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.