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Emma Thompson on Garry Trainer

Emma Thompson Talks About Her Osteopath Garry Trainer

EMMA THOMPSON, ACTOR

EMMA THOMPSON SUFFERED BACK PROBLEMS FOR YEARS, UNTIL SHE MET GARRY TRAINER. NOW HER WHOLE FAMILYUSES HIS “NEEDLES AND GOOD CHEER” – SHE EVEN INSTALLED HIM IN HER TRAILER ON THE SET OF NANNY McPHEE

Emma Thompson in the Observer-oval

I started to get a bad back in 1984, when I was in the musical Me and My Girl. I had to do a pratfall every night for 15 months and twice a day on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I used to really fling myself into it – actors will do anything for a laugh, including injuring themselves quite badly. Ever since, I’ve had a very bad back, which occasionally incapacitates me. I tried other therapists and had other treatments – once a doctor strapped me down so I couldn’t move at all, which was a disaster; a doctor in South America gave me a huge injection in my back, which was no fun – but it was an instant thing with Garry. I remember opening my front door to him – I think I was on my hands and knees – and there was this gorgeous surfer bloke. I was thrilled and I wasn’t scared of him.

The best thing about Garry is that he’s incredibly cheery. Most alternative therapists are deeply judgmental about your lifestyle – “Oh, you drink alcohol. You eat bacon. Ah”, that sort of thing – and they want you to live on leaves for six months to make your back better. Garry just does it with acupuncture needles and good cheer. He’s also very realistic and never promises magic, nor is he unnecessarily pessimistic. I think GPs and consultants can use fantastically unhelpful language. I was once told my spine was crumbling, and if you’re wandering round with a sore back and some twat tells you that, then you’re not going to get better.

Garry’s treated pretty much everyone in my family over the years, and now we have the same relationship with him that one used to have in the olden days with one’s family doctor. You don’t really get that any more, especially in a big city like London, but we do have that with Garry.

I’ve recommended him endlessly to friends. And on the set of the first Nanny McPhee film, which was a long shoot, I used to bring him in every few weeks and install him in my trailer. I’d direct all the crew members in to see him. It’s tremendously pressurised making a movie, but afterwards they’d all skip out like spring lambs.

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