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Blind ambition works in Sunderland

Date 16 Feb 2007

A new salon in Sunderland has turned a potential hindrance into the cornerstone of its practices. The owners of Sunderland Complementary Therapy Centre, Laura Maloney and Chris McCormack, are both registered blind. They find that rather than inhibiting their work it instead helps to heighten their other senses, which in turn can make them more in tune to an individual’s needs.

Laura said: “People look to complementary medicine to help with a variety of medical conditions from skin complaints to irritable bowel syndrome. Certain techniques can help with raising energy levels, improving sleeping patterns and lower stress levels, all without the need for conventional medicine which more and more people are moving away from. “If you shut your eyes you rely on other senses to help you to maintain your spatial awareness such as touch and smells and it’s these other senses Chris and I use when we’re treating someone."

The business, which was set up with help from Social Enterprise Sunderland (SES) and is on the second floor at 98 High Street West, specialises in offering treatments such as body massages, Indian head massages, aromatherapy and reflexology. Both Laura and Chris trained at The Royal National College for the Blind to learn the complementary therapy skills needed for their business and Chris also works part time at Sunderland football club as a masseuse.

As well as SES the Sunderland Complementary Therapy Centre received funding from the Princes Trust, Sunderland Youth Enterprise Trust, Sunderland City Council and Action for Blind People.

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