Happy Friday everyone! This week, I had the opportunity to chat to ‘London’s Leading Practitioner’ in the healing art of Reflexology and Reflexologist to the stars, Andrea Hurst. Andrea’s mission is to heal her clients through reflexology treatments and natural-based skincare.
I have been lucky enough to receive a treatment from Andrea myself and can vouch for the powerful results. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up or a reset this February, you know where to go. Now go grab yourself a tea, get cozy, it’s time for this week’s chat.
Hi Andrea, welcome! If you could start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?
I was always close to nature growing up, which has kept me centred and balanced throughout my life. I feel that this was important because it allowed me to grow in line with the laws of the universe and my own destiny. Nature builds compassion and an openness to the beauty in this world that is beyond human ego.
That is so true! And have you always been interested in skincare?
I was brought up with a specific skincare routine from an early age under the direction of my mother and we both have beautiful skin. Many people that I meet comment on this and ask what the secret is. A good skincare routine has always been essential to me and will continue to be, as well as following a balanced lifestyle.
"From my experience I can tell you that a calling never comes at an easy time; it feels as if you are literally called to leave all that you have ever known and take an empty-handed leap into a void."
That is great that you recognised the importance of those two things early on. How did you get started in health and wellbeing?
My work began as a calling. Before I came into preventative medicine, I first worked in bereavement support and counseling as a Funeral Arranger for three years. I began in my late teens and became an expert in the field. So much so that I never considered stepping into another profession; I found the work very fulfilling. But then my calling came in my early twenties. From my experience I can tell you that a calling never comes at an easy time; it feels as if you are literally called to leave all that you have ever known and take an empty-handed leap into a void. That is what was required of me at that time in my life and so that’s what I did. When I left behind my funeral business work, I had no idea that I would be taking studies in complementary medicine, preventative medicine and reflexology amongst other subjects… no idea at all. But if something is meant to be, the universe will make sure it happens. I simply followed and it happened!
Wow! So, what did you do after taking the plunge?
Once I had finished my initial studies, I travelled for two years to freely explore my approach to this new work in the ancient Egyptian healing art of reflexology. This is also when I first started to make products for different skin types in line with my training in aromatherapy and then, was awarded a distinction for my studies in the subject of Aromatherapy and Aromatology.
So, when did you decide to start up your practice and why?
After this two-year period of work and travel, I felt I was ready to find the best place for my work to begin. Interestingly, I first started my work in Harrods on the 5th Floor salon and spa in the 1990’s at exactly the time that Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were killed in that terrible accident, so I worked closely with members of the Al Fayed family through their bereavement process. I felt immensely grateful to be placed in such a position of trust at this difficult time. I worked with the family and Harrods for a total of six and a half years before venturing forward independently in my new profession.
What a powerful thing to be able to combine both of your passions through your work at Harrods. Now that you have your own brand, how do you come up with new product ideas?
Many people have sensitive skin and are not aware of it, until they use a certain product that causes an irritation. Therefore, in my treatments, which are administered only to the feet, I use either my own range of products or a natural formula that I make specifically for my reflexology treatments. This way I can be sure that nobody would experience a negative skin reaction as many of my patients do have extremely sensitive skin, requiring great care and attention.
Would you say you have a business strategy?
I’m not sure it is a strategy, but certainly my work has been based on dedication and devotion. I want to see people improve themselves and their lives. The work that I do with my treatments can bring about immense change, lifting people in a whole multitude of ways: strengthening, clarifying and supporting mind, body and spirit.
I can vouch for this. After your treatment, I felt a deep feeling of relaxation that was really long lasting. What do you think was your biggest challenge in starting up your business?
Finding the right space in the right place for the right price was initially challenging. I had an idea in my mind of how it should be and the things I required in my treatment room. I would have to say that it was divine intervention that lead me to my first perfect consultation room, and I have never really looked back since.
What is the most fulfilling thing about your work?
Seeing people’s lives improve and evolve where they couldn’t see it being possible. My treatments are applied in a clinical manner to the reflex points of the feet, but other elements are also present during my treatments, so every treatment session is different. It is a very personal experience and I relay different information to patients depending on their circumstances.
What makes Andrea Hurst Reflexology stand out?
I think people really want to take care of their health nowadays; not putting toxins onto or into the skin is important because the skin being a permeable surface will draw chemicals into the body and these can build up causing imbalance, disease or illness. I also believe that people want to ensure the longevity of our beautiful planet and so they want to be informed about where packaging and ingredients are coming from. People are beginning to question sources and procedures that aren’t sustainable for the greater good of our planet. In line with this way of thinking, I only use natural products with minimal packaging. I try to keep things simple both in the clinical treatment side of my business and also in my product range.
As someone who struggles with sensitive skin, I would love to know how sensitive skin informs the work that you do?
I have seen a lot of patients over the years with varying types of skin conditions, so I understand that these can be very difficult to live with on a daily basis. Sensitive skincare was also the reason I created my product range as I realised there is a genuine need for natural skincare. I have seen firsthand how skin conditions can improve (as well as mental and emotional wellbeing) as a direct result of integrating my product range into patients’ lives.
"My average day can be working through the day, working through the night, or a combination of both, depending upon the patients and schedules. I have been known to be available for my patients 24 hours a day when necessary."
What is your favourite treatment that you perform?
I have created several beautiful treatment sequences and overall treatment programs. It is hard to pick a favourite as they are all designed individually to work in very specific ways, but my “Restore” session is a one and a half hour treatment and my most popular.
What has been your biggest “pinch-me” moment?
There have been many, many “pinch me” moments…But probably one of the sweetest moments that stands out was one of the treatments with Robert Downey Jnr (AKA Iron Man), over several years of treatments in London and in Malibu, California. He was so happy with the work that we had done together, and he had really come through a lot at that stage that he asked me if he could give me a hug.
Aw, that’s so sweet! Could you tell me what inspires you?
Life itself inspires me. I am completely in awe of the way the universe guides my life and always has.
How would you describe your average day?
I am not sure if any of my days are ever average, bearing in mind the variety of people and conditions that I work with, alongside the variety of locations that I visit. My average day can be working through the day, working through the night, or a combination of both, depending upon the patients and schedules. I have been known to be available for my patients 24 hours a day when necessary.
You seem so dedicated to your work. Would you say you have a work/life balance?
Probably not, to be perfectly honest. I do, however, tend to have certain clients at certain times, as not everybody is in the same country at once. This means that I am always able to see everybody, without exception. Although at times it has been difficult to achieve the ideal work/life balance, I am aware of how to balance myself and my schedule for my own health, well being and longevity. I always make sure to plan my weight training sessions for every week as this keeps me strong; both physically, mentally and spiritually.
That is so great that you make time for that! What words do you live by?
“I can of my own self do nothing”, which means that we do what we do but sometimes, we have to wait for the universe to act. The waiting part is what I find the hardest, but sometimes we just have to wait and that is why patience is still a virtue.
It certainly is! Finally, what’s next for Andrea Hurst Reflexology?
I am looking into new collaborations in the future. I also want to bring awareness to mental health issues like depression, addiction, anxiety and even insomnia because not all of these conditions are strictly mental issues; physical ailments can trigger fears and subsequently lead to these experiences. My work is to look at the body, mind, spirit connection and figure out how best to remedy the disease at hand.
Like what you read? Head to Andrea Hurst Reflexology to find out more. Or if you fancy checking out some previous interviews you can find them here. All images are via Andrea Hurst Reflexology.