Myobalance - Jeannie
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Let's see. I'm originally from Prince Edward Island. I feel very blessed to have grown up in such a beautiful place and NOW, lucky again, to call beautiful Ottawa my home. With the exception of a few years away I have lived in Ottawa since 2005. I happily live in the pretty Lindenlea neighbourhood with my husband Alan and our Weimaraner Sawyer. Sawyer is 6 years old and if I do say so he is the BEST dog ever and pretty much runs our lives. I have been a massage therapist for over 18 years and a clinic owner for a good chunk of that time. I first created/opened Myobalance Registered Massage Therapy here in Ottawa on Somerset Street West in Centretown. It was a successful clinic for 6 years until I moved back East to Halifax with my family for 5 years. Now, I'm back to stay and I own & operate Myobalance Registered Massage Therapy on Sussex Drive in the ByWard Market. In addition to operating my clinic I also practice as a full-time Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). When designing this clinic my intention was to create an inviting space that people want to come to and receive excellent massage therapy. I have realized how important it is that I create the right ambience in my clinics, it has to be welcoming, relaxing and all the details have to be right. It's personal for me and there is no separating the two. The space reflects me as does my massage and I think this is what has set my business and massage apart from others over the years. You can expect an excellent team of like-minded RMT's who work with me, where we all care about the attention to detail in our massages. From the moment you walk in I want to ensure a positive experience.
What was it that attracted you to starting your own business?
I think I figured out early on in my career as a RMT that I make a much better business owner and RMT than an employee.... that's what I've been told anyway (haha). I was first bitten by the “entrepreneur bug” in my 20's when I saw good friends take the leap and work for themselves. It was then that I got the itch or inkling that I could be a business owner! I am very particular about how things should be done, so it's best that I can just create the environment and level of service I want people to experience. The details matter.
You recently moved into your new location on Sussex Drive in the ByWard Market. What attracted you to this location?
Simply put, I saw the beautiful heritage building with all the charming details located perfectly in the historic and central ByWard Market… the whole block was calling me! I fell in love with the building from the outside first and then, when I saw the interior space, I knew I could make this into something really special... I'm really drawn to old houses and heritage buildings, as I like the vibes of years gone by. The combination of charming architecture, especially on Sussex Drive, the wonderful shops, restaurants, hidden courtyards with cobblestone walkways, the beautiful views of Parliament and the National Art Gallery, all create a setting that I think make people feel good. It's really a MUST destination for our city and I see people wanting to come to Myobalance on Sussex to receive their massage therapy and then wander out to explore. Of course, the convenient public transit options are many for people to come to the market (now with the O-Train, yay). Sussex Drive is central and it is so easy for people to get here and enjoy this wonderful area. Parking is everywhere I knew it wouldn't be an issue for clientele that prefer to drive to their appointments. Everything is at your fingertips.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while learning the world of Massage Therapy?
Now that I've been in practice for over 18 years I can really reflect on my journey to this point. I had moments early on, like the 5 year & 10 year mark, when I became concerned about how I was physically going to be able to do this for 20+ more years? It's not something you can do at 50% you need to give every client 100%. I realized that most careers have their physical demands and since I LOVE what I do, I started focusing on healthy living, body and mind, which has enabled me to do what I love. I don’t see limits anymore, just possibilities.
What are some of your favourite places in Ottawa?
I have to say, my neighbourhood Lindenlea and surrounding areas are very special. I enjoy daily walks around my neighbourhood with my husband and Sawyer where there is lots of green space to take Sawyer to run. The mature trees are really something to take in all year long, especially in the fall when the leaves change.
Of course, the ByWard Market is a favourite of mine. I go almost daily now to the fruit and veggie vendors to see what's for dinner. So many shops... too many to list, but I will mention some places special to me. I'm thankful that Lollo Salads is close by because it’s delicious and easy for me to eat there. I think I can say I will never get tired of the views walking down Sussex Drive to work, passing by the Gordon Harrison Art Gallery makes me smile every day.
My favourite corner in the whole city to stop and take it all in is where the Chateau Laurier & Parliament meet, does it get any better than that!? Maybe a drink at Zoe's Lounge, another fav. I love being able to walk places, so whether it's from my work or home I try to get everything I need on foot.
What do you like to do to stay active? Any favourite sports or activities?
Walking Sawyer definitely keeps me moving, I practice yoga at home and I love playing tennis (not that I'm good but I keep doing it anyway! lol). There are tennis courts close by so there are no excuses not to play! I love group fitness classes, especially Barre, but I have yet to find a studio close enough to me.... anyone offering Barre classes in the market or Beechwood area??
You mentioned your passion for plant-based living. Tell us a bit more about it.
I have been living whole-food plant-based now for about 41/2 years and it has changed everything for me in a really great way. I love what I eat and how it makes me feel. It was for very personal reasons that I made the change and I will admit I have my weaknesses. It’s no secret that I love potato chips & wine, so not all my chosen plant-based foods are "Healthy". Plus, full disclosure, I have a few exceptions. While in PEI in the summer I enjoy a little shellfish and usually if I'm lucky to be in the Caribbean a little fish might happen. I will mention two places in Ottawa for plant based eating, Pure Kitchen (can you say the BEST cauliflower wings) and I was super impressed with Beckta Wine Bar who have an actual separate Plant Based Menu, WOW.
What is one piece of advice that you received that you will never forget?
I'll mention two things. I know I have received more but here they are:
First, my parents, mostly by their actions sensibly taught me to treat everyone with respect and to be kind. I think this was good advice and has served me well.
Second, while in college for massage I was working in a student clinic and the client on my table was a massage therapist. She said "If I could give you one piece of advice, make sure you perfect your head, neck and shoulder massage and you will always be busy. It is usually what you finish with and it is what people remember." AMAZING tip. While I treat all conditions, I will admit the head, neck and shoulders is my absolute favourite. It's my thing you could say.
What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
Hmmmmmmm. This question made me laugh and it’s a tough one.... I've thought about it and apparently I'm not that surprising! Would it surprise anyone that I like to paint with acrylics?? It's something I always want to do more of and I don't know where it comes from. One day, I will do one of Gordon Harrison's art retreats! It’s on my bucket list.