Kristin Pedersen hangs upside down from the ceiling of her living room and explains how breathing affects the body’s stress levels. The key to yoga is finding what is you by turning the focus inwards until you are left with all the good stuff at the core. That is also the core of physio therapy, calming down and taking the focus away from the pain.
Kristin works as head of the physio- and ergo therapy units at the Kirkenes Hospital. Her job is to ‘get people out of that blue hospital gown’ and to work on the patient’s psyche, motivation and to turn those hospital thoughts around into a goal of getting up and out of that bed. Kristin studied cell biology and genetics, but realised one day she was in the wrong place. After a friend’s recommendation she headed to study physiotherapy in Denmark. She left Kirkenes thinking she would never return, but realised after some years that she was out there in the world, looking for a calmness and tranquillity within herself, for a place where she could be close to her family, friends and nature- the important things. She found it all in Kirkenes; peace of mind, husband and a dream plot of land for a home.
We should all get one of these in our livingrooms. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen
The potential for learning in Kristin’s job is enormous and she needs to be quite a detective. You never evalueate just the patient’s knee for example, but the entire person. The staff have a high level of competence on a wide range of services and are known to stick around Kirkenes for up to 15 years from having planned to just pop by for a little bit of work. ‘People are living good lives up here.’ © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen
Kirkenes is in a boom period, thanks to shift in attitudes and the region’s openness to being an all-inclusive society as the Barents capital. The future of the mine (where Kristine also worked as a “tippjente” back in the day) isn’t certain, but there is confidence the region can make it with or without the mine with the rise of adventure tourism and more trade with Russia. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen
Kristin has been part of the New Hospital focus group from the start and is excited to see the improved logistics (the ergo and physio will be on one level for example), new fresh ventilation and brand spanking new single rooms for the patients. The whole building will be more energy efficient and she is excited about the potential future expansion of a gym and pool. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen
Kristin and the locals of Sør-Varanger truly understand the value of and enjoy the nature in the region. Just like 99% of the people we have met so far, Kristin loves to spend her free time at ‘hytta’. She is lured by the adventure and nature’s treats, like the arrival of the sun around the 20th of February and the midnight sun crab parties (that are fished off their own boat twice a year- for free) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen
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