My name is Mandy, and I am a healer.
Such a simple statement, and yet it has taken years for me to give voice to those words. And even now, sometimes I still stumble on them– try to quickly find the justification or clarification once they’ve been uttered… Couch them in apology or immediate explanation…
I don’t talk much about my work– not in the outside world. I have a hard time contextualizing for people what it is that I do outside the safety of the four walls of my treatment room. And perhaps a large part of my hard time is the fact that what I do doesn’t have a name (beyond the one I’ve given it). No one taught me how to do what it is that I do. No one except for the hundreds of people who have allowed me to place my hands on their bodies. I wasn’t “certified” or “trained” to do my work, but rather I have honed and developed my sensitivities along with my boundaries.
From the very beginning of my career as a Pilates instructor my clients began referring to my “magic hands.” Initially they were as much a surprise to me as the next person. I found I could listen to and trust my hands. I allowed them to guide me to pain or places of tension in people’s bodies. And then with my hands I helped to alleviate that pain and tension. It felt a lot like magic to me as well. I think the beginning of my acknowledgement process began when the vast majority of my clients upon entering the Pilates studio immediately lay down on the table– themselves no longer seeing the need for the pretense of “working out.”
For years I struggled with finding a label or category to place upon myself. I contemplated Chiropractic School, Naturopathic School, even Western Medical School– something to justify and validate me. Letters behind my name telling the world that I was worthy of respect and consideration. Ultimately I found (and still find) myself taking the path less travelled.
I am allowing myself to define my work in my own time, with my own words, and with the help of the many amazing human beings who give me the privilege of witnessing their own transformation. We all have our own paths. In my work I try to instill courage in others to travel theirs. In my life I’m doing my very best to forge my own.