This is the story of how Dynamic Balance came to be.
I’ll spare you the boring childhood part and just say that the story of Dynamic Balance began in Bangor, Maine without my consent, as a student at the University of Maine. In 1987, my fourth year, I was involved in an accident where a car traveling 50 mph mowed me down. The subsequent journey from crippling, traumatic injury and death’s door to developing Therapeutic Physical Care has informed my practice on every level.
My obvious handicaps and scars are no longer the focus of my life, but I think it’s important for you, my reader, to understand the circumstances and motivation that brought me to where I am today.
My personal rehabilitation quest began in the months following the accident. It was these early efforts – combined with my studies in health sciences, physical education (BA) and psychology, that were the genesis of my interest in, and mastery of, rehabilitative processes.
However, such an accident breaks more than one’s body. My spirit and morale were equally damaged. I’d lost faith in everything I believed in and trusted; personal relations changed, and even the smallest tasks required a huge effort of will and stamina. The recovery process demanded so great a commitment of attention and time that maintaining the fortitude and focus for school became overwhelming; I struggled to finish my bachelor’s degrees, and my long-held goal of grad school would have to wait.
More surgical procedures followed: skin grafts, bone grafts and the ongoing removal of the hardware that had held parts of my body together. For the three solid years I was either in surgery or in therapy. I have been blessed to work with a series of talented physical therapists and am a benefactor of the philosophies and writings of pioneers like Feldenkrais, Alexander, Pilates, Heller and Rolf and their lineage. The seeds of my future professional life had been sown. Disabled or not, my nature was still to be intensely physical. I remained an athlete in mind and spirit, and I prayed that the desire to stay strong and capable would never leave me. Only later did I realize the trauma that had all but destroyed my life was the catalyst that defined the work that has become my life passion.
With surgeries complete, I gathered my limited resources and hit the road without any sense of purpose or direction. After months of driving across the country, visiting friends and meeting people, I landed in San Francisco where I found an anchor and a new challenge: I got a job as fitness director of a health club. At the club, I quickly noted that almost every member and many trainers had miserable form and could benefit from remedial instruction. I began to observe that even professional athletes needed more attention to detail than they were getting to help restore the anatomical balance lost to the excessive demands of sport. At the same time, I became aware that hundreds if not thousands of injured and debilitated folks flock to gyms in pursuit of their therapeutic goals, but when they arrive, there is an appalling lack of resources. I acted on this insight and began to develop skills, and to realize my talents at discovering and correcting anomalies had healing gifts.
By the early 1990s, I was working closely with colleagues—therapists, chiropractors, MDs, and others—all of whom had remarkable skills in reading a body from different perspectives, and many were accomplished in manually correcting misalignments and imbalances. These influences melded with my academic studies in physiology, kinesiology, learning theory, testing and measurement procedures, psychology, and sports coaching. New exposure to bodywork and training systems sparked immediate synergy with my existing knowledge, personal experience, and athletic history. Gradually, it all came together in a formal program that I today call Therapeutic Physical Care.
Over the past 20+ years, I’ve accumulated substantial knowledge and unique insights into how bodies work, along with a wide repertoire of specialized training and therapeutic skills. By taking a personal approach with clients, I began early on to understand that I could help people in ways that would improve the quality of their lives. They would never merely be clients who were entitled to some systematically required amount of sets and reps. Each individual who has and will come to me with specialized personal needs requires their own unique training and therapy program. To each I endeavor to give them only my best. Am I 100% successful? No, but as the years pass my best gets better.
I’ve always envisioned bringing the instruction and intimacy of my private practice to a larger audience but have struggled with how to best do it. I’m aware that mass instruction will never equal the attention of a one-on-one session, but I’m going to harness the many incredible opportunities offered by modern media: through the utilization of a website, blog, videos, and social media to share details of my work.
If you have physical challenges, chronic pain, or want to learn techniques to help ensure against injury and physical degradation, then I know these Dynamic Balance resources will be informative and useful. I invite you to engage in the dialogue, ask questions, and participate in conversations from which we can all learn. Thank you and welcome to Dynamic Balance!