In my moments of pause in the last week or so, I have been reflecting on my journey as a therapist and thought I would go back to where it all began…….
I had not long moved back to Norwich from University in Nottingham, when at the end of a yoga class, during the relaxation, the teacher placed her thumbs on the middle of the soles of my feet. It felt amazing and sent me into a deeply calm state.
I asked her after the class what technique she was using, she explained that it was Reflexology and would I like to book a session to try a full treatment.
I said ‘yes, please!’
The following week, I enjoyed the most relaxing treatment I had ever experienced. By what she felt during the session, and from reading certain areas of my feet, she made some suggestions of what could be going on for me, it was all spot on.
Once in the car, I sobbed the whole way home!! It had triggered a release for sure.
After a few more sessions, I was feeling a lot lighter emotionally and my lower back pain had eased. I was in awe of the effects Reflexology had on me. I enquired into her training and she pointed me to Pathways School of Reflexology. I contacted Angela Sellens Drake who confirmed her next course would be starting in a couple of months; I signed up.
The course was for a level 3 diploma in Reflexology and took place over a year. It involved exploring the history of reflexology, studying anatomy and physiology, learning all the individual techniques which led to a full sequence, covering all the bodily systems, as well as understanding the emotional influence Reflexology can have.
We were required to complete extensive coursework to show our learning, as well as over 60 hours of case studies, and finally we sat a practical and written exam in the Summer of 2009.
I officially became a Reflexologist in November 2009, and then discovered I was to become a Mother on New Year’s Eve of 2009. Therefore, going into 2010, I started a whole new path.
I did not begin building my working practice until 2013, after my second baby was born, but my studies did not stop.
I furthered my training by doing courses in Maternity Reflexology, Baby & Toddler Reflexology and Fertility Reflexology. I developed my knowledge through workshops such as ‘The Language of the Feet’, as well as qualifying in Indian Head Massage.
I was invited to join the Norwich Natural Fertility Partnership (NNFP) in 2014. I have written more about this here.
I am proud of the fact that I have done most of my learning, training and developing of my business at the same time as becoming a mother, and alongside working in a sales role for a local energy consultancy.
I would come home from working all day in an office, settle my babies to bed, and then see one or two evening clients in my home therapy room. I would shift my brain from mother to telesales, back to mother and then to therapist on a regular basis!
The two journeys of motherhood and wellbeing practitioner have come hand in hand. They have overlapped, and sometimes contradicted each other, as I haven’t always applied to my own life the health and wellbeing knowledge I have gained.
In the early years of being a mum, I experienced anxiety and total exhaustion. Had I known what I know now, I would have better recognised the support I needed, asked for help more, not put myself under so much pressure in regards to my work, been more gentle with myself, and allowed space for motherhood to unfold more gradually.
My own transition into motherhood, and the challenges I faced, inspired me to learn how I can best support others in this journey.
The postpartum home visits have been a highlight to my work over the years. Having the opportunity to be with Mothers in their early days following labour, to bring them something delicious and nutritious, to listen to their labour stories, to hold their newborns whilst they shower or nap, and to offer them grounding and balancing through Reflexology, has been simply wonderful.
I decided I wanted to develop my skills and expertise in this area. I began my postpartum doula studies with the Newborn Mothers Collective in 2018 and continue to further my knowledge of traditional postpartum practices with The Nafsa School Project.
I also love treating non-maternity related clients and seeing the fantastic effects Reflexology has had on their conditions including stress, anxiety, eczema, IBS, MS, fibroids, back pain, bursitis, and diabetes, to name but a few.
As well as my treatment room at home, I have worked in two wellbeing clinics. Last year, I had the opportunity to fulfil my dream of opening my own therapy room in the city centre, within a beautiful courtyard in the Norwich Lanes, which has a fabulous community of small independent businesses.
It feels very special to work in a place in the city that has always been a favourite of mine since moving back to Norwich all those years ago.
The journey so far has been wonderfully challenging.
I look forward for what is to come……