Training course leads to new career for Barbara.
Barbara Ellis then spent four years studying for full practitioner qualifi-cations, gained two further years of clinical experience and has now opened Optimum Health in Ponteland.
She said: "It's taken a long time but the seven years of study and experience have all been worth it.
"I'm absolutely passionate about the fantastic benefits of these amazing techniques that have brought health and wellbeing back into to my life and that of others."
Her previous position was as a speech therapist in a Northumberland College for young adults with learning difficulties.
In order to help students via touch therapy, Ellis spent three weeks in Cheltenham on a Chinese Tui Na course - a form of therapeutic massage through clothing that has been used in China for more than 2000 years.
She said: "When I arrived back in Northumberland everyone asked me where I'd been and what I'd had done as I looked so much younger and relaxed."
It was this that decided her to take the plunge and retrain.
She is now a Registered Tui Na Therapist and Master Practitioner in Tui Na, Sports Massage and Acupuncture (all with Distinction), and works in the practice with her son Alun, who is similarly qualified in the techniques.