Hi Toby, thank you for spending the time today answering my questions.
We have known each other for over 14 years now and have become good friends. Having first met back in 2004 in Chiang Mai, Thailand during a Tai Chi Chuan course, we regularly bump into each other in London, Malaysia and Thailand.
You have spent many years “on the road” travelling to amazing 5-star resorts in some of the most stunning places in the World. All the time providing a range of amazing treatments mostly having their origins in Asia.
Let’s jump into some questions for you, we look forward to your answers.
1. Can you give some background of where you’re from and what made you move from the UK all those years ago?
I am originally from West London but left the UK about 20 years ago. I decided to leave because it dawned on me one day that this life is not forever and I wanted to just enjoy it as much as possible.
I wanted it to become an adventure, an exciting experience and so with a newly acquired English teaching certificate and just $1,500 in my back pocket, I bought a one-way ticket to Thailand and my adventure began.
2. You spend a fair amount of time in SE Asia, what’s the appeal and do you see yourself settling here again?
I have always been drawn to South East Asia, mainly because of the spirituality I associate with it. I originally chose Thailand because I wanted to learn more about Buddhism. I had been practising meditation for about 7 years and Thailand has many Buddhist temples where you can go on retreats and live as a monk.
Living and working in Thailand gave me a far deeper insight and understanding of Buddhism than I think I would have experienced living in the UK.
I left Thailand in 2010 due to political instability in the country making it difficult for me to work there. I was sad to leave and didn’t think I would live there again.
But over the last few years, circumstances and work have drawn me back to South East Asia and I am spending about 6 months of the year there again. It has made me realise how much I love it and I could definitely see myself settling there again in the future.
3. You spend most of your time working in exotic locations (I am quite jealous!) where have you been the last 12 months? Where will you be next?
As a freelance Visiting Specialist to Hotels and Spas, I usually work at a resort for one month, so I do travel often. In the last 12 months, I have worked in Thailand, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Vietnam.
The next 12 months will take me back to some of the same resorts in the same countries in addition new resorts in the Maldives, India, Switzerland and Turkey where new opportunities have arisen.
4. You offer a number of treatments to clients in resorts all over the World, what treatments do you currently offer?
I work as a Mind and Body specialist. For the body, I tend to use a combination of massage and acupuncture which is all based around the principles of Chinese medicine. For the mind, I use a combination of hypnotherapy, meditation and life coaching.
5. What’s the appeal with Eastern Medicine and alternative treatments you have learnt in Asia?
I think that in the west, many people are beginning to realise that western medicine cannot cure everything and that there are alternatives cures out there that can help when western medicine fails. One of these alternatives is Chinese medicine.
Also, people are waking up to the idea that our health is in fact our responsibility and not the responsibility of our GP. Eastern medicine perpetuates that prevention is better than cure and works on strengthening the immune system so that our bodies can fend for themselves against illness and disease rather than relying on medication that may only suppress symptoms and possibly cause bigger health problems further down the line.
Also, research has now proven that our psychological state of mind also affects our physical health and this is something Eastern medicine has been addressing for thousands of years.
6. You have treated a number of executive clients for stress. What common characteristics do you find and the best form of treatment? (you don’t have to reveal any secrets here!)
Every person is different, but most of my clients are usually aged between 35-50 and are experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis.
The underlying theme is that most people by this time of their lives have achieved or are on the path to achieving everything that they thought would make them happy in life, such as marriage, family, house, car, financial security, good career etc. However, they often find that in fact, these things have not brought them the peace of mind they were looking for but exactly the opposite.
There are various reasons for this; stress, overworking, dissatisfaction with their choice of career, recognising there is not enough time for their friends or family, divorce or sometimes even a health issue that has caused them to re-assess their priorities in life.
Although many people believe a mid-life crisis it is a bad thing to go through, if they approach it with the right attitude, they will realise it is an extremely positive thing. It is a time for new beginnings, a change, an opportunity to stop, reflect on what is most important to them in life and start to make new, positive decisions in life.
Pain, whether it is physical or psychological, is a warning that something is wrong and that you need to do something about it. Stress, anxiety or depression are all warning signs and you must listen to what your mind is telling you, discover the root cause and make life changes accordingly.
I help people understand their minds and what the root cause of their problems are. Once this is established, we then work together to help them find solutions and move forward in life more positively.
7. So, we put together your current website. What are your plans for this in the near future?
Future plans include adding some online courses that people can access whenever and wherever they are. The aim of the courses is to help anyone achieve greater peace of mind and that can mean anything from relieving a bit of work stress, helping them gain greater clarity of their goals in life or even a deep spiritual understanding of themselves.
Whatever people are looking for in life, my aim is to provide them with the correct knowledge and tools to find it.
We will also be providing plenty of articles and blogs to help readers improve their physical and psychological health in addition to promoting any products that we know will support people in attaining better health and greater peace of mind.