Therapist Spotlight: Meet Jo

What’s the best thing about being a massage therapist?

I absolutely love meeting people, talking with them and hearing their stories. From this you can gain such an immense sense of the human spirit; whether it is people recovering from illness or those training for their first marathon. All my clients inspire me in one way or another.


What three words best describe you?

Sensitive. Courageous. Inquisitive.


Any hidden talents?

Not so much a hidden talent but in a previous life I channelled my love of fashion by working as a stylist. I began this during my time working at Selfridges Department Store whilst I was completing my degree at London University of the Arts. My highlight was styling Martina Hingis for the Wimbledon Ball having won her first championship back in 1997!


What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Probably being an au pair for a short while in Switzerland at the age of 16. I was looking after a four year-old boy who could speak fluent German and French. I couldn’t speak either language very well so he was able to run rings around me. Needless to say I didn’t last long in that job!


Tell us about your family.

I was born and raised in Barnes, south-west London. I still live in the area with my two sons, my husband and labradoodle, MacKenzie. My mother comes from a proud Welsh family and we have in fact traced our family tree back to William the Conqueror (he is my 31st Great Grandfather). I am sure his Nordic spirit of adventure still thrives within me! My parents live very near to me as does my sister, her husband and three daughters. We are a small but very close family.


You have two hours free time, how do you spend it?

I am a complete water baby so I would definitely be swimming in the ocean. I believe it’s the feeling of freedom I experience when being submerged in the water – seeing the horizon and knowing there are no boundaries. I really enjoy any water sports especially paddle boarding, wind surfing and scuba diving.


Where is your favourite place to be?

My husband is French and we have a house by the sea in Royan, south-west France. I have been raised in a house of Francophiles and absolutely love the country; the delicious cuisine, wonderful culture and amazing cities. It would have to be a warm sunny morning at the house, popping to the local boulangerie to buy a baguette and croissants before heading to the beach for a swim!


What is the one thing you can’t resist?

Anything sweet – biscuits, cake, chocolate. Sugar is my nemesis! I have the worst sweet tooth and struggle to control it.  Having read much about this recently, and realising it is incredibly addictive and harmful to all the body systems, I am working towards giving it up.


What’s your motto for life?

Do not regret anything you have done, just those things you wish to do and haven’t. You only live once!


If you could pick anyone, who would you pick as your coach/mentor in life

Coco Chanel. She was a strong woman who was full of wisdom, self-assurance and broke through the glass ceiling. She changed not just how women view themselves, but how society views women. She once famously said “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”


Best film/series/book….

Best film – Dirty Dancing. I remember watching it when I was 12 and then immediately starting it again. It really was my ‘coming of age’ film and I still love it to this day.

Best series – The Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer. MacKenzie, my dog, is named after the lead character, MacKenzie McHale.

Best book – any historical fiction. I loved The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.