Why I ask clients to telephone to book their first appointment

I know that most people initially choose to contact me via E mail, website contact form, Facebook or text.  However, when it comes to making your first booking, this should be made by telephone for the following reasons: –

  • Not all the treatments I offer are suitable for everyone. Therefore, if you have a specific medical condition or concern please ask which of the therapies would be suitable, as there are a number of “contra-indications” where specific treatments cannot be given.
  • Having had the opportunity to discuss your reasons for booking an appointment, I can ensure the treatment is suitable for your specific needs. A full consultation will also be carried out at your first appointment and a treatment plan discussed if required.
  • As I have a number of different consultation forms and leaflets I can ensure I send you the correct information prior to your appointment
  • As a mobile therapist, with a small car, I need to bring along the correct equipment to ensure your comfort. For example, my reclining reflexology chair is not suitable for maternity clients.
  • I quite often have several people contacting me at the same time and my availability is constantly changing. As I cover such a large area for home appointments I need to factor in my travelling time.
  • My personal safety as a mobile therapist.

It’s a Personal Thing

First appointment consultation

As a complementary therapist I find it really important to look after myself in order to give the best to my clients for their treatments with me.  As part of this, as well as having regular reflexology, I also like to try out therapies I have not experienced before.  There are so many different complementary therapies out there, and most of us have our favourites, and those which we have found most beneficial.  But, it is definitely not one size fits all and a lot of the experience is down to the therapist as well as the treatment; did you feel a connection, did you feel comfortable talking to them, did you enjoy the treatment?

Recently I was telling a friend of mine about a fantastic treatment I had a couple of weeks ago and how much I was looking forward to my next appointment.  After raving about the session, I suggested my friend try out the treatment and we realised that she had also seen the same therapist and had not enjoyed it at all.  She acknowledged that she had not “clicked” with the lady, and whilst she found the treatment interesting, she had not felt any benefit and would not be rushing to rebook.  Our conversation went on to discuss other therapists we had seen and how our experiences with some of the same people and treatments differed.

It just shows that not one therapy or therapist suits all.  As in life, some people we feel an instant connection with and with complementary therapies, there are times when different therapies feel “right”.  That is why I won’t let anyone book a series of appointments with me until they have met me and experienced one of my treatments.

So, if after meeting me and having a treatment you want to book more, I have an offer for a 10% discount when booking and paying for 3 treatments in advance

Opportunitynowhere – September 2017

Sponsored Firewalk

As many of you know, I recently did a sponsored firewalk; this was to raise funds for The Miscarriage Association and Mind.

In preparation for the firewalk we attended a workshop.  During the workshop we were encouraged to discuss our fears, our mindset, our hopes and dreams.  We had a number of exercises to prepare, including walking on broken glass – which I did.

However, the main thing that stayed with me was the sign that was held up briefly, which we were asked to read and say what we had seen.

The sign said “Opportunitynowhere”. What do you see, how do you read it?

Most of us read the sign as “Opportunity Nowhere” and then it was pointed out to us that it also read “Opportunity Now Here”.  And how true that is.  How often do we see the negative things in life?  Lack of opportunity?  Most of the time I endeavour to think positively, but it is not always easy.  This was such a good reminder that Opportunity is Now Here and we just have to take it.

I am pleased to say that I successfully did the firewalk, twice.  I raised over £200 for the charities and am still collecting donations.  If you would like to contribute you can via www.justgiving.com/teams/Penelope-Morrison.  And a big “Thank you” to everyone who has sponsored me.  Here is a short clip of my second time round on the firewalk and my daughter doing her walk on broken glass (I didn’t get pics of my glass walk, but I assure you I did do it)

Forgot the live feed but I did do the firewalk twice. Not too late to donate www.justgiving.com/teams/Penelope-Morrison

Posted by Penelope Morrison Complementary Therapies on Sunday, 27 August 2017

As part of our firewalk preparation we also walked on broken glass. I didn't get pics of me doing it, but here is my daughter doing her glass walk. www.justgiving.com/teams/Penelope-Morrison

Posted by Penelope Morrison Complementary Therapies on Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Why did I Become a Reflexologist?

Just some of my reflexology library

One of the questions I get asked most often is why I became a reflexologist.   The short version is, that someone suggested it to me one day and that was that, I was hooked.

In reality, from about the age of 13 all I wanted to do was train to be a physiotherapist. I knew that I wanted to have a career or job which involved working with people and making a difference – sounds quite clichéd.

But, when applying for jobs and training for post A level qualifications I received three offers.  For some reason, I still can’t remember what influenced the decision, I chose the Civil Service.  My original thinking was that I would just do it for a year, save some money, then train as a physio or go into nursing.  But, I found I was good at my job, worked hard to gain promotions, met amazing people, managed teams of staff, gained further qualifications and had a ‘safe job’.

So, instead of a year working in the Civil Service I was there for 28 years.

