Hypnotherapy: can it really help you drink in moderation?

Hypnotherapy: can it really help you drink in moderation?

Shots and shiraz may have fuelled her twenties, but now Nicola Moyne is on a quest to banish the booze. Here, she discovers if the power of hypnosis is more potent than the festive pull of pinot


As a child of the 80s, my teenage years were a blur of WKD Blues and garage music. A minimum of four nights a week were spent in small-town bars or kaleidoscopic-lit clubs, swigging alcopops and cheap, vinegary wine to the dance-floor beats of Artful Dodger and Bobby Brown. Regular blackouts prevented me (sometimes thankfully) from remembering the night before and no matter how many times I staggered or slurred, I always wanted ‘one more glass’.

Fast-forward to my mid-thirties and drinking had become, not unsurprisingly, a habitual nightly routine. One large glass of red with dinner had slowly morphed into two. Soon enough I was able to quaff an entire bottle, and decanting Tesco’s finest Malbec (my middle-class poison of choice) on a Monday evening had become as natural as brushing my teeth in the morning – as had sleepwalking my way through the following day in a foggy, hungover haze.

Then there were ‘the incidents’: the nights out where I drank myself into oblivion with other hard-drinking friends and had to be helped home by kind strangers on the train. Invariably, I remembered nothing from the evening past my third glass, but I always woke fully clothed, feeling ashamed, anxious and demonstrably sick. Some mornings I realised that I had fallen and cut my knee/chin/elbow; others that I no longer had my purse/phone/coat. I tried drinking gin instead, but it turns out that’s addictive too. Something had to give.

It proved a timely decision: last month, a report published by the World Health Organization found 13.5 per cent of all deaths among people in their twenties are linked to alcohol. Similarly, a recent study by the Global Burden of Diseases has concluded that ‘the safest level of drinking is none.’

But the thought of never drinking again, of forgoing a flute of champagne to celebrate a birthday or having a glass of full-bodied red with friends over Sunday lunch once every so often didn’t feel right either. I wanted the holy grail: I wanted to be able to control how much and where and when I drank; I wanted to achieve moderation.

‘Unlike a lot of other therapies that tend to rake up the past, hypnotherapy provide a tool for positive change’

I turned to Ailsa Frank. A leading UK-based hypnotherapist and motivational coach with a proven track record in addressing the nation’s drinking problem, Ailsa has helped thousands of people to quit or drastically reduce their alcohol intake through the tool of hypnosis. More than 70 per cent of her clients initially seek help for alcohol-related problems and over the past 13 years, she has rolled out an increasing number of hypnotherapy workshops, one-to-one phone sessions and audio downloads to meet the growing demand. There’s also her book, Cut The Crap And Feel Amazing, which, rather incredibly, Ailsa wrote in just 10 weeks.

‘I used the power of self-hypnosis to write that,’ she laughs. ‘I literally told myself that I could do it; that I was doing; that it was done,’ and, day-by-day, I ploughed through the pages. Your mind is incredibly powerful and, unlike a lot of other therapies that just tend to rake up the past, hypnotherapy provides a real tool for positive change.’

So how does it work? ‘Memories, habits and patterns are stored in the subconscious part of your brain, so when you learn a habit – like tying your shoelaces when you’re a child – it becomes automatic. Learning to drink alcohol in a certain way is exactly the same thing, and it will become a deeply ingrained, automatic habit that’s hard to shift.’

In my first phone session with Ailsa, we spend 30 minutes discussing my life generally. Am I stressed at work? (Not particularly.) What hobbies do I have? (Too many to list here.) How often do I drink? (Usually every day.) Why do I want to stop? (To escape increasingly horrific hangovers, focus on my health and generally grow up a bit). Then we get down to business.

I’m asked to lie on my bed or sofa and switch my phone to loudspeaker or plug in headphones. I opt for the latter options and listen intently to Ailsa’s soothing voice, which instructs me to rub my arms from shoulder to elbow and fix my eyes on a comfortable spot on the ceiling. I’m then instructed to close my eyes and start counting backwards silently to myself as Ailsa starts the hypnosis part of the session. I’m vaguely aware of experiencing rapid eye movement as she asks me to visualise myself walking down a set of stairs and out on to a beautiful garden, where there’s a shimmering pond and stepping-stones bathed in different colours that lead to a winding road, presumably symbolising my life.

From here though, the details become a little fuzzy. I’m asked to visualise my worries as pebbles that I let go of by dropping into the pond; to see myself as a child in the garden, confident, playful, cared for; and to imagine doors to new opportunities opening up along the winding road to sobriety.

I’m not asleep – in fact I’m very aware of Ailsa’s voice throughout and what she asking me to visualise – but I am incredibly relaxed. I’m asked to convey what I’m thinking or feeling and we communicate on and off throughout the hour-long session. Afterwards, however, the details of what she has said to me are vague. I remember stepping-stones and roads and seeing a happy five-year-old version of myself, but nothing much in between.

‘If your conscious and subconscious minds don’t match, you won’t truly break the habit’

‘We are in a state of hypnosis at some point most days,’ Ailsa explains. ‘For instance, when you drive somewhere but can’t remember the journey itself or how you got there, or when you have absolutely no idea what junction you’re at – that’s because your brain has entered a hypnotic state.

‘Hypnotherapy is just a relaxation tool that allows you to access a memory bank – the part of your brain that stores habits – so that you can break them and build new ones. It is a way to clear up the deeper parts of your mind so that you can perform at your very best,’ she says.

Over the course of six weeks, I have two more one-to-one phone sessions with Ailsa, lasting 45-60 minutes each and listen to a 10-minute relaxation recording before bedtime each night. I even cajole my partner, Richard, into having two sessions with Ailsa to get us both on the same sobering page and break habitual evening drinking together (basically, I figure there’s safety in numbers).

drink in moderation

Initially, I’m skeptical about the feasibility of drinking in moderation. Going teetotal, I get: you’re eradicating temptation by taking yourself out of the game. But being able – let alone wanting – to drink just one glass of wine seems completely alien to me.

‘My clients tell me it’s the same feeling as having too many cups of tea – when you’re offered another one, you simply say you don’t fancy it because you genuinely don’t,’ Ailsa says, reassuringly.

