Volunteering is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of dedication and love to sacrifice a person’s vacation time away from family, friends, and the familiar, to donate her/his skill to help people. It’s selfless work, but it is work. We feel that the people who join on our trips are truly amazing and deserve recognition for their great deeds. Dr. Hilary Taglio is one such individual. She went on the Tanaka Chiropractic Missions trip to Guatemala in 2017. She had learned of our organization through the GCSS newsletter, and with over 15 years of experience as a Gonstead Practitioner, we were lucky to have her join us!
After the trip, we were able to catch up and ask her about her reflection on the experience. Here’s what she had to say!
What inspired you to learn Gonstead technique?
“I had a severe injury to my spine when I was 21. At the time, I did not “believe” in chiropractic. As years went by, my condition continued to get worse and worse and I lived in a lot of pain, everyday. When every other form of therapy and treatment failed, I listened to a friend who encouraged me to see a Gonstead Practitioner. In a nutshell, Gonstead Chiropractic changed my life. I am living more pain-free in my 40’s than I ever did in my early 20s.”
What was a moment that you enjoyed most with the other doctors and volunteers?
“There was an intimacy that naturally occurred while sharing this experience with other Doctors, whom I had never met before. This created instant camaraderie that was really special. Moments I enjoyed most, were our time together at the end of the day, reflecting, sharing stories, thoughts and feelings about what we had experienced that day. It was very rich.”
What was a moment that you enjoyed most with a patient?
“There are so many, it is hard to choose just one. One that comes to mind, is a lady that came to me crying in pain at the beginning of the week, having a hard time walking and functioning in her day to day life. She was crying tears of gratitude by the end of the week, for restored function and significantly less pain.”
What was the most interesting case that you had when you were there?
“A Lady who had been dealing with Bell’s Palsy for years. Her face would significantly improve in function after her adjustments. She would not be aware of the change, so I would have her go look in the bathroom mirror to see the difference and she would come back out with a huge (more symmetrical) smile on her face.”
If you had some advice for a student or doctor, what would you say to them?
“I would encourage them to go on this trip. The TCM staff is really amazing and the trip is really well run and organized. I realize it is a sacrifice not only to fund, but to take this much time off, but it is well worth the investment. You will come back from an experience like this changed in many ways. Your heart will be full and you will be that much more inspired to be a better Doctor. The power you hold in your hands is more apparent in this environment, as the people do not have access to this type of care (if any care) and are often living in a very dysfunctional state for a long time, before they get to you. The results you will see are quite dramatic.”
What was your biggest take-away that you can apply/have applied to your practice coming back?
“I was energized (although tired!) and incredibly inspired by the experience. I came back with a full heart and thankful for my hands and the gift of Chiropractic to use to serve those who would not have otherwise received it. My world was also opened to seeing more complicated situations than your average back pain cases.”
Dr. Hilary is one of the reasons why we do these trips. We want to share, bond, and grow our community with people who care. If you want to know more about Dr. Hilary, you can reach her at www.tagliochiropractic.com and follow her on Instagram @tagliochiropractic