Let’s be clear: 2020 hasn’t been a walk in the park, and we’re only just reaching the half-way mark. Even the most optimistic and fortunate among us have been processing the stress of collective, global anxiety. Design District Magazine turned to internationally in-demand wellness practitioner Kimberly Hulberg for guidance on how to manage the stress of these unprecedented times and maintain equanimity. As a massage therapist and healer with more than 30 years of experience, she travels the world with her clients, who comprise the biggest names from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and has perfected ways to help even the most tightly-wound among us decompress.
Q. What kind of therapies are you trained in?
A. I began my course of study in Swedish relaxation massage, and then deep tissue work. I started learning Craniosacral therapy more than 20 years ago, because I wanted to add an element of alignment and structure for clients that wanted a deeper kind of healing. I’m constantly learning new techniques, like Lymphatic Drainage, Visceral Manipulation and even Somatic Emotional Release. The latter is really useful right now.
Q. How are people dealing with the current emotional atmosphere?
A. We are in shock. This pandemic has affected our system deeper than we realize. Energetically, our bodies are in shock. What is really important to recognize right now is this is real trauma. This amount of upheaval -- from the fear of the virus to the protracted lockdown to the protests going on around the world – is traumatic. What is important is to avoid internalizing it in the body. That means not only feeling your feelings when they arise but practicing self-care to ensure that you meet the needs of the body.
Q. What does that kind of self-care look like?
A. There are some simple things you can do to take good care of yourself. They aren’t expensive and they don’t have to be time consuming. The key is to make them part of a regular practice of self-care. First, meditation. Even for two minutes a day. Learning to be with yourself and your thoughts is one of the expected dividends of this time. Second, be mindful. Try to be aware of what you are doing – the words and actions you are choosing. The goal isn’t to change them per se, but to observe them. Third, nutrition and hydration – they are always foundational. Eat whole foods when possible, drink tons of water and stay aware of what your body is calling out for. Fourth, sleep. Even now, we live in a society that equates rest with sloth. Utterly untrue. Finally, connect with nature. Walk barefoot outside, with your left hand over your heart. Get out of manmade environments and into the natural world when possible, even if right now that just means walking by the water’s edge, sitting in your backyard or watching the clouds from a terrace or rooftop.
Q. Is there anything we can do if we feel out of kilter?
A. Absolutely. Take baths with Epsom salt and essential oils. I think that Eucalyptus and rosemary are especially helpful right now. Use essential oils to rub your feet, temples, shoulders and neck. Self-massage is a way of showing yourself love and staying balanced. Try Oil of Thieves, which is a combination of herbs that is said to protect against illness. This is a time of reset and regeneration that will require all of us, including you. Try to be present in your body to stay balanced and whole. We’re all in this together. Follow Kimberly on her journey @kimbayaya.