Sure enough, after session one the mid-week drinking stops immediately. We’d both been trying to cut down on drinking alcohol after work prior to the sessions, but after having hypnotherapy, neither of us has to battle with ourselves as we pass the alcohol aisle in the supermarket.

‘Where hypnotherapy differs to will power is that it alters not only your conscious mind, but your subconscious too,’ Ailsa explains. ‘That’s why people who complete Dry January often struggle to keep up good habits once February rolls round – they may have altered their conscious mind, but they haven’t reframed their relationship with alcohol in the subconscious part of the brain – and if your conscious and subconscious minds don’t match, you won’t truly break the habit.’

I start to notice other small shifts. For instance, I start buying sparkling water and filling my usual wine glass with it of an evening to relax. It feels just the same as drinking wine, minus the fuzzy head and rambling conversations over dinner. I also start running more regularly and practicing yoga twice a week – a goal I’d worked towards for at least a year but never quite managed. I start eating healthier lunches and dinners, and getting up earlier, feeling refreshed and energised rather than shattered and slightly depressed. The change is noticeable and quite remarkable.

‘People forget just how good they feel when they don’t drink on a regular basis. If you have a daily drinking habit, you’re essentially always playing catch-up with yourself, which becomes exhausting and can have a huge detrimental effect on your career and relationships,’ Ailsa says.

However, the true test comes just after my third and final session: I’m going on a girl’s weekend. With my hard-drinking friends. To an undisclosed location. I start to panic that my new, wholesome habit of drinking very little and only in social situations when and if I fancy it, is going to come crashing down around my smug sober self faster than you can pour a glass of pinot.

Incredibly, though, it doesn’t happen. Not at the airport when everyone is joyously quaffing prosecco; not on the plane when everyone orders a cheeky bottle of Merlot; not even on the ‘big night out’ when the girls are merrily clinking their goblets of aperol spritz. And not because I’m forcing myself to stay off the booze or morosely sipping my one glass of shiraz while the rest of the revelers party up a storm, but because I’m genuinely having a great time without it. I feel happy, confident and completely content to just have the one, or even – shock, horror – none.

‘My once-toxic relationship with alcohol has gone through an unequivocal break-up’

I enjoy sipping a lovely glass of locally produced valpolicella with dinner each evening, and order a deliciously sharp gin cocktail at a swanky underground bar. But it’s clear that my once-toxic relationship with alcohol has gone through an unequivocal break-up.

Where once I would have ordered three large glasses of anything, now I savour a few sips of a good-quality red and want nothing more. I feel full and in control; like I’m sat at a table heaving with amazing food, but I’m completely content after a few delicious mouthfuls, favouring the sparkling water I now instinctively order instead. What’s more, I go for a morning run. Twice. On holiday.

Feeling refreshed and thrilled that I’ve finally mastered the art of drinking in moderation, I return to the UK half expecting my partner Richard to have cracked open a few beers while I’ve been away. ‘Beer?’ he says, slightly confused when I ask how he got on without me. ‘I was out sailing all weekend – I didn’t even have time to think about drinking,’ he admits.

Which pretty much sums up what Ailsa is trying to achieve with each and every one of her clients. ‘Life will always be a roller coaster – we all experience loss and stress, which is why so many people lose themselves in drinking at some point – but if we actively reframe our thoughts to look for the amazing, for the positives, we can create a happy, fulfilled, more balanced life; one where we always live in the best moment and enjoy passing through.’ That’s something I think we can all cheers to. Just make mine a sparkling water…


‘Take Control Of Alcohol’ and ‘Stop Binge Drinking For Women’ hypnosis downloads by Ailsa Frank are available at Ailsafrank.com at £14.99; Cut The Crap And Feel Amazing by Ailsa Frank (£10.99, Hay House) is a dip-in, no-nonsense guide to shedding habits that are holding you back. Utilising the power of positive thinking and self-hypnosis, the book delivers actionable tips on how to reframe your thoughts on everything from alcohol reduction and clearing debts to dealing with heartache and health. For one-to-one hypnotherapy phone sessions (£150 each; 2-4 required) contact Ailsa Frank via her website.











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Wait – should we actually be recycling our receipts?

Wait – should we actually be recycling our receipts?

Yes or no?

recycling receipts
Credit: Photo by imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Many people are trying to eliminate single-use plastic from their day-to-day lives by investing in reusable cups and buying fresh fruit and veg. Nowadays, many high-street coffee chains offer money off if customers bring in their own cup, and supermarkets are slowly catching on by reducing the amount of packaging they use for their products.

So it’s fair to say that in 2018, everyone is much more conscious about waste.

But what should we do when it comes to receipts? Have you ever thought about what you should do with the many scraps of shiny paper crammed into the depths of your handbag?

While some people keep hold of every receipt they ever get, others are quick to chuck theirs in the bin or leave them at the tills.

If you’re trying to do your bit to save the planet, and you’ve made various lifestyle tweaks to ensure you’re doing your bit, should you be recycling your receipts?

recycling receipts

Credit: Nigel R Barklie/REX/Shutterstock

According to Wired, around half of the receipts we are given are printed on shiny, thermal paper which is actually non-recyclable because it’s made from multiple materials. They also contain BPA and BPS chemicals, which are potentially harmful, hence why they’ve been banned from things like single-use plastic water bottles.

If these were recycled, it would release more BPA into the air.

Around 7,300 tonnes of the receipts that are printed cannot be recycled, and a new study suggests that British retailers hand out a staggering 11.2 billion receipts every year.

So what should you do with any thermal receipt you’re given? The simple answer is: you just need to bin them.

Sadly there’s not much you can do about thermal receipts, but many stores are now offering digital receipts which can be emailed to you instead so you can go completely paperless if the option is there.

The post Wait – should we actually be recycling our receipts? appeared first on Marie Claire.

What is PCOS (and how can you tell if you have it)?

What is PCOS (and how can you tell if you have it)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome affects millions of women in the UK and around the world – so what actually is it?


PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a hormonal condition that affects millions of women all over the world. But despite it being so common, there’s a lot of misunderstanding surrounding it.

