It’s one of my mantras – get some therapy into your life. Some people can take it the wrong way, but I really mean it in your best interests!
I probably should explain that I’m not trying to imply that you have issues – although the therapy I’m talking about will improve your wellbeing. It will also improve your physical health – and reduce your stress levels, making you stronger and happier in every way. With so many positives, how can you resist?
At Twenty Two Training, we’ve long gone way beyond the standard gym offering of personal coach who will cajole, persuade and push you into achieving ever-higher levels of fitness. We’re only interested in helping you attain your own goals and, inevitably, they often start out as solely fitness-oriented.
Before long though, we find that many of our clients’ fitness issues are caused – or at least affected by – things that are going on outside of the gym. For example, poor posture could be causing back pain, an unbalanced diet can make you feel sluggish and tired, or high stress levels can be affecting your general health.
I was really interested to see recently on the BBC news website that some health clinics in Kenya are offering ‘treats’ to women who go along for standard check-ups. Some enterprising staff worked out that women will take the time to go for antenatal checks or routine health tests if there’s something good in it for them. So now, each attending woman receives a treatment voucher – for a pedicure or hairstyle, for example – that she can use at a local beauty shop. She gets her health check, and then a little time of enjoyment away from her busy day.
While this is a really literal way of combining health and wellbeing – these ladies might have really harmful conditions that wouldn’t be picked up without the tests – it’s a great illustration of how a little treat can make us look after ourselves better. It’s a good way to focus the mind, but I believe that the effects are much longer-lasting than the pretty effects of a pedicure for a pregnant lady who can no longer reach her toes!
If we feel better about ourselves, we’re more likely to look after our own health in a more sustainable way. Just think about the commonly accepted phrase ‘comfort eating’. We all like a bit of comfort food every now and again, but we usually hear the phrase in relation to someone who’s unhealthily overweight and isn’t a happy person. Just trying to stop that person eating is never going to work – we need to refocus their thinking and help them to become positive about what they could achieve in the next day, week or year.
I’ve made it my own goal to work with experts who can help us to feel better in every way, and if we can unpick some of the underlying problems then you will be able to reach your health and fitness targets quicker, and stick to a healthy lifestyle forever.
My new personal favourite is the combination treatment we offer at Twenty Two. It’s called that because – surprise! – we mix up the treatment to make it work specifically for each individual client. It might include hypnotherapy, deep tissue massage and maybe a little acupuncture. The combination treatment targets both the body and the mind, addressing any musculoskeletal problems and working on your soft tissue and then gives you time and space to improve your emotional wellbeing. Once your body and mind are feeling strong, you’re ready to go after all your life aims.
I’ve noticed that men and women have a really different approach to this – men regard the therapies as part of a treatment plan, while women think therapies are a treat and are less likely to have them regularly. We really need to change this mindset in women – I’m afraid the male approach is the right way (it’s not often the case: men, we should celebrate!). Therapies are a perfect way of mixing up treatment for both your mind and your body, and an excellent way to get an all-round improvement in your health, fitness and happiness. The perfect troika!
So when I say ‘get some therapy’, really do mean it in your very best interests. Look after yourself, and you’ll be at your best for those that rely on you.