I grew up in London and when I first left grammar school, I caused some controversy by going to Art College in Harrow to study fashion. Although I loved designing, I soon learned to dislike the cutthroat fashion industry of those years in London and knew that this early decision was not to be my chosen life path.
During my early twenties after marrying my childhood sweetheart, I had two wonderful daughters and dedicated myself wholeheartedly to motherhood. Although I was at home with the children, I developed several business ideas and began learning about how to organize and run businesses. Once the children were in school I returned to study and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Many happy and exciting years of teaching Biology left me with a chronic back problem, which like many others I ignored for 18 months. At that time I knew little about chiropractic.
My best friend, seeing my continued suffering, had experienced chiropractic and each time we met she urged me to see a chiropractor about this back pain. Stubbornly, I refused to believe that anything could help, as my mother had said that my grandmother had always suffered with her back and therefore was a problem, which, “ran in the family”. In the end my friend had her way and I relented and made an appointment with a chiropractor in England.
Needless to say, after 5 treatments and a new bed, my back pain had vanished and I was talking to everyone about chiropractic overjoyed at the thought of being pain free. She told everyone about chiropractic and how it had made her feel young and full of vitality again. It began to play on my mind, why this alternative therapy was not mainstream medicine and why it was known and trusted by so few people.
Two daughters all grown up and off to college and I was looking for more fulfillment in my life. My then husband encouraged me to return to education and study in any field, to fulfill my lifelong dreams. This is the point at which I began to think of myself, rather than my family. I was veering towards medicine or chiropractic. Places at both medical school and Chiropractic College were offered but since my own experience years before had been so overwhelmingly positive, I opted with little hesitation for chiropractic.
Some twenty years ago, I arrived at the Anglo European Chiropractic College and I have never looked back. Sometimes it can take life’s experiences to lead one to the perfectly suited career for you. My years of medical study at chiropractic college were some of the happiest in my life, training and learning together with many like-minded students whose enthusiasm knew no bounds. Alongside the fascinating medical studies, I learned all the complex chiropractic adjusting techniques.
Armed with all the knowledge and one year of clinical experience, my partner and I journeyed to Italy on an adventure, which would last twelve years. We fell in love with Rome and set up our first clinic there, expecting it to be as easy as it would have been in London. It was not easy, since we had not accounted for the fact that Italians need to be referred by a trusted person. Local knowledge is of paramount importance.
As hard as we tried, we could not make enough contacts to make ourselves known to patients. We were about to go back to England and become employees in a chiropractic clinic, when we were called by the Italian Chiropractic Association and asked to take over a clinic in Tuscany. This was like a dream come true and we jumped at the chance. We packed up our belongings and our one-year-old son and set off for new territory north of Rome in the rolling hills of the Tuscan Maremma.
In the Town of Grosseto, 20 minutes from beautiful seaside and an hour from the mountain ski resort, we started our practice with just 110 patient files from a chiropractor, who was ready to return to his home country. Within six weeks it was obvious this was going to be a success. Patients were enthusiastically telling their friends about us and very soon we had built up a good reputation among the local people and the local G.P.s.
After 2 years we needed more space and designed and bought a purpose built clinic in a busy area of the town. The business grew as fast as our son, who grew up thinking he was Italian. We enjoyed the beautiful countryside, local olive oil, wine and true friendships. We had become very fluent in Italian and were truly grateful of the life we had there. We had perfected our many techniques and learned and gained insights into the culture of this part of Italy. Many of our patients came to us for eight to ten years on regular maintenance treatment and became our friends.
Seeking a more international lifestyle and English speaking education, we became more and more interested in the Middle East and Dubai in particular. Investigating how to make this transfer was complex and demanding but determination won; finally all examinations were passed and the move could be undertaken.
Many struggles and frustrations later the Emirates European Medical Centre was created and opened. We brought all our previous knowledge to Dubai and have been blessed with success. The clinic is run on a sustainable working ethic and all our employees share in the friendly, efficient and professional clinic atmosphere we love to work in.
In this part of the world we see a multitude of different nationalities, get the chance to treat many different kinds of pain syndromes and also undertake regular maintenance treatment for those who already use chiropractic in their own countries before they came here. I miss the older generation, of which I saw many back in Italy, but recently I have had a few mums and dads of patients coming for help.
Sometimes I have needed a translator. If a patient cannot speak English, French or Italian, they usually bring a relative who does. Learning Arabic has been more of a challenge than I anticipated, but now there are a few phrases, which help when no English is known. I have learned the word for “relax” and “pain” in a few languages and hope to continue learning day by day.
I am enjoying developing the clinic and always looking for new ways to ensure the best outcome for my patients in the shortest time possible. In February 2012, Dr. Pamela passed the Parker College of Chiropractic clinical neurology examination in Istanbul, Turkey. Complicated patients who oftentimes may have seen many doctors, challenge my skills and make this job the most interesting and satisfying, that I can ever imagine doing. Each time I see something happen, like today when I adjusted a boy’s neck, and he and his mother noticed an enormous immediate change, it still makes me wonder at the power in a simple spinal change and I am grateful that I decided to become a chiropractor. I hope to be able to continue doing this for many years to come.