"When you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else"
I have lived an extraordinary life.
Vital Touch is the professional platform I use
to share the wealth of my talents,
skills, experience, teachings and learnings
to enrich the lives of others.
It is also a space
to encourage others
to value their precious life
as I have learnt to cherish mine and
the awesome life woven through everything.
When I was little, my kindergarten teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered emphatically that I wanted to be a tree.
I have spent a lot of time with trees. I love the strength of them, their patient acceptance of the seasons, the abundance of life they support.
I still want to be a tree when I grow up!
The truth is, my life purpose has changed so many times and I suspect will do so again.
As far as job-career purpose goes, I have been a teacher of Drama and English to agonised, gawky, blossoming adolescents.
I have been an organic farmer, a permaculturalist writing a textbook for tertiary level students to support them in becoming farmers and also doing the hard land graft of caring for a homestead by tending a coffee plantation and producing flowers, fruit and vegetables for a local box scheme.
In Findhorn, an intentional community in the northeast of Scotland I have been a chef, a fundraiser, an administrator, a journalist and gained various skills in marketing.
Now, as a full time, self -employed Complementary Therapist, I am learning how to weave the many tasks of running and promoting a business, meeting my clients with the care and attention they deserve and continuing to hone and develop my curiosity and skills in the field of somatic based personal development and menstrual Cycle Awareness.
In my personal life I have been many roles too: daughter, sister, wife, mother, ex-wife, partner, friend. Not to mention embracing several archetypes with varying levels of awareness and integration.
I am also a life- long student (some would say nerd!), a lover of life (some would say hippy) and an activist for bringing about a world of loving kindness (burning woman!).
I am the sum total of all these parts. And more than them too.
As an apprentice elder, forged by the dragon fire of my menopausal journey, I am emerging now, humbled, rooted in a deeper-wider sense of myself and clearer in presence and purpose.
Everything I have experienced has become me and I use these skills, tools, knowledge and knowing, to support my clients as they explore the possibility of creating a quality of life and potentising purpose for themselves.
I am well- resourced and unafraid to use what I know to enrich my life and the lives of others.
What is the purpose of Vital Touch Therapies?
To support and nurture people, one person at a time, to face, accept and transform the challenges they face in their lives in order to create a quality of life that is meaningful and kind to themselves, their dear ones and the web of life.
I came to the practice of Complementary Therapy through necessity. I was at a time of life when all I thought I had wanted and all that I knew had dissolved. I too was disintegrating. I needed to find something to return me to a sense of stability, purpose and possibility- a foundation that was truly my own from which I could build my life afresh.
It was through Reiki, I began to find the pieces I needed to not only heal the rifts and wounds in me, I was also able to recreate an identity and lifestyle that were more aligned with what motivates and inspires me.
So profound is the practice of Reiki, that even now, I still begin most days with a personal treatment and use it in my daily life from blessing food to watering my beloved plants.
The potent, energetic nature of Reiki sparked my curiosity and I was further inspired to enrol on an online course in Metaphysical Counselling.
I received my masters degree after learning about the mysteries of the chakras, our physical and energetic bodies, the power of intention, the wisdom of guides and the magic of ceremony. I use this knowledge extensively yet quietly woven within the treatments I offer.
I came to Lomi-Lomi Massage when I was inspired to engage with a practice that incorporated nurturing touch.
I was delighted to discover this ancient tool that incorporates long flowing strokes with the power of the breath, held within simple ceremony. For the practitioner, it is almost dancelike and for those who receive, it is a profoundly relaxing, expansive and effective massage style.
At this time, I was participating in a variety of spiritual and personal development courses devised and held by a community called The Human Touch. Their clever use of various methods of personal enquiry and group dynamics remain with me to this day and inform much of my practice as a listener, a mentor and a therapist.
Inspired to deepen further in self- awareness and relationship with community, I took a huge leap of faith and enrolled on various eco-village based courses held by the Findhorn Foundation. My 1- year sabbatical became 6 years of intensive, humbling, challenging, formative, surprising and empowering experience.
In 2011, I attended the Conscious Medicine Conference at the Findhorn Foundation. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a wave of dedicated health practitioners from both the medical and complementary fields. These professionals were committed to bringing about a new form of medicine that integrates both fields in order to treat patients and to develop a more proactive health system, based on promoting well- being and not only treating ill health.
In response I enrolled in and completed my Higher National Diploma (HND) in Complementary Therapy at Elgin College, a campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
This comprehensive 2 year, full time course equipped me with other modalities such as Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Clinical Aromatherapy and Remedial Massage.
I also gained knowledge in Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Health and Safety, Research and Methodology, Professional Issues, Stress Management, Lifestyles etc.
It was an enriching, challenging time and put me firmly on the way to mastering the art of Complementary Therapy. I am competent and confident in my ability to understand the requirements and language of the health sector and willing to work alongside my fellow colleagues to bring about a more proactive way of engaging with our health- people and planet.
In 2013, I moved to Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire and created Vital Touch Therapies to share my unique combination of Nurturing Touch and Personal Enquiry to serve and support people to face their challenges and life transitions with courage, resilience, trust and serenity.
