Page updated :
Information last updated : Sunday 13th September //
I am pleased to announce that (under new Government guildeines) I am now providing treatments at both the Exchange Street clinic in Norwich (The Complementary Health Care Clinic) and Rowan House clinic in Hethersett as from Thursday 14th July 2020. Please see the Contact page for booking details, days, etc.
I intend to do my best to continue to provide help and support throughout this period of transition and beyond to whoever needs it; and to apply appropriate measures to ensure your safety (i.e. the safety of everyone visiting the clinic) so far as possible.
The Covid-19 situation can very easily lead to lots of complexity and detail. This is a basic checklist for anyone wanting to receive hands-on treatment :
If you are concerned about risk and want to receive treatment for trauma, I can provide online sessions which work very well, and we can do face-to-face treatments later when some of the initial ground as been covered.
Please contact the clinic or myself, cancel any appointments, and not re-book until you have been symptom-free and away from contact with people who are infected for at least ten (10) days if you :
Similarly, if any of the above applied to me, I will cancel all appointments until I have been clear of symptoms for at least 7 days, and will have to inform any patients who I have seen over the previous ten days. I will also have to contact you if anyone on my patient list over the previous 21 days is on a Test-and-Trace list.
Please call the clinic and cancel your appointment if you experience any of these before attending.
Current government guidelines (as of 13 Jul 2020) are :
"Self-isolate / maintain physical distance for at least 14 days from onset of symptoms, and at least 7 days after symptoms cease. And arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19."
If you come for hands-on treatment, I will have to run through the Valid Consent to Treatment Form with you several days beforehand, and we can sign this at your first appointment. If you are a designated Vulnerable person (Moderate risk group) I can still potentially treat you, but it's important to be particularly clear about potential risk vs benefits. If you are likely to have close contact with a Vulnerable (Moderate or High risk) person, please make that very clear to me when booking the appointment.
If you click these links and nothing seems to have happened, the file has probably gone direct to your Download folder instead of displaying in your browser. If you cannot view or print PDF files, please call me and I can send you paper copies.
Each clinic is essentially a public space that has to be kept as free from cross-contamination as possible to ensure safety of yourself, myself, clinic employees and all other visitors. You are therefore asked to :
I will follow you through the clinic to the treatment room and then back out, disinfecting any surfaces that you might have touched with your hands/clothes.
Due to the inability to practice physical distancing when carrying out bodywork treatments, the following precautions will be in place in the treatment room :
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes to people's lives, some of which will have long term consequences to how we all live. Some individuals and families have been hit very hard and others not at all, some people have been working and some not, leading us to live in a set of parallel worlds with very different realities. This altered reality is also likely to be with us in one form or another for at least until well into 2021. So it is very likely that the eventual "normal" will not be the normal we currently know. We all have to adapt to circumstances, and cannot really wait until everything is known and familiar again.
It is encouraging that tests reported in Germany (31/July/2020) have shown ... "It is now quite certain that a large proportion of the population has T cell immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The German researchers found T-cell reactivity against the virus in 83 percent of those who had been confirmed covid-19, but also in 35 percent who had not had coronavirus disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.". The situation in Sweden is also showing that once the virus spreads widely into the general population there IS a large degree of herd immunity and a substantial reduction in cases and in mortality.
Furthermore, although detected cases are increasing again here in the UK, there are now very few deaths. This secondary phase is a recognised normal progression of pandemics, and a sign that the danger is virtually over. Published studies from China, Europe and the USA show that cross-infection by asymptomatic people is very rare. i.e. being in the company of anyone who is not showing symptoms, even if they are infected, is very safe. The vast majority (well over 90%) of people who die from coronavirus or who are badly affected by it already had multiple pre-existing conditions. So if you are in an "at risk" group, you should be taking precautions to reduce physical (not social!) contact, but everyone else is as safe as we ever are. The main problem is fear, because fear (of illness or anything else) makes the immune system less effective.
For more information including onle treatments please see my general Covid-19 information page.
The term "social distancing" has been quite destructive, because it has led to widespread isolation and mental health problems. A better way to think of it is "physical distancing". Fortunately we are now being allowed to come together in small social "bubbles" so that close contact with a small number of people is possible again. Of course, if you come for treatment, I am not in your close social bubble. However, it would appear that most people have been infected with no symptoms. Therefore, so long as you do not fall into a specific risk group, the virus is for the vast majority of people not dangerous, and does not cause illness, and your best personal defence is maintaining a healthy immune system.
The available data also suggests that any close proximity in a vehicle or (non-sterile) room for more than 10 minutes results in a very high (>80%) likelihood of transmission of any virus, regardless of whether you might be wearing a paper filtering mask or protective gear, or not. Simply, viruses are so small that they go everywhere. However, it is also clear that much of the viral load transmits in small water droplets from the mouth, so a mask does reduce the total viral load transmitted to other people, even if it does not completely stop the spread of virus. Studies of infection transmission in China put mask wearing at the bottom of the list of effective measures, and non-contact/physical distancing at the top of the list. A good overall summary of transmission research is to be found here (Docjon.org).
The advice that has been given by the government and in newspapers on preventing spread of Coronavirus has tended to focus ONLY on the Coronavirus and not on other health aspects. This narrow focus could be one reason why over the months March to June 2020 there have been twice as many (about 33,000) "excess deaths" from non-Coronavirus causes as from Coronavirus (about 17,000).
