This month, we wish a bittersweet farewell to physical therapist, Jessica Holloway, who is off to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a residency program in manual therapy. Patients and colleagues alike know what a meaningful impact she made during the all-too brief time she’s been with Creative Therapeutics, both professionally and personally. While we’ll miss her, we’re excited for the new vistas she will explore and the expertise she’ll be gaining.
Over the past few years I have found that the power of touch and manual therapy have had a huge impact on the healing process and accuracy of treatment. As a physical therapist, manual therapy has become an integral part of all my assessments and treatments. Frequently students, observers, and patients will ask me how long do you “massage” for? My answer has always been the same: “until I feel a mechanical change in the tissue,” followed by “I’m not doing massage.”
It wasn’t until I was on a clinical rotation when I overhead a clinician say, “His multifidus wasn’t activated at L3/L4.” I then watched her re-educate the tissue, and the patient was on his way out the door, pain-free, with improved mobility and function. In that moment I thought I need that skill. I learned that therapist had additional post-graduate training through a residency program in manual therapy. Being trained in this area takes the guess work out of soft tissue diagnosis and enables one to truly find the root of the problem.
The program I will be entering is a year-long process with one-on-one mentoring for 150 hours as well as twelve weekend courses covering specific regions of the body. Following this year-long training process I will sit for an additional board examination to be a board certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist (OMT). The wonderful thing about this specific residency program is that it also has a focus on an exercise component, which emphasizes re-education of the tissue to improve patient function. Re-education of tissue can be defined mainly as activation, waking the sleeping tissue, and then strengthening it appropriately based on its presentation.
Although I am very sad to leave my perfect position at the gem that is Creative Therapeutics, I know that in order to be the best in my field and achieve my mission as a therapist, pursuing this program is the next best step towards that goal.