Getting to know Kristen Bradley

We sat down with Kristen Bradley a little while ago to talk shop and to get to know her. We learned things about her and The Walking Dead…

We sat down with Kristen Bradley a little while ago to talk shop and to get to know her. We learned a lot!

Question: Where are you from?

I grew up in a town north of Toronto called Newmarket. It’s part of the Greater Toronto area, with a population of about 80,000. I moved away for university and haven’t really been back since.

Q: Do you miss it?

No. Wait don’t write that! I have a lot of friends and family in the GTA and other parts of Ontario who I miss dearly, so I DO miss that aspect. I’m on my way back to visit my nephew this fall. I haven’t met him yet! But I love it here on the Island. Victoria is magical. I’m still new here and have so much to discover. I love the fact that we’re on an island, and I adore the Gulf Islands. There’s something so peaceful about being on the water, and on a sunny day, can’t beat that!

I visited Mt. Washington for the first time this season, I love snowboarding, when I first tried it I wanted to become a professional snowboarder. But I realized that unless you’re living close to the mountain, that’s a tough sport to excel at.

Q: Do you have any other hobbies?

I have recently gotten into painting! I grew up taking an interest in sketching, but was a little nervous about paint. I have a few friends who have inspired me to jump into painting and it’s been fun. I’m at the beginning phases, so still experimenting on what styles I enjoy most.

Q: Do you love your Nexus phone?

No. I mean, I’m not that enthused by technology, well telephones I should say. I’m considering going back to a flip phone. Less distraction and less expensive!

Q: Do you practice yoga?

I love yoga! I find it’s extremely helpful for promoting proper posture, maintaining flexibility and helping in engaging all those deep core muscles. And the benefits for relaxation and breath awareness can’t be overlooked! I prescribe it to many of my clients. It’s great for fascial stretching and relatable to our functional daily activities.

Q: What is fascia?

It’s connective tissue that lines our whole body, it covers every muscle fibre, and encompasses our organs. Basically, it holds us together. But it plays a HUGE role in postural malfunctions, fluidity of movement and many pain dysfunctions.

Q: So fascia is not very important?

Fascia is very important! It’s essential. Do you watch Star Wars? Fascia binds the universe, the body universe together.

Q: Star Wars is great. Do you keep up with pop culture?

I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. It’s based on an apocalyptic world, there is an exorbitant amount of zombies and a clan of survivors looking out for each other and trying to survive in a world where there seems to be more danger in the other survivors than the zombies themselves! It’s funny because nothing about zombies makes anatomical sense. I have to constantly suspend my disbelief during the show regarding what’s anatomically/physiologically possible.

Q: Do you hate it when patients don’t do their homework.

No. My job in this sense is more about informing and making a good motivational case for the Home care I’m prescribing. I want them to feel comfortable being honest with me so I can help them the best I can. It’s part of my job to be able to see the specific needs of each individual. It’s important that my clients feel safe, heard and respected.

Q: Do you run?

I prefer trail running. I signed up for a trail running workshop and it was great, other than the fact that it started at 9 AM Sundays. Running up and down hills in the forest is much more exciting to me than running on the road. That being said, having a friend to run with makes all the difference.

Q: Are you an athlete?

I’m an ex-competitive swimmer. I grew up swimming for a club in my hometown and continued through University and a few years post. I swam for Indiana University and the Canadian National team.

Q: Did you win stuff?

Yes, quite a lot of medals have been accumulated over those 16 years. I have three national titles, two World Cup, and a few Jr. national titles and a bronze at Olympic trials, didn’t make the cut. I missed it by one.

Question: Was that crushing?

In a way it was – more so in making the decision that my swimming journey I worked so hard at was over. But I was ready to discover new aspects of life. The traveling and friends I made throughout the journey were extremely valuable. There are a few very strong values that I have gained and they will be a part of me forever.

Q: And now you channel all of your competitive energy into your practice?

Well, the general energy I maintain as a massage therapist is much different than that of an serious athlete. But that being said, I do take that focus and determination to my practice. Wanting to continually learn and grow to be a better therapist is a goal of mine. Also, to create a positive and healing space for my clients is my priority.

Kristen Bradley


Posted by Arbutus Health Team

The Arbutus Physiotherapy & Health Centre is a health and wellness clinic that provides physiotherapy, massage therapy and chiropractic care. We provide assessments and treatments to people with acute injury, chronic pain, and sports related injuries. We can help you recover and return to an active, healthy lifestyle, and peak performance.