How can this be...? The likelihood is that - along with the reduced treatment availability for other illnesses, the measures to prevent Coronavirus transmission have caused other illnesses to be more fatal than usual. For instance, wearing a face mask causes buildup of a high viral and bacterial load within the upper respiratory tract - which otherwise would clear itself as you breathe normally. This is probably not an issue if you are healthy, but if you have any kind of respiratory infection, wearing a mask for prolonged periods is not good for your health. Simply, if bacteria are less under control by the immune system, then viruses are more able to cause "opportunistic" infections (and vice versa). I recommend that you generally limit mask-wearing time as far as possible. You can also increase its effectiveness and reduce its negative effects by using an essential oil diffuser in the room... Thyme, Tea Tree, Oregano, are particularly antibacterial/antiviral, but Lavender, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus are also of some use. Please do NOT use essential oils or wood-based alcohols or formaldehyde directly on the mask as disinfectants, because these can cause inflammation of the mucosa and make you more susceptible to infection.
Similarly, we have an active colony of bacteria on our skin that prevents us being infected by many other dangerous bacteria such as e-coli. Therefore, over-aggressive use of antibiotic/alcohol skin washes and over-frequent hand washing compromise the skin's immunity and therefore the whole immune system of the body. We did not evolve to wash our hands, and the hand washing used in hospitals is principally required to clear bacteria that propagate on dead flesh - such as streptococcus. This might all sound very contradictory, but nevertheless some measures are clearly of some (though limited) use.
The general fear that has been whipped up about cross-contamination is also almost more of a problem than the virus itself. Fear also inhibits the part of the immune system that deals with infections, making viruses and bacteria more dangerous. We naturally have an ecosystem of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms that live on and inside the body, which we have evolved to live with for a few hundred million years. These are usually not only stable (i.e we don't get ill), but also actively contribute to our health, and form a vital part of the immune system and digestive system. Viruses also transfer DNA and assist evolution - and without this viral transfer we would not (for instance) have developed a human brain. About 1/3 of our DNA originates from viruses. So really, a lot more attention should be placed on how to improve immune systems and less emphasis should be given to a fear of things that we can't see and that are essentially so small they are unstoppable.
Having said all that, there is clear evidence from trials that hand washing and masks used in combination substantially reduce the transmission rate of infections in general - not because they stop transfer altogether, but because they reduce the total load of transferred organisms of all kinds. Which again logically suggests that your immune system is an important factor, masks or no masks, washing or no washing. A stronger and generally less loaded immune system is naturally capable of dealing with a higher (coronavirus) viral load.
If you receive bodywork of any kind (i.e. close prolonged contact - usually table time is between 20 and 50 minutes) means that normal physical distancing rules do not apply. If the Coronavirus is in/on my body, you are fairly likely to have it passed onto (at least) your clothes, and if the Coronavirus is in/on your body then the same applies to me. If you are comfortable with that fact - i.e. the need for physical help is greater than your feeling of being at risk from Coronavirus infection - then you should probably come and have some treatment. In addition, the clinics I work from are not hospitals, and have not been designed to minimise infection transmission. They have carpets, wood and plastic surfaces, and although some cleansing of touched surfaces will help, anyone entering who is infected will still have a viral load on their clothes, their hair, their sweat - that will transfer to other surfaces that cannot be cleaned. In fact the most useful measure than can be taken in a non-sterile building is to keep the windows open. Similarly, being outdoors is far safer than staying indoors.
The standard precautions I will be adopting in the clinic will therefore (subject to mandatory guidelines from my professional body, and any current Government rulings) acknowledge these compromises, but also attempt to steer some path through them that maximises safety for us both, including helping to maintain the health of both our immune systems, and allows for effective use of treatment time.
For insurance purposes you will now have to fill in a disclaimer form. I also ask new patients to fill in a GDPR declaration. Ideally these can be printed off in advance, signed and brought to the clinic, and both forms can be accessed here as PDF documents here :
Healthy young people are almost totally unaffected by the Coronavirus, and so treatment of babies and children is safe for them - provided that neither parents or children fall under the vulnerable group classification (see below). Pregnant women are classified as "vulnerable" (see below) and so cannot be treated until Government guidelines change.
I am required to take extra precautions with people who fall into designated vulnerable groups or their carers, who are supposed to be "shielded" until at least 1st August 2020. If you are in this category you will probably have already received an official letter. A simple summary of this is over 70 years old and/or serious underlying health issues affecting the lungs or immune system, and pregnant women. A full list is on the government website. Nevertheless, if you are desperately in need of treatment, the government guidelines allow for you to follow the normal social/physical distancing rules as current at any particular time. Also see the official distancing guidelines.
These are not possible
The lockdown itself (along with other current issues in the world) is causing many people to have mental-emotional difficulties, which may be anything from outbursts of temper and frustration (that affect their companions), anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness and lethargy, confusion, and particularly feelings of overwhelm and grief. I can also provide some support for these issues, and train you how to reduce overwhelm/anxiety and how to process many of the other difficult emotions more easily.
I will also be running online workshops in the near future. I am also offering some free resources for the duration of the Coronavirus situation.