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Interview with Miranda Clayton

Interview with Miranda Clayton


Your Story

What were your original motivations behind becoming an osteopath and working with new and expectant mothers?

Osteopathy is a second career for me – I trained in my mid thirties when I was seeking a completely different direction in life. I had experienced a lot of pain myself following a back injury, and knew how brilliant Osteopathic treatment can be. During my undergraduate training I became fascinated by the treatment of babies and children and, after I graduated, went on to further postgraduate training. By treating babies I came into contact with lots of pregnant and postnatal women, and realised what an undertreated group they were. Lots of women think the discomforts of pregnancy are just ‘normal’ and untreatable - often not the case. I love working with these patients – pregnancy and birth are such happy times of life, and babies are just so funny!

What have been the biggest rewards and biggest challenges in building your career?

Generally speaking, over the years, my patients have been lovely, and its been a great pleasure to work with them. Doing a job where you actually improve quality of life, even in a small way, is marvellous. The most challenging aspect is to learn to look after oneself, not get drained and keep ones knowledge current – I do lots of lecturing which has always kept me on my toes. Also some conditions are very tricky – I treat a lot of SPD, sometimes with great results and sometimes not. It's a very maverick condition, which I know a lot about, but not everyone responds to treatment, and this can be emotionally hard on both the patient and practitioner.

One of the special elements of your business is that you provide home visits. How does this not only benefit your clients, but also the relationship you build with them?

I work from a clinic in London 2 days a week, but much of my work is done as home visits. I like the freedom this gives me time wise – not being tied to half hour clinic slots, I can take my time and give patients the care they need. Its often stressful and tiring for women to travel around London to Osteopathic clinics, either heavily pregnant or with small children in tow. This does not benefit the whole healing process, and I would much prefer to treat a relaxed patient. Home treatments also give time for chat, demonstrating exercises etc., and small children, particularly, are much happier in familiar surroundings. I’m able to see patients in the context of their own lives in a way that is impossible in a clinic – this adds some intimacy and understanding, which I think is enjoyed on both sides.

Incidentally, I’m also nosy and love seeing where and how other people live!

Advice

Do you do your kegels regularly? Where & when do you do them?

I do since I got my Elvie! Previous to this I just told patients to do their kegels and always forgot about them myself. When I tried out Elvie I realised my pelvic floor was not quite as good as I assumed giving me a great motivation to carry on. Now I use it 3 times a week, in the evening, after a bath and am noticing the difference already.

How important would you say the pelvic floor is in the work that you do (in your adult patients)?

The pelvic floor is a major player in both low back and pelvic mechanics. Lots of the research over recent years points to the link between back/pelvic pain, and poor pelvic floor muscles. This, of course, is not at all obvious to patients, who often don't really have much sense of their own pelvic floor. During and after pregnancy, I use Osteopathic techniques directly on the pelvic floor, and also spend time after birth educating women on correct exercises to rehabilitate the whole pelvic area.

What do you think is the biggest surprise women experience during or after pregnancy?

Probably related to women choosing to have babies at an older age – it takes up to a year to fully get back into shape after pregnancy, and it takes effort! I you have a baby in your early 20’s, its much easier on the body than at 40. Women can feel a bit out of control of their bodies during and after pregnancy, and find it hard to get the necessary time to fully heal. The medical system prioritizes the baby, and poor postnatal mum often gets forgotten.

What’s the most common question you get asked by clients?

“Will my baby EVER learn the difference between night and day?"

Your Motivation

Who inspires you?

My friend Anthony who has been in a wheelchair his entire adult life, and is the most positive, ‘can do’ person I ever met.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

One of my patients told me I was the ‘coolest older person’ she had ever met!

What do you love most about your body?

My flexibility. I was born flexible, but have done lots of Tai Chi over the years, and, at the age of 60, still take such pleasure in easy movement.

Miranda is based in London, and her practice offers personalised, at-home visits for all patients. In addition to this, she even lectures at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Find out more info here.