Vav Simon
(Mhairi Simon)

DC AMC FRCC
Clinical Director

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Written by

Jo Macaulay, Features Writer,

Isle of Wight County Press

21/10/05

In The Press

Healing Hands Make for Healthy Animals


A GSD walking in low water in the Water WalkerThe equipment includes three new types of water treatment for dogs in a very sparkly new barn, with fetching turquoise and white paint scheme. The swimming pool, up a wooden decked ramp, is 10ft by 12ft, heated to dog body temperature and has spa jets to provide resistance for therapy treatments.

Other treatments such as acupuncture and homeopathy have to be administered by a vet and visiting vets will be on site. Russell Pettit, a remedial saddler, will operate a clinic to make your saddle fit properly on your horse. A remedial farrier will also lecture.

Vav Simon adjusting a horse's backAldermoor Farm will offer a range of treatments for horses and Vav hopes owners from here and the mainland will be sending race, showjumping and dressage horses for healing, rest and recuperation.

Because of Vav and Dave’s commitment to the natural life, they have founded an organisation called Earthworks, which puts on talks and courses in aspects of living that fit into their ideology.

These range from beekeeping, barn owl conservation, bat watching and dousing for water among other things. Dave is also running courses in building with straw bales — building houses and barns that is. A Thousand Ancient Mothers, a workshop in women’s creative energy, is next on the agenda.

You might find out something about yourself that will surprise you — I know of one woman who has become a born-again beekeeper for starters.

SAY alternative or natural healing and a lot of people turn off. But what they don’t realise is most alternative therapies were around long before conventional medicine.

We all rushed to embrace the new scientific approach but what do you do when conventional medicine doesn’t offer an acceptable remedy? And, even more difficult, how can you ask an animal where it hurts? If you have a horse that is lame and surgery is the very last resort, where do you go?

Vav Simon palpating a horse's spine for chiropractic assessment Most humans won’t get referred to a chiropractor by their doctor for joint or muscle pain but animals can be sent, by their vet, to Vav Simon’s Natural Health Centre at Aldermoor Farm, for manipulation, massage and exercise.

They can also be given specific treatments to aid recuperation and recovery from surgery. Vav works very closely with many Island vets, particularly for her chiropractic skills.

“We’re a multi therapy centre — every conceivable type of therapy is available for all sorts of animals,” said Vav. “Two legged animals at the Watchbell Centre,” said Vav with a laugh, of her human patients she treats in Newport.

“I was recognised as a healer as a seven-year-old inVav Simon with a Cavelier in the Spa Scotland,” Vav said in her soft Scottish lilt. “My granny encouraged it but my mother pooh-poohed it. People brought me injured birds and the like. I went on to train in soft tissue work and then as a chiropractor.

“I worked with humans first and then did animals as a postgraduate qualification and I have been all over the world treating animals,” said Vav, who moved to the Island nine years ago, with a view to slowing down. The centre came about as a need. “Now the animals can come here and I can supply equipment that I cannot transport in my car,” Vav explained as she showed me the farm that she and her husband, Dave, moved into only a year ago and which opened for business last month.