A Happy Soul Is A Healthy Body. This was the theme for my workshops and lectures at the Good Health Show at Birmingham NEC last weekend.

I was surprised and pleased to receive a high attendance of around 30 people for each session, all keen to learn yogic breathing, self-help head massage and meditation.

It seems people are hungry to learn more about natural ways of looking after themselves and want to take control of their own health rather than depend on pills. Certainly, most of the show's visitors were trying to find natural answers to their chronic stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression.

The many facilities available to try - beauty makeovers, aerobics and yoga classes, gadgets to relieve back and neck tensions and soothing aromatherapy massages - helped to cheer up thousands of people.

It was very encouraging to see the Birmingham Primary Care Team (PCT) taking part in the show for the first time, providing information for visitors about local health strategies and healthcare services.

I spoke to the PCT manager and was pleased to hear that Birmingham PCT has an active policy and funding to train nurses in aromatherapy, which is available to patients in hospital.

Health authorities are beginning to realise the potential for saving expenditure by encouraging people to look after themselves through complementary medicines such as yoga, yogic breathing, massage, osteopathy and herbal and homeopathic supplements.

Prevention is better than cure. Learning about common herbal remedies, attending group classes of yogic breathing or yoga, taking aerobic exercise and even attending singing and laughter clubs can have enormous impact on our general happiness and relief of stress - which is the key to our good health.

Charak, the father of medicine, says, in his ayurvedic medical text, written in 600BC at the University of Taxilla, northern India, that if we maintain an equilibrium of our body, mind and spirit - a healthy balance of the three driving forces of nervous energy (Vata or air and ether element), hormonal and metabolic energy (fire element) and growth energy (water and earth elements) - we will maintain positive health.

He goes on to say that if we maintain wholesome nutrition of our body tissues, ensure a healthy elimination of toxins and waste products and maintain a strong immunity and inner strength, we can always enjoy perfect health into old age and never fall ill.

But above all, he says happiness is the key to health. A happy soul is a healthy body so find ways of being happy naturally and lift your spirits.

If any one wants to learn the simple but powerful techniques of self help that I practice, I will be running some regular courses this year (call 01273 563340).