M3 PT - January 2019

WEST HILLS 7230 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE, SUITE 401 WEST HILLS, CA 91307 WEST LOS ANGELES 10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD, SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025

WWW.M3PT.COM / LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 / JANUARY 2019

M3 AND ME

Because I started at M3 Physical Therapy back when we were still on the corner of Wilshire and Linden in 2001, many of our long time patients are probably familiar with my story. Still, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit about my journey as a physical therapist and how it has informed my approach to care. Since I’ve been a practicing physical therapist for 34 years, I’ve had the pleasure of growing and evolving along with the profession itself. I was fortunate to find my way into physical therapy in the first place. From the moment I was really able to consider what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew the answer — I wanted to be someone who helped people. But as a young man, fast approaching that point where college classes needed to be chosen and career paths decided upon, I was having trouble finding the right fit. HELPING MYSELF HELP OTHERS MY JOURNEY INTO PT

is where serendipity comes in. It just so happened that one of these pioneering universities was in my hometown — Cal State Northridge.

The even bigger blessing was that I was accepted to the program. As the classifieds had shown, demand for trained therapists had exploded beyond what academic institutions could keep up with. The year I applied there were 40 seats open in the Northridge PT program. Over 500 students competed for those slots. Thankfully I made it in, graduating in 1983. That’s when the stars aligned once again. As a student, I suffered from recurring instances of chronic aches. I had neck problems, knee pain, and recurring headaches. In my early years of study I never really equated these things to something a physical therapist could help with. After all, these weren’t sprained muscles or torn rotator cuffs. But when I did a post-graduate program in the Bay Area, I was exposed to manual therapy as a means of addressing aches and pains in the body. I soon became my own test subject. The main issue, I found, was my posture. Those whom I help with posture and alignment today may find this hard to believe, but as a teen I was a very bad sloucher myself. I let everything deflate, and I paid the price down the road. Using the manual therapy techniques I’d been taught, however, I was able to correct my posture alignment, and many of my aches and pains faded away. These days, you wouldn’t know that my early life was plagued with knee problems. When I’m not helping patients regain their own mobility at the clinic, you can find me hiking one of the many scenic trails here in LA, usually with a science fiction paperback in hand. Looking over my life and career, it’s hard to understate how fortunate I am. Not only did I get to help others when I grew up, I specifically got to help people overcome many of the same pains I myself used to face. In healthcare, being able to empathise with a patient is an incredible gift. I’m grateful to call this community clinic home, and I’m grateful for the close bonds of friendship it creates between my coworkers and patients.

That was when a friend of mine mentioned a then-new field of medical care: physical therapy. I did some research — which back before Google meant turning to the classifieds section of the newspaper. Column after column listed medical institutions and private practices that were desperate for trained physical therapists. “This is it,” I thought, “This is what I’ve been searching for.” But there was one problem: Where could I go to learn how to

become one?

Here’s to the next 34 years.

In 1980, there were only a handful of colleges in California with physical therapy programs. This

–Chris Hisamune

LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 1

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