Claire is the most capable physical specialist I've met in 10 years of seeking help for fitness and pain relief.
Unlike any other personal trainer or physiotherapist I've encountered, Claire doesn't make exercise hurt - physically or emotionally. With her, all movement is an exploration and a conversation with oneself.
Claire doesn't 'train' you or act baffled that fitness isn't your top priority - or diminish that fitting it in can be a colossal effort. Gently guiding you she teaches how to ask your body to do the surprisingly simple things it may be avoiding doing, or doing less than ideally, therefore causing chronic pain.
She never makes you feel awkward or awful for not having done enough. The experience is one of learning and relief not shaming and pressure.
Until I met Claire I never really understood what putting myself last meant for my body and my future. I put everyone's needs before my own, I even put my career's and lawn's needs before my own! I'm a working mum, so it's the obvious thing to do in order to get everything done.
I hadn't really acknowledged the compensations my body was making for that. I lived with a sense of hopelessness and acceptance around the inevitability of my pain getting worse and worse, and my movement gradually reducing, and I unwittingly rush to get everything done in time before it packs it in, both in the short term, in terms of what I can do in a day, and in the long term regarding how much longer I can work for or whether I will be able to chase after my grandkids one day.
Claire cautiously helps you question if this sort of trade off and the effects of it are acceptable to you personally and whether you want to live within such a limited framework. She instinctively assists without judgement or inducing guilt to find feasible and small ways to be compassionate with yourself, within the parameters of your 'normal' and to gradually regain movement.
This recognition of capacity, both in terms of physical prowess, and the reality of 'fitting health in', coupled with the most sensible, and simultaneously creative methods I've encountered means that visiting her sanctuary-like space has been a delightful, but also hopeful, experience in terms of relating to, and using, my own body.
Claire is incredibly professional, her warmth and humble and gracious nature belie her tremendous skill and experience. She is a perfectionist, but an artfully forgiving one, and with the greatest possible grace and kindness she tries wholeheartedly to use her enormous skill set to improve your quality of life, one small but significant step at a time.
I think she fundamentally believes in it being possible for her clients to share life as one with their bodies rather than living at the expense of them, so my three sessions have been, unexpectedly, a little emotional for me. I guess I've met myself, in a way I didn't anticipate meeting me, and I suddenly want to be much kinder to me.
If you want to give yourself (or someone who is in chronic discomfort) a gift, make it some time with Claire, and let her introduce you, to well, you. It's a cathartic experience and virtually everything thing hurts less afterwards. I feel lighter, less clouded, and much more hopeful.