Because Change       Is Possible

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“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

-- Anne Lamott, saying it better than I ever could.

This is my office.

Yep, This is my office. It's where the magic happens, but not really. The magic happens inside of you. But the thing about magic is that it's not really magic. It's more like science. As in cause-effect, and homeostasis, and even the law of gravity. Part of the deal with being human in the modern era is that we get overloaded and disrupted from our inherent vitality. Whether it's a hit to our immune system, a string of sleepless nights, or chronic tension that leads to a muscle tear, there are all kinds of signs that we need to take more opportunities to unplug and re-set. THAT's what happens in my office.  (Notice the tea pot. Sometimes we also drink tea.) Holsitic vitalism requires that we look deeper than symptoms or surface compaints to see how your diet, your sleep habits, your movement habits, and your relationship to stress may be working against whole person wellness. 

(Off camera is my desk-in-a-closet where the other work gets done!)


This is me.

That's me doing Triangle Pose (Trikonasana, in Sanskrit), and that about sums me up. The word in either langauge means three angles or three corners. For 25 years, I've been working in three distinct corners, finding and sharing strength, grounding, and balance as I go. I would surely have lost myself by now if not for the big thread of holisitic vitalism that weaves it all together into a sensible whole. Herbalist Paul Bergner and herbalist Lisa Ganora of the Colorado School of Holistic Herbalism say some amazing things about this. Read them here. A couple of sentences I really like: 

"Vitalist practitioners employ clinical strategies and methods which support this life power through encouragement of nourishment, digestion, rest, and appropriate activity; identification of purpose in personal life; connection with nature; an active spiritual life; identification and removal of obstacles to cure on all levels; and avoidance of methods which suppress or distort life processes." (http://clinicalherbalism.com/about/vitalist-tradition/)

So, if you check out my otherwise strange list of credentials below, and read it through this definition of vitalist practice, you'll see that vitalist practitioner is my on-going life path. I've gone deep with several disciplines in 20 years of integrative practice.


Bodywork

Working to help people be fully alive and joyful in their bodies, I offer massage therapy, Thai bodywork, and Yoga Therapy. I started massage school in a different world, in the year 2000, and graduated in December 2001. The events of September 11, 2001 changed my path. I thought I would have a happy career working with pregnant women (which I also do), but after the 2001 terrorist attacks, I was awakened to the effects of stress and trauma in the body, and the pervasiveness of trauma in many people coming from many sources. Sometimes it manifests after sustained and chronic stress. Sometimes it comes from a single or repeated traumatic event. I work with clients on improving their daily lives-- through postural assessment and modifications, stretching and strengthening, learning to breathe deeply and efficiently, and by using touch to address places of pain and chronic tension. Because of how the stress response cycle works in the nervous system, many psychological and spiritual hurts can be helped by bodywork. And, Rome wasn't build in a day, so I recommend on-going bodywork sessions.


Integrative Health

You're probably catching on by now that I identify most strongly with the healing traditions that are focused on vitalism. Vitalism holds that we are more than the sum of our parts, and we are enlivened by a vital energy or "soul" in some systems. In this understanding, dis-ease results from a deficiency or obstruction to the vital force, and health results from nourishment and the free flow of this vital energy. The body (and the person!), in this model, is good and wise, and can return to a state of vitality from a taxed or depleted state.  Also in this model, intuition, dreamwork, silence, spiritual practice are fuel for the good life, as are exercise, sleep, and real food. I can help you determine a plan that is workable for you (and I can share some of my own epic fails)!


Consulting and Religious/Spiritual Stuff

In this category, I do something completely unrelated (or is it?) to the integrative wellness services I offer. I have lived the divided life, and it was a great teacher. Best lesson: having two distinct sets of skills does not have to be a bad thing, though marketing can be a beast. 

I worked for almost 18 years in highter education administration (fundraising and outreach) prior to opening my own consulting practice.  Now I work with small organziations with big hearts and somewhat smaller budgets. Even in this arena, I hold up my motto, "Because Change is Possible." Finding a development plan that fits, right-sizing big ideas, and articulating a fund-able vision are the basics. I offer strategic planning, board development retreats and support, fundraising plannning and coaching, and training for effective volunteer engagement. 

I am a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and have been trained in individual- and group spiritual direction, and also in Christian spirituality. These disciplines inform who I am and and keep me grounded, and occasionally bring something of particular use to my clients. I have written a couple of books, I lead retreats and workshops, and offer individual spiritual direction to people of all belief systems. 


Credentials

My preparation for this work includes some formal training: I have 230 hour yoga teacher certificate from Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina, a 500 hour certificate from Heartland Yoga Therapy in Indianapolis, Indiana, and a 1000 hour certificate from Integrative Yoga Therapy as a professional yoga therapist. I am a certified yoga therapist  with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT) and also an "RYT500" Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance. I have completed several “teacher untrainings” and other workshops with the amazing Angela Farmer, whose teaching and philosophy touch the center of my own healing and teaching. I am a nationally board certified massage therapist (NCBTMB since 2002), and Reiki master teacher/practitioner (since 2001). I have been practicing Thai bodywork since 2006. I am trained as a spiritual director by the Haden Institute in North Carolina. 

In addition to a decade of self-led learning and lots of workshops in herbalism, I completed a two-year apprenticeship at Blazing Star Herbal School, and am deepening my clincal herbal education presently at Commonwealth Center of Holistic Herbalism in Brookline, MA.  In terms of traditional higher education, I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in humanities from Hollins University, and a master’s of divinity from Earlham School of Religion (a Quaker seminary).

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

Just so you know... I am in West Tisbury

This is where I am

Island CoHousing

Rock Pond Road

West Tisbury, MA, 02575

(The Animal Lover icon on the map is not me.)

Sessions ONLY by APPOINTMENT

(508) 560-6516

jennie@jennieisbell.com

When you book your session, I will email

 detailed directions. GPS often fails.

Hours

Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Sat: 9:00am - 1:00 pm
Sun: Closed

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