When did you first decide to become a PT and why?
“I knew that I wanted to go into the medical profession in high school, and my sister who is three years older than me was going to school to be a medical doctor at the time. After hearing about her experience in school, quickly, becoming a doctor went out of the window for me, so I began exploring other avenues in the medical field.
Part of the reason why I chose physical therapy was that when I was young, I was a horse rider. I rode English style, and I really became interested in doing hippotherapy (physical therapy with the use of horses to help children). So I began going down that physical therapy pathway, with the intent to specifically go into pediatrics. I was accepted into PT school and did quite a few internships with pediatrics, and determined for a variety of reasons that was not for me either. So I went into more of the general orthopedic realm, and that is where I still am today.”
Where did you go to school?
“University of Michigan.”
How long has Tensegrity been around and what is your involvement?
“Tensegrity Physical Therapy actually started in Bend Oregon in 2004. We (Sean and myself) had moved from Washington to Bend, and then eventually we moved here to Eugene. We started our business in Eugene in a 2 room office where it had a hallway so small that only one person could walk down at a time. We were in that office for about 3 years and then we moved around to other offices about Eugene for another 6 or so years until we came here to our present location next to the Eugene Hotel. But the early years it was just my husband Sean and myself, and my sister in law as our office administrator.”
What do you think makes Tensegrity stand apart from other clinics?
“I really like the way that we put our 100% focus on the patient while they are here. I like the way that we treat the body as a whole, following that Tensegrity principle (tension & integrity: how the body is built on both a micro and macro level), and understanding that treating one area can have an impact on another area and vice versa. And I really like how we use a team approach. We utilize our staff’s skills in what they are trained to do.
We are also not hesitant about getting the latest or best equipment to get the best results while evaluating our patients. Lastly, I really like how our clinic does not look like your typical clinic. It’s definitely more relaxed and less of a medical atmosphere. That helps put people at ease because they feel like they are not here for a medical appointment but instead, they are here to learn how to move better, how to feel better and in a comfortable way.”
What do you like most about being a PT?
“Being a physical therapist is about helping people. I really hope to be able to improve people’s quality of life, whether that is resolving pain or weakness. But the thing that I am most excited about in the second half of my career is educating the public on pelvic wellness. It is an area in physical therapy that has been historically lacking up until recently that can give people a lot of hope.”
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned since starting Tensegrity?
“After working with so many people and having them trust me with their bodies and with their whole physical status, I’ve learned that people never cease to amaze me at how resilient they can be.
I once had a mentor say to me, “If you talk to a person long enough, they will tell you what is wrong with them. And if you just listen a little bit longer, they’ll tell you how to fix them.” and that really is what happens. If you just listen to your patients, they really can make amazing strides.”