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If you’ve ever had a wander around campus, you may have come across the Chaplaincy Centre across the security office, beyond University House. From the outside, you can tell from the spires that it’s a place of worship, but if you’ve never been inside – and perhaps, like me, even if you have – you may not know that the Chaplaincy also houses the university’s own Natural Healthcare Centre. Both an alternative and complement to standard GP practices, the Healthcare Centre offers services beyond the norm, and at discounted rates for students!
The Natural Healthcare Centre first opened in 1998 with a goal to ‘maintain a balance that supports the varying needs of our users’. Each therapy offered is tailored to the individual, whether you visit once or decide to become a regular user. Each practitioner is professional qualified, experienced, and full insured, and you can choose from Aroma Therapy, Reflexology, Acupuncture, the Alexander Technique, Shiatsu, and Herbal Medicine. The therapists involved in the Centre, you might be surprised to know, aren’t just therapists – they’re also involved in other parts of university life! Martin, who offers shiatsu sessions, works in the Alumni Office, and Dorothea, who offers Reflexology, used to teach German at the university.
Although the therapists offer one-off sessions, they generally see about two to five clients per week, and some of them even choose to book monthly or quarterly ‘MOT’s. As Dorothea says, ‘If we look after our cars on a regular basis it should be even more important to look after our bodies.’ And while going to the gym can be helpful, the Centre’s work is ‘very holistic’ and ‘also addresses lifestyle, diet and personal issues as mind, body and spirit are interconnected.’
If you’re thinking about trying out any of the services available at the Healthcare Centre but you’re not entirely sure where to start, you might want to visit their next Feelgood Friday session on 11th March from 12-3pm in the Fylde Common Room or visit their website (http://naturalhealthcare.org.uk/) to see when their next event is going to be! During the last Feelgood Friday session, the Healthcare Centre offered vouchers and tasters, which are approximately twenty minutes in length, for free (for both students and staff) in the Fylde Common Room, turning it into a relaxing atmosphere for all who dropped by. And if you’re a Purple card member, you’re in for a treat – you can get discounts at the Centre!
As the start of term settles upon us, you might consider stopping by the Centre and stepping into its oasis of plants and relaxation. Most of the services available are around £35 for staff and £25 for students, but make sure to look at the website for the most up-to-date information on each therapy offered. You can find the Centre on the first floor of the Chaplaincy building; head up the stairs and through the first door on the left, and find your Zen.