The Bristol Whole Life Approach lies at the heart of everything we do. At its core, it’s about building resilience into every aspect of life and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal and repair itself.
Integrative (Whole Person) Care
We recognise that all parts of ourselves – mind, body, spirit and emotions – are all closely connected and work together to support our immune system and its ability to keep us well.
Our Approach provides a powerful combination of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual support that is designed to help anyone affected by cancer, at any stage of the disease.
Through courses, groups and individual sessions you can learn how to eat well and stay active, manage your emotions and relationships, and reconnect with the things in life that you love – all of which are linked to health.
This Approach has inspired thousands to play an active role in their health and wellbeing, bringing them a renewed sense of hope and control.
The science behind the approach
The Bristol Approach is based upon the research into Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), the study of the connections between our mind (psycho), nervous system (neuro) and immune system (immunology). Increasingly evidence shows that changes in our thoughts, emotions and beliefs can bring about changes in our physical health and well-being. PNI shows that emotions such as fear, anger or shock can result in increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which can stop the immune system from working at its best.
It is unrealistic to think that we can eliminate these emotions from our lives and so it is important to find ways to manage these natural responses to life’s challenges. Emerging evidence indicates that relaxation, meditation, creative pursuits or the experience of a massage provides an immediate way to reduce stress levels which helps to strengthen the body’s immune system, our first line of defence against fighting cancer.
Working with Health Professionals
We offer training in the Bristol Whole Life Approach to healthcare professionals and complementary therapists who are interested in a whole person approach to healthcare through the Penny Brohn Academy.
The training offers the opportunity to learn more about the different aspects of the Bristol Whole Life Approach. We support professionals working with people with cancer to understand how to help people to manage their illness. This includes the social, psychological and spiritual aspects, the symptoms and side-effects of treatment, and how people with cancer benefit from increased wellbeing in the presence of illness.