Kate Fullerlove, Bowen Therapist and Homeopath – Business of the Month, July 2017
Yet again we come across a lady who came to her chosen business after previous careers. Kate Fullerlove is a bundle of energy and has a passion for her profession that shines through. Her reputation is growing rapidly, not only through Shropshire, but further afield. Kate’s arrival into the world of alternative therapy and homeopathic medicine is quite literally a journey round the world. Always fascinated to peek round the next bend in the road of life, she feels now that it has been a natural progression for her that has brought her to this point.
The description “gap year” wasn’t around when Kate left home on an 18 month expedition to live and work abroad. This came to a painful end with a serious road accident in Australia, and Kate will be forever grateful to the Flying Doctor service for their prompt care and help at a most difficult time. Fortunately she made a full recovery, returned to the UK and, after a period of rehabilitation at her home in Shropshire, she returned to a full life living and working in London. Fast forward 15 plus years, a career move, a marriage with a lovely daughter, living back in Shropshire, and an opportunity arose for Kate to explore more fully the world of alternative medicine and homeopathy. She started studying homeopathy part time, subsequently qualifying from the Lakeland College of Homeopathy in 2006.
During her time at college she was fortunate enough to be exposed to many different forms of alternative and ‘energetic’ healing, many of which cannot be completely explained to this day. One day her tutor offered her an alternative therapy session to help with hip pain that she had started suffering with and that was keeping her awake at nights. Kate accepted – it worked – she was hooked!
…That alternative therapy was called The Bowen Technique.
Thomas Ambrose Bowen, the initiator of this therapy, was born in 1916 in Victoria, Australia of parents who had emigrated from England. He possessed great insight, intuition and had a passion for how the body works in spite of never having had any formal medical training. In the early 1950s his day job was at the Geelong Cement Works as a general labourer, but at night and at the weekends he treated sports and workers injuries; it was not unusual for people to be queued up on his front lawn into the night, waiting for treatment. He ran a free clinic for children with disabilities, twice a month on Saturday mornings, which was always a cause close to his heart. Surprisingly too,his technique was also effective on animals, dogs and horses in particular. Finally in the late 1950s Tom moved into full-time practice.
So what exactly is the Bowen Technique, and what can it do? The Bowen Technique is a holistic, complementary therapy which is hands on, yet non-invasive. It is believed to help the body resolve pain, re-balance, repair and reset itself, allowing energy recovery, reduction in pain and improvement in function.
The theory behind what became known as the Bowen Technique is that it is a gentle hands-on therapy, with the therapist performing sets of rolling-like “moves”, mainly fingers or thumbs over muscles, tendons and soft tissue only. It is believed to work through stimulating the nerve rich fascia in the body to re-set, re-align and stimulate the system to come back into balance. There is no skeletal manipulation and it is known for being a relaxing treatment, yet quite unlike massage. Frequent breaks are taken to allow the body to absorb what has taken place. It has been shown to be of great benefit to those of us who are suffering from stress related health issues. The full benefits of a Bowen Technique session continue to manifest themselves for up to 10 days after the session.
Here are examples of the gentle use of hands during a therapy session.
The Bowen Technique was introduced to the UK in the 1990s and has spread worldwide since, being an accepted part of alternative medicine in many countries spread across the continents. The internet can give you access to a local therapist, and there are organisations that can recommend local contacts. Kate herself subsequently qualified with the European College of Bowen Studies in 2010. Kate’s passion for helping people to improve their quality of life means that she is constantly updating and improving her knowledge of the Bowen Technique, at the same time recognising that homeopathic medicine goes hand in hand with the Bowen philosophy; both being holistic forms of medicine aiming at treating the whole person and not just isolated symptoms.
With her daughter growing up Kate saw an opportunity to devote even more time to her clients and decided to start her own therapy business. Very slowly at first, with no premises and a non-existent client base, a small business developed with Kate learning yet another new skill – that of running a business. As the therapy is not yet widely known and Kate was new to the healthcare arena, she quickly decided that some local exposure was needed if she was to succeed. One of her ideas was giving a talk at a local village hall, or other venue, including a short demonstration and questions, and this still continues with interested groups in the form of talks, ‘Drop in’ Days and the like.
