A DYSART woman is offering people a new approach to healing, including a technique that helped China to Olympic glory.
From her own private studio at home, Mariette Lobo offers a wide range of treatments taking influence from her Indian roots and further east.
Her long-term aim is to see complementary and traditional therapies integrated within mainstream healthcare, making them more accessible to all.
The part-time lecturer at Adam Smith College explained why she started offering the service and how this method of care was normal in her upbringing.
Mariette said: “I started this 15 years ago. I worked for the BBC at the time and I was going to my GP for stress. My GP told me to either take tablets or try massage.
“I thought I could do it better myself and I have never looked back.
“Also, it’s part of my culture and up-bringing.
‘‘For my family that was the first port of call when they weren’t well.
“And although it’s complementary to traditional medicines, it probably doesn’t have the side effects of them.”
Registered with the only recognised body for her field, the CNHC, Mariette specialises in Reflexology, Tuina, Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage, Warm Bamboo Massage and Reiki.
Tuina (“twee-na”) is one of the ancient healing arts of traditional Chinese medicine and treats conditions that in the West would require an osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapist or sports therapist.
This procedure helped China to the medal table at both the Paralympics and Olympics in London this year.
Mariette said of her healing methods: “It’s different. It’s good for stress relief, relaxation and it just gives you a general feeling of health and well-being.
“I don’t see it as an alternative to traditional medicine, I see it as complementary. I don’t have a favourite treatment, but I think that one of the most sought after ones is Tuina.
“It’s very relaxed and it’s different, not a sensory massage, but a medical massage - a very traditional Chinese massage.”
Tuina dream: IF you want someone with a gnarled back to work on as a case study, then I’m your man.
Two years ago I had a slipped disc - not just any old slipped disc, but one that did a 360-degree spin which left me screaming in such pain my neighbours kindly popped up to check I wasn’t being murdered.
Sciatica turned me into Quasdimodo and I looked and shuffled like, a tramp for the best part of three months until I found my anatomist guru, Doc Robson, and he literally rebuilt me. That was two years ago and, to date, his work has been so good the disc is holding nicely, but the muscles in my back were so twisted out of shape they’re frankly rubbish. The fact I hunch over a PC for ridiculously long spells means there are times it feels as though they’ve been replaced by two bricks.
So I tried Tuina massage - pronouned tween-nah - which is part massage, part physio. Imagine a vigorous massage - your limbs are gently stretched and moved, the muscles worked on and every joint tested. It’s not painful at all, and I write as someone whose pain threshhold goes doolally if I get a splinter.
Tuina tackles musuclar or skeletal problems - perfect for me - and works off your meridians. We all have them - we just don’t know they are there.
The first session with Mariette lasted an hour and was completely relaxing. The environment is geared to precisely that mood. I just lay there. Mariette did all the work from head to toe and back again.
The muscles in my back felt better than they had done in two years.
As part of the holistic approach Mariette suggested taking water with a hint of lemon which I love, and drinking green tea.
It’s part of the all-embracing holistic approach to mind, body and soul. I’ll freely confess to a rubbish diet and zero exercise, but even I can see - and feel - the benefits of Tuina and complementary health treatments.
Just got to learn to love that green tea!