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Best Local Businesses: Victoria Thomas

Massage and Holistic Treatment Clapham

Tucked away along Clapham’s pretty Abbeville Road, The Awareness Centre is home to Victoria Thomas, a fully qualified holistic therapist based at the Awareness Centre, a renowned local counselling and well-being centre.  We met on a rainy September morning to find out more about Victoria’s ethos and what she can offer to her clients.

1. What inspired you to train in holistic therapy?

I have always been interested in the mind: I studied psychology at University and more specifically I’ve always been aware of the connection between physical wellbeing and the mind.  I think this interest stems from when I was young; I was often unwell as a child and have seen and experienced the effects of various treatments.  My job allows me to pass that knowledge and experience on for the benefit of others.

2. How long have you been practicing in South West London and how would you sum up the area as a place to work (and live?)?

I’ve lived in Clapham for three and a half years and absolutely love it; it’s where I started practicing and I have never really stopped working locally.  Abbeville Village has a unique rural-yet-cosmopolitan feel and is a wonderful place to practice.  People here have a real interest in wellbeing and an openness to holistic therapies that is both healthy and refreshing.

3. Could you tell us more about the therapies you offer?

I am trained in a number of massage types including deep tissue, Swedish, Indian Head massage and lymphatic drainage and I’m currently training in reflexology.  As a holistic therapist, I am able to assess each of my clients and offer them a combination of treatments tailored to their individual issues.

4. Are there parts of the body or aspects of health which you often see neglected?

Many people spend hours every day in front of a computer screen so it’s not surprising that I encounter plenty of posture related problems.  What people don’t realise is that a twinge in your neck can be connected to other parts of the body and that neglecting or ignoring pain will not only make it worse in the problem area but also elsewhere in the body.

5. How important is conversation to your work?

It’s an essential part of what I do.  A lot of my clients come to me with a partial or limited understanding of holistic therapy, so my role is in part educational.  What’s more, talking to my clients gives me a fuller picture of their overall health, which helps me to treat them more effectively.

6. What is the most important piece of advice you can give to clients about maintaining everyday health and wellbeing?

My biggest piece of advice is to report and resolve your health problems as soon as they arrive-as I’ve already said, a problem ignored will only get worse!  Having regular massage treatments is a great way to do this; after massage you are more aware of your body and it’s easier to identify and locate niggling pains sooner rather than later.

7. Is there any piece of healthcare advice that people are often surprised by?

One thing which often surprises my clients is the fact that digestion and lower back pain are connected.  The digestive system is closely linked to nerves in the lower back, as is the uterus.  If the hip and back muscles are tight they can pull the uterus out of alignment, resulting in period pain.  Similarly, digestive problems such as constipation can put extra pressure on surrounding muscles, resulting in lower back or abdominal pain.

8. Which of your treatments is your personal favourite?

I find it very fulfilling to work out someone’s unique combination of health issues and work out the best way to deal with them.  Each treatment is different and each client unique, and a lot of thought goes into finding the right treatment for every person.  For example, a recent female client with back and shoulder pain mentioned that she’d been having headaches-the two problems were in fact interconnected and I was able to soothe both with a combination of treatments.

9. Does your own wellbeing benefit from what you do for a living?

Yes it does and the benefits are reciprocal.  I need to be healthy to do my job well and what’s more my job keeps me healthy.  It’s a win win!

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