- Osteopathic Personal Trainer
- Soma Trainer
- Soma Therapist
- Currently in a Canadian Osteopath Doctorate with Guy Voyer at Sutherland Academy
Physical activity and health have always been part of my life. I got involved in every sport/activity that I could find; excelling in soccer, swimming, track and field and later at football, which earned me a scholarship to a Division I college. As a collegiate athlete I learned about sport specific style of personal training and how to improve performance. But over time only doing this type of training and these sport activities caused injuries to my shoulders and knee forcing me off the field. And since I wasn’t moving as much as I used to and knew basically nothing about nutrition my 250 pound muscular frame turned soft. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror one morning and I didn’t recognize myself. I was in shock and had enough of looking and feeling like I was somebody else. I went immediately to the campus library, read everything I could get my hands on about health, diet, nutrition and fitness, and then worked out every day at the campus gym. I found it very invigorating studying, learning, and practicing to improve and take care of ones self. My dedication, commitment, and a strict diet helped me lose 65 pounds in 3 months. The confidence that I gained after getting my body in shape confirmed to me that I had infinite potential to be or do whatever I wanted, as long as I was committed to my goal.
A couple of friends were so impressed with how I was able to transform my body that they asked me to train them and I remember really enjoying how fulfilling it was to able to help them. When I graduated from college, I decided to forgo my Advertising Marketing degree for a more meaningful career and got certified as a personal trainer. Here, I learned a lot about traditional personal training and aesthetic programming. I got really good at it and helped a lot people loose a lot of weight and gain a lot of muscle. It also helped me achieve and exceed my aesthetic goals. My first job was actually as a trainer in a chiropractic office helping clients with musculoskeletal issues and become more fit through body fat loss and muscle and strength gain. But something was missing and it bothered me. It seemed that all the information I was getting was disjointed and not connected in the least. So I began searching and found a training style that offered a holistic philosophy, which emphasized the corrective and multidimensional interconnected work.
A light bulb went on for me. So, I dove in and started working towards learning all that I could. I started to get a better understanding of the human body and all its levels: physical, mental/emotional, nutritionally, and lifestyle and how to start to balance it. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. But as good as these teachings were, there were still gaps that weren’t answered for me. Then I got lucky and got hurt. I compressed my L4/L5 vertebrae and had severe Sciatic pain. I tried all that I already knew to relieve the pain and all the modalities that were out there and nothing produced lasting results. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, allopathic medicine, massage, Yoga and Pilates. They all turned out to be at best expensive band aids and at worst hurt and set me back more. It was so frustrating because here I was in my 30’s and moving around and hurting like I was 90. I couldn’t workout and had a hard time functioning. Not great when your job is a trainer. But I was lucky when none of these other modalities worked, because I found Guy Voyer and his Soma Training Program.
Guy Voyer in one of the top Osteopaths in the world and he is also an orthopedic MD. He has been practicing for around 40 years and realized early on that there is no formulaic way of addressing the body. The body is very complex and needs to be addressed in a complex model, and not linearly, to have lasting full results. He also teaches that even with the best therapy a patient needs to reinforce the corrections made through proper exercise. The patient needs a program that balances the rest of their physiology so that the pathology doesn’t come back. And because the training that is available was not specific enough, he took his vast knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, biology and psychology and created ELDOA exercises. They are specific stretch exercises that allow the person to give any joint in the body space and more freedom of movement. From there he also developed Myofascial stretching (full body holistic stretching); Segmental strengthening, Proprioception and awareness exercises, Global Postural Stretching, and a ton of other techniques designed to specifically address the different areas of the body so that all is balanced. He packaged all this into a three year degree to be a “Soma Trainer.” He also designed a 4 year “Soma Therapist” degree. And they are both included into the Canadian Osteopath Doctorate. The knowledge that I have received in his teachings have been life changing for myself, my family, my career and business. Guy is sought out by the highest level of professionals and extreme cases through out the world. They regularly travel to him wherever he is in the world at the time because of how effective he is. He wants nothing more than to pass on his teachings to others so that they may benefit and improve upon what he has created. It has been the go to teachings for many high level trainers and therapists around the world and is definitely gaining steam as more people start the see these extraordinary results.
The main thing that I have learned from Guy is a philosophy of bio- tensegrity and the complexity of addressing it. This means that I know how the body should be balanced and the numerous rules that have been proven over the past 400 years about how the body works. But when addressing a person you can’t apply formulas and have to work with the person in front of you. You have to see things from all sides, know the rules and also know how to throw away the rules because this is a living being in front of you not a piece of paper or a drawing. I have helped hundreds of people over the years and when I stared applying this philosophy and the trainings and first started seeing these results, it seemed magical. But the results now make complete sense to me as the philosophy and trainings I use make complete sense.
I have been in the health and fitness field for over 20 + years. I have been certified through ACE, NASM and CHEK. I can now proudly say that I was one of the first people in North America to earn a degree as a Soma Trainer and have gone on to earn my degree as a Soma Therapist and am in School currently studying for my Canadian Osteopath doctorate. And as much as I enjoy my journey, it is the journey of those who I get to help that is really fulfilling. I have found a career that is fulfilling and joy to share with others. I hope I can share it with you and help you
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