I am a keen fan of all things squishy and warm; knitting yarn, cashmere, beautiful linens, cat’s tummies, warm firesides and hot chocolate. I like spring and summer, with their fresh warm energy, bringing soft bright colours and rich long days, but I understand autumn and winter on a deeper level. I feel most at home drinking rich red wine with friends as we discuss the best Netflix binge series.
When it came to talking with Kristin about rebranding the business in December, (the project of 2018), there was a rather lengthy conversation about the somewhat overused word “Hygge”, and if it was something I could resonate with. Kristin is Swedish and described the word as all things comfortable. As I was watching Shetland last week, I heard the best description that I have come across in the past couple of years:
“[Hygge] It’s the absence of everything annoying.”
It’s the perfect translation, and I love it, and I can see why people would link my world with the word; I do my best to irradicate all things annoying for people and surround my own life with squishy comfort.
Pain is the polar opposite of the concept of hygge. Pain is annoying, boring, and well, painful. And yet that is what I see every day when my clients enter the treatment room. Headaches, back pain, migraines, hip displacement, knee injuries and jaw troubles, along with anxiety, stress and depression. My daily joy is to help bring a sense of peace within it all. To this end, I would call my role as the bringer of peace to all things annoying in the body, mind and heart.
Chronic pain is long-term, and clinically we see it as anything that is still causing you an issue 6 weeks after an injury. However that is a very narrow definition, and not one I am usually happy to subscribe to. The more I see and treat it, the more dynamic chronic pain has become, and that is why I have been following a somatic route to my work over the past ten years.
Somatic bodywork looks at how the body has responded to pain on all levels, physical being the obvious one, but also emotional, environmental, sociological and spiritual. I find that if we take the body as a whole, pain becomes slightly more understandable.
For example. A client comes to me after they have been walking around with a mid-back pain that has come up over the past few months, and headaches have started to become a regular feature on the weekends. There are no physical injuries for this. However, there has been a time over the past year where they have been the lynchpin in a family dynamic that has needed a strong person, unwavering in their support and love. Is it a wonder that their spine is now tired of standing firm and that their head is spinning?
I am no longer surprised when people come to my studio for the first time and look a little shocked and comment on the warmth, the tapestry on the wall, the soft colour pallet and relaxing music. The environment that I have created for some quite hardcore clinical work is considered and meaningful.
If you were to walk into a white room with bright lights and pictures of anatomy around, there is nothing in that environmental set up that would allow your brain to relax, and for your adrenal glands to have a bit of a break. I am sure the lambic system would pick up the smell of bleach like a bomb.
As you come into my studio, there are always neutral relaxation essential oils being incorporated to quickly bring any sense of panic or worry down a few notches. Music is often playing, and there is a sense of not being rushed.
My work is slower than most clinical approaches, and this is a definite focus of mine so that it gives time for your body, mind, heart and spirit to catch up with each other and sit in unity, not in pain. This is somatic bodywork at Cornerstone Therapies.
I guess you could say that I see inner hygge is ideal; a body free from all things annoying. That is the journey’s destination, although the trip may take a while.