Our pilot results
From our pilot program in 2018
A Story of Health & Perseverance
In rural South-Central Virginia, a small class of miracles took place this year. A new non-profit in town, Turning Point Healing Retreat Center (TPHRC), ran a six-week course for “CAP” (Combating Arthritis Pain). There were 11 people who signed up, 9 who came for the evaluation, and six who completed the course. Six people whose health, habits, and lives were changed.
On the day of evaluations, our participants came in, most walking slowly, stooped and in pain, coming because they wanted to try one more thing. It was free to them and they had nothing to lose. There is a common conception that getting old is a disease and anything that hurts you just need to “learn to live with it”. Pain medication does not really solve any problems, but those on it don’t really care anymore – and so the spiral ever downward creates a bleak and hopeless future.
A core belief at TPHRC is that getting old is a privilege. Though we may not be as flexible or as strong as we were in our 20’s, every BODY can – and will – get better and healthier if it moves, stretches, strengthens, and plays. Our people came – and came back again – 3 days a week – to “play”, not to “workout”. The only way most of us will stick to something is if we enjoy doing it and are having fun. And so – for six weeks – we did.
The miracles we, the wellness coaches, saw were beyond our expectations. We saw a man who shuffled in leaning heavily on his cane dance down the hall, run after a ball, and strut down the path twirling his cane like a dance prop. A woman who could not lift her leg from knee pain clocked a mile every walking day and reported that she COULD lift it at the end of the program. One participant said, “this has made more of a difference in my life than anything I have done in the last 25 years”. At the “graduation” celebration, we had a participant say, “I was very skeptical, but this really worked!”
This program was inspired by a CDC grant which was looking for “non-drug therapies for people with arthritis pain”. No one in Virginia received any money from that grant, but TPHRC decided to move ahead with it anyway for those who had expressed an interest and need. It was a resounding success. All of the coaches and the medical doctor worked for free. A local town let us use an old gymnasium, TPHRC paid for the room and other expenses, and six people have a new lease on health and quality of life.
Our wish is to continue the program, and to see this in every community in the country. In rural areas such as ours, there are no local conglomerates with multiple level classes, and certainly none that are free to participants. Looking ahead we are planning programs “by the people, for the people”. Having fun in a group setting and enjoying safe and healthy physical exercise – for everyone, everywhere. This is our wish, our hope, and our mission.
Please consider sponsoring a participant for this program. $1,500 will give a person in need classes for a year, $750 will give them 6 months and $375 will sponsor them for 3 months. Help us make a difference in someone’s life.
Sincerely in Service, The Board of Turning Point Healing Retreat Center