„If the path in front of you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s” (Carl Jung)
Gyde von Wlassack, therapist (physiotherapy, osteopathy and coaching) , changes her workplace for part of the year to escape to the Reethi Rah Resort on the island of Fonimagoodhoo in the Maldives, not only for a change of scenery, but also to experience a different kind of practice with her clients, which is mainly shaped by the environment, the connection with nature and the encounter with a travelling mind that is usually more open to change.
IRMA: What is the difference between your work in Hamburg and in the Maldives?
GYDE VON WLASSACK: It’s the state of mind of my guests. Being outside, the beautiful nature, the ocean, the sun and the friendly people around you make a difference. I think when you’re on holiday and you don’t have to worry about your daily needs, it’s much easier to connect with yourself on a deeper level, in my experience people are more receptive when they come for a treatment. Another difference is that I have to be very focused and able to summarise what I am sharing because sometimes people are only here for a few days. It is different at home where you can take a whole process over weeks or months.
Reethi Rah is also a very special place for me. You immediately feel grounded and safe here. It’s the spirit of the people who “are” Reethi Rah and of course the island itself.
IRMA: Tell us about your method, how you work and what makes it different from a normal osteopathic treatment?
GYDE VON WLASSACK: I have always been interested in how we work (physically, how we are meant to be…). Over the years I’ve realised that it’s not enough to treat the body with certain techniques, so I’ve started to include the exploration of my guests’ “patterns”, habits (thoughts, beliefs & actions), useful and not so useful? What do you want instead? How do you get there? Sometimes knowing what you want is not the opposite of knowing what you don’t want. Modern neuroscience is also clearly linked to spirituality. So this is also part of my thinking.
I call this “zooming out”, watching yourself when you’ve understood your pattern, doing it again and seeing if you can start to consciously choose your next thought or action.
I also work very effectively with the belief system. It is a combination of kinesiology and balancing the hemispheres of our brain through certain exercises. It allows you to feel AND think at the same time in a stressful situation, allowing you to make empowered decisions. The body must also learn to regulate itself again. We are used to working, thinking, improving at a high level of performance. We do it every day, 24/7. We become masters of being activated. But what if you have forgotten how to calm down, how to access relaxation and creativity? This is only possible in a certain state of brain activity. We have to practice this because we have programmed our bodies to function in a certain way. Just UNDERSTANDing what has happened will not change your physical reactions to situations. We have to practice. Any kind of somatic therapy is helpful for this. I use a mix of body reflexology, fascia work and certain visceral osteopathic techniques as well as deep learning and coaching tools.
IRMA: In your opinion, how important is the practice of mental hygiene?
GYDE VON WLASSACK: Mental hygiene is key in my opinion. “The soul is coloured by the colour of its thoughts.” (Marcus Aurelius)
What you expect will happen. I really believe in the power of conscious thinking and developing mental strength. The quality of your thoughts affects your body, hormones etc etc. You better be aware of what is going on in your head.
IRMA: How can you incorporate a daily practice (maybe even part of your therapy) into your life?
GYDE VON WLASSACK: As you are able to reconnect with yourself, you will feel what supports your growth, but part of your daily routine should be about being intentional during your day. Ask yourself 3 questions in the morning when you have your tea or coffee:
1. What do I want to focus on today?
2. What am I going to let go of today?
3. What am I grateful for today?
It is quick and free…🙏🏽
IRMA: What do you suggest to get back into a routine after leaving the island, any tips?
GYDE VON WLASSACK: Even during a routine working day, there should be space for the things that are good for you. To be honest, you should plan everything else around what you need for yourself. Put yourself first and start with small things, be kind to yourself. Celebrate improvement and effort!
IRMA: What or who inspires you most in your work?
GYDE VON WLASSACK: It is not a person or a thing, I am inspired by the idea of being in a peaceful state of mind, being touched by life and everything in it, and also being able to decide when to let go of unwanted thoughts or feelings. Still a work in progress 🙂
Recently I read a quote that I really liked: “There are only two people who should be proud of you, the 8 year old you and the 80 year old you. This also inspired me to keep growing and the most important thing is to show up! 🙏🏽🙏🏽
Other Practitioners visiting One & Only Reehti Rah
21 Nov 2023 to 20 Mar 2024. Alex Katerinko (Yoga)
29 Nov – 20 Dec 2023: Dr. Francesc (Chinese Medicine)
15 Dec 2023 – 20 Jan 2024: Dr. Gopal (Ayurveda)
15 Dec 2023 – 22 Jan 2024: Tooru & Yukako (WatSu)
20 Dec 2023 – 20 Jan 2024: Eduardo (Physical Therapy)
20 Dec 2023 – 30 Jan 2024: Zubaid (CrossFit/Boxing)
01 – 20 Feb 2024: Dr. Francesc (Chinese Medicine)