As I approach another anniversary at my clinic, I thought I’d take time to explain how it all began and how I found myself at Kinsale Road. How I became a therapist is something I get asked from time to time.
Let’s step back in time…..
Early 2000’s I worked in an office for a large US based financial company and I’d just bought my first house. Every two years I could change my job title and begin learning something new, so I had progressed to an Internal Account Manager. My next natural progression would have been into field sales, but I knew I didn’t want to work in an office forever and the idea of sitting in a car all day didn’t inspire me either. I’d requested information about a college I’d seen, but when I saw the prices I put the brochure in a drawer (these are the days of dial up and requesting brochures for information!)
A little while later I cleaned out the drawer and started thinking that an aromatherapy course over £3,000 wasn’t too expensive for a complete career change. I had to go for an interview. I can honestly say I hadn’t been that concerned about the outcome of an interview for a long time! Being told I’d been accepted made me so excited and I started buying books on the recommended reading list.
My very first book was this one. You’ll still see it on my shelf at the clinic, as it reminds me of how far I’ve come. Buying this book, I looked at the contents and wondered how on earth I’d start to learn all the content contained in the covers! I now fondly look at this book and realise how basic it is. The information is simplistic and doesn’t take into account any of the chemistry or research associated with oils – but it’s more than complex enough for a beginner!
I started my 18 month course with 4 other people. I was one of the few who was working full time, and I soon became aware of how tough working full time along with booking in massages in the evening, coursework, a 12 month Anatomy and Physiology course, learning Latin names and attending two full days on the weekends actually was. By Christmas I decided this was harder that my degree and wondered if I could really continue, but I am stubborn! During the course 3 people dropped out and 1 joined us – 3 of us took the final exams.
After discovering I had passed I started trading my part-time business in January 2006. I then signed up for the reflexology course, which was 12 months long. I found this one a lot easier as I didn’t have to retake the Anatomy and Physiology, however many of those taking the course were struggling with the commitment too. While waiting to start the course (I had a 6month break) I decided to complete my Reiki training and Indian Head Massage training. During my reflexology I discovered I was pregnant and in 2007 my eldest was born. By 2008 I planned to return to work part time along with looking after my son and my little part time business.
My company told me I needed to return back to work full time or not at all. At the time it was very stressful and when I finally handed in my notice they then approached me for a job share, which I declined. By this time, I’d worked through the fear with my partner and we’d decided I should give my business a go. For the next few years I juggled my son and working in my business, renting rooms from other companies or therapists, or offering a mobile service.
In 2008 I decided to train in baby massage. A couple of years later when I was just thinking I could start to focus on my business I discovered I was pregnant with my youngest and would be juggling things for a little longer! It was during this time I took a part time job at a supermarket for 12 months, so I could afford to complete my advanced aromatherapy training and become a qualified aromatologist.
I continued in this way until I was booked for a mobile hot stone massage. With a couch in the back, my big box of oils, another bag with towels and bits and bobs on the back seat, and a crock pot filled with water and stones sploshing all over my passenger footwell, I decided enough was enough. December 2013 I started looking around for a place to rent. Thinking about my requirements, I knew I needed more than one room, somewhere people could park and I could leave all my things. I spent the next 6 months looking at things and getting clearer about what I wanted.
And then I saw it.
I knew about The Therapy Centre – I used to go for shiatsu there before and during my first pregnancy. By April 2014 I was teaching baby massage and being approached to work at a care home. This led to concerns about if a clinic was viable and what people would think if my clinic wasn’t open all the time. I had to work through this, and numerous other fears, as I knew things had to change.
In May I spotted Therapy Centre was available for rent, so with a business friend who gave me her opinion, I went to take a look. After realising this was the perfect space, I approached my brother for a loan for the deposit and signed the paperwork.
I took over Therapy Centre 1st July 2014. For me it was a massive gamble, as I now definitely had to earn a certain amount each month. With my youngest heading to nursery in September I knew I couldn’t stay in a fully mobile business and I needed to embrace the change.
As the years went by, I was able to pay back my brother earlier than anticipated and I am so grateful about how perfectly everything has fitted together. I enjoy being able to visit the care home (where the residents are vocal if I’m doing something wrong) and I enjoy being able to help new parents learn how to massage their babies (so they have a toolkit for common issues like constipation). The flexibility of being self-employed is great, even though it is hard work. I love being able to choose when I’m working and how much time a person needs depending on what is happening for them.
I know people only see where I am now and think it has been an easy road but it definitely hasn’t. At many points I considered giving up because it was so tough. I’m so grateful to my partner who supported me throughout and told me if I wanted to get a part time job it was my choice but he would continue to do his best. I’m grateful to my clients who see the benefit in what I am able to offer them and want to keep booking in with me.
If you’re starting your journey, keep going. If you’re finding your own journey tough, but its a dream you’ve had – keep going and find that way. Listening to your intuition and taking steps little and often all help to move you along.
Louise is an holistic therapist who owns Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers aromatherapy, reflexology, holistic massage, baby massage, reiki and clinical aromatherapy. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors (optimistically with her family, now her boys are older!) For further information, visit her website louise-morgan.co.uk