Bromley man champions swimming campaign to beat chronic pain

PUBLISHED: 11:43 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:43 15 April 2019

Henri says doctors should pool resources

Henri says doctors should pool resources


A keen swimmer from Orpington has been selected to support a national campaign highlighting the benefits of getting in the pool.

A while back, Henri Astier was advised to take up physical activity after experiencing chronic pelvic pain - a condition affecting hundreds of thousands of men across the UK and that most suffer in silence.

As Henri could no longer do his beloved running, he started swimming and immediately noticed it helped dramatically.

The more he swam, the less it hurt. Regular meditation also helped, and the pain is now 99 per cent gone.

The 'poster boy' for the campaign to get people swimming said: “I'm thrilled to be part of the Love Swimming campaign and share my story in the hopes that it will inspire others to take up swimming. Chronic pain is an invisible condition so to be able to talk about my experiences is brilliant.

“Swimming has had such a positive impact on my physical health and I urge anyone else suffering from Chronic pain to try swimming.”

The Swim England campaign is urging the medical profession to be more proactive in prescribing swimming as part of a programme of activity to manage medical conditions and aid recovery.

They said evidence shows that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a health professional, yet nearly three quarters of GPs do not speak about the benefits of physical activity to patients due to either lack of knowledge, skills or confidence, according to Moving Medicine.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called for a “culture shift” and for medical professionals to act on the evidence that activity, such as swimming or long walks, can cut the risk of illness and boost survival from major diseases.

And Elaine McNish, head of health and wellbeing at Swim England said: “Swimming is an ideal activity which can help people manage a range of medical conditions and we are calling on the medical profession to consider recommending swimming to people who would benefit from improved physical health.

“To have the support of people like Henri who've experienced the benefits swimming can have is fantastic.”

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