Asheville, Meet Flow Physical Therapy and Pilates
Hello Asheville (and surrounding areas)! I know the responsible thing to do would be to start my professional blog talking about physical therapy or Pilates. But, I’d rather introduce myself first. I feel this is important since I am the business. Flow Physical Therapy and Pilates is just me!
Let’s Get Personal
I grew up in mid-Missouri. My dad was an auto mechanic and then a locomotive engineer (he drove trains). Due to a boating accident, my dad became partially disabled, and subsequently, rheumatoid arthritis drastically limited his activity. He passed away when he was 59 years old. I attribute my love of fixing and building things to him.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom for years before returning to work for the state of Missouri. She is a runner with a history of completing many half marathons and marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice. My mom showed me that it’s okay for women to be athletic. She is the reason I started running at age 7 and never stopped.
I enjoy being active, especially outdoors. In high school, I ran cross country and track. I continued running for fun (and for myself) from college to the present. I’ve competed in distances from 5K to marathon. While living in San Diego, I couldn’t help but get into triathlons and raced distances from sprint to half Ironman. I also surfed, snowboarded, and wakeboarded while living in California. In my past, I have enjoyed fishing, from catching crappie to yellowtail. I have road cycled (including an informal, somewhat impromptu metric century) but currently mostly ride my mountain bike. I can happily hike a trail as well, especially if it promises a view. I’ve even tried ballroom dancing, ballet, and tennis. Did I mention I like to be active?
It’s not just fitness activities that suck me in. I taught myself to knit and have continued it for the past 15 years. In an effort to learn to sew, I took a beginner’s sewing class and progressed through self education to the point of making ridiculously, poofy princess-style dresses for my daughters. I love reading and always have some book that I’m either listening to or sinking into when time allows. Lastly, I have a plant problem and enjoy landscaping.
This is who I am outside of my work and my profession. I think it is obvious that I like trying new things and learning. I am a lifelong learner and feel that this enriches me. This drive to gain new knowledge and try new things shows up in my professional life as well.
How About a Little Professionalism
I earned my Masters of Physical Therapy degree at University of Missouri-Columbia (go Mizzou!) in 2003 and began Pilates training in 2009. My past work experiences in a long-term care facility, a Naval Medical Center, a Marine Corps Air Station outpatient clinic, a workers’ compensation clinic, a combined physical therapy clinic and Pilates studio, a physician-owned outpatient clinic, and a couple independent PT-owned outpatient clinics have influenced my career and how I practice.
With all these settings, one thing is clear to me: Providing quality care requires taking the time to do so. My patients’ outcomes were consistently better when I treated them myself, one-on-one for an hour. The ability to focus on one patient at a time, instead of multi-tasking patient care or overlapping patients, is invaluable. I can find the real root of the problem, instead of just fixing the painful symptom. This is why my appointments are 55 minutes long (the last 5 minutes of the hour cover paperwork and transitioning between clients). Quality matters.
Through my meandering career path, I dove into whatever interested me or was most present in my practice. I learned all I could about each topic. Initially, I really honed in on diagnoses and treatments for shoulder problems, knee problems, and runners, which was influenced by my military patients. The running segwayed into finding a love of treating foot and ankle problems. As I began to add biking and swimming to my own life, I soaked up whatever I could on those topics. My fascination with biomechanics (how the body moves) led me to take a Back To Golf course.
Eventually, I began working at the Pilates studio and immersed myself into Pilates and pelvic dysfunction. I also learned more about dance related injuries and their rehabilitation due to the Pilates instructors with dance backgrounds that I worked with.
Next, an experience with a patient who was a mother of four guided me to the rabbit hole of women’s health, specifically the perinatal period (pre- and postpartum). My own pregnancies and resulting postpartum experiences kept me going along that path. I feel passionate about providing support to women, especially in the perinatal period. I feel that the postpartum period can technically carry all the way to postmenopausal if the injuries from labor were never addressed.
At last, I found myself with a friend and neighbor who practices and teaches Thai massage. This has been my latest venture into learning something new.
This changing path of interests has been beneficial to me. I can confidently see a wide variety of patients or Pilates clients and know that I’m very capable of helping them. Variety is something I enjoy, and I might feel bored if I only chose to treat one group of people or a certain type of injury. I like the balance that comes from various patients, clients, and treatments. However, Pilates is the one consistent. It provides a type of exercise that translates well to almost patient or client, captures the bigger picture of how each joint functions with the next, influencing the whole body even when focusing on a specific area.
On To the Business of Flow Physical Therapy and Pilates
I have known since 2008 that I wanted my own practice. With marriage, a spouse’s return to school and his residency, several moves, and babies, my own practice needed to wait for the right time and place. I moved from San Diego to Huntington Beach, CA; then to Stamford, CT. At long last, we ended in Asheville. A few years later, it was time to begin Flow Physical Therapy and Pilates in Asheville.
The name “Flow” came to me when I was brainstorming different aspects of PT and Pilates. Flow is one of the 9 principles of Pilates. It denotes a rhythm to the exercise routine, promoting functional movement and decreased joint stress. That rang a bell for me as a trail runner and mountain biker.
You see, “flow” is also a type of trail. A flow trail is one that meanders along a general descent, making banked turns, and is a somewhat smooth, fun path. It is my favorite type of trail, whether on foot or on bike. The feeling it conjures in me is one of contentment and ease mixed with invigoration and life…Think of a child running down a gentle, rolling hill with arms out like an airplane. It is in this spirit that I hope my patients and Pilates clients leave my practice.
I like to teach patients to feel some ownership and empowerment from their own rehabilitation. I teach precise exercises for patients to do at home. A good PT can help a patient, but it takes active participation by the patient to truly make healing last.
In the vein of Pilates, I want it to be safe for anyone coming to see me. People have told me that they “tried Pilates once but it really hurt my back.” If exercises are modified and taught properly (or excluded if inappropriate), that shouldn’t happen. I keep group numbers small so I can keep a watchful eye on the participants to avoid injury. Once again, quality matters.
Flow Physical Therapy and Pilates is a place for me to provide quality services. I chose to be a non-contracted, out-of-network provider so that I have ample time to focus on the patient, instead of getting bogged down in all the extra paperwork, phone calls, and limitations that come with dealing with insurance companies. I chose to also instruct Pilates because I believe it is a truly beneficial form of wellness.
So that is Flow Physical Therapy and Pilates. My office is located in Haw Creek Commons, which is conveniently located in Asheville, yet has the feel of a quiet, getaway. I hope to meet you someday!