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Fancy a dip?
Welcome to our latest newsletter

In this issue of The Heeler Centre newsletter, we’re taking a dive… literally. We’re focusing on the pastime that suddenly gets a lot more popular when temperatures soar - swimming!

As a result of lockdown, many leisure centres and pools have had to close for extended periods. But this has opened up the idea of open water and wild swimming to people who have been desperate for their swimming fix.

With World Oceans Day around the corner on 8th June, we thought it a good opportunity to focus on all things water-based, from wild swimming to cold water therapy.

And, as ever, if you end up picking up a niggle or injury by trying to be the next Adam Peaty, you know where to find us - here on 01273 843780.

See you soon,

The Heeler Centre Team

Why it's time to go back to nature with open water swimming

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While we’re allowed back in public pools again, the prolonged lockdown has introduced to many the idea of open water and wild swimming.

Both open water swimming and wild swimming offer a chance to swim in open outdoor bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Open water swimming tends to be more organised, while wild swimming is an opportunity to swim whenever the opportunity presents itself in a suitable body of water.

One thing to be wary of is the difference between pool swimming and open water. Pool swimming is a controlled environment. Swimming in rivers and lakes presents challenges, such as hidden objects in the water, the unknown depth, water cleanliness and hidden currents. That’s why it’s important to gain experience with open water swimming first by either having a few lessons or only swimming in areas well-known and proven to be safe for wild/open water.

If you’re not confident, there are clubs with whom you can go swimming together.

Open water sessions and lessons are available at two reservoirs in Sussex, Ardingly and Weirwood.

Weirwood organises one-hour, pop-up open water swims for members (you can join online for £10). See more details here: https://popupopenwaterswims.vpweb.co.uk/

Ardingly open water swimming is organised by The Mid Sussex Triathlon Club, running on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. Check here for more details: https://midsussextriclub.com/training-zone/open-water-swim-sessions/

We're celebrating World Oceans Day on 8th June

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We’re celebrating World Oceans Day on 8th June 2021, as part of the UN campaign to bring attention to the plight of ocean life under threat. The statistics are frightening with 90% of all big fish populations depleted and 50% of coral reefs destroyed. World Oceans Day is designed to bring attention to the work we need to do now to protect and preserve ocean life. For more information, go to the official United Nations World Oceans Day website here. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Brrr... waking up to the benefits of cold water therapy

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For most (normal) people the idea of waking up to a cold shower or bath sounds the worst way to start your day.

But there is a growing body of scientific evidence to show that immersion in cold water has strong therapeutic effects on everything from weight loss to easing depression.

In fact, studies have shown that cold water therapy can:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Alleviate anxiety
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Increase your energy levels
  • Improve circulation
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve metabolic function
  • Improve your sleep

As you’ll have seen in this issue we’re promoting taking a dip in the sea, a lake or reservoir and last time we checked they weren't heated so that’s one form of cold water therapy. Other forms include ice baths, cold chambers and cold showers.

You don’t - and shouldn't - start with full immersion. One way to start gaining the benefits of cold water therapy is to introduce cold water immersion gradually.

Don’t jump into a cold shower. Instead, take a shower in the morning as normal, but drop the temperature for the last 30 seconds of your shower so you finish the shower cold.

If you’ve been exercising or out in the sun all day, going straight into a cold shower may actually feel very refreshing. Whatever you do, make sure you have help at hand when you attempt your first cold water immersion and warm up when you get out of a cold shower.

The key is to start gradually and build up. Never immerse yourself in cold water for very long if you’re not used to it.

If you're interested in finding out more, The Wim Hof Method is perhaps the most famous programme for cold water therapy, named after its hugely eccentric but entertaining inventor. Discover more here www.wimhofmethod.com

Supporting Annie's Channel swim to raise money for The Royal Alex

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A few months ago, we mentioned that we were supporting one of our patients, Annie Shotton who is training to swim the English Channel this year. Annie is a children's nurse by day at The Royal Alex and she's raising money for the hospital. 

