After being paralysed on the right side for 18 years, Simon Poynter has regained almost full use of his body, thanks to Dubai-based physiotherapist Jacques Caluwe.

For the first time since a devastating car accident in 1987, Simon Poynter is close to regaining the full use of his body after spending 10 days with Dubai-based master physiotherapist Jacques Caluwe.

The solution to even the most hopeless situation, the therapist explains, often lies within us, in our own bodies and minds.

Eighteen years ago, Simon Poynter broke his neck after the car he was travelling in tumbled ninety feet down a cliff. He was paralysed on the right side of his body and developed muscle spasticity, further weakening his limbs and coordination.

Since then, he has travelled around the United Kingdom and further afield, clutching at every straw of medical and physical treatment in the hope of finding relief.

None came. Simon grew increasingly anxious, his physical disability taking its emotional and social toll. Despite being naturally right-handed, he started to shake hands with his left hand, fearful that others would notice his unnaturally constricted right hand.

He started to walk slowly, with a hunch, always looking down to make sure his right foot followed his left.

In October 2004, he came to Dubai to meet Jacques Caluwe, founder of the JeeCee Wellbeing Centre at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

Jacques is a new addition to the UAE, relocating here after establishing 15 JeeCee Wellbeing centres around the world. A former footballer-turned-physical therapist and osteopath, Jacques has travelled the world to learn traditional healing from India, China and native American tribes.

His aim is to disseminate his Total Therapy treatment modality, which embraces both scientific understanding and natural cures, modern technology and timeless truth.

What, Caluwe asked Simon at their first meeting, is the one thing you would like to do if you are cured? “To go skiing with my 10-year-old son,” Simon replied. That was October.

After their second five-day treatment in January, Simon has improved enough to do it - was recently in Norway, skiing with his family and Jacques.

Total Therapy

Every body, said Jacques, has unique physical, medical and psychological needs, and every successful treatment has to address all three. Treating the psyche is the most difficult, but also the most rewarding.

“You can give someone osteopathic treatments with high technology support systems and coordination training, but if you cannot change their beliefs and views, you will come back to where you started,” Jacques said. “If you don’t believe that you can achieve something, you won’t.”

Fear, he added, is the biggest brake in life and can often manifest as anxiety or panic. In treating Simon, Jacques had to break down the fears and anxieties Simon had adopted since his accident, most of which were on the subconscious level. The resulting stress had worsened his spasticity.

In addition, Simon’s physical strength also had to be boosted and his body had to re-learn its coordination.

At the end of the first five days, Simon and his father, Edward, were able to go together around the marina at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi.

“It was the first time in 18 years that we could walk together as father and son,” said a visibly moved Edward Poynter.

“A human body that doesn’t get any exercise atrophies, and for people with injuries the damage is exponential,” Edward said.

“Without Jacques’s help, Simon would have been in a wheelchair by now. What he has done is amazing - not only improve a condition that most people would deem hopeless, but also given Simon hope for his physical and social wellbeing and improved his spiritual outlook.”

Watching Simon walk on the marina is the best way to see what he has accomplished. He walks gingerly, but with determination, making a conscious effort to look ahead.

“I remember what it was like before the accident, that walking came automatically,” he said.

“After the accident, I could never be sure - I always had to look down to put one foot ahead of the other because my right leg didn’t seem like a proper leg any more. I have a whole variety of movements now that I could never do before.”

It would be cliched to say Jacques has given him a new lease of life, but Simon admits that he has managed to accomplish more in two five-day treatments than in the last eighteen years.

It is not only that Jacques offers a whole range of treatments in one place, he explained, but more that he approaches injury from a holistic perspective, working on body, mind and soul.

Leaving Jacques’s clinic, Simon promises to stay in touch when he returns to continue his treatment. He automatically offers his left hand, stops himself and smiles. Then offers his stiffer right hand.

“I don’t cure people,” Jacques said. “I put things together, give people as many treatment modalities as possible to make them independent from me. I do 10 per cent of the work, you do the remaining 90 per cent. I show you the therapy, but I don’t walk for you.”

Simon’s injury, Jacques explains, does not have a finite cure, but is a work in progress. He is, however, willing to take all the time necessary to heal him.

“I’ve spent 29 years of my life studying and learning for this,” he said. “My passion is helping people and that is enough. Whatever you do, you must do with love. Love is the biggest force in life.”

And as for Simon’s 18-year struggle to find succour? “There is no failure, except when you quit,” says Jacques.

“Everything else is just feedback. If Mr X can’t help you, search for Madam A. Look in another direction, look beyond your immediate horizon. Never give up.”

Jacques Caluwe can be reached at on

Total therapy
Over the last two decades, Caluwe has worked on integrating different therapies from around the world with his own understanding of the body to create his own Total Therapy. Some of the techniques he used to heal Simon Poynter include:

Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) shoes
More than a shoe, this uniquely contoured piece of footwear is considered a medical aid in Switzerland and Germany, and a must-have piece of exercise equipment in the United Kingdom and North America.

MBT shoes and sandals have a layered, curved sole that force the wearer to constantly maintain their balance, improving posture and strengthening leg and abdominal muscles. The technology has also been credited with easing back and foot problems, increasing circulation and helping to fight cellulite.

Microcurrent or Bio-Electro Stimulation (B-E-St) therapy
A type of electrotherapy that uses microamperes - the same current as the energy in the human body - to diagnose, stimulate and repair wounded parts of the body.

This therapy is particularly effective in reducing muscle spasms and increasing the range of movement, and Caluwe has created his own ClinicMaster machine to provide the most efficient treatments.

Traditional therapies
Caluwe has also studied Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and acupuncture, and used them in combination with his study of podiatry, nutrition and kinesiology.

Caluwe’s lifestyle tips