Achieve Therapy: Staying Active & Becoming Better Balanced

Anni Engelhardt, PT, DPT

1. Why is PhysicalTherapy so awesome? I love physical therapy because of the variety I see day to day. You get to meet and work with all sorts of people across the lifespan, with different cultural backgrounds, personal hobbies and sports, and personalities. There are a variety of settings available to practice physical therapy, and there is a plethora of learning opportunities to add diversity to our PT toolbox. Every day is different, every patient is different, and the opportunities are endless which makes this field so awesome! 2. Why did you become a Physical Therapist? I have always enjoyed learning, and I wanted to find a career that would support a lifetime of learning. I’ve been fascinated by the human body and how much there is to know about it. My natural curiosity led me to study biology and kinesiology, the studies of life and human movement. What started as a dream to become a medical doctor quickly steered towards Physical Therapy when I realized how little time MDs get to spend with their patients. PT offers a more in-depth connection with patients; having a more meaningful, personable experience with each client steered me to pursue Physical Therapy. 3. What’s the best lesson someone taught you that made you a better PT? I had a clinical instructor during PT school who taught me that sometimes we need to cover up the word “physical” on our name tag and just be a “therapist” because there’s tremendous value in listening to your patients. The phrase that sticks in my mind is “If you listen to your patient, they will tell you what the problem is; if you keep listening, they’ll tell you how to solve it.” I come back to this phrase often to ensure that the client knows I am hearing their story so we can approach the issue as a team. I think listening is a valuable skill for the patient too, because they learn to read the messages their body sends in order to report back when I follow up. 4. What are you passionate about other than Physical Therapy? I am passionate about cooking! I spend most of my weekends planning out my weekly meals, shopping at two or more grocery stores and cooking in bulk on Sundays. I get most of my recipes from my dad, who is an excellent cook! I also have a couple cookbooks with Whole30 recipes,

which is an anti-inflammatory, grain-free, sugar-free diet. I feel better when I eat better, and it helps me stay energized during my busy work week.

5. What is Medical Therapeutic Yoga & how does that differ from regular yoga? Medical Therapeutic Yoga (MTY) is a style of yoga taught by licensed healthcare providers (physical therapists, occupational therapists, registered nurses, etc) who have completed training at the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute. It is different than regular yoga because the instructor has an extensive background in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and other medical sciences as part of their respective license. Additionally, MTY brings in other practices, such as Pilates and functional movements and stresses the importance of breathing and stability in postures, versus flexibility.This encourages the personpracticing, the “yogi”, to learnhow theirbodycanbebestsupported during a yoga practice, given past injuries and such. 6. What are you currently listening to/reading/watching? I am currently listening to a podcast called “Move Your DNA” by Katy Bowman. Katy is a biomechanist that studies natural human movement, and how environment and culture shapes our movements and anatomy. She gives practical advice to find ways to move more and move more parts of our bodies for improved overall function and health. This includes a lot of time barefoot and more time spent in nature. I use many of her strategies in my PT practice and recommend several of her books to my patients. I am also reading Harry Potter (it’s about time!). I’m on book 5 of 7 and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally start this series! It’s one of the few things I read that doesn’t require learning, and I just get to enjoy the story. Anni Engelhardt, PT, DPT , is a physical therapist practicing at Achieve Therapy in Grand Forks, ND. Since completing her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Dr. Engelhardt specializes in total joint replacements, vestibular, TMJ, chronic pain, as well as treatment of spine issues. Dr. Engelhardt is a certified Medical TherapeuticYoga instructorandco-founderofCore toCoeur,apersonalized online exercise service for women.

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