So many enriching experiences…
Since 1995, when I graduated from my physiotherapy degree with a clinical distinction, I’ve been grateful for a wealth of invaluable experiences. Cumulatively, all of these experiences have tremendously affected my approach to treating the body holistically.
So for me, physiotherapy today is at its best when it applies the understanding that mindfulness affects our well-being; in other words, being aware of how we think and feel and how that impacts how we move and behave.
With that in mind, what I work to deliver is a powerful, practical and compassionate approach that will restore integrity to your movement and well-being, as well as help you develop more useful patterns of behaviour that will become integral to your well-being.
But just in case you were wondering how I arrived at this conclusion, here’s a little more detail…
Big turning point
With my degree in hand, I worked for several years in large teaching hospitals around London, such as St Thomas’, Kings College and St George’s. Whether it was working as staff or in locum roles as a senior musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapist, hospitals have been fantastic for me, helping me grow very quickly as a practitioner.
But, naturally inquisitive, I also started to wonder about the patients who just wouldn’t respond to more conventional therapeutic approaches.
So a big turning point for me was when I was working with a very experienced and skilled manual therapist called Ron Huntley. Ron seemed to get amazing results with his patients, especially those whom most clinicians had given up on.
Ron’s secret? Myofascial Release – a powerfully effective connective tissue manipulative technique pioneered by American physiotherapist John Barnes. It was clear that understanding the fascia as a system-wide, interconnecting network of soft tissue, dynamically supporting and facilitating the body’s functioning, was the link that I was looking for.
So four years into my career, Ron trained me in the technique and it immediately opened my understanding of seeing the body as an interconnected system that is in constant, dynamic communication.
Gentle, sensory, respectful, as well as thorough
The technique is subtle and I immediately warmed to that. It relies on feeling and sensing movement within the body, picking up signals that ordinarily are missed, and in a way that allows me to respect the whole individual much more than normal.
I now refer to the technique as Fascial Release, since it’s much more than manipulating muscle (which ‘myo’ implies) but targets all connective tissue and even our fluids, too (we are 70% water, after all…).
Around the same time I was developing my skills and knowledge of fascial release, I had the pleasure of training with Tom Myers, Stuart Robinson and John Annan, all specialists and educators in their approach to the fascial system. Since then, my journey of amalgamating all this experience has allowed me the opportunity to develop a fascial approach that feels more natural to me.
The years that followed is where I consolidated my clinical skills in body reading and Fascial Release techniques. I worked full-time in private practice, after having my own practice in central London. I worked for 10 years as a musculoskeletal clinician in various private practices in London and also for 6 years as a consultant ergonomist working as an in-house DSE assessor and manual handling trainer.
Beyond all this, because I’m so naturally curious, I love travelling, reading and studying. For example, I benefited so much whilst studying for my masters in Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies where I was awarded a distinction even though I was running my own business at the time. Again, the insights from this have powerfully affected my understanding of how health and well-being can be facilitated by neuroscience and meditative disciplines, along with wide-ranging philosophical paradigms.
Integra Therapy: to give you greater mobility each day
I founded Integra Therapy to offer people ways in which they can daily create greater freedom, both physically and cognitively. But also to ally complimentary disciplines to provide even more support to people in pain, as well as cement my learning to date in my practice.
I’m a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Energy Medicine (ACPEM) too. ACPEM is a clinical interest group set up to investigate and explore the science behind energy medicine or bioenergetic techniques. I find the lively debates and discussions exciting and inspiring, and I’m committed to exploring this further.
Yoga’s body-mind principles have been an integral part of my approach for many years. Realising of late how important that’s been, I’ve completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training, accredited with Yoga Alliance and as a result am applying those deeper insights into my physiotherapy practice.
My ongoing research interests are centred around how we can experience ourselves far more healthily through conscious shifts in our body-mind. Over and over again, I’ve marvelled at how releasing the fascia can have such profound effects on the body-mind processes, powerfully affecting how clients perceive and understand themselves. Looking carefully into these processes has so often offered invaluable insights towards achieving more beneficial levels of well-being.
I’m keen to explore these ideas in an experiential way – or ‘experiential research’ – where learning is achieved more holistically by consciously engaging the body-mind through movement.