Transitions and the Stuff yet to Come
I haven't written a post in a long time...oops, but that doesn't mean I haven't had thoughts. It had always been a distant goal of mine to open up my own practice, in my own space, with my own happy clientele. This past year is the first time that I've been providing cash-based wellness services as a contracted physical therapist...what a difference. Not sure if I can explain it, but the interaction is completely different, for the client and myself, than when seeking third-party reimbursement. This past year is also the first time that I've begun anything that would resemble taking time to practice being a better mover (beyond trying to run long distances respectably fast). My inspiration for change has come largely from Gary Ward's Anatomy in Motion (AiM) coursework, which completely changed how I viewed movement and challenged many principles that are over applied and almost taken as gospel within fitness and rehab industries. I then took an Animal Flow (AF) workshop, but took it in through an AiM lens, which was even more eye opening. I remember discussing this with our AF instructor, Clifton Harski, and in response he had said, "when you start seeing the same information show up in different places...you better pay attention." I also find myself increasingly intrigued by Ido Portal Method, which I hope to experience first hand one day, but all this leads me to thinking...how can I incorporate more of these elements into what I do?
Over the past year, when people ask me what I do during sessions, I really didn't have a good answer for them (and to be honest, I may not even know all the time). "Body weight floor-based movement stuff, but also stuff on 2 feet" was often the best I could communicate, but each time I got asked I got better at answering. My vision and passion have become focused on movement and moving. Moving can have many different focuses and benefits including strengthening, conditioning, cardiovascular health, performance/skill enhancement, etc. What I have chosen to pursue in movement is exploration. How can I make someone more aware of their own body before muddling up their experience with my feedback and what I saw? People often place too much trust in a medical professional's opinion of what 'should be' and what 'isn't good' before they take the time and check-in with themselves. And perhaps it's simply that most people don't know where to begin. What I don't want is to make people feel that they are weak and can't do this and can't do that so lets work our butts off and put lots of stress on our system to get there. I want to start with what a person can do right now, and comfortably explore and slightly push that boundary without externally defined reps and sets, without perfect alignment, and ideally without fear of consequence. I do not want to dictate what is right and what is wrong, rather give options and bring awareness to the choices being made.
One hurdle that I've realized while offering cash services is that I price myself out of what people are often willing to pay, especially when they have coverage through their insurance for physical therapy. I agree with them. You should use your benefits if you can get a good service that way. That doesn't need to change. What needs to change is I need to find a way to provide a higher valued service at a lower cost. I want to create a space where people can come in and be taken through this exploratory process at an affordable rate. And be offered help at an affordable rate. Helping our community at an affordable rate.
Something else that is new in the past year is that I've been able to enjoy the luxury of a very supportive girlfriend who is also a physical therapist...and a darn good one if you ask me. She's helped me immensely with organizing my thoughts and moving forward with my, and what is becoming our, vision.
More to come...and soon I hope.