My love of Crystals

Many of you who have been to The Garden Room, will know my love of crystals.  Not only do they look beautiful, but they also have so many properties that can help us both physically and emotionally.

We all come into contact with crystals everyday; quartz is used in our mobile phones and watches.  It is piezoelectric, meaning that when pressure is exerted on it, it creates an electrical charge.  All crystals hold a vibrational energy which is why some people feel a warmth or energy when they handle them.

I will often use crystals when carrying out a Reiki treatment, placing crystals that correspond to the chakra colours onto my client.  When using crystals I may also Crystal Points, which help amplify and direct the energy.

My husband was always sceptical about the power of crystals until I attached a Blue Lace Agate crystal to the collar of one of my dogs and he stopped his manic barking at other dogs when we were out for a walk.  Obviously my dog wasn’t aware that he was wearing a crystal that corresponded to the throat chakra.  My husband is now a convert and we have numerous crystals in our home, all chosen for their specific properties.

I tend to use crystals every day.  I have a smokey quartz tumblestone under my pillow to help me sleep, if I have to give a talk I wear a blue sodalite necklace to help with communication, I have two rose quartz crystals in the Relationship corner of our house using Feng Shui principles, I drink water infused with crystal energy and at the moment I am experimenting with watering seedlings with crystal water.

There are numerous books about crystals, their uses and properties.  Two of my favourite authors in this field are Philip Permutt and Judy Hall.  You will often find that each crystal has numerous properties or, if you are looking up a particular physical or emotional condition a number of crystals are suggested.  You need to find the crystal that feels right for you.  Often for those with fertility issues I will suggest Carnelian, but it is not suitable for everyone.  Generally, when you are thinking of getting a crystal you will be drawn to the one you need at that particular time.

I have a small selection of tumblestones, bracelets and keyings available detailed in my catalogue along with a brief description of their properties and a list of the most common conditions and suggested crystals.

And, I have prepared a short video giving an introduction to videos which can be viewed here.

Beware, once you start collecting and using crystals it is very difficult to stop.






Mothers Day – Spare a thought

Sending love on Mothers Day

This Sunday, in the UK, it is Mothering Sunday.  Yes, I know, most people now call it Mothers Day, but in my family we called it Mothering Sunday; it was always a day we went to church with mum, the fourth Sunday of Lent. As a child, at our church we would be given a packet of seeds to give to our mothers and any other women in the congregation.  When my children were small, our church gave all the women in the congregation little sprays of flowers.

As well as a celebration of our mothers, their love and appreciation of all they do for us, it can also be quite a difficult time for many of us.  I lost my mum nearly 35 years ago and although I am lucky enough to have children of my own, my mum was not there to share this with me.

There are also instances where your mother is still here but perhaps cannot recall you; she may have Dementia or Alzheimer’s, both such difficult illnesses to live with, care for and understand.  Often roles are reversed and you can feel as if you are now the parent and carer.

It doesn’t matter whether you lost your mum when you were a child, or a young adult like me or older, no one can ever replace her or that relationship – even when it can be quite rocky at times!

Because of the work I do, I have the pleasure of being part of the pregnancy journey for many women becoming mothers for the first time (or second, or third) with all the joy, excitement and love that it brings.  But, I also work with many women who really want to become mothers and, despite everything, that miracle has not happened for them yet.  There are some who have had miscarriages or lost children, so will not hear that child calling for their mum.   Whilst they can be happy for friends and family who have children, it can be a difficult time when people are celebrating motherhood, something that can seem out of their reach or has been lost.

So, whether you are lucky enough to still have your mum in your life or are a mother yourself, please spare a thought for those who would love to become a mother or who have lost them.


Therapy Room or Home Appointment: which is best?


As you can see from my website, I offer appointments at The Garden Room in Hutton and, for those unable to travel to me or with mobility problems, home appointments in Brentwood, Billericay, Ongar and surrounding areas.

But, which is best?

Here are just a few of the advantages of each: –

Appointments at The Garden Room 

Home appointments

Free parking available. No need to drive anywhere
Everything all set up for a relaxing treatment; subdued lighting, relaxing music, comfortable couch I bring along everything I need to ensure your comfort, including lovely relaxing music
No interruptions Feeling at ease in your own home
Time away from home to totally relax Convenient if you are unable to drive
Additional treatments available such as Hot Stone Reflexology & Reiki No travel time
Day and evening appointments Daytime appointments available

The Garden Room is situated at the bottom of my  garden and there are steps (no handrail) and a loose stone path so, if you have mobility problems, a home appointment is probably more advisable.  There is an additional charge from home visits.

World Reflexology Week – September 2018

World Reflexology Week 

This week is World Reflexology Week (24 – 30 September 2018), where reflexologists all over the world are spreading the word.

As those of you who have met me know I am passionate about reflexology and all the ways it may help people of all ages.  It is very difficult to explain to people what it feels like, how you will feel during and after a session and the benefits, as everyone’s experience differs.

Every week I receive a number of enquiries asking if reflexology can cure this, if it can help with that, if it will induce labour etc etc.  As there has not been sufficient medical research into Reflexology and other Complementary Therapies to prove its effectiveness we cannot say that it will do all these things, so the best way to find out is to give it a go.

What I love about my work is the variety of reasons people come to me.  Just last week the age range of my clients was from 14 to 91 years and they came for all sorts of different reasons; anxiety, relaxation, fertility and pre-conception, pregnancy, circulation, lipoedema, to name just a few.  And, everyone is different; some people like to chat throughout their sessions, others like to lie back and close their eyes, and others sleep for the whole 50 minutes.  Likewise, there are a number of different reactions following the sessions; from sleepy, to energised, or feeling as if a weight has been lifted.

