Why a holistic approach to wellness is crucial in 2023

We chat to our founder Oliver Curties about his vision for the WOW Clinic and why MSK Therapy is in such high demand.

The new year is always a good time to revisit plans and set new intentions. At the Westbourne Osteopathic and Wellness (WOW) Clinic, we remain as committed as ever to delivering a holistic approach to your health.

Achieving wellbeing is complex and takes time and patience. Our goal at the WoW Clinic is to create a caring, safe, welcoming space for our local community here in Westbourne, West Sussex. We help people understand the root of their health problems and offer them a wide variety of treatments to aid their recovery.

Our founder Oliver Curties, a Musculoskeletal (MSK) Specialist, explains why this all-encompassing approach is so crucial in a post-pandemic world and sets out his vision and plans for 2023.

Tell us why you founded the WOW Clinic.

I come from a medical family: my father was a GP, and my mother was a nurse, so I know how important it is to invest in our health. But I also know that being healthy can be difficult, especially for people who live busy lives and may have conditions that are difficult to diagnose.

The NHS is an incredible institution. I’m proud to have started my career as an NHS nurse, working in all areas of primary care nursing before qualifying as an Osteopath and then specialising in Musculoskeletal Therapy. However, I believe there’s a need for a more individual, holistic approach to wellness.

We’ve all read about the NHS’s issues and difficulty getting appointments with GPs and consultants. The WOW Clinic can help address that problem by providing a caring, safe, welcoming space where people can find a comprehensive range of treatments that benefit their overall health.

All of our practitioners are highly qualified and keen to help people get to the root of their health problems, giving them the tools to achieve long-term health: we’re not in the business of putting a sticking plaster on the issue.

 “I believe there’s a need for a more individual, holistic approach to wellness.” – Oliver Curties

Tell us more about your specialism – what is Musculoskeletal (MSK) Therapy?

MSK Therapy focuses on corrective treatments used to help various issues affecting the musculoskeletal system. Unlike physiotherapy, MSK Therapy involves looking at how the whole body is affected and encourages your body’s innate ability to heal itself.

I decided to specialise in this area because I’ve seen how common musculoskeletal disorders are becoming and how much of a negative impact they can have on people’s lives. MSK disorders affect your joints, bones and muscles, ranging from minor injuries to long-term issues. Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, limited movement and disability.

Why are MSK disorders on the rise?

I think people often ignore MSK conditions because they might start as a little niggle, like back pain, but if left untreated, these can lead to other, more serious issues.

Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading contributor to disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, with low back pain being the single leading cause of disability in 160 countries.

In the UK, over 20 million people, or a third of the population, have an MSK condition such as arthritis or back pain, according to NHS England.

Aside from the discomfort of living with an MSK condition, many people are also unable to work.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, musculoskeletal conditions are one of the primary causes of employee sickness and staff absence, accounting for 7.3 million days lost in 2021/22.  

“Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health in 2021/22, 17.0 million and 7.3 million, respectively.” – HSE

Lastly, our society is getting older: over 15.3 million people in the UK will be over 65 by 2030. So the demand for MSK Therapy will only increase, which is why I’m so focused on helping people recover from these common conditions. 

How can MSK Therapy benefit patients?

As an MSK Specialist, I treat people with chronic pain and neurological conditions such as MS, strokes, polymyalgia and fibromyalgia. I also treat people suffering from trauma caused by injuries that may have occurred years ago, going beyond the obvious and looking at the historical reasons for pain and dysfunction. I use shock release techniques, which help alleviate central nervous system dysfunctions. It’s a fascinating job, and I’m always learning.

How many MSK Therapy sessions do patients need?

I see about 35 to 40 patients a week. Typically I’ll treat the patient for two or three appointments and see if they can cope independently. After that, further appointments are negotiated on the patient’s terms, but I firmly believe the body can heal itself if given the right tools and environment.

What other treatments does the WOW Clinic offer?

We’ve built up an incredible team of talented practitioners over the years. We offer a huge range of health treatments, including osteopathy, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, dry needling, Buteyko breathing techniques, blood sampling, sports massage, sports therapy, physiotherapy, shiatsu, reflexology, alexander technique and ear wax removal. We also have a range of treatments for babies and children. So we really are a one-stop shop for a vast range of health needs.

Tell us about the studio.

Our Prevention and Rehabilitation studio is an idyllic and peaceful space with views of the River Ems, an ancient chalk stream of which there are only 200 in the world and from which Emsworth gets its name. We have classes running seven days a week, including yoga, pilates, meditation and Qi Gong.

Our Yoga/Pilates Studio has stunning views of the open countryside and is suitable for all exercise classes (maximum capacity of 8 people).

What effect has the pandemic had on people’s approach to wellness?

We are acutely aware of how the pandemic has increased stress-related conditions. I believed this before, but Covid has made me realise how important it is to follow a  multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to your health. Our bodies are complex; it’s not good enough to focus on one specific area causing an issue; we have to look at the whole picture, including your physical, mental and social wellbeing.

What’s coming up at the WOW Clinic in 2023?

We’re always looking for ways to expand the range of treatments we offer, and we’d love to see more people using the studio – check out the latest studio timetable here [https://www.thewowclinic.com/classes/].

We’re also increasing our efforts to raise money for The WoW Trust, which supports underprivileged children and adults at the clinic and children with additional needs. So keep an eye out for our fundraising events throughout the year.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I love spending time on the water, windsurfing, wing-foiling and sailing. I feel incredibly privileged to live so near to the sea. Luckily my wife, Susie, and my two stepdaughters are also big fans of being by the seaside!

Why not join us in our studio? We have a wide range of classes for all ages and abilities. DISCOVER MORE.