Ibiza wellness: Beat Computer Stress Syndrome with Acudetox
Everyone has a place in their body where they store tension. All those pent up worries and troubles build up over time and create tight knots of muscular chaos. For people whose work is computer based, such as designers, DJs, artists and entrepreneurs – that is, most of the people living or frequenting Ibiza – all that chaos usually heads directly to the neck and shoulders.
Katherine Berry of AcuDetox has coined a term describing a set of symptoms she sees, not only in her clinic but also when she ventures out into the island’s cafes and bars. “I called it computer stress syndrome,” she says. “Computers have evolved to be so portable and light which is great as it means many of us can work anywhere that suits us, but there is a downside.”
Next time you take a seat at your desk or at a table in a café and hook up to your virtual world, take a minute to see yourself objectively. How’s your posture? Where are your feet? Is the table too low or the computer too high? Chances are, you are hunched over a keyboard for hours on end, straining your shoulders, neck and eyes.
“The position most of us take over our computers mimics the natural flight or fight response,” explains Katherine. “Shoulders hunched, head tucked in; curling the shoulders forward; arms up and flexed in front of the abdomen to protect the internal organs. No wonder we’re stressed. Our bodies spend hours in this posture, stuck in the ‘switched on’ or ‘adrenalin’ position.”
Remaining in the flight or fight position for hours on end, day after day, can cause all sorts of issues. These include an acceleration of the heart and lungs which may lead to short shallow breathing and a racing heart, constriction of blood vessels affecting circulation which leads to headaches, a loss of peripheral vision and auditory exclusion which manifests as tunnel vision and loss of hearing. It can even lead to digestive issues, with a slowing down of digestion resulting in poor metabolic functions. Symptoms build over time so it may not be immediately obvious. In short, your freestyle working life might be making you sick.
Katherine has worked with clients to combat the downsides of incorrect posture on the body and mind. After gaining a degree in Chinese Medicine, an MSc in Addiction Medicine research and decades of hands-on experience, she developed a unique treatment plan to combat the common issues created by modern lifestyles. “I see myself as a pyscho-mechanical technician,” she says. “My job is to help someone feel better by getting their body in the best working order.” She achieves this through a combination of massage, cupping, acupuncture and powerful relaxation techniques.
“When we sit at a computer or drive a car we position ourselves in ‘stress mode’. Concurrently, this psychological stress causes the body and mind to adopt the flight or fight in posture and neural pathways. You need to find effective ways to wind down and switch off, that don’t include drugs or alcohol. “Some approaches are really subtle and take time to work but Acudetox is not like that. I am a bulldozer. I get the job done. If you want a gentle relaxing massage then I am not the person for you!”
Along with acupuncture and cupping, Katherine employs a medical massage technique called ischemic pressure. It’s a trigger point method that shifts blockages in order to increase blood flow to the affected area, supplying oxygen that helps the tissue to heal rapidly. “My treatments are very deep and intense,” she says. “You don’t need them very often.” Good news for busy Ibiza workers.
It’s not just work related issues that Katherine’s technique can tackle. Acupuncture functions at the endocrine level, promoting hormonal balance. “Acupuncture stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system,” she says. “It’s where the ‘rest and digest’ messages come from. Treatment helps to un-do all of the stress responses that inhibit that function.” This ancient treatment increases blood flow, relieves chronic pain, releases natural painkillers in the body and reduces stress, both emotional and muscular.
Cupping is a form of suction therapy where class beakers are placed at various points on the body. It works like massage but with a pulling or drawing up affect rather than pressing or rubbing therefore drawing toxins to the surface where they can be expelled by the skin. Combined with acupuncture and the deep tissue massage, Katherine’s treatment program provides a holistic and thorough approach towards achievable goals. She also suggests a host of small workspace shifts to ensure the treatment results last.
“It gives me great satisfaction because the changes happen so quickly,” she says. “Someone walks in tense and stressed and walks out relaxed and happy. It’s a very rewarding experience.” As an exclusive offer for White Ibiza, Katherine Berry is offering three 90-minute sessions for the price of 270€ in her Ibiza town or Marina Botafoch clinics – additional call-out charges apply for home visits. Call + 34 638 423 575 or click the link below to enquire about reserving your treatments.