BEN & DAN WILKINSON
We met the Cotswold’s celebrated Osteo Twins at their health and wellness centre in Elkstone. Read more about them and their brilliant work ethos.
Ben and Dan Wilkinson are identical twins and osteopaths with a uniquely holistic approach. They have developed a highly professional, multi-disciplinary team of therapists who they work with to diagnose and personalise treatments. Their ethos is to offer a connective, tailor-made, mind and body approach, integrating various disciplines to give the best possible care to their patients. Their work is supported by cutting edge technology, such as shock wave therapy and dry needling, which sounds painful, but we are assured is very relaxing, as well as an infra-red sauna and a private gym on site! As ex-semi-professional rugby players Ben and Dan use their past sporting experiences and injuries to create what they describe as an ‘elite sportsperson treatment approach’, yes please! Their warm and welcoming Cotswolds stone clad ‘Wellness Centre’ transports you to a luxury boutique spa, encouraging a much-needed break. These two extremely talented individuals invited us to come and see what they do and why they love it so much. We didn’t have to be asked twice!
“I don’t trust anyone more than him, he gets me, I get him, we work in a very similar way, he’s my best friend and my business partner”.
They took their four-year integrated masters in osteopathy at different times, but at the same college, The European School of Osteopathy in Maidstone, Kent. An intensive course, on the same level as a medical degree where you come out the other side as an allied medical professional. They both had their own separate osteo practices for a time but then in 2018 Dan and Ben opened a small clinic in the spa town of Cheltenham. They had both played rugby to semi-professional level. Ben spent a year sailing super yachts around the world and they’re rowers, so sport runs through their veins. They have experienced their own fair share of injuries through sporting misdemeanours; Ben had major reconstructive shoulder surgery following a bad rugby injury. Equally they had experienced how injury can have a knock-on effect to the state of your mental health. This shared passion for treating sports injuries soon led them to consider a focus on sports professionals.
Shortly after opening in Cheltenham, they started working with Gloucester Rugby team. They had grown up supporting Gloucester, so it was something of a dream to work with the team offering care to ultimately improve their performance. After being introduced to Gloucester’s head of medical and discussing their holistic approach to osteopathy, their work at the club began and a three-month probationary period quickly became three weeks before contracts were signed. They joined the team at their Kingsholm club for training sessions and in the changing room ahead of their home games getting the players warmed up and ready to go out with the physio’s. It was during this time they really learnt first-hand how beneficial integrating different therapies is for a patient. Many of these players they worked with then still come to them privately now at Origin, as well as the current Gloucester players as they continue their good work with the team.
With the positive momentum of a busy practice, healthy client base and a wealth of learnings, Dan and Ben founded Origin Health in 2021. They moved to a newly converted historic Cotswold barn in Elkstone, just outside Cheltenham. This gave them the space and the right environment to create the holistic wellness and health centre they could see being so beneficial for people, especially following covid. They brought together their collaborative team of therapists, so key to their DNA. We met Beth on our visit, a fellow osteopath who has been trained and mentored by the twins since qualifying. Their solid working relationship is plain to see, they champion each other wholeheartedly; they work together at Origin complementing one another’s area of expertise. If they are working on a patient with a suspected muscle tear for example, they would consult with Johnny their physio who is a trained sonographer to offer an ultrasound diagnostic scan. This can all happen in a short time frame, maybe even on the same day. To have a practice where the various specialists can diagnose and communicate with each other in such a collaborative way is in itself completely unique.
More recently they began working with local polo teams to prepare their players for matches and treat injuries. From this and through contacts in the rugby world they were called upon by the England Polo Team. Dan and Ben’s approach to warming the teams up ahead of games, taking a bench along to treat players, was very new and made so much sense. Their holistic mindset and success in treating the players led to discussions with the head coach of England Polo about creating an entire wellness plan. This included better nutrition, bio-mechanics, recovery and even hydration; all elements Ben and Dan offer at Origin Health, working to give sports people a sustained level of high performance.
The majority of their clients however aren’t the professional sportspeople, though there have been a few, or the multi-Grammy award winning music artists (whom we are sworn not to name), it’s desk workers. We’re the ones who just keep coming with our neck and shoulder issues intensified by working from home with sub-optimal desk set-ups and often loaded with stress and tension. They can begin immediate work on posture and the body-mechanics, but they offer to go a step further with suggested coping mechanisms all available at their clinic; other professionals, mindfulness, breathwork, yoga and meditation. Often during a treatment they see patients experience an emotional release, in turn relieving the tension in their related physical body. This all-encompassing approach is a sure way to make a patient feel cared for, even post-treatment there will be a plan to follow and a handy app to install.
Ben and Dan’s creative approach has set them on a path to revolutionise osteopathy and health care in this country and they’re off to a great start. They are developing a system that really works to help people, utilising modern techniques and keeping an open mind in combining therapies. Their tailored, personalised approach, as well as high level of professionalism, is what stands them apart and differentiates them from the standard osteo service. This year they won the Pharmaceutical Award’s Best Sports therapy and Osteopaths in Cheltenham. Beth won associate of the year from the Institute of Osteopaths, a true success story!
They have plans to replicate what they are doing at Elkstone across the country. It will be all about keeping the unique team ethos they have nurtured at Origin, the family orientated approach. They have set their sights on the next practice location so keep an ear to the ground, you’d honestly be lucky to have this team pop up near you. They are on to something good, and at the heart of it all is a deep level of care-giving, so needed but sadly so often hard to come by. We’re very proud to call these guys our friends, very handy for a bunch of desk workers like us, and feel excited for their future plans.
Follow Origin Health by visiting their fantastic website- www.originhealthgroup.com or their Instagram page- @origin_health_group