I love my job! I am really passionate about complementary therapies and what they can do for people, having experienced them first hand in recovery from stress-related illness myself. I am particularly interested in the difference therapies can make to emotional and mental well-being, and the link between these and physical wellbeing.
In addition to working in private practice, I work regularly with two other client groups: staff at the Scottish Government and Survivors of Rape and Sexual Abuse at Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre. I have also worked with patients in a rehabilitation ward at the Royal Edinburgh Psychiatric Hospital, clients at Muirhouse Community Renewal, people with HIV, older people's groups, cancer survivors, carers, and other groups in Edinburgh.
Before becoming a complementary therapist, should you be interested, I completed an English Literature degree and worked in various environments, from managing and teaching in an English Conversation school in Japan, to administrating the client services department of a stockbroker, to working in health promotion with the NHS Throughout this time, I pursued an interest in complementary therapies, and used them as a layperson with family and friends. It became clear to me after some time that I had a much greater affinity for my 'hobby' than I did for the various types of work I had done. I began my professional training with a diploma in massage in 2002, and went on to train in EFT, Bach Flower Remedies, and continued massage training. I recently completed a 3-year training in Somatic Experiencing, a trauma therapy which helps people to renegotiate their nervous systems and return to the flow of life after traumatic experiences.
In addition to one-to-one work with clients, I am an AAMET accredited Master Trainer, offering Level 1 & 2 trainings in EFT (Level 3 trainings coming in 2015), and a mentor for courses in the Bach Flower Remedies. I thoroughly enjoy teaching, which gives people the information and confidence to use the remedies and EFT for themselves.
'Treat the person, not the disease'
I am a firm believer in this holistic principle, and find that it empowers people to be approached as a unique individual, with their own unique responses to well-being or ill health and with their own priorities in life. I prefer where possible to be led by the client's own perspective than to be prescriptive about well-being. I can offer a person assistance and information regarding their well-being, but the greatest results will come if that person is motivated to take an active role. This, however, is a new way of being for most of us, who have for years taken a very passive role in terms of health, feeling that health professionals knew more about us than we did ourselves, and that we were ignorant bystanders.
In the traditional medical scenario as most of us experience it, we are given 5 minutes of an overworked doctor's time. We may feel that we are unable to voice our concerns, or that we cannot ask for more background information on our treatment, or simply that we are wasting the doctor's time. The traditional medical model leaves us as very passive participants in our own well-being, and leaves doctors with an awful lot of work to do.
I have great respect for doctors and the work they do, having served as a lay member of the Royal College of General Practitioners for three years, and I see the choice to use complementary therapies as a complement, and not an alternative, to traditional medical care.
I try to encourage and support each individual to take personal responsibility for their own well-being, whatever that might mean to them, and find that people who adopt this attitude are capable of great leaps in physical, mental and emotional health.
When complementary therapies are introduced into a person's life, they can act in great support of that person's interaction with traditional healthcare professionals. Complementary therapies can, in addition, be extremely helpful in cases where traditional medicine is often unable to offer a solution. For example, for people who suffer from emotional pain caused by a traumatic experience. Or for when our feelings might be more of a problem than our bodies, for example with that constant culprit, stress. It is always rewarding to see how the therapies can make a difference to people's lives, and I hugely enjoy being able to offer them.
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
AAMET-accredited Master EFT trainer
Certificate in Myofascial Release
Certificate in Advanced Holistic Medical Massage for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Bach Foundation Teacher of Level 1 & 2 courses
AAMET Level 3 (advanced) Certified EFT Practitioner
Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner
Certificate in Hot Stone Massage
Certificate in Thai Foot Massage
AAMET Level 1 & 2 Certificate
Advanced Diploma in Hopi Ear Candling
Certificate in Indian Head Massage
COSCA certificate in counselling skills
SVQ Certificate in Training Practice
Diploma in Anatomy, Physiology & Massage
Reiki Certificates, Levels I & II
MA (Hons) English Literature, Edinburgh University