Hi, I’m Nancy, founder of Holistic Hugs!
Along with being fully qualified and insured in therapeutic touch I also work as an End of Life Doula, Meditation Teacher and Laughter Yoga Teacher. As you can imagine practising as a cuddle professional and as an End of Life Doula is intimate work. Not in the physical sense but in the way the space is held. The wonderful art of being absolutely present with clients. My deep listening skills are not just attuned to the words you share. I listen with my heart to your body language, your silence, your energy.
I have a diverse work history from working for a large holiday company to caring for children with life-shortening illnesses and their families at three children’s hospices. All of these experiences have shaped who I am today and what I bring of myself when I work with people.
So why did I become a Cuddle Therapist?
You know that feeling when all you need is someone to be present with you? That.
To hold your hand, sit with you, rub your back, hold you in a tender hug, being with you in all that you are without asking for anything in return or having any expectations. That.
To have someone be present without judgement or unasked for advice and without them trying to put a positive spin on the situation. That.
For many years I felt these things were so lacking in my life. I was yearning for connection. I was yearning for someone to see me – really see me. I figured if that was something I was seeking perhaps others were too? And, after digging deep, exploring various ways of bringing a deeper connection, not only to my life but to others as well, I discovered that Cuddle Therapy was a thing. What could touch bring to feeling a sense of connection? Apparently rather a lot! I googled, researched. read books about touch, reflected on it and talked about it to anyone who would listen. I couldn’t shake off this feeling that I was being called to do this work.
Imagine a hug that feels so warm and safe you just melt into it. Just holding space, even without touch, can have such a profound effect on another’s well-being.
If you’ve experienced a trauma, whether that is around touch or not, imagine having someone step into that darkness and sit with you rather than trying to pull you into their light.
What I have learned on my journey into this realm of touch is that, people can be supported with touch for many different reasons and in many different ways. We are hard-wired for connection. Not transient, superficial connection but more meaningful, authentic connection.
The hug or platonic touch that we receive from others can be so brief, so understated and lack so much meaning and intention that it can leave us feeling more lonely and unfulfilled. I recognise that as we flirt around with such superficial connection that something is being missed or lost and that there is a real, unspoken need to be seen, heard and held. To offer this gift of closeness, this feeling of togetherness to others is one of the most profound experiences there is.
My passion for connection continues to grow and evolve. I founded “Awakening Connection” in 2016 – a movement inspiring connection though a variety of events such as “Free Hugs”, eye contact experiments, play and laughter. Through community hopscotch, puddle splashing or just sitting together with unspoken compassion – connection takes many forms. It helps us build resilience, support networks, increases our self-esteem and self-worth.
Where the unique you is concerned each Compassionate Touch and Cuddle Therapy session is tailored specifically for you. You are at the heart of my work.
In the Media
Early in 2020 I took part in an interview on BBC Radio Scotland discussing the importance of touch for the Sunday Morning show with presenter Connie McLaughlin and Psychologist Dr Suzanne Zeedyk.
I am a member of Cuddle Professionals International (CPI) – a specialist organisation for cuddle professionals and also Independent Professional Therapists International (IPTI) and also have a current enhanced DBS so you can be assured that all bookings will be facilitated to the highest standard and meet the strict code of conduct required.