Welcome back to the Bridport Complementary Health Blog. We are carrying on with our exploration of the various treatments available at the clinic, and I, your fearless clinic manager, will be putting my body up for experimentation on your behalf. Next up I’ll be visiting John Wilks, practitioner, author and educator in his specialist fields.
Before I joined the clinic, I brought my then 6 week old baby to see John. We’d had a forceps delivery and the midwife had recommended John at the hospital to help the babies skull settle again. Craniosacral therapy is widely used for the treatment of babies and children as it is so gentle and gets significant results. My baby was able to open his mouth properly after treatment which really helped with feeding.
Being a hands-on therapist myself, I’d been really looking forward to receiving my own treatment from John. I’ve had some experience of Cranio-sacral therapy from my time in Brighton, but Bowen Technique was new to me and I was intrigued by the delicate nature of both of these forms of body work. John tells me that most clients work with one or the other of these techniques, although where it is appropriate, he will use both as he did with me.
I decided to seek John’s help for my TMJ (Temporal Mandible Joint Dysfunction – tight and painful jaw to you and me) which is linked in with tight shoulders and had recently been getting worse, causing tension headaches. John took me through a thorough consultation where we discussed how long I’d been suffering, what made it worse/better and what treatments I’d had in the past for this condition. I felt in safe hands as John’s gentle confidence, focus and knowledge immediately gave me the space to relax, as if the treatment began before I’d even touched the couch.
My treatment started with Cranio-sacral therapy which I always find so relaxing. I was able to put a pin in the busy thoughts whizzing around my brain and really bring my attention to the work going on in my body. Some patients experience sensations of heat, tingling or even emotions coming up and for others it is more subtle. In my case I could feel the muscles softening and I had a general feeling of calm through-out my nervous system.
John then moved onto Bowen Technique, which involves very light pressure to specifically targeted points on the body, and then seemingly long breaks between moves, which allow the muscles space to respond to the treatment. As a massage therapist I was fascinated by how delicate touch can have such a profound effect, in particular on my shoulders which responded immediately and released some of the tension.
After my first session the tension headaches were gone, my shoulders were freer, and my neck had an increased flexibility. Like all complementary health practices the healing processes is ongoing and I was encouraged to revisit John over the following two weeks. Over that time, I found that I had a significant improvement in the muscle tension and would always look forward to the next session. In an ideal world I would see John every week, but I will certainly be visiting him again for regular maintenance to keep those tension headaches at bay.
So, my brilliant plan is to visit each of the practitioners here at the clinic to experience, first-hand, the treatments they offer. I feel so lucky to find myself in a position to explore not only these amazing practices but equally to dig deeper into what makes our therapists so special. My first appointment is with the fabulous Helen Lucey, to receive Homeopathy.
Before I went for my first consultation I was sent a questionnaire. This was the first clue that Helen was going to do more than help me with the very glamourous Dyshidrosis (foot eczema to you and me). I always knew that Homeopathy was about treating the whole person, but I hadn’t grasped how far removed an underlying cause can be from the symptoms. And so, I sent my questionnaire back filled with questions of my own and excited to discover more about this natural medicine that has been helping people all over the world for over 200 years.
Helen’s welcome is warm and professional, like you’ve been visiting her clinic for years. Her history in psychology seems to lend itself to the homeopaths consultation which aspires to get to know all that you feel able to share about yourself. I found myself sharing stories of teenage years, my family relationships, seemingly unconnected aches and pains, my travel addiction (itchy feet?!), as well as getting into exactly the way my skin condition feels (itchy feet!). I found myself able to talk and talk, as if no one had asked me how I was in years. I honestly didn’t know I had so much to say. I put this down to Helen and how she held the space. I felt safe, secure, and free to speak in private.
My follow up consultation was similar, with more space to speak. Helen asked about some of the things that had come up in our initial session and this opened up to further discussions. Although it isn’t typical that a Homeopath will share which remedy they have selected for your treatment I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on what Helen had chosen for me. I was blown away by how the elements of both remedies really resonated with me. I felt heard, understood, and optimistic that together we would find the solutions I am looking for.
Like many medical and complementary healthcare practices my Homeopathy treatment is ongoing. I’ve had some interesting responses to the remedies I’ve tried so far and believe that we are narrowing in on the one that will get the results I’m after. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to find there are perks to trying different remedies and that issues that have also bothered me, such as an unrelenting appetite since being pregnant nearly 2 years ago, are being addressed. Nothing like a bit of holistic healthcare to find out what you never knew you needed.
I’m Jenn and have been managing Bridport Complementary Health since July 2020. I know, what a time to take on a complementary healthcare clinic?! But I believe that now, more than ever, it is the responsibility of each of us to take care of our own body/mind. To support strong immune systems, to find alternatives to adding more pressure to our much loved NHS. To look for different ways to take care of our mental health and to priorities our physical health by making conscious consumer choices.
In this blog I hope to look a little closer at the types of treatments you might find at the clinic, either by sharing the words of our practitioners or sharing my own stories of treatments I receive at the clinic. I also intend to keep you up to date on any clinic news and share information about workshops and retreats our practitioners are offering both here and abroad.