Last week, as part of their month of wellbeing, our Goddesses on The Practical Goddess course were treated to a very interesting Q&A session with the wonderful Naomi Murray of Botanica Health. I had a chat with Naomi before our Q&A so that you could all get to know her and her work a bit better too.
Naomi runs Botanica Health, a fabulous wellbeing centre and website. She is an absolute mine of information and alongside her sister Sophie Lamb, has made a huge difference to my own health. I regularly refer clients on to them both. Naomi and Sophie’s father is Brian Lamb, one of the UK’s longest serving (if not THE longest serving) herbalists and all round natural health genius.
Naomi, I am a huge fan of everything you do at Botanica Health both personally and professionally. How did you get started in the business?
Thank you, that’s so kind:-) Well as you know I started with dad when I was 18 as his dispenser. I had a break when the children were small and when I moved south I had no intention of starting a business! I had been doing it for more than 25 years and I thought I wanted a change.
I had been working in schools and colleges in Kent but really missed my vocation. Alan became very busy in his physio work and decided he needed his own base and so when a shop became vacant with rooms we decided to go for it.
It was organic and evolutionary. When we first opened the shelves were quite bare because I wanted to take my time sourcing products. There was no business plan (so totally unprofessional!), we just steamed ahead.
All I knew was that I loved my subject and sharing what I have studied over the years with others. It has gone from strength to strength with a now successful online presence too. We have been opened for 7 year’s this August, which I can hardly believe.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what you offer at Botanica?
Some customers have described Botanica as a haven, and I like that.
We are there to offer advice on health matters and concerns and will refer to other specialists when necessary.
I am very lucky that the girls working in the shop also have a genuine interest and love of the subject and as a team we are continually learning.
I feel it is so important to listen, and often a person may feel they have never been truly heard before. That in itself is healing and the sense of relief from individuals is palpable. I want people to feel better when they leave and part of that is just about giving someone the space and time to speak.
If an individual needs more advice and treatment than we can fairly offer within the shop confines we will pass on to a member of the team. We provide consultations in herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, acupuncture, sports therapy, massage, kinesiology, counselling, EFT, family mediation, beauty treatments, reflexology, meditation and osteopathy.
What you say about the importance of listening is so true. I find with my own clients, that people just want to be heard. Space and presence is such an important thing to be able to offer people.
In The Practical Goddess course this month, we’ve been looking at wellbeing – what is your top wellbeing tip?
In an ideal world ensuring good quality sleep, rest, food, time in nature, mutually healthy relationships, listening to your gut, eating well and intuitively, taking time out to have fun, learning to say no, being easy on yourself and using herbs when things go wrong!
Great advice. I’m also loving Sophie’s new project www.donecountingsheep.com – so many people have problems with sleep. Intuitive eating is a great concept – I think eating mindfully can really help with that.
I know you sell an amazing range of products in your shop and on your website – do you have a favourite?
If I am allowed 3 I would say magnesium, Ashwagandha and collagen. Those 3 alone are powerhouses for health.
I’ve been reading so much about Ashwagandha recently – its amazing stuff!
Many of the people I see in Vitality are stressed, overwhelmed and anxious – what would you recommend?
All of the above!
I also feel that we really collectively need to give ourselves a break! I include myself in this. There is huge pressure all around but a lot of it comes from what we put on ourselves. We seek perfection everywhere even though we may not realise it. Learning to let go, say no, without guilt, say yes to things our heart really feels inclined to and we must also forgive ourselves and others and know that we all truly do our best. Overthinking and over-analysing is an enemy and Ekhart Tolle was right when he spoke about the power of now. It is all we have. So many anxieties come from past regrets and thinking too much about the future. It is quite freeing to really concentrate on this moment. I love yoga for this reason as you can’t think and breathe mindfully at the same time!
Ahhhh yoga … slow flow yoga is my favourite antidote to anxiety and overwhelm. We really are too hard on ourselves and I’m guilty of that myself. I really enjoyed the book you recommended in our Goddess Q&A – Essentialism by Greg McKeown – I’ve been saying no a lot more this week and tweaking what we offer at Vitality :)
The focus of my coaching practice is contentment – what does contentment mean to you?
That is so lovely Donna. Contentment is so important and is such a healing emotion. Socrates said that ‘he is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature’.
I am probably the most content amongst nature. In a field or wood, taking in my surroundings and feeling true appreciation for all that is around me. My dad always taught me to see great wonder in nature and I still see things through child-like eyes and these times bring great contentment.
We live in a society where contentment is often fleeting because it is often sought in the wrong places, through materialism and excess.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to me Naomi and of course our Goddesses. Hopefully we’ll get together again sometime soon, I’m sure our Vitality readers would love to learn more.
If you’d like to find out more about what happens at Botanica, you can find out all about them at the links below :)