Transforming Pain Into Strength: Chantal Donnelly’s Vision For A Healthier World With Body Insight

by Jed Morley

Welcome to Wellness Voice Magazine’s exclusive interview with Chantal Donnelly, the renowned physical therapist and wellness expert behind the groundbreaking Body Insight movement.

In this captivating conversation, Chantal shares her profound insights into bodymind connection, holistic healing, and personal empowerment. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Chantal Donnelly has dedicated her life to helping individuals overcome physical challenges, chronic pain, and emotional distress.

As the founder of Body Insight and a trusted practitioner in Pasadena, California, she has transformed countless lives through her unique approach to wellness. In this interview, Chantal opens up about her journey and the mission behind Body Insight. She sheds light on the pivotal role of stress in our lives and how it manifests in the body.

Chantal’s revolutionary perspective challenges conventional beliefs, offering a fresh understanding of stress and its impact on our well-being.

Prepare to be inspired as Chantal Donnelly delves into the keys to unlocking our body’s innate healing abilities, cultivating resilience, and embracing a holistic approach to living a fulfilling and pain-free life.

Name: Chantal Donnellys

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Table of Contents

We Are Thrilled To Have You Join Us Today, Welcome To Wellness Voice Magazine’s Exclusive Interview! Let’s Start With A Little Introduction. Tell Our Readers A Bit About Yourself And Your Company.

Chantal Donnelly: I am thrilled to be here. I’m Chantal Donnelly. I’ve been a physical therapist and wellness expert for over 20 years. I have a private practice in Pasadena, California, where I treat patients for both physical problems such as neck or back pain, concussions, and headaches as well as for any nervous system issues that may be impeding recovery.

My company, Body Insight, provides people with educational tools to feel better in their bodies. I started my company in 2006 when I noticed that patients were waiting too long to seek professional help for physical or emotional problems.

I realized that by offering workshops, videos, or books to a wider audience, I could give people the knowledge and know-how to help themselves preventing suffering from becoming chronic and more detrimental.

My first big project was a video (back when exercise DVDs were all the rage) for knee pain called Strong Knees, which Gaiam distributed for many years. My company’s mission is to disempower pain and distress by empowering you.

If You Were In An Elevator With Warren Buffett, How Would You Describe Your Company, Your Services, Or Your Products? What Makes Your Company Different From Others? What Is Your Company’s Biggest Strength?

Chantal Donnelly: Poor Warren stuck in an elevator, listening to my elevator pitch… First, I would tell him that I think he is adorable. Then I would tell him that my company helps individuals and corporations feel less stress and less pain.

There is a belief that stress is a mind game. We turn this belief on its head (pun intended) and address stress where it lives–in the body.We are different from others because we never use the words ‘productivity’ or ‘mindset’ which is also our biggest strength.

We take a very different path to understand why employees might procrastinate, feel unmotivated, or struggle with negative thinking. We know that if you settle the body, the mind will follow and this governs our approach to helping every member of a company thrive.

“We are different from others because we never use the words ‘productivity’ or ‘mindset’ which is also our biggest strength.”

Quiet Quitting And The Great Resignation Are Ongoing Trends Causing Many Businesses To Struggle With Keeping Talent Engaged And Motivated. Most Employees Leave Because Of Their Boss Or Company Culture. In Fact, 82% Of People Feel Unheard, Undervalued, And Misunderstood In The Workplace. In Your Experience, What Keeps Employees Happy? How Are You Adapting To The Current Shift We See?

Chantal Donnelly: The Great Resignation has turned into “The Great Hesitation.” I am seeing clients who are panic-stricken at the thought of returning to work. Their heart rates will speed up every time they turn in a resume. They sabotage interviews.

They ignore employer inquiries. I worked with someone recently who was petrified she wasn’t going to be able to pay her mortgage and had already cashed in her 401(k), but at the same time, she couldn’t get herself to answer an email asking her to interview for a senior job at an excellent firm. She couldn’t understand why she was self-sabotaging herself and procrastinating.

