A meeting with Mr Bownes @ Pensthorpe

A cold, drizzly morning recently found me at Creative Chiropractic @ Pensthorpe, where I had kindly been invited for a one-hour massage. The practice is located in a pretty flint and brick building within Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham; once cottages for farm workers, with some bits dating back to the 18th-century, the building has been thoughtfully restored by Deb Jordan, who owns Pensthorpe with her husband Bill.

Creative Chiropractic moved their practice here from Holt in 2016. It’s the perfect location. There’s ample parking, easy access and, of course, beautiful views even on this grey, wintry day.

The view from the Creative Chiropractic office

The practice’s reception is on the first floor (there is a lift for patients who might struggle with the stairs) - it’s bright and welcoming. I’m greeted warmly and introduced to the practice mascot Mr Bownes - a model skeleton with an impressive collection of hand-knitted hats.

Set up by Linda and Michael I’Anson in 2007, Creative Chiropractic offers chiropractic treatments, as well as sports massage, pre and post race treatments, aromatherapy massage, reflexology and pregnancy massage. There are four spacious, light-filled treatment rooms (three on the first floor, one on the ground floor).

The chiropractor's room

One of the treatment rooms

The in-house practitioners include Chiropractor Michael, two Massage Therapists (Jess and Serena, who offer deep tissue and clinical massage as well as more relaxing massage to de-stress), Reflexologist Susie and Rehabilitation Specialist Rachael, who is the person to see if you’ve got a sports injury or trauma fractures, for example.

Chatting to the team, I get a real sense that the emphasis here is on supporting each other and working together to provide a tailored treatment plan for patients, whether that be chiropractic treatment, a deep-tissue massage or advising on how to build up core stability - or all of them combined.

My massage therapist Jess and I discuss what I’m after from my massage today (my lower back has become achy and stiff from carrying four kids over the years, plus I want to try and counter some of the Chardonnay/ coffee damage accrued during half-term).

The 'naturally thinking' massage oils

The products Jess uses are by a brand called ‘naturally thinking’ - I plump for the Skin Detox oil, which smells delightfully citrusy. Jess’s massage is excellent - it’s firm, but never painful, and I really feel she’s working through the knots and getting the circulation going. I ask her to pay special attention to my thighs as they need a bit of lymphatic drainage. Lucky Jess!

The hour goes by all too quickly - I definitely feel looser in the shoulders and neck, and my lower back, which had been causing me to wake at night, is less troublesome. I drink loads of water, relishing in the knowledge that I’m flushing out some of those newly-released toxins. And that night, I sleep more soundly than I have for weeks (actually, make that months).

A 60-minute full body massage costs £45.

Creative Chiropractic @ Pensthorpe, Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, NR21 0LN

01328 854 325, www.creativechiropractic.co.uk

PS While I was there, I took a quick peek of the Garden Room and Water Court, Pensthorpe’s latest project. Following an extensive renovation, again masterminded by Deb Jordan, the Garden Room (which I could only see through the window, hence no pics) looks like a lovely venue space with a capacity of up to 65.

The light, airy room has an epic marble floor, yet more great views of the Park and double doors opening onto the Water Court, which reminds me of an Italianate Garden, with its grey and white stone, pillars and water features. Bear in mind these pics are from a cold, grey, winter's day. But what a great spot for a wedding or a summer party.

For more information, email events@pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851465

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