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Amy's life has been transformed.

Byline: By Hannah Davies

Hannah Davies finds out about the North-East's only trained crainiopath and how his groundbreaking treatment has been helping to transform lives.

Duncan has totally transformed my life!" So exclaims Amy Fogget, whose conditions have meant she has spent much of her adult life suffering from chronic pain.

She is one of many to benefit at the hands of Durham's Duncan Rockett, one of only 17 trained crainiopaths in Europe.

Amy, 26, of South Beach, Blyth, suffers from hypermobility syndrome and fibromyalgia.

The fibromyalgia means she suffers a lot of chronic pain in her muscles, as they have increased sensitivity. Her hypermobility syndrome means her joints are loose and move too much.

The combination means Amy suffers horrendously from pain in different areas and gets a lot of headaches.

Amy, a community and sports development officer for Northburn Sports and Community complex in Cramlington, says: "I suffer from a great deal of pain through my conditions.

"When I was 18, I discovered just what exactly was wrong with me and was diagnosed.

"I've always had it but it was then it started to really affect my life, and it has done ever since."

A keen footballer, Amy had to stop playing for Cramlington Blue Star FC, where she still coaches the ladies' and girls' teams.

"I love football," she says sadly, "and there was just no way I could continue playing it.

"I tried for a while as I coached ( but it really got too much. I was in agony."

Amy's illnesses meant she had to give up not only the football but her also job as a nursery nurse.

"There was so much bending down and it was pretty energetic, as you can imagine," she says, "I was taking a lot of time off ill and I realised I just couldn't keep on doing it."

It was around three years ago she discovered Duncan, who was developing his crainiopathic skills.

Duncan graduated six years ago from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth with a BSc (Hons) and an MSc in chiropractic. A further supervised year in practice qualified him as a DC or doctor of chiropractic.

For the last five years, he has been in practice in Newcastle and developing his studies through a chiropractic method called Sacro-Occipital Technique.

This includes treatments for problems that chiropractors would not normally be thought of as being able to help, such as irritable bowel syndrome and sinus problems.

He says: "Cranial treatment techniques or techniques that involve the tiny but extremely important movement of the bones that make up the skull are one of my specialities.

"This can help glue ear, tinnitus, jaw problems, headaches and can also be beneficial, believe it or not, for back and neck pain."

He recently passed crainiopath exams held in Bath, which means he is one of only 17 crainiopaths in Europe. Amy says his expertise has transformed her life.

"The headaches I used to get were overwhelming. Since Duncan has been treating me, my quality of life has rocketed.

"The techniques really relax my muscles, which get incredibly tense to the point of extreme pain.

"Obviously in my head that makes a vast difference.

"My headaches have gone down so much since the treatment began."

In addition to her day-to-day life being improved, Amy says her professional life has also been transformed.

"I am having much less time off work and, although I'll never be able to be a professional sportswoman because I'm in so much pain all of the time, it means I can do things I love like coach the football team."

Duncan, 36, lives in Burnopfield with his wife Rachel, 36, a teaching assistant at Harelaw School, Tanfield, Stanley, County Durham.

They have three children Maya, 11, Iona, eight, and Leach, five.

"It is basically taking my chiropractic training a step further," he explains.

"It deals with the nervous system and through different pressure points, alleviating certain conditions. I use it in connection with chiropractic methods and I've had some amazing results."

In addition to Amy, Duncan has treated a marathon runner.

He says: "Jane was training to do the New York Marathon in early November this year.

Her hip unfortunately started hurting in August to the point that it hurt to walk and the most she could run was about five minutes jogging. Through treatment, the problem was really reduced."

Although chiropractic and crainiopathic methods are still regarded by some in the medical profession to be without proof, more and more doctors are recognising their benefits for patients.

"All you have to do is speak to the people who have been treated to see how successful it can be." Duncan says.

"The benefits they feel makes it all completely worthwhile."

Just ask Amy how she feels. "If the treatment went away I'd be devastated," she says.

"I'd chase Duncan around the country for the treatment.

"I'll be having the treatment as long as I live."

* For more information, contact Duncan at Jesmond Chiropractic within the Cradlewell Clinic, 89 Holly Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle or call Duncan on (0191) 281-9200 or on 07740 663013.

Craniosacral therapy (also called CST, cranial osteopathy, also spelled CranioSacral therapy) is a method of alternative medicine used by massage therapists, chiropractors and osteopaths, who manually apply a subtle movement of the spinal and cranial bones to bring the central nervous system into harmony.

The treatment involves assessing and addressing the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which can be restricted by trauma to the body, through falls, accidents, and general nervous tension.

By gently working with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia, the restrictions of nerve passages are eased, the movement of CSF through the spinal cord can be optimised, and misaligned bones can be restored to their proper position.

This therapy is particularly useful for mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and for chronic nervous conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Positive and dramatic benefits can occur in cases of headaches, learning disabilities, dyslexia, scoliosis, infantile disorders, chronic fatigue, motor co-ordination impairments, emotional difficulties, chronic neck and back pain and stress.

Chiropractic is the third largest healthcare profession in the world after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractors are musculo-skeletal and neurological experts who are able to treat a wide variety of conditions using a range of joint manipulations or 'adjustments', soft tissue and muscle relaxation techniques and also rehabilitative exercises.

Chiropractic can help conditions including low back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica and spinal disc problems, leg and arm pain, jaw problems and organ problems like irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. A typical first visit, taking about 45 minutes to an hour, consists of a series of questions to find out what the problem is followed by an examination to confirm the diagnosis.

Most patients would then be treated as well unless further investigations such as X-rays were required. Follow-up treatment visits usually take about 15 minutes.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 1, 2007
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