New to Vernon, Janelle was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon but spent many idyllic summers visiting family in the Okanagan Valley as a child.
In her early 20s, while studying anthropology and dance and becoming a mother, life felt very stressful. Physical tension and emotional distress combined with nightly tooth grinding, grief, chronic fatigue and a sense of being old and sad led her to the healing arts, and eventually to the field of Hellerwork Structuration Integration (similar to Rolfing Structural Integration).
As she worked her way through the 11-session Structural Integration Series, she learned that deeply held emotions were bound up in her body; as physical tension was released, so was emotional tension, and she grew in self-awareness.
Difficult experiences in her life had hardened places in her body into a sort of character armour. For the longest time she thought she had incredibly tight physical restrictions – in her hips, upper back, shoulders, neck and jaw – that were permanent. It was such a relief to learn that she didn’t have to live with them.
Her upper shoulders and back regained sensation – in places she didn’t even realize were tightly bound – places where the tension was so chronic it felt normal to her. As sensation returned, old emotions surfaced, and as she noticed them and let them go she was able to experience a sense of physical and emotional freedom beyond anything she could have imagined.
Her flexibility and agility improved, which was immediately noticeable in dance and yoga classes. Her emotional range broadened from sad and lonely to include lighthearted, open and joyful.
The Structural Integration Series changed the direction of her life, and she’s been working as a practitioner since 2007.