Why I Became A Physio - The Fuel To My Flame
Updated: Oct 11
I often get asked why i became a physio. There is one person and one particular moment in my life that I can attest to. My mum and her passion for giving back to her community.
At the age of 2, my mum caught the infectious disease, Poliomyelitis. For those of you who do not know, Polio is a highly infectious disease that invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. As a result of this, severe muscle weakness can occur in both the upper and lower limbs. The symptoms for those infected can be drastically different, but for my mum, she lost complete function of one shoulder and suffers significant weakness in both her legs.
Growing up and seeing my mum struggle to perform simple daily tasks affected me deeply. Despite this, I also saw her tenacity to not let her disabilities define her.
Whilst I was in high school my parents took me on a holiday to Vietnam and back to our hometown, Tra Kha, a small country village 6 hours south of Ho Chi Minh City. My mum organised and funded a charity drive outside a temple in our hometown for the disadvantaged. I had the honour of meeting the members of her community and helped provide aid in the form of food and money. What was truly inspiring was that my mum organised this and got the word out to all the disadvantaged that the charity drive was happening on this particular day from another country. She used her platform and connections to her community to do something that completely changed my life and way of thinking. This is what ignited my passion for giving back to the community, unconditionally.
I knew I could not cure my mother of Polio however I wanted to do whatever I could to not only help my mum live out her dream but also do my part and give back to the community that helped shape me. For me, this became the world of physiotherapy.
To me being a physiotherapist is the best job in the world. You get to be a part of someone’s personal recovery journey from beginning to end.
The beauty of this is that even though two people can come in with the same injury, everyone has their own story. I think this is most overlooked when it comes to the healthcare industry. No matter what the injury, dysfunction or goal there are so many factors as to what may be holding them back. Is it their fear of movement? Is it the pain? Or is it the attachment or resentment of how their body feels or functions stopping them from moving? Injury is more than just pain. It is mental, emotional and physical. Not being able to do what you love manifests. I saw this with my mum. This is why physiotherapy is more than just exercise and manual therapy to me.
There is no better feeling for me than being able to positively affect change in somebody's life through my work, and I am grateful to have found this in physiotherapy.
@jonnorehab | @fxnlrehab