For example, many presume that PCOS means you can’t have children – when actually, the NHS reports that most PCOS-suffering women can get pregnant with treatment.

Despite there being no cure, there are a number of ways that the disorder can be managed so that it doesn’t have as much of an impact on your life. Below we break down the main symptoms and treatment options, as well as dispelling a few more common myths about PCOS.

What is PCOS? 


Characterised by having small, fluid-filled sacs known as follicles (not cysts as the name suggests)in your ovaries, PCOS can disrupt your periods as well as a number of other possible side effects.

‘It’s the most common hormonal disorder in women, with some studies suggesting up to one in five of us are affected,’ says gynaecologist Dr Anita Mitra, aka Gynae Geek. ‘Diagnosis requires two out of the following three to be present: Irregular or absent periods; Signs of excess male hormones, including excess body/facial hair or acne, or high levels on a blood test; and polycystic ovaries seen on an ultrasound.’

‘About 70% of women with PCOS also have a degree of insulin resistance, the hormone that regulates our blood sugar. This results in excess production, which drives the ovaries to produce lots of testosterone, the root of many of the symptoms.’

Currently the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, and although it’s thought that there could be a genetic link at play, this hasn’t yet been proven through scientific research.

Symptoms of PCOS 


There are a number of different symptoms that are frequently seen in PCOS cases. ‘The most common symptoms are acne and or problems with periods – either irregular (oligomeorrhoea) or total absence (amenorrhoea),’ says Dr Anita.

The NHS lists other common symptoms as excessive hair growth on the face and body, weight gain, thinning hair or hair loss from the head, and difficulty getting pregnant.

Any of these symptoms are worth a trip to see your GP and discuss, especially if you are concerned that you may have PCOS.

To diagnose the condition, your doctor will likely arrange some form of hormonal testing, but also to rule out other possible hormonal disorders. They may also arrange an ultrasound to examine your ovaries, and/or a blood test to measure your hormone levels.

Anita is about to publish her first book, The Gynae Geek: Your No-Nonsense Guide to ‘Down There’ Healthcare – a complete guide to reproductive health covering everything from your first period to post-menopause. Pre-order your copy now (because it’s essential reading for us all).

PCOS Treatment


So we know that PCOS is treatable, but what are the options? Your doctor will be able to advise which are best for you, but below we’ve broken down some of the most common.

The pill

‘Firstly, the combined oral contraceptive pill doesn’t “balance” your hormones in the way many people believe,’ explains Anita. ‘It will give you a regular cycle back again, but it’s likely your periods will revert to being irregular once you stop, because this doesn’t correct the underlying hormonal problem. Taking this will also usually help with acne.’


One treatment option for women who want to get pregnant is medication that encourages ovulation; the first option is usually a drug called Clomefine and if this does not work, Metformin may be recommended.

‘This is a medication for diabetes that can be used to improve insulin sensitivity, which can be the root of PCOS in many women,’ Anita tells us. ‘It has been shown to improve menstrual cycle regularity and increase the chance of ovulation, which is important if you’re trying to get pregnant.

‘However, the most common side effects are diarrhoea and stomach cramps.’


‘A supplement that can be bought over the counter, this one has gained a lot of popularity,’ explains Anita. ‘It also seems to work as an insulin sensitiser, but doesn’t seem to have the same side effects as Metformin. There are a couple of different types of inositol and it’s the “myo-inositiol” form that seems to be most effective.

‘However, there haven’t been any really large studies or trials conducted yet, so we aren’t really sure of the optimum dose. As such, you probably won’t find many doctors recommending it as yet – but I think that’ll come in the future.’


‘Spironolactone is a prescription medication with anti-androgen activity,’ explains Harley Street dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk. ‘Higher levels and more potent activity of androgens, such as testosterone, can be seen in women with PCOS and contribute to the typical features of thinning hair on the scalp, excess body hair and acne, known as “hyperandrogenism”.’

While the drug can be very effective in reducing these symptoms, it’s not currently licensed for treating acne in the absence of PCOS. However: ‘Interestingly, it’s now believed that 19-39% of women with adult acne actually have underlying PCOS,’ Justine adds.

PCOS diet

pcos diet

Can PCOS be managed through diet and lifestyle? ‘Absolutely! This is one of my favourite topics to talk about,’ Anita enthuses. ‘I did a whole podcast on the subject with Dr Rupy Aujla (@doctorskitchen). In general:

Sleep well

The benefits of getting enough sleep are very well documented and, if nothing else, all of us will agree that we feel better after getting our full eight hours.

But it’s also important in terms of PCOS: ‘This helps to reduce stress hormone levels, which can also increase insulin resistance,’ Anita confirms. If you’re struggling with your sleep at the moment, try one of these great sleep apps.

Eat well

‘Reduce excess sugar intake, ignore ketogenic diets and instead think about carbs as quality over quantity. Go for wholegrains, oats etc that contain plenty of fibre, which will help your body get rid of old oestrogen that can otherwise recirculate and worsen the hormonal imbalance.’

Colourful veg

‘Eat a really colourful diet to get plenty of fibre, but also for all the phytonutrients (plant-based) that contain all the chemicals that are vital for the chemical processes involved in healthy hormone production and ovulation. Healthy fats are also required for healthy hormone production. What’s basically a Mediterranean diet has been shown to be the healthiest for PCOS.’


‘Extreme exercise can worsen hormonal imbalances,’ Anita says. ‘Exercise is important for women to help build lean muscle, which can increase insulin sensitivity, so some form of strength training such as weights or body weight-centred training. I don’t think there’s one “best exercise for PCOS” – it’s whatever you enjoy and are going to stick to.

Yoga has been shown to be helpful in a few studies, and I think it can also be very useful as a way of building strength but also relaxing the mind.’

Weight loss

‘Lots of patients tell me they’ve been told to lose weight,’ Anita tells us. ‘Weight loss will also help with PCOS, because excess fat tissue can contribute to insulin resistance. However, I don’t ever make this the focus of my advice because I think it can be quite negative.’

In fact, a 2013 study conducted at Georgia Regents University found that the relationship between PCOS and obesity may be exaggerated because the women who seek treatment for this will be heavier.

