South West London

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Archive for holistic therapy

Best local businesses: Cheekaboo Baby Massage and Beautiful Butterfly

Massage and Baby Massge in South West London

Set up by Sophia Jarrett and her cousin Michelle Maliki, Beautiful Butterfly provides a range of therapies and treatments from their base in Balham’s Movers and Shapers gym.  Sophia and Michelle’s combined background marries the scientific with the holistic and Beautiful Butterfly is fast establishing a great reputation throughout South West London, as is sister company Cheekaboo Baby Massage (International Association of Infant Massage certified) which teaches parents how to bond, understand and communicate with their babies though the art of massage.

I met Sophia on a sunny Friday in the delightful setting that is Trinity Stores café and spoke to her about the ambitions driving both companies and the response of local residents to the innovative services they offer.

Cheekaboo Baby Massage

On meeting Sophia I was especially interested in learning about Cheekaboo Baby Massage, the idea of which seemed both fascinating and a little confusing.  Having been assured that the practice does not involve Sophia massaging babies but instead guiding parents in how to do so, I began to learn about the benefits of her 5 week courses.

Baby massage, Sophia explained, has a number of positive physiological effects for babies.  Baby Massage can help with the development of babies nervous system, which is particularly beneficial to babies whose nervous systems are newly developed and sometimes underdeveloped.  What’s more, massage can help to relieve colic and other troublesome digestive problems such as constipation and gas, and encourage a deeper sleep for babies.  Sophia has found since starting Cheekaboo that parents reported that the classes have enhanced the bond between them and their baby and that the classes had boosted their confidence in understanding their baby’s needs.

What makes Cheekaboo unique among parent-baby groups and classes (and there are a number of these) is that Sophia goes out of her way to involve and support parents of premature baby and those who have spend time in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  This is partly due to her own parenting experiences as she too was separated from her child at birth who spent time in a NICU.

Indeed, Sophia says, parents of both genders find the classes both relaxing and informative; fathers are given a chance to have more of an input into baby’s wellbeing (Sophia is thinking of setting up classes specifically for fathers) and the community that Cheekaboo provides offers both parents, and even older siblings, an opportunity to share and explain their concerns.

Having a newborn can sometimes be overwhelming and for some parents can be an isolating experience; the message Sophia and Cheekaboo , convey to parents. ‘Imagine the warm, safe space of the womb; in class we recreate a cocoon of quietness and calm. We are accepting of our babies as they are, whether soundly asleep or expressing their needs through crying or alert and ready – all expressions of life are welcomed in class. It is a time for you to relax and be in a present state acknowledging what is happening between you and your baby’.

Baby Massage Classes run every 5 weeks at Movers and Shapers, Balham.  The next course starts 28th June from 12.30-2pm.  All babies from newborn up to 12 months are welcome. 

Beautiful Butterfly

The inspiration for Beautiful Butterfly came about while Michelle and Sophia were exploring how their creative ideas and skills could collaborate to enhance the life style and well being of themselves and others.

The emphasis is not simply on providing treatments but on identifying clients’ well being needs and lifestyle goals, thus enabling them to take better care of themselves in the long term.  Beautiful Butterfly is aimed at adults of all ages and genders and treatments are priced according to how long they last; packages of 3, 6, 8 and 12 hours are available and how they’re used is discussed during the initial detailed consultation.

As Sophia explains, the more aware a person is of where their body is currently at and what their body needs, the easier it is for them to understand which treatment suits them best.  “When we first meet our clients at consultation we talk with them at length about a number of factors:  lifestyle, health choices and stress levels, all have different impacts on our bodies and we need to take this into account when deciding which therapies will help the most”

Beautiful Butterfly’s slogan is ‘You are Beautiful, Now Pass it On’ and the impression the team gives off is a friendly, informative and nurturing one.  That said, there’s a formidable skill set behind the friendliness, and this wealth of knowledge informs every decision and consultation.  Michelle has an established background in complementary and holistic therapy while Sophia’s degree in neuro-muscular therapy has given her real insight into the relationship between the muscular and nervous systems.  The two areas of expertise combined can uncover, untangle and treat a vast array of stress related issues.

Both Beautiful Butterfly and Cheekaboo focus on teaching clients how to take better care of themselves and their families.  Sophia and Michelle have a refreshingly honest drive to provide the best service and resources possible; they have not forgotten the importance of self-sufficiency and integrity to well-being. Both ventures are places to check in, take stock and learn gradually how to make relaxation an integral part of life rather than a rigidly scheduled appointment.

Beautiful Butterfly is open Wednesdays – Saturdays at Movers and Shapers Balham. Contact Michelle on 07951 686866 or Sophia on 07939 087698. ubeautifulbutterfly@gmail.com

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!