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As a native of the shipbuilding town of Clydebank, Scotland, Mary Ramsay can still remember the horrors of the 1941 bombing that destroyed most of her hometown.

She and her husband, Alexander, and their son, Alistair, left Scotland in 1965 for Canada. Six years ago, the couple moved to Largo, where their son was already a resident.

After teaching everything from physical fitness and yoga to public speaking, management skills and the psychology of communication and working in human resources for a large Canadian union, Mary Ramsay retired.

It didn't last long.

Now, at 75, she has opened Body-Mind Balance, a business that offers to help people quit smoking, lose weight or feel better about themselves.

To cure negative habits and release emotional baggage, Ramsay uses a variety of techniques, including hypnosis; emotional freedom technique, an emotional version of acupuncture; and Psyche-K, a process of communicating with the subconscious.

Does the smoking cessation program really work?

It's a one-hour session, and it's guaranteed. We have a 95 percent success rate. It has a fixed price of $350.

How much do you charge clients for your other services?

By appointment, we talk for half an hour free of charge the first time. I listen to what they have to tell me and make a decision as to whether I can help them. If I think it's something within my scope, I tell them what method I will use and how many sessions it will take. The sessions are usually an hour. I charge $75 an hour.

Who are your clients?

I would say 80 percent are women. At least half have problems related to sexual abuse. As a result, many have a very poor self-image. It's very difficult to get out from under that.

What are the most typical problems clients may have?

More often than not there are psychological problems. Usually they have a common denominator. Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, coffee, nail-biting, chewing tobacco. The one thing they all have in common is the mouth. It's where you get your first comfort in life. I look for why they need the comfort. Sometimes they don't know why. Sometimes we uncover it, and sometimes we can eradicate the problem without uncovering it.

Do you keep files on your clients?

No, when we complete our work, their files are shredded, and they receive information from me that has been done. It's very important that my clients trust me.

Christina K. Cosdon can be reached at or (727) 445-4154.

Body-Mind Balance - 801 West Bay Drive, Suite 424 in the Wachovia Bank building.


For an appointment

Call (727) 586-4912.

Open weekdays, evenings and weekends as required.