Welcome to Brabant House Clinic of Natural Medicine.
Brabant House has been an established provider of alternative medicine for almost half a century now, opening back in 1968 at its original Thames Ditton site before relocating to Surbiton in 2017. Dr Michael Burt ND, who founded and currently runs the clinic, bases his approach on Naturopathic principles that work to 'promote health', rather than to 'suppress disease'.
The aim is to help increase overall health and wellbeing through improved diet, nutrition, exercise and detoxification. This is done alongside conventional medical treatments, to compliment rather than substitute them in a way that provides you with a more holistic (or 'all-inclusive') approach to better health.
"Health is the best protection against disease."
~ Hippocrates ~
The clinic offers a wide range of alternative treatments, including popular therapies such as Acupuncture, Osteopathy and Chiropractic. You can find out what's available in the 'Services' section below, which gives a brief explanation of each therapy.
Dr Burt ND also specializes in the treatment of acute and chronic pain disorders, using anti-inflammatory treatments, manipulation techniques, muscle massage (mobilization) and warmth application (Faradism). Traction can also be provided to help with trapped nerves or a slipped disc.
An initial assessment is free of charge and includes an in-depth assessment of your health, medical history and a physical examination if necessary. A personally-tailored treatment plan is then discussed, allowing you to talk through any questions that you might have.
Klinghardt Academy of the Healing Arts
Electronic Medicine Society
Delawarr Laboratories for Radiaesthesia & Radionics
Derived from the Latin words "acu" (with a needle) and "puncture" (to pierce), acupuncture involves gently inserting very fine needles into the skin at specific points across the body, to either suppress or stimulate a response. It can be useful in treating a variety of conditions, including migraine, chronic tension-type headaches, neuralgia, sciatica and various musculoskeletal conditions (such as chronic pain and joint pain).
Traditional acupuncture, an ancient form of Chinese Medicine, targets acupoints along 'Qi' (Chee) energy channels or 'Meridians'. Western acupuncture is slightly different as it aims to target sensory nerves in the skin and muscles, stimulating the release of certain chemicals within the body such as endorphins, which can help to relieve pain.
You should see some short-term improvement after your first session of acupuncture. To benefit from longer-lasting results, a course of treatment (usually 10 sessions, depending on your circumstances), is usually recommended.
Treatment sessions can vary depending on what is required, but usually last around an hour. Only small, fine, sterile, single-use needles are used in acupuncture. They are usually left in for between 10 - 20 minutes, but different conditions may require longer.
This does not usually hurt and most patients describe the feeling as a tingling sensation, which at worst, is only mildly uncomfortable. If for any reason you do experience pain during your treatment, simply make your practitioner aware so that they can act accordingly.
By simple definition, an allergy is a hyper-sensitive immune reaction to an otherwise benign (or safe) substance, such as pollen or various metals. Professor C.W.M. Wilson explains that "an allergic reaction is a disease due to a protective immune system function having gone wrong".
There are many different types of "allergic reaction", capable of producing a wide range of signs and symptoms. Many people suffer from chronic complaints that could be the result of "hidden" allergies (ones which are harder to spot). This reaction could be prevented by avoiding certain foods which may have triggered an undesired response.
It is commonly believed that allergic reactions manifest in very obvious ways, for example, an allergy to pollen will cause you to sneeze. However, in the case of some "allergic disorders" reactions can be harder to spot and therefore, go unnoticed for years. Someone with a gluten allergy, for example, might struggle not only to identify their symptoms, but also to discover the cause of them. Avoiding the allergen (the allergy causing stimulus), can prevent the reaction from occurring and resolve the patient's symptoms.
An allergy assessment can help to identify how you personally react to certain stimuli, allowing you to control your exposure to substances which may have undesired side-effects. Appointments usually last around 90 minutes, but this can vary. If a Radionic/ Homeopathic remedy is required, this is also available for an additional £15.
What is Cranial Osteopathy?
Osteopath William Sutherland originally developed cranial osteopathy between 1898 and 1900. On observing a disarticulated skull, he noticed that the cranial sutures (where the temporal and parietal bones meet) were arranged like the gills of a fish, indicating, as he stated, “articular mobility for a respiratory mechanism”. This led to his discovery of the Primary Respiratory Mechanism, in which the ancestral cranial movements of inspiration opened the cranial vault, which then closed on expiration.
Treatment involves expert palpation (or movement) and selective pressure to manipulate the cranial bones, influencing small, rhythmic motions attributed to cerebrospinal fluid or arterial pressure. Some patients have found cranial osteopathy to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms such as headaches and pelvic/ hip pain.
Dietetics is the study of the metabolic effects of eating different food groups, such as meat, grains, dairy, etc. People can have different diets for varying reasons, including tradition, religion or personal choice.
