Andrea Tate MAR Reflexology in Egham & Staines, Surrey

My story

I turned to complementary medicine after a serious illness from which I couldn’t recovery completely despite medical care. I was quite weak and desperate to get better. I visited a naturopathic centre where I received a course of reflexology sessions and some herbal remedies. Soon I regained my strength and day-by-day my previous good health was restored.
Later on in life an opportunity came to study the art of reflexology and I must say I was hooked from the first moment. This natural therapy has not ceased to amaze me ever since.

My qualifications and AOR membership

I gained my Foot Reflexology Diploma in 2008 in the UK. Since then I attended the following workshops and courses:
- Hand Reflexology workshop in 2008
- Enhanced Reflexology Techniques in 2008
- workshop on Advanced Reflexology Techniques with Tony Porter in 2008
- correspondence course in Understanding and Managing Diabetes in 2018
- 4-day-long Oncology Reflexology course with the Middlesex School of Complementary Medicine in 2019
- Dr. Carol Samuel's workshop on "Pain in Cancer Survivors" in 2020
- Reflexology Lymph Drainage with Sally Kay in 2020
- I have recently started a degree course in 5 Element Acupuncture at The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, I will graduate in 2024

I am a full member of the AOR, which is the UK’s leading Association for Reflexologists. The AOR is there to protect the public from malpractice and to ensure high standards of practice by requiring its members to commit to continual professional development.
A full membership to the AOR is a guarantee that the therapist is trained to a high standard, has expert knowledge, is a competent professional – in other words you will be in safe hands with an AOR therapist.

The AOR also provides its members with unlimited professional support, research materials, community support and networking opportunities.

Currently I am training as a Five Element Acupuncturist at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, Reading.

My therapeutic approach

I strongly believe in integrated healthcare. Natural complementary therapies work very well with allopathic medicine and they have the potential to play an important role in preventing ill-health.

I always go for the natural solution first to keep healthy by doing regular exercise, having healthy nutrition, doing regular, restorative meditation and having a good life-work balance. A family member of mine who was a wellknown and loved GP always used to say to us: “If you want to be healthy keep away from the doctors.” I encourage everyone around me to live healthier, drink plenty of water, aim for a balance between work-and family life and dedicate some time to yourself!

My experiences

Apart from working in my private practice I volunteered at a senior care home where, I am happy to say, the interest for and success following the treatments was huge.

I also work in a private cancer clinic located in Windsor and at Cromwell Hospital in Kensington, supporting patients living with cancer. I find that reflexology gently brings on a deep state of relaxation that is so welcome for patients living with life changing conditions. This deep state of relaxation allows the body to do the necessary repair work and elimination on physical level and give a chance to the mind to switch off and ease anxiety, tension and stress. In turn quality of sleep improves, some side effects of treatment and symptoms of the condition, such as constipation, hot flushes, peripheral neuropathy and lymphoedema lessen.

Wondering what makes a great reflexologist?

1. They will be a member of the Association of Reflexologists (AOR). Only fully insured reflexologists who trained with appropriately qualified and assessed organisations can be members. They will have MAR after their names, which stands for: Member of the Association of Reflexologists. They have a Level 3 certificate as a minimum and some have Level 5. They carried out at least 100 treatments and hands on assesments before qualifying. This means they did NOT qualify with a cheap online course...! They commit to CPD - continued professional development - and they cannot renew their membership without this.
2. A great reflexologist doesn't just do a great sequence on your feet - they also have an 'intention' in mind throughout. This is what they want for you. It might be peace or relaxation or relief or a good night's sleep etc, and it is what their internal focus is on whilst their external focus is on your feet. Remember, reflexology is NOT a foot massage ... it is so much more!
3. A great reflexologist is the one you trust and connect with! In other words you can rest assured that your wellbeing will be in safe hands.

How I measure success?

I measure success not by how many clients I have or how much money I make. I measure success by how well I plan and deliver my clients' treatments to suit their needs. I measure success by how relaxed they feel not only in their body but in their mind too after a session.
When they arrive to that so important deep state of relaxation where they are aware of themselves and their surroundings but at the same time appear to be sleeping - that is when the body can repair damaged cells, when the body's innate healing power kicks in and uses this serene state to tend to the imbalances.
It is not the therapist who heals, but rather facilitates this restoring, deep relaxation. The therapist is merely there to support the client on his or her way to better health.
And this is what makes me feel good about what I do, and it makes me feel happy doing what I do. This is measure of success for me.
I feel that my treatments are successful when clients are making good progress on the way to recovery. And when my clients don't need me anymore, when they feel better and know how to help themselves - now that is what makes me successful.

My interests

I have been practicing and teaching Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong for over 20 years. I read widely on health matters, research findings and new therapies. I am particularly interested in ancient ways of maintaining good health and I am gobsmacked by how well informed and developed the wisdom of ancient civilisations’ was on how the human mind-body works. My sincerest hope is that in the blind rush of scientific advances we will not destroy and forever lose the wisdom of our forefathers. Interestingly they didn’t need technology to work out the ways of Mother Nature. All they needed was sharp eyes and senses, time for observation, quiet reflection and dedication to cultivating their mind without the constant rush, stress and multi-tasking.

I have realised that although taking a pill is a much quicker and easier solution, but in my view it only reduces the symptoms, dulls the pain but never really gets to the root of a problem. I see the human body not as a machine made up of different parts but as a complex system that is never static but always dynamic. This mind-body has its own self-healing powers. To facilitate it all we need to do is to provide it with the right conditions, mental focus and dedication. I am a firm believer that we have to be actively involved in our healthcare and take the responsibility for it.

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