Osteopathy, Sport & Rehabilitation
Q&A with Pierre Meslet M.Ost, Osteopath
What made you decide to study Osteopathy?
I discovered osteopathy after suffering a neck injury caused by diving into the wrong end of a swimming pool. I was advised by a senior physiotherapist that while physio was fine for rehabilitation, for an injury such as mine osteopathy would be more suitable. I then looked for an osteopath close to where I lived and found Christine Dierick, a graduate of the ESO. After 5 sessions my neck was sorted.
Have you always wanted to specialise in Sport?
As a teenager in France I was a keen athlete – my ambition was to compete at high level. Despite doing well in table tennis and athletics, I quickly realised I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete. I studied for a degree in Sports & Exercise and Science and then went on to study in Canada for a Diploma of Physiotherapy. Although the course was good, I didn’t feel I was equipped enough to treat acute, non-surgical conditions and I wanted to upgrade my knowledge and gain more hands-on techniques. As I had experienced osteopathic treatment I knew the difference it could make – the ESO had a great reputation so I decided that was where I wanted to train.
How has your career developed?
After gaining my Master of Osteopathy, I practised as an associate in several clinics in London. My wife and I always wanted to travel to Asia and that is why 6 months after graduating, we jumped at an opportunity to move to Singapore. I was pleased to find a high demand for osteopathy and I was lucky enough to get offers from 4 main practices. Being a native French speaker was definitely an advantage and I soon built up my patient list.
After 4 years in Singapore we decided to move back to London so that our baby girl would be born in Europe. Having worked as an associate for several years, I was keen to develop my own practice. Seven years ago, I registered my company Physiosteo Ltd and have been offering home visit treatments (osteopathy & rehabilitation) in South West London ever since. It’s a great way of working as I manage my own diary myself and no-one seems to be offering home visits.
Having such a flexible career has also allowed me to follow my own passions outside of practice life, including training and competing in the Marathon des Sables, known as the toughest footrace on the planet in the Sahara desert.
How did you get involved with the London Olympics and Athletics World Championships?
I’d always dreamt of being in the Olympics and when the opportunity came to be part of the 2012 volunteer programme I was determined not to miss it. Despite a lengthy application process (that started in 2010), it was similar to any other job application. At the time I hadn’t gained the 5 year post-qualified status needed to work as an osteopath during the Olympics so I applied as a Sports Massage Therapist. It was a fantastic experience so when London was selected for the 2017 Athletics World Championships I applied straight away and this time chose to be involved with the Para Athletes. I was accepted both as an osteopath and as a sports massage therapist, which I was really happy about.
Has being an osteopath met your expectations?
I can honestly say that my career has exceeded my expectations.
- I never thought I could have such a flexible diary. I mainly imagined osteopaths working long days (starting early, finishing late with a break in the middle of the day) in a clinic that often belongs to someone else. The reality showed me that it is easier than expected to open your own limited company and then practice either in a clinic or doing office and home visits like I do.
- Although I always wished to participate in international level competitions, I wasn’t sure how achievable that was for a profession that is still considered young in the sport industry.
- I am constantly amazed by how much osteopathy can benefit patients’ aches and pains.
- Having spent several years working in Singapore and Canada, I now know I can work almost anywhere in the world and that is very exciting.
- I am very pleased to say I no longer need to do any marketing / advertising and I get 100% of my new patients through word of mouth. It’s fantastic as when people see you for the first time, they already trust you as they have been referred by a friend or by family.