Isobel Knight was born in Oxford and was educated at Rye St Antony School in Oxford. She left Oxfordshire to attend King Alfred’s College, then affiliated to the University of Southampton to do an Undergraduate degree in Primary Teaching and Religious Studies which she gained with a 2:1 in 1997. Isobel did not pursue a teaching career, although she had taught ballet classes for many years by this point. Isobel moved to London in 1997 to work in organisations such as the Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET), in administrative capacity. She then went to work in the voluntary sector in two different (paid) roles as a Volunteer Manager, where she fully utilised her excellent organisational, training and people skills. In 2002, Isobel trained as a Bowen Therapist, following very positive results with the treatment in helping with back pain. Bowen Therapy is a holistic form of gentle soft-tissue therapy, originally founded in Australia, and Isobel has two busy clinics in central London.
Isobel’s writing career seriously begun in 2009 with the publication Skin Collection, a poetry anthology based on the themes of self-harm, depression and other mental health issues. Prior to that, Isobel has always enjoyed writing, be it amusing letters, short play sketches, newsletters, or essays at school. In particularly, Isobel has excelled at autobiographical work and has two very established and live Blogs. Isobel has had work published in several journals including the British Medical Journal. Isobel has a particular interest in health journalism and particularly in the conditions of chronic pain, and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. Isobel’s interest in hypermobility begun in her teenage years when a ballet teacher pointed out to her that she had ‘swayback knees.’ Isobel wrote to the Dancing Times magazine to find out more about it and her letter was published in 1992.
Isobel did not make connections to how being hypermobile had impacted on her life until she injured herself when re-starting ballet classes in 2008. Isobel had done ballet classes until unrelenting back pain stopped her in 1999 at aged 25. Following a nine year injury gap, Isobel re-started classes, still in pain, and then partially tore her right calf. The injury proved to be a massive turning point in her life and in the week of her injury she decided to pursue a life-long interest in the body, ballet and medicine in the form of an MSc in Dance Science at Trinity Laban. Isobel was also awarded a Graduate Bursary from Trinity Laban, which assisted with her course fees. Isobel’s attendance at Trinity Laban started sooner than the MSc, with physiotherapy sessions Isobel was diagnosed with the Hypermobility Syndrome, which was fully endorsed by a Consultant Rheumatologist. Isobel completed her MSc (with Merit) in 2009, her MSc thesis being about HMS in the adolescent dance population. When Isobel had started physiotherapy, she had started to document her recovery from injury via an online Blog. Isobel then realised that there was a gap in the market in terms of a patient-generated book on the topic of Hypermobility Syndrome and was delighted that such a leading Publishing house, Jessica Kingsley Publishing, took on the book. Isobel hopes to continue writing about Hypermobility Syndrome, bringing an awareness to the medical and dance community and improving other people’s quality of life. A second book will come out in early 2013 and Isobel is now guest lecturing for other well-known establishments such as the Royal Academy of Dance.
Isobel believes that owing to a condition with a collection of related syndromes such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia and endometriosis, she has, until recently, been significantly held back in life. Her ongoing movement re-education and recovery in physiotherapy are finally changing her body and her life. Isobel feels she has so much to give and to do. Her reputation as a Bowen Therapist is growing all the time, and she has been approached to consider writing a book on Bowen in the future.
Isobel lives in South London, and her interests include classical ballet classes which she does twice weekly at Danceworks in central London. Isobel has strong musical interests, particularly for classical and baroque music and plays both the piano and alto or treble recorder. She has performed in recorder recitals for both weddings and recitals for charity. Isobel enjoys the company of others, and particularly enjoys dinning out with a few good glasses of wine. Isobel has a serious and professional approach, but also a very warm and caring demeanour with a very good sense of humour and a delightful sense of fun.