After more than 20 years as a stay at home mum, I gained my VCTC Level 3 Diploma in complementary therapies at Peter Symonds college in Winchester. My qualifications include reflexology, Swedish massage and aromatherapy as well as Indian head massage. I have also gained my diploma in facial massage and skincare from Helen McGuinness Health & Beauty Training International. A continuing program of CPD means that I will be adding new and updated skills to my treatment menu on a regular basis and I have now completed my advanced facial reflexology certificate from Ziggie Bergman at the London School of Reflexology, as well as Sally Kay’s Reflexology Lymph Drainage, both of which are beautifully gentle and deeply relaxing treatments.
Outside the treatment room, I have a passion for interiors and can often be found with my nose in Pinterest or Instagram, searching for inspiration to make my home beautiful and welcoming. I've recently discovered the joys of a beautifully organised vintage brocante and have been known to load up my car boot with all manner of chippy (tatty!) painted bits and bobs to accessorise my house. I also love a walk amongst the trees with our hound, Woody. It's a time to appreciate nature, clear my head and get some exercise.
My love of well being is not entirely based on a hobby. Over the past decade I have been suffering with osteoarthritis which has now become advanced in some of my joints. It is very likely that this is as a result of being hyper mobile which can cause symptoms such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as the muscles work harder than usual to support the skeletal framework. Any of you suffering with this, or a similar condition, will know how hard it is to get properly diagnosed and then to find decent medication, especially for night time pain, as well as lifestyle advice. Out of necessity, I have had to do a lot of research to support my own self help journey and I'm always happy to share tips and information which I've found useful.
I am also experiencing my own journey with menopause, which many of you will know comes with some considerable challenges. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have found that trying to talk to a health professional about that one can result in a very one sided conversation! To that end, I can add empathy to my list of finely tuned skills!
I have been a member of the Association of Reflexologists since I began my journey with reflexology. Being a member of a professional body requires a commitment to continued professional development so, several times a year, I undertake courses which either add to my treatment menu or update and enhance my existing qualifications.
In our modern world, many of us are under increasing amounts of pressure in our every day lives and, as a result, chronic stress is on the increase. Stress can arise from many situations including, but certainly not limited to, financial worry, a parent with dementia or a child with special needs, a marriage break up or bereavement. Of course, we are designed to deal with short periods of physical or emotional stress....you will be familiar with the term 'fight or flight'. However, when we remain in a stressed state over a long period of time, our bodies stop working efficiently; everything from our digestive system to our all important hormone system are disrupted, affecting our sleep patterns, mood, skin, reproduction, the list goes on. Those niggling symptoms which you may not feel like bothering the GP with can really affect your quality of life.
So how does simple relaxation affect the body's healing process? It is all down to the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system; the relax response following a period of stress when the body's internal organs return to normal function. It is not uncommon for a client's tummy to start gurgling half way through a treatment, which can be a sign that this system has commenced for duty, telling all the organs that the 'threat' is over and it's time to get back to work! I am a firm believer that the body can do amazing things when it is given the opportunity to take time out and fully relax. I have created the Little Lavender Room within my own home as a place for my clients to do just that, with one of my gentle touch therapies.
Keeping it natural
I believe in using natural, plant based and cruelty free products in all treatments - we love bunnies too much to hurt them!
Skin care has been a passion of mine since my teens and for decades I was happily using high end products from 'the big five' until I started to look deeply into the unnecessary and harmful chemicals they contain. The list of man made ingredients in beauty products can be extensive and impossible to decipher and may disrupt hormone, dry the skin and possibly even boost cancer cells.
My skin care of choice to use in facial treatments is Tropic Skincare after trying them out for at least a year myself. They are really beautiful products and you can be safe in the knowledge that they are all derived from natural ingredients, toxin and cruelty free and vegan. Sometimes I may introduce products from other favourite natural skin care brands if I think they will enhance the treatment.
All essential oils and pre-blended reflexology balms and facial oils used in the practice are sourced from carefully chosen, often small, but always ethical brands. I find these producers are knowledgeable, hands on and passionate about their products. This is extremely important as the molecules in essential oils are tiny enough to penetrate the layers of the epidermis and this is indeed one of the ways in which these precious oils have such a therapeutic effect. From time to time I may share information about products I love, in or out of the treatment room, in my 'Letters from the Lavender Room' page or on social media so, if you're interested in skin care, make a cup of tea and have a read.
During your treatment
You will be wrapped up snuggly on my heated bed with cosy blankets or a duvet if the weather dictates. Feel free to chat if you want to but I recommend you close your eyes and let the music take you to a place of complete calm while the gently diffusing essential oils add another therapeutic element to your treatment. If you are suffering from sinus, digestive or bronchial issues or anything else, let me know beforehand and I can create a bespoke blend specifically for you.
One of the advantages of visiting a therapist in their own home is the likelihood that it will be a more relaxed experience. At The Little Lavender Room I allow plenty of time between appointments so that you won't be herded out in order for the the next client to come in. Following your treatment, I will happily leave you to enjoy some peace while I go and prepare a herbal tea or cold drink for you. It's important to me that you benefit fully from the therapy you have paid for and this won't happen if you feel under pressure to get dressed and rush off. It's also important, if you are driving, that you are fully alert!
Going forwards after you leave, you should aim to:
All these contra-actions are normal and should ease after 24 hours. After that you should have an increased feeling of well being. If you are at all worried, please don't hesitate to contact me.