REAL LIFE: I healed myself – now I heal others too

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Chronic pain can leave sufferers feeling stressed and extremely depressed, stuck in a dark hole they feel they will never come out of.

Chronic pain can leave sufferers feeling stressed and extremely depressed, stuck in a dark hole they feel they will never come out of.

Charlie Parker-Quaife pictured with reporter Ruth Scammell at her therapy room in  LA Barbers, Widley    ''Picture: Habibur Rahman (17165-5)

Charlie Parker-Quaife pictured with reporter Ruth Scammell at her therapy room in LA Barbers, Widley ''Picture: Habibur Rahman (17165-5)

That is exactly how Charlie Parker-Quaife felt.

Following a motorbike accident, the now-29-year-old experienced agonising back pain which saw her popping up to 12 tablets a day and feeling angry and depressed.

But a light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of holistic therapy, which involves treating the whole person – body, mind, spirit, and emotions – in the quest for optimal health and wellness.

After it helped her, Charlie, from Hilsea, trained to become a holistic therapist and now helps heal others in severe pain.

A year ago I was popping 12 tablets a day, I was depressed, angry and frustrated

‘I’ve had chronic back pain for about seven years but I was only diagnosed in the last two years,’ says Charlie.

‘I got told that it might be a physical problem and that I might be in pain for the rest of my life.

‘I wasn’t happy to receive that news so I took professional help and I started seeing a chiropractor.

‘My back issue is to do with my past – I had a motorbike accident and was bed-bound for two months. Since then I have always had back problems.

Charlie Parker-Quaife pictured at her therapy room in  LA Barbers, Widley ''Picture: Habibur Rahman (171653)

Charlie Parker-Quaife pictured at her therapy room in LA Barbers, Widley ''Picture: Habibur Rahman (171653)

‘I would have flare-ups. Doctors just give you pills and tell you to get on with it. That was until I had an MRI scan last year and realised that I didn’t have anything physically wrong.

‘Then I stepped back and saw the bigger picture.’

Charlie looked at her life at that point to see what she could change.

‘I was working as a carer and they were doing reflexology on the patients,’ she says.

‘I realised it was helping (the clients) a lot. So I signed myself up for a course that year.’

Charlie was supporting people with learning difficulties.’ She says: ‘I would have a really energetic person who was non-verbal but would self- harm.

‘Once they had the reflexology, they became calm and placid.

‘My first case study was a man with Alzheimer’s. His wife told me that, after the reflexology, she could have a real conversation with him but she couldn’t before.

‘It made me realise that I could help other people like myself to get through the pain situation.‘

At the time, she was temping and working three different jobs, as well as volunteering for the Wessex Cancer Trust. It was then she decided to start her own business.

Called Q Wellness, she runs the business from a holistic therapy room at LA Barbers in Widley.

Charlie provides body massage, pregnancy massage, reflexology and aromatherapy and customises treatments for each individual client.

‘I decided to take the step and I quit my jobs,’ she says.

‘Since I have taken the plunge and taken that level of stress off my shoulders, seeing the therapist, doing yoga every day, I am now at level three instead of nine in terms of pain.

‘I wake up in the morning and have a cup of tea and a glass of water.

‘I have a hot shower using certain essential oils and then I go and do yoga.

‘For a while I wasn’t allowing myself to be a success in my business because I was more worried about paying the bills.

‘Now, I focus on giving people the time that they deserve whether that’s relaxation, pain management or aromatherapy for anxiety.

‘Since I have made myself and my business a priority, my pain has subsided. I have lots of different clients. I don’t just give massages – I give my time.

‘In consultations I ask if they are stressed and what other issues are going on. I am a listening ear.

‘A lot of people don’t have a person to off-load to. Being able to do that (with me) has brought them on to the next stage.

‘I am a big believer in using my own skills as well as being able to recognise if the person isn’t the right person for me.

‘I wouldn’t take on a client just to fill my pocket.’

Charlie works with her clients to provide a regular routine which helps them manage their pain, such as going to bed at a decent hour.

Charlie says her life is totally different now. ‘It has completely changed my life,’ she says.

‘Using myself as a case study, I am a completely different person because I have allowed myself to become a holistic healer. A year ago I was popping 12 tablets a day. I was depressed, angry and frustrated.

‘I now don’t take any pain relief medication. I would say I had mental health issues before. I was frustrated and annoyed with the fact that I wasn’t getting any better.

‘Now I am happy and enjoy every day as it comes.’

To see a video of Charlie, go to portsmouth.co.uk.

THE WESSEX CANCER TRUST

Charlie Parker-Quaife works with patients suffering from cancer through the charity, Wessex Cancer Trust.

Her connection to the charity began after losing a close friend to the disease.

She does some voluntary and some paid work for the charity.

‘It’s a privilege to work with them. They have taught me that every day is a miracle – it’s a choice as to what you do with that day.

‘We all have bills to pay but you have got to enjoy your job.

‘Nobody should be stuck in life – you should enjoy every day.’

She adds: ‘It also gives me a base to be able to practice reflexology’.

The charity, which is spread over various sites across the south coast, has a base in Cosham High Street.

A specialist team at the centre offers emotional and physical care to people living with or affected by any type of cancer.

Children are welcome, as well as adults of any age, with any type of cancer, and at any stage.

Visitors can also find out more information about cancer and speak to other people going through a similar experience.

To find out more about the Wessex Cancer Trust, please visit wessexcancer.org.uk.