Therapy with you in mind: What it's like to be a holistic therapist

From reflexology to hot stone massages, holistic therapies have become an increasingly popular way to meet our physical, mental and emotional needs.

They have been effectively used for centuries and are said to play an important role in maintaining good health and wellbeing.

Sally Carter first became interested in complimentary therapies as a teenager after witnessing their benefits first hand.

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in. My mum had meningitis when I was 13. She was left with lingering neck and shoulder pain.

“I used to give her massages and I was always able to find the spots of tensions. It’s about being able to relieve the tension and provide a sense of wellbeing,” she explains.

Now trained as a holistic therapist, she runs Wellington-based You In Mind with business partner Tracey McPhillips.

They both carried out their training with the Shropshire-based Solace Holistic Training Academy and now offer a wide range of therapies that can be merged and adapted to suit each customer’s different requirements.

These include Indian head massages which offer benefits such as improving blood circulation, relieving muscular tension, pain and fatigue and providing a general feeling of relaxation, calmness and wellbeing.

They also offer warm bamboo massages which are said to stimulate the immune system and benefit a variety of chronic pain conditions including back pain and headaches.

This technique combines a Swedish massage with bamboo sticks, which are heated before pressure is applied to the muscles using a range of rolling, kneading, and stroking movements.

Other treatments available at You In Mind include holistic facials, which aim to leave muscles feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and skin looking and feeling healthier.

They also provide reflexology, an ancient art dating back over 2,500 years, that involves the use of both massage and pressure point techniques. The pressure used is firm but not painful and the treatment is said to leave people feeling calm and relaxed.

People often seek out holistic therapies to help with a long-term health complaint or muscular pain, for support with a mental health condition such as stress or for general wellbeing

“It’s all about what the client needs and what they are trying get out of the therapies. Some people will come for pain relief from tension and tight muscles and there’s some people who come for a bit of relaxation and ‘me time’,” says Tracey. The friends took over the business just before the start of the November lockdown but had to wait until December to open the doors.

“We bought all the equipment and the business name from a lady we were trained by on November 1,” says Sally, who has been working as a therapist for two and a half years.

Unfortunately, they were then forced to close again when the latest lockdown began in January so they were delighted when they were able to reopen to the public on April 12.

As they normally have to maintain very high levels of hygiene, they haven’t had to make too many alterations to the way they work in order to keep customers and themselves safe.

They carry out checks to ensure that no one attending an appointment has any Covid symptoms or has been in contact with anyone else who might be ill.

Despite a challenging start, they remained optimistic about the future because they believed there would be a demand for their therapies when they were finally able to welcome customers back.

Tracey added: “We knew once the lockdown had lifted that people would be looking for the kind of therapies we provide.

“Many people are suffering from muscle tension because they’ve been working from home from from a desk that wasn’t made for it. All of the therapies we provide can alleviate that. We knew people would be needing us when the time was right.”

Holistic therapies have been growing in popularity in recent years as more and more people become aware of the different options available.

“People are reaching out for these kind of therapies and they can compliment traditional medicines from their GP or hospital,” says Sally.

Although many people will know exactly what’s involved in their chosen therapy, for others it will be a completely new experience.

“We’ve had a couple of people who were new to it so we always try to put them at ease and explain what we are doing and why at all times,” Sally tells Weekend.

For Sally and Tracey being holistic therapists is very rewarding because they get to see how how much their customers enjoy and benefit from their treatments. “People arrive feeling anxious, stressed or with painful muscles and they walk out feeling better. I know we’ve made a difference,” Sally says.

You In Mind is also an approved provider of the Guild of Holistic Therapists’ training courses with the theory elements completed online and the practical elements with Sally and Tracey in their studio in Wellington.

To find out more see www.facebook.com/youinmindtelford or visit www.you-in-mind.co.uk

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