York Natural Health has been around for over 12 years now, how has it evolved as a clinic/community?
Twelve years ago, the clinic was two rooms with a remote receptionist, we now have a team of osteopaths, and many other complementary therapists and practitioners who can offer a more comprehensive holistic health care service.
If you could describe York Natural Health in three words, what would they be?
Peaceful, Relaxing and Restorative
What made you want to train as an Osteopath?
I had my first treatment when I was 8 years old from my grandfather Leslie Harrison and felt so great I immediately told him “this is what I want to do when I am older”
If you weren’t an Osteopath what do you think you’d be?
If I didn’t work in healthcare I would want to work in nature and help support environmental issues, which is more necessary now than ever. Fortunately my husband runs St Nicks environment centre so between us we have a life in service to the people and the planet.
What do you find most interesting about Osteopathy?
Most people think that our back is just related to muscles and the way our posture is, but the real study of classical osteopathy is looking at the interconnections between all the different internal organs and how the body and spine express the health of the underlying organs through our backs as every nerve from our back is linked with a different internal organ and we can influence our internal health through the spine.
How has Osteopathy evolved over the years since you qualified?
Osteopathy can be too symptom focused these days, people wanting a quick fix as they might get from taking a pill. Osteopathy can be great at building and restoring our constitutional health, rather than just a symptomatic treatment when in pain. It may have taken years or decades for the body to reach the place where pain occurs. We need to recognise the importance of spinal mobility for good overall health, which can take more time than simply realigning a bone out of place. Giving time to unwind the build up of tension that has built up over the years can stand you in good stead for later life. We do tend to look more at the whole person rather than just at the presenting symptoms.
What advice can you give to people interested in becoming an Osteopath?
Have treatment first and find out if you like how it feels. Be confident enough to know that it is not the practitioner doing the healing, but the patients body. You are just a facilitator. There are different styles of osteopathy from the different colleges. Try different practitioners to see if there is a style that suits you and find out where they trained.
You recently published your first book, ‘Breathe with Ease’, what inspired you to write the book?
Having overcome an asthma attack in three minutes without medication I was inspired to share how people can turn off their stress response by using a simple breathing practice that I have developed from the Buteyko approach, which I have called Dynamic Breath Release.
In what way has natural health impacted your daily life?
I have lived and breathed natural healthcare from the moment I was born, from not being vaccinated and going through childhood illnesses without medication, but with the tender care of my mum, who eventually went on to open YNH with me. To learning about food intolerance and how it caused me to be in significant daily pain and joint inflammation from my early 20’s until I changed my lifestyle and the pain has stayed away. I would certainly have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia if I hadn’t learnt about natural living and how to release emotional tensions through guided meditation and breathwork.
You provide Buteyko Breathing training too, how has this personally helped you?
The Buteyko approach has enabled me to reduce the asthma symptoms but also reduced my stress response, I feel emotionally more settled in myself, the roller coaster of emotions through has reduced significantly and anxiety has been reduced too.
We hope you enjoyed this post and found the answers insightful and interesting.
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