‘If you’re able to adapt your lifestyle and focus on the positive things you can add to your body through diet and movement, I think you can get to the same point but with a healthier mindset.’

PCOS and pregnancy

pcos pregnancy

It’s true that the condition is one of the leading causes of infertility – but it’s very treatable. ‘PCOS can affect fertility because it can stop ovulation; if you don’t ovulate, you don’t release an egg and therefore cannot get pregnant,’ Anita explains.

As outlined above, medications are available to encourage ovulation, and the NHS writes: ‘With treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.’

However, Anita reminds us that a lack of ovulation ‘does not apply to everyone with PCOS and, even if you do have PCOS and aren’t currently ovulating, it doesn’t mean you won’t in future.

‘If you have PCOS and don’t want to get pregnant, please use contraception; I’ve seen plenty of “surprise” pregnancies in women with PCOS because they thought they couldn’t get pregnant.’

For more information and resources for living with PCOS, visit the NHS’s website or pcosaa.org.

Note that the purpose of this feature is to inform, not replace one-to-one medical consultations. For advice tailored specifically to you, always discuss your health with a doctor.

The post What is PCOS (and how can you tell if you have it)? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Endometriosis: A guide to symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and more

Endometriosis: A guide to symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and more

The chronic condition can feel overwhelming, so we asked some experts for their help and insight


Endometriosis affects one in 10 of us, and an estimated 1.5 million women in the UK alone. But despite it being so widespread, there’s little awareness of what the condition entails (it’s not just heavy, painful periods) and how it can be managed.

With this in mind, we grilled a couple of ‘endo experts’ to help you better understand the condition. So whether you think you may have endometriosis, have just been diagnosed or simply want to learn more, read on for an in-depth guide.

What is endometriosis?

‘Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial-like tissue (the lining of the womb/uterus) outside of the uterus,’ explains Dr Anita Mitra, aka the Gynae Geek. ‘This is commonly on the ovaries, bowel, bladder and – in rare cases – on the liver and lungs.

‘The tissue responds to female hormones throughout the menstrual cycle as it would if it were in the womb; it thickens and then begins to fall away as it would during a period. However, because it’s not inside the womb with an escape route, it causes irritation, inflammation and often excruciating pain.

‘Eventually, it can cause scar tissue to develop, which in turn causes the normally mobile internal organs of the pelvis to become stuck together, further adding to the pain. Endometriosis can be staged during surgery according to where it is, how much there is and how much scar tissue is present. Stage I – minimal, Stage II – mild, Stage III – moderate, and Stage IV severe.’

Endometriosis symptoms


‘A lot of people think endometriosis is just heavy, painful periods; while that can be true, and it’s probably the most common symptom, it can be a whole lot more than that,’ explains Anita.

The most common symptoms include pain in your lower tummy or back, severe period pain that stops you doing normal activities and difficulty getting pregnant, according to the NHS.

‘Symptoms also depend on where exactly tissue is growing,’ Anita continues. ‘For example, excruciating pain on having your bowels open could be a sign that it’s growing on your bowel. Endometriosis also commonly causes bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, and the presence of scar tissue can make having sex painful.’


Diagnosing endometriosis can feel like a long process. After seeing your GP, you’ll be referred to a gynaecologist and will also need an ultrasound. ‘Endometriosis doesn’t show up on scans or blood tests, but it’s important to do a scan for other causes of pain,’ Anita explains. The scan can pick up other signs of the condition, such as a certain type of cyst with a classic appearance.

‘A normal scan doesn’t rule out the diagnosis however – the only definitive way to diagnose is endometriosis through a laparoscopy, keyhole surgery that involves putting a camera through your belly button to look directly inside your tummy.’

How to treat endometriosis


The good news is that the condition is completely treatable through medication and surgery. ‘Surgery will sometimes be performed at the time of diagnosis, and involves releasing adhesions [fibrous bands that form between organs and tissue] and removing or destroying deposits and cysts,’ Anita explains.

‘This should always be performed by a specialist in endometriosis surgery and, although many people will notice an improvement, there is a high rate of recurrence in symptoms post-surgery.

‘Many surgeons will advise some form of hormonal therapy, such as the contraceptive pill, Mirena coil, or injections of something called a GnRH analogue. This is also an option for people who don’t want or need surgery; the aim is to block the hormones that cause tissue to grow and shed every month, thus reducing the amount of pain and bleeding.’

Endometriosis pain management

Anita advises that painkillers can be used, but when endometriosis pain is at its worst they may not be that helpful. ‘But it’s definitely worth a try,’ she adds. ‘Hormonal medications are the next step because they stop the build up and shedding of endometriotic plaques, which is a cause of a lot of the pain.

‘One of the biggest problems I see is constipation, which is surprisingly common because a lot of us don’t drink enough water or eat enough fibre. Constipation can make endometriosis pain worse, as it can make your stomach quite bloated and pull on the scar tissue, but it also means you need to strain more to open your bowels – which for many women is already incredibly painful. So simple things like increasing fibre and fluid intake could see an improvement in symptoms.’

A very common worry is that there’s a link between endometriosis and cancer, or even that it is a type of cancer – possibly because pain is such a red flag for so many of us – but that’s not the case.

‘While there are a few small studies suggesting a possible link, there are no large, robust studies confirming a causal link between endometriosis and endometrial cancer,’ Anita says.

Endometriosis and diet


First things first: there is no need to eliminate entire food groups from your diet. ‘There are a lot of people who have read about cutting out dairy and gluten, although there’s no solid evidence that these worsen endometriosis’ Anita says.

‘But I think everyone should be treated as an individual – what might work for one person may not work for another. If you want to try it, by all means go ahead and try to keep a symptoms diary. But if this doesn’t improve your symptoms, there’s no need to cut things out of your diet for fear it’s making your endometriosis worse.’

Nutritionist Henrietta Norton is not only an expert in nutritional female health, but also on what it’s like to live with endometriosis, having been diagnosed in her twenties. After her laparotomy and laser treatment, she sought the help of a nutritional therapist, which she says changed her life.

‘Research continues to prove that nutrition and diet can be fundamental to managing the condition,’ she says. ‘Studies show that taking the right nutrients through supplements can reduce symptoms significantly – 98% of the women in one study experienced improvements.’


