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In Conversation with Katrina Ford

In Conversation with Katrina Ford

by Antoinette Barnardo 21 Nov 2019

Tell us about yourself and your work and any philosophies around health and wellbeing that tie into that.

Well, I love a quiet life, a peaceful life, a spacious life, a creative life. Minimalism resonates strongly with me. I’m drawn to the idea that every year I get older I will own less not more. Owning less fosters a peacefulness and clarity in me I find soothing. I also love the idea of expanding as we grow older, learning new skills, widening our influence [and] broadening our horizons by travelling to new places, learning new languages, staying curious, vulnerable and connected. An adored and precious friend of mine, Anne, embodies this philosophy and she’s not only a joy to be around but also a proverbial kick in the butt to stay true to those ideals that resonate with me.

I primarily work as a natural therapist, artist and model. I find they complement each other quite well; to do either of them requires a certain level of sensitivity, clarity, understanding, intuition, care and observation – skills I feel are worth honing in on.

Holistic health is a given for me, it just makes sense to consider one's mental, physical, environmental, spiritual and nutritional needs in a cohesive intelligent way. These smart profound words by Nietzsche resonate with me:

“For there is no such thing as health in itself, and all attempts to define a thing in that way have lamentably failed. It is necessary to know [your] aim, [your] horizon, [your] powers, [your] impulses, [your] errors, and especially [the] ideals and fantasies of the soul, in order to determine what [health] implies even for [your] body. There are consequently innumerable kinds of physical health..."

Tell us about where you live and what inspires you about living there.

We live by the sea on the Sunshine Coast and what I now appreciate most is the space and peace that’s here. Being able to walk from our front yard to the beach and often not see anyone down there is really something. I’ve grown to realise just how important this sense of space and tranquillity is for my/our mental health and general wellbeing.

What inspired you to practice Shiatsu?

As a teen I lived in Japan and after receiving Shiatsu I kind of became obsessed with Oriental therapies and culture so I went on to study Shiatsu and then later Japanese acupuncture.

Shiatsu is a very deep, nurturing, restorative and balancing form of physiotherapy. [It] nurtures balance and harmony, both within ourselves and between ourselves and our environment. It can stabilise the internal system and help rebalance the stress of our often success driven and fast paced society, offering a profound sense of restoration, relaxation and peace of mind – time for me to book in for one I think!

How do you maintain wholistic health and wellbeing? How does this tie into skincare and skin wellness for you?

As I touched on earlier, I'm someone who requires quiet time to recharge and reconnect. So daily I create quiet time and space to rest. What does that even look like? Well it can be as simple as sitting quietly sipping green tea in the morning sunshine, to swimming in the sea or even taking a weekend trip away solo. Taking care of ourselves and tuning into our individual needs, without a doubt, has a direct positive effect on our holistic health and wellbeing.

Do you have any skin-health/skincare advice you cannot live without?

Hydrating by drinking plenty of water, exfoliating and using a great moisturiser!

What about any general health and wellness advice you cannot live without?

Exercising daily, meditating, taking time to learn something new and keeping my mind open to new ideas, thoughts and different points of view.

Do you have a morning ritual? What does this look like?

Yes, I do. I love to wake up very early, mainly for the stillness and quiet at that time of day. My routine varies but my favourite is a lazy stretch in bed for ten minutes or so, then I quite literally roll out of bed onto my yoga mat where I slowly wake my body up. Then, I like to get onto my pilates reformer and build into more of an intense workout.

Seriously though, if I leave my room before this I get too easily distracted by family life and the long list of chores to get through. So at no cost, do I leave my room before I’ve at least stretched. I basically hold myself hostage!

I then, more often than not, go for a long walk with my dogs and finish up with a swim in the sea. This is usually all done and dusted by 7am.

How important is staying active to you? And how does this fit into your routine?

Very important and, yes, I schedule it into my life 100%. I can be quite a stuck-in-my-head kind of person, so physical activity helps balance me out. I still need a mental challenge while working out, so I love hiking, rock climbing [and] mountain bike riding. Exercise that keeps my body guessing and my mind engaged – any exercise outdoors does it for me really.

Being active is quite natural to me, but what isn’t is slowing down. So, my day has to incorporate meditation and consciously stopping and resting. My mantra? [It's] a little daggy yes, but effective and kind of sweet: 'stop and smell the roses Kat'.

What considerations are important to your skincare routine?

I’m a minimalist at heart, so the perfect routine for me is a no fuss routine. Cleanse, scrub and moisturise sounds perfect to me!

What is one product you cannot live without?

Rose hip oil and frankincense oil. l buy them both in bulk so I never run out! Frankincense oil has incredible regenerative superpowers as does rose hip oil. Yes to superpowers, please!

Has your approach to skincare changed at all over the years? If so, how?

Yes, I use sunscreen now and I exfoliate daily and do a hydrating mask weekly.

What do you do to maintain balance/harmony in your life?

I love this quote by Wm Paul Young:

“You need boundaries...even in our material creations, boundaries mark [the most beautiful of places, between] the ocean and the shore, between the mountains and the plains, where the canyon meets the river.”

I realised a while ago that I was quite poor at boundary setting, as a result I was often feeling burnt out and beginning to feel kind of resentful. What helped turn that around was learning and actively practising saying no more often. Which freed up time for me to explore what I really wanted to do, [as opposed] to what I felt I had to do. Yes, I’m going to state this again, because it’s incredibly important: respecting ourselves and what’s important to us, has a profound effect on our mental health and general wellbeing.

But yes! I love it all, yoga, massage, meditation, family time, holidays! I'm [kind of] greedy when it comes [to] health and wellbeing. Gimme, gimme all that good stuff!

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