As they open the doors to their newest offering on Motcomb Street, holistic health brand Anatomē are taking on an even more sustainable focus post-pandemic. It’s a time where many have woken up to health being the real wealth – from shifts towards more hybrid lifestyles in the world of work, to the integration of mainstream and alternative health practices – the middle way is paving the path towards more holistic horizons.
The mind-body connection is a holistic science that encompasses not just the whole person, but also the impact of and on the environment at large – as interdependent systems within a system.
Studies show that placebo and drug are not separate psychological and physiological processes, rather they are part of a highly complex interaction between mind (consciousness), genetics, environment and the types of substance being used.
This is a field where ancient wisdom meets modern science, with many traditional practices such as yoga and meditation now being believed to strengthen awareness of the mind-body connection through stimulation of endogenous healing responses (placebo) and parasympathetic nervous system activation (‘rest and digest’).
In this sense, the word ‘mind’ is not synonymous with ‘brain’, but represents mental states such as thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes and images. Mental states may be both conscious and unconscious, and have positive or negative physiological manifestations.
Many mind-body therapies focus on the process of becoming more aware / conscious of mental states and the roots of reactions, allowing for guidance towards new forms of habit breaking and building.
Brendan Murdock is the founder of wellbeing brand Anatomē. Strong scientific research underpins all of their product development, bringing fresh and original insight into the power of potent botanical ingredients. You can easily find each paper referenced below their product ranges online, with timeless ingredients designed to help modern ailments. When asked about the motivations behind these elements of the brand, Brendan comments:
“I chose the name Anatomē as derived from ‘anatomy’ – the human body, but also the science dealing with the structure of plants and interactions with nature at large. When I created Anatomē in 2018, it was borne out of a personal focus on my physical and mental health, having gone through a period of immense stress.
I had been looking for a retail environment where customers could purchase high-quality contemporary health products with the expert advice needed to incorporate them into their lifestyle. I quickly found that such a store didn’t exist, and so began the Anatomē journey.
Working with botanicals and essential oils throughout my entrepreneurial projects, from restaurants to men’s grooming, I have always understood their power to invigorate and support both the mind and body. Anatomē was created as a lifestyle brand that balances the worlds of art and science.
It’s a modern take on the traditional apothecary. The word ‘apothecary’ is derived from apotheca, meaning a place where wine, spices and herbs were stored.”
Bridging Both Worlds
‘Alternative’ and mainstream worlds are often falsely split into natural and synthetic divides. While these areas are still seen to exist on polar ends of the spectrum, both are united under the umbrella of ‘chemicals‘ and the exact definition of ‘man-made’ and ‘natural’ remain intangible. However there are different levels of processing.
It just so happens that many of the chemical compositions that exist in nature are highly compatible with the body. Obtaining the right concentration and balance is crucial, as a natural ingredient that is not purified may be at a concentration that is not potent enough to be effective in achieving the desired outcome.
Good questions to ask when reviewing both natural and synthetic ingredients are: what is this chemicals structure? Is it from a sustainable source? What are the possible side effects? Is it in a dosage and context fit for its purpose? Has this been demonstrated to be safe both long term and short term?
Anatomē’s unique positioning in bridging the mainstream scientific and alternative worlds is baked into its DNA. When asked how they do it so well, Brendan comments:
“With all our products we place a heavy emphasis on the science with an evidence-based approach, that is why we refer to the creation of our oils as Aromachology. This is the study of the influence of odors, scents and smells on human behaviour – and examines the relationship between feelings and emotions.
Aromatherapy is even more holistic in its approach! A scent has the ability to transport you into the past, triggering powerful memories through emotions and nostalgia. Scents connect our brains with what we feel, which informs our bodies of what is needed to sooth, ground and support us.
When it comes to supplementation, we provide key compounds that when taken alongside a healthy diet, ensure your immune and stress responses are balanced across the body. It’s about leveraging and supporting the body’s innate homeostatic systems.
We want to help advance the science of botanicals and to integrate natural innovation into our products to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. We have qualified nutritionists and sleep experts in each of our stores, so there is always someone knowledgeable who is on hand to guide you through popular areas of concern such as sleep, immune health, energy, focus and balance in a holistic manner.”
What I like about Anatomē’s approach is their focus on both the tangible (measurable, biochemical) and intangible (subjective, emotional) in equal measure – encompassing both reductionist and emergent perspectives in the bigger picture this builds towards manifesting better holistic health.
The body’s innate ability to self-repair is nothing short of an everyday super power, and subject areas such as Aromachology suggest that a new anatomy is inclusive of invisible dimensions – thoughts, feelings, emotional, environmental and energetic currencies, alongside their impacts on physiological systems, processes and outcomes.
This is an arena that also builds bridges between knowledge or intellect that is considered external and expert-led, and wisdom that concerns intuition, self and personalisation. Balancing what may be the best solution on average, with what is right for an individual in context.
In practice, balancing scepticism with remaining open minded through self-experimentation and being the scientists in our lives can help us to ask better questions in our quest for solutions, as well as to better relate to the communities and landscapes around us, via an enhanced understanding of the self.