Grace’s story

Grace Roberts has practised reflexology at Leuchie House since 2000. Here she talks about what that involves and how it can help Leuchie’s guests.

First of all, tell us a bit about reflexology

Reflexology is a holistic technique which helps the body heal itself by working all the bodily systems through the feet, hands, face and ears to produce a state of wellbeing and harmony. It is sometimes confused with massage but is quite different. Instead it is a specific pressure technique which works on precise points that correspond to different parts of the body.

How did you come to practice reflexology?

I originally qualified as an analytical chemist, working for Scottish & Newcastle Breweries. An interest in reflexology led me to train with the Scottish School of Reflexology, after which I went into private practice. I combined this until recently with teaching on the Complementary and Alternative Medicine degree course at Napier University. While some may think a past career as an analytical chemist is an odd beginning for a reflexologist, I believe it helps me analyse what the feet tell me!

What brought you to Leuchie?

I live in North Berwick and was approached by a former member of Leuchie staff whom I knew locally. I agreed to give it a go and, nearly 20 years later, have never looked back!

How do you work with Leuchie guests?

I offer foot, hand or facial reflexology either in the guest’s own wheelchair if it is suitable, or on a treatment bed. I regularly use Chi reflexology in my practice at Leuchie because I find it a very effective and gentle treatment.

It is essential to treat each person as an individual, taking their condition, and the stage of their condition, into account before deciding upon their treatment.

Reflexology fits well with Leuchie’s anticipatory and preventative approach to health care. I work closely with Leuchie’s nursing and physiotherapy teams, and with the other therapists, to ensure that we are offering guests a complementary approach and the best possible treatment and experience.

How can reflexology help Leuchie’s guests?

As a reflexologist, while I can’t treat conditions like MS, I can deal with secondary, and sometimes other primary, issues, alleviating symptoms and improving quality of life.

Reflexology has a wide range of physical and emotional benefits. It can alleviate the effects of stress, aid relaxation, improve sleep patterns and the quality of sleep, and help to rebalance the whole system. It can help with pain control too, by interrupting the pain cycle and allowing the body to relax.

Guests arriving at Leuchie can find themselves stressed, tired and tense after their journey. A reflexology session can be an excellent way of releasing these stresses, allowing them to get the full benefit of their holiday.

Many guests, and their carers, book a treatment with me every time they come to Leuchie so I now know lots of them well and what can make a difference to them.

Importantly, having a reflexology treatment can also provide a space for them to have a conversation and time to talk about what’s on their mind.

I love working at Leuchie and my only regret is that I never have enough time to treat the care staff too!