By Stan Stewart.
It is about health and well-being. Stan Stewart talks with Kimako Higuma.
Growing up in the Aussie bush, I was barely aware of massage. What I did hear about it was that it was somehow aligned to prostitution. The two went together. Maybe in some redlight districts it is, but in respect of mainstream massage, how wrong I was!
Kimiko grew up in Japan. Her interest was competitive gymnastics and body boarding. Her formal training was in sports science. Her way into massage was a bout of depression. She began to take massage seriously when a dark cloud in her spirit needed to be lifted. So, she undertook formal training at the New Zealand College of Massage.
After graduating, Kimiko has since expanded her knowledge of massage and keeps studying both in New Zealand and overseas. She has now been working in massage for nearly 20 years and over the last 11 years, she has built a very large client base in Auckland, which includes physios, chiropractors, osteopaths, doctors and yoga teachers. She has only recently commenced practising in Whitianga. She is working with her daughter Hanako, who is also a trained Masseuse and work together and independently in leading well-being workshops.
Kimiko described daily life in Japan. "A hot bath and massage are a daily routine for millions. It is normal and taken for granted. Living your daily life without these is unthinkable." This social practice is far removed from the life most people experience here and in other Western English-speaking nations.
As with many Asian medical professionals, Kimiko believes some western physicians do not fully appreciate the holistic approach of Asian (Eastern) medicine. Western medicine puts high value on drugs and surgery. In Japan, massage is viewed as a legitimate health treatment and consequently the government subsidises massage visits. Kimiko explains that massage works by increasing blood circulation, redispersing acidic substances (knots) and helps mental calmness and consequently defuses depression. This helps physical and mental wellbeing.
Like many others, she is concerned about the amount of depression, aggression and disconnection that is present in kiwi society. Even in our paradise of Mercury Bay, these feelings affect many people. She believes a holistic approach including massage, can make a worthwhile contribution to defusing this world of jangled emotions.
"Health is the highest gain. Contentment is the greatest wealth,” says Kimiko. She believes massage is the perfect way to counter the stress many of us have in our daily lives.
Kimiko 021 931 353.
Cation: Kimiko & Hanako.