Wick Business Offers Many Alternatives
21st February 2010
Three months in and Alternative Vitality continues to be an oasis of calm and relaxation in the centre of Wick. Offering a wide range of cognitive and complementary therapies such as hypnotherapy, life coaching, meditation, HypnoBirthing and Hypno-Band (which is a virtual gastric band), massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, Swedish massage, Indian head massage and Indian Face massage.
The regular Alternative Vitality team of Donna Booth (cognitive therapist), Terri Fraser (complementary therapist) and Pauline Gunn (centre manager) has expanded over the past couple of months to include Faye Wilson of Thurso Foot Clinic who runs a clinic every Tuesday and Amin Abdullah of Nature Systems who runs a clinic in nutrition, herbalism and homeopathy. Amin is currently offering a free 30 minute health check and consultation to new clients.
The retail area of Alternative Vitality is a wonderful source for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle with chemical free health, beauty, household and pet care products.
Donna explained: "The retail fits hand in hand with the alternative therapies and many of our clients who are suffering from stress-related illnesses such as eczema or psoriasis find an enormous benefit from switching to chemical-free products, which are also better for the health and the environment. And because they are not padded out with chemicals, a little goes a very long way."
For anyone interested in chemical free health & beauty, they stock products from brands such as Neal's Yard, Green People, Lavera, Madara, Burts Bees and many more - organic brands which would normally only be seen in city shops or the review pages of glossy magazines. They recently expanded into health food and supplements and run an order service for any products or brands they don't hold in stock.
When we asked Donna how the first few months have gone, she said, 'I am absolutely delighted with the reception Alternative Vitality has had in Wick. We try to be very customer focussed and are always open to suggestions and requests. We've been lucky to have developed a strong base of regular clients and it's always great to see someone new come in and leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. We have clients travelling from as far afield as Dornoch, Bettyhill and Orkney so it's great to be attracting people to Wick.
I've been particularly delighted with the success of our HypnoBand programme. We've had around 20 people take part in the programme over the past few months with some of our clients losing up to three stone and still losing. It's great to see people regaining control over their eating and get back their confidence.
We also run regular special offers with different therapies discounted each month and other special offers for subscribers to our newsletter or facebook page.'
Donna has always been interested in alternative therapies and has practised meditation for around 15 years. She encountered a variety of treatments while living and working in London.
She explained: "After several years working as a management consultant in London, I came home about eight years ago when my daughter was born and worked with HIE as a skills development and operations manager. After two extended periods of illness, during which I found alternative therapies to be enormously beneficial, I started to think about how great it would be to have somewhere up here where everyone could access these therapies."
As a result she retrained and set up Alternative Vitality, which she has run from her home and through a website for the past 18 months. The business expanded to the extent where it couldn't get any bigger working from home and Donna took the plunge in November of last year and took over the building that would be better known to many Wickers as the old tourist information office.
Terri, who is also from Wick, has joined Alternative Vitality as a full-time complementary therapist. Terri has an HNC in complementary therapies from Moray College in Elgin and specialises in aromatherapy, reflexology, Swedish massage, Indian head massage and metamorphic technique.
Such has been the appeal of Alternative Vitality; it was asked to feature in Vogue magazine's natural issue, Executive magazine's inspiring women issue and was listed as one of only six UK wide therapy centres recommended by this month's Witch-hikers guide.
Alternative Vitality plans to continue to expand its range of therapies and to move into retreat holidays later in the year, bringing more business to Caithness.
It's great to see an old building rejuvenated and we're delighted that Alternative Vitality is having is proving so successful - we wish Donna and her team the best of luck in their endeavours.