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Author: Felix Heimer - Registered Naturopath
Title: A Look at the History of the Kingston Clinic

The Fountainhead of Natural Healing

It is coming up to 60 years when I first met up with a small classified ad under the above heading and extolling the virtues of a stay at the Kingston Clinic, Edinburgh. What was meant by this description I had only a very sketchy idea. But four years on in July 1946, after an unsuccessful foray into a degree in Physics, I found myself at the gates of the Edinburgh establishment.

My logistics of the time could best have been described as '19 and in search of a career' . My first impressions were of a 19th century house with an impressive entrance, an equally impressive tower and presenting a general air of solidity which you wouldn' t - or couldn' t - immediately relate to a 'fountainhead' . The key to the slogan would have to come through getting to know the folk who ran the place. To my very good fortune, it turned out that they were an exceptionally warm hearted family, the THOMSONS. Chief of the clan, was James C Thomson whose credentials as a pioneer in the field of Natural Healing have a firm place in the annals of the history of that Science (or Art, as I prefer to think of it). Affectionally known as JC, his work was essentially a team effort - a family affair - wife, son, daughters and sisters all playing integral parts in the running of the clinic.

So what was it about the Edinburgh techniques that made the people who ran the show pronounce so confidently that this was the blue chip brand of Naturopathy? Was there a mystery?.... a mystique? My answer is an unequivocal 'No' .

The clinic was a Teaching Unit, the teaching part being known as the E.S.N.T. - Edinburgh School of Natural Therapeutics. Students (of whom I was one) had access not only to Thomson' s techniques, but also to lecturers who were associated with the medical faculty of Edinburgh University : in some ways, therefore, students of the ESNTenjoyed the best of both worlds - the conventional and the unconventional. But to come back to the question......what was it that made Kingston 'special'? And why should it still be remembered in this light after all these years?

In the field of Natural Healing methods, it is nowadays commonplace to be told about 'special' methods and 'special' effects : The Edinburgh secret (if it was a secret) was an OPEN secret : it was not so much a case of what was done, as how it was done.......strict adherence to the philosophy and practice of Healthy Living was applied along with an unconditional sense of service : YOU need it, WE'LL give it to you - with a glad heart and no strings attached! For practitioners to function in such a fashion, a great show of team spirit is called for. JCT exerted a charismatic influence on his team with the result that bang in the middle of one of Europe's great medical centres, we witnessed the remarkable spectacle of hopeless situations being turned round by this pioneering establishment with seemingly, nonchalant panache.

Although the bricks and mortar that was Kingston no longer exist, I am satisfied that the lessons it taught will continue to inspire lay and professional people alike in a world where answers to health problems constitute a need that is profound........ as well as on-going.

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