Meet the Team at Ealing Fitness Clinic: Pierre Higginson
Hi there, my name is Pierre, I’m a CHEK Practitioner, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach. Through my Integrated Health & Corrective Exercise Kinesiology program, I help clients reduce pain, improve posture, and increase vitality.
By the end of this “Meet The Team” blog, I hope to have given you a better understanding of what I do, my background, and what I aim to accomplish whilst working with my clients!
Getting into the health industry
I’d always had a keen interest in my personal health throughout my childhood and teenage years. Sports and exercise were a mainstay since I had the ability to walk as a toddler. This expanded to nutrition and lifestyle management as a teenager when I started to try and understand why I had gut-related issues, seasonal allergies, skin issues like eczema, and anxiety.
Like most people who’ve gone through a similar journey, you realise that pills and treatments are only good for short-term effects. After a while, the desire to gain a deeper understanding as to what’s truly causing these symptoms became a continued interest, something I only truly understood after gaining my professional license as a Chek Practitioner.
In 2012, I graduated from university with a degree in English Literature and found myself knowing I wanted to work in health and wellness but didn’t have a specific trajectory yet planned.
After a couple of years trying my hands at different jobs from writing for magazines, to selling advertising, I started working with two very interesting people, a personal trainer and a therapist who created their own education courses, specialising in pain management and movement coaching.
We would run further education courses for Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Personal Trainers. I was essentially helping them run their business, doing marketing, video editing, and assisting a worldwide community of their practitioners.
The courses used a mixture of functional neurology, movement therapy, gymnastics, and holistic health principles. Through this, I really got an understanding of the industry, the many different therapies out in the world, different approaches, and ways of working with the body in a therapeutic capacity. I saw a bird’s eye view of the industry, and how each modality was particularly unique and offered different benefits to the client.
After a few years, I felt the calling to step away from a career focused on marketing and being in front of the computer a lot of the day, to working professionally in helping people understand their health challenges and find natural solutions through exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle management.
Becoming a CHEK Practitioner
Out of all the different therapist and coaching qualifications, the Chek Practitioner program really stood out to me. It is a truly holistic approach, that looks into great detail at all aspects of what makes a human being healthy. From nutrition to lifestyle, to stress management, to organ and gland health, to biomechanics, posture, rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning.
It resonated with everything I wanted to accomplish for my own health, and give me the tools and resources to understand the root causes of clients’ health issues rather than just their symptoms. After a year of studying I’d addressed most of the underlying reasons as to why I was experiencing issues like poor digestion, poor posture, and anxiety.
The Chek philosophy is entirely based on finding the root causes of symptoms rather than just treating the symptoms of deeper issues. It also focuses on how all the different systems in the body are interconnected. For example, how the digestive system, endocrine system, and musculoskeletal systems all interact with one another… also how your thoughts and perceptions play a role in health.
I saw a career I could really express myself fully in and help people who were experiencing incredibly common challenges that run rife in society, such as poor posture, gastro-intestinal issues, musculoskeletal pain, skin issues, being overweight/underweight, chronic low energy, and more.
What is a CHEK Practitioner?
The role of a Chek Practitioner is to help you find the right path to achieve your health, wellness, and fitness goals. Whether that be fine-tuning your diet to support your unique metabolism, doing a corrective exercise program to gain optimal posture and muscle balance, or exploring certain lifestyle strategies to reduce the stress load on specific organs and glands.
Through my work as a Chek Practitioner, I use a specific assessment process, customised nutrition through metabolic typing, lifestyle, and exercise coaching, all rolled into one unique bespoke program to integrate into your life. This encompasses a detailed physical assessment where I go through things like:
- Postural Analysis, Static & Dynamic
- Musculoskeletal Assessment
- Neuro-Developmental Analysis
- Joint Ranges of Motion
- Functional Movement Patterns
This is really to identify how your body is functioning as a whole integrated system. Where a traditional physical therapy approach may focus solely on the injury or location of pain, my assessment process aims to establish a bigger picture viewpoint.
This includes using specific Chek Practitioner equipment to measure spinal ranges of motion through flexion, extension, and rotation, pelvic tilt measurements, and more, which all provide me with specific data to see how your body is functioning, and more importantly how to improve function. Once the data is collated, I can then write a personalised program that addresses a client’s imbalances and enhances function.
Looking at the overall stress load of a client is also a key factor, which can indicate to a higher degree what kind of exercise program will enhance your energy and not just add catabolic stress to your life.
I also use specific Health Appraisal Questionnaires and Nutrition & Lifestyle assessments that allow me to get data as to which organs and glands would benefit from nutrition and lifestyle support.
A Chek Practitioner also appreciates that to live in a state of heightened health and wellness, you need to value all aspects of what makes a human being healthy, which is not simply limited to exercising and eating well. Stress management, mindfulness, and being clear on what brings you happiness and fulfillment are all key players when it comes to living with optimal health, vitality, and function – which also plays a key part in reducing sensitisation of the central nervous system.
Using a WHOLE BODY approach to health and function
A core philosophy behind a Chek Practitioner is to always view the body as more than just a stack of muscles, bones, and joints. The location of the pain is not necessarily where the problem lies, and the health of the organs and glands all play highly important roles when it comes to body function.
Through my work with clients, I focus on adopting a coaching approach in order to help empower my clients. Something I realised very early on in my own health and working in the industry is that the real deep changes don’t come from a specific intervention like a treatment or a supplement. It comes from the choices we make on a day-to-day basis when it comes to nutrition, exercise, mental-emotional self-management, and lifestyle. This is really what empowers the individual to improve function and transform their health for the long term.
The Integrated Health Coaching & Corrective Exercise Kinesiology Program
Through my program, I follow a step-by-step body and mind process that is tailored to your specific health and wellness. I work to see the relationships between the different body systems, trace injury or dysfunction back to its true source, and offer a program that focuses on unwinding the causes of my client’s challenges.
Typically I go through these stages when working with clients:
Get clear on what specific goals and dreams you have, as well as determine what is currently stopping you from achieving them.
Go through a physical assessment (which can last anywhere from 90mins to 3 hours), nutrition & lifestyle factors, and organs and glands assessment.
I then analyse and examine all the data collated, and write you a truly individualised program that includes corrective mobilisations and stretches, a corrective exercise program, and nutrition and lifestyle action points.
The next step is to go through weekly coaching and exercise sessions, where I can progress you as the weeks go by, and support you in areas of lifestyle and nutrition. The overall aim is to:
- Bring balance to your life
- Increase your health, vitality, and immune system
- Re-shape your body in order to live and move functionally, for your current activity, to achieve personal goals or for sporting performance.
Passions & hobbies!
When I’m not working, I love to spend time doing different hobbies like playing music, I’ve played drums and guitar since I was a little kid, I love to cook food, stay active by playing football, exercising, practising Qigong, or taking part in something creative.
I’m also always continuing my education and going down the many rabbit holes a career in health and wellness offers. Be it learning about specific complex conditions, exploring the world of psychology, and concepts around spirituality. I’m currently taking advanced training to work with disc injuries and certain spinal pathologies that I’ll be completing in the Summer of 2022.