Occupation: Chartered Physiotherapist
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
MORE ABOUT ME...
Interests: My work, my family and self-development and aiming to look after myself so I am able to continue to look after others. Reading for pleasure (when I get the chance), but mainly for self-development personally and professionally.
Favorite movies: I prefer funny, light hearted, feel good films although I sometimes like a good action or detective film.
Favourite books: This might be sad, but I love any self development book I can find and anything that will help me help my patients even more. For complete relaxation I also enjoy good crime books or any light hearted fiction.
What else you should know about me: I have been a Physiotherapist since 1983 and throughout my career I have worked to develop myself professionally and keep myself abreast of new developments within my line of work. My own career path began changing about 10 years ago as my experiences with my own patients and my own self-development led me to realise that there were too many unanswered questions. It was also becoming increasingly obvious that it was more important to look at more than just the area of the body being presented for treatment!
You can read below how I came across TMS in early 2007 and since becoming involved with this work I have had better results than with any other therapy I have used in my whole career and with chronic conditions that are supposed to be most resistant to treatment. Most exciting of all is being able to help those people who have tried everything and have been told there is nothing more that can be done.
The books, DVDs and websites about TMS/PPD are an excellent source of information for people to make a start on their recovery from TMS/PPD. Unfortunately though, there are so many stories of quick recoveries, that often people begin to believe that maybe they don’t have TMS/PPD because they haven’t recovered yet.
Many people, however, need more than is possible from working on their own with the information available, yet can still make excellent recoveries with a firm diagnosis and the more individualised support and guidance a TMS/PPD Specialist can provide.
This is the area I specialise in and I regularly treat people throughout the UK, Europe and further afield. Once a face to face diagnosis has been made, my SIRPA Recovery Programme can be followed by telephone and Skype, with full email support in between. For more information go to www.georgieoldfield.com
Since 2010 I have also trained other regulated health professionals to work with this approach to chronic health conditions through my training company, SIRPA (Stress Illness Recovery Practitioners Association). www.sirpauk.com
I am absolutely passionate about working in this field and have no doubt that this is my calling in life and I will continue until I am forced to stop.
MY TMS STORY... I came across Dr Sarno's work in early 2007 after spending years trying to find an answer to the inconsistencies my patients had between their diagnoses and their symptoms. The first book I read by Dr Sarno was 'Healing Back Pain' and at last everything made sense, not only answering my questions about my own patients, but my own recurring problems too. Reading this first book was a real epiphany for me.
My own first real understanding that stress could cause pain was when I developed severe sciatica after leaving the NHS to set up my own business! The TMS concept not only explained why this episode happened, but at the time of reading the first book I had acute neck pain and immediately knew why I had that! I have never had severe long term pain, but I have certainly had a number of recurring equivalents (musculoskeletal/skin/bowel/respiratory)and I was always very protective of myself in case I yet again hurt my back/neck/knee/shoulder etc! These painful recurring TMS symptoms are now just a memory and my kids no longer treat me with cotton wool.
Since beginning to develop a specialism in the treatment of TMS, I have become passionate about raising the profile of TMS/stress illness and improving my own experience and knowledge in order to be able to provide my patients with the most appropriate support to help them achieve their goals.
I believe that the development of TMS/PPD/stress illness (take your pick!) in the future, and it's overall acceptance, rests on the TMS professionals working together, which has been ongoing since the first conference in Michigan in March 2009. The conference in Los Angeles in March 2010 was another chance for us all to meet up and move forward with the work to raise it's profile and develop it further.
My visits to the US to meet with Dr Sarno, plus other TMS Specialists such as Howard Schubiner MD and David Clarke MD, has meant that I have been able to develop strong professional relationships with them. Being the only person dedicated to this work in the UK I feel this is very important in order to develop my own work in the UK and Europe while keeping up to date with what is happening in the States.
Over the past few years of working with patients with TMS/stress illness I have realized just how far reaching this work is. Many people believe it is responsible for specific chronic illnesses, yet symptoms of stress illness are probably the most common problem in the western world. Learning how to not only acknowledge how you feel rather than bottling up emotions, but also reducing self induced pressures by challenging and changing our learned behaviours, beliefs and attitudes can be hugely beneficial for everybody. If we can raise the profile of this understanding and have it as accepted practice, think what an effect it will have not only on the chronic problems now present, but in preventing future ones.
One way I am endeavouring to raise the profile of this work is via my training company, SIRPA, through which I train other health (medical and mental) professionals and coaches. By training more practitioners they will then be able to integrate this approach within their own work and therefore help reach more people whose chronic health conditions are at present just being managed.