A “Drop in Day” at a well-known Bridgnorth Cafe
Another idea Kate came up with was negotiating with the nationally famous Bridgnorth Walk committee who were very pleased to allow her to give free, short taster treatments, helped by a couple of Bowen Technique therapist friends, to the returning walkers from this annual challenging 22 mile walk through the rolling Shropshire countryside.
Post Bridgnorth Walk Therapy Session
The therapy is being used more and more in the sport and outdoor pursuits’ worlds and the idea was a great success over three consecutive years, 2011-2013, reportedly making a huge difference to tired walkers’ aching legs and bodies. Another great ‘selling point’ for public awareness of the therapy is the increasing number of top sports clubs and famous people using the treatment to help solve ongoing issues or to maintain a good level of health and fitness, including the TV adventurer Bear Grylls. As clients have got to know what she can offer, word of mouth has been excellent for growing the business, along with her website and online information.
The challenge Kate faced getting her new business started was a bit more than any other well-known therapy would have had; finding a place to work and then putting ‘a plate on the door’, or an advert in the local press, was not really an option because of this. She realised she had to also let the public know what the therapy could do, what a treatment entails, and so on.
Asked how she fits the demands of work and family into her lifestyle, Kate replies, “Fitting the business in with my lifestyle hasn’t been too difficult although I am very aware of having to fit it around my family responsibilities. A 20 minute drive for the school run has possibly been the trickiest thing to cope with but I have found it possible to fit in patients around my hours of availability quite well. Lift sharing with another family was a real gift for me and both my husband and daughter have been very supportive over the past 6 years, particularly when I am adding to my skills and knowledge on courses or seminars with my continuing professional development. As my daughter gets older I am able to extend my working/availability hours; a recent move to a new treatment location in Listley Street in Bridgnorth town centre has certainly been one of my better decisions.”
Kate hard at work at her new clinic premises
Kate also has some very definite views on alternative medicine. “A holistic approach to medicine is definitely the way forward I believe; it has completely changed my life since I first came across homeopathy and began using it to treat my daughter shortly after she was born. The NHS does a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances, particularly for accidents and emergencies, but resources are being very stretched especially with the ageing population. I feel there is a real place for alternative and complementary medicine to fit in alongside allopathic – or mainstream – medicine in these changing times. Indeed I know of doctors who have trained up in Bowen Technique and in homeopathy amongst other things, and who make great use of their wider skills.
Being a ‘people person’ Kate enjoys meeting all of her clients, albeit often at a difficult time for them, finding it really satisfying when she can help them to move on from symptoms that are encumbering their lives and well-being. “I am most proud of the difference I have brought to people’s lives – helping them to resolve their symptoms of “dis-ease”, pain and/or illness, and sometimes helping alter their understanding of health to a more holistic one. I often see them find better levels of energy and even sometimes a new zest for life alongside the process of resolving the pain they’ve been suffering.”
Kate’s advice to someone of any age thinking of starting their own business is quite clear:
- Make sure you are fully committed to the business before starting to set up on your own;
- Have a passion for what you want to do;
- Talk to people who can help you;
- Have a clear plan and start slowly; it’s always good to have a ‘plan B’ for if things don’t work
- out in exactly the way you envisage at first;
And the qualities needed for success?
“Enthusiasm, good communication skills (including the ability to ask for – and listen to – advice), the ability to keep an open mind, tenacity and the courage to stick to your convictions. Recognise the help you need, but above all, believe in yourself!” One of Kate’s favourite sayings is “Believe you can, and you will.”
Would Kate do the same thing all over again?
“Yes – without a moment’s hesitation! I get a great deal of personal fulfilment from it and also thoroughly enjoy the ongoing “CPD” (Continuing Professional Development) required to keep my skills, knowledge and abilities increasing. Along with Homeopathy, it has completely changed my views of pain, illness and disease, as well as opening my mind up to the world of a holistic approach to healing.”
A final thought from Kate:
“When the body’s natural healing ability can be tapped into, wonderful things happen!”
Below are some links that you may find interesting:
From Shropshire Review 2016
From the BTPA Blog in 2015 – Featured Therapist Kate Fullerlove
Treatment Room: 1st Floor, 3 Listley Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4AW
(in the same building as Stehen Evenett Optometrist)
Tel: 07814 792823