So, what is it worth trying to consume more of in your diet?  ‘Zinc and magnesium are used in abundance during states of both physical and mental stress; as endometriosis is a state of physical stress, the demand is even greater than normal,’ Henrietta continues. ‘Women can actually lose up to half their magnesium supply during menstruation.

‘Endometriosis sufferers often experience heavy bleeding during their period, significantly reducing stores of iron. This, along with the trace mineral molybdenum, is required for the elimination of oestrogen (it’s thought that endometriosis is characterised by a dominance of oestrogen), and without adequate iron stores the pain management process can also be affected.’

‘Women with endometriosis have also been reported to have a lower intake of carotenoids (found in vegetables like carrots, kale and spinach) and D-glucarate (found in cruciferous vegetables, which blocks beta-glucoronidase) than women without endometriosis.’

Wild Nutrition’s Endometriosis Complex was created with the latest research in mind to use as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to managing the condition, Henrietta says. ‘Using natural forms of nutrients that are efficiently absorbed and used by the body in combination with organic herbs [magnesium, methionine, probiotics and more], the curated formulation addresses the complex condition affecting the immune and digestive systems and hormonal stability.’

Can you get pregnant with endometriosis?

endometriosis pregnant

A common worry is that an endometriosis diagnosis means pregnancy is unlikely or even impossible. But is this actually the case? ‘Not always,’ says Anita. ‘Generally it depends on the severity, but saying that, we do see a lot of women with severe endometriosis on the labour ward delivering their babies, so it’s not impossible.’

Case in point: Despite being told that she would never have children, Henrietta now has three sons, all of whom were natural conceptions and healthy pregnancies.

‘I also see a lot of patients being diagnosed with endometriosis during the investigative process for infertility,’ Anita continues. ‘On further questioning, the vast majority report a long-standing history of the common symptoms, which is saddening to hear as they often say they thought it was normal, or something they just had to tolerate as part of being a woman.

‘This is why we need to get more comfortable with talking to our friends and families about periods and women’s health – to know what is normal and what might require further investigation. And it’s also a reason we shouldn’t leave potential gynae issues right up until trying to get pregnant.’

As part of her mission to educate women everywhere about their reproductive health, Anita is about to publish her first book, which you can pre-order nowThe Gynae Geek: Your No-Nonsense Guide to ‘Down There’ Healthcare tackles all of your burning gynae-related questions, from periods to smear tests to PCOS – it’s the definition of essential reading.

Day-to-day life


As with any condition, it’s important to listen to your body and know when it’s telling you to take it easy. ‘I have become acutely aware of how the foods I choose to eat and my lifestyle affect my symptoms,’ Henrietta says.

‘I understand the importance of slowing down, taking time to restore and just “be” in everyday life, which has a profound affect. I now use my symptoms as gentle reminders signalling me to slow down and to rest and digest.’

Things may feel very overwhelming – especially at first – but there are a number of support groups, helplines and online forums you can visit to get more advice and emotional support. Head to endometriosis-uk.org (Anita’s go-to patient resource) for more information.

Note that the purpose of this feature is to inform, not replace one-to-one medical consultations. For advice tailored specifically to you, always discuss your health with a doctor.

The post Endometriosis: A guide to symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and more appeared first on Marie Claire.

This is how Dua Lipa, Karlie Kloss, Dua Lipa and Shay Mitchell stay in shape

This is how Dua Lipa, Karlie Kloss, Dua Lipa and Shay Mitchell stay in shape

There’s nothing like a bit of exercise to make you feel empowered, especially when you’re dealing with a stressful time at work, or are about to tackle of season of partying, drinking and overeating.

But it can be easy to get stuck in a workout routine that doesn’t work for you anymore, in which case it helps to share tips with other women who know their s**t and look all the stronger for it. Like Dua Lipa, Karlie Kloss and Shay Mithchell.

To celebrate the launch of the adidas Statement Collection, which is inspired by adidas’ network of female creators who represent the different types of female athlete the collection was made for, they reveal the workouts that make them feel empowered.

Dua Lipa workout

I try and work out as much as I can. It’s such a busy lifestyle I feel like I need to try and do something for myself every day. I love doing something that’s really fast and quick, like a 15-minute HIIT session which I can do before I start my day. If I’ve got a really early call time I don’t want to be waking up hours before I need to, to go and do a workout. So a high intensity workout, shower, breakfast, and I’m on my way.
When I have a tiny bit more time on my side I love mixing up lots of different training, finding different workouts in whatever city I’m in, whether it’s yoga, Pilates, boxing or spinning. Whatever it is, I try to change it up every day to keep things interesting. When you’re on a tour bus, every day and every place is different, so you never know what you’re going to find. That’s always one way to keep it interesting.

Karlie Kloss workout

I try to add variation to my workouts to keep them fun and ensure I’m not overworking certain muscles. When I’m in New York, I work out at the Dogpound Gym with my trainer, Kirk Meyers. We usually do a mix of HIIT strength training and cardio, but I’ve recently been really into boxing — it doubles as an awesome stress reliever.

I typically workout 3 – 4 times a week, but when I’m on the road, I have to get a little more creative with my workouts. Exercise is one of the best cures for jet lag, so I try to squeeze some in as soon as I get off a plane. I love going on long runs to explore new cities but if I’m pressed for time, I’ll go for a swim in the hotel pool or do some yoga in my room.

Shay Mitchell workout

I truly love all forms and all types of exercise. I love mixing things up and noticed how much energy I had when I boxed on Monday, did a spin class on Wednesday, and some sort of interval training on Thursday. I am honestly the best version of myself right after a workout.

I haven’t found a workout that I really didn’t like, but I’ve been to a few classes that weren’t my style – either the music or the instructor wasn’t the right fit for me – but that has never discouraged me from the actual workout.

I definitely have my go-to instructors and classes in LA-when I’m actually in LA that is… I’m usually doing a gym workout somewhere in another country :). I also have my trainers that train me privately at home as well. The last trends I remember seeing (and loving) were the pool spin class with the bike and the trampoline classes! I’m always down to try any new workout trend as long as it’s safe.

