Maria Bowbanks is a Spirit Wellbeing guide, teacher & reflexologist. For more than 30 years, Maria has worked in the spiritual and healing fields, starting her career as a spiritual medium and clairvoyant in the UK and overseas. She has established and run centres for spiritual education and development, including the Atma College of Healing, has written a book, and been featured on the BBC and in the local press.
Article and words by Kelly Hainsworth and Maria Bowbanks.
I spoke with Maria to learn more about her work as a therapist and tutor, and founder of Spirit Wellbeing.
(1) Could we start by you sharing a little bit about yourself?
Since a child, I’ve always been able to see, sense and hear spirit, and this began a lifelong quest to understand how energy works.
I first trained as a platform medium in the Spiritualist Church, qualifying when I was 19. Over the next decade, I worked in the UK and Australia, doing clairvoyant readings whilst continuing to explore my own connection to spirit. Returning to the UK, I was based in Wales, where I grew up, and travelled all over the UK doing the festivals and fairs.
Over the following years, I opened and ran a Spiritual Centre where I taught people how to meditate and connect with their higher guidance and spiritual development. A few years later, I established the Atma College of Healing and taught people healing.
I married in 2008 and had a fabulous little boy in 2009. My husband passed over in 2012, and I took a break from teaching and doing readings to concentrate on dealing with my husband’s passing and ensuring my child was emotionally stable. I am delighted to say that he is an exceptionally happy & joyous child.
My son’s challenges with dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia, drove me to research children’s mental health, and I trained as a Level 4 learning support assistant for dyslexia.
We moved to Llandeilo for his education, and life opened up in unexpected ways, leading me to incorporate Reflexology into my practice.
And recently, I discovered I had ADHD, which was a great revelation. It explains my insurmountable energy and why I am always brimming with ideas.
(2) What was your first reflexology experience and what led to the decision to train and create your own business?
I have always valued reflexology treatments and considered training to be a reflexologist but never got around to it. Then not long after moving to Llandeilo, synchronicity and intuition led me to meet certain people, go to certain places and sign up for a reflexology course. From that moment, I have never looked back, feeling that it was meant to be.
(3) In addition to your reflexology treatments you also specialise in spirit wellbeing, energy clearing and protection, auras and colour reading – can you tell the community more about this area of your work and how you use these skills to support your clients?
Everything is energy, vibrating at different frequencies, and it can be both positive and negative. Life is a process of energy interaction, as the energy flows through our emotional, mental and physical bodies, affecting feelings, thoughts and physical wellbeing.
By recognising energy and using proper grounding, clearing and protection and by following my intuition, it enables me to create a positive balance in mind, heart and spirit. I always think of clearing and protecting myself, workspace, and home space like having a bath or shower every day and putting clothes on. I know having the right positive balanced mindset allows me to give the best to my clients, and by knowing different techniques that would suit or aid a client for them to achieve optimum balance.
This also flows into my reflexology practice, clearing the room and my energies after each client, maintaining my grounding for strength and stability allows me to be more empathetic and open to the client’s needs and yet not taking on their emotional issues. I also find at the end of the day having seen clients all day or taught a course, my energy levels are still maintained the same as when I started, as is my positive mindset.
(4) As a practising therapist, you are also a tutor and offer a wide range of support to therapists, please can you share more about the courses and support you provide.
Energy Clearing & Protection CPD course teaches you all about energy and how it works, grounding, clearing yourself, home and work space and protection of self, home and workspace. I teach lots of practical techniques that you can use to enhance confidence and self-esteem, reduce stress, let go of worries and fears, and how to stop taking on other people’s emotional issues, and so much more.
Auras & Colours CPD course teaches you how to see, sense or hear an aura and how colour can be used to affect emotions and thoughts to create positivity and balance.
Spirit Wellbeing course teaches you to connect with your guide and how to grow spiritually.
I also do One to One Spirit Wellbeing if someone needs guidance in their life.
And I am holding my first Power Your Way to Positivity 3-day wellbeing residential retreat this year, on September 23rd to 25th, I have only two spaces left, I am looking forward to this.
