On 20 March 2020, those dreaded words “all wellness centres, massage parlours and spas must shut their doors”, are words I will never forget.
I felt as if my whole world just crumbled.
I am a holistic fertility therapist, and I help couples prepare their minds and bodies for conception and support them through IVF. My clients’ worlds also fell apart too, with their treatment and support being pulled from under them.
After letting it all sink in and stop panicking, I had to think how I could continue to serve my clients in an effective way, and so I decided to take my business fully online and see how it would work.
I offer elements of fertility massage, fertility reflexology, kinesiology and reiki. I could do it all except the kinesiology, but it’s a big part of the fertility program I offer.
Thankfully, our kinesiology association hosted online training on how to treat virtually, which has been working really well. So I’ve now gone from being fully hands-on and face-to-face, to being fully virtual and behind a computer screen.
Initially, I enjoyed this new way of working and the diary soon filled up again, but after a while it’s had a toll on my eyes and mental energy.
I’ve had to work on bringing in the balance now, as well as getting the rest I need. I’ve actually felt better in that my grounding has been better and not taking in my clients’ energy, but I’ve neglected my own ‘virtual’ energy.
The biggest challenges in all of this have been making sure the technology works – I was without broadband for two weeks – and that the clients I have been working with are comfortable working this way.
Some new enquiries haven’t been able to fathom this way of working, and that is fine too – but I have had a fair bit of new business working this way. However, I received wonderful news that my first virtual client who undertook my 12-week programme is now pregnant.
Unfortunately, I have had other therapists say how working online is killing the industry, and how it’s horrible to be doing that. I completely disagree.
In the industry I am in, right now my clients need my support more than ever, and I felt this was the best way to help them.
It has also opened my eyes to another way of working, and question whether I want to return to a physical working space or not.
It’s not been ruled out, but I am in no rush to open up my therapy room doors at the moment either. Working online has given me a wider reach of an audience who wouldn’t have been in touch if I was just face-to-face.
My advice in all of this is that if you want to try a new way of working, just go for it and do it. If it works then that’s good, and it’s another way of working if things do go pear shaped again. If it doesn’t work, then at least you know you tried it.
Rakhee Shah is a Holistic fertility therapist based in Barnet, North London and the owner of Fertility, Bump and Beyond, established in February 2014. Her passion and interest lies in helping couples with infertility issues, having undergone her own infertility journey. Rakhee has undergone extensive, advanced training in Fertility Reflexology, Fertility Massage, Kinesiology, Reiki and Nutrition. To learn more about Rakhee’s work visit www.fbab.co.uk