Nutrition relates to the metabolic effects of the bio-chemical constituents (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, etc.) of dietary food groups. These essential nutrients are derived from a range of food groups and deficiency in any one can cause health problems. Mono-diets are dangerous because they involve eating only one food group and can lead to nutrient deficiency. That is why a mixed diet is essential to good health, the more varied, the better.
As their names suggest, Macro-nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) are required in larger amounts, whereas Micro-nutrients (e.g. vitamins), are required in smaller amounts.
As well as helping to formulate a balanced diet, assessment should be made regarding the possibility of nutritional deficiencies. Sometimes a nutrient may be supplemented preventively as a 'prodote' (as opposed to an 'antidote'), in order to pre-treat any future deficiency.
What is Homeopathy?
The term "Homeopathy", comprised of the Greek words for suffering ("homoios") and similar ("pathos"), was coined by it's founder, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, in 1796. It refers to the Homeopathic doctrine that "like cures like".
Dr Hahnemann believed that exposure to minute or trace amounts of a substance (in highly diluted quantities), can treat the symptoms it would otherwise cause in larger amounts. The idea is that some sort of 'desensitization' will occur, allowing the body to acclimate to the substance and tolerate it at higher amounts than initially possible.
Desensitization & Neutralization
The above terms refer to any procedure which deactivates the harmful effect of an allergy-provoking substance. This includes allergens, toxic substances, exogenous toxins (from the environment), endogenous toxins (from within the body) and poisons. However, homeopathic treatment is not recommended for substances that would put a patient at undue risk, for example, with poisons and certain serious allergens.
In addition to increasing physical tolerance for certain chemicals, homeopathy also aims to reduce any unnecessary over-consumption of substances which can have an equally negative effect. For example, we can eat a small amount of sugar as part of a healthy diet, but should not drastically exceed those levels or we may become ill.
Most hormone-linked problems are due to a hormone deficiency, with treatment being along one or more of the following lines:
This is achieved by supplying the nutritional supplements needed for the manufacture of the deficient hormone and is known as 'substrate' therapy.
The sluggish gland that is responsible for the deficient hormone is stimulated, for example, directly via short-wave energy or indirectly, via reflex zone stimulation.
The deficient hormone is substituted by (1) a similar hormone (an 'analogue') or by (2), a biologically identical hormone, as in the Horomone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
For some unexplained reason, it would appear that many pre-menopausal women suffer from a long-term imbalance of their primary hormones, mainly an excess of oestrogen and a deficiency in progesterone, a condition known as 'Oestrogen Dominance'. Usually, post-menopause, there is a deficiency of both these hormones with the relative imbalance between the two being maintained.
The endogenous endocrinotherapy method was researched and developed by Dr Jules Samuels (MD) in Amsterdam and consisted of stimulating under-active glands with radio-wave energy.
Kinesiology, derived from the 'kin' for energy and 'ology' (to study), was coined by Chiropracter Dr George Goodhart DC. It describes the study of strengthening/ weakening and locking/ unlocking of muscles when exposed to various challenges and when linked to the stimulation of various reflex points on the body. The reflexes responsible are mediated by both the Somatic Nervous System and the Autonomic Nervous System.
The Muscle Test
Goodhart originated his system of diagnosis and treatment, which he termed 'Applied Kinesiology', utilizing the muscle test. Others, such as Dr Dietrich Klinghardt MD PhD and Dr Omura MD, have done further research and development in applied kinesiology and muscle testing.
This type of muscle test could better be described as the 'Neuro-muscular-reflex-arc-test'. The reflex arc operates as an expression of both the Somatic and Autonomic Nervous Systems and is the neural pathway that controls reflex activity.
In muscle testing, manual evaluation by the practitioner is made of either a muscle's strength or weakness and of its ability to lock or unlock when the patient is challenged with (or exposed to) any item for which testing is indicated. The muscle test is used by various types of practitioner, often for quite different purposes.
Practitioners of Kinesiology use it for both assessment and treatment, working on the theory that every body organ/ function is linked to a particular muscle and by balancing faulty neuro-muscular reflexes, they are thereby able to correct energy imbalances in the organs and their functions.
Massage involves the relaxing of tense and cramped muscles by manual kneading. It requires the application of appropriate pressure to muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia for therapeutic benefit. Such pressure may be static, as in Shiatsu Massage, or dynamic e.g. Swedish Massage. A muscle is relaxed by massage towards its origin and toned by massage towards its insertion.
Muscle Energy Technique (M.E.T.)
M.E.T. was introduced by a British physiotherapist during the 1993 Olympic Games, as a method of lengthening shortened muscles. The muscle is made to contract, but not allowed to shorten. It can then be passively stretched, which causes it to lengthen and then held in this stretched position. This procedure is repeated at least three times in succession.
Lymphatic drainage is the application of appropriate, gently moving massage towards the heart, in order to enhance the clearance of accumulated lymph fluid.
