“I’m back”, after a month’s break I feel energised, invigorated and can honestly say excited about getting back to work, doing what I love, helping you to feel and look great.

So what have I been up to?

I’ve taken time out, something that I’m constantly telling my clients to do. After all you can’t pour from an empty cup. I’ve had some time away with my family, a real chance to reconnect at a deeper level, away from the usual day to day routine.

I’ve been on a Thailand adventure, travelling and visiting more temples that I can name. I’ve learnt some Thai cookery, which I am eager to try out on our friends. I’ve indulged in numerous massage and reflexology treatments and I’ve been on a yoga retreat. Along the way I’ve learnt a little more about myself, what makes me tick and my heart sing. My cup is now well and truly full.

So what have I discovered from my extensive treatments? As one friend pointed out on my numerous Instagram posts, she’d not known anyone have so many treatments whilst on holiday.

Firstly, I’ve realized that I haven’t been finding the time to fit treatments in for myself. It reminded me just how good I feel afterwards, body, mind and spirit. Secondly and more importantly I’ve realised that an hour is just not long enough to unwind whether that be massage, reflexology or a facial.

The treatments that I benefitted from most were two hours or more. They were deeply restorative and energised and afterwards I felt a real sense of serenity and calm.

So as a result of my research I will be offering more packages. Which I am kicking off right here with a combined two hour treatment of massage and a holistic facial for £100.

For my regular clients you’ll also notice a few additions to my existing treatments, things that I have picked up whilst being in Thailand but I’m not going to spoil the surprise here. You’ll have to wait and see for yourself!

I look forward to welcoming you to Hill House Therapies very soon.

 

So it’s been a while since my last blog, apologies for the silence!  But as some of you already know, I’ve been busy training as a yoga teacher.  I can honestly say it was a real rollercoaster of self-discovery & transformation. It was totally consuming and completely exhausting but ultimately very fulfilling. I experienced moments of sheer joy and moments of desperation but I came through the other side and here I am a qualified Yoga teacher!

I discovered my love of yoga about 5 years ago. After being a gym junkie all of my 20’s and a runner in my 30’s, I hit 40 and suddenly running just didn’t feel right anymore.   I’d tried yoga when I was younger but I had never really got it. I now realize that I’d never found the right form of yoga or the right teacher to guide and inspire me.

I’d been thinking about training for a while, as I thought it would be a great way to deepen my own practice. I’d started researching courses but was finding it difficult to find something that didn’t involve going to India or Thailand for a month.  As nice as this would have been, it wouldn’t have worked for my family or my clients.

Then all of a sudden an opportunity materialized, which I couldn’t say no to!  An intensive teacher training course was taking place on my doorstep in Hertfordshire and was being taught by Jhon Tamayo of Atmananda Yoga in New York. It was to be his first teacher training in Europe. Someone up there had been listening to me!

Atmananda Yoga is a form of Vinyasa flow, inspired by Hatha, Iyengar & Ashtanga yoga. The most important element of the Atmananda Yoga Sequence is physical alignment with the precise placing of the hands and the feet. The sequence is composed of the six groups of asanas, including standing poses, balancing poses, spinal twists, inversions, back bends and forward bends. A complete yoga practice, which can be tailored for any level from complete beginner to advanced yogi.

What an amazing journey I’ve been on, I learned things about myself and deepened my own practice. I now feel incredibly fit, healthy and strong and ready to share the benefits of yoga with you.

I strongly believe that yoga is for everybody; all you need is a willingness to learn and an openness to experience something new. The only flexibility required is your mental flexibility. Yoga is about the breath connected with movement to bring about clarity, focus and stillness of the mind. Something that we all need in our increasingly busy lives.

My first 5-week beginners course which starts on Monday 12th June is fully booked but I will be offering another course starting soon. So if you are interested get in touch.  I am also available for one-to-one teaching if you feel that you would like more guidance before starting in a group class.

I am here to guide you through your practice, to challenge and inspire you.

To find out more email me on Francesca@hillhousetherapies.co.uk

Last weekend I had the pleasure of treating an amazing group of ladies on a “Revive and Recharge at Home” day in Harpenden.

When I arrived at 12.30 I was greeted by the hostess in her fluffy white dressing gown. The sound of laughter carried through the house and I could see that the Prosecco was already flowing.  Some ladies were still arriving as I started setting up for their spa at home day.

I have to say it was the most perfect set up.  The portable hot tub in the garden was bubbling away, one lady already in it, laid back, sunglasses on waiting for her drink! Others were sitting around in the sun chatting and the food platters had just been delivered. They really had covered all the eventualities.

In past years the ladies (all old school friends) had been away on spa weekends, but this year everything they had looked at had been too expensive and not everyone had been able to commit to a weekend away. So they had decided to bring the spa to the home instead. After all, the day was about catching up and having some quality time together, so why not create this relaxed environment at home?

I was kept busy from 1pm until 7pm and did seven treatments, a Facial, an Indian Head Massage and five Massages.  At the end of the day the feedback was glowing and I felt honored to have been part of their special day.  As I packed up and left, nails were being painted in preparation for their night out. What a wonderful way to reconnect with friends!

