As a teenager I had several serious horse riding accidents, which led to the development of Scheumann’s disease in my growing spine. As a result I grew up experiencing huge amounts of pain, poor health and emotional stress. After unsuccessful medical appointments, trials of medication, X-rays and testing, my wonderful mother located a chiropractor and this treatment changed my life.
I was always interested in science, the brain and healing.
I dreamt of being a brain surgeon when I was young. But my aversion to blood and body fluids, along with my own experience of healing and recovery led me on the path which I am still following 40 years later.
Outside the mainstream system
The first bold action in my story was going outside the mainstream system, of the time, for help with my symptoms. The next was my decision to stick with it and then start following this path myself. Here is a vital key for me, being willing to step outside current thinking and listen to my own intuition, a process I am still refining.
After several years in private chiropractic practice and struggling with my physical body and energy levels, wondering whether I just needed to give up. I began my further studies: Yoga, meditation, Feldenkrais therapy and the Alexander Technique, all practices aimed to increase body comfort, efficiency and ease. I progressed from there to Dance and Movement, Movement and Learning and many different forms of body work and embodiment practices, a nunusual pathway for a chiropractor.
These studies have nourished me personally, creating greater resilience and sustainability in my life, as well as supporting my professional and business growth and development.
Early in my career, I was able to work in a large rehabilitation centre in Melbourne, which introduced me to the notion of collaborative health care and multidisciplinary work. Each person is an individual and luckily there are many paths to healing. Following my rehabilitation work and interest in multidisciplinary health, I had a vision of an alternative community health centre. This centre would be healthful and holistic, with a number of health care practitioners, affordable fees, working for the empowerment and creation of better health for individuals and the community.
Finding a suitable location I opened my first multidiscipline private practice, one of only a handful of practices in Melbourne offering a range of natural and complimentary health care services: chiropractic, massage, homeopathy, counselling, psychology and Chinese medicine. With seven practitioners and three receptionists it was a full time job to run the business side of the practice and another full time job to run the health care side of the centre. After seven years of operating a waiting list practice and a three-receptionist clinic, I left Melbourne for a quieter life and had two beautiful sons.
Twenty-five years later this practice is still operating having had two successive owners after me.
I continued to be guided by my need to manage body pain and low energy, studying ever more in the mind body field and incorporating that into my life and practice.
Healing Well, Castlemaine, Victoria
It wasn’t long before my need to be innovate in my professional life resurfaced again. This time I had the vision of a collaborative practice, run by practitioners offering a sustainable practice and professional, affordable, holistic, allied health care to the community. With this shared vision, Healing Well was created in Castlemaine, Victoria by a group of committed practitioners. Healing Well, is currently coordinated by five practitioners and is a professional base for 14 therapists of a variety of modalities — Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Massage, Chinese Medicine, Psychology, Counselling and Naturopathy.
This model is unique as there is no owner or employer; it was a bold and risky undertaking, but seven years into operation, Healing Well in Castlemaine is a beautiful, sustainable, allied health practice.
How did I learn to be successful?
I learnt to be successful in business by trial and error, taking risks, enduring stress and discomfort and a lot of hard work. I was also able to recognise, listen to and follow my intuition, going inwards and trusting what interested and inspired me.
Business coaching or mentoring was not really spoken of much 30 years ago, and if it was, it was all about men in business suits growing a business as large as possible. Sadly I have learnt many things the hard way, but I have been fortunate in the past two years to have the opportunity to study with and receive coaching with the Stress Management Institute operated by two very experienced senior chiropractors, John and Judy Hindwood. The learning I have gained via my growing awareness of coaching and mentoring has made an incredible difference in my own life and my capacity to support and mentor others.
This personal experience of the benefits of coaching and mentoring is now inspiring my next steps in creating Lifewise Health and Wellbeing, coaching and mentoring for individuals and health practitioners.
The road to success is always under construction and repair, as is our own growth and learning.
I would love to hear from you and I am offering a 30 min complimentary discovery sessions.