Chiron's lead therapist Lindsey Ford BHSc (Hons)
I have worked as an Occupational Therapist within the NHS for the past 15 years, working with many people experiencing chronic, disabling fatigue, pain and other associated symptoms such as digestive complaints and cognitive impairment. I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of treatment options for many people with chronic conditions - the general advice seemed to be "take a pill and live with it." I came to realise that something needed to change when I met 3 different clients within a very short space of time who were all severely debilitated by fatigue and/or pain. Their options for treatment under current health care provision had either been exhausted and were ineffective, or were inaccessible due to the level of disability.
'Margaret' was a carer for her disabled husband and under a considerable degree of stress. As her husband's level of dependency and mood worsened, so did hers. She began experiencing a wide range of symptoms - insomnia, fatigue, altered sensation, low mood, anxiety, cognitive impairment. Over a relatively short space of time she went from being an independent woman to needing carers to assist with daily tasks. After assessments by her GP, I requested referral to the local ME service but these did not offer any home visits so accessing these was extremely difficult for her due to fatigue and caring responsibilities. Her life had become restricted to spending most of the time in bed crying.
'Andrew' had been diagnosed with CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) many years earlier, following a career as a fire man and a stressful office job. He had already accessed all services available on the NHS and was told nothing more could be done. The nature of his condition was that he experienced pain at all times throughout his body. It even hurt to pick things up which he tried to combat by wearing gloves. His mobility was limited to a few steps with a walking frame, falls were a daily occurrence, he was assisted for all tasks by his wife and rarely left the house. Despite all this he remained outwardly cheerful but, at 60, had very little to look forward to.
'Kath' had been practically bed bound for several years due to fatigue and pain. Her world consisted of her bedroom which was in a very poor state of repair and exacerbated her low mood. She did not wish to have any home care support but tended to neglect herself, her estranged husband providing perfunctory meals. She was able to receive psychological support and ME support - but had to get to the hospital for it so was rarely able to access this. Services were very much about managing her symptoms rather than getting better. Nothing else was available.
These people were all left with no hope of any relief.
Trigger for Change
Feeling this an unacceptable situation in the 21st century, I embarked on a journey with the aim to discover more effective treatments for chronic fatigue and pain. I felt that surely there must be something out there that could offer a better quality of life.
After exploring many avenues, I came across SIRPAtm (Stress Illness Recovery) and other mind-body techniques. This was like a light-bulb moment - everything I'd witnessed and experienced, both personally and professionally, now made sense. All the anomalies, all the inconsistencies, all the puzzles - I could now understand why these were happening!
All the clients I had met over the years with complex chronic health problems all had one thing in common - STRESS
I knew at this point I had found the key to effective treatment for chronic fatigue and pain.
After training to become a SIRPAtm practitioner with Georgie Oldfield, and successfully using these techniques with clients, I am working towards becoming an approved SIPRA practitioner. With my OT background, I am able to incorporate the best bits of the fatigue and pain management principles with the mind-body approach to provide a truly holistic treatment programme that works!
Lindsey is passionate about helping people recover and ending this unnecessary suffering. She dreams of a day when this treatment is available as mainstream treatment within the NHS and will continue to strive to achieve this.
About Chiron (pronounced ky-ron)
Chiron has been set up to deliver treatment to help relieve people's suffering.
The name Chiron has been taken from several relevant sources:
Chiron is a Centaur from ancient Greek mythology who was a highly skilled and respected teacher and healer. He was different from the other centaurs as he didn't follow the same behaviour and used his own experience of pain and suffering to help others.
Chiron is also the name of a comet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. It is believed that, Chiron unites the mind with the body. It is about holistic healing, making whole, mixing old methods with new. Although the philosophy around this comet are particularly apt to the work I do, Chiron's treatment is not connected to astrology, but is a new scientific approach using old knowledge that can now be explained by modern advances in research.