Sheffield therapist offers free reflexology sessions to clients who can’t afford to pay

Written by Jamie Moughton

A woman from Sheffield has started providing free reflexology sessions to clients who can’t afford to pay full price.

Zoe Hartwood, 39, from Netherthorpe, began offering reflexology and other complementary therapy sessions on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis when she started her business, Hartwood Well Being, earlier this year.

Considering well-being to be a human right irrespective of income, she believes the current capitalist system we live in isn’t working and wants to challenge it with a ‘financially accessible’ pricing structure.

Zoe qualified in reflexology 5 years ago and is “rebelling against capitalism”

“[Capitalism] doesn’t encourage people to live their best lives. They’re stuck working in jobs they don’t necessarily like because they have bills to pay and houses to run,” she said.

Driven by a desire to help people, Zoe feels there is a lot of injustice in the world. She says she doesn’t want to contribute to that injustice by being “monetarily motivated”.

“We didn’t have loads of stuff when I was growing up, and maybe that attitude has gone with me – that you don’t need money to be happy.” she said.

Zoe is effectively able to provide treatment on a volunteer basis as she works another job to provide her primary income.

While she has prices listed for her sessions, she asks that people only pay what they can as a ‘donation’ that suits their income level, even if that means not paying anything.

Running the sessions from her home, Zoe hopes her therapies can make a real difference to people’s lives.

Shunning the traditional focus on money, she says her interactions with business coaches over the years made her feel like they were taking a cynical approach, targeting people’s suffering to make a profit.

“I worked with a few business coaches who said, ‘if they want to work with you, people will find the money’, and I simply wasn’t comfortable with that,” said Zoe. “I don’t want to use somebody’s pain to get money.”

Working with local organisations, Zoe is trying to widen the awareness of her services through local groups who work with under-privileged people and those with mental health struggles.

Through the practice of social prescribing, where health professionals refer patients to support in the community, she aims to reach more people who need her services, and hopes other healthcare providers will follow her lead.

“It would be nice to grow into a movement of therapists in Sheffield with the same mentality,” said Zoe, however her primary goal for now is to help as many people as she can.

Written by Jamie Moughton

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