Some people love beautiful clothes, others like expensive wine.

Me? – Well, my passion’s a bit barking.

You see I love trees. Yew, birch, oak …. you name them, i adore them.

It all started when I was four years old and my grandfather built me a tree house in his back garden. I spent hours playing up there.

And if I wasn’t up a tree, I was learning all about them from Grandad. ‘That’s a palm tree, and there’s an oak,’ he would say, pointing out all the different types of tree as we walked round Ward End Park in Birmingham together.

Even my grandma, Agnes, was in on the act. She was always making poultices, trees and herbal remedies from trees and plants she’d grown in the garden.

Maybe that was at the back of my mind in 1998 when, after 25 years as a special needs teacher I decided to retrain as a complimentary therapist. I did massage, reiki, and aromatherapy, but it wasnt long before my love of trees began creeping into my work.

On a tree spirit healing course run by Sue and Simon Lilley, I learnt that each tree had it’s own spirit and can be used for different types of healing. My heart beat a little faster when I heard those words. Tree spirit healing was right up my street. In fact you could say it made me feel tree-mendous!

People were sceptical when I told them I wanted to be a tree therapist. “Whats that involve?” they ask. I explained how you invoke the spirits of trees during healing sessions. “You also place twigs, leaves and bark on troublesome areas of the body to help cure ailments,” I said.

It might sound dappy to you, but my friends are used to my little ways.

Every time I’m feeling run-down I go and stand in a 1,000 year old yew tree in St Michael’s Church near my previous home. The vicar is used to seeing me in there, recharging my batteries, so he doesn’t bat an eyelid when I call hello from inside the trunk. My enthusiasm for trees is clearly infectious, and in 1999 I opened my own alternative health centre – Heaven Scent Bliss.

People can come to be healed by trees. Some people might give me stick about what i do. But trees have profound healing properties. Just seeing woodland can have a relaxing effect on people suffering from stress. And, of course, willow bark is actually the basis of aspirin.

I practice what i preach as well. I have two sons, Matt and Richard. Ever since he was little, Richard had suffered from Raynaud’s Disease – a disorder that affects blood flow to his hands and feet when they’re exposed to the cold. He’d been to the doctors to try and cure it, but nothing seemed to work. So i did some research and found that hawthorn could help him, as it conserves energy and increases the ability of the body to cope with stress. Sure enough, when i gave him some hawthorn essence and a piece of hawthorn to keep in his pocket, his symptoms improved.

Our doctor is so impressed by the transformations we’ve achieved he’s started referring patients to us.

Now, I just can’t get enough of trees. I’ve even stayed in a glammed-up tree house in Sussex. Some people may think that sounds too much like taking the office home, but I don’t mind.

Once a tree fanatic, always a tree fanatic.

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