Since then I have specialised in providing hormonal protocols in Reflexology to help support people with numerous hormonal issues and to offer women care throughout their pregnancy journey.
I admit, I have a fascination with the hormonal system and have qualified as a Doula, but don't practice as one. Instead, I use this experience in Doularship to support my pregnant ladies.
During the pandemic, I completed courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Coaching and Mentoring through the Institute of Psychology to hone my skills of supporting people who may need these methods to transform their disruptive, destabilising and disturbing thoughts and behaviours.
I have also committed myself to mastering the emerging field of Menstrual Cycle Awareness. In 2022 I completed Red School’s last in person Menstruality Leadership training and can now call myself a Menstruality Mentor.
I have created CycleWise to offer various ways of exploring and living with the wisdom of Cycle Awareness and to bring the potential power and freedom of this simple practice into the lives of women of all ages.
I find my method of combining nurturing touch, cycle awareness and personal enquiry a profound way to allow my clients to feel into themselves, their lives and all of life.
My trifold approach enables clients to read signs, symptoms and sensations as vital information that can help shape their choices, sense into the possibilities of feeling differently about themselves and/or the world and most importantly to unashamedly, devoutly cherish the gift of being embodied and alive.
I am amazed at the profound experiences most of my clients receive through my sessions and feel so blessed to be offering something that is both nourishing and effective.
I continue to develop my skills and experience as a Complementary Therapist, guided by them, my curiosity and my passion to bring a sense of well being to the lives of all whom I touch.
I was born in Durban, South Africa- a sub-tropical harbour city on 14th July 1969.
I couldn't escape it! The coincidence of being born on Bastille Day and the last year of the decade of love, were to set the tone for the rest of my life. The values of the French Revolution of liberty, equality and community and living life with a passion and exuberance of the summer of love have been keynotes throughout my life.
Both my parents were involved in the dramatic arts. My father was British, my mother South African. They met at the London Laban School of movement and when my mother completed her scholarship there, my father followed her back to her home country, where they settled and married.
I am the first born and the eldest of 3 daughters.
The family moved to Johannesburg in the early 1970s and whilst the horrors of Sharpeville and the revolution against Apartheid were raging, I was living blissfully unaware of the struggle, cocooned in my white privilege.
I started my schooling the same year my last sister was born, discovering a love of writing, colouring outside the lines and often scolded for having 'ants in my pants' when the longing in me to go outside made me fidget.
We returned again to Durban when I was a teenager in the 1980s and it was from this city that a grew my fledgling wings by completing my schooling, enrolling at university, getting my first car, my first job and of course, falling in and out of intimate relationship.
My first marriage gifted me with my adopted daughter and my biological son. I also learnt through this marriage how to recognise, name and move away from some destructive behaviours.
What followed was a time of brutal yet necessary separation from all I had known - family, friends, my work and also my children.
It was a time to take responsibility for my own actions, the part I had played in the madness of an abusive relationship.
Through a deep faith in the value of my life and strong doses of courage, I began to reshape myself and my life on my own terms. I faced a dark Night of the Soul, unravelled, vulnerable and yet fortified by a sense of potential and freedom.
It was here I came to Reiki and Permaculture. Together, these practices bought me home, to the earth beneath my feet and the ground within my body.
The wounding of this time continues to haunt my relationships with my family and my children and also with myself. I have learnt to bear these scars with humility, compassion, honesty and courage.
It was not plain sailing thereafter. I have had the opportunity to learn from the same mistakes (but differently)- again!
I have had 7 great intimate relationships in my life. Each of them have been profound teachers. My Dark Angels have thrown light on my shadows and tested me every time.
"How deeply do you love yourself?", they say.
I have learnt to look myself in the eye and feel the expanding presence of my love for myself. Through self- love, I touch into the love at the heart of all life - and that is everything and enough.
I now find myself, wiser, worn by the experiences of a life well met. I continue to be opened up to the rich and worthwhile teachings of what it means to be me.
I am now dancing and resting in the generous embrace of my third marriage.
I am confident in my ability to be a good partner, a fine friend, a kind, compassionate, brave person.
It has been an extraordinary journey. Mine is a tale worth telling.
As far as the school of hard knocks goes, I have been a slow learner. On the list of traumatic experiences I tick a lot of boxes.
Some of these experiences I had no control over, but I have been responsible for choosing others.
As a young adult I was rebellious, reckless with my heart, mistaking careless experimentation for adventure.
I wounded myself by making choices that were both innocent and ignorant.
It is easy to forgive the young woman who didn't know any better, but how do you face up to the mistakes you made, again and again? The ones that cut so deep they bled into the lives of others?
My story of thrivival is testimony to how you can stumble, trip and fall- sometimes along the same path and also into the same hole, and still get up again. Not just get up, but learn how to soar.
I have learnt how to use these experiences of trauma to shape the person I am now and to create a lifestyle that is nurturing, inspiring, empowered and compassionate.
I am more than a survivor, I am a thrivivor- willing to shine my light into the darkness and show others a way that not only embraces but cherishes that which was broken.