Clinic owner and director, Petra Erving has worked in the healthcare industry since 2003 when she joined Apex Clinic in Belfast as a Sports Therapist. During her time there, Petra travelled to Michigan, USA, to train with America’s leading experts. She studied under Scar Tissue Specialist Susan Cochrane, at the Centre of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (CPRS) and Ann Arbor who teaches in the specialised techniques to breakdown and resolve problematic scar tissue. As part of that training, Petra had to learn about the lymphatic system and completed parts 1 and 2 of Bruno Chikly’s Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT).
In 2008, wanting to further her knowledge in lymphatic issues, Petra completed certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy through Klose Training and Consulting, gaining her certification as a Lymphoedema Practitioner. On completion of her training, Petra set up a small private clinic in Killinchy, County Down, offering treatment for patients with lymphoedema and lipoedema.
Petra’s desire to work with more complex patients spurred her to move to England. So, in July 2011, Petra joined the Lymphoedema team in St. George’s Hospital, Tooting, vastly increasing her skills and knowledge of treating patients with obesity related and primary lymphoedema. This was Petra’s first introduction to treating patients with wounds and proved to be a very valuable learning experience.
In November 2011, a more permanent position became available in Meadow House lymphoedema clinic in Ealing Hospital, where Petra worked as MLD Therapist for 4 years. This is where she gained experience of working not only with arm and leg lymphoedemas, but with head and neck and truncal lymphoedemas too.
Petra joined London Bridge Plastic Surgery (LBPS) in Wimpole Street in January 2012, where she integrated Manual lymphatic drainage into patients pre and postoperative surgical packages. This meant that each person having a surgical procedure in LBPS had at least 1 – 3 preop MLD sessions, and anything from 3 – 10 postop MLD sessions, dependent upon the procedure. MLD proved to be extremely beneficial in reducing patients healing times as the postoperative swelling reduced more quickly. Petra worked with LBPS until November 2015.
In April 2015, Petra set up Medical Therapies as there was increasing demand to help people with lymphoedema privately. Petra worked both from home in Maidenhead and in the London Breast Clinic in Harley Street. Referrals came from Consultant Breast Surgeons, Consultant Oncologists and Vascular Surgeons, from clinics such as the London Oncology Centre (LOC), The London Clinic and The London Breast Clinic. However, both practices become so busy that a decision had to be made on which one to concentrate on.
As Petra was living in Maidenhead, it was the obvious choice and so her Harley Street practice closed. Since then however, the Maidenhead clinic has steadily grown enabling Petra to take on extra therapists; Nicola Kenworthy, MLD Therapist and Sam Thornton, PT and CanRehab Specialist.
Sam qualified as an RGN from Guy’s Hospital in 1991, specialising in Orthopaedics and then moved into Cardiology and Medicine from 1992 – 1993.
Due to her interest in movement and rehabilitation she went on to gain an advanced qualification in Orthopaedics and Trauma in 1994, working at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford as a Senior Nurse.
In 1995 Sam joined British Airways as an Aviation Medicine Trainer, training flying staff in First Aid, Resuscitation, Defibrillation and how to manage medical conditions in flight. She remained working for BA for 10 years. However, throughout this time, she kept up her clinical nursing at The Royal Berks in Reading and at The Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor, working in a variety of specialities such as surgery, rehabilitation and care of the elderly.
Her love of sport continued throughout adulthood and in 2012, Sam decided to combine the fields of Nursing and exercise and qualified at Diploma Level as a Personal Trainer. The combination of the two fields adds credibility to her role and imparts a more thorough medical and anatomical knowledge to exercises that she ‘prescribes’.
Sam is a fully qualified cancer rehabilitation specialist. She completed and passed the training and qualification in the renowned "CanRehab" course in 2016. This gives her a sound knowledge of all the different cancers and what their treatment involves, meaning she can devise her exercise plans for patients being fully aware of their individual issues and capabilities. Sam and her patients, have found exercise and movement to have multiple benefits. Not only to their movement patterns, but by improving their fitness and most importantly, their self-confidence.
Nicola worked for British Airways as Cabin Crew for 24 years. Having decided she would like a change of direction, she trained in holistic and remedial massage achieving qualification with ITEC and BTEC to Level 5. During her training, she touched on the benefits of Manual Lymph Drainage and decided this was the route she’d like to follow. Nicola then studied and trained in the Vodder method of MLD, gaining Level 2/3 qualification in 2013. Nicola joined oxford Lymphoedema service in early 2016, where she still works part time.
She joined the medical therapies team in October 2016 and since then, Nicola has found a renewed passion for treating Lymphoedema. So, in December 2016 she completed further training with Gudrun Collins in the Foeldi method of treating lymphoedema. Nicola plans to attend the Advanced Review course through Klose Training and Consulting at the renowned Foeldi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany in June.