Integrated clinic for Ballater?

By Kim McRae

AN integrated health clinic which aims to treat the mind and body could open in Ballater.

Leemac Clinic would see conventional and complementary medicine running in parallel to further understand the relationship between mind, body and medicine, and would be open to anyone who could pay for their treatment.

Once up and running, it would probably be open for up to 12 hours a day and employ 58 part time staff, including caterers.

There may also be residential accommodation.

So great has interest been in Leemac's work that following a packed presentation at Ballater's Monaltrie Hotel last month, another is to take place at the Victoria and Albert Halls supper room in Ballater, at 7pm today (Thursday).

Eileen McKay, of Leemac, said the clinic's objective was to look at the whole patient — their body, mind, spirit, emotion and brain.

A trained physiotherapist but working as an energy medicine therapist at Ballater Clinic, she hopes to use the mind to heal the body and vice-versa.

“We will focus a lot on preventative medicine — preventing people becoming ill,” she said. “We know from the new science of epigenetics that lifestyle modification and dietary modification can help prevent certainly the diseases of middle age.

“All treatments used at Leemac will be grounded in science — there is a scientific basis to everything we do.”

Two presentations discussing Leemac's intentions were held on the same evening last month and more than 100 people turned up.

“We have organised a lot of events and fundraisers in Ballater and the whole reason we are ready to open it up to people is to show them what it can bring to Ballater,” said Eileen. “If you have something that is first class and achieves results, people will be drawn to it — even international clientele.”

Eileen said they had already had countless offers of help from people interested in becoming involved in Leemac. Because it is a Scottish registered charity, it is eligible for medical funding.

A feasibility study is to be commissioned to find a dedicated building to house the clinic and to gauge the likely uptake.

Eileen expects the study to be complete by early next year and for the clinic to be up and running in the next year.

She is hoping to attract international specialists to work at the clinic and hopes that once its reputation grows, people from abroad will visit for treatment.

“We are looking at various sites, staying ideally within the Ballater area because it has such a wonderful ambience — everything about it is right,” she said.

An example of integrated medicine is using complementary therapies to enhance the quality of life for those undergoing conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer — easing the stresses of this devastating illness which affects one in three people in the UK.

Other conditions which can be treated by energy medicine are musculo-skeletal problems including sports injuries and chronic complaints such as backache and neckache.

Stress is one of the underlying factors in conditions such as asthma and eczema and in digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and eating disorders.

“As a treatment and research clinic — which is patient centred — doctors and practitioners will work together focusing on a personalised graduated course of treatments specifically geared to each individual,” said Eileen.

“There is already a great deal of active support in the Deeside area for this project, which will certainly enhance international recognition of the area with the resulting economic advantages for the local people.”

Eileen thanked people for their support of the project so far.

At this evening's cheese and wine presentation, an update on the clinic's progress will be given, along with an introduction by Ballater GP Dr Doug Glass and speaker Professor Graham Page from Grampian University Hospital's Accident & Emergency Department on What the NHS Cannot Provide.

Tea and coffee will be served from 6.30pm. Disabled access is available.

For more information, call Leemac on (013397) 56323.