At TreatNOW we know the importance of keeping your wellbeing in check and at no other time is that arguably more important than during pregnancy. We spoke to TreatNOW partner Tekla Kosa about Maternity Reflexology, stress management and autogenic training:
How did Tekla Kosa begin? What inspired this career choice for you?
It all began back in 2004 when I was going through a very stressful personal situation. I was suffering from insomnia, I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t feel never properly refreshed after sleep for a whole year. I was at a point where I wanted to alleviate the level of stress that I had but wanted something more effective than the traditional route. So, I learnt autogenic training and my insomnia was cured in 3 weeks and my other stress related symptoms faded away. Now, that’s not the same for every client that I treat but that is what happened in my case, the practicing of autogenic training helps to improves the quality of sleep and increases the number of hours that clients sleep. Then in 2008 I trained professionally as an autogenic therapist and also began educating myself about my other professional passion, reflexology. That passion started from finding a book on reflexology and meridian therapy and I just had to learn more, now I offer clients maternity reflexology, regular reflexology in addition to stress management consultation.
Which is your personal favourite treatment to give? What is your most popular treatment at the moment?
I would say autogenic training because it affects people’s lives in different and positive ways, and it is good to see someone for 10 sessions and see how they change right before you, you can see them taking more responsibility in their life. I also like giving people mindfulness exercises to do. The shorter and longer Autogenic Training and mindfulness exercises can help people to find a calm and safe place within, so it can slowly penetrate their life, they can become more confident and feel more in control of their emotions. In terms of reflexology, I really enjoy doing the maternity sessions because you get the double effect of the baby reacting to the treatment. My clients don’t tend to have a favourite when it comes to the treatments, it’s pretty balanced, and that’s mainly because each treatment is tailored to the client’s individual needs.
Can you tell us a bit more about maternity reflexology for those who might be unfamiliar with the practice?
Well regular reflexology is based on a client’s history and the main objective is to encourage the body to start detoxing and balance the whole system. It is more of a general treatment that can help to pinpoint areas of health that need improving on. Maternity reflexology is more targeted in the sense that we know the the beginning and the end time and so we can work with areas of concern during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester. Maternity Reflexology works in a preventative way for example constipation usually happens during the second trimester, or morning sickness is typical only in the first trimester, heartburn happens when the baby is bigger and is very up in the womb, so we can start prevention during the second trimester to make sure its not causing any problem in the third trimester. Prevention of oedema / fluid retention is usually happens during the second trimester and we can also focus on things like anxiety, hyperventilation, or backache. Reflexology treatment can also help balance the hormone system throughout the pregnancy and at the beginning of labour.
How do you make your service special for each client?
I always have an assessment questionnaire where I ask clients information about their health history and what they want from treatment. I do this before every treatment so that each session is based on that information and on my own feelings about them. I can tell from the different textures of the reflex areas which areas I need to spend more attention on. I also give aftercare advice and send over an aftercare document either by email or at least provide a follow up phone call. With my regular clients I consult with them on how often they need to come in for treatments depending on their wellbeing needs.
In your opinion, what is the selling point of your brand? What makes you different from other practices?
I would say that the fact that I teach stress management really has an added impact. Also the style of treatment I offer is different, I can really feel the areas that are more tender and work with those areas to see results. Reflexology can be challenging but not a torture and because I want all of my clients to have an enjoyable experience I offer pain management techniques to help them work through the more challenging areas of the treatment. Also my training makes a big difference to my practices I trained in the Original Ingham Method® of Reflexology and also attended the ART™ (Advanced Reflexology Training) facilitated by Hagar Basis at the International Institute of Reflexology, UK. In 2013 I attended an intensive Maternity Reflexology Training Programme (MRTP) with the inspiring Mauricio Kruchik.
How do you make sure that your customers find you?
I have my own website and I am registered to different directories, I leave out leaflets, I network and speak to other therapists, but I would say that word of mouth is the biggest thing. I often have referrals from current clients to other people as I give them business cards to hand out to their friends and family, they can also purchase sessions as birthday or thank you gifts. I also offer taster sessions for autogenic training that can be a nice way to introduce people to my treatments.
What does the future hold for Tekla Kosa?
I am working in stress management and my aim is, to arrange more personal effectiveness/ stress management workshops and reach more people. I have spoken on the subject at the Imperial College last year and I am currently turning one of the presentations into an online course. With regards to Reflexology I established the Harley Street Reflexology project a few year ago, but my colleague moved back to Greece. I am looking for another reflexologist who I can work well together and could continue the project.
If a new business/practice was setting up, what’s the best piece of advice you could give them from your own personal experience?
When you start a new business my advice would be to invest some time into your personal development. Your business can grow as far as you do, so look at areas like confidence, flexibility (both mental and physical) and attachments. And whatever you do – it can be relaxation exercises, affirmations, meditation, physical exercising, having a gratitude journal, visualization or something else, do it regularly e.g. on a daily basis.