Healing hands reach Central America as reflexology expert takes her skills abroad

Bury Times: Betsy Keating with women at her reflexology fundraiser at the Caritas Centre in Bury and, inset, giving a hand massage Betsy Keating with women at her reflexology fundraiser at the Caritas Centre in Bury and, inset, giving a hand massage

A PASSION for the healing power of alternative therapies has taken one dedicated woman on a journey across the world.

Reflexology advocate Betsy Keating, aged 65, has travelled to Central America to share her skills in reflexology with patients suffering HIV at a hospice in Guatemala.

The former district nurse who lives in Rossendale, held a fundraiser at the Caritas Centre at St Joseph’s Presbytery in Peter Street, Bury, which raised £100 to buy essential oils to take with her to the hospice, called Project Vida.

In Guatemala she will meet Dee Smith, who runs the hospice and previously taught at Derby High School in Bury.

Betsy said: “Reflexology and massage is so beneficial to patients because of its restorative and relaxing powers. I gave a hand massage to one of the ladies who came down to our fundraiser and she said she could not believe how pampered the creams and oils made her feel.

“I am so excited to be going to Guatemala and sharing my knowledge of therapies with people at Project Vida who can then use those skills to help patients. The fundraiser helped pay for me to take my equipment to the hospice which will assist with my teaching.”

Betsy, who has offered therapies at the Caritas Centre since it opened last year, showed attendees a short film on Guatemala.

Betsy founded charity Bury African Outreach in 1992 and taught reflexology in Uganda for 10 years. She is currently in Guatemala for three weeks.

Betsy added: “The Caritas Centre is used as a base for many community groups to meet such as Pepperpot Group for older people and the Companions in Loss group and is a fantastic resource. Since the event took place, one of the Caritas Centre’s most valued volunteers, Kathleen Suckley, has sadly passed away.”

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