Now, much as I love my job (and I really do, honest!), I have to admit that spending my working days sitting in front of a laptop does absolutely nothing for my posture. My frankly epic weight gain during pregnancy, heaving a hefty toddler around the streets of Hong Kong, plus many years of unsuitable footwear are all contributing factors to my creaky back; but it’s the time spent typing that seems to cause the sort of nagging twinges that no massage ever seems to resolve. With that in mind, when The Sanctuary invited me along to try a treatment from their range of alternative therapies, I jumped at the chance.
Situated high above the bustle of Central on Arbuthnot Road, The Sanctuary is a healing centre that focuses on alternative therapies. Perennial favourites like Pilates sit alongside more unusual treatments such as Past Life Regression and Vibrational Attunement, offering something to appeal to everyone. There are five treatment rooms, and the main workshop has a fabulous view over Central down to the harbour, lending a ‘crow’s nest’ feel to the space.
Not really having much of a clue about what a holistic chiropractic treatment might involve, other than a vague hope that it might involve someone burly cracking my poor spine into shape, I was surprised and fascinated to meet (distinctly un-burly!) Chiropractor Dr. Cherisse Yang, and to find out more about the therapy. Rooted in the theory that your body is a record of your lifestyle and that it has the power to heal itself, this was a holistic treatment in the literal sense of the word; taking into account not just past physical traumas such as childbirth and injuries, but also focusing on the emotional state of a patient to work to the root of a problem. Treatment is suitable for pregnant women, those recently post-partum and Dr Cherisse can also work with babies to help them after a traumatic delivery.
After a very thorough chat about my general health, external stresses and my (embarrassingly sedentary) lifestyle, Dr. Cherisse thoroughly examined my posture, pointing out areas where my body was currently misaligned and the possible reasons behind that. I found this part to be particularly insightful, and it made me more aware of my body than I had been in a very long time. She then invited me to hop onto the table and began the hands-on aspect of the session.
I’ll admit that, with no back-cracking of any description on the menu here, I was convinced that this would be a pleasant enough, but ultimately not very effective treatment when it came to actually relieving my back pain. As I lay there, focusing on my breathing, with Dr. Cherisse applying very gentle pressure to key points on my back and neck, I was pretty amazed to feel a couple of extremely tight areas gently release for the first time in months. I had been warned that many patients find that the release of physical tension can result in a corresponding outpouring of emotional tensions, and although I didn’t experience that myself, I definitely felt physically lighter, more energetic, and generally more positive afterwards.
As someone who could well be described as having a healthy level of scepticism when it comes to most alternative therapies, I was absolutely amazed by the effectiveness of this treatment, so much so that I plan to book in for further sessions as soon as I can. If you are looking for a treatment that tackles the underlying causes of pain, rather than a quick fix then this could be for you.
The Sanctuary. 29/F Universal Trade Centre, 3-5 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong.
Tel: 2537 1373