17 Degrees Mag


Falkirk Business Hub, Falkirk, FK1 1LL

Featured Stories

Podiatry Plus – Sarah Tough Q&A

Sarah Tough is originally from Grangemouth, but now lives and works in Larbert. She studied at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she earned a BSc in Podiatry, which is a required qualification for employment in the NHS.

Sarah opened her practice, Podiatry Plus, in Larbert in 2013. She chose the business name, Podiatry Plus, to keep the title simple. She also explained that the name allows for expansion in the future. She helps patients who suffer from hard skin, calluses, corns, and verrucae. She also offers reflexology and assesses overall foot function.

What initially inspired you to become a podiatrist?

I studied reflexology first, which sparked my interest in feet! Feet are crucial for balance and mobility and, as a podiatrist, I can keep patients walking and active without pain. Being able to improve someone’s quality of life is a great reward. I always smile when a patient leaves saying it is like walking on air!

You are HCPC registered, can you explain what this means to potential customers?

HCPC is a professional organisation which qualified podiatrists are members of. They only register people who meet their standards so that they can practise safely and effectively. They also check the quality of training courses so that when someone completes one meeting their standards, they can register that person.

What treatments do you offer?

I offer routine foot care and advice, corn and callus removal, verrucae treatment, diabetic foot management, ingrown toenail treatment, cosmetic nail reconstruction, general podiatry care in adults and children, and the Lacuna method for fungal nails.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

A great treat for your feet! Not only is reflexology relaxing, but it can also: improve nerve function and blood circulation, eliminate your body toxins, boost energy. Overall, it’s an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an hour. Reflexology can also be combined with a routine treatment. In this instance, you would receive 30 minutes of a routine treatment and 30 minutes reflexology.

What does community mean to you?

I care about our community and how things affect it. I have been an active member of the local Rotary Club raising funds for lots of interesting projects. My favourite was the Santa events at Christmas time, with the wee ones’ eyes popping out their heads to see Santa Claus!

I have worked with a few charities on providing foot care for people who could not afford it in the past. I also do some work with Falkirk Football Club.

How has the pandemic affected your industry?

Like lots of local businesses, Podiatry Plus has been affected. But thankfully I have a loyal patient group who have supported me through this. I have put in place a few changes to keep myself and my clients safe and well. I have extended time between patients and ask clients to use hand gel on arrival and departure. I also ask if my clients can please wear a face mask and I have put a screen in the clinic for extra protection. And although the clinic has always been extensively cleaned, I have increased cleaning procedures.

What has been the greatest challenge over the last year?

My greatest challenge over the last year has been the loss of my mother. Anyone who has lost their mum will understand the empty feeling. But a loss during a pandemic prevented real celebration of her life. It prevented friends and family providing personal comfort as well. Although, we plan as a family to have a big get together to celebrate her life when we can. A lot of people have lost loved ones during this pandemic, and this is a quote that helps me: “They have gone from sight, but never from our hearts.”

How do you spend your free time?

I am lucky to have both daughters and their families stay close by. I love spending time with them and cooking Sunday dinners with the whole family (pre Covid, but something I am very much looking forward to again). My next big love is travel, so I hope to go all over the world before I get too old!

Do you have a business motto?

Your feet deserve every bit of care and attention like any other body part because healthy feet are happy feet.

What’s next?

This year my husband and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage, so I am working on an interesting fundraiser for Strathcarron Hospice who also celebrate 40 years in 2021. There will be more details on this in the next edition of 17 Degrees Magazine, watch this space!

Featured Stories

Tryst Dental Q&A

At Tryst Dental they are care passionately about the long-term health of the community they are based in, around Stenhousemuir and Falkirk.

Through education, informed choices and partnerships within the community they aim to change the dental health and general health of their patients for the better.

How long has Tryst Dental Practice been serving the local community? 

Since the 1980’s!  Lesley, the Principal Dentist, grew up in Dunipace and all our team members live within Falkirk and the wider Forth Valley area.

What initially inspired Lesley to become a dentist and open the practice? 

Lesley had an interest in dentistry whilst in High School and completed her school work-experience at Tryst Dental Practice. She went on to study at the University of Glasgow and returned to Tryst for her vocational training period after qualifying as a dentist. She was retained on a permanent basis before she found herself with the opportunity to become the practice owner.  She is Tryst through and through.


