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.
If you would like to know more about John’s practice you can head to his website www.therapy-training.com