Like many of you, the whirlwind of 2020 brought exciting change to my professional path. This really should not have been surprising, as much of my professional career has evolved through my different life experiences. Over the last 20 years, I have practiced in outpatient orthopedics, neurology, work hardening, occupational medicine, and oncology. While it seems like each of these areas of physical therapy is unique, it is with this combination of experiences that I continue to develop innovative rehabilitation and treatment programs that encompass the multi-layered needs of my patients. I love the challenge each day brings!
My mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer and then appendiceal cancer was a life changing moment for me. It became my life’s goal to become an expert in oncology physical therapy. Helping her manage the side effects of cancer treatment motivated me to learn as much as I could. For the last 10 years I have enjoyed seeing the benefits of physical therapy treatment during all the stages of breast cancer treatment. I learned this involves not only helping active cancer patients tolerate treatments but also continuing to provide help throughout survivorship and palliative care. I enjoy educating people about the myths related to breast cancer and providing manual and lymphedema treatment and help provide exercise to address return to prior activities.
The highlight of my week is teaching Pilates mat class for breast cancer survivors. Whether in-person or zoom, I look forward to spending my time with this amazing group of women. The Pilates class is specially designed for those individuals who have had breast cancer and may have continued core weakness or limitations in range of motion. I love seeing the physical and mental changes in women when they have completed a Pilates class. It’s amazing and empowering! And I have made a few friends along the way (added bonus).
With my fresh start at Catalyst Physical Therapy, I will be able to focus on a unique area of rehabilitation that is near and dear to me: recovery from cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. The decision to undergo any type of cosmetic or reconstructive procedure is personal. There are many social and emotional factors that play into the decision. I share this experience, as I underwent rhinoplasty when I was 21. It helped me to feel more confident in my appearance and I have never regretted my decision. Following my own recovery, and years of treating patients who have undergone procedures, I have come to realize so much can be done to enhance the recovery process, both pre- and post-operatively. This includes questions regarding wound care, altered sensation and when it is safe to return to activities. Educated guidance and rehabilitation will help the body heal and regain its pre-surgery strength. As a certified lymphatic therapist, I am uniquely trained to provide manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) to clients after cosmetic/reconstructive procedures which has positive emotional benefits that come from reducing post-surgical swelling and tightness. So many patients report feeling improvement after MLD and lymphatic treatment while following their surgeon’s post-surgical guidelines regarding compression and activity restriction.
I am excited to be a part of Catalyst Physical Therapy and I can’t wait to meet you! Please contact me if I can help you in any way. I look forward to my ‘2020 restart’ and even better years to come!