With the demand for complementary and alternative therapies continuing to grow, the problem isn’t necessarily finding clients – it’s attracting the right clients for you. Having a catch-all approach might seem tempting to achieve a wide client base, but is this method guaranteed to keep bringing you clients that allow you to provide your optimum service?
We spoke to Therapy Directory member Rima Shah, of Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies. Rima specialises in women’s health issues, including fertility, pregnancy and the menopause. By offering a service that is different to the norm, Rima narrows her client base to people that only she can specifically help with, separating herself from others in the industry.
When did your interest in providing treatments for women’s health issues start?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when, but I’ve always enjoyed studying human biology and did that for my A-levels and into university. After I graduated I worked as a medical temp, where I moved around various hospitals in London and worked in a number of admin roles including as a PA to various consultants.
It was during this time that I spent a lot of time in a couple of big women’s hospitals in London and this really got my specific interest in women’s health fired. After I qualified in my various treatments I found that I was attracting many women who had concerns about their health and so I studied even more in this area and decided to specialise.
However, at that time there were very few courses available that I liked. So I used my expertise and wrote my own diplomas in maternity massage and maternity reflexology, as well as reflexology for women’s health – all to help other practitioners who are keen to specialise in these areas.
How does this niche (as a specialist in women’s health) allow you to market yourself as a professional?
Being able to market myself as an expert in women’s health means that I can specifically target the clients who would want me the most. As is the way in this day and age, online presence is everything and having a good website is a must. With all of this together it means that the marketing of my niche as a women’s health specialist is out there. It is from this that I have received many press invitations for radio, tv, and magazines, as a speaker.
What is the best aspect of your job?
I know most practitioners say this, but it’s helping people and seeing the changes and improvements to client’s lives. In my job, I get to meet such a variety of people, from clients to other practitioners such as doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and even authors. I really enjoy working with people, so this is a great job for me.
What would a typical day look like for you?
No two days are the same for me, but normally once I’m up, showered and ready I’ll have a good breakfast and then hit the admin. I use the mornings to get on top of emails, phone calls, client bookings and follow ups as well as dealing with accounts. I’ll use that time to get myself ready for the clinic – gathering client forms, taking other paperwork for clients, etc.
Around lunchtime, I’ll travel on the Underground to my clinic (in central London). I’ll aim to get there about half an hour early so that I can have a catch up with the lovely reception teams and set up my room ready for the clients. The rest of the afternoon/evening is spent doing treatments (with a short food break in the middle), normally finishing around 8pm.
Once I’m cleared up I’ll travel home, have dinner and wind down ready for bed. I don’t run clinics at the weekend so those days are purely leisure.
What advice would you give to people currently studying within women’s health?
I would ask yourself why you want to specialise in women’s health and is there a specific aspect of it that you want to really get into – such as fertility or PCOS or pregnancy or menopause. Once you have worked this out I’d go and gain as much information as possible to help you in your treatments. There are now so many great CPD courses in all these areas and it’s a great investment for you to do the training.
Read lots. It’ll give you not just more information, but more confidence too. And, if you meet someone who mentions a particular condition or medication that you’re not familiar with, don’t try to wing it. Be honest and tell them you are not familiar with it – ask them to tell you more. Let them know you will look into it for the next time – read and research.
Women are much more ready to take their health into their own hands and are always welcoming the integration of complementary therapies into their well-being journey – so people like us are exactly what they are looking for. Most of all, enjoy it.