Relaxing business

While some businesses can’t entertain the prospect of relaxing amidst a recession, for Greencastle complementary therapist Josephine Gallagher, relaxation has become her business.

Nestled in the wide open landscapes of Greencastle, the Angel Sanctuary offers a wide array of complementary therapies from aromatherapy to transformational healing inside the serenity of Josephine’s healing centre.

With almost 20 years experience, she reveals, “My approach to health, well-being and healing is centred on treating the whole body as a unit, mind body and spirit. I treat a lot of depression, back pain, a lot of emotional work, infertility. I work with children, adults and all types of illnesses and conditions.

“Usually when a person comes to me on their first appointment, I would incorporate a number of different therapies, releasing fear, stress and anything that they’ve been holding onto and stopping them from moving forward in life. Some people are afraid to move forward because of old things that have held them back in the past,” she adds.

“The emotional, mental and spiritual is all connected. There is no point working on the physical if you don’t first clear out what is holding the body on the emotional side. Everything that manifests from a physical body starts from the emotions. Clearing out things in the past helps the physical body heal itself.”

A psychiatric nurse from 1975 up until 1993, Josephine reveals she commenced her journey into complementary therapy as a result of her own health problems.

“Because of my background and I knew medication wasn’t the answer. I wanted to go down the complementary route. I had a great understanding and affiliation with essential oils and working with nature.

“Because I worked in psychiatry, it gave me a great understanding and a good foundation for the work I’m doing now. On some level I’ve always worked with the emotional aspect”.

However she stresses that the therapy complements medication, it is not an alternative. “It’s very important that patients stay on medication unless a doctor tells them otherwise. I work in conjunction and alongside doctors. I do say to them, you work with your doctor, I’ll work with you and we’ll all work together.”


Since Josephine went down the complementary path in 1993, the Greencastle woman has continued to build on her skills and reputation for therapeutic healing, culminating in the opening of the Angel Sanctuary six years ago. The sanctuary now attracts clients from all over Ireland, who visit Josephine’s healing centre.

She also reveals that along with regular massages, visiting Claudy chiropractor Kevin Cloudman in 1991 greatly helped her overcome her own health problems. Two of the Greencastle healer’s children, Emir (28) and Michael (24) are now qualified doctors of chiropractory, offering their service from the Angel Sanctuary.

The sanctuary, once the site of the Gallagher family’s turf shed, has been transformed through a farm diversification project. “It will be officially opened six years now in July,” states Josephine.

The Go For It programme also gave the complimentary therapist a tremendous boost in establishing her own business. “It was quite daunting. There is a lot of fear behind starting a new business, like there is in starting anything new,” she says. “Sometimes we swim against the tide, but its not a bad thing either. When you’re faced with challenges in life, it makes you stronger. I never call it a problem, I always call it a challenge.”

Family support was crucial too, from her children and especially from husband Raymond. “Only for him I wouldn’t be in this work,” she asserts.

“It was slow in the beginning, but once we got up and going, I now have people all across the board, from Belfast, Dublin, from all over. It’s not just based in the Tyrone area.”

Josephine has also branched out  into passing on her skills through courses run from the Angel Sanctuary. “I have a lot of students coming in wanting to know more so they can use it on their families.

“When I started this work, it was for myself, my husband Raymond and my children. I never thought it would go outside that. But when I seen the healing benefits our family got out of it, I realised, it would be great if everybody could do this, so I teach the work,” she says.

While stating she never stops  learning, she does impart this advice to anyone considering starting their own business. “You have to have a passion for what you are doing. When you have a passion for what you are doing, everything works so smoothly. I sleep and breathe my work, this is how I live.”

She continues, “For people starting out I would definitely recommend the Go For It programme. We did the farm diversification project because of where we live, but for anyone not living on a farm, the Go For It programme is very good and I would recommend that and I do recommend it to all my students I teach.”

For more information on the Angel Sanctuary visit or contact 028 8077 1475. You can also contact Josephine through or through the Angel Sanctuary Facebook page.