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.