10 Sep Stories of Starting Episode 8: Christin Boyd, Bowen Practitioner, Artist, Toastmaster
Stories of Starting Episode 8, Christin Boyd, Bowen Practitioner, Artist, Toastmaster. Conversation with my sister while she was visiting with her two songs from Salt Spring Island, BC. Christin is a Bowen Technique practitioner, Reiki 3 Master and does relaxation massage. She is also an artist and poses for live drawing sessions.
Watch the interview on YouTube:
Heather: I’m here with my sister. We are at my parents’ cottage. They’ve had this cottage for over 40 years. It’s a beautiful place. Christin is my sister. I’m going to get her to introduce herself. She’s in town from out west which is amazing. So nice to see her once a year. Christin please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.
Christin: Hi my name is Christin Boyd. I grew up in Ottawa. After moving various places settled out west on Salt Spring Island in the Gulf Islands near Vancouver Island. I live there with my two sons. I do many things on the island. My career has evolved but my main thing is that I do is natural therapies. I am a Bowen Technique practitioner also Reiki III Master and do relaxation massage as well.
Heather: Amazing. That pretty well covers it. You have a few very interesting transition periods that you’ve had in your life. Of course the biggest one was when you moved from I.T. to healing modalities. Christin studied at the University of Western Ontario in Computer Science. Do they even call it computer science anymore?
Christin: As far as I know!
Heather: So then you went into I.T. working for Nortel making mega bucks, compared to the artists’ lifestyle! Then when you were in Australia that’s when you morphed out of I.T.
Christin: Yes and no. I was living actually in England working for Nortel but on on a short-term assignment then decided I wanted to break away from I.T. Moving to Australia seemed like the perfect time to do it. But after a year of exploring nothing really clicked in. I had a love for scuba diving, which is very expensive so I went back into I.T. in Australia.
Christin: I was working for another telecom company there. That was paying the bills. I was going on Liveaboard trips doing my scuba diving so it was a great means to an end. It was when I was pregnant with my first child I really decided it was time for a break. Technically I did just take a leave of absence but I think in my mind I knew I wasn’t going back.
Heather: Then you studied the Bowen Therapy in Australia which is where Bowen was founded. I think a lot of people don’t know what Bowen is so just briefly tell us what it is.
Christin: It’s a soft tissue technique but it’s very different from massage. It’s more like hitting a bunch of reset buttons in the body. It is working along the meridians. I think Tom Bowen was very interested in Eastern medicine. A lot of that was incorporated in his work. He said it was just an inspiration brought to him. He developed it over working on thousands of patients and just doing what he felt worked and then just having tremendous results. When he was nearing the end of his life, I think he sensed it, he passed it on but only to a very small group of people. He was a man of very few words. He didn’t formally teach but towards the end of his life, the story goes, he allowed six people to observe him. One of those people created the College of Bowen Technique in Australia. Since I think some of the other ones have come out and done their own sort of flavour. It started very small.
Heather: Interesting. I remember when you were starting you practiced on family members. I remember at one point when you had been established on the island you even talked about doing therapy with a horse and having success with it. So it’s also used on animals.
Christin: Yes. They really respond well to it. There’s a whole branch of Bowen. You can actually go and be trained as a horse Bowen practitioner. There’s another branch for small animals mostly dogs and cats.
Heather: I actually didn’t know that. That’s really cool.
Christin: I never formally studied those branches but I certainly practiced with friends and family and did what I could. It’s fascinating they really seem to appreciate and benefit from it.
Heather: That’s amazing. Now your lifestyle on Salt Spring Island is completely different than one you would have lived in the I.T. industry. Salt Spring is a more hippy-like community. It has a very small-town vibe and is a seasonal place. There are a lot of tourists in the summer and regulars in the in the winter. You’ve slowed down your lifestyle. I know you’re into more natural remedies and natural eating. You have some food intolerances so that also affects how you eat. Also you’re very interested in essential oils.
Christin: It’s been an interest of mine for a long time. I amassed quite a collection in Australia. I dabbled in it. No formal study but lots of reading and of course now looking up on the internet. Then it went to the wayside for a while. When I moved to Salt Spring I met some women who were really into it. We had a great little community and still do. Lots of exchanging information and finding really good quality oils. I’ve gotten to the point now I have this huge collection. But really there’s probably about half a dozen that are the go-to’s.
Heather: What’s the brand that you use, doTERRA?
Heather: Are you a rep for doTERRA?
Christin: I guess officially I am, but I’m not really doing that a lot. I’ve just joined a wonderful collective of practitioners. There are two women there who are really focusing on distributing. It’s wonderful if I ever have questions it is a great community that way.
Heather: It’s really complimentary to what you’re doing with the natural therapies.
Christin: Yes, and the interesting thing about Bowen is part of our training is it actually doesn’t specifically mix well with other therapies. If you get a Bowen treatment one of the recommendations would be that you don’t have any other bodywork for the next week. But essential oils are a wonderful add-on. Those can you know work well whereas something like bodywork it’s really a matter of giving each modality a chance to do its job. You don’t want to have a Bowen treatment and then start massaging it because that’s giving mixed signals to the body.
Heather: Yes and you won’t know personally what is actually effective for your body. I’m going to definitely link up your website ChristinBoyd.ca and your contact information if anybody has any questions about Bowen or even Reiki and essential oils.
Christin: Yes, for sure. I’ve just recently had renewed energy around the Reiki. I learned in Australia by a wonderful couple at the time Frans and Bronwen Stiene. They ran the International House of Reiki. It really is international. It was then but even more so now. Bronwen still lives in Australia. Frans now lives in Holland. They both travel around the world teaching. Back in February I was able to sit my Reiki three again with Frans and that was exciting. I’m very infused with that energy.
