Health in Motion Physical Therapy + Wellness Founder, Owner and DPT, Lori Gillet

How long have you owned Health in Motion PT + Wellness and where have the locations been?

Twenty-two years with six different locations in Livingston, Gardiner and Bozeman.

How did you get into Physical Therapy?

As a child I was always finding and caring for injured animals; dogs, cats, and birds. My mom thought I’d be a good PT. When I was a teenager, she told me, “You need to meet Joe Wagner (the PT that she worked with) and volunteer at the nursing home.” I met Joe, volunteered, and fell in love with PT. Momma was right!

When I went to college I volunteered in various settings such as schools, work disability programs and hospitals. I was undecided between medical and physical therapy school. Initially, I was leaning toward being a pediatrician, but I knew I wanted to develop relationships and spend more time with patients, so I chose the PT path.

I graduated from the University of Evansville and did an internship in England at Harlaxton College learning about socialized medicine and also Neurodevelopmental Treatment Technique at the Bobath Center which sparked my interest in movement.

I finished my doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Montana.

Can you walk us through the evolution of your studies/practice?

I had two head injuries in highschool – rolled my car and fell off a cheerleading pyramid landing on my head. I had a lot of difficulties in school as a result. Studying became harder and harder, I went from straight A to getting my first C. It was awful. I couldn’t find my words and was struggling. After college my brain was exhausted.

This led me to the way I do PT. As my headaches got worse and worse, I went on a journey to heal myself. I started with neurology to understand the brain. I worked with people with head injuries, strokes, and spinal cord injuries. I also loved movement and learning how to teach people how to move again after they had lost that ability. So I studied Neurodevelopmental Treatment Technique, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), and Feldenkrais – learning how babies move in order to help people go back and relearn those skills again.

After noticing how difficult it was to teach folks movement when they were stiff and immobile, I studied joint and fascial mobilizations – myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, lymph drainage therapy, and brain therapy. I studied all of these to understand how to support the entire fascial web and body to move in synchrony.

Then another life circumstance – my daughter was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy – steered me in another direction and I learned that sometimes there just isn't a connection between the brain and muscles. That's when I got into lasers to build connections between the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

The next part of my journey is understanding how emotions also get stuck in the connective tissue of the body. As the neuroscientists say, "What fires together wires together." My current fascination is in the primo vascular system.

What’s your favorite aspect of your practice?

To see people flourish and change. The body always wants to move from midline with gravity, but it forgets where midline is. I help them find it again so that they can tune into their own natural healing. 

What changes have you seen in PT in Bozeman over the years?

In the early years, much of what I was studying and practicing was thought of as alternative. Now it (craniosacral, visceral manipulation, lymph drainage, PNF, and lasers) is more mainstream in the PT community. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I may be small, but I have tenacity. I don’t give up on people. I persist.

What is your superpower?

Cliche aside, I treat with love. When you touch someone with love, life shifts. 

What do you want people to know about Health in Motion Physical Therapy + Wellness?

We are always going to push the envelope and continue striving to help people, promoting wellness in our community and world.