Truckee man takes handed-down, hands-on approach to healing
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE, Calif. — To say Chris Jennerwein has been developing his practice in naturopathic healing and wellbeing since infancy is not to stretch the truth.
Born seven weeks premature, Jennerwein’s grandmother tended to his preterm birth through hands-on therapy techniques like reflexology, Shiatsu and energy work.
Since, Jennerwein has made treating the physical, mental and emotional systems of the body a central focus of his life, as well as the lives of others.
“I was blown away by the energy that I felt as a child, and I wondered why that type of energy that was cultivated through my Nana’s hands wasn’t at the forefront of our development as humans,” Jennerwein said. “Our bodies all have a lot more potential than we realize, and the stress and immobility we feel is really the body’s attempt to break out of the bad patterns we’ve fallen into over time, whether through injury, structural imbalance or stress.”
Going strong at age 93, Jennerwein’s Australian-born, Rhode Island-based Nana still plays a hands-on role in his transformational healing practice, Advanced Bodywork Concepts, located in the Full Circle Movement studio in Truckee.
There, he incorporates the ancestral teachings of yoga, tai chi and energy healing passed down from his grandmother.
“I’ve always felt a connection and attunement to the energy around us in nature and in people, but I was unaware of what that connection meant for a long time,” Jennerwein said.
FOLLOWING HIS INTUITION
In spite of an early introduction to eastern medicine, Jennerwein chose a more western-based approach by enrolling in a sports medicine program at New Hampshire’s Keene State College, where he determined he didn’t want to focus his career on treating athletes in a collegiate setting.
Shifting his focus, Jennerwein entered the field of environmental science, followed by a short stint in Mystic, Conn., where he built boats for a living.
“I had done a lot of different things with my life up until that point, but I was starting to experience a shift in my philosophy, and I began to rethink how I wanted to spend my time,” Jennerwein said.
By age 25, the born-and-bred healer decided to try his hand at the Arizona School for Massage Therapy, where he graduated in 2002 before relocating to Truckee.
“I had traveled around the country twice before age 21, and I remember being really taken aback by California,” Jennerwein said. “I ended up picking Lake Tahoe off a map because it looked like a cool place to live even though I had never been here before.”
FINDING STRENGTH THROUGH STRUGGLE
Jennerwein’s knack for health and wellness, and helping others achieve a pain-free lifestyle was undoubtedly ingrained by his grandmother, though further instilled through his own experience with pain — more specifically, through two traumatic injuries.
The first blow was the result of a ski accident, which caused severe damage to Jennerwein’s ACL, MCL and dislocated fibula.
The second was a class two concussion, after which Jennerwein awoke in a hospital nearly 12 hours later.
“In that time, I learned a lot about compensation, emotional trauma and feeling inadequate, but I think injury and trauma are the best learning tools, so I embraced my injuries even though they were detrimental to my personal health,” Jennerwein said. “In doing so, I had to remind myself to practice yoga, meditation, mindfulness and continual movement because everything passes in time, and the equation of one moment is not necessarily going to be the same equation for the next.”
By taking matters into his own hands, Jennerwein was able to identify the root of his problems, helping him gain a more thorough understanding of the overall anatomy of trauma.
“People tend to treat what is overly visible without treating the emotions behind it or the long-lasting compensational patterns that we create around injury,” Jennerwein said. “By experiencing that process first-hand, I was able to access that world in a way I wouldn’t have understood otherwise.”
UNLEASHING THE HEALER WITHIN
Aside from massage therapy, Advanced Bodywork Concepts specializes in a blended approach toward treating the physical, emotional and mental systems of the body that are associated with stress, prolonged pain and tension.
Jennerwein’s unique and multi-faceted healing method is aimed at improving circulation, regulating the energetic system, reprogramming negative patterns that stem from injury, and reestablishing the body’s overall balance and harmony by incorporating techniques of structural bodywork, cranial sacral therapy, Shiatsu, deep tissue and Swedish massage, reflexology, applied energetics, and joint mobilization.
“We’re often dishonest with our bodies and we accept pain as a way of life, but the truth is, we’re not designed to be in pain and our bodies can be rewound, re-patterned and realigned to a state of grace rather than a state of dysfunction,” Jennerwein said. “I feel privileged to be able to help them understand where that pain is coming from and how to release so they can finally stand in the body they’ve always wanted.”
Jenny Goldsmith is a North Tahoe-based freelance writer and a former reporter for the Sierra Sun newspaper. Have an idea for a merchant to feature? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.