My interest in complementary health began in the mid 80s when I developed M.E. as a teenager. I gained much from nutrition and relaxation/ meditation, completed a degree in psychology and then was handed a book about the shamanic path, which made total sense to me and began my explorations into these ancient ways. My use of shamanic practices coincided with making a full recovery after 8 years of illness.
A few years later I received energy healing from a friend and realised I was also able to sense and work with energy in others. I began to explore this, working informally and intuitively at first. I then began looking for ways to combine energy work with my shamanic perspective and underwent various trainings, including the teachings and practices of the Q'ero tribe, a still-living lineage descended from the ancient Inka in Peru. This included visiting Peru and working with the Q'ero in their own cultural setting, the high Andes mountains. I particularly like their wisdom teachings and their way of working as it very gentle, non-dramatic and empowering. I like the fact that shamanic work is unashamedly about wholeness and walking in beauty, honouring all of creation, yet at the same time it is completely practical, requiring no beliefs of any kind but simply using what has been found to work for many thousands of years for all sorts of conditions and problems, and accessing and trusting the innate wisdom we all carry within our bodies.
I was also fascinated with bodywork and particularly the 'crack between the worlds' of body and energy, and this is what led me to craniosacral therapy, as it is energy work that is totally rooted in the body. The anatomy and physiology are there and are a fundamental part of the work but one also needs an intuitive sense of energy and the interplay of body, mind, emotions and energy, and how these are ultimately different expressions of the same thing. This fits very much with eastern as well as shamanic perspectives of non-duality, and of itself creates a very supportive and non-judgmental space. In craniosacral therapy we are simultaneously aware of the symptoms that may be causing difficulty, and the vitality and potential for wholeness and health that is always present in any situation. I am constantly inspired by the subtle power and magic of this work, and its suitability for all types of people from babies to the elderly and all conditions from physical aches and pains to emotional traumas, personal development and spiritual issues.
Homeopathy came along in a similar way, as an exploration of a powerful yet subtle way of working with people. Again for me it seems to bridge the worlds of matter and energy, to understand very deeply our human condition and to support our journey to growth, as well as being a system for healing. I feel it also has a very shamanistic essence, asking the practitioner to connect with nature in a particular way and to perceive the aliveness and resonances that exist between apparently very different things such as a person and a plant, and inherently honouring people's process and wounding as being important in the route to healing - in this way it matches the shamanic perspective of healing being about retrieving 'soul'.
Along the way I broadened my skills by learning hypnotherapy (which in many ways has been developed from the shamanic journey) and EFT, which I found to be very supportive and surprisingly energy-based - one is constantly aware, with both of these treatments, of the energetic state of the client, and which words, phrases and images are most appropriate and helpful. These skills enhance what I feel I am able to offer within the context of all of my work.
As well as working one to one, I was a tutor at the College of Craniosacral Therapy in London for four years, and I also run three workshops - "Being in Stillness, working with Health and Wholeness", "Shamanic Processes in Therapeutic Work", and "Developing Safe Empathic Awareness". In all of these ways as well as in offering supervision to practitioners, it has always been a joy to be able to share my passion for this work.
I continue to explore and learn, especially working from stillness and its therapeutic relevance. I have done a lot of work with Mike Boxhall , whom I currently assist on some courses. I also completed the Foundation training for Core Process Psychotherapy with Maura Sills from the Karuna Institute as well as working with Franklyn Sills and others to gain a grounding in the various models for craniosacral therapy. I am in regular supervision for all aspects of my work and this is one of my favourite ways of learning and growing.
I have a meditation practice which I largely developed from learning to work from stillness and which I find very supportive, but perhaps my biggest interest is in finding ways to use everyday life, with all the messiness of being human, as a practice in itself which is always inviting us to embrace and become more of ourselves. My sense of energy also finds expression through drawing and painting, and I love to be outside in the elements whether gardening, walking or just sitting.