What is … Physical Therapy?

For the next several weeks I will be offering a “What is?” series of blogs.  There is power in knowledge and understanding.  My hope is that by offering this “what is?” series I can offer the support needed for individuals to open to opportunities to increase their sense of control over their current situations – whatever those may be.  This week, I would like to start with letting you know about Physical Therapy.

So, what is Physical Therapy?  

Physical Therapy is a healthcare profession that dates back to the time of Hippocrates and is dedicated to treating the nervous and musculoskeletal systems to help individuals maximize their functional independence.  Physical therapy is provided in a variety of settings from the hospital and nursing home, to outpatient and athletic settings, and may be provided to individuals all the way through the life span from newborns to individuals 100+.

How do you know if you need, or could benefit from, physical therapy?  If you are experiencing functional deficits due to pain, weakness, decreased flexibility, poor balance or coordination, or other neurological or musculoskeletal imbalances you may benefit from Physical Therapy.  Functional deficits may relate to decreased ability to participate in occupational and day to day activities, as well decreased ability to find positions of comfort, to concentrate, or to sleep.

What happens when you receive Physical Therapy?  

At your first visit your Physical Therapist will evaluate you and set up a treatment plan that will include functional outcomes or goals, planned interventions, and the anticipated frequency and duration of treatment.  Treatment sessions may include education, soft tissue work or manual techniques, modalities (such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, infrared), and almost always exercises to help improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and/or postural awareness.  Frequently you will be given a home exercise program as part of your “homework.”

What can I expect from Physical Therapy at Posabilities?  

With 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist I recognize that every individual’s body, imbalances or injuries, and healing processes are different, so I take the time to gain an understanding of your body, your issues, and what approaches will work best for you.  My focus is generally on education, improving movement and holding patterns that may have become dysfunctional, and bringing balance back to the body through specific exercises and activities that you can practice at home between visits and after you have completed therapy.  I use manual techniques and other approaches as needed to help support you in your self healing.  With the increasing number of individuals with high deductibles, high co-pays, or no insurance my intention is to remain flexible, and to provide you with a “tool box” to support your own health and healing as much as possible.

How do I get started with Physical Therapy at Posabilities?  

photo (3)Maine is a direct access state, so you do not need a physician’s referral to be evaluated and treated by a Physical Therapist.  However, your insurance may require a physician’s order for PT services to be covered.  If you are interested in Physical Therapy services you can call or email me and we can set up an initial PT assessment.  You can expect your first assessment to last 45-60 minutes.

Thank you for reading my first “what is?” blog.  If you have other topics that you would like me to cover in this series please let me know.  Next week… “What is Yoga Therapy?”

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”  ~ Plato

Katey Hawes, owner and founder of Posabilities, Inc.., is a physical therapist, registered yoga teacher, and yoga therapist.

You may find her at Facebook.com/posabilities4u, Twitter @Posabilities4u, and .

Leave a Reply