We felt really heartened, when NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board (ICB), approached us to discuss offering a bespoke Recharge Day Retreat to GPs.
After some initial ideas sharing, we received the good news that the programme and budget had been signed off. We agreed a maximum of 20 GPs to attend and were delighted when the ICB told us 14 doctors had signed up. Understandably, it can be difficult to prioritise one’s own self-care, especially in this line of work.
The morning commenced with a light, healthy breakfast served at the Wellness Yurt, followed by a wonderful Qigong session. This was run by Mitchell Wheeler, who recently held his own 48-hour retreat at Wootton Park Wellness.
We then guided the team on a Mindful Walk and Forest Bathing session. As we commonly find, nobody in the group had experienced this activity before. Our accredited Forest Bathing Expert, Mandy, was able to explain more about the origins and benefits of Forest Bathing. This was followed by a beautiful Dove Release from the top of the Wootton Park hills. A symbolic act of letting go of something which no longer serves you.
A wholesome vegetarian lunch was served in the Tudor Farmhouse dining room, ahead of a 90-minute Workshop led by Clinical Hypnotherapist, Louise Squires. The talk focused on brain training to build resilience and wellbeing and how to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. These skills enable you to be more focused, creative, productive and happier both at work and at home. A really worthwhile session for these extremely busy GPs, arming them with strategies and techniques to implement into daily life.
Whilst the group digested this information along with some delicious homemade cakes, the wonderful Heidi set up the Gong Bath meditation. Again, not something many of the group had heard of, let alone tried. The one hour long Sound Therapy session helped the GPs enter a deeper level of relaxation. We ended their time at the Wellness Yurt with a meditation to set a new intention, having let go of something earlier.
After the Retreat activities had concluded, the group returned to the Farmhouse. They gathered around the glowing firepit in the gardens, before taking a seat in the dining room, for a three-course evening meal.
As the group departed after dinner, we reflected on the day. We really do feel so grateful that we were able to deliver this wonderful bespoke programme to these amazing Doctors.
We believe it’s vitally important for the medical profession to experience some of the non-medical healing therapies available. These more natural treatments, which are often preventive in nature, can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine. In Japan, for example, Forest Bathing is often prescribed to patients, leading to a healthier lifestyle for people of all ages.