If you would also like to have a spa experience without leaving the comfort of your home why not invite some friends over and I can create bespoke treatments to suit your needs.  It’s perfect for an afternoon or evening get together or as an alternative Hen party or Baby Shower. Contact me to find out how we can create your perfect escape!

(To protect the modesty and anonymity of the Harpenden ladies you’ll have make do with a photo of daffodils!)

To find out more about “Revive & Recharge at Home with Friends” read about the treatments I offer.

The decorations have been packed away for another year and I love the fact that once again my house looks uncluttered and sparkling after a much-needed deep clean.

All too often the conversation in January turns to either new year’s resolutions or dry January.  I for one never participate in dry January. Firstly, I don’t think that I drink enough to worry about having to give it up for a month.  Secondly January can be a cold miserable month and if I fancy a glass of wine at the end of the day I’m not going to deprive myself.

So what about new year’s resolutions?

I can honestly say, I don’t think I’ve made any resolutions since I was in my early twenties.  I never really understood the point of deciding to do something if I won’t see it through.  Why would I want to make myself feel like a failure, if after a month off sugar I slipped and had a large piece of cake!

I like to see January as a chance to set new intentions, goals and desires.  To me it feels like a clean slate, the chance to create our own reality.  Anything is possible with focus and determination.

I spent December creating my vision board for 2017.  For me it had to be visual, as I’m not an artist.  So I spent time searching for images that depicted my goals and aspirations.  It sits in a beautiful white frame on my desk and it’s the first thing I see when I come into the office.

My vision board is about all the things I want to achieve this year on a personal, business and career level.  It’s what’s going to keep me focused as I go through the year.  It will be a constant reminder that if I want to achieve things, it’s me that has to make them happen.

So when I hear about New Year resolutions of new grueling gym regimes I wonder for how many months they will last.  Why not be kinder to yourself and take on something that will make you feel good all year?

Take time out for a walk, it can be just as beneficial as pounding the treadmill and being in nature can have such a calming effect on mind, body and spirit.

Small changes can make a big impact on your lifestyle and won’t leave you with feelings of guilt about how much money you are wasting on a monthly gym membership.

Why not commit to taking a little bit of time out of your busy schedule once a month to do something just for yourself.  It’s not selfish, and I can promise you that you’ll reap the benefit all year.

If you need any more encouragement to take some time out, see my January offer and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Autumn is here and winter will soon be with us.  One of the biggest challenges during the winter months is dry, lacklustre skin.

So what can you do to ensure that your skin is looking at its best?

Firstly, if you don’t already use a facial oil in your skincare routine, now is the time to invest in one!

You can use it in several ways. Firstly you can put it on your skin before moisturising or add a couple of drops to your moisturiser.  Or do as I prefer and use a few drops at night.   Massage it into your skin before going to bed, and let it work its magic overnight.  You really will see the benefit in the morning.  I’m a facial oil convert, and there are some fantastic ones out there, so give one a try.

If your skin is in need of a little more TLC, book yourself in for a Facial Reflexology treatment!

For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the delights of this amazing treatment you really are missing out on something special.  The treatment is incredibly relaxing, calming and uplifting.  It has the ability to transport you to a meditative state whilst having a rejuvenating effect on the skin, resulting in a younger, fresher you!

How does Facial Reflexology work?

The treatment focuses on pressure points on the face (just like the feet) which correspond to the organs and systems of the body.  Stimulating these points will help to rebalance the body.  Organic oils are massaged into the skin, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin at the dermal layer (something that naturally decreases in our 30’s)

A variety of massage techniques are used to stimulate blood flow, assisting with the elimination of waste and toxins, improving lymph flow and releasing muscle tension.  Over a course of treatments you can expect to see a softening of fine lines, sculpting of the jowls and a reduction of puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.

As a one-off treatment it will leave your body rebalanced and your skin looking radiant.

Why should I book a treatment?

If you are looking for a natural way to turn back the clock, Facial Reflexology will plump, sculpt and lift the face.  You’ll notice a brighter glow to your skin after just one treatment but if you still need convincing further it can help with:

  • Boosting the immune system, something that we all need at this time of year!
  • Alleviating headaches, migraines and blocked sinuses
  • Relieving the effects of stress
  • Improving your energy levels

I’m passionate about natural skincare so I make sure that I find the time to have a  treatment as often as I can (usually every 3 weeks) After all, what’s not to love about a treatment which will leave you feeling good on the inside and looking younger on the outside?

To find out more or to book a treatment you can contact me on 07957 132984, email me at Francesca@hillhousetherapies.co.uk or drop me a line via the form.

Appointments can be booked at my clinic in Cuffley on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday by prior arrangement, or at the Natural Gateway Clinic in Borehamwood on Thursday.

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December special offer! 