I have just set up a wellbeing programme for workplaces, schools and children, which I am very excited about. And of course, I do reflexology on both feet and hands, and I have just done the training for reflexology on the face.
(5) If there was one thing that you wish you would have known when becoming self-employed what would it be?
Believing in yourself.
(6) Having created a successful business, what advice would you share with a reflexologist who is feeling stuck within their business?
Believe in yourself, look at how far you have already come and talk to yourself like you would to your best friend with love and positivity. Change your mindset to one of positivity. The more positive you are, the more positivity you draw into life, like attracts like, and energy follows thought.
Reach out for help and support, don’t be afraid to ask for some help. There is a lot of support out there. Look at the Love Reflexology group, a reflexology family. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction, that kind word, a bit of advice.
(7) What has been your most humbling experience whilst running your business?
I taught a group of children about spirit wellbeing in school, they were delightful, seeing their faces light up with each exercise, and the level of engagement exceeded all expectations. One of the children during the session said he was so happy I had come to visit them. It touched my heart. Moments like these bring so much joy to the heart, that internal smile where you feel your whole body is smiling, the ability to help another person no matter their age.
(8) What has been your greatest achievement in your business?
I believe it is still to come. It is constantly evolving and growing. So far, there have been so many moments of beauty, and it is amazing to see clients grow and change.
(9) What exciting plans do you have for the rest of 2022? Any exclusive news?
I am very excited to be running my Power Your Way to Positivity Retreat 3-day residential wellbeing retreat in September, as well as my courses in September, October and November. The exclusive news is I am writing two books, and both will be finished this year.
(10) As a therapist and tutor– how do you organise your week and make sure there is also time for self-care?
I have a paper diary where I can see my whole week in one go, and each day has times written by the side of it. I manage my whole week by blocking out times for me, appointments, and courses. Everything is run by my diary, and I even leave some free time that I can do anything in.
My early morning is the one thing I do not put in my diary. I love getting up at about 6 am, having an hour to potter, have a coffee, and do some meditation before my child gets up at 7 am.
(11) What is your hope for the reflexology profession for the future?
I would love reflexology to become totally accepted by the NHS as a widely offered treatment. It is hugely beneficial. Everyone loves having a treatment and notices the results, whether emotional, physical or both. It has such an impact on people’s lives for the better, and it is widely recognised for cancer after-care outside of hospitals, yet it could also be used for patients in hospitals. The benefits of touch and care can make a world of difference.
Quick Fire Questions – Get to Know Maria More.
(1) What is your favourite place to go on holiday?
Oh, that is a hard one. I love India, but I also love going to Ibiza, Lanzarote, and Wales. Even though I live in Wales, I love visiting different parts of Wales.
(2) Coffee or tea?
(3) Paper or online diary?
(4) Instagram or Facebook?
Facebook, but I do love the Stories on Instagram, but I am still learning how to use both, so not very tech minded.
(5) What is your favourite well-being book or podcast of all time?
Honestly, I do not have a favourite well-being book or podcast. If you were to ask my favourite books, any book that expands your consciousness, I find stories just as powerful as sources of healing and inspiration; some of my favourites are Robin Hobbs’ Farseer Trilogy, Dune by Frank Herbert and Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.
Maria’s Business Tips – Be positive, energy follows thought.
- Believe in yourself.
- Trust in your intuition.
- Value your self-worth, and charge accordingly.
- Ground yourself for clarity and inner strength.
- Clear the energy after each client to maintain a clear space to offer your best to each client.
- Protect your own energetic space, so you do not take on other people’s emotions and issues.
- Set your schedule to suit you to have the right balance between work, family, and self-care.
Maria Bowbanks is the founder of Spirit Wellbeing, a Reflexologist, Teacher and Guide, helping people find holistic and spiritual wellbeing for body, mind and spirit through one-to-one sessions, courses – ‘Energy Clearing & Protection’ CPD Approved and Retreats. Creating positivity every day.
You can find Maria on www.spiritwellbeing.co.uk