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Meet the mum championing women’s wellness with Aberdeen reflexology movement

Shona Tough is determined to help women feel better, and is championing all things wellness right here in the north-east.

Shona Tough launched her own reflexology business and hasn't looked back. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
Shona Tough launched her own reflexology business and hasn't looked back. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Shona Tough has a beaming smile, and a sense of general contentment about her.

That could be because she’s doing what she loves, and it helps that her office is rather beautiful as well.

Think soothing shades of pink, pampas grass, cosy blankets and relaxing music.

It’s a far cry from many people’s nine to five, but that’s why Shona is determined to keep a sense of calm.

Her compact work space sense offers a soothing balm to ease stress, anxiety and all manner of health problems.

Shona Tough trained in reflexology in 2019. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

And Shona’s magic hands provide the ultimate healing touch, thanks to her love and expertise in reflexology.

People from all walks of life have crossed the threshold since Shona launched with a permanent base last summer – in a bid to find balance and take some time out.

Busy mums and even footballers have put their tired feet in Shona’s capable hands, because there’s no one set type of client who can benefit from the practice.

We popped along to Aberdeen Wellness and Reflexology (abwr), to find out why this north-east wellness clinic is the place to be, and even tried it out for ourselves.

Healing hands

Found within The Boxes at Chapleton near Stonehaven, the thriving community of small independent businesses based within colourful shipping containers is the perfect spot for Shona.

She counts the likes of Fits the Scoop, Mr Dun and Replenish as neighbours, alongside RedRocks and Devenick Drinks Co.

Each wee space offers something that bit different, and Shona is thriving in her chosen speciality.

The soothing space has been a work of love for Shona. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

She vows to help all her clients relax, recharge, and rejuvenate, having decided to retrain in reflexology in 2019 after raising a family.

She scooped the highest possible UK qualification in reflexology, and now she’s determined to spread her knowledge.

Switch off from your troubles at abwr. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

“I was at Energie Fitness in Inverurie doing pop up and corporate events,” said Shona.

“But I was selling out so quickly, so this opportunity at The Boxes was perfect.

“My big passion is women’s wellness, when my children were younger I did not take enough time for me.

“Now I am a massive advocate of taking that time.”

Women’s wellness

Shona sees women of all ages, from those in the postnatal period to “the menopause and beyond”.

She is hopeful that discussing women’s health is becoming less taboo, with greater focus on the menopause and how women can be impacted by hormones.

“I think people like Davina McCall have been fantastic when it comes to discussing things like the menopause,” said Shona.

“I also think women are much more open in general.”

Shona’s big passion is women’s wellness. Here she is doing a reflexology session with Society writer Ellie House. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

There’s a whole host of issues which Shona can help treat, and she always asks new clients to fill in a detailed consultation form.

This enables the session to be tailored towards any issues, from anxiety to hormonal health.

“Reflexology includes work on the feet, hands and face,” said Shona.

“I believe that feet are mini maps of the body, and we’re getting to a point where reflexologists work alongside the rest of the health profession.

“All the London hospitals have inhouse reflexologists for example, and I’m so keen to promote the benefits of reflexology locally.”

But what is reflexology in the first place?

Benefits of reflexology

Described as a “non-invasive” health treatment, a session can help to create a state of dep relaxation, which in turn can improve wellbeing.

It is based on the theory that different points on the feet and hands correlate with other areas on the body.

When pressure is applied to these points, Shona can rebalance these areas by manipulating the body’s natural energy channels.

So far, so soothing.

But what are the benefits?

The benefits of reflexology are numerous, with a focus on destressing. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

“Reflexology is a fantastic way to improve sleep, because it calms the body and the mind,” said Shona.

“I see it as a badge of honour if someone starts snoring during a session.

“Reflexology can help with so many different things; from headaches and migraines to gut health and anxiety.

“My clients are amazing; I often treat doctors, nurses and midwifes alongside athletes, football players and just about everyone in-between.

“It’s true that my big passion is women’s wellness, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see men.

“People quite often send their husbands along, for example, word gets out so I do have male clients.”

Shona Tough sees a wide range of clients at her base in Chapleton. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Shona believes that people have become more switched on to the benefits of wellness post pandemic, with a greater focus on finding ways to relax.

She’s also keen to promote fellow businesses in the wellness industry, with a whole host of goodies available at abwr.

“I stock re:treat Apothecary, and Rewild, I really want to champion local,” said Shona.

“I’m also really honoured to be the first independent stockist for The Herbtender, which is also stocked at the likes of Selfridges.”

The next chapter for Aberdeen Wellness and Reflexology

Shona is now getting ready to launch an exciting blog called Touch Point, alongside weekly wellness emails.

“My vision is to feature people who are experts in their field,” said Shona.

“I’m also thinking of a wellness centre, right here in Chapleton.

“A collective of therapists, offering everything from spiritual to yoga.”

Society editor Ellie House gave reflexology a shot. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

In the meantime, I was lucky enough to try out a reflexology session, having filled in the consultation form prior to our interview.

After getting cosy on the treatment table, I wondered if so many blankets, however fluffy, were necessary.

Shona explained that as the body starts to relax and even fall asleep, the room can start to feel a little chilly because the body temperature naturally drops.

Lots of goodies are available to buy at abwr, including products from local businesses. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Next, we talked through which wax to use on my feet, with each concoction tailored towards different needs.

From scented to a wax aimed at helping ease anxiety, there was a broad choice and Shona took the time to explain the benefits of each.

We settled on a mix geared towards the menstrual cycle, and Shona got to work.

It can take a few sessions before you notice the difference in the run up to and during your period, but the process was very relaxing.

There was lots of alternative pressure, and Shona explained beforehand that she liked to remain completely silent during the session, unless a client asks for chat.

This enables you to drift off and be at peace with your thoughts, without worrying about making conversation.

It’s a big thumbs up from Team Society, so get your trotters along to see Shona asap.

To book an appointment or find out more, head to

Or follow abwr on Instagram @abwellnessandreflexology