Many years ago I read an article about shiatsu massage in the Body and Mind section of the Saturday Times. I went through the list of issues that shiatsu could help with and could tick most of them – insomnia, depression, menstrual problems, terrible work-life balance and digestion problems. I went to the Shiatsu Society website, found a local practitioner and booked myself a treatment. I came out of the treatment feeling so completely different – it was a bit spooky, but in a good way. Suddenly I was aware of my whole body – my job then was very demanding and I suddenly realised that I was completely living in my head without paying much attention at all to the rest of my body. The shiatsu treatment made me realise that I had a body that needed attention too.
I carried on having shiatsu massage treatments and eventually decided that this therapy was making such a difference to me that I wanted to take it further and decided to train as a shiatsu therapist. I got a place with the Shiatsu College in London for a 3-year course, which I successfully completed, and I now practice in Coleraine in Northern Ireland. I was also a teaching assistant with the Shiatsu College for 2 years after graduation, which allowed me to keep on learning and practicing shiatsu. I completed a post-graduate programme, which led to the MRSS qualification with The Shiatsu Society and I regularly participate in CPD events, courses and seminars to continue my learning.
I am registered with The Shiatsu Society, which means that I successfully completed my course with the Shiatsu College, that I am fully insured and that I follow the code of ethics of The Shiatsu Society.
In addition to the shiatsu, I qualified as an Instructor with the Tai Chi, Qigong and Feng Shui Institute, and received instruction directly from Master Wing Cheung in the Shibashi forms of Tai Chi Qigong. I also successfully completed a 2-year Diploma in Qigong Teaching with the Shiatsu College in Hastings and was one of the first graduates from the course. I deliver Qigong classes in a variety of places around the Causeway Coast for beginners and those returning to the practice. I also do sessions for corporates and I offer private lessons, where appropriate. Corporates I have worked with include the University of Oxford and a number of FTSE 100 companies.
I have trained to Level 2 in Reiki, which I integrate into my shiatsu practice and I trained in counselling some years ago. I have a special interest in diet and how Chinese medicine views foods.
In my spare time, I am the volunteer Director of the UK branch of a charity, All As One (www.allasone.org), that runs an orphanage in Freetown, Sierra Leone.