In 2001, following a bereavement, a friend took me to reiki share evening, I was sceptical before going, but that weekend I felt such a difference, as if a weight had been lifted and I could cope with my grief.  It was so amazing, that I trained in reiki following just that one session.  But, at that time I was not ready to go public with my new interest.

Finally 9 years ago I left the civil service with the intention of trying to decide what to do.  It was then that I met a lady called Alison, and I have no idea how or why, but she asked me if I taught or was a nurse or something related to health.  I explained my dream at age 13 and that I felt I had missed the boat when it came to training as a physio or nurse.  She asked if I had thought about complementary therapies such as reflexology.  After that conversation everything fell into place, as if it was meant to be.  I looked into the numerous reflexology qualifications and training available and there was an information evening that same week at a training school in Chelmsford.  I signed up to the course the following day and have not looked back since.

The initial diploma training takes a year; it involves studying anatomy and physiology, the history of reflexology, reflexology hand and foot maps, client records, reflexology techniques and routine, emotional influences plus hours and hours of practise and case studies, a practical and written exam. And that was just the beginning.

Following that initial year, I have gone on to train in numerous specialist areas; Advanced Reflexology Techniques (ART), Hot Stone Reflexology, Baby & Toddler Reflexology, Functional Reflex Therapy (FRT), Palliative care, Mindfulness Reflexology, Childrens Reflexology Programme, Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) Maternity, Fertility and Pre-conception reflexology, Foot Reading, as well as Indian Head Massage, Hopi Ear Candling, Crystal Therapies, and continue to add to my techniques.

And all these various techniques, and training have led me to meet some wonderful colleagues and clients.  I had just completed my maternity training when I met the wonderful Steph Grainger, who at that time was a birthing doula and hypnobirthing instructor. In one of our early conversations we said what a wonderful thing it would be to have all various maternity services under one roof and she has now made that happen with her beautiful venue The Nesting Place – and that is another story for another day.

What is Facial Reflexology?

Facial reflexology

Most people when they think of reflexology immediately think of a lovely foot massage. Obviously I believe it is much more than that; the whole body is mapped on the feet and by working on specific points reflexology may help re-balance the body. Many of my clients feel sensations in their bodies in the corresponding areas that I am working on their feet – which is always very exciting.
As well as foot reflexology, I am also trained in hand reflexology and I often give my clients specific hand reflexes to work on between appointments.

Earlier this year, I trained in Bergman Method Facial Reflexology. This method has been developed by Ziggy Bergman over the last 20 years and as with all our training, before being ‘let loose’ on the public, we have to carry out a number of case studies and pass a level of competency before we can be registered as practitioners. I was not short of volunteers to be case studies as this is such a fantastic relaxing treatment. Like other reflexology methods, it is based on Zone Theory (the body being divided into 10 longitudinal zones) and the organs of the body have been mapped onto the face. A number of techniques are used; including sweeping moves, metamorphic technique, pulsating on specific reflexes and ‘finger walking’ (a very specific reflexology technique). As well as stimulating specific reflex points, it is an incredibly relaxing treatment which in addition may help your circulation, the release of toxins via your lymphatic system and, with the use of Neals Yard facial oils, leaves your skin feeling lovely and refreshed.

So far, all my clients who have tried both the short and full length facial reflexology treatments have loved it. If you would like to find out more, just give me a call.

There is also ear reflexology, known as Auriculotherapy, although I think I’ll just stick to foot, hand and facial reflexology and Hopi Ear Candling for now.

I’m fine thank you – February 2016

Fine 2.1

How often do you use that expression when someone asks how you are?  How are you really feeling?

When I ask people how they are and they respond with “Fine”, I wonder if there is something else going on.  When someone says “Fine” what that is really telling me is that they have “Feelings Inside Not Expressed”.  I’ve said this so many times when meeting clients for the first time, and they can usually identify with what I am saying.

We have all sorts of reasons for not telling people exactly how we are feeling, and I do this as much as the next person: –

  • We don’t want to bore or trouble the person who is asking with all our problems and woes
  • Sometimes it is just easier than going into detail
  • We are very private and really don’t want to share our feelings, especially with a stranger
  • Stiff upper lip, we just carry on regardless
  • We may be feeling really ecstatic, but the person asking seems a bit low so we tone it down a bit.

And many, many more reasons.

This expression is very often used by people who have an “invisible illness”.   If you have a broken leg, everyone can see you hobbling around with your leg in a cast, will show some sympathy and may ask you how you broke your leg.  But with invisible illness such as mental health issues, ME, fibromyalgia (too many to name them all), it is difficult to put into words your pain (both physical and emotional) or anxiety and often peoples misunderstanding of your condition puts you off even attempting to explain.  One friend of mine, Liz, at BuBakes writes a very insightful blog on living with depression and anxiety and I really urge anyone who either lives with or wants to have a better understanding to take a look.

