Find Your Inner Warrior.

A guest post from Flossie McGhee.

The first time I remember thinking “wow, rugby is brilliant” was in 2003, wrapped in a duvet very early one morning where I was taught the basic rules of the game by my flatmate’s boyfriend as he watched the World Cup on a portable TV in our communal living room. That was to begin my love of rugby, which has grown over time to an almost religious following of the National and International game.

A family member kept telling me I should take up rugby, and I kept laughing it off. As much as I wanted to my head was filled with self-doubt; I’d be terrible, I’m too slow, I’m too old, I’ll get hurt. Then, about a year ago, my good friend Emma came to me, and said she was setting up a ladies team locally and would I want to give it a go. I said I would, thinking I would show some support a friend, but never intending to do more than a session or two.

IMG-20190903-WA0050One night last November, I traipsed down to the rugby field, and proceeded to spend an hour and a half getting a crash course in the basics of ball handling, tackling and the rules of rugby in the dark, under floodlights. And I fell in love with playing the game. The other women there ranged in age from 16 to 49, and from there, our team was born, affectionately known as The Mother Ruckers. Over the past year, we have trained in all weathers; one particularl night we started off dry but cold, before progressing to hail, then snow, then torrential rain. We’ve gone from the basics of running forward but passing backwards (MUCH harder than you think) and tackling, to more recently set pieces like line outs and scrums.

IMG-20190904-WA0000Do not for one moment think I am super fit; I like cake and Netflix far too much for that. I’m now 36, and my only previous experience of team sport was at school where we would play hockey, netball or rounders on an annual calendar, only the really sporty girls would actually play matches and rugby was “for boys”. What I found was a team that was welcoming and inclusive, where success is not about who is the best, or the fastest, but about what we can achieve as a team. These women encourage when you’re flagging and recognise when you have made even the tiniest amount of progress. All shapes, all sizes, all fitness levels and ages, because one person’s weaknesses are another’s strengths. It’s completely exhilarating, great fun, great fitness and the bruises are spectacular. I’m stronger and fitter than I was when I started, more resilient, more likely to get up and go again when I get knocked back. When anxiety and self-doubt told me that I didn’t belong on the team, my team rallied round and brought me back. Every week I attend, and every week I surprise myself.

If you’re 18 or over and want to try ladies rugby, look out for Inner Warrior days held by
local clubs in partnership with England Rugby. If you’re local to the West Dorset/Somerset area, Crewkerne Ladies RFC have been selected to hold an Inner Warrior Day on Sunday 22nd September from 2pm onwards. It’s completely free, and will introduce the basics of rugby in a fun way. There’s even a cream tea at the end for all who attend.

Crewkerne Ladies RFC play on Monday nights, 7-8.30pm and have their very first Development match against East Dorset Ladies in Bournemouth on 6th October; so if you’re free, any and all support appreciated!

Crewkerne Ladies RFC is very proudly sponsored by Lovegrove Essentials Ltd.


Lovegrove Essentials Training Courses

We offer two types of training so please do get in touch to discuss which is right for you and your business.

  • One Day Course: an in-depth introduction to the Lovegrove Essentials range of organic and natural products.
  • Ideal for developing existing skills and adding new techniques.
  • An excellent refresher course for facial massage therapy, anatomy & physiology.
  • Up-to-date information on all aspects of sustainable organic & natural products, including information to support your retail sales.
  • Useful for individual therapists who would like to use the LE range for their own facials.
  • Special discounts on Professional and wholesale products make this course extremely cost-effective.
  • Certificate issued for 6 hours CPD.
  • Two Day Bespoke Training: a course for 4 or more students held at Saddle Street Farm, or at your own premises.
  • Permits your business to offer the Healing Touch Facial Therapy treatment, including use of the logo and branding, with links through from our social media to yours.
  • An excellent refresher course for facial massage therapy, anatomy & physiology.
  • Up-to-date information on all aspects of sustainable organic & natural products, with valuable information to support your retail sales.
  • Flexible delivery to minimise lost treatment time.
  • Includes high-quality retail sales training.
  • Special discounts on Professional and wholesale products make this course extremely cost-effective.
  • Certificated & Accredited with the FHT, 17 hours CPD.

One Day Course details:
This course is ideal for massage therapists who would like to improve their facial massage skills, learn more about choosing products for treatments, and recommend products to clients for self-care.

During this intensive day, we take an in-depth look at both the Lovegrove Essentials Retail and Professional ranges. We focus on developing your facial treatments and skills. Hannah gives a demonstration of some new techniques you can use in your treatments.

We discuss different products and treatments you might incorporate in your own treatment menu, and how to help your clients get the best skin care regime for their needs.

