Massage therapy in Northwest Portland OR is offered by Wally Walsh at Kelsall Chiropractic. Growing up in the rural town of Lebanon, Oregon, Wally was a very active kid who loved playing sports. In High School, he pursued football with a passion, earning All-Conference as a Junior and Defensive Player of the Year as Senior. After playing two years of football in college, Wally discovered rugby, which he continued to pursue into his early 20’s. At the age of 25, Wally suffered a severe spinal cord injury while snowboarding that left him paralyzed and without the use of his legs. ”Much of my identity was associated with sports and being athletic. Until my accident, I had taken for granted my body’s amazing capacity to function and do most everything I wanted it to do.” he says.
What ensued was emergency surgery to fuse part of Wally’s spine, followed by a long, daunting rehabilitative process to regain more function. During his recovery, he experienced profound changes and healing through a variety of one-to-one therapeutic modalities such as physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, Rolfing, massage, and cranio-sacral work.
After two years of on-going therapy and making huge strides which he previously thought were impossible, Wally decided to pursue a career as professional bodyworker. “My back injury, although devastating at the time, ultimately proved to be a gift. It provided me with a unique perspective and understanding of the physical, as well as psychological and emotional upheaval we humans often encounter when unable to do things that once seemed easy and effortless.” What emerged from this challenging time was greater empathy and compassion for people living with pain and other perceived impediments to a fulfilling life.
Wally has now been a bodywork professional more than 17 years, with over 12,000 hours of hands-on experience. He has worked successfully with a diverse population of people, including professional athletes, expecting mothers, ‘weekend warriors’, stressed out office workers, actors, musicians, and children. In June of 2014, he completed a four year training to program to become a Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, which has greatly expanded his capacity to help clients move better and feel better. “For many years, I have been fascinated by how bodies move, feel and function. On a daily basis, I get the pleasure of witnessing human potential in action as I see clients change, adapt, and expand their ability to thrive. I’m truly fortunate to have a career that profoundly affects people in such a positive way”.
Away from work, Wally enjoys having adventures with his wife, Paula, and their dogs, Oliver and Pablo. He enjoys meditating, hiking, cooking, farmers markets, people watching, road-trips, seeing live music, going to Blazer games, and sampling many of the wonderful lifestyle options Portland and the Northwest have to offer.