Maddy King reveals the benefits of ancient Chinese medicine and natural healing.

Having started her modelling career at the age of 22, Maddy King dedicated her time prior to her passion of natural healing and nutrition. The swim/athleticwear model and nutritionist tells us about her practice of ancient Chinese medicine and iridology. Being both a swim model and an expert on gut health, we knew she’d finally be the right person to answer the age old question: “How do you fight bloat before a lingerie shoot?” 

The Chic Edit: You’re both a swimwear/lingerie/fitness model and a nutritionist. Which interest came first?

Maddy King: I started modelling properly when I was about 22. I had booked a holiday to Europe and thought I’d try some jobs for extra travel money. I joined an agency, got my first three castings, and paid for my entire trip. That’s when I decided I would keep giving this modelling gig a go!

Natural healing came into my life when I was about 19, when I started getting digestion issues. It took a few years after that before I made the plunge into studying to become a practitioner.

CE: You specialize in something called “Chi Nei Tsang” abdominal detox massages. Can you explain what that is to us?

MK: Chi Nei Tsang originated from Ancient China around 5000 years ago. It is a wonderful healing method that works on the internal abdominal region by mainly using massaging techniques and pressure points. Chi Nei Tsang can help with a huge variety of issues. Some of the main issues I work with are indigestion, constipation, bloating, emotional issues, whole body toxicity, poor skin, and female hormonal issues.

CE: And Iridology?

MK: Iridology is a diagnosis tool to help assess the state of a person’s health. We use a torch and magnifying glass to view both irises as a map of a person’s entire body. Markings like spots, colours, and patterns show information about that person’s current state of health, as well as their hereditary disposition. When done by an experienced expert, this is an extremely powerful diagnosis tool and, although it’s not as common in Australia, it is widely used in Europe and in Chinese Medicine.

CE: What are your favourite ways to stay fit?

MK: I like to mix up my exercise to stay motivated and make it enjoyable. I do a mix of KX Pilates, weights in the gym, walking, running, swimming, and during the summer, lots of water activities like paddle boarding and surfing.

CE: Given your specific expertise, you seem like the right person to ask: what do you do when you’re feeling bloated before a lingerie/swimwear shoot?

MK: I’ve worked really hard on my own gut health over the last nine years and have got it to a really good condition. If someone is bloating regularly, there are issues that need to be addressed. Bloating may be caused by the presence of bad bacteria, candida, parasites, etc. that are upsetting the natural microflora of the digestive tract. Food sensitives are often caused by some of these nasties above and can be one of the main causes for most people’s bloating.

I try to eat very clean and healthy in the day or two leading up to a shoot. I avoid foods that I know might make me bloat or foods that would have me feeling heavy or looking fluidy. Alcohol is a good thing to cut out to avoid looking fluidy and puffy. If I do get bloated I have some great herbal medicine I work with to help get things under control or I do a Chi Nei Tsang session on myself. 

CE: What is your opinion on the use of supplements?

MK: Supplements can be a great addition to your health. If someone is deficient in, say, Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D, a supplement can have them feeling amazing in a really short time. In saying this, I think as a good practitioner it’s important to look at why that person is needing that supplement in the first place: why are they not getting enough of this nutrient from their food or lifestyle? Have they got absorption issues going on?

Many supplements on the market are synthetic and may be doing more damage than good, especially if someone is taking a huge amount daily and for a long time. I prefer to suggest my clients supplements that are mainly wholefood based, which means nutrients that are dehydrated or extracted from real fruits and vegetables, not created in a laboratory. I’ve tested many brands over the years and have found my favourite wholefood supplements that work for me and have also been giving my clients great results. 

CE: Do you believe in “cheat meals”?

MK: I work as a naturopathic nutritionist rather than a nutritionist specialising in diets or sports nutrition. My focus on clients is more to heal their body. I believe when the body is healthy and happy everything works better and body goals are much more achievable. So, normally, I try not to put my clients on “diets,” rather, I show them how to eat a healthy lifestyle—forever! If someone wants a treat or “cheat meal” then go for it! Just dont do it all the time and don’t feel bad about it, when you do have it. If you can make you treats a healthy version then that’s always the best! It’s all about balance.

CE: Have you ever found yourself “extreme-dieting” for your career as a model (or any other reason)?

MK: No, I haven’t. Luckily for me the type of work I do is commercial modelling, not high fashion modelling, which I know can be a little more strict on sizing. There is no strict pressure on me to stay a certain size; for me, it’s more about being healthy and happy. My work is always better when I’m that way. I think that’s why I love my work so much!

I’m normally always a size 10 but I can often fluctuate from a small 10 to a really big 10. If I know I have a swimwear shoot or lingerie job coming up, I’ll try to eat very healthy, drink lots of water, herbal teas and do some body brushing, cupping, and Chi Nei Tsang sessions on myself to make sure my tummy is feeling nice and flat and my skin is clear. 

CE: What is your position on alternative medicine vs. western medical practices?

MK: I always try heal myself with a natural remedy first, but if that wasn’t to work, then I’d try a more medical approach. I think there is a place for both practices in today’s world. Scientific research has brought us a long way, I just don’t always agree with all the pharmaceutical products or mainly the overuse of them. This is because they often have many more side effects, than the natural remedies.

If a child comes into my clinic with an ear infection and is in a lot of pain, I would not suggest a natural remedy, as that may take days to help. Sometimes a drug such as an antibiotic in that circumstance is very much needed. Then I can work on the damage the antibiotics may have done on the body afterwards.

CE: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career, both as a model and as a nutritionist?

MK: As a model, it’s probably been seeing my dad get super excited when he sees me on a large billboard on the highway or seeing him collecting little articles of me from the newspaper or magazines.

Finding a course I loved and finishing it was a really amazing achievement for me and probably a much happier moment for my mum than the modelling!

I love both modelling and my natural healing path; it’s amazing to be able to do both now and I’ve started combining them. I’ve been helping lots of models who haven’t always eaten properly or who have female hormone and gut issues, which is really rewarding for me and makes a huge difference to their work.

Follow Maddy King on Instagram.