We continue to follow Annie's journey and so please donate or visit her page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/channelswimmingmum
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Try out outdoor swimming at some of these beautiful locations in Sussex

Escaping a swimming pool can be a wonderful experience. Without the crowds or the smell of chlorine, it is a completely different experience.

It is freer and more invigorating swimming in the more natural setting of a lake or river. And it offers the opportunity to experience these places in a completely different way.

Fortunately, Sussex is blessed with many stunning outdoor swimming locations.

In addition to open water swimming at the reservoirs mentioned above, there are lots of place in Sussex where you can enjoy swimming outdoors.

Sea swimming

The most obvious and most popular place to swim open water is the sea… and we’ve got plenty of that on the South Coast. There’s nothing more invigorating with an early morning dip in the sea.

Our favourite sea swimming location is, of course, West Wittering. It goes without saying that you just be prepared for plenty of waiting in traffic on the way there - as everyone else thinks the same!

Wild swimming locations

There are a number of well-known wild swimming locations in Sussex that many have used before.

Barcombe Mills - The section of the River Ouse around Barcombe Mills is a well-used section for swimmers and also a perfect picnic spot. The nearby Anchor Inn pub also offers boats for hire. As with much of Sussex's rivers, the water quality isn’t great so avoid drinking.

Cuckmere - There are plenty of wild swimming options at Cuckmere from the wide, shallow meanders (watch out for weeds) to sea swimming at Cuckmere Haven. Also, this is perfect to combine with a walk.

Midhurst - A popular wild swimming spot is here on the banks of the River Rother, again perfect for picnics and families, too.

For more suggestions and wild swimming advice, check out this Sussex Live feature.

Heeler Centre price increases

As a clinic, we made the hard decision to increase our prices slightly from April 2021. Over the last year our costs have gone up significantly and we’ve tried our hardest to mitigate any increase in costs so we don't pass this onto you. 
However, we took the decision to make the change now and increased the prices of most of our treatments by £2 in April 2021. Massage however hasn’t increased since 2016 so this has increased by £5 per treatment. 
If you have any questions about the cost of your treatment, please speak to your therapist or the reception team at The Heeler Centre.
Thank you for your support as always! 

Who is available to treat?


Not sure whether you can get treatment with the lockdown opening up in stages? No worries. Here is the full list of therapists available for treatment right now. Please call reception if you have any questions.

Osteopathy - Lee, Alexandra and Sujin

Podiatry - Jo T, Jo C and Nikki

Sports Therapy / Sports Massage- Jade 

Massage - Carrie & Nilnate

Acupuncture - Jeremy & Mo

Counselling - Lorna, Sarah, Sally and Imogen
Virtual Counselling - Jon

Hypnotherapy - Stephanie 

Nutrition and reflexology - Claire

Homeopathy - Julie 
Click here to book your appointment today

Clinic protocols


Our clinic protocols continue to remain in force, specifically the requirement for track and trace. Please see below for our current protocols:
  • Pre-arranged appointments only… please call or book online.
  • Please wear a mask when arriving at the clinic and when in the reception area – we have masks to help yourselves to if you don't have one with you.
  • We are temperature checking all patients on arrival to the clinic.
  • Hand sanitise or wash hands on entering the clinic.
  • Please arrive exactly at your appointment time to reduce time spent in reception waiting areas. 
  • Please aim to maintain the 2m social distancing measure where possible.
  • If possible, please pay contactless up to £45.
  • As of 24th September, it was a legal requirement for the clinic to help with track and trace... you’ll be asked for permission to be able to use your details that we have stored should we need to contact you. 
  • Our patients are not obliged to but we are required to provide an NHS QR track and trace code to scan using the NHS app. 
See below for the QR track and trace code that you can scan to show your attendance at The Heeler Centre. These will also be displayed in the clinic. If you have any questions about this, please call our Reception team who will be happy to explain.
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The Heeler Centre, Bridge House, Station Approach East, Hassocks, West Sussex, BN6 8HN

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