Life Without Limit at Activate Body

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

Georgia Beard recalls the restorative experience of breathwork, ice bathing and sauna soaking as part of Activate Body’s holistic fitness program designed to reveal how far our limits may stretch – if we dare to try.

We know our bodies best. When accidents and conditions hinder our form and function, our recovery demands we listen to ourselves as much as we listen to a doctor’s verdict.

Collaborating with medical specialists, personal trainers and health coaches, our healing becomes holistic and long-lasting, empowering us to go further than we thought we could reach.

This is where Tom Molloy found himself after developing and learning to treat chronic knee and hip osteoarthritis.

A series of knee dislocations and surgeries cut short his athletic aspirations as a teen, pushing him onto a path to rebuild his body.

Trial and error taught him the recovery program his body needed – an evolving blend of strength training, breathwork, movement and mindfulness.

Now the Co-Founder and Performance Coach of Activate Body, Tom works with Co-Founder, Physiotherapist and wife Dr Viktoria Molloy to help clients with this all-encompassing approach to treatment.

Opening five years ago and recently moving to Thomas Street, Noosaville, their clinic offers an ecosystem of physiotherapy, strength training, weight loss detox, breathwork, yoga, ice baths and hot saunas to optimise human high performance and wellbeing.

As Tom explained, clients often come into the clinic with a limited scope of their physical capabilities, which Activate Body seeks to expand.

“As human beings, we’re always trying to find the right source of enjoyment or avoid pain,” he said.

“Sometimes we need to be exposed to certain pain or discomfort, but a lot of people are too afraid or don’t know how to bridge that – and that’s where we come in.”

Accessing a combination of physiotherapy, rehabilitation, exercise and mindfulness, clients develop their ability to recognise bodily signals and respond effectively, from pain management to progressive physical training.

After a recent injury, I showed up to Activate Body in search of this experience during a Breath, Fire & Ice Workshop with the IN Noosa Team.

Recovering from a knee dislocation much like Tom’s, I wanted to expand my restricted treatment options and test the boundaries of my physical ability.

Each of us shared our intentions for the session as we settled into movement and breathwork.

Familiar with my wellness journey, Tom accommodated my limited function while urging me to push my body beyond mental confines.

As flexibility and strength returned to my stiff joints, we slipped into breathwork with the Wim Hof Method, taking 30 deep breaths and holding on the last exhalation for as long as we could before drawing one final recovery breath.

The practice aims to enhance relaxation and mindfulness and increase our tolerance of CO2. Paired with a simulated hyperventilation technique, we gained awareness over our bodies and regulated our stress responses in preparation for the ice bath.

A rapid, full-body immersion in water at 1-2°C, inducing shock and expelling oxygen – the anticipation weighed on us.

Equipped with our chosen breathing technique, each one of us readied our minds over matter.

As I took the plunge, real hyperventilation seized my lungs and adrenalin activated my flight response, but my mind told my body to stay.

With Tom on hand to supervise, guide and encourage, I focused on regaining control of my airflow with box breathing.

Three minutes later, as my trembling body climbed out and headed straight to the comfort of the sauna I realised that I had woken the parts of me I didn’t know were asleep. I felt revived.

The controlled cold shock is restorative, improving lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, reducing muscle inflammation and boosting endorphin levels – an ideal response to my knee injury.

Immediately after the ice bath, heat exposure from the sauna enhances muscle hypertrophy and soft tissue recovery to improve cardiovascular health, brain function and mental resilience.

After experiencing such an acute stress environment, I’ve also retained breathing techniques to use against everyday stressors.

Now I’ve found new footing in life, and I’m eager to go back and to expand my physical and mental limits further than I have before.

Such self-awareness and self-healing are core outcomes of Activate Body’s clinical and coaching services.

Tom and Viktoria have witnessed it in the lives of professional athletes preventing and managing injury to locals recovering from traumatic events.

“Day by day, you can go through a routine, being reactive but not conscious to the world,” Tom said.

“If you’re out of that routine, you’re experiencing life and profoundly more engaged in it.

“To me, that’s living.”

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