'Find happiness within yourself' - psycotherapist Gerard Kite
Do you separate work from pleasure? You don't have to if you follow the Chinese body clock, psychotherapist and acupuncturist Gerad Kite tells our reporter
Telling an Irish person to listen to themselves may be taken the wrong way - but there is a huge difference between saying 'would you listen to yourself' and 'take the time to listen to yourself'.
This is what psychotherapist and acupuncturist Gerad Kite (pictured) urges us to do - he maintains that by taking stock of ourselves and really hearing what is going on inside our minds and bodies, we can make our lives a whole lot better and a lot less stressful.
Based in the UK, the self-help expert is in Dublin this upcoming weekend to promote his new book Everything You Need, You Have which aims to teach people the art of understanding themselves and appreciating all the good they have in their lives.
"We need to listen to what our body needs so we are in alignment with the greater forces of nature and not going against the flow," he explains. "We should aim to spend more time being silent and still and appreciating what we already have.
"Because really I think we have lost the gift of enjoying the simple things in life. Contentment and happiness is very much bound up with ambition and acquisition that never really delivers in the way that just 'being' can provide."
With the hectic pace of modern life, Kite says most of us do not see the benefit of slowing down - but if we took the time to switch off, we would find that we may already have reached the goals we are striving for.
"We are not in the habit of being still and don't really value it," he says. "I tell my patients that if they really want happiness, contentment and peace, they must find it inside themselves and once they have located it, can get busy again but this time, for the love of activity rather than the chase.
"So people will be happier by realising that the searching never ends and contentment isn't found in material things. Instead, things of value emerge from being at peace in ourselves."
Psychotherapist and acupuncturist Gerad Kite
Finding our inner calm can also help us to feel less stressed, tired and emotional says Kite, who says we should divide our daily functions into different time slots which relate to various parts of the body.
"I recommend using the Chinese Clock which demonstrates the 'right' time for certain functions based on our relationship with the earth and the sun," he explains.
"In the same way that we know to plant seeds in the spring, the Chinese clock tells us for example, when to eat our biggest meal (breakfast) and when to do certain things within a daily 24-hour period.
"Each 24-hour circuit is cumulative so adherence to the clock on a regular basis builds our capacity to be well and stay in sync with nature through the power of living a balanced life.
"I'm a great believer in everything in moderation and a work hard, play hard, rest well routine. I get up early, meditate, walk my dogs and then work hard. I love my work and enjoy being busy but don't feel the need to wind down as in spite of being busy, my day feels effortless and I tend not to separate work from pleasure. "
The Chinese Clock:
• 3am to 5am - Early stirring and gentle breathing - Lungs
• 5am to 7am - Rising and defecating - Large intestine
• 7am to 9am - Healthy eating - Stomach
• 9am to 11am - Thinking and working - Spleen
• 11am to 1pm - Meeting, talking and eating - Heart
• 1pm to 3pm - Sorting and organising - Small intestine
• 3pm to 5pm - Storing and reserving - Bladder
• 5pm to 7pm - Driving and consolidating - Kidney
• 7pm to 9pm - Socialising and flirting - Circulation/sex
• 9pm to 11pm - Relaxing and chilling - Three heater (inner body thermostat)
• 11pm to 1pm - Sleeping and regenerating - Gall bladder
• 1am to 3am - Deep resting and dreaming - Liver
Having dabbled in different careers, Kite, who also wrote The Art of Baby Making, began making a name for himself in the late 1980s as a fertility expert.
"I moved to San Francisco where I discovered Five-Element acupuncture for the first time," he says. "I returned to London (in 1987) and very quickly I gained a reputation for helping people conceive where they previously believed they couldn't have children.
"My team and I look at the whole person to see how they may be out of balance - whether it's physical, emotional or lifestyle - and help them find balance, the outcome of which is improved fertility along with many other benefits."
Psychotherapy and acupuncture work hand-in hand, says Kite.
"Acupuncture works by the practitioner being able to detect inappropriate flow within the patient and inserting needles in specific points along energy channels to correct it," he says.
"Psychotherapy works when people change the way they feel through a mental or emotional shift. Acupuncture addresses the body, mind and spirit directly and as a result a correction of an imbalance within the flow of energy can change the way a person thinks and feels."
* Gerad Kite will host a public talk and book signing at the Talbot Hotel Dublin at 3pm on Saturday May 21. Entry is free but pre-registration is required. Call 01 8330865 or email email@example.com
* 'Everything You Need, You Have' costs €12.99 and is available in bookstores nationwide and at geradkite.com
Health & Living