When I explained that her behavior was a stress response, she was able to find solutions. This hesitancy in returning to work is happening because the pandemic readjusted our thresholds for stress and in doing so shortened our bandwidths for work stress. It is a response to not wanting to return to the old way of working. Even if the old way seemed tolerable before, it no longer is. If the old job was overly demanding or unduly stressful, as it was for my client, the hesitancy is ten-fold.

If your body is telling you that work environments are dangerous, why would you want a job? How do you attract and keep employees who are happy and motivated? You help them feel safe. Jobs are always going to be stressful. There are always going to be deadlines, big responsibilities, and difficult tasks, but we are humans, not robots.

If you build a company culture that includes civility, autonomy, predictability, respect, and warmth, the work stress becomes manageable and can even help someone thrive.

Here Is A Two-fold Question: What Is The Book That Influenced You The Most And How? Please Share Some Life Lessons You Learned. Now What Book Have You Gifted The Most And Why?

Chantal Donnelly: Creativity is really important to me. It is what differentiates me from other physical therapists and what keeps me motivated.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (The Eat Pray Love author) influenced me because it taught me how to manage the fear, self-doubt, and perfectionism that was blocking my self-expression.

I have gifted that book to many people, but the book I’ve gifted the most over the years is Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. During the holidays, I wrap copies up in striped paper and hand them out like candy to all of my friends. Married or single, it is the best book on how to cultivate healthy intimate relationships.

Christopher Hitchens, An American Journalist, Is Quoted As Saying That “everyone Has A Book In Them” Have You Written A Book? If So, Please Share With Us Details About It. If You Haven’t, What Book Would You Like To Write And How Would You Like It To Benefit The Readers?

Chantal Donnelly: I am so happy to say that yes, I have written a book. It’s called Settled: How to Find Calm in a Stress-Inducing World. It was released last September 2023. The book developed out of a frustration I was experiencing while trying to help my patients.

I was finding that I could ease their pain, but life’s stressors would wind it back up again. It wasn’t until I started studying the science of stress that I found the missing link. Settled is the culmination of that journey. Stress lives in the body and as a body expert, I share tools and techniques for finding calm – all from my physical therapist lens.

The tools are based on research data and include things like using breathwork, specific eye movements, and activation of cranial nerves associated with the calming nervous system. It is the perfect book for workers who need novel ways to manage stress and burnout. If the regular go-to techniques like yoga, meditation, and a positive mindset haven’t worked for you, I offer a different perspective for feeling better in your body.

Whether you are the type of person who feels sensitive to stress and needs help relaxing or a high achiever who isn’t able to slow down long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the book will give you a body-up approach to handling life’s hurdles. It will help you improve your health, relationships, work motivation, creativity, goal achievement, and overall life satisfaction.

In Your Experience, What Tends To Be The Most Underestimated Part Of Running A Company? Can You Share An Example?

Chantal Donnelly: Running a company is a lot like parenting. I teach parents about how their nervous system regulation affects their kids. It is exactly the same principle for CEOs; their nervous system state affects everyone under them.

A leader who is stuck in Fight/ Flight will have a company with internal bickering as well as a panicked, harried culture and high rates of burnout. Stress is contagious. Moreover, the creativity and problem-solving needed to course-correct a company will be inaccessible under duress.

I once helped a startup company move from survival mode to thriving mode just by working with the top two leaders of the company.

Their employees followed suit as soon as they could settle their frazzled nervous systems. They went from scattered, desperate, and unsure to calm, confident, and inspired. They could suddenly see solutions and a path forward. It was a much better situation for everyone.

“It wasn’t until I started studying the science of stress that I found the missing link. Settled is the culmination of that journey.”

What Does “success” Mean To You? It Could Be On A Personal Or Business Level, Please Share Your Vision.

Chantal Donnelly: Success is about enjoying the process, not just focusing on an end goal. I hope to get my book Settled into as many hands as possible.

But most importantly, I hope to have fun and approach promoting and marketing in a playful manner. Otherwise, even if I hit my sales target, I won’t feel all that successful. I’ll just feel depleted. So here is to embrace play!

Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to WellnessVoice and the host of this interview would like to thank Chantal Donnellys for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.

If you would like to get in touch with Chantal Donnellys or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page

Disclaimer: The WellnessVoice Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

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