Balancing Body and Mind: the Human Garage Story

I can hear the sounds of the rain falling. I’m tucked away in a quiet mountainous town, situated on a small rural lake six hours east of Seattle, Washington. There is no Internet here and people are few and far between.

As I stand barefoot in the rocky Washington sand, I feel pensive as the warm rain runs down my cheeks. A welcome change from Los Angeles skies. It’s renewing.

My family is inside. “The Human Garage?”, they curiously ask me. I stumble over my words as I attempt to explain my life endeavor in Venice, California and just what we do. Where to begin?

I just finished sifting through three conversations with our co-founders Joseph, Anela, and Garry (pictured in the original garage, above). I asked them to tell me their story. I asked them how the Human Garage came to be —how we got here, their vision, our collective purpose, and how it shifted from just an idea that began in a garage to a rapidly growing and respected operation in Venice, California.

As I reflected on these three conversations, it became apparent to me. This is much more than a job for each of them. It’s deeply personal. We do not just fix bodies. We do not just help people out of physical and mental pain. Those are just natural bi-products of the work that we do. And as Anela and Garry shared with me, we do not see ourselves as “healers” (but more on that another day).

Each of us has personal investment in the work we do because we’ve been on the other side. Our story is one of constant learning, experimenting, and discovering new insights the human body has to offer.

As each of them told me their story, I was amazed to think of how different each of our individual stories are, yet how a common purpose, a common thread brought us all together. Each of them told me a story of seeking to find a better way. A story of personal injury and often frustration as current and more traditional methods of healing were often incomplete, short-term, or insufficient.

Garry, born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Joseph a native of Orange County, California and Anela, born and raised in war-torn Bosnia and forced to flee to London at a young age. We started all over the world, yet we find ourselves here. So, what is this common purpose that brought our co-founders together in an apartment garage of Los Angeles to do this work?

Garry’s story of creating and founding the Human Garage begins where chronic pain took him “to the point where it was disabling” him from his life. As a former body builder, he eventually found himself so injured he was bedridden for days at a time. His story is one of seeking an alternative way to heal after trying more than 300 different styles of therapy and chiropractic, which often left him in the same position or endlessly dependent on the therapy he tried (or on Joseph himself, who originally experimented on Garry to help him out of pain, planting the seeds for what would later become our alignment protocols at the Garage today).

As Garry explained, he sees this unifying purpose as understanding what “alignment feels like in the body and understanding the connection between the mind and body. When somebody has felt alignment biomechanically and biochemically they…can do something about it.” 

It is a process of empowerment, emerging out of his own story of feeling powerless to get out of pain.

Or as Anela said to me in our conversation, our work is about “bringing balance and peace to individuals. But on so many different levels. Once individuals balance and are healthy then we can have healthy families, communities, cities, and individuals.” Anela emphasized the meaning and purpose of balance in our work and the ripple effects this has in our lives. When our bodies are balanced, it’s as if the rest in our lives starts to fall into place.

Lastly, let’s take Joseph, a former MMA fighter that also experienced a range of injuries and formally studied physical therapy. He left his more traditional Western sports-medicine emphasis in a quest to find a better way of understanding and in turn, fixing and re-aligning the human body.

In our conversation Joe shared this vision: “all the doctors in the entire world not one will disagree that alignment is the way. So I continue to pursue that. And I will continue to do the best that I can to push the power of alignment to its limits. And see where it takes us. See how much more we can get out of the human body. The human body is wonderful advanced technology that can heal itself under the right conditions and environment. It will do what it’s designed to do which is to heal itself. So the better we understand the language of that technology the better we can assist and help.”

There is more to each of these unique stories. And, quite literally, our story begins in a garage where our initial sessions were held, new discoveries made, and innovative ideas emerged. Our co-founders stories are personal, emerging from their own imbalances and processes of rebalancing body and mind.

For now, suffice it to say that this common thread is one of pursuing the “power of alignment,” balancing both body and mind, and maximizing the innate capacities present in each of our bodies to heal. It is this wonderfully advanced technology, the human body itself, that inspires and drives each of our founders’ stories, shaping and redefining our daily work at the Garage.

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