The post This is how Dua Lipa, Karlie Kloss, Dua Lipa and Shay Mitchell stay in shape appeared first on Marie Claire.

Could this common reaction reveal whether or not you’re a psychopath?

Could this common reaction reveal whether or not you’re a psychopath?


How To Spot A Psychopath
How To Spot A Psychopath

There is a lot of information out there about psychopaths and how to work out whether or not you know one. One study revealed how to tell if your workmate is a psychopath, and another suggested that psychopaths most enjoy these two pop songs.

There’s also research that suggests if this is your partners usual coffee order, they could be a psychopath.

Yes, really.

But if you’re unsure of someone’s musical taste, and if your other half doesn’t even drink coffee, how can you tell?

A new study has determined one very simple way to tell if someone is a psychopath. And it’s something most people do pretty regularly.

Can you guess what it is? Yawning.

Research published in Personality and Individual Differences showed that when we see someone else yawning, we tend to find we’ve got one coming on ourselves. Why? Because a mirroring yawn is seen as empathetic and a sign of bonding. We’re not alone, either – lots of social animals behave this way.

However, psychopaths lack empathy, meaning that they’re less likely to yawn back at you.

Brian Rundle, lead researcher, explained: ‘You may yawn, even if you don’t have to. We all know it and always wonder why.

‘I thought, “If it’s true that yawning is related to empathy, I’ll bet that psychopaths yawn a lot less.” So I put it to the test.’

The experiment saw 135 college students take part in a test, answering 156 questions before being shown videos of other people reacting to situations. The clips showed people laughing, yawning, or staying neutral, and the results showed that participants who were less empathetic were unlikely to yawn, even after seeing someone else doing it.

So the next time you yawn, take a quick look and see whether the people around you do the same.

But before you start accusing anyone who doesn’t yawn of being a psychopath, Rundle warns: ‘The take-home lesson is not that if you yawn and someone else doesn’t, the other person is a psychopath.

‘A lot of people didn’t yawn, and we know that we’re not very likely to yawn in response to a stranger we don’t have empathetic connections with.

‘But what we found tells us there is a neurological connection — some overlap — between psychopathy and contagious yawning. This is a good starting point to ask more questions.’


The post Could this common reaction reveal whether or not you’re a psychopath? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Coming off the pill: What happens and what you need to know

Coming off the pill: What happens and what you need to know

Will I get acne? Will my periods be irregular? We answer all of your burning Qs

coming off the pill

There are a number of reasons why you might be looking into coming off the pill. Perhaps it’s negatively affecting your mood, or maybe you’re just really bad at remembering to take it on time (relatable).

Although a number of the pill’s ‘downsides’ have been debunked – a 2011 study in Sweden found that it does not cause directly weight gain as a lot of people believe – it may be that it’s just not agreeing with you or your body and it’s time for a change.

Whether you’re currently taking the combined pill or mini pill, read on for what you need to know, from side effects to experiencing acne, and when your periods should return to normal.

Coming off the pill: Side effects and symptoms

So, first things first. What are the side effects when you discontinue taking the pill?

‘On stopping the combined oral contraceptive – which you usually take for three weeks with one week break – your hormones return to their usual pattern and you start ovulating again, or releasing an egg,’ says Dr Preethi Daniel, Clinical Director of the London Doctors Clinic.

‘There are also changes to the lining of the womb, making it easier for a fertilised egg to latch on or implant.’ Read: You could get pregnant straight away.

‘As the body returns to producing hormones normally, you may notice some physical changes. The reduction in oestrogen may possibly cause a slight change in breast size. This will last for the whole time you are off the pill. Your mood and emotions can also be affected as a result of hormonal changes, but in most cases there is no difference at all.’

coming off the pill

‘If you have specifically used the pill to help with PMS symptoms, they may return on stopping the pill. But every woman is different and it’s important to realise that stopping and starting pills affects everyone differently; while for some it may cause mood changes, others will be absolutely fine.

‘Side effects will be transient, lasting from a few weeks to three months at best, but there are no concrete studies on the side effects of stopping the pill and how long they will last.’ If these last for significantly longer than three months or so, check in with your doctor.

Are there any dangerous side effects?

‘Although you may notice some body pain, extreme cramping, a swollen abdomen, there are no immediate dangers of stopping the pill,’ Dr Daniel explains.

‘However, when switching from the combined pill to the mini pill, there is a small increased chance of an ectopic pregnancy. So, if you have changed pills without adequate precautions and have had unprotected sex, and experience abdominal pain, it is worth consulting a GP.’

coming off the pill

Coming off the mini pill

The mini pill is known by a number of different brand names including Cerelle, Desogestrel, Cerazette and Zelleta. (Note: your doctor will be able to confirm which you are taking, but if you take it for 30 days back-to-back, it’s likely to be a progesterone-only pill.)

The effects of coming off the mini pill are pretty similar to the combined pill. ‘On stopping the progesterone-only pill, there are changes to the mucus in the neck of the womb, making it easier for sperm to reach the egg.’ Dr Daniel says. Again, there’s a chance you could get pregnant straight away.

‘The effects are immediate and last the whole time you are off the pill,’ the doctor says of both pill types.

Acne and coming off the pill

You know the common story: Woman stops taking pill. Woman experiences acne. But, numerous word-of-mouth experiences aside, why does this happen to so many of us?

‘Pill useage declines steeply with age, from two thirds of women aged between 20 and 24, to just 11% of women in their late 40s,’ explains consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk. ‘It’s not uncommon for women who have been on the pill for several months or years to notice a flare-up of acne after discontinuation – and the reasons for this are well documented.

Acne affects 80% of teenagers, making it a very common problem. It also affects 10-20% of women over 25, a figure that is definitely on the rise. So this may be a recurrence of acne in those previously affected.’

But, hang on – what about if you never experienced acne before the pill? Don’t get too excited. ‘Acne can also start in adulthood for the first time,’ Dr Kluk adds. ‘In any event, the time of life when acne peaks is similar to the stage at which many women decide to start the contraceptive pill.

coming off the pill

‘The combined pill is in fact a very effective acne treatment and many women will find that their blemishes improve – or even disappear – as long as they are taking it. The oestrogen component appears to inhibit acne by a variety of mechanisms including reducing production of androgens (responsible for oil production and pore-blocking), and reducing the amount of active free testosterone in the blood.’

