Giuliana Wheater BA Hons Exon, MCMA college/teacher member, is an award winning complementary therapist, Indian head massage specialist, author with Jessica Kingsley Publishing, teacher, trainer, public speaker, story massage instructor and special yoga practitioner.
Giuliana has been featured in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and The Sun, The Western Daily Press, BBC Radio, FHT International Therapist magazine, Optimum Nutrition, Closer Magazine, Bath Life, Somerset Life, Exmoor Magazine, Autism Eye, Autism Parenting and the Complementary Medical Association Magazine.
Mother to a son on the autistic spectrum, she has worked with therapies for almost all her adult life. Having had a very interesting life ,where at times she knew and felt directly what it was like to ” have no voice “, she has advocated and fought for her son ; something she now uses to help bring real hope to other children, adults and their families.
She blended five different therapies, proven neurological and scientific research, instinct and years of experience into a very refined and specialised head massage when her son hit an extremely difficult time in his life. He has suffered from debilitating OCD and when his needs went unnoticed and unsupported within a one size fits all mainstream system, he plummeted so badly that he developed mental health issues for a while and entered a terrifying period of his life where he was drowning with no voice and no expectations. In spite of his noticeable high intelligence and obvious gifts , he was surrounded, as so many are in mainstream schools, by a total lack of expectation. There was very much the prevailing attitude of ‘special needs equals stupid’, an attitude that is wholly untrue and unfair. Ollie had his voice removed and his dreams crushed. By internalising this pain, fear and broken heart, he became temporarily very unwell and entered a very frightening period of his life. Giuliana refused to stop believing in her son and began to fight.
Thanks to his trust in her and his bravery and feedback, she came up with the method which has seen her take it to schools all over Somerset , then further afield, registering it with the Complementary Medical Association and training others not just nationally but internationally, featuring in publications such as Autism Eye and more recently signing a publishing contract. Ollie found his voice again and gained eleven A to C GCSE’s and three A-levels A* to B and is now studying at his first choice University. His confidence was mended and his gifts outside of school bloomed once more. This is why Giuliana works so hard through her therapy and by believing in every person she touches, to help them find their voices again. She maintains to this day that the children and adults she works with are her biggest teachers . It only takes one adult to believe in a child, to understand them, and their life can be so different.
Giuliana writes blogs and articles prolifically, advocating for those with different abilities and sharing her personal journey as well as her professional one. She runs regular talks, workshops and trainings both in the UK and abroad in a way that everyone can access, regardless of income or ability. She has trained organisations such as MIND, Special Yoga, the UK Indian Head Massage Community and ADHD, ASC & LD Belgium. She now trains staff and teachers in mainstream and specialist schools and colleges in her therapies. She also speaks at conferences such as the ADHD, ASC & LD Belgium annual conferences abroad. She also trains groups of parents, carers and professionals privately. Her therapy is always growing as she insists on being herself in a perpetual state of learning and growth.
Giuliana has a wealth of experience working with the autistic spectrum, SEN registers in schools from dyslexia, dyspraxia and a whole range of learning differences, mental health challenges, eating disorders, OCD, behavioural issues, emotional trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, psychosis, Tourette’s, insomnia, selective mutism, Downs Syndrome and alopecia.
Giuliana gained a degree in French and History from Exeter University, before spending a year after her graduation working for magazines at Conde Nast Publications. She has written all her life since childhood. For nearly all her adult life she has been a fully qualified complementary therapist gaining an indian head massage diploma in 2006 and becoming a Reiki master teacher with the UK Reiki Federation in 2005 and going on to train in Special Yoga.
What Giuliana found in the course of her work is that very often “special needs” is often seen as “stupid” and yet in her experience, Giuliana has found the very opposite to be true. She feels the most gifted and interesting people she has ever met are amongst the young people on her books.Different is never less. She takes pride and joy in the fact that within mainstream schools where children are referred to her as labels, she hands them back as young people with voices and gifts. She works very much with them rather than on them.
She feels so strongly about this, that as her work has grown as an author and speaker, and her training sessions have begun to take her all over the world, she has decided to train up some of the young people she works on within schools by offering apprenticeships so that they can take over the work from her. She empowers everybody she works with and has a tremendous rapport and understanding of the young people she works with . As she says, ” I can give somebody all my wisdom but the compassion to reach out and touch others in a healing way requires compassion and these kids I’ve worked with have that in spades. They know what it’s like to feel they have no voice, to be surrounded by low expectations. They deserve a voice, a chance at a future with all it’s potential.”
Her talks, trainings ,articles and books are every bit as much about giving people a voice as well as opening them up, melting their barriers, gaining their trust and helping them to find their gifts. The healing power of therapeutic touch is very needed. Young people are about so much more than school and academics. They are full of gifts. They are our future. What we put into them sows the seeds for what we are creating for our world in the future. Touch should be taboo no longer. It is healing, it is safe. It makes a difference.
Her dream would be to set up therapy rooms in every school, particularly mainstream where the one size fits all system discriminates against so many and ignores the many other gifts we all have which school,cannot even begin to tap into. The whole person, ” wholistic ally ” should be nurtured.
To see some of Ollie’s poetry, please click here.