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Louise Douse launches Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio at Woo Wellness in Bishop's Stortford

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A university lecturer has launched a new business to help the people of Bishop's Stortford improve their health, reduce pain and increase mobility.

Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio, which is based at Woo Wellness in Sworders Yard, is a professional and private clinical massage and movement studio run by Louise Douse.

The 32-year-old, who attended Richard Whittington Primary School and Birchwood High School, opened her business last month after 11 years lecturing at the University of Bedfordshire.

Louise Douse of Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio. Credit: Danielle Hughes (20482237)
Louise Douse of Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio. Credit: Danielle Hughes (20482237)

Louise, who is now working part-time at the university and three days a week at her studio, has extensive experience as a clinical massage practitioner and is a movement specialist.

She studied performing arts at De Montfort University in Bedford before completing a PhD in dance and wellbeing at the University of Bedfordshire. Her research addressed the physical and psychological components of wellbeing within dance and has been published in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing (2017). She has also recently completed a project assessing the impact of an intergenerational dance project on participants' wellbeing.

"During my PhD, I began training in advanced clinical massage to provide a deeper understanding of the role of touch on whole-body wellbeing," said Louise. "My interest in massage stemmed from my own experience of chronic pain as a result of hypertonicity from over-training.

Louise Douse of Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio. Credit: Danielle Hughes (20482239)
Louise Douse of Bodyworks Massage and Movement Studio. Credit: Danielle Hughes (20482239)

"After lecturing at the University of Bedfordshire for 11 years, I found that I was getting most fulfilment from my engagement with community research projects, where we were making an impact on participants' wellbeing. After being full-time for four years, I realised I got a lot of fulfilment from working with clients through massage and was missing that."

Louise, who has family in Stortford and Stansted and used to do ballet with Jenny Patrick as well as attending classes with Graham School of Dance and the Apton Dance Centre when she was a student, has invested around £5,000 in her business. That includes the cost of clinic software that enables her to design self-care plans which clients receive as clearly narrated exercise videos, delivered straight to their smartphone or computer.

"I see this becoming a busy hub for supporting people to find more movement in their daily lives," said Louise. "I would like to expand the classes that I offer - which currently include a bodyworks class and functional fitness movement class - and potentially move to a premises of my own, maybe in a little more than five years.

"I would really like to create an indoor movement studio that is promoting natural movement – like an adult jungle gym!"

Visit www.bodyworksstudio.co.uk or www.facebook.com/bodyworksmmstudio to find out more.

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