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My name is Joleen LeFever.
Self-proclaimed body nerd and Licensed Massage Therapist under Alaska license # 175848.
In addition to practicing Manual Therapy, I am also a Functional Movement Coach, Personal Trainer, and Human Movement Specialist. All things kinesiology fascinates me. It is at the core of how I observe the world and how I approach the work that I do. My introduction to Manual Therapy didn’t come until just a few years ago, but my love for the human body and its interconnectedness started when I was a teenager.
After years of trying to figure out how to apply my interests into a career, I attended a workshop on postural dysfunction hosted by none other than CIA’s own Cean Whitmarsh. As if that wasn’t enough to convince me, I became a patient and from that time on, I knew this is what I HAD to do.
I am a lifelong Alaskan-born and raised here in the interior, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be (even though I may say otherwise on those -40 days!) I live with my husband and our two pups in North Pole at our ever-improving garage home we have been transforming since 2019.
I like long walks through the woods and the smell of campfires on my hoodie.
With a foundation in anatomy and kinesiology, I have adopted treatment methods from a number of different modalities. In a typical treatment plan, you can expect to see a methodological use of Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, MAT techniques, assisted stretching and corrective exercises.
The summer before I started high school I hurt myself during soccer practice, which led to my first experience with physical therapy. Before that time I had no idea about how intertwined the body was and found it absolutely fascinating. From that time on, I couldn’t learn enough about how the musculoskeletal system worked together to support our bodies in everything we do. During my time at university, I became unsure as to how I would apply all of my interests and passions into an actual career, and my current student loans scared me so I wasn’t about to go back to school until I knew it’s what I wanted to do! When I found an actual real-life person in Fairbanks that already had figured it out, I knew that I had to connect and get in on all the secrets.
I had experienced PLENTY of anatomy classes prior to receiving any bodywork, but the body awareness that came with it went beyond what any class had taught me. Everytime I see a lightbulb go off in a patient’s eyes as they realize something about their own body, it leaves me inspired. Everyone should know their body, and I’m excited that I get to be just a piece to guide the people I interact with to feel empowered in their own movement journey.
My higher education started at Pacific University in Oregon where I graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. My original thought coming out of high school was that I wanted to become a physical therapist. By the end of my undergrad I found myself unsure of how to turn my interests into a career best - somewhere along the way I decided that conventional PT was not it. Although I wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to do, my time at Pacific in the Exercise Science program opened my eyes to the many physical and social facets of human movement science. A class I really enjoyed unexpectedly was Sociology of Human Movement, which presented all of the social aspects of why we move (or don’t). Of course my curriculum consisted of multiple anatomy and physiology classes-including an advanced anatomy course with a cadaver lab (years later, I would be way more excited about this now than I was then)!
My senior project consisted of a meta-analysis of exercise’s effect on PTSD symptoms.
Again, why we move, why we don’t move, and how movement is so much more than stepping on a treadmill.
Fast forward a couple years of independent reading and mentoring, I decided to finally take the leap into the Therapeutic Massage Program at Alaska Career College in Anchorage.
This small program allowed our instructors to provide us with one-on-one instruction and feedback as required to feel as prepared as possible for both licensing exams and entering the workforce.
Massage school introduced me to a new world of bodywork I never had thought of and really solidified in me the idea of a holistic approach to bodywork.
Since my time out of school I have continued learning from Cean who has introduced me to many of the modalities that he practices, implementing techniques into my own practice including Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques and Physiokenetix, which I plan to further study for certifications in the near future. I have gained certifications as a Certified Personal Trainer and Human Movement Specialist through the Brookbush Institute of Human Movement.
When not in the office or gym, you can usually catch me doing some kind of home improvement project at home with my husband.
A few years ago we took on the task of turning a two car garage into a home which has been quite the learning experience and adventure! If we’re not working, we’re probably playing outside - fishing, hiking, snowmachining, hunting, camping, attempting to garden, or walking our two pups.
Figuring out the best ways to naturally move in every environment is one of my favorite things to do so I usually can be found doing weird slow movements in whatever activity I’m attempting-always warranting weird looks from my husband and family! I love attending local hockey and baseball games, but I’d have to say my favorite way to enter the weekend is sitting around our firepit with friends and/or family.
We appreciate your trust in us, both on our website and during your in-clinic visits. Thank you for choosing our clinic for your pain management needs!