Widow opens book on husband’s work

A DOCTOR S passionate beliefs about the health benefits of good posture have finally made it to print thanks to the hard work of his dedicated wife. Dr Grahame Fagg was a consultant paediatrician in Herts and Beds for 30 years, many of which were spent at

A DOCTOR'S passionate beliefs about the health benefits of good posture have finally made it to print thanks to the hard work of his dedicated wife.

Dr Grahame Fagg was a consultant paediatrician in Herts and Beds for 30 years, many of which were spent at Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Later in his career Dr Fagg, who lived at Priory Way, Hitchin, developed a keen interest in posture and the way it could affect people's general health.

After his retirement in 1980 he decided to put his thoughts and discoveries down in print.

However, the book was not published before his death from a stroke in 2002.

But now thanks to the hard work of his widow Christine, his ideas are available for all to read in Posture, Poise and Positive Health.

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It was in the 1960s that Dr Fagg first developed an interest in the way we stand and move.

He became aware of the Alexander technique, and found out that it had helped cure asthma in children.

This discovery, according to Mrs Fagg, "absolutely electrified him".

From then on posture became an abiding passion that lasted the rest of his life.

He came to believe many of us suffer emotional stresses in childhood which result in fixed body postures that remain with us throughout adult life.

These postures, he believed, brought with them aches, pains and debilitating illnesses.

Dr Fagg felt that in order to be cured of these illnesses people needed to restore the original posture they enjoyed in childhood.

Mrs Fagg said: "It was just a passionate interest in hoping he would make people see that if they altered their posture it would really improve their lives."

Back in the 1960s a doctor interested in the relationship between posture and disease was ahead of his time but Mrs Fagg said that her husband's colleagues listened carefully to his views.

"I think they all took an interest because they so respected him for his knowledge," she said.

"He would always do his best to help any of his colleagues who had backache or pains in their knees."

It was because Dr Fagg felt so strongly about the benefits of good posture that Mrs Fagg decided to complete the book in memory of him.

"I just felt that it would be the most wonderful thing if I could get this book together.

"It would be a memorial to him, it would have meant so much to him. I'm thrilled it has been achieved," she said.

Although the text for the book had been written, when Mrs Fagg made the decision to get it into print, she found herself faced with the task of tackling the index, illustrations and cover.

The index proved a challenge, but she also struggled with the photographs, which her husband hadn't numbered.

Here she relied on experts in the Alexander technique to tell her which pictures should go with which sections of text.

"It has been a bit of a slog one way or another. I've been built up by the thought that he would have been so pleased," she said.

Inspiration for the front cover, however, which depicts a meerkat standing proudly on its hind legs, came easily after Mrs Fagg remembered a trip the pair had taken.

She said: "He hadn't thought of a cover. I remembered that we had been at a zoo not long before and in one corner of the zoo there were meerkats.

"He was absolutely entranced by their posture.

"When it came to getting this book together I thought there's no question, it's got to be the meerkats.

"I know he would have approved because he admired the meerkats so much."

The process of putting together work by her late husband could have been an emotional time but Mrs Fagg said if anything it gave her a greater appreciation for his passion.

"It did bring back many memories of him. It has made me understand.

"It didn't make me sad really. Once I got the idea that I must get it together I seemed to be given the strength," she said.

It would seem that some of Dr Fagg's enthusiasm for correct posture has rubbed off on Mrs Fagg as she is very keen that people buy the book and discover what he had learnt.

She said: "I just so hope that it will introduce people to things about posture and their health they had never thought about, that they will adopt after reading the book and it will help them to have a more successful and pain free life."

Posture, Poise and Positive Health is available in bookshops or directly from the publisher. For more information, ring 01684 565022 or email sales@cappella-archive.co.uk

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