When I first meet every new client, I give them the chance to ask me any question they need to know about me before we begin our sessions. My high school GPA, my dog's name, my belief in Santa Claus - nothing that is appropriate to know is really off limits. The top question I get is: What caused you to become a Rolfer?
Well, today marks the 6 year anniversary of my father unexpectedly passing away from complications of treatment of tracheal cancer. Dad was a character: strong and hardworking with a wicked sense of humor (i.e. putting a dead turkey in my bed when I was 13 after he came home from hunting, yes, I was sound asleep in the bed but not for long...) Dad was the kind of guy who gave everyone the benefit of the doubt about everything. If for some reason he didn't like you, then he had valid reasons because he was such a good natured person and saw the best in everyone until proven otherwise.
He had been in and out of the hospital for over 2 years since his diagnosis and had medications and interventions that lead to more interventions and complications. When the Mayo Hospital in Rochester told him there was a 1% chance that they might inadvertently damage his spinal cord from radiation to this throat, we were that unlucky minority - uh, hello Wall Street, we were the original 1%... His quality of life was greatly diminished, he felt like he was nothing more than another patient on his doctor's 'to-do' list for each day that he was in. Insurance companies called him stating they felt his diagnosis of cancer was falsified and they wanted him to return to work even though his white blood cell count was dangerously low. He was lost in the shuffle of what is traditional disease management in this country, he was a statistic, a claim number to everyone but those who knew him personally.
I'm not saying that a diagnosis of illness is reason to abandon life and go hide in the woods waiting for a natural death. I ask of anyone to put up a helluva fight because you owe it to yourself, your family and those who look up to you for inspiration. Traditional medicine and alternative therapies (not limited to Rolfing) together can foster a sense of balance in aggressive disease fighting processes and a gentle, nurturing healing to help your body bounce back much quicker.
Treating a person in body, mind and spirit. This is where I have dropped my anchor. Medical information, advice and new dangers and warnings about medications change almost daily. Sometimes you can see the writing on the wall but other times you are blindsided by complications and loss. To me, a mainstay is wellness and support, which if you find the right network of providers, you will be offered holistic care that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and cared for. Every person that walks through my door gets a thorough interview and we talk of their experiences and progress at every subsequent because the relationship that we embark on through their journey to find well-being is so vital.
I'm not in a glamorous profession, I am self employed and I don't earn any bonuses or perks of any kind, I don't get paid holidays or triple time. My top 'benefit' is knowing that I've improved the quality of lives of many people and that they know me by name if they need anything in the future or when they want others they know to experience the same healing that I can provide.
My career as a Rolfer is in honor of my father, may he be at peace and always know how greatly he is missed on this earth.