You don’t have to try 37 types, but one might be right for you.
Kay Hutchison is the author of “My Life in Thirty-Seven Therapies: From Yoga to Hypnosis and Why Voodoo Is Never the Answer,” an audiobook released in March. The book covers her journey of self-discovery and pursuit of happiness and inner peace.
She also is a content creator with extensive experience in radio, television and publishing. Kay founded her own company, Belle Media, and launched Belle Kids in 2015, producing multi-platform, conservation-focused content for children.
Healthy Living asked Kay about her experiences with therapy.
Q. Trying 37 therapies—was that by design or did you have to go through that many to find the right therapy for you?
A. It was not by design. It was only when I looked back that I realized just how many I had tried. I started cautiously with a few simple therapies, ones I considered to be safe and mainstream, such as aromatherapy massage and acupuncture. But, before long, I was in to cupping and colonic irrigation. I met new people as I investigated new therapies, and this led to well-being retreats and more spiritual therapies, such as psychic readings and astrology.
I wasn’t looking for one or two or even the “right” therapies for me. I was searching for answers to my mounting problems (midlife crisis, burnout, call it what you will) through the therapies and I kept on looking in new places. In fact, I found that each therapy shed new light on my problems. I loved trying new therapies not just as an experience in its own right, but also for the insights they gave me concerning my physical, mental and even spiritual health. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop.
Q. Should everyone try therapy?
A. I would never push anyone to do something if it just wasn’t for them. However, I do know that many people who were vaguely interested before, now feel more confident in trying a new therapy after reading the book. The story shows how each one aided my recovery. I hope people will feel more enthusiastic about trying some type of therapy after reading about my experiences. I’d always suggest you start with something that really appeals to you as a person, something you feel drawn to but perhaps never had the courage to try. It might lead to a healthier, more confident and stronger “you.” That’s what I believe. The therapy tour on kayhutchison.com briefly summarizes each therapy.
Q. Best therapy experience?
A. The silent retreat was my best experience. At first, it was rather odd being together with 50 other women for 10 silent days over Christmas, not being able to utter a word. We weren’t to look at each other, either, to discourage communication of any kind. Most of the time, we sat together meditating in a hall—or should I say, “learning” to meditate—which was a challenge with over 10 hours a day. But somehow, the simple diet, the quieting of the mind and being shut away in silence continuously for many days was hugely health-giving. I felt balanced, happy and more confident.
Q. Worst therapy experience?
A. I would have to say colonic irrigation, even though I respect many of my friends who swear by it and appreciate its benefits regularly. I have been told it’s simply a more effective, professionally monitored enema. But, for me personally, it seemed closer to a medical procedure than a beneficial therapy because it is an invasive treatment, and the filling of your system with warm water—albeit cleansing and energizing—was not something I particularly enjoyed. It felt as if I was gently simmering inside, and I was so glad when it was over. I must say, however, that my skin was smooth, my stomach was flatter, and I certainly did feel cleansed.
Q. Is the goal of therapy to use it long term or to develop your own form of self-care?
A. In my view, the goal of therapy is to help you stay healthy, promote a greater understanding of yourself and your needs in life and, most important of all, help you enjoy life more. It is a wonderful form of self-care as there are so many different routes to take, but you are in charge and you decide what works for you. Some therapies will be for one time only, others for once in a while and a few will be absolutely right for you and you’ll want to have them as part of your weekly routine.
I’m still trying new ones and building on my knowledge and I feel secure in the knowledge that there is always something to help when the going gets tough.
Kay’s top 10 tips for therapy
- Balance daily stress with relaxation, exercise—and therapy.
- Self-care is a vast industry, so it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge before you sign up for anything.
- If you’re not sure where to start, check with your general practitioner, especially if you’re thinking of trying more extreme therapies like colonic irrigation.
- The best place to check out therapy options is online. It will give you an idea of what’s involved and how much it costs.
- Beware. There are many videos showing therapists in action. Remember, not all will be equally well-trained.
- Check with recognized organizations that are responsible for training standards and certification.
- Try different practitioners. Each therapist is unique. One will be right for you.
- Hypnosis can be good for heartbreak and help you move on by replacing feelings of emptiness or low self-esteem with positive emotions.
- If I was asked where someone should start, I’d say massage. It’s great for calming anxiety, easing tense muscles and giving you a break from the pressures of the day.
- For me, yoga is the best therapy for all-around good health. It not only gently exercises your body, it also helps with mental focus and spiritual nourishment.