Learn about the connection between your mind, body and spirit. When most of us hear the word ‘communicate’ we think talking verbally. After I spent some time with Gillian, I discovered that our bodies and faces are doing a lot more of the ‘communicating’ for us.
Every now and then, we meet people who have the power to change us and sometimes for the better. Early in August, I had the pleasure of meeting Gillian Maddigan. Gillian is actually one of the amazing friends Chrissy met on ClubHouse and who recently completed our 8 week email marketing masterclass. When we hung up from our lengthy Zoom chat, I finished knowing more about myself than I thought possible and with a lot more insight and perspective on life.
I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this article about Gillian and that I give justice to the amazing work she does. Of everyone I have met across my 40 odd years on earth, Gillian is one of the most interesting people I have ever met.
When I asked Gillian what her title was, she gave me a blank look. Not knowing where to take the conversation next, Gillian thankfully filled the awkward gap by saying, “I don’t tell people that I do body language training, read bodies and faces because then they become hyper aware of what they are doing and they’re then no longer listening to me!”
Gillian is a Communication Coach. She has trained and worked in a range of areas including Psychosomatic Therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Reiki, and Massage. Gillian’s ability to read and understand human beings is as unique as it is deep.
Can you explain what Psychosomatic Therapy is?
“Psychosomatic Therapy is creating an awareness of your body and mind connection and how you turn up in the world.”
If we break the words up, we can simplify it – Psycho: Represents the mind. Soma: Represents the body. Therapy: Is the awareness and understanding of how the body expresses itself and learning how to allow the body to communicate without restraint to be the person you really are.
“As a Communication Coach, I work with my clients to help them to gain an understanding of how they show up in the world. We look at common behaviours, and why they are doing certain things, and what messages their bodies are putting out to others. We all think we communicate through our mouths, but in actual fact, only 5% of our communication happens verbally. Our faces and bodies do the rest of the talking. In fact, our bodies are talking all the time.”
Can you explain the process of reading a face?
“The face is the ‘Readers Digest‘ of what’s going on between the mind and body. For instance, if I meet a parent and child who are experiencing conflict in their relationship, by looking at their faces I can see how they both communicate, which gives me the insight to recognise the communication blocks.”
“To read a face, I look at the whole face. The bone structure, the skin tone, and how it’s fleshed out with the muscles. Some of the ways the face is structured will be genetic, other parts will be influenced by the conditioning of your upbringing.”
“The front view of the face shows how you front up to the world, while your profile is about how you engage with the world, or perhaps hold yourself back.”
When reading the face, all areas are looked at, and this diagram shows the sections that the face is broken up into:
As I was talking to Gillian about face reading, I became impatient. In a nutshell, I needed to know there and then what Gillian could see in my face. And wow! I was shocked by the good, bad, and confronting truths she revealed to me. Before our interview, Gillian and I were complete strangers to each other. But just by looking at my face, she was able to tell me that I have a mind that doesn’t turn off, I haven’t been conditioned by my parents (which is true, as I’ve always had my own schedule), and I get bored quickly. When I told my Mum and kids of this reading, they confirmed all of the above were true…ouch!
What introduced you to reading faces and body language?
Gillian was born in India and spent her early years in Papua New Guinea. Gillian moved to Australia when she was seven. On arriving at her new life at Mount Isa, young Gillian learnt to read faces and body language to help her to understand her new Australian peers. “I learnt to read body language before I knew it was even a thing.”
“My father, Hermann Müller founded the Psychosomatic Therapy College. When tragedy struck in my life after my husband was killed in a workplace accident, I became a single parent with a baby. I moved to the Gold Coast and worked with my dad, who had started to develop Psychosomatic Therapy. I worked for him while he was writing his manuals. I was the editor of these manuals. I learnt how to face read and do body analysis when it was brand new. I then went on to complete Level 1 Reiki (for energy work) and Massage. I then realised I was missing the mind work, so I went on to do Clinical Hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming and upgraded my Psychosomatic training to a Diploma in Teaching Psychosomatic Therapy. Combining all the knowledge and training I had acquired, I now had developed a deep understanding of the ‘whole’ person and how individuals use their bodies to communicate and respond to situations.”
Who are your clients?
Gillian refers to the work she does as her trade, and the reasons people come to her are varied and specific to the needs of the individual. “It can be for many reasons, such as for professional/work situations, personal life, through to parents wanting to know how to communicate effectively with their children.”
Gillian can offer insight to people in a wide variety of situations and settings. “I work with Human Resource Managers to help them recognise the tools and resources they need to support both prospective and current employees. Similarly, I coach job seekers on how best to approach an interview. I can even do a photo face reading of someone’s boss and advise them how to best negotiate a pay rise. I attend and speak at support groups and retreats. I really enjoy doing these talks as I get to engage with a variety of people.”
Gillian works with her clients to help them understand how their bodies are talking. “I get people to understand that the thoughts they are having in the mind, are being communicated by the body. For example, when someone tells me that they are feeling lonely or isolated, I work with them to look at the messages their bodies are giving to others. I then give them the tools they can utilise to assist them, and I train and coach from the sidelines to help them along the way to living a happier life.”
Do you have a career highlight?
“Every communication I have is a highlight to me. One of the most valuable experiences through my work was when my dad and I attended the Mind, Body and Spirit Festivals. We did these for nine years and would attend six to seven festivals a year. I would read up to 40 faces a day. This enriching exposure laid the foundations of what I do, and everything I offer my clients.”
Have you any tips that we can all apply to assist us in being better at communicating with others?
“Stand in front of the mirror, and ask yourself, what’s my sparkle (eyes, smile)? And when you meet others, look at how they communicate, and use this insight to navigate the best way to talk to them. To get them to open their door to you, speak their language, and look for their sparkle.”
A current topic here at CLS is self-care. Are you able to share what you do to keep your mind, body and spirit in check?
“To me, self-care is preparation. Before I meet with a client, I like to be organised. This includes making sure I am dressed in my work clothes (even for a Zoom meeting), setting up the room, and removing all distractions. I like to have everything ready for when they arrive. Then once our time is up, I move on. I shut one door before I open another one. I also ask myself the question of ‘What’s in it for me?’ before I start anything. This may sound selfish to some, but this is how I know I’m truly invested in something before I start, and it allows me to give my all.”
I hope you have enjoyed learning about Gillian and the work she does as much as I did. Gillian is an extraordinary human being who has a deep understanding of humanity. When I asked Gillian what her life’s mission is, she simply responded with, “I want to help people communicate better.” Now that we’re living in a time where our worlds are changing so quickly, I think Gillian’s life mission is something all of us could benefit from.