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MY STORY

Adrienne Johnson in a Scandasana or side lunge pose and smiling.

Hi! I'm Adrienne, a certified massage therapist, 300-hour yoga teacher, holistic health practitioner, and personal trainer with over eight years of experience in teaching movement and 6+ years of massage and manual therapy expertise. Born and raised in San Diego, my active childhood was overshadowed by chronic pain, which made me feel like I had to work twice as hard to feel half as good as my peers.

 

Starting in my teenage years, I faced chronic joint pain, recurring injuries, anxiety, and migraines, all of which were later recognized as symptoms of being a hypermobile human.

 

I discovered yoga in 2010 and immediately fell in love because I was naturally good at it due to my extra-bendy body. I started yoga because the poses were fun, but I stayed with it because I found that the mindfulness practices were great tools for managing my anxiety. My passion for yoga led me to complete my first yoga teacher training in 2015, where I discovered my love for hands-on adjustments and the art of touch. A year later, I decided to pursue massage therapy school, and in 2017, I graduated as a massage therapist and holistic health practitioner.

However, despite my consistent yoga practice, I continued to suffer from chronic pain and injury...and it was getting worse. I tried various things, from chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage, to super-restrictive diets and detoxes. While I would get some short-term relief, my problems always returned. 

A turning point came in 2019 when I decided to explore strength training, despite my initial fears about injuring myself lifting weights (because I had heard quite a bit of fear-mongering around it, and in the yoga world, it is often said that "yoga is a complete practice" and you don't need anything else). I was shocked when lifting weights helped alleviate my chronic pain, offering a level of relief I hadn't experienced before.

In 2020, I decided to delve deeper by completing a 300-hour yoga teacher training on biomechanics and mobility. This led me to pursue various courses and workshops in strength training, pain science, and movement, which solidified my understanding of the critical role of strength in managing chronic pain. I also dropped all the restrictive, trendy wellness "hacks" and focused on the basics. Low and behold, keeping it consistent and simple was the key to managing my pain far better than anything I'd done before.

 

I also love music festivals and dancing (shuffling), but dancing hurt before I consistently practiced strength training and mobility. I even had a doctor tell me that I couldn't dance anymore. I immediately thought, "That's NOT an option!" However, after strength training, I found that dancing was no longer painful...and it made me a better, more fluid dancer!

 

This is why I'm so passionate about helping others reclaim their lives and the activities they love. Chronic pain can be a huge barrier to enjoying the things you love in life! But I want to help my clients understand that overcoming pain and living life more fully is possible, even with a chronic condition. And I don't think it needs to be complicated. Simple doesn't mean easy, and these basic habits can be hard to implement and maintain (sometimes even more-so than the "hacks"), but I've learned that it's these habits that make the biggest difference, both with myself and my clients.

I'm grateful for my history of pain because it's made me a better practitioner. I've had pain in almost every joint, and I sometimes deal with nerve pain. So, you name it, and I've probably had it! So when clients come in with different aches and pains, my empathy allows me to be far more catering and attentive to the needs of my clients.

Looking back on my life's journey, I can see clearly that my purpose in life is to empower others to move better and feel better through education, kindness, and the power of massage, movement, and mindfulness. I am most passionate about educating people because I believe there is power in understanding more about our bodies. The better we know them, the better we can live in them!

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