Meet the Tutor: Catherine Clooney

Catherine Clooney is the founder of Face Reflexology Clooney Concept (FRCC) and provides international training for professional reflexologists via her online course.

Catherine also provides face reflexology and facial Gua Sha online consultations for health and wellness clients, and supports women who are experiencing stressful situations and need some nurturing support.

Article words by Kelly Hainsworth and Catherine Clooney

I spoke with Catherine to learn more about her work as a therapist, tutor, and founder of the Face Reflexology Clooney Concept.

Hello Catherine

(1) Could we start by you sharing a little bit about yourself? 

I was born in and brought up in London by Irish parents. When my father retired they moved back to Ireland to beautiful West Cork. I suppose the area can be compared to Cornwall in the UK.

I have enjoyed travelling over the years and love to find out about and experience other cultures. I have lived in the USA, the Middle East, and Italy. I took a year out to travel through Asia, Australia and New Zealand, including Fiji and the Cook Islands. Now, I am living in Ireland, in beautiful West Cork.

(2) What was your first experience of reflexology and what led to the decision to train and create your own business?

I was working in a fast-paced, corporate environment in Central London. It was an amazing experience, but along with some of my colleagues, I was suffering from stress. We were all working long hours, smoking and not taking care of ourselves.

My answer was reflexology. Reflexology saved me.

That is when I decided to change career direction, to follow a caring and nurturing path in life. I trained in classical reflexology in London, with the London School of Reflexology, approved by The Association of Reflexologists.

(3) At what point in your business did you know that you wanted to specialise in providing facial reflexology treatments to your clients and then go onto to teach your own techniques? What attracted you to working in this area?

That was an interesting turning point. I had always been fascinated by faces and what they show. How they tell our story. I went searching for face reflexology training and research. I had trained in foot reflexology and had added hand reflexology to my knowledge, now I needed to know more about faces. When I searched extensively for training, it was 2008 there was very little training out there. Not like today.  My travels helped me enormously.

By learning different techniques from local therapists and teachers, also local women who passed on traditional knowledge, I combined this with the knowledge I had gained from the Middle Eastern women in the 90’s. Such a rich array of knowledge that had been handed down through generations, to so many women around the world.  I searched out more about Facial Reflexology, we are always learning and growing.  Different forms of facial stimulation have a long and interesting history, being used by different cultures from around the world.

I returned to London, where I combined experiences gained during my travels. Adding that to the training that I had along the way. I always find different reflexologists’ interpretation of reflexology so fascinating. Reflexology is constantly growing and changing as our world grows and changes. We are always learning and opening our minds to the possibilities of reflexology, whether we practise on the feet, hands, ears or face. Reflexology is constantly evolving.

(4) If a therapist is interested in adding facial reflexology to their skillset, what should they expect to learn from your course and what is involved?

You will be working with clients to maintain their health and wellness. Reflexology is an amazing treatment that helps to maintain equilibrium. As it is on the feet, it is on the face. However, whilst working on the face you are so close to ‘mission control,’ the central nervous system, that I believe this can lead to messages being received a little faster than when one is working on the feet for certain clients.

I find working on the face is the fastest way to engage the parasympathetic nervous system and vagus nerve, to get your client to the healing space.

An added benefit of working on the face is that it can brighten and freshen how clients look, what a great extra. What and how we feel shows in our face. When we feel better we can look better.

Face Reflexology Clooney Concept (FRCC) is a comprehensive training, the duration is 6 weeks. It is designed this way for each student to get the maximum out of the course and to have the benefit of individual attention. You need to be able to practise too, so allow some time for that, it will be in your own time.

FRCC consists of 5 maps that are layered one on top of the other, finishing with Eastern points. These are demonstrated by me on a learning platform that you will have ongoing access to, after the course has finished. So, to give you the best opportunity to learn one map before moving onto the next, there is a practical element to the course to which I give you feedback. On Friday there is a lesson that reviews the current map and introduces you to the next one. All online and in small groups.

(5) If there was one thing that you wish you would have known when becoming self-employed what would it be?

You don’t get it all right straight away. You learn from your mistakes, so don’t be afraid to make them. Don’t compare yourself to others, you are you. What works for them might not be right for you. This is your business so be true to who you are. 

