So it was two Saturdays ago when I ventured forth to Bodysym, tucked away behind Tesco, in St Lawrence High Street, hailed as a centre for “physiotherapy and injury management” but offering very much more.
Matt Baker and Craig Hayle, the nice young men who run the joint, are physiotherapists who take a holistic approach. Hence the centre offers yoga and pilates, aromatherapy and reflexology, as well as half a dozen kinds of massage and podiatry.
I was there at the invitation of my friend Helen French to look at the latest service offered – the Ultrasound Centre! Helen, together with five other radiographers trained in sonography, has brought 3D and 4D pregnancy scanning to Thanet for the first time. For the uninitiated, this gives you remarkable images of your unborn child that you can take away as photographs or as a film on DVD, so vivid in clarity and detail that it is hard to believe the baby is still in the womb. Of particular benefit for bonding purposes, reassurance, and the social inclusion of younger siblings, fathers, grannies and in-laws, you can also pop your footage up on Facebook for Auntie Matilda in Australia to get a preview of the forthcoming arrival and many, of course, do.
I was keen to have a go. In the absence of a foetus to ooh and ahh over, we looked at my vital organs instead. Helen smiled as I got on the bed. “You could be brave and let us loose on…” I knew what was coming. I make no secret of the fact that I imbibe in excess of government guidelines (which are increasingly stringent I find – suddenly there are ten units of alcohol to a bottle of wine whereas once there were six) and I must admit to a small frisson of anxiety as I lay back and had the gel applied to my middle, while half a dozen people gathered round to watch.
There was a stunned silence in the room as the probe was passed over my liver. I still had one! Helen laughed as I craned my neck to get a look. “It’s fine,” she said, a hint of astonishment underpinning her professional tones. So, as it happens, were my kidneys and aorta. “You haven’t had breakfast,” she stated accurately, noting that my gall bladder was still full of bile (to be released once there was food to be digested) “and you don’t need a wee, do you?” Fascinating stuff. Not as enthralling as the babies kicking and sucking their thumbs, but a worthwhile outing for the worried well. Or simply the worried. (I take the credit for saving the life of a dear friend by advising him to get his abdominal aorta screened after his mother collapsed and died from an aneurysm. He was later operated on and lives to tell the tale.) Especially as you can self-refer and get your innards checked over for the price of a decent restaurant dinner.
While I was there, Jane Daulton, a local resuscitation trainer, pitched up to give the annual life-support session, so I had a go at that too. Now, should you collapse at my feet, I know how to give you chest compressions, and for how long, can attempt to dislodge a blockage from your choked throat and then put you in the recovery position. I thought I’d be squeamish, but found it all rather gripping. Sometimes one discovers things in oneself one never knew existed. Like a working hepatic organ.
For more information see http://www.bodysym.co.uk or call 01843 590067.
Read the original at: http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/baby-liver-s-fine/story-24828950-detail/story.html
Follow the paper via: @ThanetGazette on Twitter | thanetgroup on Facebook