When it comes to health treatments, people like myself will try almost anything once. And I have. Living with chronic pain, fatigue and joint instability as I am, I will do many things to seek relief from my symptoms. I’ve tried reflexology, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, medication, TENS, reiki, acupuncture, chiropractics; the list goes on. All of them have their merits, but they don’t always have the desired effect.
When I heard about a new clinic opening in Norwich (the Skin Therapy Clinic) that provides treatment to relieve pain using a process called Cryotherapy, my ears pricked with excitement. I needed to know more.
The concepts behind Cryotherapy are globally-developed and as old as the hills. Roman baths (Thermae and Balneae), Turkish baths, Banya, steam rooms and saunas; all have variations to their treatment ritual, but contain the same basic premise. The idea is to alternate between extreme temperatures. In fact, the idea behind this treatment is something we naturally do in our own homes. If you sprain your ankle, an instant reaction might be to apply frozen peas to the area. In participating in these therapies, you reduce inflammation, swelling and your vascular circulation is improved, enriching the blood cells with oxygen. These methods can improve your mitochondrial (the energy generating cells) function, which results in promotion of organ function, and can have a positive impact on signs of aging as well as reducing risk of cancer. In a nutshell, the more mitochondria you have the better. Not only does this treatment aid in pain relief and promote healing of injuries – it also helps with skin conditions and fat reduction by stimulating the production of collagen. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome means that I am deficient in collagen. My body just doesn’t make enough. So this aspect of the treatment particularly intrigued me.
Cryotherapy itself has gone through changes and moderations throughout the decades. Whole body Cryotherapy started in Japan in the ’70s and Cryochambers became popular in American sport for injured athletes. These chambers would subject the whole body to the extreme temperature, but technology has advanced. It is now possible to target specific areas of the body to this treatment, obtaining a more specific and ideal result. Furthermore, the technology originally required the evaporation of liquid nitrogen, which was generally safe, but did have minor risks attached such as the possibility of burning the skin. But now a new form of machine has been developed to use air (which is made of a mixture of gases) instead of liquid nitrogen, which is much less risky. It is gentler to the skin and provides the same amount of relief from symptoms. My good news to you is that the Skin Therapy Clinic has invested in this new technology, and will be the only clinic (to date) in Norwich providing air-only Cryotherapy.
Having done a bit of research, I thought it best to have a chat with Lisa Webster, the owner and drive behind the Skin Therapy Clinic. She was incredibly personal and helpful in aiding my understanding further regarding what the treatment involves as well as her designs for her business. She told me that when she was four her mum became ill, and at 16 she had to take on a lot of responsibility regarding her mum’s care. It was from this that Lisa’s desire to help others grew. Since then she had different ideas on how to achieve this aim, but nothing had felt right to her until she experienced the effects of a Cryotherapy machine. With her job ending, the time was right to pursue her dream of starting a business that provided care and treatment for others.
“The thing I want to do is help as many people I can.”
Lisa has a medical background, achieving a Level 3 medical qualification as well as training in psychology. In addition to this, the company (Lynton) that Lisa has sourced most of her therapeutic machines provides specialist training to ensure a high quality of treatment. She has also gone to great lengths to create a staff of highly qualified professionals with a shared vison for the business. Her staff includes a qualified nurse and in the future, will include a doctor.
She has many plans for the future of her business, and is hoping to create a portable service that will enable her to visit clients unable to travel and give them treatments in the comfort of their own homes.
Lisa explained the importance of her relationship with her clients. She felt that many clinics didn’t always invest enough time in their clients, and this is something Lisa plans to approach differently.
“I’d just like people to be comfortable.”
She believes it’s vital for patients to feel important as well as to have understanding and control of their treatment. Her hope is that the treatments she can provide will be able to alleviate chronic symptoms and reduce the need for medications; which come with their own risks. She plans to offer free tasters, and create flexible payment packages as well as opening times to ensure her treatments are accessible. She wants to create a tailored experience, allowing open communication and create a close relationship with each client. It’s this desire to help the wellbeing of others, emotionally as well as physically, that brought Lisa to include aesthetic treatments as part of her clinic. The clinic provides such treatments as hair removal, teeth whitening, acne treatment and Botox. It’s her desire to help improve her clients’ confidence and emotional wellbeing, whilst maintaining a natural image. With such possibilities for the future of her business, Lisa feels it important to stay true to her original vision for the clinic; helping people.
Moreover, Lisa also plans to support the community by displaying local artwork and providing clients coffee from Aroma. While being medically mindful, she is trying to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. Her premises in Thorpe St Andrew is still under a meticulous refurbishment, but she hopes to be opening her doors to the general public in the later part of May 2017. I know that I’ll be looking forward to booking my first appointment.
Featured image courtesy of Alice Thomson