Like so many people, Sarah Summers has taken time out to reset over recent years – although her change of direction came in a rather more dramatic way than most.
It was an accident driving to a networking group one morning that altered Sarah’s life – and spurred her into a new career through her business, The Kind Soul, that focuses on encouraging clients to see the need for relaxation, health and wellbeing before it’s too late.
And thanks to various levels of lockdowns, social distancing and shielding, she’s learned to deliver, where appropriate, therapies ranging from hypnosis and NLP to reiki and crystal healing at a distance.
“The wake-up call for me was a car accident in 2019 that left me anxious and uncertain about surviving something that could have been a lot more serious,”
“Something stopped me being killed or seriously injured that day, and that feeling led to made me seek help. I’d always been very spiritual and I turned to a medium to help me come to terms with what had happened.
“Most of all, that experience made me realise how important our physical and mental wellbeing is and it was just what I needed to recognise that I was working too hard in my job as an accountant, in danger of burning out and that I needed to do something about it.”
For the body, The Kind Soul offers hands-on therapies at treatment rooms in Castlethorpe near Milton Keynes, using deep tissue massage to deal with aches and pains from specific muscular problems, sports injuries or conditions such as sciatica. Relaxation, detox and hot stone massages are also available, and Sarah often finds that simply the process of booking themselves a treatment is enough for clients to begin the relaxation and resetting process.
“Relaxation and wellbeing should be a part of our everyday thinking just the way diet is,”
“We try to eat as healthily as we can, we lapse and indulge a bit too much sometimes and then get back on track. But that’s not always how it works with stress, we work hard and feel like we’re not performing if we’re not overworked and tired, which is crazy. You perform so much better if you’re fresh, energetic and enthusiastic – but how many of us think like that?
“People don’t usually turn to me until they are burnt out, in physical pain for some reason, and that’s not good. All of my clients get a bespoke treatment, and a lot of that is me getting to know them and trying to get to the bottom of why they are feeling the way they are. Stress is not an emotion, it’s a trigger and it causes all kinds of issues. Sometimes, all it takes is a massage treatment to just relieve the client of the tension they are carrying around with them, giving them an hour of relaxation away from the daily workload. I liken it to putting down a heavy bag you’ve been carrying around – just letting it go for a while is enough.”
There are few positives to come from the coronavirus pandemic, but one is the willingness of more people to use online platforms like Zoom and Teams. Clients are often surprised to find that Sarah can deliver a lot of her treatments in that way, saving them travelling time and opening up opportunities during parts of the day that would otherwise be booked out in their diaries.
“When I decided to set up my business, I did a course in sports massage, but as I expanded into NLP, this training was done online, which made me see the possibilities,”
“People are already busy, so although driving to my beautiful treatment room up a lovely tree-lined drive is already quite therapeutic, not everyone has the time to spare. So, I can do hypnosis and NLP sessions online – clients only need a quiet room where they won’t be disturbed – and using spiritual healing I can tap into someone’s aura and deliver reiki healing and crystal therapy. I’ve had people who are sceptical about how that will work, but they have been impressed by how effective it is.”
As part of her plans to develop the business, Sarah offers Day Spa sessions at her treatment rooms where a client spends the whole day relaxing and concentrating on their health and wellbeing. There’s also The Kind Soul gift pack, so clients can continue to relax and look after themselves at home.
“The fact is that taking time for yourself on a regular basis is the best way to keep stress at bay, and I’m very much an advocate for looking after yourself so that you’re in a better position to help others close to you,”
“I use the analogy of the oxygen mask on a plane – when the oxygen masks drop, the advice is to put your own mask on first, then you’re more effective at helping others. The same with wellbeing, if you’re a boss or a manager, and you’re feeling well and happy, you’ll be in a much better position to help your team or colleagues look after themselves.
“Stress has the ability to cause real physical illness and disease, high blood pressure and heart problems, as well as the ability to destroy relationships and fun, and we can’t work effectively and function if we’re not well or do not have balance. Hardworking people tend to get into denial about burnout, how hard they are working and leave health worries until they become real problems. We need to change our attitude to life and start to look after