Why I Do What I Do
I grew up in the small town of Boerne, TX, spending most of my time outdoors and playing every sport I could. I always had a passion for problem solving, and decided to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M.
About a year into my engineering work, my body began to fall apart and I had no idea why - my ribs would spasm and dislocate, I had constant brain fog and fatigue, I developed chronic pelvic pain and significant gut problems. I later learned that all of these things were because of a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome that affects your connective tissue, but at the time most Doctors told me to take a lifetime disability card, high dose pain meds and lie in bed. Even several PT's I went to were unable to help. I withdrew from school, clinically depressed and feeling very hopeless. It wasn't until I found a highly specialized PT, one who looked at the body holistically, had a deep understanding of the biomechanics of the joints, and who problem solved with me to find the root causes of my symptoms, that I started to have hope - and with hope started the long journey of becoming well again.
It was a long process that ended up requiring a whole team of knowledgeable health professionals - a functional nutritionist, myofascial release therapist, pelvic floor therapist, and an EMDR therapist. It also required learning valuabel meditation tools to break through the dissociative and disabling thought patterns common in chronic pain, and to start believing in my body's ability to heal itself again. Step by step, often two steps forward and one step backward, I regained my function, my love for my own body, my life.
This journey instilled in me a passion for helping others overcome disability and pain. I finished my degree in Biomedical Engineering, honing my problem solving and biomechanical skills, but ultimately endeavored to apply those problem solving skills to the most complex and beautiful machine ever made- the human body. I attended George Washington University in DC and received my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Then and now, my goal is be a highly specialized physical therapist – I don’t want to be a generalist who can treat most patients, I want to be an expert PT for the right patients, the patients like myself who had tried other types of treatment and needed specialized, one-one one care. To that end, I have worked to develop specific knowledge and skill sets that set me apart, attending many continuing education, training under experts in the country, and every day researching, asking questions, reading and learning. I also am not afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ about the things I am not an expert in, and point you to other amazing professionals ore recourses which may be able to help you more in that arena.
My own healing journey never ends, as my body is prone to instability and inflammation and I am constantly finding new ways to adapt, heal and grow. I am truly grateful for the trauma and disabilities life has thrown at me - they have shaped my passions and led me to this amazing career, and they have given me empathy and compassion for patients struggling through their own hardships.
If you believe I may the right therapist for you but have questions, or would like to discuss your case further before booking an initial evaluation, I offer free 10 minute phone consultations. Text or email me to set up a time!
Giving back has always been very important to me. In particular, I have spent significant time living in and traveling to impoverished countries around the world, and my goal is to spread awareness of both pelvic floor therapy and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome to these countries, treating patients and also equipping the local healthcare workers with the knowledge and skills to provide sustainable care. I have spent time working in clinics in Guatemala and developing continuing education for Guatemalan Physical Therapists. I currently have contacts in Mexico and Ecuador and am planning trips to begin this process this year, depending on the state of the pandemic.
I am also working to help local underserved populations. In particular, I use my Spanish-speaking skills and trauma-training to treat patients who might otherwise not have access to care.
10% of all proceeds from the clinic go towards supporting these causes.
I spend much of my free time outdoors, biking, playing various sports, and hiking and paddleboarding with my dog Millie. I geek out on board game nights, reading all sorts of books, and Harry Potter. I am religious and spiritual, and an active member of a local Episcopal church. I am passionate about travel and learning about other cultures, and have backpacked all across Europe and Southeast Asia.
Recently I bikepacked from Mexico to Canada along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a symbol to myself of the massive progress I have made along my own healing journey. It wasn't easy, and I had to make accommodations all along the way, but one pedal at a time I made it across the country! I also love nature and travel photography, and you can see snippets of these in the photos below.