Vision for the Future of Healthcare

‘Winter and Spring,’ stained glass by Judith Schaecter, 30″ x 38″,

Wouldn’t it be amazing if:

• You could go to your doctor with severe pain, and she would write you a prescription for a course of massage therapy and other bodywork, which not only blissed you out, but solved your problem without the nasty side effects of drugs?

• Your massage therapist could refer you to the top specialist in the area for whatever issue you had, from varicose veins to systemic nerve pain?

• Hospitals felt like wellness centers, complete with fountains, lovely smells, spa-like decor, fresh organic meals, your favorite media on tap, natural light, and a virtual dearth of harsh fluorescent lighting, scary sounds, sinister smells, andsimilarities to an Argentinian torture chamber?

• Wellness centers were jam-packed with practitioners who not only knew how to work miracles, but knew when to send you to someone else for the best possible treatment?

• You’d be hard put to tell the difference between a doctor’s office waiting room and the atrium of a high-level resort spa?

• Insurance covered all of this, and everybody?

Impossible, you say? Crazy? Hubristic to the max?

Yes, possibly.

But this is the vision for Practical Bodywork that gets me out of bed every day. In my mind, I see that atrium, with the fountain, and stained glass by Judith Schaecter set into the walls. I see my favorite clients pouring in and receiving all the love and joy they’ve come to expect. I see practitioners who like and respect one another, working together to create the best health outcomes for every client. I see everybody earning a living wage with health insurance.

During the last year I’ve been taking a crash course in business development–marketing, networking, accounting, and management–a DIY MBA, if you will. I’m surprised to note that I’m loving it. The business world has, seemingly, greater scope for idealism than the art world ever did–more leverage, more autonomy, more community engagement, and more practical influence. Also more money.

Practical Bodywork is still at the very beginning of this journey. We’re moving along at a pace that may not set the world on fire, but won’t kill us, either. We’re beginning the search for office space, which will one day hold that fountain and fabulous art, as well as many other amazing health care practitioners. We’ve got a bookkeeper and an editor, a project development advisor and a business coach, and may qualify for a loan sooner than we thought we could.

We have also, on a joyful, visionary whim, applied for a small business grant. You can help us qualify. Just go here, search for Practical Bodywork in Philadelphia, and vote. No donations required. Love!