Gill Tree made medical history when in 1963 she was the youngest baby in the world to have open heart surgery. Subsequent visits to her consultant during her early years Gill believes, led to her developing an interest in preventative health care, initially through diet and exercise and later in complementary therapies and practices such as yoga and meditation.
Through her school of massage Essentials for Health which she owned for 22 years, she became a pioneer within the massage industry introducing many new programmes to the UK such as Massage in Schools from Sweden and The Infant Massage Instructors Certificate from the USA. Author of the “Manifesto for a Pro-Touch Society, Gill intends to influence society both as individuals and in our organisations to become more nurturing and pro positive appropriate touch.
A respite foster carer for 2 years Gill become a single adoptive Mum in 2011 and in 2014 Gill changed tack and is now providing touch and resilience programmes for adoptive parents.
“In the past I have trained with Dr Deepak Chopra in many spiritual and health practices and meditate when I can. The mind body connection has always fascinated me and this is increasingly so as I help my son heal from the trauma of his early years of neglect. I want to impart all that I have learnt to empower stressed out adoptive parents through bonding programmes and resilience training”.
For Gill her turning point was in fact a crisis that became an opportunity to rewrite the story of her life. Having decided on a career in social work she followed the usual career path until 1989 when a journey to Kenya proved to be her wake-up call. After climbing Mount Kenya to almost 17,000 feet and disorientated by altitude sickness, she became lost for five days. Alone and frightened, Gill had to call upon all of her personal resources and on her beliefs. She discovered an inner strength that up until then has been untested. A strength that twenty years later she is still able to call upon, to take steps forward in living a true and authentic life where she is truly living her purpose. “It may sound clichéd, but once I returned home I really felt that I’d been brought back for a higher purpose”.
Initially energised by the challenge, without food and walking and climbing twelve hours a day, she lost two stone and got more and more exhausted as time went on.
“I could close my eyes and be asleep on my feet and I had to will myself to go on. It was close to Christmas and I made a decision I would not spend Christmas alone on that mountain. That gave me the determination to continue. In the end, I was found by two very kind Kenyan men on Christmas Eve”
On her return to London, after a period of recovery and adjusting, Gill decided to take a good look at herself, her work and her ambitions“I was instinctively drawn to train in Massage, but at that time purely as a hobby. As soon as I qualified, I started teaching introductory workshops at my local leisure centre, and invitations to teach kept coming my way”.
On returning to the UK from Kenya , Gill became fascinated by how the mind works during survival and pressure situations. She trained in NLP (neurolinguistic programming) and other disciplines and devised a stress management programme based on her experience, research and training.
Gill is a lively and entertaining public speaker, and regularly presents at national events and exhibitions in the health arena. Gill’s energy and enthusiasm for life is infectious. Gill is also a public speaker who tells her jungle story. The story is a parable to stimulate people to embrace life and stretch themselves physically, mentally and emotionaly and to rekindle the spirit, energy and motivation that bring people alive. “Many people are on the finding themselves journey, but haven’t lost themselves sufficiently!” “My experience in the danger zone will encourage others out of their comfort zones”.