Ibiza wellness: Acudetox – Treating seasonal work stress
The seasonal nature of the workplace in Ibiza is extremely demanding. No matter what industry you find yourself working in, the increased pressure, sleep deprivation, unusual working hours, financial concerns, lack of exercise and ongoing stress build-up can manifest physically and mentally, meaning by the time September rolls around many islanders find themselves to be too tightly wound up to start to kick back and relax as the quieter time of year is in their sights. Kath Berry of Acudetox says this is a condition she has been seeing – and most importantly, treating successfully – regularly in her Ibiza patients as the season progresses.
Kath’s clients run the gamut of Ibiza high-voltage industries and fast-paced lifestyles – busy restaurateurs and hoteliers; shop owners and others in the service business; music industry professionals, from behind the scenes and performers to management level; real estate and concierge managers; wellness professionals, yoga teachers and massage therapists. In addition, she treats many parents (80-percent of which are women), homemakers and women with hormonal issues (including menopause among other conditions). It seems very few people on this island are immune to seasonal stress… but the good news is, if you identify with anything you’ve read this far, help is at hand. Or, as the case may be, Kath’s two very experienced, well-trained hands.
The first sign of seasonal work manifesting physically tends to be generalised head, neck and shoulder stress. “It’s almost literally like the discomfort you would feel around your neck and shoulders from carrying a backpack around,” Kath explains of her clients’ seasonal ‘baggage’. “I start my treatments with an open discussion first, to find out how my clients are feeling and what they’re looking to achieve and then we move onto a physical assessment, which is a 30-minute massage so I can identify what points are blocked. Almost 90-percent of the time, it’s in the neck and head.”
Once these very specific physical markers of where stress is held are identified, Kath uses a combination of cupping and acupuncture to allow blood to flow more freely, to release muscle spasms and clear tension to relieve that compounded stress. Once you see results in this area – which is quite fast – she then moves onto the next issues you feel or face (each treatment is tailored specifically to the client). Kath uses the analogy that her clients are almost like pressure cookers – with so much stress, frustration or upset building up throughout the season, she allows them to blow off steam (so to speak) via releasing pressure on very specific trigger points on the body, allowing them to eventually decompress to find the space, time and clarity they are seeking.
One of the things that is very important to note about Kath is her strict client-practitioner confidentiality code of ethics. As most island residents know, Ibiza can feel like a small town at times, however when you are working through stresses – work, family or personal life – it’s very important to be able to discuss your issues freely in an open forum. Kath’s tranquil clinic space in Santa Eulalia could be considered a vault and a safe place to workshop your problems – whatever you say within your treatment will never go outside of those four walls. That being said, Kath is also very clear that she does not provide the solution to your issues; her treatment style is designed to lead you to a path that will help you identify the solution yourself.
“Internalising problems can often magnify them,” she explains. “Having an independent person outside of the situation to talk it out with can help you arrive at a place where it loses its power or intensity. For example, I can’t solve someone’s financial problems, but I can help them reach a point where they feel well enough, and present enough, in themselves that it becomes less of an anxiety. There’s something to be said for clarity. When you are stressed and you’ve got something on your mind, you need to learn to step outside of it and deconstruct it to a point where you see things clearly enough to take the next steps.”
Financial concerns – be it about the outgoings and profits of a business, your own budget and projections as summer work starts to come to an end or the pressure of running a family home – are just one of the serious factors facing those in seasonal industries. Human resource management and day-to-day staff management – on an island that is notorious for attracting unreliable people, who on face value are initially the perfect candidate – is yet another. The extra amount of time spent on the roads between appointments, events or on the school run – at the wheel, puts us in a constant position of ‘fight or flight’ – contributes to stress. The ever-changing challenges of parenthood (particularly teenagers) is also increased during summer. Stress can be found everywhere. And then there’s the heat – which just seems to intensify all of the above.
Giving her clients the space to step back, calm down and breathe, Kath’s Acudetox treatments leads them to discover a new perspective on what’s going on. Another issue she sees many of the aforementioned people facing is being too busy to take proper care of themselves, avoiding exercise, developing poor eating habits or drinking more in the evenings to overcompensate for stress, which ultimately leads to more health problems in the long run. “My clients are busy people,” she says. “I don’t have grandiose ideas that they’re going to completely change their lifestyles in terms of fitness or health, but I do incorporate advice into my treatment for things they can assimilate into their daily lives.”
Kath sees her treatments as a way to kickstart a ‘pattern interrupt’ for those see no escape from the stress felt due to seasonal workloads. You have to start somewhere. “Coming to the clinic can be an escape from the rat race,” she explains. “Removing yourself from the environment that causes the stress, even just once a week, can stop you feeling trapped and lead you to recovery.” You don’t have to commit to a detox, a juice fast, a gym membership, change your job or even get eight hours sleep a night if that’s not possible. You just need to make the commitment to yourself that you’ll start somewhere. In addition to Kath’s own discreet clinic in Santa Eulalia, she also works out of the all-new MedSpa Ibiza space in Marina Botafoch so clients can opt for the space that best suits their needs.
Now the summer is coming to an end, it’s important to get yourself back on track and allow yourself to take time out so you can enjoy the winter months that are rapidly approaching. At the end of the day, you will be a better boss/mother/lover/therapist/teacher/trainer/agent/manager if you come from a place of authenticity: walking the walk, as well as talking the talk. After an entire summer spent giving so much of yourselves to others, now is the time to give unto yourself.