HOW OFTEN do you visit your local surgery, explain your symptoms and come away with a prescription - but still feel there might be some underlying cause of your illness that hasn’t been addressed? That’s the thinking that spurred Buxted GP Dr Clarissa Fabre to transform the former April Cottage medical centre into an ‘alternative surgery’.
The new enterprise opened on Saturday, September 1 when local people were invited to meet therapists and listen to an inspiring introduction by both Dr Fabre herself and Revd Peter Owen Jones, vicar of Firle and Glynde and TV documentary maker.
April Cottage has been thoroughly ‘made over,’ however modern, deep-pile rugs and sleek pale sofas don’t compromise the charm of the building.
Dr Fabre introduced her stable of therapists to the audience. Each one gave details of the types of treatments they offer and their relevance to physical conditions, disease and injury. At present 12 practitioners offer a wide spectrum of therapies including acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, homeopathy, nutrition, yoga, reflexology, aromatherapy, pilates, shiatsu and Alexander technique.
Dr Fabre told the audience: “I’ve never had any therapy in my life but I’m aware that sometimes we GPs have at most 10 minutes to talk to patients which sometimes just not long enough. Too often pills are prescribed - I’m horrified at the levels of drugs people are taking. Now we have this palatial new surgery and it seemed the ideal opportunity to turn April Cottage into an alternative therapy centre. Many therapists here have been personally recommended to me by patients. Hopefully there’s now time for a sympathetic listener to delve beneath the superficial symptoms and come up with a workable remedy.”
Revd Owen Jones described travelling around the world for his TV series and having ‘appalling’ massages in airports, one of which left him covered with bruises. He also described how others helped him disappear into his ‘nirvana’ and stressed how there is a need for healing in the world. “The NHS is something absolutely beautiful but we must understand we cannot move forward into the future unless we have healing. We are all empathetic healers too and must open up to each other. The art of healing is a wonderful gift.”