Spotlight on Paula Hart
We are lucky enough to work with an amazing team of practitioners here at The Wellbeing Centre. On their practitioner pages you’ll find some insight into what they offer and perhaps a bit about what drives them to do so but to help us – and you – discover more about what makes them tick we’ve posed them a series of questions. So grab yourself a cup of something warm and join us as we get to know a bit more about McTimoney Chiropractor Paula Hart..
Hi Paula, could you start by telling us a bit more about yourself in your own words?
I’ve been described as a radiator – as opposed to a drain – I believe that means I’m a giver so that explains why I love seeing my patients get better under my care.
I’m also an articulate, intelligent and assertive woman with a wicked laugh who loves to get into the nitty gritty of the science – as my patients will testify if there is an unusual set of symptoms I love to use my knowledge to work out what the root cause is and delve into the books and literature if my knowledge needs expanding. There’s nothing like a good puzzle to solve.
Outside of my Chiropractic Clinic, I have an array of interests which include beekeeping, making hive products including candles from beeswax, I also keep chickens for eggs and guinea fowl for meat and eggs (when I can find where they have laid them). I’d love to have goats for milk, cheese and meat but don’t have a field as yet. I grow my own veg and fruit and love making chutneys and jams.
What was your first experience of complementary therapy?
When I was 24 I fell off my horse – he was a big boy 16’3 hands and so it was a long way down. I didn’t break anything but my pelvis, back and neck hurt so very much.
I saw the GP who said paracetamol and rest. Hmmmmm surely there was more that I could do?
So I was talking to my brother who recommended a McTimoney Chiropractor called Dawn. When I walked in to see her I was hobbling and in so much pain – when I walked out I felt like I was on cloud nine and the pain had gone.
I couldn’t believe it! What an amazing thing to be able to do for someone else.
Me and subsequently my family have been regular receivers of chiropractic care ever since including both of my children from babies. It is also what has inspired me to change my career and help people in the way that another McTimoney Chiropractor helped me.
What made you decide to become a therapist yourself?
I used to work in business – senior manager and consultant in the pharmaceutical industry. I became tired of the politics and money go round so when my children were approaching sixth form age and university was on the horizon I decided to make a career change.
I wanted to do something that was good for my soul not just my pocket and I had always been in awe of my Chiropractor and what she was able to do to help my body.
So I found a McTimoney Chiropractic course where I could study and work at the same time – the bills still needed to be paid.
5 tough years later I became a Dr of Chiropractic and I love love love treating patients and working with their bodies to help them function better and reduce the daily pain.
What are your top 3 tips for wellbeing?
- Movement is good: I’m a great believer in that if we don’t use it we lose it. Rest is good of course but sitting on our bottoms for hours on end is not good for us. Keep active, do what you enjoy doing and don’t let anyone suggest that you give it up – just modify how you do it.
- Posture is so very important for everyone at any age. If we have poor posture it may not be a problem now but it will come back to haunt us later. Sit up loud a proud, chests out and head held high.
- I’m a great believer in wellness care. What I mean by that is that our bodies need a helping hand to keep them working at their optimum. We demand a lot of our bodies during our lifetimes and the daily stresses and strains take their toll. It’s like getting your car serviced, give it the once over every now and again, sort out the bits that are starting to not work so well, keep it in balance and it will serve you well in all that you do in your lives. It’s amazing how much better you will feel and how your body will be able to handle what life throws at it.
Who has been the biggest inspiration for you in your wellbeing journey?
My own chiropractor Dawn Akers. She has inspired me to become a Chiropractor and has helped me and my family more than I can measure over the last 30 years.
Her calm but witty demeanour, her unique way at looking at life and the incredible way that she helps my body back into balance both biomechanically and energetically.
What issues have you had most success in helping your clients with?
I love shoulders, necks and the pelvis. It is astonishing how many people have neck and shoulder issues and I have no doubt it is as a result of the modern day life of laptops, tablets and phones.
We have become a very hunched over nation – one of the things that I do for some patients is that I take a picture from the side in the normal position that they sit in – then I position them how they should sit and take another picture.
It is startling the difference it makes when you just sit up straight – not just from a musculo skeletal point of view but also how we look – sitting up makes us look taller and slimmer. And who doesn’t want that?
Our pelvis is such an important part of the way we move, if it is not balanced left vs right, front vs back we can develop all sorts of issues. In addition it can affect our necks and shoulders.
I treat bodies as a whole every time a patient comes – not just the part of the body that is hurting. Our kinetic chain – when one bit moves so does another – extends from head to toe. I take great satisfaction in adjusting the pelvis to bring it back into balance so that all the muscles that attach to it – of which there are an incredible number – can work at their optimum.
The results can be reduced back and pelvic pain, restoration of muscle strength, increased mobility. All of which are of course highly desirable.
Can you share an example of a case study?
I remember a patient of mine who had experienced pelvic pain after walking for only a few minutes for a great many years and it limited the amount of walking that she could do. After just 3 treatments she spent a weekend with her family doing lots of walking and she was pain free – she was both very happy and couldn’t quite believe it.
She always thought that it was the way that she was made and she had to just put up with it. She was so happy that something that we all take for granted – walking – she could now do all day without pain. That is why I love my job – to be able to help people like this lady.
I currently have a young female patient who has come to me 2 years after a fall. She has had many investigations and treatments since the fall but still her right arm, upon which she fell, does not work properly, it is weak, she has reduced range of movement and it hurts daily.
I decided that despite the care that she had received in the past which included spinal manipulation that I would start from the absolute basics. As part of the assessment I asked her to perform a lateral arm raise – the difference between the left and the right arm was startling – there was huge compensation in her spine and pelvis in order for the right arm to be able to lift up (the pelvis had to move to the left initially and then to the right whilst the spine ended up in a significant curve over to the left) and the hand could not be held directly up.
It was so sad to see – huge biomechanical compensation just to lift the arm. The chiropractic treatment was full body but included adjustments and mobilisations of the cervical and thoracic spine. At the end of the treatment the lateral arm raise was performed again – just to see if there was any change.
Now I love and believe in the techniques that I have been taught and perform and often see great outcomes – but the results were jaw dropping. The right arm moved in the same way and to the same extent as the left – no compensation in the pelvis and spine, just normal.
The patient just uttered the words – ‘my spine feels straight’, to which I said ‘it is’. This was the first time in 2 years that her R arm had moved ‘normally’. The moment was magical for both of us. In fact I think I was happier than she was. We high fived and then I hugged her!
What a joyous outcome!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The Chiropractic care that I provide to my patients I learned at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in Abingdon. This type of chiropractic is known for being particularly gentle and we rarely produce the crack that is often associated with Chiropractic care. I know that some people are concerned about how gentle, or not, chiropractic can be. The McTimoney Chiropractic technique is fabulous but also very gentle. Read more about it here >>
What’s the best way to contact you for more information and to book a treatment with you?
To book, please see my online calendar below. 24hr notice is required for online booking. However, if you require more immediate attention, or there is no suitable appointment time available, you are welcome to enquire with me directly on 07774 341431.
Alternatively you can have help booking via the Reception Team here at The Wellbeing Centre on 01635 552874. The Reception is available to help with telephone and drop-in enquiries weekdays 9:30am – 5:30pm and on Saturday mornings 9:30am – 1pm.