A young massage therapist reckons she’s the best in the business – because she is BLIND.
Robyn Magilton says her disability and learning braille means she has tuned into her sense of touch better than fully-sighted masseurs – allowing her to give the best rub downs.
The 25-year-old has set up her own business called Robyn’s Holistics and currently offers massage, aromatherapy, reflexology treatments, including hot stone massages.
She said: “I think that my increased sense of touch helps.
“People always say, ‘Oh, you’re blind, you must have really good hearing or a better sense of touch’. It’s not that my senses are better, it’s that I learn to use them in better ways.
“Using a sense of touch, I know what to use more. I can feel muscle and tension build up.
“When I was growing up, I was taught to use braille. When you learn braille, the nerves in your fingertips and palms are enhanced. I would say that could definitely lead to the tactile being benefited.”
Robyn, who is from Doncaster, South Yorks., graduated with a Level 3 Diploma in Complementary Therapy from Doncaster College in 2015.
She had previously graduated with a 2:1 in a law degree from Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorks., but struggled to find work in her home city as a legal secretary.
Speaking about her decision to change career paths, she said: “[Complementary therapy] has always been something that interested me. I always wanted a career where I could help people.
“I love to help people, whether that be to relax, de-stress or help ease someone’s pain, brought on by day-to-day activities or more serious conditions.
“When people tell me I’ve helped them or made their life easier in some way, that’s the most rewarding and that’s what I love about my job.”
She said: “I am registered blind, however I do have some vision. I do what I can to overcome the obstacles life gives me and feel that this limitation allows me to be a better therapist, relying more on what I feel than what I see, helping me to find tension and deal with it.
“We only get one life, so we need to make the most of it.”
With limited sight, Robyn knew that she would have trouble booking people in using the traditional methods, like a paper diary.
She already uses a long cane to get around and a large magnifier to read print.
But she worked with her boyfriend Alistair Mackay, 31, to set up an online booking system that she and her clients could use easily.
Using accessibility features on her phone, Robyn can book appointments, reschedule treatments and keep clients well informed on their upcoming session via automatic email.
Inviting new customers to her clinic which is based in Thorne Road Chiropractic Clinic in Doncaster, she said: “If you’ve had a massage in the past and there hasn’t been enough pressure, I’d like to see if I can do better.”
In future, Robyn hopes to complete further qualifications to be able to offer more treatments or set up her own local clinic.