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Meet the Body Mechanic: Angus woman launches clinic to transform clients’ pain and mobility

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Lisa Saunders’ clients often arrive at her clinic in pain or with limited movement due to chronic health conditions.

But mum-of-two Lisa is delighted to be part of the solution, getting them back to a pain-free life through her treatments and a special type of massage therapy called MLD.

Lisa opened The Body Mechanic clinic in Kirriemuir yesterday, taking the leap after treating clients at home, when allowed, during lockdown.

She explains: “To see a client unable to get on the couch at the start of a session because they can’t walk or they’re in so much pain is hard.

Remedial and sports therapy helps ease pain and discomfort for clients.

“But, for them to then walk out of the clinic after treatment, you feel great.

“It’s amazing to have had such an impact on their day and make them feel better again. To me, that’s massive.”

The Body Mechanic

Just like a car garage, Lisa’s aim is to help “fix” or alleviate strain for clients so they can enjoy a happier, pain-free life.

Conditions treated range from sinusitis and acne to arthritis and even depression.

And Lisa has seen an increase in demand for services – one of her reasons for launching a clinic.

Lisa with colleague Hira.

She continues: “We were getting a lot of calls from clients who were urgently in need of treatment and we weren’t able to give it to them.

“Some clients were really unable to move and were sleeping downstairs because they couldn’t get upstairs for months.

“There has been a huge influx of people seeking treatment, even some who didn’t feel able to go out because they were frightened of catching Covid.”

The mainstay of the clinic is remedial and sports therapy with the other therapists Maria Anderson and Hira Gul

But Lisa is keen to highlight the benefits of MLD treatment.

What is MLD?

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a therapy where specialised and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow.

The treatment encourages the draining of any fluid that has built up in the body.

It is used to reduce swelling caused by fluid build-up after certain cancer treatments, as well as for conditions such as lipoedema (a build up of fat in the legs), sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis and acne.

Lisa says: “The aim of MLD is to redirect fluid from congested areas towards healthy lymphatics where the fluid can be drained by normal routes back into the circulation.

“This pressure is applied evenly, repetitively and rhythmically which creates in the person being treated an incredibly deep relaxing feeling.

“It is recommended to have 10 treatment sessions, but it all depends on the person and it can be just one treatment before you really start to see a noticeable difference and a reduction in the fluid.”

‘A healthier body and a healthier system’

“We do a measurement before and after and usually there’s a good inch of a difference in the fluid retention.

“It improves mobility too: The less fluid you’re carrying around, the more mobile you are and the less strain there is on the heart. The joints are being properly lubricated.

“It contributes to a healthier body and a healthier system.”

Hira carries out cupping therapy, which can also help pain and inflammation.

Lisa continues: “We can also support people who have anxiety or depression and treat those physical symptoms such as hunched shoulders and tension – a deep tissue treatment can actually relieve that.”

Bringing people to the town

There is only a handful of trained MLD therapists in Scotland and Lisa’s clinic is one of very few outside the Central Belt.

She enthuses: “Offering this treatment and getting people back into Kirrie and seeing what we have to offer as a town is important.

“It has been a great team effort and my kids, Marco and Antonia have helped me every step of the way. Their support, and the support of my staff, has been invaluable.”

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