Response to “The need for a new way” by Athol Williams: Part 2 – Rosalia Cranfield

The saddest part of the current criminal justice system is the inherent judgement that maintains silence between people until it is too late and the damage is done. Unfortunately, this disempowers them from being able to make impactful change. Instead of merely pointing fingers and placing the blame, (both subconsciously and intentionally) making right the wrongs is what really counts. Everyone deserves the space to just “be,” and tell their own story – because we are all guilty of doing wrong at some stage in our lives. At Creative Touch we are actively involved in “re-scripting the orientation of African organisational & societal life.” We believe that through reaching out and creating a space of connection, we are able to facilitate an area which closely reflects positive values, serving the common good through responsible leadership, and clean living. Not only is this transformational on many levels, it also embeds hope amidst damage caused by self-serving decisions, actions and behaviours at all individual levels, even within business and other organisations.

Similar to Athol Williams’ comprehensive reparation plan, we aim to provide people and institutions with practical support, improving the workplace and management experience of staff throughout the South African economy.

In my last blog post we briefly mentioned Chapman’s Languages of Love. In this one we’ll explore them in line with Creative Touch’s ethos.

Within the scope of our Workplace Chair Massage experience, our Corporate Languages of Acknowledgement © help you to go beyond what an ordinary manager would do. Let’s take a look at what this means:

Quality time: Your employee has the full presence of the therapist during their massage treatment.

In addition, they experience safe touch – an inherent need within a space where it is unlikely to be experienced.

Receiving gifts: The Workplace Chair Massage is a novel experience, especially as many staff cannot afford to treat themselves on a regular basis.  Time and financial constraints restrict many people in this regard. Receiving the treatment speaks into self-acknowledgement on a neuro-physical level, as oxytocin is released. The effects of this are even greater when this happens during the course of a work day.

Acts of service: The Workplace Chair Massage demonstrates that the “company / institution / stakeholders / managers” care enough to make the arrangement and to investment in their staff. You are consciously “implementing a remedy”.

Physical touch: The Workplace Chair Massage provides tangible restoration for the receiver.  The therapist adjusts the massage technique to suit the receiver’s unique preference.  Healing takes place on a holistic level, cultivating positive energy for the employee, nourishing creativity, boosting their immune system and improving their ability to cope. In the longer term, this means decreases in absenteeism and boosted office moral and enthusiasm.

Words of affirmation: Seeing the employee as a human being affirms that they are not a number.  70 % of our communication is nonverbal – the Workplace Chair massage treatment affirms that “I appreciate you. You are valued, cherished, and deserving.” The therapist delivers this message through her hands by acknowledging them as a human being, but most importantly she calls you by your name which is scientifically proven to have many psychological benefits.

Let’s filter more love into our lives, starting on an intra-personal level (self-to-self),  in our work environments as well as in our social interactions with others.  Please send your suggestions to me directly at (subject heading “Inviting Love”)

Response to “The need for a new way” by Athol Williams: Part 1 – Rosalia Cranfield

The greatest good for everyone involved is what maintains a successful systemic model.

I felt inspired by Athol Williams’ presentation, “An Ethics-Based Approach to Corporate Reparations,” that I attended at The Graduate School of Business in Cape Town recently.  For me, the presentation spoke into the issue of immoral decisions made by individuals that are systemically supported by a whole institution. By doing nothing about a problem, or standing by when things seem to be wrong, you inherently become part of the problem. Both our actions and inactions can impact a situation.

Moreover, people are naturally good, and good people unfortunately can make poor decisions when faced with external pressure / stressors.  Not only does this happen in the workplace, it happens whenever there are interpersonal human relationships. Without seeking to understand where they are coming from, or how they got to that point in their lives it is easy to attack another.  Radical transformation can only occur when we are compassionate.  Providing a space of support and a listening ear, situations can be repaired, and underlying causes identified. Overall, a compassionate approach seeks to reach constructive practical changes, which are far more beneficial to the system as a whole.

