1. Where are you from, tell us a bit about your background.
I was 'born and bred' in Newry, am 1 of 5 children and have lived here all of my 53 years to date. I am married to Alistair and we have 2 grown-up children. I went straight into a career in banking after leaving university, working in various banking roles for 30 years. During this period, just over 5 years ago, I had the shock of a breast cancer diagnosis which was a major turning point for me and my family - I knew I had to make serious and definite life changes. I was offered complimentary therapy sessions through Macmillan Cancer Support to help with my recovery following my cancer surgery and treatment. It was during these sessions that I was first introduced to reflexology. I was amazed at how this holistic treatment helped to reduce my stress, improved my relaxation and sleep and also improved my overall general well-being. It really helped to get me 'back on track'. It was at this point that I knew that I would look for the opportunity to train in this therapy to help others experience the benefits that I had received from these treatments. I was offered further reflexology sessions at the Charis Cancer Centre in Cookstown which further cemented my desire to train as a reflexologist. I started my training just over 3 years later and left my banking career behind. I became fully qualified as a reflexology practitioner in June of this year and subsequently completed Advanced Reflexology training which included cancer care reflexology, infertility and maternity reflexology, face and hand reflexology and Chinese reflexology. I absolutely love what I do now! It is so wonderful working with clients and seeing the positive results that this amazing treatment can bring.
2. What exactly does your position at Killeavy Castle Estate entail?
As a reflexologist for Killeavy Castle, my job entails an initial consultation with any new client (usually 15 minutes long) to gather medical, health and lifestyle information so that I can tailor a specific treatment plan to each client. Following this, each treatment will last up to 45 minutes and will involve the client removing their footwear and socks/tights, then lying on the treatment couch. The treatment involves me applying pressure to various points on the feet which correspond with areas of the body and organs, based on Zone Therapy (using 'mapped' points on the feet), specifically using my thumbs, fingers and hands. This treatment aims to alleviate stress and holistically treat the 'whole person', creating a state of balance and relaxation.
3. What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I absolutely love working with clients, listening carefully to them and connecting to what exactly they need, then tailoring each treatment individually to them - seeing the positive impact of the treatment on them is just amazing.
4. What do you love most about Killeavy Castle Estate?
What is not to love about Killeavy Castle Estate. Aesthetically it is such a magnificent and beautiful historical estate in a stunning rural location and yet it still retains that sense of 'earthiness' about it - it feels connected and 'holistic'. I think I love the actual castle building itself and the walled garden the most.
5. What is an interesting fact about you?
I did a 10,000 ft skydive in 2019 for charity even though I wouldn't have a great head for heights!