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Visit The Secret Garden

How the seeds of the ‘Secret Garden’ grew

Clients have often told me…

I’m ‘different’ to other therapists, but luckily they always add … “different in a good way!”

I’m curious by nature so sometimes I’ve asked what they felt the ‘difference’ was and the answers given have ranged from, “You’re so passionate about what you do” and “It never feels like you’re just going through the motions” to “It’s obvious you only want the best for your clients.”

One day I found myself going back through my career to see if I could identify the underpinning foundations of the ‘difference’ my clients seemed subconsciously aware of.

In the end I found three and I thought you might enjoy hearing about them.

The first happened when I was training as a clinical aromatherapist. We were given an exercise to help us train our noses in recognising the difference between expensive but effective pure essential oils and the cheaper less effective synthetic oils.  We smelt the pure oil first and then the synthetic one and …. YUCK!!!

I know I have a sensitive nose but since that day I’ve NEVER worked with synthetic, artificial products. I don’t care how much cheaper they are … I just can’t do it!

Why don’t you try a similar exercise and compare something like the smell of an air freshener containing lavender to smell of pure lavender essential oil. I bet you’ll be able to tell the difference, not only in the smell but also how your body reacts to it. I wonder if your reaction will be as strong as mine!

As my training progressed I learned many other reasons that confirmed my strong inner reaction to the belief that essential oils are better than synthetics. For example, did you know that your skin absorbs essential oils naturally and easily, whereas synthetic oils will stay stuck on the surface of your skin unless they are mixed with other carrier chemicals … double YUCK!!!

The next experience that came to mind was when I discovered the true power of the ingredient of nature in their organic state to heal the largest organ in the human body … your skin!

It happened when a new client came to me with a major problem with Psoriasis on his face which was literally red and raw.

I’d never seen anything like it, but wanting to help I gave him some of Espas’ Pink Hair and Scalp mud to use.

To be honest, with a case this severe I only expected it to ease his symptoms but a week later he came to see me and his whole face was clear and I realised I was surrounded by natural miracles I could trust and use to help my clients if I took the time and trouble to discover and use them … which I have done ever since.

The third experience I’m going to share with you taught me the value of ‘connection’ as part of the therapeutic process.

As some of you know I’ve worked as a therapist in Canada. Before I went, my natural instincts were trying to tell me that my clients got more from a treatment when I relaxed, shut the outside world out and put my focus on ‘connecting’ with them.

As I say, it was only an instinct and it didn’t develop fully until I crossed the Atlantic.

It developed because the Canadian salon I worked in also had a belief in the power of connecting with clients as they delivered their treatments and it was an essential part of what they did.

I embraced their philosophy with a passion and grew strong and confident enough to trust my instincts about the power of ‘connection’ and making it central to what I do..

When I came back to the UK I soon discovered I was going need that strength and confidence!

I needed it because I got a job in a prestigious spa, which appeared to value ‘connection’ as well. Sadly the appearances were deceptive and the whole experience proved to soulless and synthetic. Think ‘therapy by numbers’, rather than ‘therapy by connection’ and you’ll get the idea.

I tried to introduce changes but the management’s focus was on improving the numbers not the client experience and in the end I realised the only way I was going to be able to be consistently true to my values was to open my own salon.

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