Tanja Yardley and Dawn Elgin are getting ready to launch Broken Squirrel, an interdisciplinary centre that will employ a variety of multisensory modalities aimed at calming, focusing and optimizing brain health. Photo by Ali Roddam

Tanja Yardley and Dawn Elgin are getting ready to launch Broken Squirrel, an interdisciplinary centre that will employ a variety of multisensory modalities aimed at calming, focusing and optimizing brain health. Photo by Ali Roddam

Brain health centre set for downtown Courtenay

Broken Squirrel is an interdisciplinary centre that will employ a variety of multisensory modalities

After a 10-year absence, an award-winning physiotherapist is partnering to create a brain health centre in downtown Courtenay.

Tanja Yardley, who has been recognized by a national body for her meaningful contributions in their field, has paired with Dawn Elgin, owner of Practical Spiritualism, a yoga-meditation-coaching company to launch Broken Squirrel.

The new business is an innovation-focused brain health centre.

Elgin, who has extensively explored brain health innovation, says “after experiencing a series of series concussions myself, travelling all over the province and trying to manage the overwhelming amount of misinformation out there, it was clear to me that we needed access to high-quality healthcare solutions here on Vancouver Island.

Yardley, who received the CPA Medal of Distinction Award from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, which recognizes leaders, role models and innovators who have impacted the field from 1920 to 2020, has been practising physiotherapy on Vancouver Island for nearly 30 years, starting Rehabilitation in Motion with her business partner, Brent Armstrong, in Port Alberni in 1992. She added Sandra Ledwidge as a partner in Courtenay, Campbell River and Powell River locations, before selling their business in 2011 to a national healthcare chain.

Broken Squirrel is an interdisciplinary centre that will employ a variety of multisensory modalities aimed at calming, focusing and optimizing brain health through local partnerships with healthy eateries (Glow on the Go), fitness centres (Wild and United), meditation and yoga centres (Practical Spiritualism), sensory deprivation float tanks, health and life coaching, counselling services, sound and music therapies and other brain health-related services.

“After nearly 30 years exploring the edges of our human capacities, this brain health centre feels like a beautiful way to bring all of the pieces together in a way that serves our community and brings access to emerging technologies and holistic approaches for total body health. It’s an honour to be part of it,” says Yardley.

Construction on the centre is ongoing and it is expected to open mid-summer.

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