Hi, I’m Cheri and I started Unique Balance over 2o years ago..
Even though I was young and should have been in my prime, I had been experiencing the cycle between being overweight and being unhealthily thin for over a decade, I had developed ongoing health conditions, felt generally unwell most of the time and had skewed beliefs about food and body image.
Whilst seeking out another ‘miracle diet’ I came across the concept of ‘food as medicine’, with new understanding (and the desire to be healthy and thin!) I embarked on a quest to heal myself. Good nutrition not only removed my symptoms of IBS, PCOS and Asthma, it had a positive impact on my mental wellbeing and overall outlook on life… I was hooked.
Over the years I continued to research all I could in relation to Body and Mind health and through formal study, gained a Diploma in Natural Nutritional Therapy in 2000 before going on to complete the Advanced Diploma in Natural Nutrition. This allowed me to work on a 1-1 basis with clients at a Community Health Project based within a local GP surgery and in my own private practice.
I’d chosen to study ‘Natural Nutrition’ as I knew our bodies need more than food to thrive; sleep, daylight, stress management, and movement also have to be considered. The more I worked with clients, the more I observed the impact that their habits, beliefs and feelings had on wellbeing and realised that having a ‘therapy qualification’ would enable me to support them in a much more meaningful way.
Having personal experience of different therapy styles, I felt Hypnotherapy was the most beneficial and undertook a yearlong training with the UK Academy of Therapeutic Arts and Sciences, obtaining both the ‘Diploma in Clinical and Advanced Hypnosis’ and the ‘Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma’ (externally verified and accredited by National Council of Hypnotherapists). I continued to work with clients on a 1-1 basis and delivered bespoke workshops for businesses and community groups.
In 2012 life decided to throw me a curved ball and I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I was challenged on every level, not least in my beliefs about health. With my normal high-energy activities not accessible to me I found I was still able to practice gentle yoga.
I’d always used yoga to improve flexability and manage stress, but at that point in my life – I finally got what yoga really was. It helped me to understand my body, my energy levels and my thoughts in a completely new way. I learnt that good health is not always the speedy removal of symptoms; it is an ongoing relationship you have with yourself, it is the strong foundation that allows you to be the most you can be, in any situation.
It took 6 years to recover from CFS and yoga played a huge part in that, so much so that I completed a 10 month, 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course run by the Soma School of Yoga in 2014. On a personal level, training whilst chronically ill was both humbling and empowering, on a professional level it helped to define my teaching style. Since that time I have been teaching classes, workshops and 1-1 sessions.
I have the privilege of being supported on my ‘therapist’s journey’ by Supervisors and Mentors that not only help me to gain more detailed understanding but who also inspire me with their brilliance. Most of all I am committed to sharing my knowledge and helping others to develop their own sense of wellbeing.
When I am not working I love to read, travel, feel the sunlight on my skin, be out in nature, connect with my beautiful friends and have new adventures.
Unique balance was born out of my belief that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to wellbeing. Many ‘Health Ideals’ (physical and emotional) completely disregard the need to understand your starting point and life circumstances, making them unachievable or unsustainable.
I liken ‘wellbeing’ to a swinging pendulum, it is always in a state of movement that is influenced by outside factors (holidays, emotional triggers, injurys, seasons, stress). When you strive for a prescriptive health ideal that is described in a book or displayed on an instagram account, you are following someone elses goals that are usually so far away from who you are, that the pendulum of wellbeing begins to swing widly from one end to the other, resulting in an ‘all or nothing‘ approach.
In reality, there are some key principles that help to create a sense of wellness, how these principles are applied, can and should be varied to make them accessible for everyone, reducing the pendulum swing to a gentle movement either side of your perfect balance point.
Once you begin your journey towards balance, you become much more in tune with your own specific needs. My role is to help you identify your goals and uncover what works best for you; I am there as a guide providing information, support and motivation.