When you’re heading to the Lake District on your holidays, relaxation is probably on your mind, and what could be better than treating yourself to a blissful massage or reflexology treatments in the comfort of your own holiday cottage? Kathryn Fife, a mobile complementary therapist, loves helping people relax and tells us about how she set up her business.
Cottage Cleaning to Cottage Massages
My journey to becoming a massage therapist and reflexologist began in 2015 when I enrolled in a VCTC level 3 diploma Complementary Therapy course. It was the year my twins started primary school and my eldest was already on his way. It was time for a new start for me!
To fit around childcare, I also worked as a cleaner, which is how I came about Sally’s Cottages. Cleaning holiday cottages is so important for the enjoyment of the guests, so it can be satisfying to make the cottages perfect for the next holiday makers. It can also be demanding and is physically hard work! However, I always had fantastic support from the staff at Sally’s. But something else was calling me!
Rediscovering My Identity
I wanted to learn something new. As a mum to three boys I was so thankful to have the early years together with them, but it was pretty exhausting! Mums can just become this massive whirl of sleepless nights, nappies, washing, tantrums, crying, potty training and all the rest and so we can feel like we lose our own identity.
So starting college was a breath of fresh air! I could be me again! The course consisted of an intense study of anatomy and physiology, assignments for the theory and implementation of Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage and reflexology, along with many hours of practical learning and case studies.
I had a fantastic tutor, Angela D’Costa, who is so knowledgeable and helped me in every step.
Learning New Skills
Getting started in my own business was pretty scary! I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy. It’s not that I didn’t have confidence in what I do, because I do, it was the fact that I’m just not that type of person to be in marketing, or to know how to sell myself and the therapies! So it was slow to get going but I have learnt so much more in the past few years. I am now proud that I have my own website, which I built myself, that I have learnt new skills and knowledge, and that I have met so many lovely clients and other therapists along the way.
Some new skills I have learnt over the years have been for certificates in Indian head massage, holistic facials, oncology massage and oncology reflexology and the most recent exciting one is for Functional Reflex Therapy.
Functional Reflex Therapy supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and adults with high levels of anxiety and stress, autism and autistic spectrum disorders, intellectual difficulties, neurological disorders and communication issues. I hope when the time is right that I will be able to take my new training into schools and care homes.
Relax and be Pampered!
Massage therapies and Reflexology are a great way to relax, to be pampered, to have time out. Goodness know we all need plenty of that! Life just seems so rushed and hectic these days so it can be hard to switch off and think about ourselves. Many people after a treatment say that they wished they had these them more often. Complementary therapies support people in so many ways such as helping with anxiety, pain relief, depression, stress, supporting the immune system, insomnia, digestion problems… the list goes on. Fundamentally, massage and reflexology help to maintain balance within the body and when that is achieved the body will work in harmony to keep everything in check.
I am not sure really why I was drawn to complementary therapies. Reading a book about aromatherapy, smelling their wonderful scents and finding out that they can help to relieve ailments was probably the first stage. Perhaps also it is just that I have been lucky enough to be brought up surrounded by nature and feel drawn to natural health. Or perhaps it was the travelling I did in my twenties where I learnt a lot about other cultures and how amazing our natural world is.
We are blessed these days with the amazing medical care we receive, the drugs we have created save lives and gives us a better life. Sometimes, though, we do forget that we live surrounded by nature’s own medicine and we can also benefit greatly from what’s on offer in the natural world. I started using more organic products when my children were still babies, and I’ve never looked back.
Helping people through my therapies has been so rewarding and enjoyable. I never stop learning and hope to keep continuing to provide my treatments for many years to come. I have my eye on a lovely lodge to put in my garden so I can create a cosy, safe, tranquil place for my therapies, but that will have to wait for now! Watch this space!
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This is a guest blog written by Kath from Kathryn Fife Holistic Therapies. You can visit her website to find out more and book your pamper session.