A Review & Interview With @CoreClapton

Yes, that beautiful space from my Instagram feed

is located in Stoke Newington – my home of 20+ years.

Discovering new spaces #somethingishappening #mylondon #mycity

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I stumbled across Core Clapton through recommendations powered by Eventbrite. Being someone who has recently taken a keen interest in their health, fitness and overall body condition, gradually over the past two years, I was delighted to find somewhere, quite literally on my doorstep which offers and other holistic services in a cool, calm and stunning space. 

Core Clapton social collaborative space for health, wellbeing, events & learning which prides itself on making osteopathy accessible to all. 

After a complimentary 30 minute Osteopathy session which aligned my much-needed muscles into correction, and an invigorating yoga class with one of their Yoga Instructors, I sat down with Core Clapton’s Founders, Duncan Webster & Danny Orchard, for an interview to find out exactly what it is on Core Clapton’s agenda.

What is Core Clapton

Core Clapton is a charitable initiative set up by Danny and Duncan, two entrepreneurial osteopaths, to provide affordable osteopathy to people suffering from chronic pain and provide a community space for all things well-being related.

How did you get started and why did you pick Stoke Newington as your business location?

We’d been working on a plan to set up a research and mentoring clinic somewhere in Hackney for 3 years before we stumbled upon the ex-parish hall in Clapton and simply fell in love with it. It was the perfect building to give us visibility and announce ourselves to the local community. The only obstacle was the relative massive rent and whether we could make it work as an event space to help pay the rent and allow us to offer more low-cost treatments. Only time will tell.

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopathy is one of the oldest forms of manual therapy and incorporates joint and soft-tissue ‘manipulation’, alongside exercise advice and stretching, to help restore function and alleviate pain. The treatments range from very gentle ‘functional’ techniques that gently stretch and move set tissues and organs, to the more robust joint manipulation, or clicks or pops, that are more widely connected with chiropractic.

What are the main reasons for people choosing Osteopathy over traditional types of medicine and health solutions?

I think people get a bit fed up of being told what is wrong with them and prescribed pills without anyone even putting their hands on and assessing them properly. Osteopaths assess the patient from a holistic perspective to see what other areas of the body are dysfunctional and perhaps causing strain on the symptomatic area.

Can anyone call themselves an osteopath?

Not at all. We have to go through 4-5 years of undergraduate training and over 1000 hours of clinical practice before passing a final clinical competency exam. We then have to register with the General Osteopathic Council who were set up to protect the public and prevent non-osteopaths from using the name.

Do GP’s refer patients to you and can customers claim on private medical insurance? 

Most GPs happily refer us patients but there are still a few that aren’t sure whether we’re complementary or ‘alternative’  In 2010 I surveyed the GP population of Cambridgeshire and was amazed to find that while a third were very keen to have us on the NHS, another third were unsure due to finial constraints, there was a third that still thought of us literally as quacks. As it happens they were also the third that didn’t know how much training we underwent or about the regulation that comes with being an osteopath.

Why should new customers pick Core Clapton

I’d like people to think of us as a place that they come to for honest, professional advice about their pain knowing that, as a charity, we have no invested interest to treat them more than is needed. I think between the NHS and private medical companies people can quite rightly be apprehensive about who to trust when it comes to their health.

What can new customers expect from Core Clapton and how long do osteopathic appointments usually last?

A new patient can expect a through 45 minute consultation and evaluation and, if appropriate, some treatments and exercise advice. Follow-up session are 30 minutes and most simple cases can be resolved in a couple of sessions with more complex presentations taking 4-6 sessions. 

How often should people book sessions with an osteopath?

Normally a course of treatment lasts a few weeks but occasionally people decide to have regular ‘maintenance’ treatments every 2-3 months. But this is usually only if they have an underlying condition or are unable to regularly undertake our exercise advice.

Please describe the typical Core Clapton customer.

There is a large population of elderly Hackney locals who benefit from gentle movements to keep their back or joints moving to provide comfort, And there is a large population of young, upwardly mobile individuals who exercise regularly but spend half their lives staring into a lap-top or smart phone and get persistent back, neck and joint problems as a result. But we’re also interested in treating complex gut problems, headaches and ash children so we hope that the range of customer we see continues to expand.

What were you doing before Core Clapton existed?

I was, and still am, teaching at the British School of Osteopathy where I first trained. And I also teach pain science to osteopaths and body work specialists.

What are your hopes/ dreams and goals for Core Clapton?

I really hope we become part of the community and a place where people want to come to for all their musculoskeletal ache and pains, take up exercise classes to keep active and form new friendships with the other people taking the classes. And also a place to host their celebrations, have coffee and a chat with they neighbours and generally form the sort of community hub that seems to have died out over the years.

What part of your job will people find most surprising?

Along the journey I’ve had to design various parts of the building and learn all sorts of rules and regulations regarding a commercial building. But as an osteopath the thing people don’t realise is how much of an arm chair psychologist we need to be to understand how much a person’s pain is affected by whats’ going on in their lives.

What is your favourite social media business tool and why?

Because osteopathy has such a wide reach we need to utilise all of them to make sure various groups know about us. 

For instance, Instagram is very popular with the wellness aficionados but very few businesses and osteopaths seem to use it. So for them we use Twitter and Facebook. And then there’s the good old mail shot to keep people updated as we grow and begin to offer new classes and events.

Who do you follow on Instagram & why?

We try to keep it all local and follow businesses that we know and interact with such as @BLOK and @BrooksbysWalk and otherwise ‘friends of Core Clapton‘ that have interesting profiles – many of the local bloggers, musicians, foodies and yogis that Hackney has to offer that have somehow interacted with us.

What are your go-to-resources for trends in your industry?

I teach at the British School of Osteopathy so for any osteopathy-related news I tend to know about it early on. But in terms of running an event space, we have lots of really cool collaborators that run large-scale events and are helping us to create our own brand.

What tips do you have for someone (a real beginner) when it comes to taking up osteopathy?

Having someone manipulate your tissues can be strange so you need to trust your osteopath 100%. But don’t be afraid to ask your osteopath why they’re doing something and if you’re not sure about it then they should be able to offer you an alternative solution. But generally go with open eyes and you should experience a great sense of physical (and sometimes emotional) relief. 

Also, make the most of the appointments by doing your homework (breathing, exercises etc) so that you get the maximum change in your tissues in the shortest time.

What are key focus points for starting a new business & brand in 2017?

Get some seriously good collaborators on board early and spend a lot of time checking out what is happening in your area from similar brands. Go in with commitment but also don’t be afraid to turn round at last minute if it doesn’t feel like it’s working. But most of all, be honest as anything else will show you up.

What do you wear to meet with brands/ collaborators?

As I’m often treating patients and meeting collaborators in the same day, I try and dress slightly smart/casual so as not to offend either. Though as we’ve just got the team wearing branding t-shirts I quite like wearing the same so we’re all seen as equal.

What do you do when you feel uninspired?

Do a yoga session, go for a cycle ride or just hit the pub with some friends. Having a laugh is essential to let the stress out but there’s nothing better for creativity than some mindful movement yoga or even just a bit of DIY to stop you focussing so intensely and let the grey cells do their thing in the background.

What are you working on now that you are most excited about?

We’re organising some large-scale yoga sessions with DJs and musicians playing with a pay-what-you-can-afford pricing model. We hope to offer the best the city has to offer with the ethos of a social enterprise. Seeing 50-100 people doing a yoga class in our event space would be awesome.

Whats the best advice you have ever received?

Look before you leap. I never listen though 🙂

Find out more Core Clapton here: coreclapton.org

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