Mary Monro, an osteopath with twenty-two years’ experience, came across Eyre Place by chance. She had moved to Edinburgh with her husband just before the pandemic started, saw the practice while looking for a flat in the area, and popped in to say hello. Glynis offered her a job, and two months later, Edinburgh went into lockdown.
In those first few months of lockdown, Mary lived close to the practice and got to know the local community well. She quickly became part of the local WhatsApp group, getting to know her neighbours as well as making connections with osteopaths across the city.
Mary qualified in London and went on to work in Bath for twenty years before moving to Scotland. She did post-graduate training in cranial osteopathy at the Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy (SCCO) where she is now a trustee, studied Biodynamic Osteopathy, and gained an MSc in Paediatric Osteopathy. She teaches osteopathy at post-graduate level.
Mary specialises in cranial osteopathy. This treatment is not just about the head. Rather, it is a subtle, gentle treatment which is well suited to babies, children, pregnant women, and older people. It is also useful for complicated long-standing problems – an effective way of engaging the body’s own healing mechanisms to unpick the tapestry of issues that have built up over time.
The team at Eyre Place has a set of complementary skills. While some of the osteopaths such as Mary have their own specialisms, they can also cover for each other when required. This is essential in giving patients confidence in the practice. The practice is also known for its leadership work on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as well as its general support for osteopaths across the city and beyond. For Mary, this means being a trustee of the Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy, teaching CPD to osteopaths from around the world and contributing to local groups such as the Scottish Long Covid Support group on Facebook.
Mary enjoys variety. An ideal day for her might involve seeing a newborn baby, a child, a couple of older people, and a working-age patient. It is a great day if patients have been doing well and are feeling better. And it is particularly special if a patient has got back to doing something they love after weeks, months or even years of being unable to do it. Mary cites an example of a patient with chronic back pain who came into the clinic one day and said that he had played badminton with his daughter for the first time in over twenty years. For Mary, helping people who are stressed and anxious, because of their pain or loss of function, is also critical. When people feel start feeling better, they change their relationship with stress and can manage it better. For example, when babies stop screaming following cranial osteopathy treatment, the whole household can settle. Mary is not only treating the baby, she is treating the whole family too.
Mary loves being an osteopath, meeting people and building relationships. And every day is a school day. Each patient has a different story and history. She is always learning something from individual perspectives and points of view. Where a patient has lower back pain, the anatomy and physiology are clear. However, what is not initially clear is how that back pain started, how it interacts with other symptoms the patient may have and how it is affecting the patient’s life. Discovering this, through careful listening and questioning, helps Mary develop her practice, prepare a unique treatment plan for each patient and give them personalised advice on self-care. Everyone’s pain is different and understanding that and being attuned to it helps with empathy.
Working in partnership with patients, listening, understanding and being supportive are essential components in Mary’s osteopathy practice. This was particularly important during the lockdown periods of the pandemic when many patients found it difficult to access other healthcare providers. During this time, Mary was able to support patients on their wider healthcare journeys, helping translate the results of scans, being a sounding board, giving advice and reassurance, and just being there as someone to walk that path with them.
While Mary is a relatively recent arrival at Eyre Place, she has previous experience in Wiltshire of working with the same patients for up to twenty years. She treated them, their families and even their dogs. Developing strong relationships with patients helped her with diagnosis and treatments. She understood family dynamics and worked across the generations. Those patients have described her as supportive, calm, reassuring, caring and a great listener. She treats the whole person – working with mind, body and spirit.
In this context, Mary believes that Eyre Place’s twenty-first birthday this year demonstrates that it is a successful practice, having built up a community of patients. It provides effective healthcare that people want to turn to and return to when they have problems. And it has even more opportunity in the future. During the pandemic, many people who had never had osteopathy before came to see osteopaths at Eyre Place and other clinics. They did this because they couldn’t access anyone else, they were in pain, and they wanted to get a diagnosis and treatment. The pandemic thus increased awareness of osteopathy and widened access.
Mary has also been treating long-covid patients and post-covid patients. The whole-person approach to Covid that is used by osteopaths is a great example of the importance of treating a person in the context of their physical, mental, emotional and social needs. Mary hopes that osteopathy will reach out to the wider world, supporting a shift in healthcare to a more holistic approach.
While Mary loves working with people, she is also an animal osteopath, having worked with stud and competition horses in the past as well as dogs and cats. She is also a writer, having published Stranger in My Heart (Unbound, 2018), a book about her father’s World War II heroics. She is now finishing a novel based on her great aunt who was the first female tech entrepreneur, setting up a computing services business in 1916. Mary is a keen gardener, growing fruit and vegetables. She also enjoys exploring the many beautiful areas of Scotland and hopes that the cultural delights of Edinburgh will soon be back in abundance.
You can book an appointment with Mary here.