Goose Green Clinic

East Dulwich’s Goose Green Clinic joined the fold of Local Greens collection points late last year.  This winter period is a test of our resolve and health like none before, and it is fortuitous that we now have a home of holistic health practitioners as part of our community. Please learn more about the connection of mind and body health from Lisa Yonetani, the clinic’s practice manager. Lisa has been developing her healing skills since 1995. She is fully qualified in Craniosacral therapy, Medical herbalism, Nutritional therapy and Theta healing. She is a Reiki Master (Usui and Seichim), an Egyptian Sehkem Master, and has trained in and learnt a number of other healing techniques. Her wide repertoire of skills, which she is continuously expanding and refining, together with her ongoing personal and spiritual development, allows her to offer a truly integrated approach to healthcare and wellbeing. Lisa brings compassion to all of her work and is committed to helping and empowering others to heal. She strives to foster a sense of community and eco-friendly business practices within the clinic.

Local Greens: What is the history of the clinic and how do all the practitioners work together?

Lisa Yonetani: The building has been linked to community healthcare since it was built in the 1880s. Interestingly, historical ordnance survey maps seem to indicate that it was originally used as a vaccination centre – which must have been part of the small pox vaccination drive of the time – a curious fact given the COVID-19 vaccination drive the UK is now going through! It was also a GP practice for many years. Ravi Parbhoo, who inherited the property from his doctor parents, established his osteopathic practice here in 1999. From around 2011, with my management support, and later also with the help of my lovely receptionist colleagues, the practice gradually expanded as a multi-disciplinary, holistic health centre.

As of February last year – just weeks before the pandemic struck – Goose Green Clinic was re-established as my own practice at its original location on the ground floor of number 59. It has been scaled-back in size, offering three beautiful rooms, but continues to host a wide variety of therapies and classes. At the time there were over 30 self-employed practitioners working here – all fully qualified in their fields, insured and highly skilled. We've always tried to foster a sense of community at the clinic, and while everyone is independent, there is substantial cooperation between many of the core practitioners and teachers. This supports a holistic approach as we can make internal referrals and our clients are able to easily access a network of services to meet their different needs.

LG: What is your connection to the Dulwich community and your favourite thing about it?

LY: I've been fortunate enough to live in East Dulwich since 2008. My favourite thing about it (at least before the pandemic) was the abundance of great pubs, cafes, restaurants, independent shops, the North Cross Road market and Picture House, all together with the community feel. I sincerely hope all these great businesses, which define East Dulwich, survive the pandemic.

LG: What are the benefits of holistic health and how are you different from other centres?

LY: Living through a pandemic is reminding many of us just how important it is to promote and maintain our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health – and that these aspects are closely interlinked. This is why a holistic approach to health is so important.  Holistic and integrated healthcare, which encourages the combination of orthodox with complementary medicine, has the potential to improve health and wellbeing on a deeper level, going beyond addressing specific symptoms to looking at their root causes, the person as a whole and how she or he lives. It has the potential to address chronic conditions as well as to prevent illness – aspects often given less attention by standard, modern medicine. It addresses all aspects of a person's being, and helps to empower people to take more control of their own health.

The clinic serves a really diverse clientele who travel here from both near and far. Some are "regulars", and many, if not most, come on word-of-mouth recommendations while others are just looking for support, or to try something new. I am always happy to make introductions and help with advice.

The Goose Green Clinic is different from many other centres in its approach and energy. It has a warm, welcoming and homely feel and people have frequently commented on its special energy and atmosphere. This is no doubt partly down to the building’s lovely, Victorian features, but mostly, I believe, it's engendered by the kind, people-centred approach, as opposed to a more clinical and business-oriented one. Of course the many, lovely practitioners who are cherished members of the Goose Green Clinic family make us special. I am grateful for their support and proud of the positive feedback and reputation we have built. 

LG: Any surprising or unique benefits people receive from your treatments?

LY: My own practice – craniosacral therapy and diverse, tailored energy work – has plenty of surprising and unique benefits. It impacts every level of the body, and every session is unique and so interesting. As with any therapy, everyone responds differently but it usually has very powerful responses, such as rapid relief of anxiety or physical symptoms, and it's all the more interesting when the client is able to notice things happening during the treatment. My clients are often surprised by other benefits they weren't expecting through our work together, such as sleeping better or feeling more balanced and centered. Another surprising aspect is that I can do this work remotely, so I am still able to reach more people despite all the current restrictions. I understand that some people can be very skeptical or curious and am happy to answer questions.

The other main treatments offered at the clinic include osteopathy, acupuncture, various massage therapy and reflexology, all of which have their own unique benefits.

LG: What's your favourite part of working at Goose Green Clinic?

LY: It's all about the love! I have met so many lovely people through the clinic, practitioners, staff and clients and made a number of deeply cherished friends. As corny as it may sound, being of service and knowing that we are positively impacting so many people's lives and helping support the community is humbling and rewarding. 

LG: Why did you decide to partner with Local Greens as a collection point?

LY: We're delighted to be affiliated with and help support a local, green, sustainable, health promoting and women-run business and the wider community in this way. What could be more perfect? It's wonderful to see the front garden being used as a collection point for such a worthwhile enterprise.

LG: How do your offerings compliment Local Green's mission of sustainable, local food?

LY: We are all about health and wellbeing, and a healthy diet, incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, especially organic, is a crucial part of this. I'm also a qualified nutritional therapist so can fully appreciate the value of the beautiful organic produce Local Greens supplies. I believe we share the same green, health promoting and community serving values and ethos, and our work can be seen as a wonderful extension of each other’s. 

LG: How have you survived or adapted throughout the pandemic?

LY: COVID-19 measures have dramatically changed who can work, and how we need to work for the time being. Business at the clinic has inevitably been a lot quieter and more of a struggle at times, but I am very grateful that we have been able to stay open since June and able to help support people who really need it, especially those in physical or mental/emotional pain. Since June 2020, in line with government rules, only the osteopaths, primarily Will Westwood, and acupuncturists, Rahul Pillai and Deborah Warden, have been allowed to continue practising uninterrupted at the clinic.  Another eight or nine of us have been able to come back in person, on and off, according to the changing rules and best practice guidance from our governing bodies. We have implemented full COVID safety and cleaning protocols, including sanitising between every patient/client, and I'm very grateful to the practitioners for their cooperation with this. It's been tough for everyone, including the practitioners and teachers who have been unable to work fully. We're all looking forward to the clinic being able to function at full steam once again. I see our services as being essential support, which also takes some pressure off of the NHS. 

LG: What is new and exciting at the clinic for 2021?

LY: We're taking things day by day at the moment, as it's hard to plan much ahead in the current climate. That said, I do have some more courses lined up to further develop my own practice, which I'm really looking forward to. Rest assured, we will all be back at work as soon as possible and are looking forward to brighter times ahead!

Learn about all of the clinic’s offerings and how you can benefit from therapies during lockdown at http://www.goosegreenclinic.net