The Bagnall Centre is located in an incredible historic Victorian building which has played an important role throughout Chesham's development and industrial growth. Originally built in c.1890 its first function was as a boot factory and it was later taken over in the 1930's by Page & Thomas, a Chesham printing business. Subsequent and various ownership continued with the development of the Chesham Press and the last printing firm to inhabit the building was J&M Nixon Printers Ltd who were based there from the late 1970's, evolved into the Print Centre and finally left the premises in 2003.
The building fell into decline through disuse from 2003 until Joanna Hill with her husband Nigel and the Gerson Support Group bought the building in 2010. Joanna dedicated herself for two years to carrying out the extensive restorations - after a lot of hard work and effort the groundbreaking Bagnall Centre for Integrated Healthcare eventually opened in 2012.
The Centre boasts an impressive array of facilities, including a modern, well-equipped teaching kitchen, airy Studio and Class Rooms for exercise classes as well as a rehabilitation gym and a number of smaller rooms for the provision of individual therapies and treatments. This renovation has given an historically important building a new and increasingly relevant purpose within the modern community of Chesham.
The Bagnall Centre is named after Joanna's mother's family. Joanna's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and treated with conventional therapy. When the cancer returned, conventional medicine could no longer offer her any help - Joanna researched alternative cancer therapies but sadly her mother was too ill to support any further interventions and she passed away in 2003.
Joanna's extended family have variously suffered from many of the degenerative conditions which conventional medicine cannot reverse and during the course of her research and life journey Joanna discovered The Gerson Therapy, an intensive nutritional programme which aims to halt and reverse chronic degenerative conditions. Joanna retains many strong links with the work of The Gerson Support Group, a registered charity which educates and supports those wishing to learn about The Gerson Therapy.
She has also studied the work of The Peckham Experiment in preventative family healthcare and believes that this model should be adopted to arrest the growing epidemics of degenerative conditions caused by unhealthy lifestyles.
Joanna is a passionate advocate of the potential power and possibilities of complementary healthcare, especially nutritional therapy, and particularly important to her is raising awareness and educating people to understand the breadth of therapeutic options available to them that are not necessarily embraced or offered by conventional medicine.
The 6,000 ft Bagnall Centre provides high quality fitness and exercise, therapies and wellbeing, nutrition and lifestyle complementary medical care and education to the public and health professionals, working alongside conventional general practice and therapies such as podiatry, osteopathy, hypnotherapy, physiotherapy and counselling. Clinics, courses, talks and workshops teach the theory and application of complementary therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology, NLP, reiki, homeopathy and herbalism, and their relevance and application to specific conditions (pre and post childbirth, ADHD, infertility, depression, chronic pain, drug dependencies, eating disorders etc.).
A strong belief in the crucial and fundamentally important role of nutritional therapy to our health and wellbeing led to Joanna's development of the fabulously well-equipped and spacious teaching kitchen facility offering healthy eating and cookery classes. Additional therapies available at the Centre range from meditation through to music, writing, sound, light, dance and drama workshops.
Exercise classes in the airy and light Studio and Class Rooms include Yoga, Pilates, Tai-chi, Qi-Gong, Nia and Zumba, and there is also access to specialised personal trainers who can work with chronically ill or injured clients in the rehabilitation gym.
Every aspect of a healthy lifestyle is introduced, supported and encouraged throughout and this belief in the individual's ability to empower and effect change in their own lives through the choices they make is at the absolute core of and fundamental to the ethos of the Bagnall Centre.
In the short term the Centre continues to offer a range of opportunities to enable people to make informed and healthier lifestyle choices and continually strives to increase its voice and reach within the local and wider communities.
The committed team at the Bagnall Centre also continue to work with Joanna to achieve her long term goals of setting up clinical trials to prove the power of therapeutic nutrition, alongside other aspects of lifestyle and wellbeing management such as stress reduction and the ultimate goal of creating a clinical facility within the medical school network where doctors will be taught how to use nutrition to improve health.
Joanna's personal and financial commitment to the Bagnall Centre is tireless and her enthusiasm for what she believes in is truly inspirational - the centre continues to be an aspirational platform and catalyst for change in the health system.
Joanna believes in integrated healthcare as a way of truly bringing together orthodox and complementary medical approaches, alongside empowering individuals and inspiring personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle, to form one seamless medical system.