After a tumultuous few years, in which life has thrown me some nice big curves, I only had one New Year’s resolution this year – to get fit and strong in body and mind. Like any other mother of a young child, the lack of sleep, time to myself and exercise has drained me – physically and mentally. I was a big fan of weekly massages until they stopped working and I woke up in the morning feeling tense, tired and anxious – despite going to bed early. It felt like my body was slowly packing in. First my shoulders and neck, then gradually headaches and a tense, clicky jaw. I knew I needed a better, holistic approach.
I changed my diet and took up exercise, slowly getting myself back on to the path of optimum health, but things were moving very slowly, and I knew I needed something more. A friend suggested that I was a good candidate for Kinesiology. Despite having qualifications in massage and reflexology, I knew very little about this area of therapy and I’ll admit to Googling to find out more!
Also known as Applied Kinesiology – and not to be confused with the scientific study of human movement – it is essentially a non-invasive way of communicating directly with one’s body. Kinesiology uses muscle response techniques from the chiropractic discipline and combines it with the Eastern energetic systems of acupuncture meridians, chakras, plus the Western understanding of anatomy and physiology. The practice utilises, amongst other things, meridians, sound, light and various reflex points to help correct the flow of energy in the body related to the client’s issues.
Kinesiology works holistically on all systems and structures of the body, so practitioners are able to see a wide range of clients including working professionals, mothers, teenagers and even children. It suits anyone who wishes to overcome stress, be it physical or psychological, in order to achieve a better quality of life. Depending on the depth and complexity of the issue, the number of sessions required can vary, though significant shifts (e.g. in terms of feeling more relaxed and more confident) can often be noticed within a couple of sessions. For example, a person coming with allergies to cats usually only requires around three sessions, whereas a client coming in for severe learning difficulties may need around twenty sessions.
After filling in my health questionnaire, my practitioner Helen Griffiths asked what I wanted to work on. I mentioned my tense neck and shoulders, my clicky jaw and headaches, feeling that they were essentially pointing to long-held stress. I then lay on a bed, and was covered with a blanket, while Helen went about testing various muscles on my arms and face. At first it all felt a little insubstantial, and if you enjoy your body being physically manipulated and muscles given a thorough beating during massage, adjust your expectations! Helen touched various points on my face and asked me to raise and lift my arm, or push against hers. As she did, she gently started asking questions about which areas of my life could be producing my stress, and I answered, feeling a little light-headed and detached. It was part self-exploration and counseling, and part Reiki, and was gentle and unobtrusive, which in hindsight was the kind of healing I needed.
While not a quick fix, just one session with Helen opened my eyes to particular issues that have lodged in my muscles. Afterwards I felt clear-headed and lighter in my thoughts – as if they had had a good spring clean. My neck muscles felt much looser and that night, I slept deeply and more comfortably than I had in months. The tension in my clicky jaw has lessened to such an extent that I can almost forget about it. I will definitely be going back for further sessions – 2014 feels better and brighter already!
Kinesiology Asia, 9/F Cheung Hing Building, 37 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong; 2960 1006
A true blue Hong Kong girl, born and raised here to British and Chinese parents, Sharon works as an English teacher in a local school. In her free time, Sharon can be found eating, or with her head in a recipe book. While she enjoys cooking, she has very little patience for long, complicated recipes and has made laziness her virtue by adapting most recipes to 30 minutes or less. When not thinking about, or making food, Sharon spends her time on her island (Cheung Chau), usually at the beach. With a large cocktail in her hand. Follow Sharon on her blog Jasmine and Ginger or on Twitter @jasmine_ginger and check out her That Mama interview here.