A hub of health advice

All too often women are so busy with their lives they forget to take time out for themselves. That's why Norwich complementary therapist Kathy Webb has created the Holistic Hub for Women – a place where women can go to get advice about health and wellbeing. EMMA LEE finds out more.

Throughout Kathy Webb's career there has been a recurring theme – she loves meeting and working with people.

As a teenager she worked in a hairdressing salon on London's King's Road, before becoming an actress, then moved on to working in radio and now is a well-established complementary therapist.

'I like to create things and I like to connect with people,' she says over a coffee at a Norwich cafe.

Kathy is meeting Life Matters to talk about her exciting new venture. She has created the Holistic Hub for Women – a place where women can go to get advice about their health and wellbeing.

Kathy is a qualified therapist, specialising in women's health. She also works as a masseuse and reflexologist, treating people with all stages of cancer at the Big C Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

She also holds qualifications in person-centred counselling skills and is currently training in cognitive behavioural therapy and natural nutrition.

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In 2005, inspired by her own experiences of pregnancy and becoming a mother, Kathy launched Life After Birth.

When there's a new addition to the family, naturally the focus is on the baby.

But motherhood brings with it a host of new emotions and aches and pains.

'Life After Birth is for women who don't feel their minds and bodies have quite slotted back in the way they should,' she says.

The following year, Kathy launched the Women's Clinic to open up her Life After Birth treatments to all women – and the Holistic Hub for Women is an extension of that.

What Kathy's experience of working as a complementary therapist has taught her is that all too often women just learn to put up with health 'niggles' and can be very hard on themselves.

'It struck me just how limited information can be for everyday health issues. If you're diagnosed with something there are usually support networks available. But for the average women, like me, where do you go to get information on how to look after yourself?' she says. 'I think we just learn to put up with things. You don't like to talk about something that makes you sound a bit moany.

'We don't like to fuss. I think people are amazing and I don't feel people are heard.'

To enable Kathy to reach as many women as she can the actual Hub is a website. There visitors will find information on Happenings, Therapies and Preparations – not just those offered by the Holistic Hub, but from other businesses and individuals which have been recommended by great word and mouth and, where possible, have been personally checked out by Kathy and her team.

From clothes, hair, make-up, food, drink, to emotional support, physical therapies, helping women get back into work, right through to organising great events where can let their hair down and have some fun, it's about offering women options which can help them to connect mind, body and emotions, encourage them to feel more confident about who they are and to feel good.

The hub was launched with Kathy's first 'pop-up' event, at the Green Grocers in Earlham Road. It's planned that Pop-Up Holistic evenings will happen every few months.

There women can meet practitioners, therapists and specialists and have taster treatments.

There will also be Pop-Up Projects, which will take a more in-depth look at a specific health-related topic.

The first, which is scheduled for the summer, will be about emotional eating.

The Hub's second major area is therapies. Kathy has two treatment rooms – one in the Golden Triangle and one at Neal's Yard Therapies in the city centre.

Kathy offers a broad range of treatments and therapies and can offer advice on others that are available from practitioners in the area.

And the third area of the Hub is Kathy's Preparations. She started out making bespoke products for clients to enhance their treatments.

They became so popular that she has decided to launch two small collections: Deep Facial Night Balms and Palm and Sole Essential Balms.

Kathy's enthusiasm for what she does and her approach to wellbeing is really inspiring. She's a believer in the benefits of women taking some time out for themselves without feeling guilty.

'Women shouldn't be embarrassed about how they are feeling – if you want to buy a new lipstick then so be it,' she says. Just taking the time to sit and relax with a cuppa can make a world of difference – and with this in mind, Kathy is developing a range of Holistic Hub for Women Nutritional Brews, which are packed with good things, such as hot ginger, lemon and honey for sniffles and immune system boosting apple, ginger and cinnamon, which it is hoped will be available in a city cafe soon.

'It's so important to get that time – our lives are so busy,' she says.

For more information about the Holistic Hub for Women phone 01603 501788, e-mail theholistichub@btconnect.com or visit www.theholistichubforwomen.co.uk