- Tell us a little about yourself
Not quite Abu Dhabi born, but definitely bred. I came to Abu Dhabi for the first time when I was 4 years old with my mother, father and sister, all of whom are living back in Abu Dhabi now too. Returning to Abu Dhabi 8 years ago to pursue a career in Physiotherapy has been a positive challenge. This month I will celebrate my 20th year living in Abu Dhabi, a place I fondly call home.
Returning to the UK to study at 16 years, I stumbled across Physiotherapy whilst volunteering at a Cancer care Centre. The resident physiotherapist, was a breath of fresh air, someone who the patients valued, and would look forward to their sessions with. It was this experience that led me along the path of physiotherapy. I did not realize when choosing Physiotherapy and when I started my career that it would evolve into what it has, but one common denominator was being surrounded by people who were equally as passionate. Moving back to Abu Dhabi in 2012 and coming from a big teaching hospital in the UK I was looking for a similar nurturing and supportive environment; a place to learn and grow.
- Tell us about how you came up to establish Perfect Balance
I am thankful for the variety of teams and positions I have held in other companies. Mentorship is a big part of how I apply physiotherapy science today. The entire process of setting up the centre was a “quick and slow dance”. The first spark came from a meeting and a few open ended questions, offered by a female entrepreneur.
“Why would you not setup your own centre? If it’s not meant to be, you will always find reasons not to, but if you can’t think of a reason not to do it… What are you waiting for?”
Looking back, the biggest hurdle was making the decision to start the process. Although I loved where I was working, I could not find reasons not to do it. There was that inner voice of comfort and safety saying “Why change something if its working well and you are happy?” I am very thankful for taking that step and going beyond and above the status quo.
Three weeks after the seed was planted, things seemed to have flown my way. The first few weeks were a feeling that things were right and falling in place. The process of finding the name, meeting the right professionals, finding a space that I could see myself working in, all came very easily and unfolded fast. Of course, it is also about “vision”, as cliche as it sounds. In my line of work, I treat, care and meet many people daily. Time and experience have brought me an ease and intuitive vibe on how to connect, listen and surround myself with compassionate, kind, optimistic and talented people. Beyond the job description, life is about what you want and what environment you want to evolve in. I also notice the motivation that comes from creating your own flexible working environment. Of course the idea of being your own boss is appealing but it was also the space and freedom to prioritise enough time to care
and treat, offering undivided attention to patients. It was also about leading change, adapting quickly and moving forward with how fast science changes.
Now, with the bliss also came the work! The next 18 months were about learning the ins and outs of what it means to build an establishment from the bottom up. Perfect Balance has just celebrated its 2nd Anniversary, and it has grown into an environment that both my colleagues and clients feel safe, supported and nurtured.
- How does Perfect Balance encourage people :
Aches and pains, although common, do not have to be the new “normal”.
Health is a complex web of so many factors. When it comes to rehabilitation, physiotherapy, nutrition, speech and language, there is so much information out there. People seek treatment and answers but are sometimes discouraged or overwhelmed by life events, an injury or conflicting messages. At Perfect Balance our work and goal is to listen to the total story, sift through the knowledge and perceptions but mostly understand the physical and psychological context of the person. I do believe, it is refreshing for patients to have a clear picture of the road we have to walk to get better, be pain free or perform the way we want. Motivation comes from action: acting step by step and feeling supported along the way.
Health care might have been laid out as a space where people are treated, sometimes passively. The best results, however, come when we unite professional knowledge and personal experience, placing them on equal ground to select and implement treatment. You would be surprised to know how much physiotherapy is at the cross road of mental and physical health. When I look at the testimonials that patients share with us, it certainly comes out. Reading “I avoided surgery”, “I am back to doing what I love”, “I am now pain free” is why I do what I do. But the work comes from both sides. Being empowered, supported and guided is encouraging.
I think the saying “It is quite as important to know what kind of a patient the disease has got as to know what kind of disease the patient has got”explains my/our vision pretty well. The same treatment or exercise is not welcome the same way by all. It is encouraging to be treated like the unique human we are. That is how I seek to be treated.
- What are your ways to build a strong and supportive community care:
Knowing what is happening : We love to invite people in the clinic and visit fitness centre, gyms, community groups, health center, business groups. Knowing what is happening in Abu Dhabi is precious. Abu Dhabi is so small, yet so big, you have to keep and ear and an eye out.
Connecting people:My work is people oriented, of course because I offer physical therapy but meeting people from all walks of life also give me the opportunity and privilege to connect motivated and talented people together. In the healthcare field specifically, I make time to connect with other trusted and caring professional. We share ideas, resources, strategies.
There are some amazing professional and volunteer out there. Knowing what doctor to recommend patient to for a referral is necessary and staying in touch with those same doctor allow us, even from different centre, to provide a coherent treatment plan. Then, there are so many companies that we keep in touch with in the Food and Beverage, education and fitness field. When it comes to organizing and support total health, you need to know what tools are available.
Volunteer and Groups : I am fortunate to have my family here and an awesome personal and professional network, and I am aware that not all expats have the same context. I support and value the volunteering group that put solidarity at the center of all their actions. We have a particular appreciation and contact with Abu Dhabi Mums, Tribelles, Abu Dhabi Women’s Group, Mum Run this Town, Abu Dhabi Striders and everyone out there creating. Reach out if we can help.
Sharing : We participate in multiple events and wellness day to share our vision of health. I love technology, having Whatsapp access on my computer have changed my life in 2019. Still, it does not compare to getting out there, meeting people and communicating passion and care for what we do in verbal and non verbal ways!
- What is your favorite quote : Never be too busy to be kind.
- Share with us your 5 top life tips
1) Prioritise but give people your undivided attention : I think multitasking is overrated. The brain is designed to do one thing at a time. If you find it hard, our speech and language pathologist would say, maybe you need a sensory break!
2) Sleep : I don’t blame you from not wanting to move if you are sleep deprived or over caffeinated. Sleep is often the common nominator of how well the day is going to go and we often sleep better after we moved.
3) Give yourself the brain space. If you were to represent what you think about all day? What would a pie chart looks like? I use a few meal planning tools, sometimes even planned deliveries. Having a plan, gives us the head space and the fuel to keep going. Our dietitian would say that the common point between all diets is : the planning !
4) Plant seeds. Most incredible adventures start with a small gesture. Accepting to meet someone, call to visit a space, try something new (even once, even without committing). Bite size action, in my books, always get your further than big big plans.
5) Be thankful : it just works. Maybe you don’t love your body, but we can at least respect how amazing it is that we are breathing. When one part of our body “fails us”, remember there are a million other part doing their jobs. Be thankful and team up with your most amazing tool.