 

£20.00 off a 60-minute Facial Reflexology treatment 

 

After what feels like a fairly long and consistently good summer, autumn has arrived and it’s here to stay.  Whilst there is still some warmth in the afternoon sun, there is that definite nip in the air first thing in the morning.  The changing season is even more apparent on my morning walk in the woods with Millie (my gorgeous 7-month-old sprocker) The once lush, dense woodland is looking more barren as the leaves fall off the trees, leaving a blanket of copper, red, yellow and orange leaves.

I love this time of year. I embrace the change in season and see it as a time of transformation and growth.

But in my conversations with friends and clients there seems to be a common theme of feeling overly stressed due to the daily demands of life coupled with low energy and the need for more sleep.  The mornings certainly are darker and with the cooler temperatures I know that I’m not exactly springing out of bed.

So what do you do to combat this?

Who is guilty of not making time for themselves?

When we are busy, it’s very easy to put our needs last – “I just don’t have the time to book myself in for a treatment” – but in reality this is the perfect time to find some “me time”

The busier we are, the greater our need to relax and recharge our batteries before we find ourselves running on empty.  If we don’t, before long we’ll have succumbed to the coughs and colds that have already started doing the rounds.

Finding the time to have a regular reflexology or massage treatment shouldn’t be seen as something that is indulgent.  So often I hear the word “treat”. “I should treat myself but….”  Since when was looking after yourself viewed as being a “treat”?

Why is it that we experience feelings of guilt in taking time out for ourselves?  If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we keep on giving and looking after others?

You owe it to yourself to look after your health.  So commit to booking that reflexology appointment that you haven’t quite got around to doing and make it part of your monthly routine.

Your monthly MOT

You find the time to take your car for its MOT, so why wouldn’t you take care of your body?  Your car is replaceable, good health isn’t!

So I challenge you to take control of your health and book yourself a monthly treatment.

I promise you that you will feel much more relaxed for taking some much-deserved time out, and this in turn will affect all areas of your life.

If you still need some further persuasion, just look at some of the benefits:

  • Increased relaxation will boost your immunity, decreasing your susceptibility to colds, sore throat and flu. A definite must at this time of year!
  • It will improve your sleep patterns, resulting in better memory, concentration and efficiency. That should make day-to-day life much easier.
  • It will allow a feeling of greater control, so that you will be able to cope with the demands of motherhood, husbands/partners and work commitments.
  • It will give you a feeling of improved mood and wellbeing. Everyone will see and feel the benefit of this!

Make yourself a priority

As a therapist I know the importance of looking after myself.  I make sure that once a month I have facial reflexology and a massage as I know how much better I look and feel when I invest the time in myself.

You can read more about the treatments I offer by visiting the Therapies section of my website.

I’d love to hear from you!  How do you take time out to ensure that you look after your mind, body and soul?

 

After contemplating a drastic change in direction for many years last November I took the plunge and left a 15 year career in the City.  I was finally walking out of the dark and into the light, goodbye Investment Banking, hello Holistic Therapist!

But my story doesn’t start here, let me take you back in time first.

My Holistic journey

My passion for holistic therapies began back in 1999 when I tried Reflexology at the suggestion of my Mum, for an ongoing stomach issue.  To say that I wasn’t keen would be an understatement! As someone who was always very ticklish I really didn’t want someone touching my feet.  Anyway Mum persuaded me (they usually do!) and I was blown away by the effects after only one treatment.

How could pressure points on my feet bring about such an amazing transformation in my body?  My symptoms almost vanished over night.  I knew then that I had to train as a Reflexologist, so I signed up with the Central School of Reflexology and my journey began.

I then went onto train in Holistic Massage, whilst at the same time working for an Investment Bank.  It never was a job that inspired me, I never woke one morning and thought, “I know what I want to do with my life, I want to work in Investment Banking”

For friends that know me well, it couldn’t of been further away from what I loved, for a start I was never mathematically minded, I was far more creative.  But as a then single parent with a toddler, I needed stability and a career path.  This is how things remained for many years, I continued training, hoping that one day I would have the chance to pursue my real passion.

Loss

The loss of a very dear friend eventually became my catalyst for change, not that I realised it at the time……

About six months after her death, her words echoed in my mind from a conversation we’d had whilst I’d been visiting her in hospital, “none of us know how long we are going to be here, do what you are passionate about”.

A simple choice

It suddenly seemed so simple, there was no choice, I had to leave.  My zest for life had been zapped.  I was going through the motions, doing a job which came with responsibility, but working in a world which I felt no affinity with.

So last November, almost eighteen months after making my decision, I took a huge leap of faith.  I turned my back on the corporate world to concentrate all of my energies on my holistic therapies.

Change

Walking out of the office on my last day, I remember looking up at the sky and thinking how clear it was for a November day.  I suddenly felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I felt excited and inspired about what lay ahead…..I knew that I had made the right decision.

A new year

So January 2016 was not only the start of a new year, but my new beginning as Hill House Therapies!

The last nine months have been amazing! I have been challenged and inspired but I can’t help but feel extreme gratitude.  I have been lucky to work with so many lovely clients and people that have supported me along the way.

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Don’t forget to check this month’s offer on my Facebook page.