Manipulation involves the therapeutic application of a static or moving force to a bone, in order to restore its alignment and range of movement at its joint. In the case of stiff joints, soft tissues such as ligaments, muscles and fascia are stretched. The movements are said to be 'passive movements', because they are carried out by the practitioner and not the patient.
Therapeutic massage is the manipulation of one or more of the soft tissues and can produce excellent results in appropriate cases.
There are two types of exercise and the movements are referred to as 'active movements', meaning they are carried out by the patient and not the practitioner. Movement exercises are designed to stretch stiff soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments and fascia, for example, in yoga.
Resistant Exercises are designed to strengthen weak muscles by working against resistance. For example, multiple repetitions lifting small weights builds muscle endurance, whereas slow lifting of heavier weights contributes to muscle bulk and strength.
Nature Cure refers only to strict adherence to the doctrines and principles of 'traditional' Nature Cure, such as:
Fortification by means of the beneficial effects of fresh/ pure air; sunlight; clean water; unprocessed foods; exercise; deep breathing; cold baths/ cold water spraying; and sound nutrition based on a Neolithic (stone-age) diet. Plants and animals that do not appear in the fossil records are excluded, e.g. cows, chickens and their produce such as milk and eggs.
Elimination of endogenous and exogenous toxins by enhancing the detoxification functions of the skin, liver, colon, lungs and kidneys, aided by exercise, sweating, skin rubs, sitz baths, fasting and colonic irrigation where indicated.
Avoidance of addictive toxins, such as coffee, tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs and only when there is a viable and safe alternative, avoiding any toxic prescription medications.
Non-suppression, only in appropriate cases of certain acute diseases, allows for the disease to run its course. The theory is that inappropriate suppression (or treatment) of acute diseases, e.g. by drugs, is a potential causative factor in the later generation of chronic disease.
Although incorporating the basic concepts of Traditional Nature Cure, Naturopathy allows for a slightly more liberal approach and incorporates new concepts where applicable, such as nutritional therapies and the assessment of allergies.
"Health is the best protection against disease" - Hippocrates
The above quote best fits the spirit of Naturopathy. Rather than 'fighting disease', Naturopathy seeks to improve and restore health by natural means, so that the body can then heal itself.
Osteopathy refers to treating various disorders through the manipulation of bones (at their joints) and/ or their related soft tissues.
A one hour appointment is usually recommended, with actual treatment time varying between 20 - 40 minutes depending on the particular requirements.
Hot & Cold Treatment
This involves the application of warmth (but not heat), or cold, as a healing aid. In the treatment of mechanical/ structural conditions, the basic principle is that immobilization and cold provide an anti-inflammatory effect, whereas warmth and mobilization helps to free-up stiffness and relax tight muscles. This is useful in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions respectively. For sub-acute conditions, a mixture of hot and cold treatment can be used, alternating between the two for periods of up to 20 minutes, starting with warm and finishing with cold.
Most parts of the body are linked through known neurological pathways, but Reflexologists believe that some links may be unknown and these could enable reactions to take place in one part of the body, by stimulating another part of the body.
Reflexology uses light touch, but can include light or deep massage and even various other forms of stimulation, such as laser stimulation, ultra-sound, acupuncture, electro-magnetic fields, etc. to reflex points/ areas.
When squashed or degenerated, inter-vertebral discs are irritating and pressing on a nerve, traction (distraction) can be applied to the neck or lumbar spine in order to decompress the discs.
Neck traction is best carried out by rhythmic and static pulling on a hand-towel looped under the neck.
Lumbar traction is best conducted on a device called a 'back-swing', which allows the patient to be inverted at an angle.
The application of various forms of physical and electro-magnetic vibration for therapeutic use. This can be done through a variety of methods, including electro-therapy (to tone or sedate muscles); laser (massage with a straightened light beam); mechanical gyration (massage with macro-mechanical oscillation energy waves); magnetic field; micro-wave (massage with high-frequency electro-magnetic waves); short-wave (massage with short length radio waves); and ultra-sound (massage with micro-mechanical sound waves).
Radionics involves assessing and treating various disorders by directing 'bad' bio-resonances from affected tissue and applying 'good' radionic resonances as an anti-dote.
Radionics evolved from Radiesthesia, a form of therapy which uses dowsing rods and pendulums to assess health and choose remedies.
Appointment times range from 45 - 90 minutes. Radionic remedies are £15 each.
There is nothing particularly special about 'sports injuries', they are diagnosed and treated just like any her injury. However, unlike other injuries, there is usually a physiotherapist available to provide immediate first aid treatment, such as 'PRICE' (Pressure, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
If swelling can be prevented in the first few minutes of a mechanical injury, the healing time can be significantly reduced. Anti-inflammatory treatments are best for reducing swelling. These include resting (or immobilizing) and raising the affected area; applying cold, such as ice-cube massage (applied through a cloth or protective layer) or an ice-water compress (safest); and the application of compression bandages.