How did you get into your specialist area?
Initially I discovered face yoga for aesthetic reasons. It was in my late 30’s, I was dealing with life’s stresses, not thinking about my self care enough and was feeling insecure about how I was looking and ageing. An internet search for natural ways to take better care of myself brought me to Danielle Collins’ Face Yoga method. I have always enjoyed moving and taking care of my body, so it made sense to continue that care up through the neck and face. I gradually built up my practice over the years and then became committed. It was then that I realised how passionately I felt about it. Not just because my skin health had improved and my face and neck felt lifted and alive, but that I was also feeling emotionally well. This boost to the wellbeing is what I love most about face yoga (the aesthetic benefits are a close second). I found myself enthusing about face yoga to my family and friends and I realised I wanted to encourage others to try it. So I trained with Danielle Collins and have been helping people discover their own glowing face, neck and wellbeing care since.
What did you do before you became involved in the wellness industry?
After spending years living and working abroad, avoiding responsibility and having far too much fun, I settled in the UK and worked as a PA in London and Brighton. I then met my husband, had two kids and realised I didn’t want to return to a desk job, so I studied Nutrition, Pilates and Yoga and started a little business offering nutrition and movement programmes to private clients. I missed working in a team though and wanted to be out in the community, so I started to volunteer at my kids school. I loved the school environment and ended up applying for a job supporting a child 1:1. Seven years later, I am now a Thrive Approach Practitioner supporting wellbeing in Primary Schools. I also, of course, teach face yoga and I feel so grateful to be able to work in two fields I am so passionate about. Thanks to OYM, I get to teach the lovely members three times a month on Sunday evenings, which is a lovely way to end the weekend and start the new week with a good self care intention.
If you feel comfortable, I’d love you to share your experiences of perimenopause/menopause to date.
I love chatting about this subject, I find it very therapeutic. The only problem is it’s all a bit of a haze! I remember one of the first signs for me were mood swings. I was very emotional, low for no reason and sometimes really ragey over nothing. The ragey bit was especially unsettling for me and my family. It felt like intense PMT, but constant. A friend suggested I may be perimenopausal, but life was stressful at the time too, so I wondered if it was all more about that. At the time it was the beginning of lockdown and my husband had lost his livelihood. They were unprecedented times for us all, I felt I needed to cope and so I found a way to live with my symptoms. I eventually started to read about menopause and I opened my mind up to the idea that I may well be perimenopausal. I was 45, so it was possible and my list of symptoms was speedily growing. Poor sleep, anxiety, hair loss, itchy skin, weight gain and crazy brain fog to mention a few. Following a check up and tests with the doc, which all came back normal, I decided to go on a little mission to sort out my health and do all I could to take care of myself, with perimenopause in mind. Enter OYM! I joined in May 22, stopped the booze for 4 months, started weight training, looked at my nutrition and quite quickly I felt my symptoms start to improve. It was a few months ago that I decided to go back to the doctor to talk about HRT, because although I was feeling a lot better in some ways, my anxiety, poor sleep and brain fog were starting to impact my life to a point where I felt I needed something more. Combining HRT with living actively and healthily (most of the time) means I can cope, even thrive, through this interesting phase of life.
What has been your most significant discovery/positive experience while navigating this time?
Well it’s funny, but difficult as this journey has sometimes been, it has helped me to realise a much needed inner strength. The ups and downs of perimenopause have helped me to feel stronger, more confident and much clearer on what I need, to feel well, so that I can be the person I want to be, for myself, my family, work, etc. Which is an unexpected welcome discovery and I hope means I have a good foundation from which to cope with what ever lies ahead. The saying “Menopause is my Super Power” is starting to make sense 🙂