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Natural Therapies

As we continue to expand the Natural Therapies side of our business, with the introduction of Andy our Osteopath a few months ago, and our newest recruit, Matt, a chiropractor, we wanted to clarify what each does and how it can relate to you. 


We get lots of enquiries from those of you with injuries or suffering from a dysfunction or pain but aren’t really sure who to turn to, to get the best results. It’s true that each of these therapies overlap in some way, and of course they are all looking for a successful pain free and functional outcome-they just make take different paths to get there. 


In order to attempt to clear the murky waters a little we have put together some detailed descriptions of each of the therapies we offer, and within that what our specific practitioners specialise in.  We hope that reading these side by side will help you understand the differences in the professions and methods of treatments and help you decide who will work best for you, either now or in the future. 


Sports Therapy – Jo Collins, MSc Sports Therapy, BSc Sports Science, Clinical Pilates instructor, Medical Acupuncture

• Prevention and rehabilitation programs following injury

• Hands on treatment including sports massage, dry needling, sports taping, manual therapy

• Specialises in sports injuries but also has experience in posture related problems


Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work.


Jo uses her Sports Science degree and Sports Therapy Masters education to prepare injury prevention programmes, assess and treat sports injuries using sports massage, manual therapy techniques, medical acupuncture and implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes. 


Using her knowledge of sport, she can assess the mechanisms that may have been involved in creating injuries and therefore suggest adaptations to technique, training and conditioning or referral to other practitioners to enable safe exercise practice and improvement tin function and pain. 


However, in her 5 years of experience, Jo has gained a lot of knowledge in treating non-sporting injuries that often arise from the postural adaptations of desk bound jobs and regularly uses a combination of soft tissue techniques, manual therapy and preventative exercise prescription to manage these chronic problems. 


Having worked in multidisciplinary teams previously, Jo really enjoys learning from other professions and using an integrated approach, referring to others in the team where other’s may be more specialised, such as spinal manipulation. 


Physiotherapy- Jean-Vincent Michel, HCPC, MCSP, BSc Physiotherapy, Sport Physiotherapy (European Post-Graduate Diploma), Sport Manual Therapy (European Post-Graduate Diploma), Sport Massage, Californian Massage

• Treats neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems

• Helps restore function and reduce pain for injury but also illness and disability

• Rehabilitation and hands on treatment such as manual therapy, manipulation, cupping

• Holistic European view 


Each person makes different demands of their body, depending on their lifestyle and the activities they carry out. How their body responds to those demands is governed by a range of factors, including their overall physical condition.


A Physiotherapist can help you find the best way to use your body to maximise your strengths, eliminate bad habits and put minimal strain on weaker areas, to help you enjoy a more full and healthy life. Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. 


Physiotherapists can treat neuromuscular (brain and nervous system), musculoskeletal (soft tissues, joints and bones), and cardiovascular and respiratory systems (heart and lungs and associated physiology) and aim to not only treat and solve problems but also prevent them happening in the first place. 


Trained in France, Jean-Vincent works with a broad range of manual techniques, which can be more similar to Osteopathy than British trained Physiotherapists, which in turn helps him to treat the body in a holistic way. 

JV uses instrumented assisted techniques, has practiced for 7 years and specialises in sports Physiotherapy. He has worked in elite levels sports (rugby, triathlon, ski-mountaineering, running, swimming) and has experience in orthopaedics, rheumatology and geriatric areas.


Osteopathy- Andy Mansfield, Bachelor of Science in Osteopathy, Post Graduate Diploma Osteopathic Care of Animals, Registered with General Osteopathic Council 

• Views body as a whole, treats whole body and understands impact past events may have on current problem 

• Gentle approach, understands impact on emotional and psychological wellbeing following pain and illness

• Techniques such as integrative stretches, hold and release techniques, manipulation and cranial treatment. 


The body is always doing its best attempt to be healthy, it doesn’t know how NOT to do that. Osteopathy is a system of medicine that engages the body’s own inherent healing mechanisms and Osteopaths use a wide range on hands-on physical techniques to achieve a release in the tissues of the body so that natural fluid motion and vitality are restored to both structure (the body) and function (how we inhabit the body). Classical Osteopath’s believe we can’t have a physical injury without emotional change and vice-versa and so focus on both where appropriate. 


Osteopathy approaches the whole body through contact between patient and practitioner. Osteopathic techniques range from simple movement of the joints and gentle integrative stretches, to more subtle hold and release techniques. These manual therapy approaches are based on philosophical principles, developed in the 19th century, of whole body unity and the reciprocal relationship between structure and function. Consequently, Osteopaths can treat a broad range of complaints, from simple musculoskeletal pain to supporting a person through a process of change and healing. Treatment is therefore tailored to an individual’s needs at the time they are treated.  


Andy practices a broad spectrum of techniques and approaches, addressing more than just the mechanical parts of the patients’ pattern, releasing any impingements to those mechanisms, allowing natural health to be restored. His approach ranges from direct structural techniques to increase movement locally and cranial osteopathy to influence the whole body. Andy focusses more on dysfunction than pathology (diagnosis), so often addresses problems on a subtler, supportive level, taking into account the history of the body both mechanically and emotionally.


Andy has experience treating pregnant women, babies and children, and he is qualified to treat animals, especially horses and dogs.  He has a particular interest in the functional conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.


Chiropractic- Dr Matt Pidgen, BSc Applied Sports Science, BSc in Chiropractic. 

• Looks for the root cause of a problem which may be in a completely different place to the pain

• Primarily uses spinal manipulation techniques to treat dysfunction

• Also holistic approach- explores areas such as nutrition or dental problems as causes of pain


Within the Chiropractic profession there are also variations of focus within different practitioners. Matt specifically focusses on a process call Afferent Input Solution, which uses functional muscle testing to find and diagnose root causes of problems that are blocking patients from reaching optimal function. Matt finds there is often only one primary cause for multiple sites of dysfunction in the body. For example, someone may present with pain in the neck, lower back, right knee and left ankle, but the cause for these problems is dysfunction at the C1 cervical vertebrae in the neck. The theory is the other structures in the body change posture to accommodate this dysfunctional joint. Ironically, quite often the patient has no idea that this area is a problem. There may be no history of pain or trauma to this area at all and yet when this area is treated, the other areas function normally.


Matt identifies that the majority of the treatment required as being musculoskeletal as the primary cause, and over much of this being spinal joint. He often finds jaw tension, upper neck, cervico-thoracic, mid thoracic, thoraco-lumber or lumbo-sacral/pelvic dysfunction to be the main primaries, but has found toes, fingers, shoulders, teeth, cranial sutures and many other things to be the primaries as well. He is aware however that sometimes the primary can even be a dental issue, a nutritional issue, a body piercing, metal sensitivity to jewellery, emotional or musculoskeletal dysfunction and may look to refer if appropriate.


Muscle testing procedures for diagnosis and manipulating the primary joint are techniques Matt has spent the last 14 years practicing and fine tuning. He is highly proficient at these techniques and understands the importance AND limitations of them. He understands that without addressing other more global issues the patient will continue to have areas of pain and discomfort but that without identifying the primary and dealing with that, more global approaches will fail to fix the patients’ problems.


Matt is keen in integrating his style of diagnosis with other practitioners who focus more on rehabilitation, soft tissue techniques such as fascial release, nutritional therapy, lower limb biomechanics and orthotic prescription. By identifying primary dysfunction, he can help other practitioners get better results with their approaches, which is why he works so well as part of our multidisciplinary team. 



To book in for a treatment or discuss your options further, please call 02078275735, email