Janna Shapero HHP, RH
Owner at Urban Healer
I look forward to connecting with you in person and seeing how we can work together. In the meantime, here are a few questions and answers below that will give you insight into who I am and what kind of work I do.
If you would like to discuss what your looking for or set up an appointment, please contact me directly and we will get started.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JANNA
What kind of work do you do?
I am Registered Clinical Herbalist, Certified Yoga Instructor and Licensed Holistic Practitioner. Over the last 17 years I have been growing a small business which is committed to helping people take better care of themselves. I currently offer private in-home Holistic Massage, Yoga and Clinical Herbal Medicine services in Toronto, Ontario.
What inspired you to start Urban Healer Wellness Co.?
My journey into holistic health began when I was a teenager in high school. At the time I was suffering with debilitating digestive problems. I got turned onto alternative medicine through my uncle, who treated me at his Naturopathic clinic in the Junction. I took initiative and changed my lifestyle with whole foods, yoga, plant medicines and wandering in the woods to get connected.
I have since pursued professional training in four different countries, over three decades, resulting in a broad knowledge base and a lifetime of experience that I infuse into my daily work. When I am working with clients I focus on empowerment and helping them build more effective self-care skills.
What do you love the most about your business?
Providing health care in people’s homes gives me the opportunity to connect with clients as real people with real lives, their families and animal companions included. My work extends to couples, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and best friends. I have the great honor of getting to know my clients in relation to the people and spaces that are dearest to them.
How do you massage for a whole hour and not get tired?
It is very common for massage therapists to burn out after a certain number of years but I have learned to work with my body and my energy in a balanced way. My first key to longevity as a massage practitioner is to move from my core, utilizing my body weight rather than using muscle power. Body weight provides a steady pressure which is more comforting for the client and less work for me.
The second key is letting go of having goals and allowing the energy to flow. The human body communicates its needs through how it receives touch, so the less interference from my ego, the more intuitive the massage. I find I can replenish my energy while giving a massage by entering into a meditative state, moving from my body’s centre of gravity and synchronizing with my client’s breathing.
Why did you choose to pursue Herbal Medicine over Naturopathy?
Unlike any other type of health practitioner, an herbalist is required to get out into the field and get to know the medicines they use directly. We learn to cultivate and wild harvest plants, and then turn them into a wide array of therapeutic remedies. This is a very specialized knowledge that takes years, if not decades, to master.
We carry out the task of preserving these traditional skills, which have been fundamental to the survival of the human race throughout history, and will most likely continue to be in an uncertain future. As medical herbalist Christopher Hedley once said, “A herbalist’s first duty is the to the earth.” Everyone who becomes an herbalist does so for the love of nature.
What kind of self-care do you practice regularly?
My core trifecta of health is attending to sleep, diet and exercise which I think are pretty universal for everyone. Beyond that my top ten list for boosting my well-being includes:
Contrast hydrotherapy in the shower (my ultimate secret weapon).
Tractioning my spine on my Prana bolster.
Getting a Shiatsu massage at Osteo Tuina.
Smudging my home and body with sage, cedar, sweet grass and artemisia.
Organizing a closet.
Wandering aimlessly in the forest.
Making good use of the 150 odd herbs in my dispensary.
Changing my habits according to the season.
Sharing love with every animal that crosses my path.
Sitting quietly and doing nothing.
What modalities have you been professionally trained and certified in?
Clinical Herbal Medicine
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine
Spa Therapy & Massage
Ayurvedic Detox Therapy
Thai Yoga Massage