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Catherine Wilkins

Catherine Wilkins first attended the Pump Rooms after developing a foot problem in 1977. In these extracts she describes her treatment and the benefits she derived from it.

And the first thing they did was, now then, I don’t know what you called this, but they had a container with water in and they had some steel plates in the bottom of this container and they turned the electric on and then one foot at a time, they treated your bottoms of your feet. Now I don’t, can’t tell you what it’s called ‘cos I don’t know, but it’s, well it did the inflammation good and it stimulated all the muscles, or supposed to. Because I used to sit there and I’d think, fancy putting my foot on an electric plate in water. ‘Cos to me, water and electricity just didn’t go together. [It was] An ordinary container and then just the size, just the shape of your foot, one foot at a time.I thought oh no, can’t be doing that, you know. ‘Cos water and electricity and your feet – no, it didn’t go together. But I’m still here. [laughs] So that was how I started off and then, from then on I had more treatment I would guess for my knees and the back. And from then on they tried me in the pool, in the big pool. Now that scared me to death in the big pool because I couldn’t swim then. I can now, but to go in this big pool, first time, you know, and everybody stood round the balcony looking at me, laughing. Oh dear, dear. When the water got up to there I used to, oh dear, dear. Then I swam, you know. So I did a lot of that. And then I did, where they have a big tub – I can’t remember the name – there was a big tub full of water circulating.

Was any of the treatment painful?  

No. Bit frightening [laughs] at first. But no, not at all. And the one lot of treatment, you were on a bed and they lined all the wall with some foil, you know, cooking foil, big sheet of cooking foil and then I had some steel glasses on, thick steel glasses and a big piece of foil all up here and then they did my feet with micro, microwave.

Did you feel benefit straightaway after the Pump Room treatment?  

You felt more relaxed, yes, mm. I felt it was good for me. I wouldn’t not have gone, you know, if I had the choice, I wouldn’t not have gone. I would have gone, yeah. They were good. But that sort of thing seemed to take time before you felt the benefit.