The greatest good for everyone involved is what maintains a successful systemic model.  We see it so often when employees are worked to the bone, which adds to the to normalised daily trauma that our staff experience within the context of South Africa, one of the top 5 countries for crime in the world.  So how do we as management best demonstrate to our staff that they are acknowledged and appreciated?

If someone feels like they truly matter, they will go above and beyond everything they do. This is a well known fact. Creative Touch has the simple, practical solution for corporates who want to helping their staff to feel like they matter. Based on Chapmans languages of appreciation in the workplace, Creative Touch has developed the Corporate Languages of Acknowledgement in the workplace ©.

Creative Touch assists your institutional change through the Workplace Chair Massage. These treatments are non-disruptive, short and succinct – tapping into the root of relaxation for your staff.  During the 5 minutes for call centres or 20 minutes for corporates, the workday is uninterrupted and staff may continue working throughout their treatment.  All administration, including scheduling staff and zoning departments, is part of our job.  We literally need your “go ahead” – it’s that easy!

This cost-effective, non-invasive solution not only de-stresses your staff, but also enables you to build your professional relationship with them too. In the act of gifting your staff a monthly Workplace Chair Massage, you are consistently filling their socio-emotional jar. This becomes a place for fond memories of you to sprout, creating (facilitating) an association between the treatment and you. It’s likely that they will begin to think far more highly of you, and if not, it at least gives you a conversation starter and common ground. 😊

If you’re seeking to increase your staff’s productivity, reduce their stress, build the professional relationships within your company, and reduce rates of absenteeism while meeting your CSI responsibilities, take the action! Confirm your booking with us, and we’ll help you to show another side to you.

Quietness is sought, silence is imposed. – Rosalia Cranfield

It is important to understand the difference between silence and quietness.
Silence is imposed through disempowerment, often in a defensive mechanism to ensure survival, coming from a space of helplessness. Becoming silent is a process that can take place over time or during a single experience, especially when a person steps into an unfamiliar territory.   Quietness, on the other hand, is safe, nourishing, tranquil, light, and inherently embodies beauty. Quietness is sought through a process of feeling comfortable and at ease, providing a space for healing to take place. Through my years of experience, it is absolutely essential for a client to be invited into a space of quietness, trust and safety with their therapist.

After my consultation ritual, clients effortlessly discover a place of quietness.  They are able to fully surrender, release their stress, embracing the appropriate healing that happens in my treatments.

As a result of establishing a connection during the consultation, I relax and connect with the client on a holistic level.  I consciously acknowledge to myself they are human in just the same way I am – recognising the “Wabi-Sabi” within each person, their imperfections, pain, past-sufferings, and inherent beauty. Tapping into gratitude for the opportunity / permission of the therapy in a safe environment, I am able to connect on a deeper level to what needs to be done in each moment of the session.  

Energy exists within every one of us, we have the power through choice to decide how to direct that energy.  Energy can either be put to good or to bad, and it is important to find a space for our energy to be directed to that which is for the highest good. Our thoughts play a  big part in the “how” of where we ultimately choose to action our energy. Moreover, our environment strongly impacts the choices we make when directing that energy.

During a massage the therapist transfers energy via their own positive thoughts and intentions towards the client, carried through their hands.  The client then has the opportunity to receive the directed energy, highlighting the importance of creating a safe space through boundaries and values for both client and therapist.  The therapist’s energy connects with the client’s energy. If the intention is to soothe and to relax then the client will be able to enter into a space of quietness, allowing their body to constructively integrate the energy to heal – just like a mother would soothe a baby.

“HOLD ME TIGHT” – SUE JOHNSON: Rosalia Cranfield

Recently, I spent a few days at a close friend’s not too far away from home. I had felt quite shaken by the fire on Lion’s Head on Sunday night – lashing wind fuelled blazing heat which engulfed the mountain above where I live.  The uncontrollable environmental destruction triggered feelings of helplessness in me.  I reached out for social support.

For many years I held onto a conditioned belief that I did not have the capacity to ever live with someone else.  This impacted my approach to relationships and long-term commitments. Vacating my flat, I sought solace at a close friend who invited me in warmly. When I arrived, she showed me to my room and asked if I needed anything. I felt cared for when she briefed me on little things, like how the lights and security system work. I was only planning to stay for the night but ended up staying longer.

