When talking about me let’s start with my professional credentials. My initial training was at the Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR) School for Natural Medicine & I am a member of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA). I have since trained with numerous schools a full training in anatomy, physiotherapy & massage therapeutics as well as holding First Aid certification. I also work at a Physiotherapy & Osteopathy Clinic treating both NHS & private clients. I am fully insured & abide by a strict code of conduct & ethics.
Through the NYR Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Science Diploma I have studied many aspects of Aromatherapy & essential oils – their therapeutic and beneficial effects, chemistry & safety. As well as Aromatherapy I am also able to offer Holistic treatments in a variety of techniques: Swedish massage; Pregnancy massage; Champissage & Indian Head massage; Deep Tissue massage, Trigger Point therapy, Neuromuscular massage; Myofascial Release; Facials & Rejuvenating skin treatments
I feel it is essential to keep informed & up to date with both conventional & complementary medicine, believing that both can work together to achieve balance & well being. As such I regularly attend conferences, courses & training to update my skills & knowledge for career professional development. As part of this I also helped to establish a Graduate group, who meet regularly to provide peer support & development, for which I am also treasurer.
Charity & Voluntary Work
I consider it a privilege to practice massage & aromatherapy blending & be able to bring the incredibly beneficial power of touch to people. As such I like to take part in taster sessions for charity & fund-raising events, as well as volunteer where possible in local hospices & hospitals.
All About Me (Sian – pronounced Sh-arn)
So how do I find myself writing all about me for you? Although at times it seems like a bolt from the blue, & it definitely was an impulsive decision, looking back across my life I can see I have always loved to imbibe scent. Never mind scratch & sniff stickers, I can recall being told off at school for sniffing marker pens, board rubbers, chalk dust & even school dinners! Fresh-cut grass & roses are understandable but there are memories of my mum asking me what on earth I was doing as I stood breathing in scents as varied as the fumes at a petrol station or her nail varnish remover. Then there was the particular smell of my grandmother’s Nulon hand cream & Max Factor mascara. I found all scents (good or bad!) utterly fascinating, but can honestly say it never occurred to me that I could use scents to help & support people or build a career around it.
In my time I have gone from an adventuring & intrepid (and sadly poor!) archaeologist to safe & financially secure (and sadly bored!) accounts & finance analyst. I think that I must have been the only person in the room to be secretly happy when it was announced that we were being made redundant. I knew that this could give me the opportunity to find a job that I would like to do, one where I could both help others & make a living. In the end this indeed proved to be a huge turning point in my life.
A Rather Random Series of Events…
I had no Eureka moment that I wanted to be a therapist. I was randomly walking down St. Albans high street pondering possible new careers when I noticed something familiar out of the corner of my eye. I stopped. I looked back. I realized happily that it was a Neal’s Yard Remedies apron. Feeling something between a stalker & Alice in Wonderland following the White Rabbit, I turned around a&nd followed the lady in the blue apron, all the way into the store.
I had to apologize to the somewhat perturbed assistant, but spotted that I could ask about courses. I had a training fund given as part of my redundancy settlement & fancied dabbling in complementary therapies. I was promptly shown a leaflet for the Aromatherapy Diploma course. I was a little mystified – I had a limited budget & was only interested in introductory courses. ‘Sorry’ the assistant said with a puzzled frown, ‘you just looked like an aromatherapist’.
Odd thing to think. Odd thing to say. I thought nothing of it but it was strangely prescient! I accordingly booked onto introduction courses for product making, herbal medicine & aromatherapy. A short time after I sat in my kitchen with still no idea whatsoever what to do with myself. My first thought was ‘what shall I do with my life now?’ my second was ‘well, I could always do that Aromatherapy Diploma course at Neal’s Yard Remedies’. It was as quick, simple, instantaneous, instinctive & intuitive a decision as that. I was going to be an aromatherapist & oddly at that moment, nothing seemed more natural.
Ginkgo biloba – why it is symbolic of Nature To Nurture
I did not chose the Ginkgo biloba as my symbol, I honestly feel that it chose me.
It is a living fossil, similar to remains dating back to the Permian Age (240 million years ago) & is a unique species of tree, the only kind in its family. Its leaves are also unique amongst seeded plants for their fan-shape, so similar to the Maidenhair Fern that it is often called the Maidenhair Tree. It is the national tree of China, & the symbol of the city of Tokyo & the Urasenke ceremonial tea school in Japan.
When it came to choosing a symbol to represent me however, I had obviously first looked at plants related to essential oils & used in Aromatherapy. Still, my intuition said the Ginkgo leaf & I kept returning to it. The more I learned of the tree the more appropriate & remarkable it seemed. Although it is not a plant used in Aromatherapy, its medicinal & pharmaceutical uses are widely known & Ginkgo supplements are taken for memory & concentration with medical research into its use for forms of Dementia. The trees are also incredibly resilient & long-lived with great resistance to both insects & disease. Some trees are claimed to be as old as 2,500 years, whilst they were amongst the only livings things to survive the atomic blast of Hiroshima. Although charred, they quickly recovered & are still alive to this day: a truly extraordinary plant.