘Getting further support in your healing’ section above, it will help you if you can find some macrobiotic cooking classes locally to you, or you could decide to travel to the International Macrobiotic School to attend one of our regular 2 or 5 day cooking and self-healing courses.
For the financially challenged
If you are on a low income, living on benefits or a state pension, please don’t let a lack of finances put you off seeking a health consultation with me. Please get in touch so we can discuss how to get around difficulties with raising the fee, such as spreading payment into monthly instalments, or in certain circumstances with a discounted consultation.
To book or discuss further
Please get in touch with me using my personal email of firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning the school office on 01803 762598.