Most of the treatments I offer work on both a physical and emotional level.  Although some people may view reflexology as just a foot massage (at this point I flinch just typing those words), it can work so much deeper and often brings raw emotion to the fore.  Whether this is from the actual reflexes worked during the session, or if it is just putting aside an hour devoted purely to that person and their needs, it doesn’t matter.  If it makes the person feel valued, cared for, relaxed and ultimately better about themselves then my work has been done.

So next time someone tells you they are feeling fine, think about what they are really saying.

Christmas and New Year – December 2015

I have been so lucky to have spent Christmas with my family and to have received such warm, heartfelt messages from so many of my clients, friends and colleagues over this time.  The year has absolutely flown by and it really only feels like yesterday that we were seeing in the start of 2015.  I am sure that the reason the time has gone so quickly is that I have been so busy, have a job that I love, and have met some wonderful people during the year through my work.

Back in November I attended the Bizee Women Christmas networking event (yes, we did celebrate early) and as well as having a lovely time meeting other business women, we also used the opportunity to donate toiletries and other items for a local charity for the homeless, Chess Chelmsford.  Speakers from the charity shared details of their work and stories which demonstrated just how easily people can become homeless through no fault of their own, and the work they are doing to help these people get back on their feet and to be able to support themselves once again.  I also supported the #BigKnit campaign, and managed to find some time to knit  some mini hats for Age UK Essex; Innocent donate 25p to Age UK for every smoothie bottle with a hat sold to help older people stay healthy during the winter months. bizee.jpg-pwrt3

(Bizee women Christmas networking event – I am at the back!)

During the year, as part of my CPD (Continuous Professional Development), I have attended a number of reflexology related courses including Foot Reading with Chris Stormer, Reflexology Lymph Drainage and training as an instructor for the Childrens Reflexology Programme and have other courses already lined up for 2016.  I am looking forward to sharing more on these in my blogs, on Facebook and with my clients in the coming year.  I will also continue to share the adventures of my #FridayFeet on my Facebook page so take a look and follow their adventures!

Thank you once again to all my clients during 2015 for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you in 2016 and to welcome many new clients.


Penelope x

Promises, promises – November 2015

I made a promise to myself that I would write a monthly blog once I had my new website up and running; two months in and I have already broken that promise. It isn’t that I do not have lots of ideas and things I want to write about, it just comes down to time.  I have not made the time to write the blog, I have not made the time to do something for me, I have not made the time to spend more time with my family etc etc.  Does all this sound familiar?

A regular conversation I have with clients is the importance of “me time”.  My clients have made an appointment with me and I am aware of how special that hour or so is for them.  For many people it is the only hour dedicated just for them in a life as busy, if not busier than mine and my aim is to try to make it as relaxing, special and important for them as possible.  However, like everyone, I do not always practise what I preach and do not always put time aside for me.  But, for a change, last month I did have a reflexology treatment.  The treatment was wonderful and I have to say how special it was to be on the receiving end for a change. I love my job, and always enjoy giving treatments, but by experiencing a treatment for myself for the first time in a very long time, I really appreciated it and went back to work with a renewed zest and enthusiasm.

And, my promise to myself……………………  keep up to date with family time, work and blogs, but make sure there is some “me time” in the diary as well.  So watch this space to see if I manage to keep this promise!

New Beginnings – September 2015

Although I have been a complementary therapist for some years now, many of you will know that this summer I have had to carry out a number of changes, mainly in relation to rebranding my business. With effect from July of this year I am now trading under the name Penelope Morrison Complementary Therapies.

At first, the thought of starting my marketing and branding afresh was quite daunting, especially as it was a decision that was made for me. However, during the summer I have come to realise that this is a wonderful opportunity and have spent the last couple of months working with Sharon at Bee Spotted who has designed my new logo and is working on my new website, business cards etc and has the patience of a saint. I hope you love it as much as I do. The support and encouragement I have had from family, colleagues, friends and clients has been overwhelming.

I am hoping that my new website will be launched later this month, maybe even in time for World Reflexology Week (which runs from 21 – 27 September). The aim of the week is to promote reflexology; to show the many benefits from having a reflexology treatment. As the Association of Reflexologists have chosen the theme for this year as “Healthy Ageing” , and as it is also World Alzheimers month in September, I will be donating £10 from every treatment I do during World Reflexology Week to www.alzheimers.org.uk. Alzheimers is a condition that so many of us have been affected by or know someone who has. Contact me to book an appointment.

I have also spent the summer knitting and crocheting hats for Innocent Smoothies – keeping my fingers nimble to do reflexology treatments. It may appear to be a strange summer activity to some but has all been in aid of Age UK with 25p donated for every bottle sold helping older people stay healthy over the winter months. Take a look at the Big Knit site for more info and how you can join the knitters. I will shortly be sharing some photos of my progress so far on my Facebook page.

As well as my new website, facebook page etc, I have lots of other exciting things coming up in addition to all my existing treatments and workshops. I am looking forward to sharing news, events and my thoughts in a monthly blog – so watch this space.

Penelope Morrison, MAR, MFHT

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