Support our Self-Care for Wellbeing crowdfunding campaign!

We’re excited to announce details of a new crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise funds to provide Self-Care for Wellbeing Courses in Southmead, Bristol. This crowdfunding campaign is part of the #BetterBristol project.

Incentives include:

  • I’m for Integrative Medicine merchandise
  • A walking history tour of Bristol with Dr Elizabeth Thompson
  • Dinner with an experienced holistic practitioner
  • Exclusive discounts to all of our services
  • & loads more!

The crowdfunding campaign has now launched – pledge here!

These free-of-charge courses will combine three holistic healthcare approaches: Creative Writing for Wellbeing, Mindfulness and Yoga, and have been designed to enable all participants to take more responsibility for their health and wellbeing.


Holistic Medicine is at the heart of our crowdfunding project, which has been launched in conjuncture with the Better Bristol campaign. At PCIM, we’re committed to making Bristol a sustainable healthcare city by providing accessible health and wellbeing services that use a holistic healthcare approach.

Did you know that over 50% of households in the UK do not dispose of used and expired medication properly? This can have devastating effects on the environment and our drinking water.

Find out more about why sustainable healthcare is important, and how Self-Care for Wellbeing Courses will help here.

The #BetterBristol match-fund campaign aims to support and promote the activities of organisations in the city with a passion for positive change. It is delivered by Bristol Green Capital Partnership community interest company who are investing £45,000 in local ideas and projects that will contribute to making Bristol a sustainable city with a high quality of life for all. The Better Bristol match-fund campaign will help to make these ideas and projects a reality by offering coaching and support to crowdfunders, and awarding grants of between £3,000 and £4,000 to eligible projects who have first gained support ‘from the crowd’ by crowdfunding the first 50% of their overall target.

View all projects here from 1 June 2017 and learn more about Bristol Green Capital Partnership here.

Help us to keep Homeopathy accessible in the South West

Barriers to patient referrals are threatening the NHS Homeopathic Service, leading to a decrease in appointments and those who are referred to us at the Litfield Medical Centre in Clifton, Bristol. To address this issue, we need your help.

If you care about the NHS Homeopathic Service and want to help us to keep healthcare accessible to all, please send us your testimony in support of our service by emailing it to

We have also launched an exciting two new clinics in Bath, alongside the British Homeopathic Association.

The Bath charitable homeopathy clinic will be a cooperative clinic, funded by the BHA and administrated by the PCIM, and will be for those people who cannot afford to access private homeopathic services. The clinic will be run from a medical venue to be announced shortly. Come back to this webpage soon for more information!

The private PCIM homeopathy clinic will operate from the Practice Rooms in Upper Borough Walls. As a social enterprise, the PCIM is keen to make all of its services accessible and this is reflected in the competitive price for consultations at its private clinics. For more information, please feel free to contact us!

College of Medicine launch 2-Day Foundation on Integrated Medicine Course

Following a successful event in November 2016, the College of Medicine will return to Penny Brohn UK in Pill, Bristol, on 6th July 2017 to deliver a 2-Day Foundation on Integrated Medicine. Tickets to attend this post graduate course will cost College of Medicine members £250, or £350 for non-members.

Penny Brohn, the site of the College of Medicine Foundation course

The College say of the event: “This two-day course led by Professor David Peters and Dr Michael Dixon will cover a wide range of topics and so provide a comprehensive introduction to integrated health and care. It is open to all those who work in any healthcare setting. The course is designed to give theoretical and practical guidance to those who wish to enhance their current practise, whether they are from a complementary or biomedical background – including GPs and nurses who are interested in looking beyond the conventional biomedical box.”

Benefits of learning about integrated medicine are widespread and including greater health benefits not only for patients, but also the wellbeing of practitioners who need to engage with self-care. The course will include sessions on lifestyle approaches, social prescribing, mind/body therapies and cover a wide range of complementary therapies.

Come along to learn about how you can help us to build sustainable healthcare in Bristol, and to ready yourself for our upcoming Diploma for Integrative Medicine, due to launch in September 2017.

As well as all of this, the course will qualify for Continuing Professional Development hours, and can also provide a first stage towards a Fellowship of the College.

Find out more details here.

