Before arranging my first appointment with Health by Science, I had to talk to my rheumatologist.
To get permission to book my sports massage, I had to reassure the doctor that I was going to a clinic that could cope with someone like me. I’m difficult. I have got a rare condition.
I also talked to Health by Science, and I booked sometime later (because chats with NHS rheumatologists take an age to arrange – they’re busy miracle workers).
The Health by Science experience
Standing outside in the darkness and rain of a wintery night, on a corner, ringing a bell for a private clinic was… a bit disconcerting. I’d never had a sports massage before and had no idea what to expect.
I knew what I was hoping for; fewer aches and pains in my back! Especially around my shoulders, likely aggravated by the bag I carry, a bag that contains my fold-up walking stick (right now, I don’t need to use one all the time).
My concerns quickly eased when the door opened, and I was led through a small gym area and into a private room with a physio table. I’d seen such tables before due to my complex medical history.
I was reassured that I was in safe hands – literally! My masseuse (if that’s the right word) was also a trained physio. Intelligent questions were asked, and by the time I was lying face down on the table, I was relaxed and reassured I’d pitched the right people to my rheumatologist.
The massage certainly helped, and I felt fewer aches the following days. However, that’s not why I came back.
I hugely appreciated the chat before, during and after the massage. We talked about diet, exercise, sleep and pain.
I checked my watch on the way out, and embarrassingly, I’d been given about twice the time I had paid for. I’m hesitant to mention that as I don’t want readers to expect that I’ve decided to share, as I think it illustrates the extra care and attention Health by Science includes.
Physiotherapy at Health by Science
The next appointment, which I booked a week or two later, for several weeks hence was a physio one. I was able to ask for the same expert again.
Once again, I was impressed and over-serviced. Once again, it was the talk that was most helpful, although I left being shown some techniques and having spent some time learning moves in the gym.
This time, my teacher/tutor/guide had read up even more on my rare condition. The mental relief of being able to talk about the practicalities of the physical decisions I have to make every day cannot be understated.
I’ve been following the routines – provided in a handy smartphone app complete with training videos showing me clearly what motions I should be doing – ever since.
I’ve been back again and have another appointment in the diary.
I’ve not gone to Health by Science for recovery (I’m not going to get better; it’s a losing battle, but I can lose slower rather than quickly) or for physical training towards a fitness goal like a marathon run.
There is a gym, though. I think if I did want to shift things around and talk about getting into shape then I’d be able to convince my rheumatologist that Health by Science was the right place.
This is not a gym where I’d pay a PT to TikTok shout motivational urges at me. This is a gym, albeit not a huge one, with healthcare professionals there for me.
As you can sense, I’m very impressed.
My caveat is that health, motivation, welfare and what you need to take yourself to a better place are incredibly personal. Many people thrive under the usual PT urging, whereas I cannot stand it. If you want a gym that you can turn up whenever and use some machines or weights in, then I suspect Health by Science is not for you.
If you want the personal touch, the healthcare professional view, and can find time in your schedule for booked appointments, then Health by Science is absolutely one to consider.