It takes time to grow a business, so be patient. There is help out there. You are not alone. Working for yourself can be a lonely place but it doesn’t have to be.  We have wonderful supportive groups like Love Reflexology. There is also business and social media training.

Pull on those positive pants and ask for help!

(6) Having created a successful business, what advice would you share with a reflexologist who is feeling stuck within their business?

I am repeating myself but I feel this is so important. There is help out there. You are not alone. Working for yourself can be a lonely place but it doesn’t have to be.  We have wonderful supportive groups like Love Reflexology. There is also business and social media training.

There are fabulous reflexologists who have been through what you are going through, who now train other reflexologists. Speak to Kelly. Pull on those positive pants and ask for help!

(7) What has been your most humbling experience whilst running your business?

I am amazed and humbled by the help and encouragement I have experienced whilst running and building my business. Out of nowhere, people are so kind and supportive. You can receive so much from unexpected quarters. Always be open to possibilities, they will surprise you.

(8) What has been your greatest achievement in your business?

I would say that it was being approached by a reflexology association to be asked to offer my knowledge, in the form of CPD training, to other reflexologists. I was delighted to bring Face Reflexology Clooney Concept CPD training to my reflexology colleagues, and even more delighted when I found a way to reach more reflexology colleagues during the pandemic. I never thought I would have the skills to take the course online. It has changed so much for me. I am now able to speak to students all over the world. How wonderful is that?

(9)What exciting plans do you have for the rest of 2022? Any exclusive news?

I am very excited to be able to offer a training/retreat long weekend in Italy to my FRCC graduates. A beautiful rustic training facility where we will have Face Reflexology Clooney Concept treatment swaps and a full day’s training in a new treatment for the face.

The first be will be in September. I am so looking forward to it. Spending some wonderful quality time with lovely FRCCers.

(10) As a therapist and tutor – how do you organise your week and make sure there is also time for self-care?

Time for my self-care has become non-negotiable. It goes in my diary first. I can’t give my best to others if I’m not feeling my best. I used to find that so hard to do. I would receive a call from a client, say yes and change my diary to accommodate them. Now I let them know when I can see them.

I check my emails twice a day only. I allot time for clients and stick to it, it can be surprising how flexible people can be if we ask them. I block out time for training. I stick to the same times on every training course as then I know what I can be available for and when.

(11) What is your hope for the reflexology profession for the future?

I would love it to get to the point that when people ask what I do, that I can tell them without having to explain what reflexology is. I want reflexology to be mainstream, to be thought of first, to be something that people do each week to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Mainstream, not an experiment or last resort because they have tried everything else, but part of an established and respected health system. Part of our care throughout our lives.

Quick Fire Questions – Get to Know Catherine More.

(1) What is your favourite place to go on holiday?

I adore Italy. I lived there for seven years and just love the place, the people and the food.  However, I love to travel and there are still so many places I haven’t been. Yet!

(2) Coffee or tea?


(3) Instagram or facebook?


(4) What is your favourite well-being book or podcast of all time?

There are so many fantastic books and podcasts out there, it’s hard to pick just one!

I am a fan of Rangan Chatterjee, I know a lot of us are. I like his straightforward approach that is readable and accessible. His podcasts are great too.

Catherine’s Business Tips – What I have learned and What Works for Me.

  • Value yourself and your work.
  • Plan your diary with your needs for self-care first.
  • Really look at your prices. What do you need to live on comfortably? What do you need so that you can carry on doing your wonderful work? Work it all out to the last penny, then work out how many clients at what price you need to see to make a living. Don’t shortchange yourself.
  • You are you and you offer your clients something unique. We are not all the same. Appreciate that you are amazing!
  • Set boundaries. You can do this in an easy way for clients to get used to. Get used to the gentle ways you can steer people to what works for you and your business. Work the hours that work for you.
  • Practise what you preach! Have regular treatments.
  • Where do you want your business to go? Are you happy as you are? Great, how can you stay there? If you want to grow, how can you do that? Ask.
  • Get help, there is so much out there now. Wonderful reflexologists offering you business help. They are in the Love Reflexology group, reach out.
  • Have fun!

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