#MindBodySpirit – Louise Wilkes, Hands4Hounds
Highlighting the amazing work some of our customers and business friends do in the field of Mind, Body and Spirit. (This one’s for you and your furry family members!)
Welcome to the third blog in our #MindBodySpirit series aimed at helping business owners take better care of themselves. We are so privileged to work with, and know, a wealth of local businesses from many different industry sectors. Off the back of Mental Health Awareness week we thought it would be a great idea to highlight the amazing work they do in the field of Mind, Body and Spirit, and at the same time, connect people in business.
Next in our series is Louise Wilkes of Hands4Hounds. Now Louise is a little different because she actually helps you look after your four legged fluffy woof family members, so this is more of an indirect way of helping you take better care of yourself. Lots of people running businesses use their time walking their furry companions to relax and reset after a busy day, as well as keeping fit – but their health and wellbeing can seriously effect how their owners feel too. That’s where Louise come in – find out she can keep both them (and you!) healthy, and “walkies ready” for longer and how her business has risen to the challenge during the Coronavirus crisis.
Lisa: Hi Louise, thank you so much for being part of our new blog series! Can you tell everyone what you do?
Louise: Hi Lisa, thank you for including me, I know how I help business owners is a little different from some of the other fantastic businesses you have shared so far! Hands4Hounds offers canine remedial massage to dogs with mobility issues due to arthritis, accidents, injuries or surgery. I work with dogs from puppies to seniors, from pets to working or competing dogs. In short, I help keep your dog able to enjoy life and walks for longer. Which means as a business owner, you can enjoy their company, the exercise, and benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing for longer too.
Lisa: Can you tell us how the Coronavirus Pandemic has effected your business?
Louise: I have had to stop working as massage is clearly a hands on treatment and usually takes place in the dog’s own home.
Lisa: Has anything good come out of going through this crisis?
Louise: I’ve been able to use the time in a really positive way to update my training and continuing professional development. I’ve attended Zoom meetings, watched Facebook lives, caught up with webinars and generally read more. I’ve learnt about elbow dysplasia; wolf behaviour and how we can apply it to domestic dogs; the placebo effect, pain and evidence based medicine; how to perform joint mobilisations, stretches and range of movement exercises and how stress affects the immune system to name but a few. Although the coronavirus stopped my business from operating overnight, I’ve been able to use that time to develop my own skills and learn so much!
Lisa: What have you learnt about you/your business during this challenging period?
Louise: Having the opportunity to do more reading and learning also highlighted just how important our pets, and especially our dogs, are to us. There are several studies which have shown how stroking an animal reduces blood pressure, increases the production of both endorphins, our body’s natural pain killers, and oxytocin, the feel good hormone. It is also recognised that being in nature reduces stress and at a time when we’ve been kept in other than for our daily exercise, those of us with dogs have had a walking partner who has been delighted with the extra attention, and has given us a reason to explore areas close to home we might not otherwise have discovered.
Lisa: What services are you able to offer/offering right now?
Louise: At the moment I’m preparing to start working again under guidance issued from the professional bodies who oversee the animal complementary therapy sector. I can see dogs outside without the owners present if possible, so I’m getting in touch with those owners who I feel this would work for.
I’ve also been continuing to offer telephone or email consultations to advise owners on how to care for their dogs at a time when the vets are dealing with urgent cases only.
Lisa: Thanks Louise, that’s been really interesting! You’ve been able to use this unexpected time away from “business as usual” to learn and develop your already extensive knowledge, and with the aid of technology and social platforms – all from the comfort and safety of your home. I know you’ll be pleased to get your hands back on hounds very soon, and I am sure they, and their owners will be very pleased to see you.
If business owners (and anyone else!) reading this are interested in finding out more about how Louise can help your hound, and by default your health too – you can get in touch with her using any of these methods:
Mobile: 07761 826736
Email Louise, Hands4Hounds
Watch out for the next post in our #MindBodySpirit blog series – coming soon! If you missed our first two #MindBodySpirit blogs you can read them here: