An inspiring story, Emma is a Shiatsu and acupuncture practitioner who began her business in Cork that expanded greatly after a little help from Elon Musk.
Emma began her journey into the world of business about eighteen years ago after spending three and a half years studying meditation in various Buddhist monasteries and then returning to Cork to do her Masters degree.
Due to the major change in pace of life and reverse culture shock from Eastern culture back into the frantic pace of Western life, Emma developed anxiety and insomnia for which she began antidepressants.
Unfortunately, she developed an allergic reaction soon after which she began searching for ways to remedy.
“Only two things helped; Shiatsu massages and homoeopathy,” says Emma. “I began getting weekly Shiatsu massages and literally I would become calm and be able to centre back into my body.”
“It also helped me to become clear and focused while writing my dissertation.”
Emma loved Shiatsu so much that she decided to pursue a course in it which found her in Brussels and then Scotland for 11 years.
She began working in community development with an array of clients from refugees to women who had experienced domestic violence or women at risk of homelessness.
Although her work saw the implementation of safety measures, she was shocked at the level of fear and anxiety that prevailed in the bodies and systems of her clients long after the threat had passed.
With her knowledge of Shiatsu and later ear acupuncture, she was able to bring this work into group settings where she could assist people to relax into that sense of safety that was missing for many.
In 2016 she moved back to Ireland after having her two daughters, and it was here she began offering her services in clinics locally.
With the help of LEO, Emma was able to build her own website and also create flyers online for her business which was so helpful.
Flash forward to 2019 and Emma partnered with her friend and colleague to create Work Well Therapies which was a response to the huge number of patients appearing in her clinics with complaints of back pain, and various strains associated with sitting at a desk.
This employee wellness service was moved online during the pandemic and this is when her business was really able to take off.
“It deepened my own understanding of Shiatsu and allowed me to work with clients 1:1 to offer a service that was tailor made for them.”
Learning pressure points that they could use in their daily lives, really put the healing abilities into their own hands and this in turn, expanded my business.
Although business was going well, one day her remote-working lifestyle was interrupted when her broadband in rural Cork became very weak and patchy.
Unable to work, Emma tried everything she could to get back online but nothing seemed to work.
After creating a petition with other people in the area, Emma decided to get onto Elon Musk who was trailing the Space X Star-Link broadband at the time.
With a little help from Space X, she was soon back up and running at full steam ahead.
Emma now curates classes for corporate groups, women’s groups and takes clients 1:1 online with amazing results.
The biggest challenge, she tells us, is trying to balance home life and work life, the juggling act of being a parent to two girls as well as a female entrepreneur is no mean feat!
Her advice to her younger self or a young woman in business would be this; “Delegate to others and seek out support or advice from others.”
“Also, know that it’s normal to hit a wall from time to time. It can at times feel overwhelming, like an uphill struggle! On days like those, reach out to others, be kind to yourself, take some space to relax and unwind and go back to it with fresh eyes and perspective. I know that going for a sea swim or walk will do this for me.”
Her dreams for the future are to expand her onsite massage and ergonomic assessment outreach
“I would love to offer more team building wellness sessions, self-massage based and meditation. I love collaborations, so I plan to work with a mindfulness teacher based in the UK, delivering a ‘Mindfulness, Movement and Self-Massage,’ employee wellness program online.”
“I feel passionate about supporting women going through the perimenopause, so I would love to offer more consultations and self-care programs to empower women during this time. Finally, I feel passionate about wellness and I would be interested in aligning myself with a company to offer more targeted wellness coaching to employees in 2023!”
Emma is tenacious, dedicated and highly experienced and we can’t recommend her enough.