What led you into wanting to become a massage therapist?
I worked for a long time at The Body Shop: for a few years I was the Community Projects Coordinator and Company Trainer. I set up various projects in and around London for the staff to volunteer at. One of them was Holloway Prison where I attended this project once a month for around five years. One day, as I was massaging someone’s hands, I thought ‘I haven’t a clue what I’m doing’ and there it began. The last 35 years have been spent training, retraining, teaching and, of course, practising.
What has surprised you most about the profession as a practitioner?
The way touch therapies have evolved and become better respected. It’s probably delight, more than surprise.
What have been the unexpected hurdles you have had to face?
This work takes it toil on your body which is not so much unexpected, but has occasionally surprised me that just like everybody else, you wake up one day and you’ve got a sore back. I have to remind myself to keep taking care and book a few treatments every year for myself.
What have been the unexpected benefits you have enjoyed?
There’s so much to learn, you think you’ve got a ‘handle’ on things, then you turn around and there it is, a whole load more you didn’t know – I love it! I intend to keep training for as long as I can.
What has been your most momentous moment?
Getting a hospital badge that says ‘Complementary Therapist’ for work with the palliative care team at West Middlesex Hospital. Like many, I’ve spent a lot of my career working and training others to a high standard to help get my profession recognised. To be recognised as part of such a fabulous team, I cried.
What glimpse of wisdom can you offer about health/ the body?
Outside of work, what do you enjoy in life?
Family, theatre and friends. I’m from the lakes, and I love going home and walking the fells.
What will always bring a smile to your face?
My dog, Ringo, named after a drummer from Liverpool, a west highland terrier born on Christmas Eve. Please don’t tell my partner or children I’ve said this.