About our founder, Maxine Stead
ALEXANDRA HOUSE was established in 2007 by Dr Maxine Stead, a former nationally recognised clinical researcher within the NHS, academia and pharmaceutical industry.
For 14 years Maxine worked in cancer research. In 2001 she obtained a PhD for her research into the quality of life of women with cancer and has always been interested in improving people’s quality of life.
Her dramatic change in career was prompted by increasing stress levels and blood pressure coupled with feeling less and less rewarded in her work.
She took the decision to establish her own business, helping people with busy jobs and lifestyles like her own to take time out and to develop a different approach to life.
Since then, Maxine has built the spa into one of the best-known retreats for emotional and physical wellbeing in the north of England. She is qualified in Indian Head Massage and Reiki and has also practised yoga and meditation for several years.
Maxine has a keen interest in understanding the underlying science, physiology and psychology of health and wellness at an energetic level and has a deep belief that many illnesses and dis-eases are caused by an imbalance in the body’s emotional state. Maxine’s knowledge and interest in holistic health underpin the spa’s ethos and offering.
Maxine is also a member of the Board for tpot (The Power of Touch), an organisation established to eradicate the challenges of treating clients with cancer and other limiting conditions in UK spas and salons.
Maxine has achieved recognition for herself and the business in a number of industry and local business awards including the prestigious ‘Four Bubbles’ in the Good Spa Guide and the BiY Awards in the ‘Rockstar Customer Service’ category. The spa has also been shortlisted in the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards and the Network She Business of the Year awards.
Maxine is a published author, having contributed a chapter on ‘How I set up a successful business in the recession’ to the ‘Your Success’ book published by Mithra Publishing and contributed to a feature on Reiki in cancer treatment in Touch magazine, published by the Reiki Association.
Maxine continues to contribute to academic research, this time with a focus on holistic and complementary therapies. Maxine is collaborating with researchers at the University of Huddersfield looking at Reiki and how it can improve the quality of life for cancer patients. Their research has shown that Reiki can help by lowering anxiety, depression and fatigue.
The study looked at how Reiki could be a beneficial tool in the self-management of quality of life issues, giving people an escape from what they were going through, and found that there is a real case for Reiki being added to the roster of complementary therapies that are available via the NHS for cancer patients. The study was published in the International Journal of Palliative Nursing in 2016.