Hannah Charman

About Hannah

I don’t believe I chose herbal medicine, but that herbal medicine chose me.

I was a highly motivated, headstrong and determined child. All I wanted when I grew up was to be a Vet, so I studied hard at school, and read every animal book I could find. I loved learning, had lots of friends, and a different hobby every night of the week. Life was pretty good, until one autumn day when I was 14.

My dad picked me up from school in the car, and on the way home we stopped at the shops. He asked me to go and get some bits we needed, but I couldn’t get out of the car. Within just five minutes I’d gone from being a perfectly happy, healthy schoolgirl to being unable to move.

That was the beginning of a two year journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a pivotal event in my life, and in hindsight, the best thing that ever happened to me. My parents started by taking me to our GP, who concluded that I was faking the whole thing in order to get out of going to school. He told my parents to get me to an Educational Psychologist, but thankfully they knew me better, and took me to a Homeopathic Doctor instead. I’ve never forgotten how grateful I was when he listened and carefully noted everything I said before giving me some medicine, and a lot of vitamins. Within days I began to feel better, and went on to see various other practitioners, all of whom played their part in my recovery.

The final part of that journey was a Reiki course, taught by highly acclaimed Australian Reiki Master Barbara McGregor. Barbara had a strong background in alternative medicine and taught about the mind-body connection as part of her training. I took the first course when I was 16, and immediately began to understand that illness is not something that happens to us at random. In fact, there are always psychological and emotional triggers which need to be explored if we’re going to truly understand what’s going on, and move forward.

I also realised that Veterinary Medicine was not the path for me, and I was lucky to get onto the BSc Herbal Medicine course at Middlesex University, which was four years long. I graduated in 1999, and began seeing patients in London as I saved up to go travelling. Since I came back I’ve run busy practices all over the UK, and currently work solely online from my home overlooking the Shropshire Hills. I’ve settled here with my partner, and my 6 year old son. He has a rare genetic condition called PKU, so I know how challenging it is to be a mum, carer, and business owner all at the same time.

My work is constantly evolving and after a few years in practice I came to realise that many of my patients were not getting the full benefit from their herbal medicine, because they weren’t taking care of themselves at home. Many didn’t realise that they were highly stressed, undernourished or overtired, making it more difficult for the herbs to do their work. So I now offer health coaching alongside herbal medicine, where patients are accountable to me for making the improvements they need to make. They learn the basics of self care which not only speeds up their recovery, but helps them to stay well long into the future.

Given my background, I have a special interest in working with chronic fatigue, whatever the cause may be. My patients are often working parents, and they tend to be high achieving people in very demanding jobs, which is a perfect storm for chronic fatigue!

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