Category Archives: Uncategorized


Back Massage

The back is arguably the most  common reason for a client to come to a massage practitioner. This video shows some of how I work on the  back though obviously this varies from client to client depending on their needs. If you have back problems, email or phone 07939273569 to find out how I can help.


I Care for Others…..

I wonder how many people I have heard that from over the years? During my time in mental health I heard it a lot, from both staff and patients. This was also something that  was often part of a problem.

We all need caring for at times, especially those of us who are in the caring business ourselves. Caring for others to me means being there for them, able to really listen and gain some understanding of their problems and needs. As an aromatherapist and massage practitioner, I can usually meet at least some of those needs however,  if I don’t look after my own needs and find some nurturing for myself, then I will quickly find myself unable to give others the positive attention they need. My own issues and problems will get in the way.

Of course, how these needs are met will vary greatly from person to person. When working in mental health, a big part of my dealing with stress was by attending circus classes. That sort of play is still something I enjoy greatly. More recently, I will get massage for myself as well as giving it. Experiencing it from the client’s perspective helps me in understanding more what my clients need as well as helping me to relax and deal with my own problems.

So  if there is any chance that you are one of those people who always have time for others but find it difficult to make time for yourself why not book an Aromatherapy Massage by calling

07939273569 or email



The Importance of Touch

We live in a society where there is an institutional paranoia about touch. I have heard this from teachers who are not allowed to use touch to comfort a distressed child and seen it becoming increasingly the norm in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, both in out patient and in patient settings.

I see this fear of false/misunderstood accusations as actually increasing the risk of abusive touch because when touch does occur be it coming from positive or negative motives it is done in secret and not talked about.

Many years ago when I worked in a therapeutic community, some staff gave hugs and some didn’t as a rule and it was their choice. I was able to practice aromatherapy doing back massages in a setting where others could see what I was doing.  And here is the important thing, It was talked about. If a young person was always asking for hugs, this would be discussed. If the hugs were always from the same member of staff this would be discussed. Possible sexual elements to hugs would be talked about along with things like who did the young person really want a hug from, e.g. an absent or dead relative etc.

Touch is an important part of life and of healing, both emotional and physical. (Rub it and it will make it better!)

This is an important part of my philosophy as an aromatherapist and massage practitioner. The other key to this is essential oils. There is the therapeutic effect of the oils that are absorbed through the skin but in emotional healing, perhaps even more important is the aroma of the oils which act on the Limbic system within the brain.

Massage and Aromatherapy deserve to be talked about much more in a society where whatever touch is like between friends and relatives, it is increasingly shunned in our institutions, even those which are caring for those who need it most.



LETS talk about money.

Many complementary therapies are seen as problematic in that those with little money can not afford them. At the same time many therapists are struggling to make ends meet because they have to hire a room, pay bills to wash towels, etc.

The client sees the therapist for one hour or 90 minutes (for my clients it is more often 90 minutes) On top of that, I need at least 15 minutes before and after this time to set up the room and to clear up. I also need to spend time each year on continuing professional development. Other costs include professional insurance and professional body membership. (It is almost impossible to get insurance without this.)

Some therapists do a lower rate for those who are on low incomes. This works well though sometimes such schemes do get abused. (Experience shows that those paying a reduced rate are more likely to not turn up leaving the therapist still having to pay for the room.) In theory most of us have a  policy requiring payment if appointments are cancelled at less than 24 or 48 hours notice but enforcement of this is difficult.

As well as lower rates for those on low incomes, there are also LETS (local Exchange Trading Schemes) Some of these work so everyone’s time is valued as the same – 10 units (Cams in Cambridge)/hour. Others allow more flexibility to allow for the time needed to set up rooms etc. In those schemes that insist on the 10/hour rule, therapists usually charge cash for materials, heating and  washing towel costs etc.

After discussions with long term members of our local scheme (camlets)  I have reduced my rates to 30/35Cams for one hour/ninety minute sessions. I am not completely happy that I have found the right balance yet but will stick with this for a while before deciding on what to do next.



