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Practitioner Spotlight: Karla Brayshaw

Karla Brayshaw is an Osteopathic Practitioner, who has moved to the Kelowna area from Ontario. She is excited to join the Okanagan community and share her passion for Osteopathy.

Karla completed her education at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton, Ontario. This intensive four-year program shaped her ability to effectively treat all individuals, whether dealing with new pains or old injuries. She practices in a non-invasive way working through layers of the body in order to get to the primary cause.

Osteopathy is based on principles that the structure of your body determines your function. If some joints are out of place it can cause pain and discomfort. Osteopathy works to restore your body to relative normal so you can function without pain.

Prior to her Osteopathy education, Karla studied Kinesiology at Lakehead University where she played volleyball for the university team. This kept her involved in athletics fitness and wellness. She also worked as a personal trainer for 3 years before deciding to study Osteopathy.

When not working at the clinic you can find her enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle: hiking in the mountains, relaxing by the water or playing volleyball.

How long have you been practicing? I’ve been practicing since November 2018. I also had my own practice as a manual practitioner since the Summer of 2016. 

What problems/issues do you see most frequently? The most frequently seen problems are related to back pain or muscle and joint pain anywhere in the body. People also come in for a variety of reasons; injuries from work or exercise, headaches, digestive pain and more. 

Favorite thing about your job? The favourite thing about my job is helping people getting long-lasting relief from their problems! When they are able to do what they love without pain it’s so rewarding. 

If someone at a party asks you what you do, how do you respond? I’d say “Osteopathy is a type of manual therapy aimed at bringing your body back into alignment by adjusting your muscles and joints so that you can function without pain. It’s gentle and takes into account the whole body not just the area of pain. We use some similar techniques to Chiropractors, massage therapists and a lot of different unique techniques and approaches.” 

What are your biggest frustrations in running your practice? With Osteopathy not being a common word, most people aren’t sure what we do, but they know its related to bones, just an obstacle to overcome not so much frustration. 

How do you manage work and life? Stress management/avoiding burnout. I’ve been trying some new things in the wellness world like going to sensory deprivation float tanks, those are good for stress management. I also exercise and spend time outside in nature to relax. I used to meditate and am trying to get back to that as well. 

Can you tell us about your most uplifting experience when treating a client? The most memorable experience was when I was a student manual practitioner, I had a woman come see me with intense back and hip pain she could barely walk from her car into my office. She had a long holiday planned for 4 weeks from when she first came in and wanted to be able to walk.  Within the 4 weeks, we got her pain free and able to enjoy her holiday. I think that was one of the defining moments where I realized how amazing the results can be from Osteopathic treatments. 

What was the most interesting case you have ever worked on? There are many interesting cases, one I can think of is a younger woman I was working with for a few sessions she had digestive troubles and always had to take digestive enzymes, that wasn’t the main issue she was in for but it resolved within a few treatments. It’s just amazing to see the body heal from other symptoms as you work through the layers of the body. 

What TV show character do you identify most with? Probably some of the original Grey’s Anatomy characters. I used to watch that show with my girlfriends from University all the time. 

What was your first job? A lifeguard at a summer camp, I also worked at a fabric store for a few years, I knew how to sew and it encouraged a lot of creativity which was a lot of fun. 

What is your most treasured possession? If you had one month off, where would you go or what would you do? I would go somewhere in Italy or South East Asia. I’ve been there before and I enjoy the laid back lifestyle they offer, everyone seems to be an expert in the art of relaxing. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I think I wanted to be an Osteopath but didn’t yet know what an Osteopath was. I knew I wanted to help people in some sort of private practice setting, my Dad worked as a Massage Therapist for while and that gave me inspiration hearing him talk about the people he treated getting better and how rewarding it felt. 

What do you consider your biggest professional achievement so far? Finishing Osteopathic school was a huge accomplishment, only about 1/3 of the students who started in our class finished, so that feels like a big accomplishment. 

What is at the top of your bucket list?  I would love to spend a night at Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon I LOVE water spas! 

Is there something unique that people might not know about you? (hobbies, hidden talents, etc.) I’m sure there are lots of things; I still love playing competitive volleyball.

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