  • Learn more about natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and formulations, with opportunities to sample all the products.
  • Refresh your knowledge of anatomy and physiology.
  • Consider ways to improve your consultation, planning and preparation of the client for treatment.
  • Learn new massage techniques, incorporating Marma points, the energy centres in the face, neck and shoulders.
  • Learn how to recommend self-care products to address specific issues for your client.

For more information please complete the online application form below, or print, scan and email the pdf version.

Two Day Course in Healing Touch Facial Therapy.
This course is ideal for experienced face and body massage therapists and salons who would like to incorporate a range of high quality natural/organic products,

Kansa Wands
Ayurvedic Kansa Wands

and offer a new and innovative holistic facial treatment to their clients. This fully accredited course covers practical techniques and the theory behind the luxurious and totally unique Lovegrove Essentials Healing Touch Facial Therapy treatment. Successful completion awards 17 CPD points and allows the therapist to use the trademark name and logo for their treatments.

The combination of the Lovegrove Essentials Professional Range of products with freshly prepared herbal extracts and a unique method of positioning the body on the couch gives a deeply, holistically relaxing and rejuvenating treatment for the body and mind. It achieves this through the use of:

  • Restorative techniques for positioning and releasing the client’s body to promote release of the deeper muscles and tissues.
  • Simple and clever masks made fresh from herbal teas and highly anti-oxidant natural extracts to soothe and exfoliate the skin.
  • The stimulation of the Marma points during the facial massage.
  • Use of Kansa Wands to stimulate deep relaxation and lymph drainage.
  • The use of luxurious essential oils, carefully chosen for their balancing and soothing effects on the skin, the senses and the brain.

These elements are blended together to deliver a deep and powerful new treatment. The techniques are designed to maximise the opportunity to stimulate the lymph system and relieve stress from body and mind at a cellular level. After the treatment, clients report feeling deeply rested, quietly alert, centred and composed, with a more positive frame of mind.

Day One: An intensive day where you will learn all the elements needed to give and receive a treatment, including refreshing your core knowledge and developing new understanding, skills and techniques.
Day Two:  An informal quiz and practical assessment is followed by Hayley’s highly engaging retail sales training. One-to-one feedback is provided and you will then carry out 4 case studies with home study on any topic you find interesting. We have a call or meeting to discuss your progress, after which you’ll receive your certificate.

23rd or 24th October 2019 at Saddle Street Farm (2 day course, 2 places available)
29th & 30th January 2020 at Saddle Street Farm (2 day course, 3 places available)

For more information please complete the online application form below, or print, scan and send the pdf.

Click HERE for a Booking Form.
Click HERE for a printable Booking Form.
Click HERE for the accommodation list.

One Day Course – £100 per student (deposit £30).
Two Day Course (FHT Accredited) – £275 per student (deposit £50).
(All prices plus VAT.)

  • A deposit is required to reserve your place.
  • The balance is due 2 weeks before the start of the course.
  • Once we have your booking form, you will receive an invoice containing all the payment details and access to the course paperwork.
  • If you have to cancel, we will refund any payments less an administration fee, or you can transfer your payment onto another course.
  • The price covers all equipment and materials required for the course. Please bring lunch with you.

One Day Course Paperwork: click HERE.
Two Day Course Paperwork: click HERE.
A password is required which you will 
receive with your booking confirmation.

Booking Form for Training Courses


Click HERE for a list of accommodation close to Saddle Street Farm.

One Day Course – £72 per student (deposit £30)
Two Day Course – £150 per student (deposit £50
Three Day FHT-Accredited Course – £288 per student (deposit £70)

  • Once we have your booking form, you will receive an invoice containing all the payment details and access to the course paperwork.
  • A non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place.
  • The balance is due 2 weeks before the start of the course.
  • If you have to cancel, we will refund any payments less the deposit.
  • The price covers all equipment and materials required for the course, and refreshments. (Please bring lunch with you.)

One Day Course Paperwork: click HERE.
Two Day Course Paperwork: click HERE.

Go with your gut!

Gut feelings and our sense of well-being.

We have all experienced the connection between emotions and our digestive system – we call them gut feelings – and we know that our emotions can affect how our intestines function. The same is also true the other way around – conditions in our intestines can influence our mental state, and even the development of mood disorders – and we’re now beginning to understand how this works.

I have first-hand experience of this. About 15 years ago, fed up with suffering from IBS, I decided to try cutting out some food groups, starting with dairy and wheat. I didn’t notice much at first but after about four weeks the pain and bloating subsided, and I felt a great deal better. Then I noticed that the mood swings I had always put down to hormonal changes had also completely gone. These mood swings could be quite extreme, and included feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, low-self-esteem, and poor self-image.