Heather: I love it. Another thing you told me you love to do is dance. What is it called…Satsang?
Christin: Dance Temple is one thing I enjoy. Dance is huge on Salt Spring Island. One of the events happens twice a week now. Sometimes they have other events on top of that. It’s just basically a group of people getting together and doing ecstatic dance. So it’s wonderful. They do have guidelines like on the dance floor you shouldn’t talk. It’s not like going dancing in a pickup joint. You get to just go and allow your body to express its own way however it wants and enjoy the music.
Heather: That’s so interesting because my first interview was with Natasha Henderson who had gone into something called Groove Dance. It maybe has some of the same concepts. It’s a little more structured in that there are specific steps that you follow for each song. But also the same rules, no talking and don’t pay attention to what other people are doing. You really focus on what you’re doing. Don’t judge each other, and don’t judge yourself. I think dance is such a wonderful therapy in itself in whatever form.
Heather: You also pose for Life Drawing classes which I find super interesting and another instance of you getting out of your shell doing something different. It’s fantastic because you’re an artist. You have done a lot of art and taken a lot of art courses and this is like going on the other side from the other perspective. Tell us a little bit a little about your life modelling.
Christin: I guess my first exposure was actually being the artist, doing the drawing. In Australia I was part of a life drawing group. Probably weekly I would go. I did a lot of art in high school then I let it go when when I started focusing on computer science and other things. It was great for me to get back into that creativity. I guess I didn’t really think about modelling until I got pregnant. I always wanted to and thought that’d be so cool to have pictures of me pregnant but I never did it. I think it was a friend of mine who did it after moving to Salt Spring. She was making a little extra money doing it. On Salt Spring sometimes it gets very creative actually making a living there. So I said what the heck, I’ll just give it a try. When I do life drawing it’s like you’re just drawing something. It’s not like even specifically drawing a body. It’s just that is the object you’re drawing. So I got out there, I gave it a try and it was actually amazingly easy.
Heather: Yes, having had the experience of drawing. It’s funny because when I was pregnant with Mimi I had that same thought. OMG it’s Now or Never, let’s do this! Let’s pose for life drawing. I actually got two good friends of mine, Eftal and Mine, who were artists but never really had an opportunity to draw. I had them over to my apartment and posed for them. So I have these beautiful drawings of myself pregnant done by them. It was such just a beautiful atmosphere.
Heather: The other thing I really wanted to talk about was you dove into Toastmasters.
Christin: Yes, that was huge.
Heather: Tell us about that.
Christin: I think really between you as my inspiration and Toastmasters that’s how I got up the gumption to actually make my own YouTube channel.
Heather: Yes! (high five)
Christin: Toastmasters has been so wonderful. It’s very structured actually. The first time I ever went I was really quite shocked. I’d heard of Toastmasters for years, probably since University. I never join and I’ve been absolutely petrified of public speaking.
Heather: Like 90% of the population.
Christin: I guess my best story is when I first came on the island I wanted to get the word out there about Bowen. I started talking to everyone. I actually arranged to do a talk at one of the local natural pharmacies. They had a series. Once a month they’d have a speaker in. I was so nervous. I thought no I’ve got to do this. I got there and thankfully not very many people came. I was so nervous and I think I was sick as well. I got out there, I started my speech and then actually passed out.
Heather: You seriously passed out?
Christin: I seriously passed out. I hit my head. They called the ambulance. One of the women who was in the audience had to accompany me in the ambulance to the hospital.
Heather: OK, that’s a story!
Christin: That was my first public speaking experience.
Heather: Cannot get worse than that!
Christin: Pretty much. And maybe that helped because after that I thought okay well this can’t be worse. Then Toastmasters became and still is a wonderful social experience for me too. It’s a great group of people from all walks of life and all ages. It’s people I wouldn’t normally meet and it’s great.
Heather: I actually did an online course with my friend Susannah Baum. I might have sent you her things. She’s a public speaking coach. I’m actually going to interview her coming up soon. She has a great structure for how to start a speech. I started with that when I had to do my first big speech but I really believe Toastmasters is a great organization and I’d love to try. You said they have online groups too?
Christin: That’s just starting up. Our Salt Spring group is just starting up an online one which is really cool because it’s really is international. There are people from the States and people from Europe.
Heather: Tell us how the online one works. We might have some people that are interested.
Christin: Right now it’s just in its pilot stage. I don’t know how many members we’re inviting. The videos aren’t on public yet. If you are really interested you can contact me.
Heather: And maybe other people would like to start up something like that. They can learn from what you are doing and start something.
Christin: I believe if you look on the Toastmaster International page you might even find some links of ones that are up and going that you could actually join.
Heather: Amazing. So Christin is there anything else you’d like to share? Any tips, any inspiration, anything goes!
Christin: I don’t know I think a lot of it is things that I’ve gotten from you.
Just about saying YES. Not turning down any opportunity. Even for this interview at first I thought oh my god…
Heather: You did not want to do this!
Christin: It’s like, I don’t know, I don’t have anything to say! But it’s great. You just try it. What’s the worst that can happen?
Heather: I was saying to Christin: don’t worry just say whatever and I’ll just edit it out! It’s all good. I don’t think we’re going to have to edit this video at all. I think it’s amazing. Thank you so much! <hug> it was fantastic. Now let’s go lie on the beach and go swimming!
Christin: Sounds good.
Outro: Thanks so much for tuning in to Stories of Starting. Until next time always remember your story matters!