Unfortunately, because of the individual differences at play and lack of research, it’s not known exactly how many women will see a flare-up/first case of acne upon pill cessation.

‘The natural history of acne means that a proportion of women who take the pill will “grow out” of their acne while taking the combined pill, and therefore won’t experience a flare-up when they stop taking it. Others, however, will find their acne recurs or appears for the first time once treatment is discontinued; which suggests the pill was masking the acne all along.’

Long story short: You may have had acne all along but the pill was masking it, or you had it before and the pill was acting as an acne treatment. Read about our fashion editor’s experience with post-pill acne – and getting rid of it – for more insight and, if you are concerned about acne returning when coming off the pill, speak to your GP or see a dermatologist to put a plan of action in place.

Dr Kluk adds that it’s worth noting some progesterone-only contraception (the mini pill, depot injection, progesterone coil or implant) can actually be acnegenic. ‘Use must be discussed carefully with your GP or gynaecologist if you have a history of stubborn acne,’ she says.

When do periods go back to normal after coming off the pill?

Coming off the pill means your hormones are going to be out of whack, so it’s normal for your periods not to be normal for a bit.

The NHS says your first bleed is a ‘withdrawal’ bleed rather than a true period – which is the next bleed afterwards – and that stress, weight and conditions like PCOS are all contributing factors to the return of regular periods.

‘Stopping the combined pill causes a fall in oestrogen, which sends a message to the brain to release other hormones, such as those which help the ovaries to produce an egg,’ Dr Daniel adds.

‘Changes in progesterone levels cause a bleed where the lining of the womb is shed. This could mean the periods aren’t entirely “normal” for a while; they could be heavier, lighter, longer or shorter, and more painful.’

So, how long do you have to wait for things to have settled down?

‘In theory, the effect of coming of the pill should be immediate, meaning you are able to conceive straight away,’ says Dr Daniel. ‘But it can sometimes take up to three cycles to revert back to whatever is normal for you.’

In short, if you have no period for longer than three months after you stop taking the pill, check in with your GP. And if you’re trying for a baby, don’t be disheartened if you had hopes of getting pregnant straight away – but remember that it could happen.

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Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora: the BFFs on how to deal with cyber bullies and online negativity

Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora: the BFFs on how to deal with cyber bullies and online negativity


Chances are you, or someone you know, have been beauty cyberbullied in the past. With the number of users on Instagram now at a record high of one billion, it’s little surprise that so many of us are affected by comments that appear on our feeds.

According to research, 1 in 4 women have experienced cyberbullying based on their looks, 65% say their confidence has been affected and they’re less likely to experiment with their beauty look or style, 46% have turned to drugs, alcohol, self-harm or eating disorders because of it and a whopping 115 million images being deleted per year.

These shocking figures have prompted Rimmel to launch their #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign alongside The Cybersmile Foundation, a nonprofit organisation committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse.

The beauty brand’s long-term project hopes to raise awareness and take stand against this behaviour: ‘Rimmel has a clear purpose to inspire people to experiment & express themselves with make up to be their authentic self,’ says Sara Wolverson, Vice President of Rimmel Global Marketing at Coty. ‘As a brand, we are against narrow definitions of beauty, people being shamed, judged and criticised because of their looks and this behaviour manifests itself widely today in the form of beauty cyber bullying.’ by showcasing real life stories of those affected.

The campaign goes live on 12th November and it showcases real life stories of those affected, including influencers and Rimmel ambassadors Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora.


We sat down with the two best friends to chat about the best ways to deal with negative abuse online and the importance of the project.


CARA: Yes, I think because you’re in the public eye they maybe assume that you won’t see it, or that-

RITA: Or that you’re supposed to just accept it because you’re a public figure.

CARA: Or that for some reason you’re different than any other human being that gets affected by that sort of thing.

RITA: Yeah, I think people forget that we’re also, like, human? You know, and sometimes it’s hard. It’s like people think that because we’ve chosen this profession it’s almost, like, it comes with the territory, but at the end of the day, no it doesn’t. Like cyberbullying is just not cool full stop, and we also feel that too.

CARA: And if we allow it, then it means that we’re allowing it for other people to do it too.

RITA: Yeah, which is the point of this #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign.



CARA: Yes, for sure.

RITA: Totally, yeah, yeah.


RITA: Well, I don’t focus on the comments as much as I used to anymore, I’ve very much learned to numb myself to it over the years. But for someone that’s first starting out and they’ve just started an account or whatever, of course you can’t help but look. But then you get to a point where you’re like, ‘This is so bad for me, that it’s just poisoning my mind.’ Mental health in general is such a big deal and it’s so important that you have to look after your mental health and like, do what’s right for you so you don’t get anxious, you don’t have stress, and like, you’ve got good people around you.


RITA: I don’t, no.

CARA: I mean, I do sometimes, especially when I’m posting something that I want to create a conversation or a discussion – whether it’s political, or some other thing that I believe in.

RITA: I don’t look at my, like, picture comments, but if you want to start a convo that’s a good point.

CARA: I remember when I was younger I’d look at comments to try and find things to validate the fact that I felt shit about myself.  I hated myself and wanted people to tell me they hated me too so I could be like, ‘I knew I was right.’ It’s really hurtful and bad, but the thing is the amount of time you spend looking at these things you could be doing something to help yourself or someone else. So, if you read a bad comment, write a gratitude list, write down five things you love about yourself on a sticky note and stick it on your mirror and stare at that in the morning.

RITA: That’s really good for you.


RITA: No, because I think that it’s super negative. It’s best just to filter out people in your life that bring negative energy. It’s better to surrounded yourself with friends. We’re friends and we’re doing this campaign together because we’re both really sincere about not only our friendship, but the experiences we’ve gone through together in the public eye. Me and Cara became best friends early in our careers, our friendship blossomed in front of everyone. You know pictures of us would appear everywhere and we learnt together how to deal with these types of things. It’s made our friendship so much stronger and now we can put that out to other people and help them. We can be the friend to support them. So, this isn’t phony; it’s a real campaign, with real people.

