Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie on… kinesiology

‘This practice is seen as quackery by many in the medical world’

Spa Junkie on… kinesiology

Image: Jay Yeo

January 03 2012
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2

Spa Junkie is undergoing a kinesiology session at Bodyism Private Gym in London.

“I’m going to work on the 14 key meridian points,” continues Nicky, my therapist. “This muscle testing is going to show me where you have blockages. Before we can start, I have to do a polarity check to get both sides of your energy flowing. I do this by gently touching key areas in your head and neck. Then we can start muscle testing.”

It involves applying slight pressure to a large muscle. Nicky presses down on one arm and the opposite shoulder with equal pressure, to facilitate balance. If there is a good energy flow, I’ll be able to resist the downward push.

If you are not open-minded to alternative therapies, I suggest you hop off the page now; this type of practice is regarded as quackery by many in the medical world. And as I lie here with Nicky “switching on and off my muscle energy” with an invisible switch, even I am pondering the validity of the endeavour.

“There are many effective tools to rapidly alleviate acute and chronic pain. This approach can be used to even bring you emotional benefits, including removing life-long stressors. That’s most likely why it was so effective with your ex-boyfriend,” Nicky continues.

Meridians were first discovered in the acupuncture system around 5,000 years ago by the Chinese, and have been mapped throughout the body. Nicky tells me there is often a relationship between meridians and specific organ functions.

As she works up and down my body, tapping and pushing gently, she explains that Chinese medicine also says the body has an “organ clock” – it specifies certain times when organs re-energise themselves. The liver, for example, is most active between 1am and 3am; 3am to 5am is the lungs; and 5am to 7am is the large intestine.

“Right; you’re done – I’m just going to put you onto kidney time,” she says as she presses on the skin between my big toe and the ball of my foot – apparently 5pm is when your kidneys are cleansing.

“Does your neck feel better?”

Although the knot is still there, and it’s still somewhat uncomfortable – and I almost don’t want to say yes – it actually does.


I’m not sure I’d recommend this in place of a deep-tissue massage for stress relief. However, as a complementary treatment, it’s worth adding to the list. Because in truth I agree with the ancient Chinese: in all discussions of wellbeing, one must consider the whole body – the metaphysical along with the physical. Our energy levels are a constant topic of discussion – we all speak of our own and others’ “energy”; sometimes we are high, sometimes low. So it seems to me that, however sceptical some of the western-medicine practitioners are, we would be well advised to regularly see to the correct flow of this inner life source.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.