Earlier this year a new acupuncture and shiatsu studio, Brixton Bass, opened on Tunstall Road. We interviewed acupuncturist Charlie Verschoyle about the studio
Could you tell me a bit about your background and why you wanted to set up the studio in Brixton?
A group of us came together last year with the shared vision of setting up an integrative and complementary health centre in Brixton. We’ve all known each other for some time, as colleagues in the shiatsu and acupuncture fields, as fellow students, and as friends. We believe there is something very powerful when people work together.
By bringing together a wide range of acupuncturists and shiatsu practitioners in a shared space, an amazing community spirit emerges. Working very fluidly as a team, with our different backgrounds in Yoga, Aikido, Tai Chi, Tuina, Physiotherapy, and Buddhist meditation, all of which have variously shaped our understanding of the human body and mind, we can tap into this great expertise and generously share our knowledge with each other as well as with patients.
Jane and Sibs have both been living and working in Brixton for over 20 years so it was a natural place to start.
Do you think Brixton is an especially good place for an acupuncture studio like this? Why?
The area is thriving, full of potential, friendly, and open-minded, these are all qualities that we value, so it seemed a fantastic place to open the studio. On top of this, the location of the studio is perfect, being a one minute walk opposite from Brixton tube, on Tunstall Road, a quiet residential street.
Brixton has a very mixed community, spanning a wide range of incomes and we wanted to create a space that can cater for everybody, rich and poor. We have set up the clinic, not to be exclusive, but to make acupuncture and shiatsu affordable for the whole community. There is a tremendous advantage in treating people in a light and open space and with other people.
What has been the response? How have the past few months been since you started up?
The response has been positive all round. We had a great open-day with hundreds of people through the doors, and working in the space over the last few months we’ve seen many people leave free of illness, pain-free and happy. This has been hugely encouraging but we still need to seek new avenues into the community so that we can benefit all the different groups. Brixton is a diverse place and we are very open to forming bridges with whoever is in need.
What do you believe are benefits of shiatsu and acupuncture and what is particular to how you practice them?
The benefits are many. There are numerous studies showing it’s efficacy resolving all types of pain including migraine headaches, arthritic pain, menstrual pain, back/neck pain, benefiting those undergoing cancer treatment, and also anything from infertility to depression, stress, IBS, insomnia… We practice a form of medicine that can work well side-by-side with conventional medicine, but also in many instances can work extremely well by itself. A fundamental tenet in all Eastern systems of medicine is that to cure is second best, number one is prevention. As such, a major part of what we do is helping people understand their own health and working towards making positive changes so that we can keep in good shape and good spirits through our years.
What kinds of things are you offering at the moment – have you expanded the classes and workshops on offer already?
Mostly Acupuncture and Shiatsu. We are also steadily building up a schedule of classes with some talented and unique teachers, including meditation, yoga, and qigong. The studio is home to the Shiatsu College, who offer training in Shiatsu and a monthly low-cost student clinic. There are a number of workshops and courses in the planning, so keep an eye on our website www.brixtonbass.co.uk.
To book in for a treatment or to learn more about what Brixton Bass offer you can call them on 07443 180 175.