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A big invitation goes out to everyone to join us on the 5th May for a health fair (or MELA) at Accrington Town Hall. It starts at 11 a.m. and goes on until 4 p.m.

Members of your local health services and medical students from the university of Central Lancashire are combining with charitable organisations concerned with health, to bring you a festival of health and wellbeing.

There will be contributors from the realm of complementary medicine with a Reiki (energy healing ) taster session and members of patient groups involved in helping the NHS or medical school (COMENSUS).

The town hall will be filled with stalls from services which are relevant to general  health, prevention of disease and the maintenance of wellbeing in the physical mental and spiritual realms.

Health care professionals and complementary medicine practitioners will be on hand to chat to you. You can glean from their knowledge and understand their roles.

You will be able to have health MOTs including checking of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars and relevant advice will be available.

The atmosphere will be one of fun, with games for children, a colouring competition and a smoothie bike - can you furiously ride the bike to produce a smoothie?

We hope members of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds and all ages will join us.

The name MELA is a Sanskrit (Indian) word meaning a fair and is an excuse for a good time.

The fair is being organised by the National Forum for Health and wellbeing in association with members from the Rotary clubs of Hyndburn, who will be present to provide help and guidance.

The fair is an amazing opportunity to learn about all aspects of health and wellbeing, and to have fun. We hope you all join us on the day.

Drawing competition for children:

Can you draw, paint or collage a picture of
“What health and wellbeing means to me?”

A £10 Amazon token is up for grabs for  the most lively image.

Two categories: younger than 7, and 7 to 12

Anyone wishing to enter either competition please send your entries to Acorn News at: acornnewsinfo@gmail.com or post to: Acorn Community News, Oswaldtwistle Mills Business Centre, Clifton Mills, Pickup Street, Oswaldtwistle BB5 0EY. Please put the word mela competiton in a corner of the envelope and state age group entered. Please provide name and address and phone number or email address.


© Barbara Milne 2018




A local Holistic Therapist has been trying to raise awareness of the range of natural therapies available and at the same time raising money to help people who can’t afford such therapy.

Tracey Jones is a Reiki Master and a qualified Masseuse, Aromatherapist, Beauty Therapist, Reflexologist and Teacher.

Alongside running her own clinical practice, Tracey provides training courses in Body Massage, Reiki Healing, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage. With over 25 years in practice, she is passionate about passing on her knowledge and learned experience. Since moving into Hyndburn Voluntary Community Resource Centre, on Cannon Street in Accrington, in April this year, Tracey’s long yearned for dream of creating her own ‘School of Healing’ was born. Her school is focused on promoting Health, Education and Awareness within the Complementary Therapy Healthcare Sector.

Tracey, who holds a BSc.Hons. Degree in Herbal Medicine, is also the founder of Naturcopia, the name of her own chemical free product range, which launched in 2011.

When I caught up with her recently, she was hosting a “Gong Bath” (Sound Healing Session) fundraising event, provided free of charge by members of the Chorley Healing Hub. The event was organised not only to promote the benefits of vibrational healing, but also to raise funds for the charitable arm of her business School of Healing Charitable Trust (SoHCT).

In March this year, Tracey embarked on providing monthly Health and Wellbeing Events. She invites other professional therapists to become part of a ‘Healing Hub’, providing taster sessions and introductory offers for various therapies and soul readings. These sessions take place on the first Sunday of each month between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The average cost is 10 per half hour session, with 1 entrance fee. The normal cost for a full session is around 35. Good food and refreshments are provided by the Healing Hub Caterers. It does sound like a wonderfully inspiring way to spend your Sunday afternoon once per month! Apparently there will not be a meeting in January, so December’s event promises to be a welcomed time-out for all; reconnecting again in February 2018.

The proceeds from the door at the Healing Hub Events and extra ones like the “Gong Bath”, along with 10% of what Tracey earns from the sale of her products all go into the pot. Having been refused funding earlier this year, Tracey decided she must do it herself and now has three trustees on board.

These funds pay for people who might not otherwise afford it, to have complementary therapy treatments. These might include people who have come out of rehab, people on low income or claiming benefits. Tracey told me that she also goes around to various organisations and gives talks about her work, again the donations going towards her Charitable Trust.

Tracey’s office is above the main hall where these sessions take place, so anyone who wants to consult with her privately for a full session will already know where to come. She also runs her own Development/Awareness Group, at the Centre, which meet on Tuesday evenings 7-9 p.m. The cost is just 5, and provides an array of self-help, natural healing solutions, amidst guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. Guest speakers are often invited to share knowledge and experience. All that Tracey asks of group attendees is to bring an open loving heart.

It was a pleasure witnessing the session the other evening and also a couple of her monthly Wellbeing Events. Tracey is obviously very well thought of, not only with the people who benefit from these sessions but also by her fellow professionals and I would like to thank her for her time and patience during our interview. I think it is befitting therefore to leave the last words to Tracey herself:

“I’m really excited to introduce who I am, what I am, what I’m doing. For over ten years I’ve hidden my light under a bushel at the top of Water Street and I’ve moved now; I’ve got new premises here. So I’ve got the confidence in myself I suppose, to stand up and be counted.