CARA: Exactly, this whole things is about real friendship, support and truth and finding the light when the world seems quite dark.


CARA: Talk about it. Reach out to other people, because everyone has dealt with it before. You know it doesn’t matter what position, where you’re from, how old you are, what your job is, we’ve all dealt with some form of it. And also, if you are a cyberbully, check yourself man. Like why are you saying the thing you’re saying? I mean I’m sure there are so many reasons as to why. If you’re someone going through it, surround yourselself with people that love you or people that lift you up because that’s the most important thing.


CARA: Yes, I try to do one once a week for a whole day.

RITA: I try to not bring my phone into bed. It’s not a screen thing, but watching Netflix is way better than scrolling through social media.

CARA: I also get FOMO and I just look at people and I’m like oh, why can’t I be everywhere at once and it’s just like-

RITA: I suffer from severe FOMO too.

CARA: I look up and I’m like how long have I been in this hole for? Just scrolling.

RITA: It just happens because as women we’re really competitive and we really want to just prove ourselves, because that’s always what we’ve had to do for our whole live.

CARA: Because there’s that feeling always that there’s only one space for one person and it’s just ridiculous.

RITA: There’s space for all of us and it won’t kill you to not go to that party that night. I’m slowly learning myself. I’m learning to deal with that everyday.


CARA: To be honest, people already have the choice to delete certain comments. If someone is struggling and having really bad issues with cyberbullying then I think it’s important to do that. But in my opinion, I like to be able to have conversations in my comments, especially when I’m posting about things that I want to debate about. I think it’s important, but there’s a limit you know. There’s always going to be pluses and minuses, but if you get rid of it completely for everyone then you’re getting rid of the choice.

RITA: There’s so much pressure amongst kids of who’s following who and how many followers they’ve got and I think it’s important that schools are up to date on things like this and teach kids that those things aren’t important. It’s a much better tool for things like speaking your mind or showing off work that you’re proud of. That’s what I use it for



RITA: One hundred percent.

CARA: They’re the people that should be doing it first of all, you know. So I’m really proud that Rimmel, which is a big company that has a huge outreach and inspires so many people, are tackling this. Hopefully this campaign will get back to companies like Facebook, and it’ll force them to realise that they need to do something about it. You can’t fix the problem completely, you can only help, so they should be helping.

RITA: And it’s so cool that it’s a makeup brand, you know? And it’s a brand that accepts  and promotes individuality. In the shoot for this campaign, we all represent something different. And it’s just nice to be part of that generation.

The Rimmel #IWILLNOTBEDELETED campaign goes live on 12th November 2018.

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Everything you need to know about coorie – 2018’s answer to hygge

Everything you need to know about coorie – 2018’s answer to hygge

Here’s everything you need to know

coorie scottish lifestyle trend
Credit: Mint Images/REX/Shutterstock

Remember hygge? It was the buzzword of winter 2016. The art of Danish living took over and suddenly we were bombarded with cosy candlelit dinners, fluffy pillows and throws, and big, warming dinners shared with friends.

And absolutely no one was complaining, because who doesn’t want to take every opportunity to be cosy around Christmas? Especially during those cold, wet, miserable post-holiday months that seem to last forever.

Grab yourself a sheepskin rug and a hot cup of coffee and you’re basically set until the sun comes back in March, right?

But there’s a different lifestyle concept that will be everywhere this season – say hello to coorie.

The Scottish lifestyle trend isn’t new by any means. It’s a centuries old means of keeping cosy during winter, and literally translates as ‘cuddle’ or ‘snuggle’ – so you can already get a feel of what it all means.

According to Gabrielle Bennett, author of The Art of Coorie, it’s ‘used to describe a feeling of cool, contemporary Caledonia. One that looks forward while also paying respect to our oldest traditions.’

It aims to ‘try and lead a quieter existence where the endless pursuit of work is balanced by small pleasures,’ she told The Times.

Essentially, swapping the chaos of modern living for a simpler, more stripped back life.

So how can you adopt a coorie lifestyle?

Where hygge is all about being cosy indoors, coorie is focused on embracing the outdoors. Coorie believes in appreciating the outdoors and making the most of our surroundings in order to feel content.

Suggested activities include wild loch swimming, camping and Highland walks, followed by wrapping up by a fire in a country pub. When throwing a coorie dinner party, it’ll mean asking your guests to each bring a dish and throwing it all together to be shared.

All the while being tucked up in traditional thick, woollen blankets and Fair Isle knits.

Sounds like a pretty perfect Sunday to us.

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Struggling to get out of bed? You could actually have this condition

Struggling to get out of bed? You could actually have this condition



We all know the feeling – the cold and dark mornings are drawing in and it’s getting harder and harder to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.

No matter how much sleep you’re getting, or which of the best night creams you’re using to give yourself a healthy glow, sometimes it feels impossible making the first move and getting that cosy foot to the cold floor.

There are lots of reasons why this might be happening, and it could be a simple case of not being a morning person, but it could also be something else.

Until now, you probably won’t have heard of the following: dysania, and clinomania.

Dysania is a psychological condition, usually linked to mental health related issues like depression and anxiety, which is used to describe one’s inability to get out of bed. And we’re not just talking about the lazy, ‘can I be bothered to get up?’ feeling we get every Monday. This leaves unable to get up, sometimes for days on ends, and leaves sufferers ‘craving’ their bed.

Clinomania describes someone in a similar situation, but as well as not being able to get up, they’ll also have ‘an obsessive desire to lie down’.

As it stands, the conditions aren’t yet medically recognised, although those who have it are keen to show the world that it’s a very real illness, with very real consequences.

The Rise And Shine has a way of determining whether someone has dysania or clinomania, or whether they’re just a fan of the snooze button.

They suggest writing out the words that you associate with getting up in the morning. If those words are things like difficult, tiresome, frustrating, or challenging, you probably don’t have one of the above conditions.

However, if words like stressful, anxious, overwhelming and debilitating come to mind there’s a chance that there could be a little more to your lie-in.

If you are concerned by anything you have read in this article, please visit your GP and discuss these issues with a professional.

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