Focus on: Femke Koene - Exercise Kinesiologist
I am pleased to be writing this first feature on Wellington Exercise Kinesiologist, Femke Koene. I first met Femke a year ago when I was completing my Diploma in Sports & Massage Therapy. Our class went on a small feild trip around some Wellington gyms and one of the highlights of this was a visit to Femke's L.IF.E Movement studio. From there, a few of us likeminded students who had a real interest in what Femke does had some joint sessions with her to find out more. I started individual sessions with her to begin work on some areas of imbalance I have and attend her group stretching sessions. In getting to know Femke, I've she is a very talented lady. Incredibly knowledgeable with a great way of working with people, Femke's passion for what she does is infectious. I asked Femke to tell us about herself, what she does and how her work fits with Massage Therapy.
Tell us about yourself
Femke (the name is a giveaway, Dutch through and through), came to NZ at 10 years of age. I’m the oldest 4 and grew up in West Auckland and spent most of my days either in the pool or in the surf (eventually as a Piha Lifeguard and swim school instructor throughout my teens and early twenties).
I did ok at sport and health related subjects at school so luckily, I was accepted into Akoranga Campus for one of the first ever “Fitness Center Training” Courses! 1989 to be exact, flip! Things sure have evolved (for the most part) within the industry since then..and no surprises now when reflecting back on all the injuries that followed. I started working as a Personal Trainer at Les Mills in Auckland in the early 90’s and by virtue of my own injuries and frustrations as a triathlete, I stumbled upon the work of Paul Chek, which led me to study and practice Exercise Kinesiology under him for aprox. 5 years both in NZ and San Diego.
The methods and techniques we used within the scope of Exercise Kinesiology (EK) were recognized as new and progressive during the mid 90’s and attracted the attention and curiosity of high performance athletes, movement coaches and therapists. Interestingly, within a fairly short period of time, I was given opportunities to work with Olympic and world-class athletes in the USA and Canada and share ideas and concepts with fellow therapists and coaches. I returned to NZ in 2002 with baby Soul (he’s now 13 and the love of my life) and I have continued to practice, develop and teach movement models in Wellington ever since, and loving it!
What is exercise kinesiology?
Exercise Kinesiology is often mistaken for Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing). Exercise means practice and Kinesiology means “bodies in motion”, so its all about restoring and optimizing form and function for work, sport, play and life. LIFE movements (also known as bio-motor abilities) are things like balance, co-ordination, stability, mobility, flexibility, agility, endurance, strength, speed, and power. But I think what makes Exercise Kinesiology different from a corrective perspective is the level of individualisation and empowerment it provides long term, particularly when it comes to injury management and prevention.
Exercise Kinesiology is a dense and complex field - the body is viewed as an integrated, informational organism/system that is essentially self-forming. With additional regard for emotional and environmental influences, my assessment process caters to the full spectrum and enables me to “prescribe” programs accordingly.
Who and what is exercise kinesiology useful for? Do you have to be an athlete or can anyone benefit?
If you have a desire to overcome and self manage injuries or chronic pain and get functionally fit at the same time, then Exercise Kinesiology and “Corrective Training” is for you. And yes, it’s behavior too. As a Corrective Exercise Specialist I have come to learn that it’s all about building relationships and that Exercise Kinesiology is beneficial from the cradle to the grave. Whether you are desk bound, a tradesman/woman, or an athlete, the fundamentals apply to all in terms of health and functionality. I’m working more and more with kids, both “abled” and special needs (i.e dyspraxia) which I deeply value.
What are the most common problems you see in the range of people you work with?
The most common would be neck strain and back pain and these are often coupled with a myriad of associated problems such as faulty posture, faulty breathing, vision impairment, jaw pain, bowel stagnation, menstrual stagnation, flight or fight symptoms, sleeplessness, weight gain, “emotional blindness” – the list goes on.
What can clients expect from sessions with you?
Tools, support and an uplifting environment. L.I.F.E Movement stands for Learn, Implement, Feel, & Enjoy! The Enjoy bit is where it's at. I offer a free consultation that allows for an opportunity to discuss your needs and how to best move forward in terms of sessions and possibly classes to supplement. Group sessions are small in numbers and very relaxing and great for reinforcing the fundamentals.
How do you see exercise kinesiology and massage therapy working together to help clients?
It’s a hand in glove relationship particularly when collaboration and co-operation flows 3 ways between practitioners and client. Massage Therapy is passive (predominantly) and Exercise Kinesiology is active, so together re-patterning and reshaping is optimized and long lasting. It is such a pleasure when someone like Odette waltzes into my life and effortlessly participates in such an enriching way. Thank you!
How can people find out more or book a consultation?
My L.I.F.E Movement Studio is located at Level 1, 30 Courtenay Place.To find out more or enquire about a free consultation, people can contact me directly or visit my website.
021 269 5741