We met Nichola at the Bride of the Year Show, alongside her husband who both co-own Sensational Events, when we got speaking to Nichola we discovered that she also has her own incredible business.
We were just so impressed with what she does and wanted to learn more! Because it really, really helps people to make it out of their mind and into their heart and body on the biggest day of your life!
Nichola is known for being an ultimate guru when it comes to alternative healing, she kindly shared her wisdom of tapping and all she learned along her healing journey.
Especially how a bride can incorporate it into her big day!
So let’s get into it !
Can you tell us a little bit about Graceful Healing? How did you begin your journey into the world of alternative healing?
“I found everything to do with alternative complementary therapies after a pregnancy loss at the end of 2019. I had been working as a nurse, and I had a love-hate relationship with it as I wanted to have more time with my children. I was still doing a couple of nursing shifts on my summer months off and when I lost the baby, it just really gave me a shake up. It made me look at what is really important. I had to figure out how I could get through the grief.”
“I had experienced counselling before, and I had found it was good. I thought I would feel better after I had gone to it, I would still feel very frustrated when I would get home having talked about all the things that I needed to get off my chest initially, and then that would still come home with me, I want it took me longer to kind of come down from a counselling session than I expected. I didn’t really know how to navigate that at the time and I had two children under three. It was just so busy, so that’s when I went looking for another way to kind of deal with grief.”
“I knew counselling was going to be tough. So I wanted to find a way to make it a bit easier. Thankfully, this is when I found tapping. The woman who was my practitioner, had experienced baby loss too as her baby died at five days old. I felt that connection with her and trusted she would be able to guide me through this part of my life.”
“Tapping helped immensely with PTSD. It helped me get through my grief or baby loss and then getting pregnant again. Following the loss, I was so stressed and anxious and worried. But the tapping is an incredible way of what you do in tapping as you identify the issue. You look at it, and you say yes, this is why I’m so scared. I’m scared because of what happened to me before.”
“When you’re talking, you’re identifying the issue, and you’re accepting that this is how you’re feeling. Then, when you tap on the meridian points, you’re relaxing your body, you’re sending a signal to your brain saying ‘you’re safe,’ basically. So it leaves you feeling calm, and you can leave a session feeling, ‘I’ve got this. I’ve dealt with that. I’ve handled it, and now I’m back to me again.’”
“Instead of still having the grumblings of anger, annoyance or frustration after going to counselling. It’s like you might need to go for a walk afterwards or something to just really kind of let that move through you where it’s happening. It’s within a couple of minutes you feel the difference.”
What was the major thing about tapping that made everything a little bit easier? How did you feel when you first discovered it?
“I felt so validated. I felt so seen. I felt like I could actually say things and accept myself that it was okay to have those feelings. Of course, I had those feelings that there was no shame in it. And that was the transformation for me was accepting who I am and accepting the feelings that I have.”
Many of us as children are told not to cry and to just get on with things but as Nichola discovered, this can be quite harmful to a child and may still linger as an old belief in adulthood.
“Tapping has really helped to go back into situations where I felt shame as, to release those emotions as we still carry them in our bodies. If they’re stuck, they find a place or little pocket in your body to launch themselves into. But the tapping release is so nice. And it’s just so much more beneficial than going around harbouring and all these horrible emotions that can really make us feel crap.”
You mentioned how you tapped on your lower back, it’s almost like you’re tapping into whatever’s in that muscle or in that part of you. Isn’t it true that you store memories in your fascia, your connective tissue in your body?
“Yeah, so that’s actually a very good question, and I’ll tell you how I realised that my pain was more emotional. I had been to the osteopath because my back was out. I was just doing a stress release on the fascia, just a maintenance kind of session, your alignment is fine. There’s all this, your structure is okay. So this was just working on the fascia to relieve our stress and tension. So it kind of just got me thinking about it.”
“Then I happened to be assisting in a practitioner training course where we learned about tapping on pains. And there was another person, an older woman who had a three year old, and she was having this exact same pain on and off since he was born.”
“It wasn’t there initially, after birth, it was a progression. So again, when you’re tapping into it, this memory comes up because that’s what’s being released. At that moment. That’s what’s shown itself presenting itself to be let go of.
So when you’re tapping into your pain, you’ll say like you’re surfing or this pain in my back, and then you’re just noticed, and what is coming to my mind, what’s being shown to me now, at this moment for me to let go of, and during that session, all I kept thinking about was the shame that I carried when I was pregnant on my first pregnancy because I wasn’t married to how other people’s judgments made me feel that way, although I didn’t feel it myself. It was me allowing other people’s judgment to affect me. I was vulnerable and I was younger then.”
So your mission with Graceful Healing is to educate other people about tapping number one, because I think it’s one of the lesser known forms of therapy or holistic practices. Is that right?
“Amazing! And then how did you get into the world of weddings and events? How tapping can kind of help them with some of the emotions that come up when you're planning or when you actually have the big day itself?”
“I decided to take the plunge into the wedding world with Sensational Events during lockdown,” she says. Nichola realised that she could help people with wedding day nerves similar to herself when she was getting married.
“On the morning of the wedding, I was just so overwhelmed. I knew I would be emotional but the actual level of emotion that came out that morning was unbelievable! I could feel it when I saw the church and I started to panic.”
Nichola explained that her father was worried and asked, “Do you not want to go ahead with this?”
She really did want to go ahead but was overcome with emotion and anxiety. She believes that if she had known about tapping then it would have really helped her.
“Everyone always says to you, ‘just have a drink, and you’ll be grand’ but there’s only so many drinks you can have when you’re not so grand. There are other ways of supporting yourself and that’s what I want to tell people.”
Do you think that the Irish health and wellness industry is aware of tapping and its capabilities?
“It’s not as well known as it could be. I think more awareness can be created around it. And if people were more open to it, the benefits are just amazing. It’s very similar to acupuncture. So tapping is like that just without the needles. It’s tapping on your acupressure points.”
You mentioned the meridians earlier. So the meridians are in Chinese medicine, they’re the pathway that the energy in your body moves, right?
“Yes, exactly. So by making those your energy, your chi will flow more easily. And you’ll feel better if your mind-body connection is more in tune.”
What is your plan for graceful healing in the next few years?
“My plan is to bring as much awareness as I possibly can about tapping on the benefits of it and bring people together. I’m bringing women’s circles to my locality. And to just yeah, just keep spreading the words and make it benefit as many people as possible.”
If you had one dream client or creative project, what would it be and why?
“My dream client would be a woman who is on the cusp of a big transition, maybe they’re either entering into marriage or having their first child” says Nichola.
If you could change the world with tapping, what would that look like?
“It would look like teaching our children,” she explains.
“Having classes in schools about tapping on about our meridian points and about our energy flow, so that when they feel overwhelmed or stressed, or anything is bothering them, they can use this technique.”
Nichola explained that her daughter loves a type of tapping which is pinching between her fingers and when we asked her about it, she explained that it really helps to calm down.
“Your fingers are all of the talking points linked into your brain. So they’re linking into the amygdala, which controls our fight, flight, freeze response. So when we’re stressed and running on adrenaline, if you tap on any of the points, it’s the easiest way that you’ll get a quick sense of relaxation.”
“You’re sending a signal to your brain through these little points that are saying ‘you’re safe.’