Myofascial release is rooted in the concept of letting go. I guess that’s why it resonated with me so deeply. Because letting go has never been my forte.
My strength, my stubbornness—they have served me well at times. But they sometimes keep me holding on to things that no longer serve me well past the best before date.
The hardest for me to let go of is people. I understand the ever-changing nature of the circumstances of life; the need to move forward and experience new things. I understand that sometimes change is necessary for growth, that sometimes change is for the better, and that sometimes things just aren’t working anymore, and so it is inevitable.
I have learned to embrace the notion that change is always for my highest good, and that it is to be embraced without resistance.
But it’s the people that I miss. When it comes to how I feel, I’m not one to do things halfheartedly. When I invest in people, I tend to go all-in. And so, as I prepare to leave IHI at the end of September, the letting go with which I have struggled, makes such transitions difficult.
But embedded in the art of letting go is taking with you what you’ve learned. Because nothing happens randomly, the lessons must be absorbed for anything to let go…
I learn from every single client I see. Something about you. Something about myself. Something about my practice. It’s not just about the diagnosis or techniques. Everyone is different, so I have learned to be aware of the metrics of the specific things that ‘work’, but also to take them with a grain of salt. The most prevailing commonalities are in the beliefs, fears, and desires of the people who walk through the door, and I have learned the value of treating your humanity, not just your symptoms. And, in doing that, I so often see the reflection of the things I need to know and heal in myself—and so the journeys that we walk are independent, but not separate. I believe it is about teaching you to connect to yourself, and coming back to myself in the process.
I have learned to cherish the people that support me. Those that truly get me. Those with whom I have an innate understanding. Every relationship takes nurturing, of course, but there are sometimes those magical connections that you just know are serving a greater purpose in your life—the ones that touch your soul and make you, not just want to be your best self, but actually see that it is possible. These are priceless.
I have learned to appreciate the people that don’t support me. Literally everything is a lesson. Those people teach me to own my own worth—to find it for myself, and be unrelenting in standing in it. They teach me how to better communicate, how to have better boundaries, and what I will and will not tolerate. And so you learn to thank those people, too—thank them and let them go.
And, when everything is a lesson, I learn to regret nothing. To see the lessons, remember the good, hold the love of the relationships in my heart, and begin the process of letting go that is essential for moving on. Trusting that those that are meant to continue on with me on my journey will continue to be part of this occasionally bumpy and winding ride.
Thanks to everyone in the IHI community—the amazing staff and clients. I have been truly blessed to learn these lessons with and through you. It has been a tremendous experience to be here and share this time with all of you, and I have so much gratitude for this chapter in my life.
Shannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education with distinction, and followed with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Shannon has trained extensively in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR), and this is the focus of her practice. She has worked with patients with mental illness, has trained in women’s health treatment, and is a sports enthusiast; MFR allows her a means to assist with all of these issues in a meaningful way. She has also worked across the lifespan, with experience addressing the health concerns of older adults. Through her experience in work and in life, she has come to understand that there is more to healing than just the body. While physical health is paramount, the roles of the mind and the soul in health and healing are of equal importance.
Shannon is excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at IHI, and looks forward to working with you, in wherever the journey may lead.