I treasured this time with her and I realised how happy and comfortable I felt.  She said that I could stay as long as I liked. Although we’re both independent with busy lives, we shared periods of time together and chatted about the fact that neither of us ever thought it possible to share living space  with another. Importantly, we realised one has to find the right person to share with, whilst being respectful of their boundaries, and feeling safe enough to voice and uphold one’s own – without feeling compromised.

Since getting home to my apartment I realised that boundaries are important to me especially within my attitude toward relationships and love.  We often think about love in a romantic context, but love can also be that support of a kind and caring friendship.
In fact the Greeks had 6 words for different types of love.

A healthy loving relationship has been scientifically proven to have many positive benefits on one’s health and longevity.  Love nurtures, creating feelings of safety, comfort and stimulates oxytocin (which is the cuddle hormone).  Spending time alone is positive in many ways, but ultimately human beings are social creatures.  We seek connection, comfort and harmony in our own environment, just as I had sought out on the evening of the fire. Having someone to interact with helps to quieten some of that haunting negativity that so easily arises when one is caught in a destructive tendency.

I believe that each person needs to be aware of their own “love philosophy” as part of their value system. Awareness of one’s own boundaries and any expectations of the other’s, needs to be communicated clearly and in a non-threatening way. This solidifies the foundations for healthy interactions all-round.


“When to say yes, how to say no, to take control of your life” (Cloud and Townsend, 1992)

Cloud and Townsend give a practical visual impression of boundaries as “lines that separate one’s property from another’s”.  To me, this definition is a straightforward, grounding concept that I can apply in my daily life.  Those “lines of separation” resemble building blocks that root one’s value system, becoming distinguishing factors that separate our responsibility from that of another.  Furthermore, boundaries extend, impacting the decisions that we make based on our ability to say an authentic “No.”

My boundaries have evolved considerably throughout my life.  My biggest transition involving boundaries came about during my early adult years, navigating the shift between tertiary education and working in a corporate environment. This change involved exposure to more people within the work-space, broadening my perspective on life. Instead of only interacting with my family and school friends, I began to establish myself and my boundaries within this new environment.

In my late 20’s I started working as a Somatologist with a prestige guest compliment at the Cape Grace Hotel.  During this time, reflecting on my own boundaries, I went through a process of integrating them within a broader context.  To me, this meant having to navigate my own values in relation to the hotel’s values, whilst meeting the guests’ expectations.

Back then, a key value of the Cape Grace was to “under-promise and to over-deliver on the guest experience” ensuring elements of pleasant surprise, evoking the clients delight.  This maintained the vision of ensuring each guest experienced a “home away from home”.  Navigating a fine line between keeping things too casual and being too professional / rigid, I sought to have a friendly and respectful approach. To me, this meant introducing myself to the guest clearly and professionally whilst maintaining a personable disposition.

Starting each treatment became a ritual. What was usually a customary administrative task became so much more than a mere 5-minute consultation. I used active listening skills coupled with gentle probing questions, which allowed the clients to safely express their needs and feelings to me without interruption.  Based on their responses, I could honour the client’s values, the hotel’s values and my own, synthesising the three whilst ensuring the highest quality treatment for all at that point. In addition, pre-empting guests needs whilst ensuring their optimum levels of comfort during treatments. This enabled me to make sense of the diverse values that I was integrating within this therapeutic context.

Ultimately,  my goal was to mimic that same positive experience of contentment that I experienced as a 14-year old having my first deep cleanse facial treatment.

The positive guest feedback I received mainly mentioned the consultation experience. Right from my first point of contact with the client, boundaries that maintained the values of all parties involved were clearly established. Integrating all three value systems meant that not only did they feel like their needs were being exceeded, I aligned my therapy within the context of the hotel’s world-class spa offering. Oftentimes one feels like this is a daunting or even impossible fusion to achieve, but not only can I tell you that it is completely doable, I can also help you to achieve it within your own offerings.