I tried re-introducing the foods, first dairy without any problems. But when I introduced wheat, I had the most profound reaction. The next day, I was almost suicidal and could hardly put one foot in front of the other – it was all I could do to get through that day. I held onto the thought that this had to be something outside of me, something external because nothing had changed from yesterday except that I had eaten wheat. This reaction persists even now, and even a tiny amount of wheat – ordinary soy sauce, or crispy-coated chips – will give me a dreadful ‘low’ about 24 hours later.

Our intestines are naturally porous. With conditions such as IBS there is a certain amount of inflammation and therefore swelling, hence the bloating and backache. Undigested food particles can pass more easily into the blood stream. The chemical balance of the fluid between the cells changes. All this affects the Vagus nerve, the messenger between our intestines and the brain. It’s the longest cranial nerve in the body and it has a role in the interplay between autonomic regulation (the unconscious functions of the body like heart rate and digestion) and the limbic centres which govern emotional expression and control.

We used to think of the Vagus nerve as simply the carrier of commands from the brain to glands and organs, but because it actually has more afferent neurons (taking messages from the body to the brain) rather than efferent neurons (taking messages from the brain to the body) it’s an important mediator of the connections between conditions in the abdomen and our emotional state.

This research is so important that it’s now being described as the third division of the autonomic nervous system and scientists are carefully studying the connection between our emotions and the role of the Vagus nerve. For example, a human has more serotonin receptors in the gut than in the brain. Understanding this relationship has many implications and explains why new medication guidelines for many chronic intestinal disorders recommend antidepressants over traditionally used drugs.

A recent study found that facial massage causes transmission along the Vagus nerve and into the limbic system, producing feelings of being soothed and cared for. In abdominal massage, it’s likely that stimulating the Vagus nerve help to shift the body into a parasympathetic state, giving us those feelings we experience after a good yoga class or a meditation session. So, the use of abdominal massage for mood disorders, relaxation and sleep promotion is an excellent reason (if you need one) to include abdominal massage in your treatments.

Detox your skin… Before January!

d3b177_a38b24c6323f40fcb0658d45f1c440b7~mv2It’s all very well waiting until the new year to start taking better care of yourself, and indeed it is the season to indulge. Remembering to take care of yourself in between all the parties doesn’t have to take up too much of your time, and will make all the difference in how you view yourself come January.

In summer we take extra care in protecting our skin with SPF and aftersun, but very often similar precautions are not taken during winter, unless you have very dry skin. The combination of cold weather (particularly cold at the moment!) and a few too many boozy nights out can have a drastic effect on your skin’s balance and lustre, leaving it a rather limp combination of dehydrated but still quite oily, with accentuated lines and wrinkles and the odd spot or blemish. Add to this the week long bender that is Christmas and New Year (enter goose fat roasties and daily cheeseboard) and by the time January comes around, you are ready for a three week juice cleanse and a week-long stint in a Harley Street Clinic.

All this got me thinking about which products I would recommend for this busy time, and so I decided to launch our newest addition to the Lovegrove Essentials range before Christmas. May I present the Clean & Natural Kit – a travel sized companion that will keep all skin types clean, balanced and hydrated throughout the party season. It contains one of my favourite things in the world. A clay mask. But not your average clay mask, as many can be very drying, particularly if dryness is already an issue for you.


The Aromatic Face Mask from Lovegrove Essentials (previously only available in the professional range) contains coconut oil, which is blended into the Kaolin and Bentonite Clay base by hand, helping to stop the dry, cracking feeling that clay can often cause. The essential oils are Geranium (nature’s balancer, will detox even the most congested skin), Sweet Orange (deeply cleansing and brightening, lots of Vitamin C) and Neroli (great for regeneration at cellular level, antioxidant and reduces inflammation). As well as the powerful skincare benefits of this blend, the heavenly fragrance will soothe and relax you in the evening, promoting restful sleep. If you used this once a week during December, taking one night off just for yourself, you’d wake feeling refreshed and energised, and totally ready for the next Christmas drinks party. We’ve included a mask brush (cruelty-free, of course) for super-easy application, and a soft cloth to remove it.

Clean & Nat - Bright

The other product in the kit is the ever popular, multi award-winning Cleansing Balm – a hydrating and luxurious blend of rice bran wax (vegan), Shea butter, Sweet Almond and Apricot Kernel Oils. It melts to a liquid at body temperature, allowing you to perform a little massage when cleansing. This will boost the circulation in your face, reducing puffiness and softening lines and wrinkles. It removes all forms of make-up, and comes off easily with the muslin cloth that’s also included with the kit.


So if you, like me, have not much self control (and several birthdays in the run up to Christmas, including my own), combat hangover skin with the Clean & Natural Kit. Take at least one night off each week, catch up on sleep and look after yourself. Your skin and your body will thank you! Read Hannah’s PRE-SOLUTIONS too, and make January that little bit easier…

The Clean & Natural Kit is available on the Lovegrove Essentials website at £34.95 plus postage.