Based in Scotland, she has treated thousands of people for smoking-related problems, stress and weight loss since she started her business over 20 years ago.
‘My background was actually in the hospitality industry,’ says Anne. ‘My mum had a pub/restaurant in Ireland for many years and at the time I stopped smoking I was working for her – it was a fun job with lots of scope to smoke and I did – 3 packs a day. My husband, Ron, was also involved in the business and had the same 3 pack a day addiction.’
‘I was a woman with a passion to smoke,’ continues Anne. ‘and even when Ron had his first heart attack at the age of 37 and we were told he should stop smoking we just ignored the warning – Ron’s dad had died at 38 and his brother at 32 so our philosophy was ‘Ron is going to die young so he might as well die “happy ” and in those days, for us, that meant smoking. To be honest, we were both afraid……and as classic smokers we did what all smokers do when they are worried – they smoke more!’
Not surprisingly Ron’s health deteriorated and 4 years later he had another massive heart attack. This time, after a triple bypass and spending 12 weeks in hospital Ron stopped smoking.
‘I am delighted to say that he is now 65, alive and kicking and it is because of Ron that my career changed direction – I realised that every family deserves to keep the people they love for as long as possible and once I had discovered laser therapy as a way of quitting smoking I knew that I wanted to help as many people as possible. But I have to admit it took me a while to realise this,’ admits Anne.
‘At first, when Ron’s surgeon suggested I also quit the habit I thought no way – my cigarettes are the only thing that will get me through this stressful time. To be honest, I didn’t want to stop smoking; I enjoyed it too much. However I felt I had to try so I went for hypnosis and was delighted when it didn’t work for me! I then did acupuncture – again I was over the moon when that didn’t work either.’
Her ‘eureka’ moment came when she had her first laser therapy session in her native Ireland – and she never smoked another cigarette again.
‘It worked, I couldn’t believe it and I realised then I wanted to start helping others feel as good as I was feeling. I swapped my passion for smoking for a passion for helping others to quit. And to this day, I am eternally grateful to Muriel Day, who did the laser therapy session on me back in 1991 which was to change my life – and my career path as she went on to train me.’
After training Anne began to develop her individual, tailor-made programme which combines laser therapy with personalised counselling as well as a 24-hour helpline.
‘In 1992, I flew to Glasgow for a month to help a group of ten smokers who wanted to quit. I rented an office, did the treatments – it worked and word spread. Within the month the press had heard about this Irish lady who was revolutionising the quit smoking market – the phones began to ring, the appointment diary was bursting and 21 years later I am still in the same office in Glasgow!’
This centre in Glasgow’s south side is the heart of her worldwide business and Anne Penman now has 30 clinics bearing her name. As well as two other clinics in Scotland, she has clinics in England and Ireland as well as in The Americas from Canada to the US and Mexico, and throughout Europe and most recently in the Middle East in Israel and Saudi Arabia.
‘In the early days my business grew almost entirely by referral – a testament to the effectiveness of my programme,’ says Anne, ‘and because of demand in 1994, I then started training technicians in my unique method.’
She has become an expert in her field and travels the world lecturing, training and advising on the Anne Penman method – as well as still finding time for her clients in Glasgow.
With over 400 technicians now all trained and certified by Anne, her global team are working hard to help other people achieve a smoke-free, stress-free lifestyle.
‘It is my dream to help as many people as possible make long-term lifestyle changes. I truly believe that with the right support you can do anything’ Anne Penman
Anne Penman is based at the Glasgow Head Office but regularly travels to all the clinics, delivers professional training and attends presentations, events and workshops worldwide.