I've recently had the privilege of giving Kinesiology treatments to several men in the past few weeks, and I've since come to a realisation. Apart from the two hours they had talking to me and being heard, they've had no other opportunity or outlet in their day-to-day lives to discuss how they feel. Not with friends, not with other halves and certainly not with colleagues at work.
This saddened me because while men and women are built differently, at the end of the day we both deal with the same emotions that come up through all stages of life, including fear, grief, anger, resentment and so many others. So why do we therefore live in a culture where we tell men that it isn't ok to open up and talk about how they feel? There’s this need to be ‘strong’ and ‘brave’ and it’s seen as a weakness to show any chink in the armour by expressing emotions, admitting failure or opening up about anxiety or stress. I don’t believe there’s a big enough outlet for them to find support, encouragement and guidance in dealing with emotions because we still peddle the message that they should be masking them. It's wrong and we can see the damage that this message breeds.
We’ve all seen the statistics of suicides among young men in this country. And that’s just suicide, what about all those currently suffering from anxiety or depression, guilt, shame or any other debilitating emotional condition? Feelings of comparison is also a cultural evil that men suffer from just as much as women, especially with their peers. Whatever women feel, men feel too.
Women can experience impostor syndrome, men can too.
Women can experience stress and bullying at work, men can too.
Women can feel hurt by others’ comments, men can too.
Women can feel insecure about their figures, men can too.
Women can experience anxiety and panic attacks, men can too.
Women can feel unsure about which direction to go in their life, men can too.
Women can feel the pressure of conforming to what all their peers are doing, men can too.
Women can feel unworthy, men can too.
Women can feel unloved, men can too.
I want to shift this paradigm and create a culture where men feel comfortable to open up and experience all the liberating benefits that ‘getting stuff off your chest’ can bring. Because these benefits can be life-changing. In Kinesiology we don’t just treat the physical, we treat the emotional too because it’s so fundamentally connected. When you bottle up your emotions and swallow them down they can come out in all sorts of physical ways. I recently saw a client with terrible shoulder pain lifting his arms, what was the root cause? Grief. After the treatment he could lift his arms up in the air pain-free.
So this is a message to all the men out there. The bravest thing you can do is talk. It feels alien, it takes courage but it will make all the difference. Speak out about how you’re feeling, don’t bottle it up, talk to friends, find a therapist or come and see me for a treatment in a safe and confidential environment where nothing you say will be judged and where you will find the support and encouragement you deserve to bring yourself back into balance, emotionally as well as physically.