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.