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  • Writer's pictureChip Viau

More Behind My Passion

Since I was very young, giving back has always been a part of my journey. I worked many hours at Ronald McDonald House, at the Respite House, and through the Adopt a Grandparent program at various nursing homes. I strongly believe that when you give back, you also receive, and I receive SO much from what I do! Naturally as I embarked on building my massage practice, I wondered how I would fulfill that desire. Luckily, it didn’t take long before inspiration struck...

Four years ago, I had a client come into my practice who had bought a “Jump on it” coupon. He had a cane as he walked down the long hall to my space. Other than some slower movements, signs were subtle. He proceeded to tell me his story about Parkinson's and where he was at. He had the typical complaints that most people have when coming in for a massage, stiff achy muscles and joints. So, he got on my table and I worked on him like I would any other client. When the session was over, I suggested it would be a good idea for him to come back again, and he graciously agreed. After his second appointment, something happened that inspired my passion to work with this "Club." He said two things that stole my heart:

1. "I can feel my legs again"

2. "I have ten good days after I leave here"

He had me at 'I can feel my legs again.' I knew right then that this was a direction I wanted to work towards; a place where I wanted to give back... Helping a group of people who were diagnosed with a condition that they will not die from but that they can only watch the slow progression of. Over time, it will progress and at times, it will feel debilitating. Immediately, I wanted to learn more and of course, the competitive side of me said that if I can help slow this process down and give them an opportunity to feel “ease” for just one hour, or even better, ten days, then sign me up!

Since then, my work with the Parkinson's Community began to grow. I attended the Convention in Quechee Vermont in 2016 where I gave massages and surrounded myself with these amazing people. I have started to forge professional relationships, working side-by-side with local neurologists and the head coordinator of the Parkinson's organization in Vermont. And, of course, I’ve instituted the Parkinson’s Voucher program to help provide some relief to my growing numbers of Parkinson’s clients, and to finally “find my jam” in how I can give back.

It goes without saying that the healing on my table has been a give and take. I feel such gratitude for that and wouldn't change it for the world.


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