Describe the team? 

We are still quite unique in that we are currently an all-female team. Although this is not by design, it has given us a different dynamic.  We have a mixture of experience and youth which brings a balance to everything that we do. We have a wonderful team of individuals who are friendly, committed to providing excellent care, and very supportive of one another.  The girls have dealt with some exceptional challenges in the last 14 months or so and their ability to maintain standards and their friendships have made us very proud.


Why would someone join Tryst Dental practice? 

At Tryst Dental, we care about the long-term health of the community.  Through education, informed choices and partnerships within our community we aim to change the dental health and general health of our patients for the better.  Patients will receive a friendly welcome, be treated with respect and understanding and given information and advice to help them to make informed choices about their dental care.  We will provide support and signposting for patients who require additional help to benefit their health and well-being.

Patients will also appreciate our commitment to community and to the NHS and will help us further improve the health of our surrounding population by educating and encouraging their friends and neighbours within our community.

Business motto: We will give you the right advice, the right treatment, at the right time.


What other treatments are offered at Tryst? 

Although Covid has focused our attention on supporting the provision of NHS dental care, we do offer a variety of treatments including teeth straightening, teeth whitening, facial aesthetics and professional facial skincare services.  All of these are personalised to each individual and their needs, to help them to feel confident and to complement their beautiful Tryst Dental smile so they can wear it with pride.


What awards have you won as a business? 

We are proud to have won various awards over the years:


Community Award 2015, Community Award 2017, Outstanding Contribution of the Year 2019.


Best Charity or Community Project 2015 – Finalist

Best Charity or Community Project 2016 – Winner


Best Dental Practice 2017 – Falkirk

Best Community Dental Practice 2018 – Falkirk


Best Dental Care Practice 2019 – Falkirk


Dental Clinic of The Year 2019 – Falkirk


Scotland’s Most Outstanding Community Dental Practice

Most recently, we picked up The Community Award at the Scottish Dental Awards for all the work we do with Stenhousemuir Football Club and others in the community.


Community is at the heart of everything you do, describe why this was so important to you? 

People are our business. We are in a caring profession and fully support a holistic approach to health and well-being. There are many aspects to life that help people to feel happy, comfortable and confident. We can play a part in that by helping someone to love their smile but there is a bigger picture, and we appreciate the importance of what people are dealing with outside of their visits. We have been able to create various partnerships and links to organisations within our community that allow us to signpost people who might benefit from their services and to provide our support, whether that is financially, professionally or simply by sharing what they can offer. Becoming involved with regular social and/or physical activity, for example, could make a real difference to someone’s mental health. This matters. There are too many examples but we have our why… people matter to us. If we can contribute in some way, then that is what we will do.


How has the pandemic affected the industry? 

It has been exceptionally challenging for various reasons. The impact on our ability to see patients in higher volume has been stripped away and dentistry is feeling the incredible pressure of extensive waiting lists, managing daily emergencies and managing the expectations of patients who call us. Dentists and their teams have been working throughout the pandemic and there is a lack of awareness of the contributions that have (and are) being made. Our team initially handled calls working from home to offer advice and to refer patients for urgent care at the height of the pandemic in 2020. We were soon back in practice offering advice via telephone, email, social media and at all hours of the day and night. As services began to be re-introduced, we have had to adapt our ways of working to fit ever-changing new regulations which impact on so many aspects of our day, including changes to our PPE, procedures before, during and after an appointment takes place, testing, upgrading and installing high powered ventilation systems to reduce the time required between patients, managing social distancing within the practice, working in clinical bubbles to keep our team separated appropriately to avoid closure if there was a case of Covid with either a patient or a team member… the industry has faced many challenges and we continue to do so. However, patients are at the heart of where we focus each step of the journey. We don’t yet know what the longer-term plan looks like as we await further information from the government in regards to the provision of NHS dental services but we will continue to adapt and ensure we can provide our patients with high quality, personalised dental care.

What has been the greatest challenge over the last year? 

Managing patient expectations, particularly where information in the media isn’t accurate or portrayed differently to the reality.

