YAMUNA: Practitioner of the Month: FEBRUARY 2014
Each month we will be featuring a profile and interview with one of our practitioners who inspire and motivate others by their work, professional practice, and personality. For the month of February, our featured practitioner is Jenni Jo McLaughlin.
Born an Army brat, I’m nomadic by nature. My heart skips a beat when my passport gets a new stamp. I’ve been known to live out of a backpack for months on end. Growing up all over the globe has given me a deep appreciation and sensitivity for our differences as well as our commonalities. The one thing that rings true regardless of where in the world I am is that people want to feel good in their skin. I am blessed to have a career that allows me to take my knowledge everywhere I go and to help you find that power that lies within to heal yourself. How mighty is that?
I hail from Portland, Oregon but currently reside in Wausau, Wisconsin with my husband, traveling back and forth between my two cities several times a year. I specialize in taming tension. A 2003 graduate of East-West College, I have owned my own body care practice in its many versions ever since. From a solo practice to a multi-therapist operation, from a boutique hotel massage program creator to a mobile practice touring with musicians, JenniJo.com is ever changing. Each step of the way I thank you for your continued support of my dream to help people feel amazing in their skin!
1. What inspired you to become a certified YBR practitioner?
As a massage therapist, I hit a crossroads in my profession where my body no longer felt good helping other people feel great in theirs. I knew I needed a solution; otherwise my entire career as a body care specialist would be in jeopardy. I took a Yamuna Body Rolling Workshop in Seattle in 2006 and immediately a light bulb came on! I had never before felt so incredibly grounded and at the same time, light in my body. I felt tall, elevated, ironed out, zen’d out, cleared out, present, relaxed, powerful. All of those sensations combined were too intoxicating to ignore.
2) What are three tips for the YBR practice that you think would be good to share with the YBR community at large?
1. If you sit, sit with a ball. If you lounge, lounge with a ball. Do foot fitness routines while you’re brushing your teeth. It doesn’t take much time each day to make profound positive changes in your body. Get creative when you can’t get to class!
2. Think of your breath as your best friend, it’s exercising your body from the inside out. It helps you identify your limits and then moves beyond them, all within the comfort of your own skin. This is the time to LET GO, listen and make best friends with your body.
3. Be prepared for great change within, effective immediately. Don’t get too attached to your “stuff” because all of that is about to shift once you get on the ball. Your body is going to love you!
3) What aspects of the YBR work and practice are particularly helpful for men?
Giving permission & opportunity to ALL of your muscles to take a time out, changing the language around exercise from “no pain no gain” to “strength comes when you tune in, sink in and let go”. Empowering them with routines that lets them get the weight of the world off of their shoulders, immediately.
4) Would you share with us a quote that inspires you in relation to body sustainability?
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
― Harriet Beecher Stowe
5) What else can we share with the community in order to help promote your work and your studio?
I’m an entrepreneurial spirit with a love of travel. I teach regular weekly classes and monthly workshops in Wausau, WI and travel to Portland, OR 4x a year working with clients individually and leading micro-workshops. Weekend Body Care workshops and retreats are to be in the near future in both the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest as well as destination locations that require passports! I’m collaborating with other body care specialists to share what we do with even more folks in faraway lands! As a NCBTMB Approved Provider, I am re-launching my Bodyworker Education CEU Classes and a brand new addition to that is the YBR for Massage Therapists Workshop. I’m thrilled to be in the position to help other bodyworkers heal themselves and sustain their careers and bodies while treating and caring for others. It just makes sense for body workers. And with my background in massage therapy, I know first-hand! Everyone deserves to feel good in their skin!
6) What part of the body is your favorite focus area?
The armpit. It’s such a complicated area, housing our heart & lungs, our emotions, our voice. Most everyone I know points out the shoulders as an area on the body voted “most needing improvement”. We are such a forward-based society: driving, texting, computer work, bike riding, being cold, stressed, sitting, etc… But the feeling of reaching those uppermost ribs and breathing life into a highly sensitive and congested area, high up in the armpit is incomparable. This area, when allowed to warm up, stretch out and release, can provide enormous relief in the the neck and shoulders. It’s a trifecta power pose, waking up the pec, the shoulder blade and the arm bone with all of its muscle attachments. When stretching the arm out long, above our head and stretching through the side body, this incredible space is created between the pelvis and the lower ribs and the entire shoulder girdle, bringing oxygen and circulation into all the nooks and crannies that can hold us back, literally, in life.
7) What is one question that you’d like to ask Yamuna?
Besides Body Rolling, what lights you up?
Beside YBR what gets me most excited about life? This is a hard question. There are so many things I love to do. Since I am a Sagittarius, I love to travel. I could travel the whole world just going to healing places with healing waters and natural steam. I love combining my fierce interest in alternative methods of healing with my love for soaking in healing waters experiencing nature’s many cures. Anything that has to do with healing is something I am interested in. I try to learn about healing modalities in every country that I travel to.
I am always working on ways to make the body simple to understand for the end user, us! This most turns me on and the many new ways technology has to offer us easier access. I love inventing products and new education and I am always thinking about how to help people access their own healing capabilities. This goes way beyond YBR.
On the cultural side of life, I love speaking and communicating with people. I would love to live a year in several countries and just immerse myself in the languages. I would love to speak several languages really well. Presently I would love to learn Russian and Japanese. I go to these countries often and I feel sad that I cannot speak to these people who love my work and hear their success stories.
I also love theatre, dance, art and fashion! When I am in New York I try to see theatre and dance as often as I can.