Come to our Diploma Open Day in March 2017

We are happy to announce details of a Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine open day at Engineers House on 18th March 2017, designed to give a taster of our upcoming Diploma for Integrative Medicine.

This whole day seminar is aimed at healthcare professionals, CAM practitioners and students interested in finding out more about cardiovascular health from an Integrative Medicine (IM) perspective.

If you are interested in furthering your medical career by exploring Integrative Medicine in a professional, academic setting, please do email to reserve a place.

Further details can be found on our Facebook event page, which is here.

Weekly Hot Nutrition Tip: Beetroot

Beetroots are one of the healthiest vegetables to eat regularly – especially for people with high blood pressure.


Recent studies found that drinking a glass of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure for people with mild hypertension – it’s thought this is due to the high nitrate levels contained in the juice. This gets converted into nitric oxide in your body, which helps to relax and dilate blood vessels. It therefore improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure.

A study at Exeter University reported that beetroot juice also helps increase stamina and oxygen uptake by the body. It has been hypothesised that it may also help proper functioning of the brain – slowing down the onset of dementia.

Its wonderful crimson colour is due to the high phytonutrient content it contains.

Do you want to learn more about the medicinal and wellbeing benefits of food such as olive oil? Sign up to our Food for Wellbeing course here!

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Homeopathy: the Facts

We are proud to provide the NHS Homeopathy Service in Bristol and the South West. For further information about our clinics at the Litfield Medical Centre in Clifton, Bristol, and the Vine Surgery in Street, Somerset, please visit this page.


The following information has kindly been provided by the British Homeopathic Organisation.

It’s more than just a placebo

Homeopathy has been used successfully on babies, young children and animals. In these cases, the patients have no idea what medication they are taking, so the placebo argument does not hold.

Homeopathy costs the NHS very little

The total amount spent on Homeopathy in the NHS is approximately £4 million per year, representing less than 1% of the total NHS budget. In contrast, the NHS spends £282 million annually on anti-depressants which one study suggests only benefit 11% of patients diagnosed with depression.

Homeopathy is more than a passing fad

Homeopathy has been used for over 200 years and has been available on the NHS since the health service was formed in 1948. It is an important part of the health systems in many European countries including France, Germany and Italy.

Homeopathy is safe

When used approximately the practice is extremely safe as it produces no dangerous side-effects and can be used in conjunction with conventional medicines. In comparison, the European Commission estimated in 2008 that adverse reactions to conventional drugs kill 197,000 EU citizens each year.

Many treatments have limited evidence

A clinical evidence surgery carried out by the British Medical Journal found that out of 3000 medical treatments 50% were classified as having “unknown effectiveness”.

In support of high dilutions

What I can say now is that the high dilutions are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules. It’s no pseudoscience. It’s no quackery. These are real phenomena which deserve further study,” Professional Luc Montagnier, French virologist and Nobel Laureate speaking in 2010

For further information please visit the Faculty of Homeopathy website which provides a wide range of resources in support of complementary medicine and its scientific study.

Weekly Hot Nutrition Tip: Olive Oil

Olive oil is an exceptionally healthy oil.

olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is packed full of heart-healthy polyphenols and recent large-scale studies have shown that it can improve several biomarkers of health. Olive oil can also raise good cholesterol levels and lower damaging LDL cholesterol levels.

Don’t be concerned about cooking with it – the oil is resistant to heat up to moderately high temperatures, as long as you don’t keep re-heating it. It has a high monounsaturated fatty acid content which makes it one of the most heart-healthy oils available.

Keep your olive oil in a cool dark place to prevent it from reacting to the light and going rancid.

Do you want to learn more about the medicinal and wellbeing benefits of food such as olive oil? Sign up to our Food for Wellbeing course here!

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Friends for Wellbeing lecture this weekend

The Friends for Wellbeing series will launch this weekend.

The first lecture will be a talk from CEO to the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine and Holistic Doctor, Elizabeth Thompson, who will speak to the Friends about the benefits of Holistic Medicine and how it can provide sustainable complementary healthcare in 2017 and beyond.

Friends for Wellbeing

This is the first of a new lecture series called Friends for Wellbeing, due to take place on the first Saturday of the month, where you can meet other members of the PCIM team.

