MJ RENSHAW | MANUAL THERAPIST
I was recently scrolling through Instagram when a photo of a really cool looking girl came up on my explore page, that cool girl is MJ Renshaw. After clicking her photo and scrolling through her photos I quickly learned that she’s studying to be an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, is here in Toronto and is SUPER super smart!
I quickly hit the ‘follow’ button and promptly googled Osteopathic Manual Practitioner. I was so embarrassed to not even know what it was. I think the definition I read was;
‘Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMP) takes a holistic, whole-body approach to healthcare.
It uses manual 'hands-on' techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs.'
I still didn’t really know what she did or how she could help me but I sure was curious. I booked an appointment with MJ and was so excited to meet with her and see/hear exactly what she does!
At my appointment from the moment I walked in I felt this sense of calmness, despite the noises around us. She has such a kind and gentle nature and made me feel so comfortable. I told her all about my Hemangiomas, period that was over 30 days late and medical history, etc. Next she examined me by what I would describe as a gentle, active, massage. If that makes any sense?
I left the appointment feeling so positive and thankful to have found her! I also had some pretty huge changes as well, less then a week after my appointment I got my period!!! On top of that, the Hemangiomas in cheek were still swelling on and off but I noticed they drained so much faster. I also feel like when they drain they get so much smaller! With that said I am so excited to continue working with MJ on those to hopefully find an alternative that is causing them!
With the changes I saw I decided to bring Delta to see her because of her ears. She’s been having a lot of trouble hearing for a couple months and has been in and out of the doctor with ear infections. It’s been so bad that we have an appointment for her to have tubes put in. I thought we may as well try everything we can before the tubes get put in and I kid you not the next morning after seeing MJ her voice was completely different. She used to talk really nasaly and wasn’t anymore!! She also used to snore soooo badly and hasn’t since her appointment either!
After being introduced to Osteopathic Manual Therapy I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone and was curious to know how many of you had heard of it so I recently did a poll on Instagram to find out. I was so surprised to hear how many of you had! It was 43% yes and 57% no.
Knowing that 57% of you were like me I really wanted to change that and open your world to the benefits of seeing an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner! So I spent a morning with MJ by this magical lake and asked her a couple questions!
Here we go:
Hey MJ, Please introduce yourself, we would love to know a bit more about you!
Hey, my full name is Megan Jane Renshaw, I have a BA + MA in Philosophy, Currently working on a M.OMSc of Osteopathy. I’m also from a lineage of Engineers who were also Mediums. Here are a couple of my favourite things!
Sound: Alice Coletrane & 432Hz
View: The sigh after someone catches the Subway just before it closes the doors.
Touch: 1996 Marine World - the head of a dolphin.
How did you get into Osteopathy?
Shortly after I graduated University, my father took his own life after a struggle being addicted to opiates. He was prescribed them for a back injury he got playing sports. I felt called to find a way to help others live with less pain in hopes that no one else would need to result in the struggles that my dad experienced.
I just really wanted to help people.
Wow, what a powerful journey to lead you into Osteopathy. Why Osteopathy?
I really love how OMP is based on the mechanics of the body and works off the premise that the body is self healing and self regulating. I really believe we have everything in our bodies we need to heal, and that have the proper structures working can help us do that.
What kind of issues can Osteopathy help with?
Ohhh all sorts of things. Since we learn so much anatomy and physiology, that knowledge helps us figure out what isn’t working with the anatomy. We just facilitate the body’s own ability to self-heal so nothing is really off the table unless its congenital or degenerative, but it can still help with the symptoms. Osteopaths work a lot different then other professions in that we don’t diagnose anything thing—we only find structures that aren't functioning. It sounds confusing, but it’s really just mechanics.
How would you explain what you do to someone like me who had never heard of an Osteopath before?
I usually like to say we work a lot like mechanics. We create a structural picture of what is going on and aim to fix it using gentle manipulations. We go beyond muscles, and consider the nerves, blood, organs, brain, etc. which I think helps us be so successful in treating patient’s symptoms.
How often do you recommend seeing someone after their first appointment?
Everyone is so different! Some people can benefit from coming a few times a week and some others from a few times a year. I really think it’s very personal and I like to leave it up to the patient—only they can know how they feel.
What are some really cool facts about Osteopathy that you geek out over?
Honestly, anatomy in general is very cool. I love how it all works in unison—for example: when you walk, the psoas fascia will pull on the kidneys and adrenals to help with hormone and electrolyte balance in the body. It’s very elegantly designed.
In terms of the history of it I love A.T. Still who created it. In 1892 he opened the first school in Missouri and actually didn’t charge tuition to indigenous people and only charged women 50% tuition. He advocated for equality and believed in the magic of nature
What is one of the coolest moments you’ve had so far in treating people?
Honestly, this is corny but they are all magical and cool. I feel really honoured to work with every single person that trusts me. One of my favourite people to treat is my boyfriend. He helps me so much because I’m in school by making me dinners and breakfasts, & doing little thoughtful gestures. It feels really good to help someone you love, and it feels really good to help out your community. Clinically I’ve seen some pretty big changes happen for people, but even the little things like sleeping better, digesting food easier, feeling less pain, are all so amazing. Those things are so important to living a healthy and free life.
What do you do for your own self care + self love?
I’ve got a pretty nice little morning routine that I love. I usually journal for a bit, drink some water, make a big herb juice, and I like to pray/meditate to a higher power. I also say a little prayer for each patient that day.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work and school?
I really like to keep it simple. Walking, yoga, snuggling, making desserts, sneaking away to a cottage, & just trying to be as present as I can.
What’s one of your favourite books or podcasts?
My favourite poet is Rilke.
He wrote this poem called Widening Circles:
‘I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?”
What are some of your favourite spots in Toronto?
Napping on my boyfriend’s chest.