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Catherine Holland

Catherine Holland

Founder Oxford Pain Clinic, Motorcyclist, Author, and Survivor of traumatic leg injury

My business happened because I was hit by a car and my leg was badly injured, the loss of blood nearly ended my life. What I learned about choosing to live and choosing to recover has been extraordinarily useful in setting up and running my business. I was not attending Quaker meeting before my accident, though I had been to meeting houses for other events.

During my recovery I experienced some excellent emergency treatment and some disastrous rehabilitation. I decided to take matters into my own hands for my recovery, and this lead to my treatment and then training to treat injuries manually. I was offered further surgery, which I declined. I was ridiculed for suggesting that I could recover using the methods that have proved so successful, but I didn’t know that at the time, I just trusted that my body knew best. My recovery has been excellent and I have no pain from my massive injury at all.

I have met and been inspired by Quakers in my business treating pain and injuries. One of those stalwarts who has been a regular patient for all my 12 years of business, and well known in their meeting, was the reason that I began to attend in Oxford. Many referrals come through this lovely Quaker who I’d now call my friend, in all senses of the word. One of the reasons that people come so readily through their recommendation is that they are perceived as trustworthy.

I run my business, as I run my life. I pay my bills on time. I work in cooperation. I choose to make peace within my own life, and I have daily practices that make this possible. I live according to the standards I set for my patients, and I know that I am an inspiration to them. I inspire them to be unreasonable in their expectations of what they can achieve in returning to full fitness after decades of restriction. This includes often going against the medical recommendations that they have been given. This part is certainly where it is useful to have been exposed to Quaker teachings. To be able to proceed in a manner inspired by truth, even when it is against current opinion or authority is a very useful, and comforting, asset.

My description of myself is as an individual who attends meeting rather than as a Quaker, as I see my connection as directly to the Divine and I was thus delighted to be introduced to the writings of George Fox and the description of the Society of Friends of the Truth. I delight in being my own individual and eccentric creation and in daring to share my joyful life with those dear Friends I meet on Sundays.