Come along to Clifton Central Library on Princess Victoria Street from 2pm to 3:30pm to hear about Holistic Medicine, and our work with local communities in Bristol. This event is free but PCIM is grateful for any donations to cover room hire and refreshments.

The Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine (PCIM) is a centre of excellence for sustainable healthcare based in Clifton, Bristol. We support the transformation of the health service in the UK, combining the best of conventional and complementary healthcare to deliver a holistic approach to Mindfulness and Wellbeing.

We are an employee-owned social enterprise, led by healthcare professionals, delivering the NHS contract for Homeopathy in Bristol alongside private and community based services. We also provide Integrative Medicine education, training, research and evaluation programmes for clinicians and practitioners.

Join the Friends of the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine – a group that volunteers time to support our endeavours at local events – by completing the form below.

Join the Friends of PCIM

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Weekly Hot Nutrition Tip: Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is not only one of the healthiest, but also one of the most delicious and versatile vegetables to include in your diet.

butternut squash

One portion of butternut squash provides high quantities of Vitamin A, which gives your immune system a real boost. It also contains 50% of your daily Vitamin C requirements.

This vegetable’s beautiful, bright orange colour means that it’s full of carotenoids – these are antioxidants which can reduce inflammation in your body, which is the cause of many chronic health conditions.

Some people get put off by butternut squash’s tough skin, but if you chop it up and add it to other vegetables, such as peppers, courgettes, aubergines and tomatoes, and slow roast it, you can eat the skin. Simply add olive oil and a few herbs and any other seasonings you enjoy.

If you want to peel it, try peeling with a potato peeler, or if you find this a struggle, simply cut it in two lengthwise and slow roast in the oven on a low/medium temperature for 45 minutes until the flesh is soft. You can then scoop it out and make it into soup, or mash with some olive oil as an alternative to mashed potato.

Do you want to learn more about the medicinal and wellbeing benefits of food such as butternut squash? Sign up to our Food for Wellbeing course here!

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PCIM Chief Executive: January 2017

These are exciting times for the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine coming into 2017.

We are delighted to be delivering a Mindfulness course for people who have struggled with recurrent depression. We are delivering this into the Greenway Centre led by Dr Julia Wallond, our Mindfulness Lead. With charitable funding from the Oxford Mindfulness Centre we are able to offer the course to participants at very low cost. We have been connecting to local healthcare professionals to let them know the course is happening.

We are also delivering the second in a year of pilot Mindfulness courses for cancer patients. We have been working with Penny Brohn UK to deliver this course and it has proved very popular. The idea behind the course has been to deliver in different settings at different times of day to try and meet the needs of the many cancer patients across Bristol. Delivering charitable services into areas where holistic approaches are needed is exactly what the Portland Centre is all about.

Join our Mindfulness mailing list to hear about upcoming courses.

We also have courses where people pay and we are launching a Food for Wellbeing six week course at Bakesmiths on the Whiteladies where along with practical tips on how to cook healthy meals, participants can also meet with Holistic Doctors, Psychologists and Nutritionists.

Follow Food for Wellbeing on Facebook.

With many of our courses we try and evaluate any improvements in wellbeing and linking new services with evaluation and research is an important part of our vision. We have had cutbacks to the NHS Homoeopathic Service that PCIM deliver but people can still be referred by healthcare professionals using a prior approval policy that is on our website. The NHS homoeopathic service has been around for nearly 70 years and we regard it as a precious part of all the difference holistic approaches that we connect to. The private homoeopathic clinics are growing and we have plans to deliver low-cost homoeopathy along with private clinics into Bath.

Don’t forget the Creative Writing for Wellbeing course run by Fiona Hamilton from the Orchard Foundation which have been hugely popular. The next course starts end of March.

Add our next Creative Writing for Wellbeing Course to your Facebook diary.

We would love to connect to people who are interested in whole person care and from 11th February 2017 on a Saturday afternoon at Clifton library we will be having the first of the Friends for Wellbeing public engagement lectures – do come along to these free events and contribute to the discussion. I will be talking about Integrative Medicine and how all of us can look after ourselves by connecting to natural approaches.

I hope in my next update to be telling you more about some of the new services we are planning to launch March and April. We are grateful to all of you who have become a Friend of the Portland Centre and those that follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I hope that you find ways to support your health and well-being during 2017.