Osteopath helps clients stay fit and well with online workspace assessments

Osteopath James Harvey has had to stop face-to-face consultations because of coronavirus, but has fo

Osteopath James Harvey has had to stop face-to-face consultations because of coronavirus, but has found new ways to reach people online Picture: James Harvey - Credit: Archant

Osteopath James Harvey is owner of Woolpit Osteopaths, Suffolk, as well as co-owner of Earlham House Clinic in Norwich with his sister, Liz Connors. To adapt to our new ‘COVID-19 lives’, they have had to stop face-to-face appointments. However, the clinic has found new ways to reach people through online osteopathic and clinical pilates consultations, advice and bespoke exercise plans as well as online workspace assessments to help the growing number of people working from home. Here, he talks to Gina Long.

James Harvey finishing the Outlaw Half Holkham, a half Iron Man distance triathlon Picture: James

James Harvey finishing the Outlaw Half Holkham, a half Iron Man distance triathlon Picture: James Harvey - Credit: Archant

What’s the impact of COVID-19 on your business and how are you adapting?

We’ve had to close for now. Like many similar businesses, we do not feel that the benefits of opening at this time outweigh the risks. Ultimately, we consider it our duty of care to keep our patients, ourselves, our families and the wider community safe.

However, it feels extremely uncomfortable being a health care provider and not being able to provide the care that we so want to. We have contacted our local GP surgeries to offer our services to help with screening of musculoskeletal conditions, to help reduce the pressure on the NHS.

Our pilates instructor, who manages our studio, is offering live-streamed pilates classes so people can still exercise and interact from their homes.

James Harvey with his wife and daughter Skye Picture: James Harvey

James Harvey with his wife and daughter Skye Picture: James Harvey - Credit: Archant

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What advice can you give to our readers who are self-isolating to maintain their health and wellbeing?

It is important to keep our bodies and minds healthy, despite the immense pressure and restrictions we are all under. To help achieve this, there are several things we can do: Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, drinking plenty of fluids (and no, alcohol doesn’t count!), keeping active (at-home workouts), getting plenty of fresh air (even having the windows open will help), good quality rest and sleep, while adhering to social-distancing guidelines.

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There are so many people offering online exercise classes that you can do in your own home, many of which are free, but it is also important to keep moving throughout the day too.

To help occupy our minds and meet our social needs, we need to be thinking outside the box! We are lucky to have the internet and there are so many ways to connect online, ranging from virtual meals to virtual choirs.

On Mother’s Day last Sunday, to stay safe and still be sociable, we had a four-household facetime instead of our usual family gathering.

There is also a great deal of learning that can be done both online and in the old-fashioned way, from a book. It can be hard to see it, but in times of great challenge and difficulty, these times can also offer great opportunity.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

Born and bred. I grew up near Woolpit, a little Suffolk village close to Bury St Edmunds. I then moved to London for university before living and working in Yorkshire for 10 years. I always knew I wanted to move back to East Anglia to raise a family, so relocated to Norwich in 2015 and haven’t looked back since.

What is your East Anglian Heaven i.e. what do you love most about East Anglia?

It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. I love the open spaces and the vast and beautiful coastline, but if I had to choose one thing it would be the big skies.

What is your East Anglian Hell i.e. what you hate most about living here?

The fact that more people are discovering it which clogs up the terrible road network, especially in the summer months. But of course, it is good for local businesses.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

It might not be the first that springs to mind for most people, but for me it’s the Felixstowe docks. I grew up sailing the River Orwell and the docks are a landmark, meaning I was close to home, whether I was sailing locally, or having returned from an offshore race. I also love the scale of it, when you get close to the ships on a sailing boat you realise just how massive they are.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

The autumn. There are fewer people around, but it is still a great time to explore the many open spaces, particularly the incredible coastline of North Norfolk.

What’s your specialist Mastermind subject?

Currently Peppa Pig! Thanks to my 3-year-old daughter, Skye.

What is always in your fridge?

Colman’s Mustard. It goes on everything (much to my wife’s despair).

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Always open the door: if an opportunity is offered to you, explore it. You never know where it might take you.

What’s your favourite film?

Bad Boys. What’s not to like?!

What was your first job?

I was a waiter at Ravenwood Hall in The Pavilion along with most of Thurston Upper Sixth Form.

What is your most treasured possession?

My two finishing medals for Outlaw Half Holkham. This is a half Iron Man distance triathlon and I am proud to have completed it twice, especially the last time when I crossed the finish line carrying my daughter Skye.

They were incredibly tough to complete both physically and mentally, I love the sense of achievement. I know you haven’t asked this, but I must mention that my second most treasured possession is my kiteboard!

Who do you admire most?

Single parents. My hat goes off to them.

What is your biggest indulgence?

As a family we love good food – we indulge in the homemade sourdough pizzas from The Green Grocers in Norwich a little too often. They are amazing. Plus, it’s good to support local independent businesses, never more so than now.

What do you like about yourself most?

I like to think I’m approachable and I will always try to do as much as I can to help others.

What’s your worst character trait?

My mind does not stop. I’m constantly mulling over new ideas... it’s just having the time to do everything that is the problem.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Rodrigues is the most incredible island I’ve been to. It’s a one-hour hopper flight from Mauritius and is totally idyllic. While we were there, we did a six-hour coastal hike; every single cove we came across was idyllic and we ate delicious barbecued fish in a shack for lunch.

There’s extremely limited internet access, which meant you could really escape and enjoy what it had to offer.

Best day of your life?

Well I can’t choose just one day because I have two children and a wife! Before we had children, I would have said our wedding day, but you simply can’t beat the days your children are born.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

Smoked kippers from Cley Smokehouse. They are so good they don’t even need Colman’s Mustard! And with a nice cup of tea of course.

What’s your favourite tipple?

Whiskey, especially Talisker Skye – I promise that isn’t why my daughter is named Skye though.

What’s your hidden talent?

I’m a great singer... but only ever sing in the car, so, unfortunately, no one can vouch for this.

What’s your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is going to pick up my first pet, a grey rabbit called Daffadowndilly (Dilly for short). I chose this name because we picked her up in the spring and the daffodils were in full bloom, but as a four-year-old, I called them daffadowndillies.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I haven’t given it much thought to be honest, but something fun and uplifting.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

In my social group at university there were several people named James, and somehow, I ended up being called Jarmers. Twenty years later, the name has stuck.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

That’s an easy one – social distancing.

It’s tough, isn’t it? But you must take the positives with the negatives – I connected with a group of uni mates last night in the online pub, it was great to see their faces and a fantastic way to support each other through this tough time.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.

Norwich ticked all the boxes when we relocated from Yorkshire. My wife viewed a house here without me and put an offer in there and then. We both love it and can’t imagine being in a better location.

We particularly love that it’s not far from the coast, there are so many independent shops, restaurants, cafés, and it has the buzz of a city, but is relatively small with plenty of green spaces.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

We are here for you. It doesn’t cost you anything to contact us to see if we can help. We are confident there is still so much we can offer in these COVID-19 times we find ourselves in.

If we can’t help you directly, one of the positives from everyone working online is that our breadth of healthcare contacts is vast, so referring you on and signposting you to services that may be of help to you is even easier than it was before.

Please do take a look at www.earlhamhouseclinic.com, where we are now offering online osteopathic and clinical pilates consultations, along with so much more. Or call us on 01603 960624.

Are you or your business doing something special during COVID-19 times? If you are living in Suffolk or Norfolk and are adapting your business to give support during COVID-19, please do email me at gina@hallfarmfornham.com T: @geewizzgee1

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