22 Sep 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2022 issue 5

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Leisure Management - Jeremy McCarthy

HCM People

Jeremy McCarthy
McCarthy has himself greatly benefited from movement practice Photo: AJL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD
Supporting exercises will help guests work on a range of mobility issues photo: GEORGE APOSTOLIDIS
Guests want more training for their specific needs Photo: Intelligent Movement
The Ido Portal method teaches highly targeted movement exercises Photo: intelligent movement
McCarthy says he’s seen progress that he never experienced with a fitness plan alone Photo: intelligent movement
Therapeutic massage supports the movement plan Photo: intelligent movement

Tell us about Intelligent Movement
Mandarin Oriental is collaborating with local Hong Kong-based physiotherapist, Joint Dynamics, and global sports performance innovators, Hyperice, to launch a variety of new treatments and services to help our guests move more and move better.

The initiative will include new signature massage treatments designed to loosen the joints as well as a series of mobility exercises that our fitness trainers and spa therapists can recommend to guests to help them improve their posture and overall movement capacity.

What's the thinking behind the initiative?
We see that the majority of guests who come in to our spas and fitness centres all have the same challenges with mobility caused by our modern relationship with technology. Because we spend too much of our time sitting in chairs, hands on our keyboards and eyes staring down at screens, most of our guests are movement-deprived and mobility-challenged.

What elements of movement will you incorporate?
We observe common problems that most of our guests are facing with limited neck mobility, forward-head posture, internally rotated shoulders, tight hip flexors and hamstrings, lower back pain and stiffness, etc. We’ll be offering new treatments and training services that target the most common issues caused by our modern lifestyle.

Our offerings are very simple: therapeutic massage techniques that are guided by the physiotherapist experts from the Joint Dynamics physiotherapy clinic in Hong Kong, as well as some supporting mobility exercises to help our guests continue working on their mobility issues when they return home.

Almost everyone can benefit from body massages that are tailored towards the areas of the body where we’re most limited in range-of-movement. And everyone could benefit from incorporating a little more quality movement into their daily lives.

What’s your personal approach to fitness and movement?
The Intelligent Movement initiative was in large part inspired by my own movement practice, as I’ve been training in the Ido Portal method with a teacher named Andres Vesga here in Hong Kong.

We have a community that gets together several times a week for movement sessions and we explore all aspects of movement. I’ve seen significant improvements in my own capacity for movement in a way that far transcends anything I ever experienced following traditional fitness trends.

Our practice looks at movement very broadly and we’re constantly changing the activities we do, so that our bodies are continually challenged and our bodies are always engaged.

Tell us about the people who will be delivering Intelligent Movement
Our therapists and trainers have received specialised training from the experts at Joint Dynamics, to tailor our massage treatments to the areas of our joints that are most constrained by our modern lifestyle.

The training from Joint Dynamics also guides our therapists on how to recommend specific stretches and exercises that guests can do to improve their overall mobility and movement capacity.

Many of these resources will also be available digitally, so that guests can continue to access them after their visit to our spas.

Why should people move more? What are the benefits?
Our bodies were designed to move and yet, in the modern world, most of us spend far too much time in sedentary positions.

The reality is, one hour of exercise is not enough to undo 8-10 hours of sitting in front of a computer. And unfortunately, most people nowadays are not only sedentary at work – we also spend a large part of our leisure time sitting in front of a screen.

Most people can benefit immensely by increasing the total quantity and diversity of movement throughout the day.

The Intelligent Movement initiative is designed to help us elevate awareness around the importance of movement in our daily lives and to help our guests improve their own capacity for movement in a highly targeted way.

How will Intelligent Movement fit within your wider spa and wellness offering?
The Spas at Mandarin Oriental have always had a very holistic approach to wellness including the need for healthy nourishment, mindful recovery, positive relationships and connections, emotional wellbeing and indeed physical movement.

There's an acceleration of interest in fitness among hotel and spa operators. Where do you see this going?
We see a large increase in interest from our guests in personal training. People are interested in fitness services that are more targeted to their specific needs, more private and individualised, and more effective in helping them reach their goals in a limited amount of time.

We’ve also been watching closely how fitness has evolved and I’ve been saying for years now, that “movement is the new fitness.” It’s no longer enough to just think about cardio and strength training. The human body has an infinite capacity for movement, and we can improve peoples’ quality of life by helping them incorporate more movement into their lifestyle in the broadest ways imaginable.

This includes more traditional approaches to strength, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility, but it also includes things like mind-body awareness, functional movements, agility, balance, rhythm and power.

Will there be digital/hybrid elements so the programmes can be used by people remotely?
Some of the mobility exercises will be made available in a digital format, so guests can utilise them even after they return home.
You can find out more about this on our website at www.mandarinoriental.com/luxury-spas.

How will you scale the offering so people can access it at levels to suit their individual fitness, from sedentary people to athletes?
These treatments and exercises are very accessible to people with different levels of experience and fitness. Anyone who spends too much time sitting and/or using technology can benefit.

How will you convince your guests about the benefits?
I think most of our guests are aware that our modern movement-deprived lifestyle is not good for our minds and bodies. We created this treatment to specifically address the issues that most of our guests were already telling us that they have when they come in to our spas and fitness centres.

Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 5

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