Physical Therapy & Aston Patterning®

I am a student of movement, my own and yours. I will guide your discovery of how your movement patterns influence your comfort and function.

At a time when insurers are demanding a “quick fix” from physical therapy, I am committed to lasting results, which come from seeing the body as a unified whole. This is a lesson I learned from movement expert Judith Aston who developed a comprehensive approach to working with bodies in motion. She teaches that an injury or dysfunction in one part of the body will cause the rest of the body to compensate in ways that reinforce the original symptoms. To release tension and pain and to teach people how to use their bodies more efficiently, she developed an integrated system of bodywork, movement education, exercise, and environmental design.

Aston-Patterning® is an important component of my treatment approach. Every new patient receives a thorough evaluation and treatment plan. I draw upon my medical background to understand the patient’s diagnosis and on my Aston-Patterning® training to see how the whole body has compensated for the identified problem. Treatment strikes a balance between hands-on bodywork and active movement education. For more information regarding Aston-Patterning®, visit

Through a variety of methods drawn from Physical Therapy, Aston-Patterning®, and Osteopathy, I seek to:

    • Release tension in the muscles, connective tissues, and joints.
    • Reeducate the neuromuscular system to increase strength, range of motion, balance, and coordination.
    • Modify the gait.
    • Teach dynamic spinal stabilization.
    • Reorganize movement patterns to make both simple and complex tasks easier.

Through these techniques, new options for movement and
self-care techniques emerge to control symptoms.

Spinal Care

Back pain usually has to do with movement dysfunctions of specific spinal segments that are too loose or too tight. So treatment involves strengthening unstable areas and mobilizing stiff ones. The nature of spinal conditions is that people have periods when they feel fine and then episodes of acute pain when they feel their backs “go out.“ Learning how to manage our symptoms from the moment when we feel something “GO OUT” is key to successful pain management.

By employing simple gentle movement sequences during acute flare-ups, my clients learn how to discover for themselves where and in which direction the movement dysfunction lies. Then by performing these movements to the area of primary difficulty, they can unlock the joints that have caused all the trouble. This can prevent the whole cascade of spasm and compensation that pulls the rest of the body into the painful pattern, thereby shortening the painful episode.

My approach is designed to teach each client/patient how to resolve recurrences more quickly, and make them both less intense and less frequent. Once the person has learned about their condition, they become their own healer immediately when pain flares up. Flare-ups become less scary, more manageable, and in need of less professional intervention.

Treatment for Scoliosis

Scoliosis is the abnormal sideways curvature of the spine seen from the front or back of a person. These sideways curves are always accompanied by a twist of the spine. Sometimes the twist is greater than the side-bending aspect of the curvature. There are two very broad categories of scoliosis. The first is congenital and is often first noticed during puberty. The second is acquired curvature due to the compensations caused by injuries such as falls or disc bulges and/or herniation.

While I usually don’t expect to eliminate a scoliotic curve, much can be done, especially in the compensatory type of scoliosis to help people gain more comfort and freedom of movement. I have been able to guide people to decrease the degree of curvature in many cases. But that doesn’t happen without the commitment and persistence of the individual to do their home exercise program.

Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS)

Early in 2015, I began learning from Clare Frank, DPT about the DNS technique. DNS develops core strength utilizing the sequence of motor development human beings typically go through during the first year of life. I never before really appreciated how hard infants work to develop the ability to defy gravity and rise up off the ground. Unfortunately many of us don’t continue to work our bodies quite that hard and as adults can benefit from using some of the same positions and movements to develop balance, stability and comfortable graceful movement.
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Treatment for Musicians

I have a particular interest in assisting musicians to play their instruments in ways that are comfortable and help them heal from the repetitive stress injuries or chronic pain. Difficulties in the ergonomic fit between musicians and their instruments can result in cumulative strain. Improved body posture and movement ergonomics can make a surprising difference in the resonance of an instrument. Since musicians are both passionate about and acutely tuned into their sound, it’s not hard to show them how they can feel better and sound better at the same time.

Pediatric Treatment

I was certified in Pediatric Neuro-Developmental Therapy (NDT) in 1994, 6 years after my son was born with profound brain damage that caused Cerebral Palsy. At the time I was already in private Physical Therapy practice mainly working in Adult orthopedics. I have applied that training to working with children similar to my son who are among the mostly seriously impaired physically.

Now I work primarily with babies on the other end of the spectrum; those without neurological damage but who are not moving through the normal motor milestones as expected. For instance, sometimes with twins, one progresses easily from sitting to crawling to pulling up, cruising and walking, while the other seems to get “stuck” sitting and can’t quite figure out how to take the next step.

I have found that in these cases, often with just a few sessions, I can show parents what “movement block” is getting in the way of their baby’s motor development. Then we can work on ways for parents to play with their baby so that s/he is assisted to master the building blocks of movement and catch up to their more active twin.

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT)

LDT is a technique used to decrease swelling due to arthritis, injuries, surgeries and lymphedema. The fascinating part is that it is one of the most gentle and yet powerful types of hands-on bodywork because critically important lymphatic vessels are located just underneath the skin. I studied with a master instructor of the Chikly Health Institute, a program developed by the Osteopathic doctor, Bruno Chikly. Some of the benefits of LDT are improved circulation, mobilizing and draining fluids stuck in soft tissues, stimulating the immune system and the parasympathetic nervous system, and reducing muscle spasm and pain.
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Cold Laser Therapy

In 2011, I invested in a new Theralase® Cold Laser Therapy unit. Cold lasers utilize high frequency infrared light to increase the cells’ energy to heal, by increasing ATP in our cells. I have been especially excited by the way this modality has helped decrease the healing time of acute injuries. For more information, please visit

Individualized Fitness Training

Many patients benefit from working with free weights, therapy balls, foam rollers, a stationary bicycle, and/or the Pilates Reformer, which provides advanced resistance training in proper alignment. I also develop sports, dance, or other activity-specific exercise programs to address individual needs. For instance, a musician or athlete who specializes in a one-sided activity such as golf or guitar may gain better overall body balance with training that emphasizes the opposite direction of movement. Ultimately, my goal is to teach the skills necessary for safe participation in less individualized community-based classes.

Therapeutic Modalities

Although my emphasis is on hands-on treatment and movement education, I may also employ treatment modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation (TENS, EGS, FES), and/or inversion style traction. When modalities not requiring my full attention are indicated, I make every attempt to arrange home rental of devices that can be used independently and cost effectively. During treatment sessions, patients receive my undivided attention.

Ergonomic Assessment

I introduce concepts of ergonomic design in helping my clients choose postural support products that can give them a supportive and comfortable environment for sitting, computer use, driving, and sleeping. You will learn to apply proper form to everyday functional activities.

Also, there is almost nothing more important than putting into practice the ergonomic changes we discuss. In some cases, this means acquiring a new work chair or computer desk set up. In other cases, it’s about correcting your reading-in-bed postural supports. These changes are much more cost effective than physical therapy.

Off Site Visits

I can visit your home, workplace or car, to provide ergonomic recommendations. I can also meet you at your gym to help you design a safe, personalized exercise program.