Val Weeks

Guardian Gazette, 23 September 1990

Mums-to-be encouraged to sing-along

Over100 babies born under water – that's the claim to fame of a South Woodford doctor.

But that's only part of a revolutionary family health scheme being developed by Dr Gowri Motha, a fully qualified gynaecologist and obstetrician who also works part-time at Whipps Cross Hospital.In fact, she is the only doctor there at present to use the under-water delivery method.I've delivered more than 100 babies over the past three years," Dr Motha told the Guardian Gazette. "But around 5,000 are born at Whipps Cross every year and I would dearly love to see more born under water."Among the first few babies delivered by Dr Motha – reported at the time in this newspaper – was a little girl, born to Andrew and Romy Dunn, who live in Woodford Green. The couple were so delighted with the method that they decided to repeat the experience. Their second child is due this week.Dr Motha also runs pre-natal singing classes – and says the new generation of infants are born more placid and contented because of their harmonius start in life and befor birth.

Three years ago, this enthusiastic young woman from SriLanka opened the Jeyarani Health Centre in Glebelands Avenue."We have three aims." Dr Motha explained. "The first is to ease the pregnant woman into the idea of having a family and to enjoy giving birth. We teach self-hypnosis as well."Secondly, once the babies are born, we run monthly sessions for the yound families to meet each other and expand their knowledge of child and health care, as well as nutrition."

At present, the group meets at the centre, but Dr Motha hopes to vary this soon by holding meetings at different public venues, such as swimmming pools"It will be wonderful watching the babies grow up and learning new social skills," she said.The third aim involves helping older women through the menopause. Many techniques practised at the clinic are brought into play here, such as aromatherapy – massage with scented oils – and reflexology, the easing of bodily discomforts through massage, using the idea of the foot as a map of the whole body.Another course offered by the centre is that of homeopathy. Physical disorders can apparently be diagnosed by means of a special process called Vega testing, which uses body's electro-magnetic system to track down medical problems.Underlying causes of problems can be more straightforward than one might think, according to homeopath Dr Kim Shallcross, who works from her Tower Road, Epping, home.....For instance, unsuspected infections in the root canals of teeths might be preventing the efficients working of important glands elswhere in the body..In all 12 therapists work with Dr Motha at the clinic. About to join the team is Dr Vernon Bell, president of the European Jujitsu Association, and holder of the 8th degree of black belt.

He is going to offer a 12-week course in the self-defence art of Yubi-Waza, a Japanese striking technique in which the more vulnerable are taught how to poke an attacker in vital areas of the body."This will be useful for women in particular, in these present violent times," explained Dr Motha.Another service about to start at the clinic is for the Well Man. Rather like the more familiar Well Woman clinics run by most medical practices these days, the idea is to foster greater all-round health in men, especially as they grow older.....Dr Motha's brainwave, three years ago, is helping to turn part of traffic-polluted South Woodford into a haven of harmony, health and music.

Guardian Gazette, 23 September 1990

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