Sparked by a recent conversation with a fellow therapist, both having businesses in the wellbeing industry. We have worked hard to support and to create an educated, well trained, professional, and inclusive experience for those who enjoy the treatments, therapies and workshops we offer.
The question often asked, which my friend and I were discussing is “which are you witch or hippy”?
This is my attempt to dispel the myths, right the wrongs, clear the way and explain how modern day therapies are standing their ground supporting: self-care, mental health, relaxation, personal health, community and family happiness. Some therapies have their groundings in cultures thousands of years old and have travelled through history by practical methods and communities, still thriving and offering health benefits in today’s modern world. This is also my personal journey into how my experience, enjoyment and interest in nature and wild outdoor spaces and crafts have developed my wellbeing business.
It’s in my Nature
Spring and summer we have our gardens, rivers, countryside and parks to keep us busy active and healthy. I garden for wild life and keep bees, planting, gardening for pollinators, collecting seeds and swapping ideas, seeds and plants with friends. I have kept bees for over 12 years and it’s my way of giving back, or so I thought at first. Giving back is providing the habitat and varied forage, not just for honey bees but all pollinators, birds and wild creatures. Hopefully inspiring others to help in some small way, after-all honeybees are managed, its’ the wild bees and pollinating insects which need saving.
Keeping bees, my holidays are out of season, even then rarely do I feel the need to get away. I have created my world with quality measured time at home doing things I enjoy, rather than planning a stressful frantic two weeks in the sun. An inquiring eyebrow is often raised, usually followed by the comments that’s a strange hobby! Do you get stung? Do you sell your honey? More recently there is genuine interest of the environmental reasons behind my choice.
At this time of year the darker nights, colder temperatures draw our attention to our homes, inside space and the people and family around us. I turn my attention to indoor arts and crafts, knitting, crochet and reading, keeping my hands and mind busy during the winter months. I like a creative project, some never get finished especially when the season turns and we see more sunshine and the inevitable call of the wild.
Being outdoors, hedgerow and woodland foraging is my thing, crab apples, rosehips, mushrooms, blackberries, bilberries, and pinecones, pine nuts to name a few. The end result, teas, jams, fruit pies, syrups, balms and autumn and Christmas decorations.
It’s a family thing, we call it Progging, “to walk in the woods or outdoors with a stick searching for stuff”, today known as foraging, it’s in the dictionary check it out. I often wonder, would I have chosen to train as an aromatherapist if I hadn’t had these wonderful outdoor sessions as a child. A wise woman once said (my mum) “you don’t just learn in school.” you also learn at home; what stings, the names of trees and plants, which berries and mushrooms to eat and what not! Always fun family times, seasonal, social and great memories to share. Foraging burns energy, walking outdoors is invigorating, uplifting and the planning of crafts creative and inspiring. The time ticks away half an hour turns in to a couple of hours of outdoor nature engagement, usually best done on warm sunny days but can be done anytime. Sometimes I do a photo forage, I take my camera and just take pictures of things of interest or to identify later at home. I never just go for a walk, it’s always an adventure, I often get left behind or found waiting for the next buzzing insect to land on a flower.
Making lip balm with beeswax from my own bees and blending of essential oils for wood polish, homemade candles and woodland potpourri, clears, cleanses and uplifts moods. The honey, jams and syrups are natural, packed full of vitamins minerals make great gifts or swaps and above all remind us to look forward to and plan for next season. These activities keep me looking forward and focussed, even in February when spreading blackberry jam. Which reminds me, I never buy jam I make it or its gifted, it evokes a memory of a late summer day spent in a hedgerow with family; on my own with my dog or a tasty gift at Christmas from a likeminded friend. It’s about appreciating and enjoying friendships, time out in nature and natural crafts.
People are always interested in hearing about using essential oils, hot Basalt stones or explaining about Indian head massage! Chatting and listening to clients is a big part of my job. Not long ago I explained that Indian head massage had been used thousands years ago, to calm children, women and elders left back at camp when the tribesmen in India hunted, and foraged away from camp. Shocked at my explanation one client thought it was a “new thing” only just invented in recent years, instead of a ancient community’s method of coping with group anxiety.
Treatments are available all year, however the winter months, due to the cold, general aches and pains or something to look forward to and lift spirits, January, February and March herald special requests.
- Massage, aromatherapy and hot stone treatments are favourites fighting tension, muscle fatigue, physical and physiological stress. Soothing and stimulating, healing benefits can be found.
- Lymphatic Drainage for weight management, speeding healing, boost circulation, reduce excess fluid and joint swelling.
- Hopi ear candle treatments clears sinuses, headaches and help with migraine often a therapy which sees off the remnants of congestion due to the common cold along with Indian head massage, which also benefits tension held in the neck and shoulders.
- Reiki a meditative deeply relaxing treatment stand alone or can be used to enhance other massage treatments.
The lack of outdoor activity, sunlight and warmth play their part on our mood and health, so often my clients request these treatments for their soothing, uplifting, therapeutic properties also to catch up and you can imagine we always have lots to talk about.
Being a Holistic therapist is about treating the person as a whole not just the isolated physical issue. It’s about listening, understanding, talking and planning the best course of treatment and delivering a professional natural service keeping people happy, moving and motivated. Inspiring self-care, nature connection and a balanced approach to healthy routines in the everyday situations. Sometime it’s a one off treatment, other times a course of treatment is more beneficial, a little me time goes along way.
“Being a little bit hippy and a little bit witch also helps”.
Ears Hearts & Hands
Let’s shout out for wellbeing therapists that listen with their ears, hearts and hands, the complimentary, holistic and massage therapists; the meditation, mindful therapists; doulas and birthing practitioners, talking therapists; Those that support wellbeing though activity, yoga, Tai chi and mindful walking. After all some of these practices have stood the test of time.
I wonder did these wellbeing therapist plan their career choice! What inspired their direction or career path? Aromatherapist wasn’t a career aspiration for me in 1981, although natural wellness, health and connecting with people and nature were always my strong points.
“I would say holistic wellbeing found me!”
I will be posting some Witch & Hippy Philosophies helpful natural remedies, hints and tips to keep you happy, healthy and wise on my social media pages. Look out for them I hope you find them amusing if not helpful.