Every practice will face its own unique challenges. We are, in many ways, in the same boat but some practices need different modifications to keep on sailing. It is crucial at this stage that patients understand that whilst we do now have provision to provide a full range of NHS services, we do have restrictions upon us and the main challenge we have is time. It is possible that an appointment that previously required 20 minutes of appointment time would now require 40 minutes or even an hour or more depending on the circumstances of their practice. PPE supplies are managed centrally based on up to 10 NHS patients per day per dentist and only 5 of those patients requiring an AGP (aerosol generating procedure) which takes in the majority of treatment types. This means we are lucky if we are seeing even a third of our normal patient volumes per day whilst also managing a backlog of cancelled appointments and cases which have come to our attention throughout the pandemic period. We face numerous calls every day from people who are angry, frustrated at waiting times and often quite aggressive towards our team members. We are so grateful for our dedicated team because they help to keep each other (and us) motivated to continue. All we need is some patience and understanding that we did not create this situation. We find ourselves in it and we will do our very best to find a positive way back out!

Featured Stories

Kirsten Sturman Acupuncture and Complementary Therapy Clinic – Q&A

Kirsten Sturman is originally from the Larbert area and, after studying around the world, brought her talents home in 2004.

Upon leaving Larbert High School she decided to take the road less travelled and do something completely different from her peers, studying Acupuncture at the University of Salford. She is now a successful acupuncturist, reflexologist, fertility specialist and NYR Organic consultant with clinics in Larbert and Perth.

Throughout extensive training and practising, Kirsten has been able to experience other complementary therapies and has taken up the opportunity to broaden her knowledge base. She now has a well-rounded set of skills for treating the body holistically.

What interested you about the industry?

My interest in complementary therapies grew from my teens, it seemed logical that the mind, body and spirit should be treated holistically.

Describe your studies?

After graduating in Traditional Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture, and gaining membership to the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) in 2003, I completed postgraduate training with the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. This involved staying in China for a month, having the opportunity to attend lectures and observe the doctors at work. The variety of treatments and techniques demonstrated was invaluable in turning the 2000-year-old theory I had studied at university into practice.


When did you return to the Larbert area?

I returned to Scotland in 2003 to establish my business, and spent 10 years working within other Complementary Therapy Centres until I had an opportunity to open my own clinic. Since then, the Larbert clinic has expanded with therapists joining me to offer a wide range of services. The convenient location allows for clients across the Central Belt to travel for treatments, and I am also available in Perth once a week.

Describe your services?

I offer Acupuncture, Reflexology, Maternity Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, abdominal massage, Hopi ear candling and holistic facials.

Describe NYR Organic?

I am now a consultant for NYR Organic which offers a wide selection of herbal remedies, supplements, aromatherapy and skincare using the highest possible percentage of organic ingredients and ethically sourced herbs, botanicals and essential oils.


Describe your approach to customer service?

Working from a private clinic, I am able to spend time with each client, giving them a chance to talk about everything they need to discuss as well as having time to relax during the treatment.

Describe what inspired you to become a fertility specialist?

Looking back over 18 years in business, I can categorise most complaints into pain, stress and fertility issues. Seeing the increase in demand for fertility treatments in the first 5 years, I began using acupuncture to support IVF, another 5 years later I added reflexology for fertility, pregnancy and birth. The treatments became more popular and complex so three years ago I completed a diploma in Fertility Acupuncture with The Fertility Support Company. The training focused on causes of infertility such as PCOS and endometriosis, reproductive immunology, recurrent miscarriage and supporting IVF and other Assisted Reproductive Techniques. This has helped me to stand out as one of the few fertility specialists in Scotland alongside my general acupuncture practice

How do you view the future of your practice?

I continue to update my skills with regular training and throughout the last year have taken part in more online courses whilst keeping the clinic open as a healthcare practitioner.

How have you adapted during the pandemic?

The clinic is fully Covid compliant to ensure the health and well-being of clients and to prevent the spread of this pandemic. All our therapists are following the guidelines set out by their industries to provide treatments in a safe and relaxing environment.

Who works alongside you in the Larbert clinic?

My colleagues are PM Physio and Janet Day Holistic Healing, offering physiotherapy and a variety of massage therapies.