My name is Darren – thanks for visiting the AlchemyFlow website. I’m a Brighton based freelancer; fermentation enthusiast, writer and massage therapist.
I have run workshops throughout the UK and in the local community around fermentation and food & health politics for nearly five years. My interest in healing and health related activism grew out of a personal health crisis around eight years ago, where a long history of stress, poor nutrition and a toxic environment were finally compounded by a disastrous course of antibiotics whilst travelling and numerous and interrelated parasite infections – a recipe for severely compromised physical and mental health. At the time, these circumstances fed into a sense of disillusionment and anger with mainstream medicine, which seemed redundant in areas such as mental or digestive health and where indeed, even in some cases, seemed to exacerbate them.
Intuitively I sensed that more traditional and alternative systems of medicine had something to offer, which went on to shape the trajectory of my undergraduate degree, where I studied the relationship between alternative / traditional medicine and western orthodox medicine. My background before beginning university as a mature student was in community work, campaigning and activism – so I graduated with a pretty established toolkit for grassroots activism and agitating social change. From that point on I began talking about gut health and healing in a political way, using food fermentation as a practical way to empower individual changes around health but to also affect change from within our existing health paradigm. Of course, beyond the politics, my love of food, the flavours available through fermentation and the profoundly healing capacities of live food made this combo a complete winner.
All of this culminates in a holistic ethic which underpins my work and my writing. True holism is a principle of healing that includes but also moves beyond the individual. Through my work I am trying to realise and create a liberatory politic through health – where the biological, emotional spiritual, political and environmental contingencies of health form the principles of a modern social movement for a new paradigm for health! Crikes. To that extent I plan to return to study an MA in Medical Anthropology this year at SOAS University.
Please support my work by coming along to a workshop, seeing me for bodywork or supporting my writing by becoming a patron or making a donation.
AlchemyFlow is a food & health education project; a small-batch artisan of fermented foods and massage practice based in Brighton & Hove.
We provide intimate training on traditional food knowledge and techniques to create living, vibrant food; write about food, food politics and health related issues and work with people through bodywork and massage to encourage better awareness of and connection with the body as a vehicle for change in the world.