“I just try my best to make a difference. I don’t try to take it all on my own shoulders; I’ve got a wonderful team of people around me, who are all of the same ilk, and aside from my own business, I want to create more of an awareness about natural healing solutions and how they can help people on a day to day basis, in order to better their own lives and the lives of others.”

Peter Jones 2017

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John Bradley became a qualified osteopath in 1989. There is a picture on his mantle of Princess Anne presenting him with his credentials of which he is quite rightly proud. He actually set up his own business in Clayton-le-Moors as soon as he qualified but while he gained clients he needed to do some locum work which took him as far afield as Bury and Wilmslow.

“Like any new business, it was slow going at first, but it grew solidly, mostly by word of mouth.”

John also has another practice in Lytham which he used to visit but that is now run by his trusted colleague, Amy Dickinson.

John was born in Blackburn but the family moved to Rishton where he was brought up, when he was a year old. The youngest of six siblings (two brothers and three sisters) he attended St Augustine’s Secondary School followed by St Mary’s College, Blackburn.
It was while he was at the Blackburn College that he moved back to Blackburn for two years. It was also while taking his ‘A’ levels that John decided what path his career would take.

“I had a sister who was a physiotherapist and I found that very interesting, then my mother mentioned osteopathy and I decided that was what I wanted to do.” John told me. “I went to see an osteopath in Blackburn named David Gutteridge in action and decided it was for me.”

John applied to the three osteopathy colleges at that time and although he was accepted at all three, decided on The British School of Osteopathy in London where he embarked on a four year course.
The reason he chose osteopathy was that although both professions (physiotherapy and osteopathy) are similar in many ways, no two patients are the same and osteopathy is more ‘hands on’. Different patients respond to different treatments and it is a constant challenge to get results.

John met his wife of twenty-seven years, Claire when they were at their respective sixth-form colleges and they remain inseparable today. They have four children together. All of John’s children have helped out in his surgery, mostly after college in the late afternoons.

John explained:

“Although I have two full-time receptionists I work long hours so they have all helped me out. James, my sixteen-year-old does three hours every Friday afternoon.”

When John is not at work he likes to unwind and one way he has found to do this and keep fit is cycling. Since Claire also loves to cycle, the pair of them often set off early in the morning and ride off somewhere. Indeed John actually did the ‘London 100’ last year. That is 100 miles around the London area.

He also holds a season ticket for Blackburn Rovers and is a keen fan and likes to get away skiing whenever he can find the time. “I am a cautious skier,” he told me. “It wouldn’t look good if I turned up for work in plaster-of-Paris.”

I asked John if at any time in his life he had ever had any exciting or life-threatening encounters at all and he replied, “Not really, although I did go to the ‘Den’ to watch Blackburn in the 1980s when they played Millwall. That was scary enough.”

Next I asked John if he had any advice for young people considering osteopathy as a career. He said it was a very rewarding profession but like any other needed dedication and wasn’t easy to study, mainly because to have a complete understanding of the anatomy one had to learn many Latin phrases.

“Osteopathy isn’t only about the back. We treat peripheral joints as well; things like tennis elbow and ankle joints and sports injuries, although probably 90% of our work is spinal.”

 For all that he couldn’t imagine himself doing anything else and even after twenty-seven years he is “never bored with it.” He went on to say:

“It is a good profession. No two days are the same so you have to be able to think on your feet and keep an open mind. It is not a profession where you can be set in your ways. You have to be open to a different perspective on things.”

I suggested that he must find it very rewarding when someone comes to him struggling to walk or to use their arms and leaves feeling much better and that some people must write to him thanking him. He told me about one such case.

“A mother brought her 14 year old daughter who had been complaining of severe headaches, which she had suffered with for four or five years and was struggling with her studies and leisure activities because of them. I did some gentle treatment in the neck area and didn’t see or hear from her again. Then a couple of weeks ago I got a sweet letter from the girl’s mother thanking me and that her daughter had got her life back. On the downside, it was now costing her a fortune in dance lessons! These are the things that make this job worthwhile.”

I asked John what he does to relax and he told me he loved music and recently went to a concert in Manchester with his two older sons aged 21 and 25 and some of his own mates to see a little-known band called DMAs. He is a big Oasis fan and was recently in Leeds watching Noel Gallagher. He also went to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester to see Coldplay.

He and Claire used to have a season ticket for the Octagon Theatre in Bolton.

 “We hadn’t been for a few years but we went the other week. It is wonderful to see live acting, if it’s good of course,” he told me.
John also likes to watch good TV drama and recently watched enthralled as Happy Valley returned for a second series. He said the acting was brilliant and had special praise for writer, Sally Wainwright who created the series and is also responsible for Scott and Bailey and Last Tango in Halifax.

He is also a film fan but says he and Claire like different things. They both went to see 2015 film, “Room” recently and really enjoyed it.

John also likes reading and has just finished a Ken Follett trilogy and has also read Joseph Cannon.

“I like to read historical novels and autobiographies. I am reading Sam Allardyce’s at the moment.”

John Bradley has been my osteopath for over twenty years now and in all that time we have always found something to talk about whilst he has been treating me; both being long-suffering Blackburn Rovers fans has helped with that. I would like to thank him personally for this interview and for finding the time to talk with me.

You can also hear John's Podast. Please Click here

Peter Jones 2016


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