It is with great pleasure that I announce my intention to pass West Marin Physical Therapy to a Bolinas-born and -raised physical therapist, Freda Weitzer. My journey as a health care practitioner in West Marin is winding down, and with it, a transition to a competent successor is on the rise.
I started West Marin Physical Therapy in 1989. I had worked for 10 years as a physical therapist and occupational therapist, for part of that time on an Israeli kibbutz with a population of 1,000. There, I was busy! It was all the market analysis I needed to start a practice in a small community.
It has been a dream come true to live and work in West Marin, a beloved place where I restored and played. But as a 32-year-old, if someone had told me that I would be planted here for next 32 years, I would have gasped with a fear of confinement. I did not yet understand the meaning of community and what a treasure it would be to stay put and develop long-term, healing relationships. The feeling of connectedness and being part of a larger family was not on my radar. But year after year, the seed I had planted here grew into a rich and beautiful life. Thank you so much. Every day.
I came to physical therapy from a weaving of interests and skills. I’ve always been a touch-aholic and an exerciser. I was a scholar-athlete with many ego attachments that have been whittled away over the years. I was always interested in bodies and in relationships to healing and death. But most importantly, I have a calling to serve. Combine these traits together and you have a physical therapist.
Service is what it’s about. An osteopath acquaintance of mine put it simply: “Not how can I heal you, but how can I serve you?” It’s nature that does the healing, and we simply support nature. Our biological drive to heal can be supported by physical therapy. What is your relationship to your body? Can you better understand posture, exercise, injury prevention and your own relationship to touch and healing? Yes. We can be restored by education and a loving approach to ourselves. Moving out of the paradigm of health and illness into wholeness is important for us.
At West Marin Physical Therapy, you will never find a cookie-cutter program. Freda and I love to teach, and we design your treatment program to fit your unique self. Maybe all you need is strengthening or stretching. Maybe your work habits tear you down. Maybe you’re recovering from surgery and don’t know how to proceed and what to expect. Maybe you need deep healing and correction from our hands.
Freda volunteered with me eight years ago, before she attended Samuel Merritt University to earn her doctorate in physical therapy. I have followed her through her schooling and I attended her graduation. She has been working in my office for almost four years now and already has helped many of our community members. She is Pilates-certified, and she has a huge heart.
This autumn, I will proudly pass the baton to her. Health care has been precarious in our community, and private-practice medicine is a dying model. But in that model lies a freedom to do things outside the box and in our own way. This slow-medicine approach is hard to find, and I hope the community will continue to support it.
As the Coastal Health Alliance and the West Marin Medical Center have merged with larger organizations to stay viable, we have not. We are small and serve you in the best way we know how. Please help support and welcome Freda Weitzer, D.P.T., as she takes over this precious practice. And never forget the gratitude that I have in my heart for all of you.