Exploring Holistic Treatments
- Published: 06 February 2018 06 February 2018
Toby Maguire is the Master Practitioner at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia. He has been practicing the healing arts of the east for nearly twenty years and has spent 13 years living in south east Asia where he studied acupuncture, massage, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation. In addition, he has studied an MA in Holistic Wellness, holds a diploma in nutrition and has worked as both a Health and Wellness Consultant and Practitioner at some of the top destination spas in the world including Chiva Som, Mandarin Oriental and Six Senses.
Interview with a Holistic Master Practitioner
What role do holistic treatments play in the modern age and why are they so popular?
I believe that over the last 40 years, the booming travel industry, globalisation and information on the internet have allowed more people to travel and learn about new countries and cultures than ever before. This has led to an interest and acceptance of holistic treatments such as holistic massage and acupuncture which were almost unheard of 40 years ago. Their popularity has increased as people are now aware that alternative treatments are available and often very successful at treating illness and disease when allopathic medicine (western medicine) fails.
What is Sujok therapy and how can it help treat different ailments?
In Korean, "su" means hand and "jok" means foot. "Sujok" therapy therefore uses various devices such as acupuncture needles and magnets on the hands and feet to boost the body's immune system and direct it to certain areas or organs of the body that are out of balance. If manipulated, different points on the hands and feet signal the body's own natural immune system to focus on a particular organ or part of the body allowing it to recover through natural means.
We understand that Chi Nei Tsang detoxifies the body through massaging the intestines. How can this treatment help with emotional stress and poor dietary habits?
During times of stress, our abdomens tense up as a way of protecting the internal organs from danger. When this happens on a regular basis, knots appear in the muscles, nerve endings and the lymphatic system resulting in feelings of discomfort in the abdomen. Poor dietary habits also put the digestive system under more strain and a combination of the two can cause pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms often referred to as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Chi Nei Tsang is a deep abdominal massage that not only unblocks these knots bringing relief to the abdomen, but also massages the major internal organs to stimulate the digestive and detoxification process.
Toby performing a Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage
Can you explain how Auricular (ear acupuncture) can help with detoxing and weight-loss?
Similar to Sujok, Auricular Acupuncture uses specific points on the ear to trigger immune responses throughout the body. By inserting needles in the ear that relate to the detoxification organs (such as the liver, spleen and kidneys), we can stimulate them so that they work more efficiently. Similar methods can be used for weight loss by stimulating the digestion process, which are used in addition to points on the ear that if stimulated, will suppress the appetite.
The BodyHoliday offers a wide range of holistic classes, with your teachings in Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation, how well do guests respond to these?
The classes that I teach are popular because they focus on counteracting the negative effects of stress. Most of the guests at The BodyHoliday are middle and upper management, working long hours under stressful conditions. Meditation, Tai Chi and Qi Gong teach people how to counteract negative thought patterns and emotions and focus on the present moment, resulting in a more peaceful state of mind, a healthier body and a stronger immune system.
What are the benefits of a Thai massage?
Thai massage works on the same meridian (energy) lines of the body that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. These lines are often blocked, resulting in poor blood circulation, pain, muscle tension and lack of Qi (energy) circulation around the body. Manipulation of these energy lines through pressure and stretching the body helps to release any blockages, resulting in increased blood and oxygen flow throughout the body and a deep sense of relaxation.
Stress is prevalent in society, what are your recommendations on how to deal with stress?
There are many ways to deal with stress, but the most important thing is that people first understand what it is in their lives that is causing the stress. Only then can they start to focus on different ways to counteract it. Discovering the root cause can then lead to a plan which may include a change in career or domestic circumstances, learning simple meditation and breathing techniques, a change in eating habits or even setting and planning future life goals.
The crescent beach and green hillside at The BodyHoliday
How can life coaching be beneficial to your clients?
Life coaching is particularly useful for those people who are lacking a sense of wellbeing or sense of purpose in their lives. It teaches people how to look on the inside to discover what their dream life would be like and then provides tools and techniques on how to achieve it.
Which super foods do you recommend to enhance our nutrition?
Generally, we lack a lot of vitamins and minerals in our diets as we tend to eat a lot less fruit and vegetables than our body requires. A combination of more fruit and vegetables is always a good place to start if one wants to provide the body with the fuel it needs to run efficiently. However, if I had to name one super food it would have to be Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Drinking a small amount every day helps to strengthen the heart, reduce acidity in the body, reduces arthritic pain, reduces blood pressure, aids digestion, prevents heartburn, and is often helps people suffering from bloating and abdominal discomfort. It can even be used externally for cuts, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and numerous other skin complaints.
From the range of holistic treatments you offer at The BodyHoliday, which one is the most popular with guests and why?
The most popular treatment is acupuncture because it can be used to treat so many different ailments, both physical and psychological. Developed and practiced for more than 2,500 years, its efficacy has in recent years gained a great deal of recognition in the medical world too. I have met numerous doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, osteopaths and also psychologists who used acupuncture to treat not only pain and disease, but also addictions and depression. It is an amazing treatment which I strongly believe will be around for many generations to come.
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