What to expect during your appointment
Before you arrive
Please wear leggings or shorts and a fitted top so that I can see and assess your joints and posture. We work in bare feet.
You will fill out a PAR-Q waiver form before your first appointment. This is a standard Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire and is to allow me to provide you with safe and effective exercises. More information about the form can be found here.
Your appointment time is reserved just for you; please arrive on time. If you are late, your appointment will still finish at the scheduled time, as I have another appointment after yours. No shows and short appointments due to late arrival will be billed for full rate of the scheduled appointment.
Initial Assessment (90 minutes)
History Your first visit is a 90 minute deep dive into what's happening in your body. We will discuss your injury history to connect the dots between how you feel today and how you got here.
Assessment Next we do a gait analysis (watching a frame by frame video of you walking), foot function assessment (how your feet interact with the ground and whether they move well) and joint-by-joint movement assessment (how many of your 'factory settings' are intact and how your posture and breathing habits affect your mobility). I will share your results as we go and help you understand how your aches and pains are connected to your injury history, movement and posture. Questions are welcome and encouraged.
Exercises After completing a deep dive into your body's patterns we start restoring your movement. My exercises are gentle, aimed at putting your body into the most important shapes that you are avoiding and teaching your brain to start accepting them as the new normal.
By the end of the session you will have 2-3 exercises to work on between sessions. They involve some small equipment (eg. wedges, ball, pillow, towel, band), performed standing or on the floor, or against a wall. Most clients are successful doing them at home by asking as many questions about the exercises during the appointment as they need or taking a video or notes. Success requires daily commitment to the exercises in between sessions.
Follow Up Sessions (60 minutes)
Reassess We check in with your progress, re-test some of your movement patterns and see what your body needs.
Exercises We progress your exercises depending on what your body requires. Typically you will need 3-5 biweekly sessions and 2-3 biweekly or monthly maintenance sessions to resolve one injury. Depending on how long you've had a compensation, or how many layers of injuries you have, it can take longer to resolve a movement pattern.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is the age-old question. And my answer is 'it depends'. There are many contributing factors such as: How long ago were your injuries? How many injuries contributed to your pattern? How familiar are you with your body and adopting new movements with cuing? How committed are you to the exercises? Are there additional things going on that require me to refer you to a different specialist?
Most clients see me for 3-5 sessions and then a few more times to fully refine their exercises.
I don't accept extended medical for a few reasons. First of all, I have found that the framework around extended medical can limit the kinds of methods I can use, the length of my sessions and how many times you can see me. With the depth of support I provide along the way it falls outside what the extended medical benefits programs support for items such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, etc. If your benefits plan has a wellness/healthcare spending account, check with your benefit/HR rep to see what is included. My services would be covered if your plan includes personal training.
If you need to use extended medical I recommend you work with my colleague, Tatham Johnson, who is a specialist in Postural Restoration Institute method. While we are both trained in the PRI methods, Tatham is not as experienced in foot mechanics and gait analysis as I am.
My work has a few things in common with physiotherapy and many distinct differences. Both my work and physio aim to give your body inputs to help it heal and move better. Physio often includes home exercises for mobility and strength, which I also provide.
Physiotherapists are qualified to diagnose, assess and treat conditions of the muscles, bones and nervous system and work with patients that are in acute pain from an injury. I am not qualified to diagnose you or treat acute injuries. I cannot provide a second opinion on a diagnosis or provide sessions for you while you are healing an injury or from surgery. I am permitted to assess your movements, guide you into better movement patterns and provide exercise plans.
Yes, I offer a limited number of online sessions. Because my work relies heavily on assessment movement rather than hands-on work, I am able to work with you just by watching you move and guiding you with my words. Before I accept you as an online client let's have a chat to make sure the approach is right for you, we test your camera and microphone setup ahead of time and we leave enough time for the wedges and other small tools to arrive at your home. I will also need you to send some gait videos before we get started. I have just as much success with my online clients as I do with in-person clients.
Head over to the blog to read more about how the people I work with have improved and benefitted from our work together!