Posted by: inshin | October 25, 2010

Sinead Ailill McDermott

My next interview is with Sinead Ailill McDermott.

She has had an interest in holistic healing & natural therapiessince she was a child.

She has been a Usui Reiki Master and healer since 1999 and has also trained as an Angel Guidance Practitioner. Together with her Mother Pauline, Sinead set up SpiritWise Holistic Healing Centre in County Mayo.

The Person

When or at what age did you first feel that you wanted to become involved in the whole area of Holistic Healing?

I became aware of the idea of healing and energies from about the age of 9. However this was not completely new to me. Since I was a toddler I could see people’s auras (the energy around their body) and I could see angels. When I began learning about these things from the age of 9 I felt I was just being reminded of something I already knew. I didn’t tell very many people about this as I wanted to fit in when I was younger. I had been bullied as a child for being different so it took me a long time to feel comfortable telling people. I began doing Reiki healing on a professional level about 2 years ago. Before this I had worked as a tutor in adult education. I wanted to finish my masters in adult education first before I began working full time in holistic healing. Attending college in Maynooth and gaining experience in the field of adult education gave me the courage and the confidence I needed to follow my dreams.

Is there any history of interest in this area from within your family?

My mum, Pauline, has read and studied a lot about healing and about spirituality. She was fascinated by energy healing and I guess she wanted to know more about this area as a result of having a child who talked about seeing angels and feeling energies. I’ve learned so much from my mum. She and my dad have been my greatest teachers in life. My family have always supported me in living my dream ;-).

When you start your day, is there any particular approach you take in preparing for what’s ahead?

When I wake up I think of at least 5 things that I am grateful for. I like to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’. People tend to think of all the things they don’t have and wake up and think ‘oh no it’s miserable outside or it’s a horrible day’. I try to focus on all the things I do have and the good things in my life. Having a positive mentality in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. I also use positive affirmations every day. After I was bullied as a child I experienced very serious bouts of depression for years. My self-esteem was very low at these times. I have found that a combination of all these techniques, and using holistic healing, has helped me to overcome the depression and get to a stage where I’m truly happy and comfortable with who I am.

How would you feel if someone told you that you need never practise Holistic Healing again for the rest of your life and all your material needs would be covered?

It’d be great to have all my material needs covered but I’d have to say there’s no way I could stop doing what I do! This isn’t just a job, it’s who I am. Being true to who I am is so important to me. I get such joy from working with my clients. I love interacting with people and I love it even more when I see a spark in their eye that wasn’t there before. I feel blessed to do what I do.

The Work

You meet many different types of people with different issues, how do you prepare yourself before the session?

Before a session I usually do a grounding meditation so that I am in the right frame of mind for the person coming for healing. I prepare the room and do a space clearing using incense, sage and bells to clear away any stuck or negative energies.

Is it easy to become affected by the client’s issues while trying to help?

People come for healing for many different reasons and some can have some very serious issues. I keep a professional relationship with all my clients and I make sure not to take on their issues personally. You could easily become affected by a client’s issues but it’s so important to protect yourself from doing so. In some cases I may feel I need to refer my clients to other areas of therapy such as counselling, homeopathy or to their GP. I have a circle of other therapists that I can refer people on to if they need it. It is important for me to maintain a professional relationship at all times.

Many people require Holistic Healing services outside their working day, or curious friends may take opportunities to learn more, how do you manage the balance between business and personal worlds?

I do offer treatments to people a number of evenings a week and I work some weekends but not every weekend. If I work an evening then I will take the morning or afternoon off. Many of my friends are either massage therapists or do card readings so we barter treatments. It’s very handy. I make sure to take time out to enjoy my hobbies and interests such as cycling, hill-walking or going to rugby matches ;-).

How do you approach your own work when it comes to reviewing it after a client session?

Well I keep notes on all sessions so I can review what’s coming up for clients over a period of time. Keeping notes also helps me to debrief after a session.

The Clients

What sort of people do you see?

I work with people from all walks of life. I’ve worked with people in their 80s right down to babies just a few months old. I have clients who come with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues. I’ve done sessions with pregnant women; young children; elderly people; and even on animals!

What methods of connecting with clients do you use, which do you find effective and why?

In terms of getting my name out there, I find the internet very useful. I blog on my website at Social networking is also great to interact with people – I use Twitter (I’m @sineadailill and @Spirit_Wise ) and Facebook (at ). But there’s nothing to beat some face to face interaction though – especially in the work that I do.

Is it important to you how clients react to your work?

Yes I’d like to know if what I’m doing is helping people. I have a good relationship with my clients and usually get feedback from everyone that comes to me. It’s usually really good feedback too, which is great! I feel great when I know that the treatment has helped or if somebody has felt the benefits of attending one of our workshops.

Have you received negative criticism and if so how have you managed that?

No I’ve never received any negative criticism personally for the work that I do. People are curious about what I do, some may be sceptical and I completely understand that. I can’t explain how all these things work. I just say give it a try and if it works for you, great. People who come to me generally have some knowledge of what is involved before they come, so there are no surprises.  In discussions I often hear negative criticism about holistic healing or alternative therapies, but their criticisms are often based on lack of awareness, information or understanding.  I don’t try to convince anyone, people have choices.

The Business

While we see Holistic Healing as perhaps vocational in the medical area, it is also very much a business, what has been your approach to starting and establishing the business?

I began doing Reiki when I was 15 years old but it wasn’t until the last year or so that I began doing it professionally. I’m lucky that my family has had a lot of experience in business so they’ve given me a lot of advice and support in getting it going as a business.

Do you feel that there are support mechanisms in place for new or developing businesses?

Yes. I’ve been along to Open Coffee meetings here in Mayo and they are a great way of finding out information and getting to know other local business people.

What is your opinion of the impact of the internet on your business?

The internet has been great for the business. I use social networking sites to advertise and interact with people. I’ve had a lot of business coming through from our own website and from an online holistic directory. I think at least 60% of my clients have come through the internet.

We’re More than half way through 2010, and a difficult period in business, do you feel that there are signs of things improving and what can we do to encourage more confidence?

For me it’s all about positive thinking. I am a great believer in the law of attraction and having a positive mental attitude. People are beginning to appreciate the more important things in life. I think the future is bright.

Finally, the Healing, many people probably don’t understand what Holistic Healing is, if asked, what brief summary would you give to help them understand more.

I usually refer people to my website for specific information on holistic healing.  Here are some short extracts from my blogs:

Holistic healing (also referred to as alternative or complementary therapy / medicine), is an umbrella term used to encompass many different approaches to health and wellbeing.

For example:

  • energy healing (reiki, pranic healing, bioenergy);
  • therapeutic skills (massage, reflexology, aromatherapy;
  • self-help skills (relaxation techniques, meditation, visualisation) and
  • diagnostic practices (muscle testing/kinesiology, iridology, Kirlian photography) and many more.

What they all have in common is the idea that you have to take account of the whole person, mind, body and spirit; that you cannot approach a person as if he or she is a machine.  People are complex and holistic healing practices and techniques try to address the underlying problem at an energetic, emotional or spiritual level.   Energy healing rebalances the life force energy within and around the human body.  If the energy system becomes imbalanced or disturbed in any way it automatically affects the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of a person.

——–  End  ——–

Thanks to Sinead for agreeing to take the interview, remember to check out her site. You can also follow Sinead on Twitter and Spiritwise on Twitter

Excluding introduction and images, ©Denis Vaughan.

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