At Kinga HQ, our curiosity never ends about the overlaps of style, kindness and wellness. The team at CALMM massage centre - located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches - are kindred spirits with us, in this sense.
We sat down to ask The CALMM’s own founder and director, Jessie Whittaker, about holistic treatments, being comfortable in one’s body, the elusive concept of nature, and how good it is to have a big stretch.
The CALMM is uniquely focused in its message about how acupressure therapy elevates wellbeing in the day-to-day. What’s the best thing about having regular acupressure?
Acupressure is a gentle, yet extremely powerful form of bodywork. Regular acupressure can be used to create flow and harmony on the energetic level, while also bringing deep relaxation and healing to the body. Whether you are experiencing anxiety, headaches, pain or irregular sleeping patterns, acupressure can be applied to help you find comfort in your body.
You run a food inflammation test, amongst other services - which brings up the connection between diet and whole body health. What should we know about inflammation?
Inflammation is the underlying cause of a large number of symptoms we experience in our daily lives. It shows up in the body in the form of arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, swelling, skin irritations, pain, allergies, asthma and the list goes on. It can be exacerbated by eating patterns that do not align to your body’s needs, such as eating gluten when you are gluten free or eating increased amounts of acidic foods - meat, coffee, sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol or processed foods.
With knowledge and understanding of inflammation, we step closer to finding out what may be causing it and therefore how we might overcome it. The approach must be holistic, looking at eating patterns, movement patterns, water intake, waste elimination, environmental factors and emotional balance. A strong support network’s essential in order to find equilibrium.
To go “back to nature” is a broad yet deeply personal concept in the minds of so many city dwellers. Can you recommend a way to begin to get closer to nature in a way that feels simple?
As modern humans we are becoming increasingly sheltered from the elements of nature, particularly the city slickers. We drive to work, we spend the majority of our days inside under artificial light, we drive home and we sit inside our homes, rarely having contact with the natural world, yet we depend so heavily on everything it provides for us.
The environments we choose to spend time in influence our stress levels and therefore impacts how we feel in our bodies. What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working.
⠀⠀Spending time in nature can reduce fear, anger and stress while simultaneously increasing the flow of positive vibes. Exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, it can contribute to our physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
A simple way to reconnect with nature is through grounding. To practice grounding is to align our vibrational energy with that of the earths. Fun fact: The earth has natural frequency pulsation of 7.83 hertz and is known as ‘Schumann resonance’. We find this same pulsation of 7.83 hertz in the human brain’s alpha frequency where we find our inner creative, our state of flow.
To ground, find your nearest patch of grass and park up. All you need is 20 minutes a day. Integrate this in to your daily walk or when you find yourself outside. Go barefoot. Earth yourself.
What’s one secret that people ought to know about stretching?
One of the biggest health concerns today is stress. And we all know that stress holds in the body in the form of tension. Let’s say your morning begins with a clean slate, unwrinkled papers, and that optimistic feeling of being ready to take on anything.
Then the day happens.
Stress compounds and soon enough your feelings, like most of those fresh papers, start to crumple. Tension begins to claim the muscles of your body. Your neck, shoulders, and back tighten, you become reactionary, your decision making becomes impaired and your heart rate increases. You can’t take much more at this point.
What can you do? STRETCH!
Stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system that slow the production of stress hormones, while activating the parasympathetic nervous system. An easy and effective way to indue feelings of calmness and help us overcome moments of stress.
A 5 minute stretch is all you need to down-regulate the nervous system.
As The CALMM passes beyond its three year milestone, have you found that you surprise the public in the way that you communicate about wellbeing?
The CALMM represents a lifestyle. We share and educate our community on tips and tricks to help them find their CALMM out there in the wild world. We are real and understand there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to ‘how to CALMM down’. Our feelings are individual, our pain is individual, our foundations are individual, so our approach is just that - we work with our community on an individual level. Some may resonate with or social media posts on meditation, some with breathwork or acupressure, others on a calming playlist or podcast suggestions to learn more on hydration or nutrition. We are here for our CALMM family in any way they need us and will keep sharing the love both in studio and online.
Have you had responses to your services that surprised you?
Our signature Acupressure treatment is designed to weave acupressure back with remedial massage in order to shift stagnant emotional energy and musical tension. By working on an emotional level, our clients see significant shifts in their ‘emotional’ weight.
I wouldn’t say it is surprising but more rewarding to see clients leave feeling lighter and better able to cope with the day, week or month ahead.
What is your favourite thing about the communities that involve The CALMM?
We find inspiration, learn, teach and share among our local community and online. Our community is our family, they support our business, they work alongside us to further support our clients and compliment our offering to form the bigger picture of wellness. We work together to fill the gaps where the other has a space.
Thanks Jessie, for outlining these concepts of earthing and the shifting of stagnant energy. Curiosity and insight about holistic health has been a big part of our interests because it is a function of being kind, and it is a catalyst for beauty. It is an honour for us to share this exploration with our readers.
Imagery courtesy of CALMM, words by Lizzie Nagy.