An osteopath who has recently opened her own clinic in Andover has described her journey from patient to professional.

According to the NHS, “osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person's muscles and joints.”

As an infant, Beth Lawrence benefitted from this treatment herself when her mother took her to an osteopath, which she said turned her “from a screaming baby in pain to a calm contented [one].”

The treatments continued as she got older, with sports injuries from running 100 and 200m races requiring further trips to the osteopath. As a result, she became deeply interested in helping others, initially training in sports therapy.

However, Beth told the Advertiser that she “wanted to do something more clinical, so that she could help everyone, not just sportspeople.”

This led to her starting at the University College of Osteopathy in London in 2014, where she spent five years in training to qualify as a professional. During that time, she spent time working at the university’s clinic to build up her expertise, where she helped everyone from pregnant women to those suffering with HIV.

Since graduating, she’s been working for the NHS in Basingstoke, but admits that “she wanted to start her own business.” She started looking around, and after finding “a really nice room” at the Basepoint business centre in Andover, she opened her private clinic, Osteobeth, on October 5.

“I’m still doing NHS work one day a week,” said Beth. “I want to continue that so that I can give something back to everyone.”

While she’s still building up a list of patients, she says she’s had “a really good reaction” so far, including from the businesses at Basepoint.

“The other businesses are really grateful to have me here,” she said. “It’s great for networking and getting that community feeling.”

One problem she and many other businesses now face is that of Covid. For Beth, the need to touch people to do her work has meant that she’s had to take a lot of precautions.

“It’s especially hard to work with clients at the moment,” she said. “There’s added PPE costs, and I’ve had to completely change how I work. As a new graduate, it’s been an added challenge.”

While masks and gloves are new, she says that the sanitation procedure is one thing that hasn’t changed, ensuring that everything is cleaned after a client visits.

Though she may just have the one clinic for now, she’s dreaming big for the future. “Ideally, I’d like to do it full time,” she said. “I’d like a bigger, multi-disciplinary clinic with a chiropractor and physiotherapist to treat a range of conditions. I also want to do workshops to raise awareness of osteopathy, particularly with young people.

“People are more aware than ever of the importance of good health at the moment, and body maintenance is key to that.”

To learn more about Beth’s work, you can visit Osteobeth’s website.