People Profile – Studio in the Kiln

Gemma Harris – Oncology Physiotherapist MCSP BSc HCPC

This January a new Yoga and Pilates Studio opened in Cranleigh! The Founder Gemma Harris is excited to explain all about it.

Studio in the Kiln is a wellness haven meticulously crafted to redefine your fitness and health experience. Our distinctive identity is shaped by a team of highly trained therapists, physiotherapists, and fitness professionals dedicated to your well-being. Nestled in the picturesque Smithbrook Kilns, our studio embraces a beautiful setting, accentuated by the historic old kiln—an enchanting sanctuary that invites tranquility, making it the perfect escape from the outside world.

At the Kiln, grab a coffee or lunch and have a browse

Within our boutique Pilates studio, discover a sophisticated space featuring top-tier equipment, including a Reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda chair. Our treatment room exudes professionalism and privacy, ensuring a personalized experience. The corner studio, flooded with natural light through expansive windows, offers a refreshing ambiance for various classes. 

Dive into our comprehensive timetable, offering a diverse range of classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Reformer Pilates, Tai Chi, Qigong as well as specialized sessions for pre and post-natal exercise and menopause. Beyond routine classes, we elevate your practice with specialist workshops, providing a unique opportunity to take your Yoga and Pilates journey to the next level. 

Light and airy spaces with the best equipment

For those seeking one-on-one therapies, our skilled team offers a range of personalized services, including scar therapy, lymphoedema treatment, oncology physiotherapy, counselling, life coaching, and massage. At Studio in the Kiln, we invite you to immerse yourself in a holistic approach to well-being, where expertise meets serenity, and every session is an opportunity for personal growth and transformation. 

One to one sessions are inspiring and transforming

Inspired to help. 

In my years as a physiotherapist, I observed a significant gap in the healthcare model, which primarily focuses on managing chronic diseases like cancer rather than proactively supporting individuals in maintaining and improving their overall health. This realization fueled my desire to create a space where people could reflect on their present and future, shaping their daily exercise routines to ensure active and healthy lives in later years. I envisioned a haven devoid of fad diets and exercises, emphasizing evidence-based practices that could even be referred to as “Exercise Medicine.” If this remedy were a pill, we’d all take it daily, but since it’s not that simple, I aspired to establish a beautiful, enjoyable space in which people can get their ‘dosages’ of exercise. 

Exercise can be used as a time of reflection and peace

I also felt compelled to establish a safe haven for oncology patients, drawing from my extensive experience as an oncology physio. It troubled me that many patients, unaware of the benefits of cancer rehabilitation, expressed regret about not knowing sooner. Exercise, when prescribed by a specialist, has shown remarkable effects in reducing side effects, enhancing treatment, and minimizing the risk of cancer recurrence at every stage of cancer treatment. My commitment is to ensure that anyone facing cancer treatment understands the available support. Cancer rehabilitation and exercise not only reduce side effects but also improve functional ability, quality of life and ultimately, survival. Surviving cancer is not the end; physical support post-treatment is crucial. Unfortunately, without access to rehabilitation, survivors face challenges in their physical, emotional, and social well-being, affecting their long-term health. Many feel unable to return to their previous activities, and relationships may become strained. We aim to address these challenges by providing support for post-treatment concerns such as self-consciousness, lymphoedema, scar tissue concerns and post-treatment fatigue, guiding survivors back to a fulfilling and active life. 

Striking a yoga pose in the sanctuary of the Kilns

“Too many patients have said to me,” says Gemma, ‘I wish I had known’ when they find out about cancer rehabilitation. It upset me to find that people were not being told about how prehab and rehab can help support people at every stage of their cancer treatment. I feel strongly that anyone facing cancer treatment or struggling with the side effects should know help is available.”  

“Often patients tell me about their experience of cancer treatment and how they spent the whole time feeling restricted in what they could and couldn’t do,” Gemma continues. “I have met many people who have completed their treatment but do not feel ready to get back to the hobbies and activities they enjoy. There are many reasons for this such as feeling self-conscious, worrying about causing lymphoedema or pulling scar tissue, feeling unsure about what is safe and post treatment fatigue – we can help with this.” 

Advanced clinical massage helps to speed recovery
Scar tissue therapy

Gemma’s passion is obvious and she wants to help our whole community including those affected by cancer.  She has a great team working with her, helping to accomplish this.

