Where I get my best ideas: During massages

EY’s UK business consulting lead partner Sayeh Ghanbari finds releasing stress that's built up in her body also releases the best ideas from her mind.

by Orianna Rosa Royle
Last Updated: 26 Oct 2020

Few people get their light bulb moments while sitting at their desk, enclosed by office walls. Fortunately the flexible nature of current arrangements facilitates working when and where you are most creative.

Ideas strike some people in the shower, others in open spaces.

As a result of training in Kung Fu, EY’s UK and Ireland lead partner for business consulting Sayeh Ghanbari sees the body and mind as “entirely interlinked”. So when her mind is blocked, she pops around the corner to have any knots or tension in her body rubbed away.


"I train in Kung Fu and have been doing so for around 16 years. I think it has been a significant part of my ability to do what I do at work. In martial arts culture, you focus a lot on how you look after your body, as well as, mind and soul. So having a regular massage is part of my routine.

"When I'm stuck on something that I am not naturally good at I always go to the same Japanese-trained chi specialist who lives very near my house for a nice, gentle massage. (In Japanese, chi yu means healing). It’s a lovely little walk there and back home where I then fall asleep with all my ideas in my head.

"The kind of ideas I try to get when I'm having my massage are for example around how we're gonna run big team events. One time I conjured up a whole event around a mission to Mars. Obviously, my team looked at me like I was entirely insane but it got lots of positive reviews.

"Once I’m cancelling my massages it’s because there's lots of work to prepare off the ideas."

Image credit: LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA via Getty Images

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