We are so happy to have you working with us as a Remedial Massage Therapist at Kundalini House on Thursdays and Fridays. Your connection to Kundalini House goes way back to when you did prenatal yoga with us, with your son Neo who was born in 2012. It’s so lovely to have you working with us now.
Your work as a Massage Therapist came from your passion for touch, what has been your experience on how touch can affect and influence health?
For many of us touch is a natural part of our relationships with partners, family members and friends. Yet, in our society, more and more people are communicating through devices and are physically disconnected from each other. Especially our mental health is effected by this lack of direct human contact. I recently learned that people with mental health problems are often touched less by others and are also more likely to perceive touch as unpleasant. This can lead to more isolation, disconnection and potentially to more health problems. Touch enhances our wellbeing and has been successfully used to help people with mental health issues.
Kathrin, in your past life before Massage you had completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how it shapes your work?
I did my PhD at the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University on the visual presentation of reality by amateur photography. My research background informs how I help clients as I use a wide range of evidence based sources to understand the underlying problems people present with whilst at the same time, I acknowledge the many aspects of the human body that we haven’t yet fully understood. In future, I would like to be involved in research that looks at the therapeutic effect of touch to be able to better inform health practitioners, health insurance companies and care takers about its benefits. I have also been collaborating with photographers and through this we have been exploring the visualization of therapeutic touch to find a language that helps to communicate its importance to a wider audience.
Stress, depression and anxiety are a major problem in our society, we all work so hard and fast. As a Massage Therapist you would see a lot of clients coming to you to help you manage these issues. What is your advice for your clients on how to learn to relax and how do you achieve this in your life?
Stress is a normal part of human life and can indeed be useful at times. However, we know that permanent stress is a threat to our health and can lead to anxiety, depression and other health problems. I believe that it is important to take guilt free breaks and make use of a set of tools that help to manage stress and mental health problems. Breathing, mindfulness, mediation, massage and exercise are great ways of dealing with stress. We all need to learn to slow down and reduce the time we spend in front of screens. I also love walks, weekends in nature, hugs and family time. I believe that asking for and accepting help is crucial for a less stressful life.
Winter is well and truly here! what is your favourite health tip for keeping well in winter?
My partner grew up in Russia which might be one of the reasons why he makes the best winter soups at our home. I like to make a fruit salad as a desert and add fresh lemon juice mixed with cold pressed olive oil as a dressing. I love to read in front of a fire place, drink herbal teas, go to bed early and spend time outside (even it is cold and seemingly unpleasant). Once outside you realize that the cooler weather can be quite nice. Back in Europe, we used to go to a sauna and jump into the ice-cold water of a lake. More practical for us here in Melbourne are contrast baths (a hydrotherapy which Sebastian Kneipp, a German naturopath is known for). The alternating use of warm and cold water increases the circulation and stimulates the immune system.
Kathrin Works on Thursday’s & Friday’s at Kundalini House
Dip Remedial Massage, Cert IV Massage Therapy, Doctor of Philosophy.