Men’s Health Week: Men in complementary therapies
Women have traditionally been the ones drawn to complementary therapies, either as a career choice or as a treatment option.
But, times are changing!
Not only have our male student numbers climbed steadily year-on-year, but we are also seeing increasing amounts of men booking treatments to help with their emotional and physical issues. We speak with three current students to get their thoughts on Kinesiology, and men’s mental and emotional health.
We welcome Andrew Cox, 44, Alex Tarnicki, 29, and Amos Burr, 36.
What did you do before studying Kinesiology? Are you still working in that field?
Andrew: “A stockbroker and financial adviser. I still work full-time and I study full-time on the weekends and at night. I’ve always had a lot going on in my life.”
Alex: “At the moment I work part-time in a health food shop. Before that, I was working away. I did plastic fabricating and driving machinery and I was making really good money – but the job just wasn’t me.”
Amos: “I work as a teacher with international students. I enjoy working with my students and helping them reach their goals.”
How did you first get involved in Kinesiology?
Andrew: “I had a lot of stress as a result of working in the financial market. I saw health practitioners of different modalities, but none could get on top of the stress I was experiencing. Kinesiology was recommended to me – I’d never heard of it – and it was a last resort. I saw a Kinesiologist and left that first session feeling lighter, more comfortable in myself and very positive.”
Alex: “I had quit working away and was going to study naturopathy but the passion wasn’t there. My mum’s friend gave me a Kinesiology session for my birthday and in that moment I thought ‘what is this?’ I was always interested in health so I went along to [O’Neill Kinesiology College’s] Open Day.”
Amos: “I was recommended the course by a friend who is a graduate and I had never heard of it prior to that. I was looking for a change, so I thought I’d give it a go and I’m still here!”
How has Kinesiology helped you, personally?
Andrew: “I had stress that I’d held on to since the GFC. The body is an amazing thing. It stepped up and dealt with everything it had to at the time. But I returned to Perth and had a healing crisis. I had stress, eczema and couldn’t eat normal food. I had leaky gut but doctors didn’t think it was a thing. Kinesiology got to the root of those problems instead of just treating the symptoms.”
Alex: “Definitely the emotional side of things. Relationships and family. I guess having a tough childhood, I have never been able to process any of that. Kinesiology has helped me to understand why I am the way I am and has given me tools to deal with that. I’ve learnt how to communicate, set my boundaries, and it’s helped with my confidence.”
Amos: “What I think is particularly special about the modality of Kinesiology is the way it links the mental and emotional to the physical. I have Crohn’s disease, chronic inflammation of the bowel, and Kinesiology has been an important part of healing the causes of the condition in addition to the symptoms. Kinesiology has also been very helpful in showing me the beliefs that have held me back and caused suffering in my own life.”
Do you think there has been a societal shift and men are focusing on mental health and emotions more?
Andrew: “In the 1970s a man wouldn’t talk about emotions with anyone. Whereas now men are more in touch with their feelings and more open-minded. And interested in their health, too.”
Alex: “I think there’s a big shift. It’s always ‘men are not allowed to have emotions’ but as times are changing, men can see they can express themselves and they’re working on themselves more.”
Amos: “I would agree that men’s attitudes to mental health are changing over time. The government is clearly recognising the importance of mental health and putting money into advertising campaigns targeting men. Given that men are three times more likely to commit suicide, it is clearly something we need to address.”
Would you recommend Kinesiology to other men? Either as treatment or as a career choice.
Andrew: “I think Kinesiology is wonderful. There are more female than male practitioners right now, so there is definitely an opportunity there for men who want to enter holistic modalities. It would be wonderful if there were more men.”
Alex: “When I signed up for this, it was very hard to explain what I did to my mates. They thought it wasn’t a very masculine thing to do but I got to a point where I didn’t care; I knew how good I felt, and I decided to lead by example. Now I have friends who have started going to a Kinesiologist or now they come and see me. But I’d say just give it a go. Book yourself in a few sessions and see how it affects you.”
Amos: “Keep an open mind. I think most of us who are unfamiliar with treatments like Kinesiology approach it with some scepticism. And this is healthy. However, we also need to keep an open mind about what is possible. Be honest about how you feel after the treatment even if you don’t understand how something works initially.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about Kinesiology, contact us today on (08) 9330 7443 or visit our course FAQ page.