Kim and I are the teams’ Oncology Physiotherapists who offer the PINC (for women), STEEL (for men) and Next Steps (exercise classes) Cancer Rehab Programmes.  These are dedicated programs to improve strength, quality of life and sense of wellbeing of people diagnosed with cancer. The programs are designed to help maximize patient recovery, regain physical and emotional strength and improve body confidence and control. It is suitable at any time of cancer surgery or treatment and accommodates all ages, fitness levels and mobility. The sessions can include a combination of services including manual physiotherapy, graduated resistance training, individualised clinical Pilates, fatigue management and exercise prescription. 

Kim is also a lymphoedema specialist physiotherapist and works with people with all stages of lymphoedema.  

As a registered nurse Tina has been involved in cancer care for over 30 years. She brings to the team her skills in scar therapy, manual lymphatic drainage clinical massage and deep oscillation therapy.  

If you are looking for help with your pelvic floor or coping with the menopause (cancer or non-cancer related), Debbie runs brilliant programs incorporating her hands-on therapy skills with her expert advice and exercise prescription.  

Cancer rehab services are available

Our Reformer Pilates studio is where you will find our fantastic Pilates instructor Monika. Here Monika can guide you through how to use the Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda Chair to supercharge your body shape, mental health, energy and performance.  Monika is also qualified as a Cancer Exercise Specialist as well as working with our pre and post-natal clients and other members of the general public in our Pilates timetable.  

Sarah Faulkner, Integrative Therapeutic Counsellor

There is no point having the physical wellbeing but lack the mental wellbeing, so Sarah joined the team from the start to offer her services as a therapeutic counsellor and life coach. Sarah can help untangle thoughts and help give you the calmness and clarity to help you achieve your goals.  

And wait it doesn’t stop there . . .  from January we have an amazing team of Yoga and Pilates instructors joining us to help develop our comprehensive studio timetable!  

I must also add that I’m incredibly fortunate to have the most amazing clients who have been unwavering in their support every step of the way. Together we’ve formed a growing collective of individuals who not only benefit from our services but also actively contribute to spreading the word about the exceptional offerings of our dedicated team. It’s heartening to witness this community spirit, where each person who joins us becomes an advocate, helping us serve our community better. Their enthusiasm and commitment propel us forward, fostering a space that thrives on mutual support, shared goals and a collective passion for well-being. I am truly grateful for the positive energy and collaboration that defines our Studio in the Kiln community. 

The Align Pilates Reformer is by far the best Pilates equipment brand in the UK

How it works. 

If you’re eager to experience our range of services, from rehabilitation to invigorating Pilates classes, the process is simple—just give us a call, reach out on social media or send us an email. No referral is necessary; we’re here to welcome you directly into our supportive community. 

One of our two studio locations at Smithbrook Kilns

Uncertain about how we can assist you? Feel free to schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call with any member of our team. Mark your calendars for our ‘Open Weekend’ on the 27th and 28th January 2024, a special occasion where you can explore and enjoy our classes for FREE.

For those navigating or recovering from cancer treatment, we extend a special invitation to our Free cancer rehab classes, generously provided by the PINC & STEEL Foundation UK. It’s our way of offering support during this challenging journey.

Stay connected with us on social media as we launch into our new space, where exciting offers and opportunities await. January holds a promise of fantastic promotions and experiences, making it the perfect time to join our thriving Studio in the Kiln community. 

Come and meet the team for yourself, l to r, Gemma, Kim, Brittney, Debbie, Sarah and Tina


“Gemma’s holistic approach – healing mind and body at the same time – showed great results very soon.”  

  “I underwent surgery for an early-detected problem, with the prospect of a complete cure.  However, this was my first general anaesthetic ever, which took its toll on the rest of my body. She immediately understood what I needed, which gave me hope that I could improve, and this led to a big psychological and physical improvement very soon after surgery. Her years of experience, her accurate assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, her expert manipulation of my ’post-hospital’ body, made me feel extremely confident in her abilities.  I will be forever grateful.” Susan, Breast Cancer.  

“I have seen Gemma during all stages of body changing and found great benefit using Pilates style exercises to keep active and in control. The structure of the Pilates sessions flow wonderfully from warm up through to floor work using various equipment. She explains positions and the focus of the exercise perfectly making it crystal clear which body part we are working. I felt her attention to detail considering my changing body and mind was nothing short of awesome.” Katia.

For more info and to book please visit or call 01483 962218
Smithbrook Kilns, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8JJ

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