Parkside Alternative Medicine Clinic: Holistic Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy at the Alternative Medicine Clinic offers a unique program with an integrative approach; focusing on body awareness, progressive movement and self management exercise programs, stress reduction, manual, myo-facial, cranio-sacral and energetically based therapies.

Physical Therapy intervention can help reverse symptoms of pain, even if the patient has experienced this pain for some time. The Physical Therapist (PT) will evaluate the conditions, stresses, habitual movement patterns and traumas relating to the patient's symptoms of pain. There is an assessment for soft tissue and joint stiffness, muscle weakness and imbalances and postural asymmetries which can limit the ability to move in a full and functional way. The patient's movement abilities, their strengths and knowledge are assessed to build upon what already functions well for them.

The PT works from the assumption that the body functions as a whole and symptoms in one area of the body may be related to a dysfunction occurring elsewhere. It is also assumed that the body strives towards optimal health and well being. The PT will assist the patient towards developing, restoring and maintaining unrestricted and comfortable movement. In order to achieve this, a treatment and healthcare plan will be developed with the patient, along with goals as a base for monitoring progress.

The PT may draw from a variety of methods to help the patient meet their goals, including:

  1. Manual (hands on) techniques for joint and soft tissue mobilization. The PT specializes in myo-fascial and cranio-sacral release therapies. Myo-fascial Release Therapy applies gentle touch, with sustained and deep techniques applied to restricted tissues to soften, lengthen and free up the body's fascial/connective tissue system, and relieve pressure, tightness and pain. Cranio-sacral Therapy involves the PT's light touch to sense restrictions in the dural membrane and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The PT can help these membranes, (which are connected to the tissues throughout the body), to release stresses and strain patterns and thus help the body to reorganize itself. This method promotes physiological healing, rebalances the autonomic nervous system, and increases general energy levels and well being. Other manual techniques may include neuromuscular re-education, muscle energy techniques, strain/counter strain, and various energy modalities.
  2. Facilitate optimal patterns and habits of movement to enhance ambulation skills, ergonomics and activities of daily living.
  3. Retrain postures to increase patient awareness of how the body moves and relates to its environment and educating the patient about their body structure and function.
  4. Coaching the patient's ability to integrate simple self care activities into their daily routines, enabling optimal healthy lifestyle habits. This may include discussion and demonstration on topics for relaxation, breathing, stretching, balancing and strengthening exercises for movement skills training.