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Physical Empowerment Case Studies 

Carrie Thomas-Brooks

All of our members are different and need help or support in different ways. We care deeply about each and every one of you and it means so much to our team to know that we have helped a little, even if it is YOU that's done all the hard work!

A big thank you to Carrie for sharing her experience. Carrie completed a Physical Empowerment course in 2022 and now helps others as a volunteer for Physical Empowerment. Read her story below.

I had no idea what to expect when I walked into my first Physical Empowerment session. I was receiving support from a local Women’s Aid group and had been signed up for this course.

I had recently left an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. In doing so I had also unearthed historic trauma that had been buried deep for decades. I attended the course because I was desperately looking for a way back to myself. As if leaving the relationship was not hard enough, you are then left not knowing who you are or what you want.

I felt foolish the first few weeks, imposter syndrome I suppose. The women in the group had experienced all types of abuse, emotional, physical, financial. Surely, I was taking a space that could have gone to someone more deserving. Each week we talked together, meditated, stretched, and yes learned self-defence. It took time for me for me to open up but, when I did, I was totally accepted by the coach, Philippa, and the other women. No one thought I was a fraud or taking up a space from someone more deserving.

Each week I felt more like I belonged. I suffered deep depression, and some days would struggle to even get out of bed. On those days I do everything on the count of three. “1,2,3 Get up. 1,2,3 wash, 1,2,3, feed the kids, etc.”

My goal each Tuesday would be to just get to the group. I always felt beter for it because once I got there, I was accepted as I was. Some weeks I participated fully and even brought my own contribution to share. Other weeks, my attendance was all I could give.

I’ve always been eager to take control of my own healing. I have done this through yoga, meditation, and self-study around various holistic therapies. What is wonderful about Physical Empowerment is that it isn’t simply an instructor taking us through self-defence moves. The group is ours. We bring our own contributions and support each other. There is no ego. It is a true women's circle.

As I grew more confident, I would bring litle meditations and healing concepts to share with the group, even taking sections of that week’s sessions. This allowed me to find joy in sharing my love of healing and to discover what my goals are. I want to bring healing that is available to everyone, regardless of their situation.

I was encouraged to continue on this path by Physical Empowerment, who secured funding for me to complete an Indian Head Massage course and do some basic training such as First Aid and safeguarding. Then Physical Empowerment CIC were awarded funding from Postcode Community Trust for me to do further training, set up and rent a wellbeing room in our community centre and support other women. In the Wellbeing room, I provide Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Crystal healing to the women on the course. The Postcode Community Trust funding allows me to offer my services for no charge to the people who need it the most. Currently women are referred to me for treatment through Physical Empowerment.

My life is so different from the first session when I walked in not knowing who I was or what I wanted. I now have a clear path and confidence that I deserve to be on it.

Carrie Thomas-Brooks, November 2023

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