If you haven’t tried reflexology with me yet, I offer taster sessions at my tranquil Garden Room in Hutton, Brentwood (CM13 2PP) and The Nesting Place in Chelmsford (CM1 7TG). These are 20 minute relaxation sessions for new clients to find out if reflexology is for them, for just £10.

And for those of you who have already experienced reflexology with me, a big “thank you” for sharing your experiences with your friends and families, and for all the recommendations and Facebook and Google + testimonials.




Pregnancy Reflexology

As a reflexologist who is trained and experienced in advanced maternity reflexology (SCQF level 8 awarded by Napier University), having now treated over 300 pregnant women, there are many questions that I am frequently asked; so here they are, with my answers:-

What is maternity reflexology?

Reflexology is a complementary therapy based on the belief that there are reflex areas in the feet, hands and face that are thought to correspond to organs and parts of the body.  When pregnant, you go through both physical and emotional changes, and as a reflexologist I will aim to support you during this time adapting the session according to your specific needs.  In the first trimester you may experience some anxiety as well as hormonal changes.  Reflexology will give you some time to de-stress and relax.

During the second and third trimesters you may have other physical symptoms such as back ache, heart burn, problems sleeping, swelling in the hands or feet.  A reflexology session will aim to address these and help you to relax and provide you with some ‘me-time’ before the baby arrives.

How often should I have reflexology when pregnant & when can I start?

I see many people throughout their pregnancies.  Often we will start with one treatment a month, increasing this to fortnightly or weekly as you near your estimated due date.  This is purely down to your personal preference.


Can reflexology induce labour?

There has not been sufficient clinical research to show that reflexology can induce labour.  However, there are specific points I would work on from about 37 weeks that are there to support and prepare your body in the final stages of pregnancy.  There is also a view that, by having reflexology and being in a more relaxed state, it may help prepare you for labour.

Are there any times when maternity reflexology would not be suitable?

At your first reflexology appointment, a full medical history will be taken, and this will be reviewed prior to each treatment to monitor any health changes.  There are some specific conditions where reflexology may not be appropriate;

  • DVT (Deep vein thrombosis)
  • Oligohydramnios (deficiency of amniotic fluid)
  • Polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid)
  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta Previa if grade II, III or IV
  • Pre-term labour; less than 37 weeks pregnant

Do you suggest any other treatments or practitioners during pregnancy?

I work closely with many other practitioners including pregnancy massage, doulas, hypnobirthing instructors, pregnancy relaxation and pregnancy yoga.

Do you have any leaflets/more information?

I have the Association of Reflexologists “Reflexology; Supporting you through pregnancy” leaflet that I can post to you if requested.  Or, click here for a YouTube clip.

What my clients say: –

 “The treatments really benefited me firstly by just giving me some “me time”, but with each visit I felt I was getting better at relaxing (really hard for me)!  I think I started at about 16 weeks. It would have been nice to start earlier and I’m glad I didn’t start later.  Penelope specifically put me at ease very quickly and I always felt that a weight had lifted after the sessions.”  EW, Chelmsford

“My fortnightly reflexology sessions during my pregnancy were something that I both looked forward to and relied on, and have recommended you and reflexology to everyone I’ve met since!!! My only regret is not having any sessions with you after to help my body recover. I think I started at 7 months but would definitely recommend starting sooner, I’ve never slept as well as after one of those sessions! I also did lots of pregnancy yoga which helped keep my body and mind in check”  KA, Shenfield.

“I can honestly say that I found reflexology so beneficial in my pregnancy.  Penelope really helped me.”  JC, Chelmsford

“I suffered with SPD, PGP and water retention during my pregnancy, seeing Penelope once a week for the last weeks of my pregnancy gave me an hour to allow my hips to be eased and fluid to move from my feet and ankles. I certainly felt lighter and my hips easier after a treatment.”  HD, Chelmsford

“I had reflexology towards the end of both my pregnancies. Both times my baby was transverse. Unfortunately the first time he didn’t shift but together with Acupuncture, moxibustion and seeing a chiropractor, reflexology helped turn my second son.   Second time round my waters broke and nothing much happened. I was desperate to experience a natural birth after an elective section and you answered my mercy call and managed to fit me in that afternoon. You came to my house and worked on various points for well over an hour, possibly two, and things did start to ramp up. I was so excited to be experiencing contractions! In the end I had another section as the baby was not budging, but I am forever grateful to you for coming over that afternoon and helping me so much. I was in such a calm, happy state during and after my treatment and know that I did all I could to facilitate a natural birth, in the end it was not to be. (I also had a doula, did hypnobirthing, saw a chiropractor, did aquanatal yoga, and had acupuncture throughout my pregnancy, you can’t say I didn’t try!!)”.  JP, Chelmsford

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.
  • For home appointments, 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 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  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

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.

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 in 2008 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),Advanced Maternity, Fertility and Pre-conception reflexology, Reflexology for Pain Management, Foot Reading, as well as Indian Head Massage, Ear Candling, Crystal Therapies, and continue to add to my techniques.

All these various training courses and techniques have given me the skills to adapt the treatments I offer to meet the needs of my clients.  As a member of a number of professional bodies I am required to carry out a specific number of hours of “Continuous Professional Development” each year so keep an eye out on new therapies and specialisms I have to offer.

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 Ear Candling for now.


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