Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Thomas, founder of Body Mechanics, located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Body Mechanics is a small athletic therapy and exercise physiology practice specializing in body and movement mechanics. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with some brilliant practitioners who taught me the importance and impact of posture and mechanics on our bodies and ultimately shaped me into the therapist I am today.

I started the business to provide one-on-one sessions for clients of all ages and abilities with a range of goals from injury prevention and rehab to increasing overall functional fitness. The key to figuring out the cause of injuries and how to rehab those injuries and improve functional fitness lies within body and movement mechanics. By improving the way we move, the body improves in function and efficiency. This is the foundation and focus of my practice. I’ve been fortunate to work with a diverse clientele, from post-op knee replacements to elite rock climbers and everything in between. I am incredibly passionate about corrective exercise and individualized patient care.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a certified athletic therapist, exercise physiologist, and strength and conditioning specialist. I have an amazing husband, dog, and a baby on the way! I grew up in a very active family, and I was a competitive dancer for most of my life. I often sought the help of professionals to deal with pain or an injury, but it was an athletic therapist near the end of my dance career who had the greatest impact. It was that interaction that led me to become an athletic therapist.

I’ve always been passionate about anatomy, exercise, and movement. I have a specific interest in alignment, body positioning, muscle activation, and body mechanics. Chronic pain and injuries are my specialties. I love the challenge of figuring out the cause of pain and educating and providing the tools to clients to feel empowered to overcome that dysfunction with corrective exercise.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My dream was to work in a positive, supportive atmosphere while being able to provide patients with the highest level of care and expertise possible. I wanted the freedom to spend an hour and a half on a detailed history/assessment and have a minimum of 45-minute follow-up sessions to be thorough and look at the person as a whole instead of just the injury site. Being able to remove someone’s pain, especially someone in chronic pain who has been dealing with it for years, or improve an athlete’s performance through education, awareness, hands-on treatment, and exercise is why I do what I do. I am most proud that I’ve been able to stick to my dream and accomplish these goals.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I have a hard time with boundaries and finding a work-life balance. I’ve always been a “go big or go home” kind of person, and I have difficulty finding the off switch. I care so much that it can sometimes get out of control and be detrimental to my own health and well-being. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the problem of having too much demand and not being able to get clients back in for sessions as soon as I’d like or even have the capacity to accept new clients at times, which makes finding balance even harder. I’m still working on not bending over backward for clients and setting realistic boundaries to ensure I don’t get burnt out and that my own family and friends get the love and attention they deserve.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Believe in yourself and that you can do it. I think I get in my own way and don’t see my full potential the way other people do, and I’m big on feeling stable, so change is scary for me. I never thought I would have my own practice, nevermind be thinking of expanding the business into a team of like-minded practitioners. Be brave!
  2. Have a strong support system of mentors in the industry and friends or family. Their support, encouragement, patience, and advice mean everything to me and are a huge reason for my success. They will look out for you and make sure you aren't losing yourself in the process.
  3. Try to set clear boundaries and expectations for yourself and your clients from the very beginning. It’s hard to change them later.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If your “work” is with people, you need to be somewhat of a chameleon and be able to adapt to every individual personality that comes through your door. Having the social intelligence of knowing what each person needs from you in each session and being able to empathize with them is what truly matters. Relationships are everything, and it’s because of the strong connections I’ve made with my clients and other health practitioners that I continue to have a successful business. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.

Where can people find you and your business?


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