By Dana Delgado
When Dr. Mariska Visser left her successful chiropractic business and beautiful farm in Massachusetts a year or so ago, she not only found herself at home in Liberty Hill, but has zealously set out to build community within the community.
“For me it’s about community and networking, education, healthy foods and exercise,” she said. “My consultations are free and I have an open door. I’m inspired to break molds, change patterns and perceptions.”
In this drive, she’s reached out to other health care professionals in the area to form a viable and growing network of alternative health options.
With a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree obtained in 1997 and extensive post-graduate training in Chiropractic Pediatrics, Dr. Visser says her goal is to use a team approach for treatment and asks patients not to limit themselves and to look at things differently.
The latest member to join her professional network is Brenda Parker who is now offering therapeutic massage, which is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. Parker opened Deep Waters Therapeutic Massage within the offices of San Gabriel Family Chiropractic.
“Her practice is independent, but because she is within our practice we often co-treat and put our patients’ and clients’ best interests first,” Dr. Visser said. “She will cater her massage to your specific and individual needs.”
Ms. Parker is a Registered Nurse who graduated from the Third Coast School of Massage in 1993 and is trained in deep tissue massage, sports massage, Swedish massage, polarity therapy and trigger point therapy.
“She is very passionate about her work and has a special interest in energy flow,” said Dr. Visser. “Blocked energy can contribute to stagnation and cause havoc on the body.”
According to Dr. Visser, some studies have found massage to help with anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia related to stress, myofascial pain syndrome, paresthesias and nerve pain, soft tissue strains or injuries, sports injuries and TMJ disorders.
“Massage can help improve posture, circulation, flexibility and range of motion as well as strengthen the immune system,” she said. “When your body is working better, it is less likely to break down.”
The alternative options health network Dr. Visser is forming in Liberty Hill is similar to what she did when she left her native Holland in pursuit of the perpetual American dream in Massachusetts.
The effervescent practitioner, who had suffered a severe head injury in a serious automobile accident as a teenager and who originally wanted to be a veterinarian, found life in her homeland restrictive.
“In the United States you can be whatever you want to be, but not in Holland.” she said.
She grew up on a farm where she was heavily influenced by the character of her mother, Ilonka Visser.
“She’s always rescuing animals and has a heart of gold,” Dr. Visser said.
She added that her mother, who is still a very active woman, suffers from nightmares from trauma she experienced as a child.
It was while living in Indonesia where her parents (Dr. Visser’s grandparents) owned a chocolate factory that she and her family were taken captive by the Japanese during World War II. The family was imprisoned for nearly 18 months in a concentration camp under very harsh conditions. Their release came with rifles pointed at them and only after Dr. Visser’s grandmother was killed when she was hit in the head with the butt of a rifle.
“To this day, my mother never throws any food away and rescues every living thing she comes across,” she said.
That nurturing nature is evident in Dr. Visser’s character and practice as well. She describes herself as a “crusader.” She is credentialed as a chiropractor. She is a colleague to those within her professional network, but to most everyone, she has become a most trusted friend, especially when one’s body starts sounding alarms.
“No treatment is cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all,” she said. “Each patient is evaluated and treated based purely on his/her specific needs. We do not believe in over-treating. Our job is to get you feeling better as soon as possible, so you can get back to your life.”
Massage and chiropractic appointments are available and can be made by calling the San Gabriel Family Chiropractic at (512) 548-6576.