A university lecturer has launched a new business to help the people of Bishop's Stortford improve their health, reduce pain and increase mobility.
Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio, which is based at Sword Yard, is a professional and private clinical massage and exercise studio run by Louise Douse.
The 32-year-old, who attended Richard Whittington's Primary School and Birchwood High School, opened her business last month after 11 years lecturing at the University of Bedfordshire.
Louise, who is now working part-time at university and three days a week at a studio, has extensive experience as a clinical massage practitioner and is a movement specialist.
She studied performing arts at De Montfort University in Bedford before completing a PhD in dance and wellbeing at the University of Bedfordshire. Her research has referred to the physical and psychological components of wellbeing within dance and has been published in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing (2017). She recently completed a project assessing the impact of an intergenerational dance project on participants' wellbeing.
"During my PhD, I began training in full-body wellbeing," Louise said. "My interest in massage stemmed from my own experience of chronic pain as a result of hypertonicity from over-training.
After reading at the University of Bedfordshire for 11 years, I found that I was getting the most out of my engagement with community research projects I got a lot of fulfillment from working with clients through massage and something missing that. "
Louise, who has been in Stortford and Stansted with Jenny Patrick as well as attending classes with Graham School of Dance and the Apton Dance Center, has been invested around £ 5,000 in her business. That includes the cost of clinic software that enables them to make self-care plans.
"I see this becoming a busy hub for supporting people to find more movement in their daily lives," Louise said. "I would like to expand the classes that I offer – which currently includes a bodywork class and functional fitness movement class – and maybe move to a private home, maybe in a little more than five years.
"I would really like to create an indoor movement studio that is promoting natural movement – like an adult jungle gym!"
Visit www.bodyworksstudio.co.uk or www.facebook.com/bodyworksmmstudio to find out more.