Like most women, Louise Graham loves to be pampered with a relaxing beauty treatment or massage.
But until recently, it wasn’t something she was able to indulge in.
Louise, from South Shore, was diagnosed with epilepsy five years ago – which meant she felt too nervous to visit most beauty salons.
Her condition could cause her to suffer a seizure at any time, and means there are certain contra-indications therapists would need to be aware of and take into account.
But since staff at Bodizown, on Lytham Road, South Shore, have officially become Epilepsy Aware – an accreditation from the Epilepsy Society, she can fully relax and enjoy a pampering session on a regular basis.
Serenity Lopez, the salon owner, believes in offering holistic treatments which benefit people’s overall well-being, and is especially keen those with disabilities and medical conditions should not be excluded.
Mum-of-one Louise said: “I read about the salon on Facebook and the fact it was epilepsy aware and couldn’t believe it.
“I was so pleased and have been coming here ever since.
“The fact the staff are trained and understand epilepsy means I can completely relax and enjoy treatments like massage, Reiki, and feel safe and reassured.
“I can relax knowing if I was to suffer a seizure, the staff would know what to do.
“I know they will look after me and I can really de-stress – staying calm is an important part of managing the condition.
“Before, I put off doing things like going for a beauty treatment, or massage, as I wouldn’t have felt comfortable.
“A condition like epilepsy takes away a lot of your independence.
“I’m so glad I found out about Bodizown.
“I’m able to come to the salon on my own, my family don’t have to worry because they know I’ll be safe and well looked after.”
Bodizown owner Serenity says she feels passionate about providing holistic treatments, to benefit the body and mind, to as many people as possible.
Alongside Bodizown, she has also set up Community Therapies, which sees her and fellow therapists providing treatments in the community for people in assisted and sheltered housing.
Bodizown offers a range of massage, reflexology, Reiki, Indian head massage and other beauty and holistic treatments.
She said: “I worked as a nurse for 30 years and while working as a nurse I trained in what used to be known as ‘alternative’ therapies.
“For years I worked as nurse and in holistic therapies at the same time.
“Since 2010, I have been working in holistics full-time and I opened the salon in June.
“I feel passionately about how holistic therapies can benefit everyone, and the importance of improving overall well-being.
“And this includes people with medical conditions or disabilities – why shouldn’t they be able to experience the same treatment as everybody else?
“We want people with conditions like epilepsy, diabetes, oncology patients or pregnant women to feel safe, to feel comfortable, to be able to relax and be pampered.
“There are different considerations with some medical conditions, such as different first-aid protocols, different products or oils should be used or just practical points.
“For example, with someone with epilepsy, you wouldn’t leave the room and leave them alone, as you need to be there, just in case.
“I’ve recently been in touch with Fibromyalgia UK. We already do treat some customers with fibromyalgia, but I’m really keen to keep updating our knowledge and skills.
“Holistic therapies can benefit anyone – they help reduce stress, reduce anxiety, relieve tension and pain, they have so many benefits for the body and the mind.
“That’s why we also run Community Therapies, for people who, perhaps due to physical disability, are unable to come into the salon.
“The treatments can make such a big difference for them.
“I’m really proud of my team – Chloe Trickett, Jenny Norcross, Francesca Pipitone, and Denise Booth – I’m always testing them to make sure their knowledge is up-to-date and we can offer the best.”
To contact Bodizown, search on Facebook, call in to 227 Lytham Road or call (01253) 365380.