Musings of a pig lady: Linda McDonald-Brown

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For weeks I have been living with pain in my neck, ever since I rode a particularly bouncy horse out from Calgow stables. Wear and tear, the doctor told me, when I paid her a visit a couple of weeks ago. “Age related, nothing you can do except try some exercises and take anti-inflammatory tablets.”

Now I may no longer be a spring chicken, but I’m not drawing my pension either, and I am still flexible enough to get into the crab position! Admittedly, it takes me longer to reach the crab position and I don’t look too dignified getting to my feet again, but at least I can still do it. I can go into the lotus position as well; even my young boys have difficulties placing their legs where they should be when 
attempting that position.

So I went to see Lorna Willock, who works out of a beautiful turreted building on the Parton Estate. Lorna has excellent credentials, having studied nutrition and aromatherapy for more than 12 years and has established her own private practice for 25 years. She gives the most fabulous face and neck massages, known as Tsuboki, based in part on the principles of acupressure. It’s a modern take on meridian theory, which goes back thousands of years in 
Japan and China. The mas­sages also lessen wrinkles and habitual expression lines, 
as well as increasing skin elasticity, leaving your face looking toned and younger, 
apparently. My face 
certainly is glowing when I leave. Whether that is down to the effects of the massage or the sheen from the beautifully smelling oils Lorna uses, I don’t know.

Alternative treatments such as reiki and acupuncture are controversial. Do they work or are they just hocus pocus? It’s my belief that if you have a long-term health problem that causes pain or discomfort, it is worth looking into alternative ways of managing it rather than taking pills. Doctors will always be needed but I think alternative medicine has an important place in our health system. My neck pain has eased considerably since the massage.