After traveling through South East Asia for two months, Jessica Binnie decided to take a weekend introductory massage course at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts (VSOHA). Prior to travel, she was having a hard time figuring out what she wanted to do and worked in various jobs in the arts, retail and hospitality. “Something clicked. It made me feel connected to myself, and I love helping people. Doing bodywork and massage really asks you to be present in the moment, which I had a hard time doing in my day-to-day tasks,” Jessica said.
Jessica is now a graduate of the part-time Bodywork Therapy Program and the Shiatsu Program at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts, an experience she said was incredibly rewarding. “The Bodywork Therapy Program was really special. We had a really inspiring group of people in our class and the teachers at the school are so amazing; they facilitate such a safe learning environment. Coming back for the Shiatsu Program was such a treat. It felt like coming home.”
Jessica worked almost full-time while doing the Part-Time Bodywork Therapy Program, a decision she realised in retrospect was the right one for her. “To have 9 months to slowly dig in, process and let things slowly unfold was a better learning experience for me. There are some big changes that happen alongside new learning so it was nice to have time to let it all sink in.”
Jessica fell in love with Shiatsu after completing the module with Fernando Cabrera in the Bodywork Therapy Program. “When I heard the school offered the intensive, I knew I wanted to do it,” she said. After taking some time off in between programs, she returned to VSOHA in June 2018 for the 5-week Shiatsu intensive. “I was very much ready to get back into the holistic learning at VSOHA. It was a lovely way to start the summer; being in Gastown everyday, learning about traditional Chinese medicine and practicing Shiatsu.”
While elements of Shiatsu can be incorporated into a table massage, Jessica said she enjoyed the change of working on the floor. “It’s such a soothing, relaxing practice to give. It’s very grounding to be on the earth with a body and yourself. The breathing gets you into a meditative state, which is one of the reasons I love bodywork!”
Jessica said studying at VSOHA prompted her own self-healing journey that will ultimately help her be of service to others. “I’m not going to heal anybody, I’m going to help them heal themselves. Just like when you’re on a plane: you put your own oxygen mask on first so you’re in a place to help others next.”
Jessica dreams of starting her own private practice and is focussing on slowly building up her client-base and letting it unfold organically. “It took me a long time, but I finally feel like I’m on this journey that I’ve been wanting to be on for so long!”
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