The following text is a free translation from Voi Hyvin magazine in 2012 – when Matrix Room was featured for the first time.
“A Different Woman –
Essi Lahti lived years feeling that she is going “against” herself, before she got to know a form of coaching that is connected to body awareness. Now she coaches clients and offers teachings to be aware of your own behavior patterns and roles in Helsinki.
I arrived to Essi Lahti’s and her sisters Emmi’s new center in Liisankatu. I was nervous and restless since I had a hectic day behind me. A slim woman opens the door and it feels like she can see right through me. So this is how it feels to come and meet a holistic human coach for the first time.
She offered me a cup of calming tea and led me to a white room.
I have told her in my email that my stomach is drawing attention because of its shape, which is a ball-like or pregnant-looking shape. People congratulate me for having a new baby although it is only a big belly that I have. Essi says that the intestinal track has more nervous cells than the spinal cord has. The nervous system stimulates the intestines to secret different hormones, like serotonin that is connected to feel good hormones. This is one reason why in Holistic Human coaching the intestinal track is considered to have a connection to our emotional side.
I start to feel uncomfortable. After a few minutes I am connecting to the feelings that make my stomach bloated.
Essi starts to talk about her child client, a young boy in primary school age who has stomach problems. The boy has been in hospital and tested in many ways but they found nothing wrong with him. Essi met the boy for the first time with her mother and observed the chemistry between the two. She examined the body by palpating osteopathicly the belly, the spine, joints of the body, the muscular tension, checking the radius of movement and the over all image of the body.
She found clear tension on the descending large intestine. While talking with the mother it was clear that both of the parents worked a lot and the way of life was much about achievements. When the parents became more aware of the connections between stress and the stomach pain they started to be more present for their child and the problem the boy had lessened.
The parents brought the boy for a treatment a few times and the symptoms disappeared for months. Essi has not treated the parents yet and she assumes is that the symptoms may return.
“It is important to see the connections and the things that are involved in a situation. When the client becomes more aware the different pieces of information the change can start.”
Good bye overweight
For a holistic Human coach the body is the same as the person himself. When the person or the life of the person changes, the body changes as well. This is what happened to Essi when she got to know body oriented coaching 9 years ago in Germany.
She had lived in Switzerland for 8 years, worked as a massage therapist and then studied osteopathy first in Lausanne and then in Helsinki.
“During 4 years I flew every 5 weeks to Helsinki to study osteopathy”.
At the same time Essi met Thomas Hertlein, who works and lives in Mallorca Spain. When Essi met Thomas for the first time he asked her why she had come for a treatment with him. “I told him I was a massage therapist and studied osteopathy and I always wanted to know more” – she says. Thomas asked her then if she needed a diploma to allow herself to touch people,
For Essi it was a sensitive spot to hear that she had a need to touch people but Thomas was right. Essi had trouble to receive and to give closeness just because it would feel good.
“I could accept a therapeutic touch from someone, when I treated them or when I helped them with their problems, or when was treated. It was hard to think that I could be wanted as a woman.”
In the first session they treated Essi’s being woman and femininity. Essi had had many superficial relationships and she liked to tell dirty jokes. Her head told her that this was the way to be accepted but her body tried to give her limits. Essi gained weight and had bad acne. She had forgotten to listen to her needs and sensitivity and started to even loathe herself.
In Thomas coaching Essi’s weight dropped 17kg and her acne disappeared although she did not change her eating or sports habits but instead she changed her behavior.
With Thomas Essi felt that she was seen as who she really was. After the meeting Essi wanted to know more about his method and body awareness coaching.
Thomas taught Essi to recognize the situations where she was acting against herself. Because of this her body started to calm down.
A big part of the education is self awareness. It is important for a body therapist to know herself before treating others.
“A person in love sees the world through pink glasses and a woman who wants to have a baby sees babies and pregnant women everywhere. People seek confirmation on the outside for their inner needs. It is important for a therapist to be aware of topics and needs that move her so that she does not treat herself in the clients.”
A mystic mess
Essi pays attention to herself but as well to the behavior and feeling side of the client. How does the client organize her life?
During our meeting she has paid attention to my handbag that is amazingly full and messy. She makes a connection that this is not probably the only place in my life that is messy and filled with stuff.
“If you would want your food to be digested better and your intestines not to be so irritated you could clear your bag. Not because it is the fault of your bag but because it shows the pattern that you use and repeat in organizing your life and in your behavior.”
The feeling of not being clear and unorganized supports something much bigger than only my bag, intestine or my messy cupboard.
“Everything affects everything. What does the mess in your bag support on the emotional level?”
Essi asks where has the habit of having a messy bag started from. What kind of a behavior pattern do I repeat? Is it time to let go of the pattern? What is the mess in my life that I don’t want to look at?
I don’t know. I feel uncomfortable.
If I give myself time to digest information and learn how to take it in more clearly I can change my belly. Essi advices me to finish something clearly and asses it and consciously let go by seeing that it is done.
“When your belly is more flat you can ask yourself what have you organized different.”
Even the grand mum went through a coaching
When Essi started to change through her own coaching one could see it clearly on the outside.People asked what had happened to her.
Essi’s whole family was inspired to go through the same coaching, even the grand mother. This helped Essi to become more close to her family that she had distanced herself from during the years she lived abroad. The new kind of awareness gave her better skills to communicate.
“Some people disappeared from my life but instead I found more quality connections. It was like a constant noise had disappeared. What was left was space to hear who I was and with whom I felt good.”
Six years ago Essi moved back to Finland. October was gray and Essi didn’t have any other connections left except for her family. She started to look for her new identity as a Finnish woman, that process was not painless. After six months she started to have new friends and a good job.
Essi’s sister Emmi started Thomas coachings half a year after Essi. After Essi moved back to Finland the sisters started to create a new kind of body treatment in a Dayspa in Helsinki. It was a light form to bring body awareness in a massage. At the same time they were creating the form of treatment they do now.
In 2010 Essi and Emmi opened their first Matrix Room in Katajanokka.
“We wanted to offer a place for people who wanted to go deeper.”
In January the Matrix Room concept moved to a new space on Liisankatu. Essi and Emmi have not been marketing their place anywhere yet, people have found their way there from others who have been there.
Although body awareness connected to coaching is fairly new there is enough clients. They work through the teachings of Thomas Herlein.
Hertlein gives courses and teaches in the Matrix Room on a regular basis. In the Matrix we don’t treat symptoms but map the programs the client uses. The aim is to teach the client body awareness which might lead as a side affect for the symptoms to change. Essi says that each problem is a solution and a potential step forward in life.
“Treating a problem is usually a short solution because the understanding of the problem is missing and the same problem may then occur on another level”.
In the Matrix Room the client is taught to see her own behavior and story and its reflections in body language and behavior. The clients that come to the Matrix room are people who want to understand themselves and to treat themselves in a holistic way.
“Physiological functions, emotional patterns and social connections are all the same holistic unit. When we understand the Matrix of our brain we get a better picture how we build our world, our relationships and our bodies.
Matrix is the world that I have adapted with my body, my feelings, my needs and my emotions where I have created different roles and definitions of who I am. These roles and definitions that I have created are a package of personal programs that we decode in the Matrix Room.
It is a relief to know that one can change these patterns. A big change can start form a small thing.” says Essi. She herself started to pay attention to things where she acted against herself and started to live a life that felt good.
I think it is time for me to clear my bag and see what happens next.
Text for the pictures: Essi travels all around the world to attend the courses of Thomas Hertlein. Mr. Hertlein mentors doctors, osteopaths, dentists, coaches and other professionals to diagnose the human and not the symptoms.”