Another new Oil.

Brazilian Frankincense, (Protium heptaphyllum) is an oil that is relatively new to me and I have just purchased some from Oshadi.

It has a fragrance similar to Frankincense but fresher with hints of citrus.

Oshadi describe it’s traditional uses.

Traditional Use

In the Amazon, the resin of Breu Branco is often burned during sacred religious and learning rituals for its calming and concentrating properties, for its aromatic scent that gives off a woodsy and somewhat musty aroma with hints of spice, to illuminate houses in the forest and repel mosquitoes and other undesirable insects. The resin has also been widely used by native tribes in their diverse traditional medicine to treat many different ailments such as:

  • Respiratory and lung diseases
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Liver disorders
  • Wounds
  • To avoid the worsening of broken limbs and teeth
  • To help with memory loss
  • Concentration
  • Motor-coordination
  • For soothing states of agitation and stress
  • As well as its use as an antiseptic
  • Analgesic
  • Stimulating agent
  • The resin is also used in the sealing of boats, as a natural polish.
  • Its root bark; as astringent that’s claimed to have renal clearance and anti-syphilitic properties.
It is probably too early for therapists here to comment on some of these properties but, given it has a similar chemical make up to the better known Somalian and Middle Eastern Frankincense. Of particular interest to me given my client group are its ability to soothe states of agitation and stress and aid concentration.  I will be paying attention to see if there are any differences in  how clients react compared with the Frankincense oil derived from the same shrub as that used in churches for incense.

NDG 2017

Having attended the Permaculture Association National Diploma Gathering last weekend, I am now ready to start on my own Permaculture Diploma.

As part of the diploma, I have to do ten permaculture designs and my first few designs, in no particular order will be.

Redesigning an observation hive for the community orchard.

This design will address the problems that led to the comb collapsing  when the temperature was above 30C. The previous year temperatures had not been high enough for this to be a problem. As a result of the comb collapsing the bees left the hive.

Designing a presentation for next diploma gathering/convergence I attend around using the tools of Solution Focussed Brief Therapy when a project is stuck.

This will focus around the use of the Miracle Question” to move things on.

“If this project were not stuck what would be different?” Get as much detail about what the person with the stuck project/design would be doing differently.  Getting lots of detail is key in domains of feelings, behaviour, how project is talked about etc.

Then look at which bits of this are already happening. Can you do more of this? ….

Diploma Pathway.

This is one of the designs that most diploma apprentices do. It is a way to plan the work and learning needed for the diploma including how to access what is needed for other designs.

Willow Screen around Apiary.

This is a design I wrote an article about for Permaculture Magazine. Some more work needed on tweaking and maintenance.

Design around my Aromatherapy Practice.

Don’t know what shape this one will take yet so more to come later.


Ecological dilemmas.

Both in my personal life and in my professional life, I face dilemmas as to what is the best thing to do. This is particularly true in the field of caring for the earth and its ecology.

When it comes to essential oils, I have to trust the credentials of the suppliers of essential oils I use and what they tell me.

I also have to choose when it comes to the materials I use. Towels can be obtained that are both fair trade and organic. These are more expensive but not prohibitively so. When it comes to clothing however, it isn’t so easy. I have found organic cotton tunics but they are about three times the price of others on the market. Perhaps like food this is the price of living in a style more in tune with the planet and will be until those who pollute pay the real price of what they do.

Another issue is couch roll.  On an internet search, the only unbleached couch roll I could find is from New Zealand. On checking again to write this post I thought I had come up with a supplier after seeing “Organic, Unbleached Paper Rolls” but on further investigation, this was rolling paper for tobacco and other substances!

So I have the choice between washing the couch cover after every single client or using bleached couch roll. I have chosen the former of the two options but don’t really know which one does more damage to the environment.

All I can say is that I will do my best to run my business in as ecological a manner as I can.IMG_0764