Every week I highlight someone in the Upper Valley who falls under the title of "Wellness Professional" - trainers, nutritionists, therapists of all kinds (physical, psychological, massage), and creators of healthy products, to name just a few. I give them a list of the same 20 questions and they choose to answer as many of them however they'd like.
This week I'd like to introduce you to Lynne Walker, Neuromuscular therapist and orthopedic manual therapist at Women's Muscular Wellness in Norwich, VT
Bio: I am an Upper Valley native and own Women’s Muscular Wellness in Norwich, Vermont. I have a BS in Business Administration, was an art director for 25 years, and changed careers at 44 to become a health professional.
What is your fitness/wellness philosophy?
You only have one body! Your body is an amazing gift that will bring you great joy if you treat it well and take care of it!
How did you get to where you are now?
I first became interested in health and wellness as a teenager in the 70's when I started learning about yoga and meditation. In my early 30's I developed a number of food allergies and sensitivities and began working with a naturopath to help me manage them, as well as the stress of being an adult with responsibilities. It is also when I began receiving regular bodywork, which completely changed my life and led me to massage school in 2003. There I learned that I loved learning about the body and how it moves, and I continued my training to become certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. This allowed me to expand the scope of my massage practice to include corrective exercise to help my clients strengthen weak and inhibited muscles. I also went on to become certified as neuromuscular therapist and am currently finalizing training as an orthopedic manual therapist, which has given me new ways of approaching myofascial pain and dysfunction. Three years ago I began working exclusively with women to specialize in conditions that many women experience, such as headaches, “frozen” shoulder, and low back pain, for example.
Did you ever have any setbacks and how did you get past them?
Two years ago I had a sacroiliac joint sprain. It hurt to work. I had to cut back on how many clients I could see and the type of work that I did. I worked with a chiropractor, physical therapist, neuromuscular therapist, and finally a movement specialist to get me back on track. It took almost a year. I learned everything that I could about sacroiliac injuries and lumbopelvic dysfunction. I learned how to treat myself with exercises, stretching and self massage. I corrected my poor body mechanics and practiced daily self-care. It has made me a better practitioner and gave me a lot of knowledge to share with my clients.
What makes you unique in your field?
A couple of things: I’ve done a LOT of continuing education and advanced certifications after I finished with my initial massage training. I really love and am in awe of the human body and how it moves. Because I’m a woman I’ve also been very interested in the soft tissue issues that women are more prone to due to their unique physiology and body composition. Women have wider hips than men and often have had abdominal surgery and are prone to pelvic instability. They often sit more in their jobs. They’ve had babies and deal with pelvic floor issues. They have less upper body strength which can cause shoulder and back issues. They go through hormonal changes that affect their tissues. I also work with women who have had breast surgery and reconstruction to help them get their mobility back and feel like their bodies are their own again. I love that I can help women in so many ways and my job is about as rewarding as it gets!
What's your go to meal for: breakfast, snacks/sweets, lunch, dinner, beverage?
I’ve had food allergies and sensitivities for over 20 years so I have to be careful of what I eat. I typically eat paleo granola for breakfast, or eggs and a gluten free english muffin on the weekends. Lunch is often leftover dinner from the night before, when we usually cook a stir fry or lean protein and lots of veggies. In the winter it’s more often soups and stews. I only like to eat salads in the warm weather, but then I eat a lot of them. There’s almost always a green smoothie with berries and cacao during the day as well! Three or four times a week I’ll have a Kevita probiotic drink as my after work cocktail.You're trapped on 12A in West Lebanon starving and you only have $8. What do you buy to get your through your errands?
The chicken caesar salad with an apple at Panera. But I only use half of the dressing - it’s calorie-rich!What's your guilty pleasure (food or otherwise)?
I really love craft beer, but I drink it very rarely because of the gluten. However, I have dark chocolate almost every day.
Who or what gives you inspiration?
Music! It lifts the mood, makes me want to move my body, and makes any workout easier and more fun!
What's something you wish your clients/class participants knew? Or did? Or didn't do?
I wish that more people understood that doing daily stretching, strengthening, and self myofascial release will help them keep their bodies healthy and moving freely. It took me a long time to learn this for myself, but now I’m able to keep myself in fairly good shape and really get the most out of bodywork when I need or want it. My favorite clients are compliant and take a partnership role in their muscular health.
If you could only have one piece of fitness/wellness equipment what would it be?
My TRX suspension trainer! You can take it anywhere and do so much with it.
What's your favorite non-gym physical activity?
Dancing! West Coast Swing primarily, but ballroom, middle eastern, freestyle. It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world!
What are your passions outside of your field?
I love great design: graphic, product, fashion, interior, architecture, garden. And I love exquisite food. Oh, and did I mention dancing?
What is your least favorite exercise?
Burpees, but that’s because I wasn’t doing them correctly.
What is your favorite exercise?
Anything that is so much fun that I forget that I’m exercising!
What are one or two tips you can give to help people be successful in their wellness journey?
Take an interest in, and time to learn about, how your body works. Develop a sense of body awareness and pay attention to what you feel in your body when you do certain activities. Getting bodywork is a really great way to learn about your body!
Where can people learn more about you?
Would you or your business like to be featured in "Meet the Wellness Professional"? Email Amy at RVCAmy at gmail dot com
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More about the author, Amy Fortier: A short interview