• How to be Wise about your Body!


    How often do I hear—isn’t Physical Therapy mostly a “massage” or “my pain medications aren’t really helping” or how a patient received a friend’s advice on “how to fix their problems” by going on the internet? 

    Physical therapists should be the first in line of advisors to helping clients with neuromuscular -skeletal pain and post-trauma related physical limitations, and have come a long way in a multidisciplinary approach to caring for the ailments a patient may present.

    We are bombarded with advertisements on how to get relief from our aches and pains? Are you confused on whether to take a holistic (natural) or a traditional approach to medicine (pharmacology)? Well, you are not alone but in a group with 98% of the adult population.

    As a licensed Physical Therapist holding a Masters level degree, a proponent of Manual therapy practices (yes—the hands-on methods) as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning and Pilates expert with a strong emphasis in muscle retraining and stabilization, I would like to bust the myths and educate you in various alternative methods that I use to get my patients better in a “patient centered” approach that is eclectic and effective.


    The emergence of a Neurological, Myofascial disorder (a muscular layer) called Fibromyalgia swept the 1990’s. As the etiology of fibromyalgia symptoms was unknown, patients were told their pain was “all in their head”. Here is where Australian researchers, Physical Therapists, and other clinician’s devised methods to investigate, through clinical trials, what would benefit patients with this complaint.

    Today Fibromyalgia is a valid diagnosis and is acknowledged by insurances and pharmacology as a valid ailment, however before patients were accurately diagnosed some turned to alternative therapies such as Physical Therapy, Yoga, Pilates, Massage therapy and Physical fitness training to reduce pain with cardiovascular fitness training with excellent results.

    We now know that Fibromyalgia is a valid diagnosis that can debilitate a person the point of being bed-ridden. At our facilities (BodyWise Physical Therapy and Fitness centers) we take an eclectic approach to helping.


    We begin through calming the painful tender points with modalities for pain relief (heat, ice, electrotherapy, cupping, dry needling ) and specific light-pressure massage (effleurage), and education in physiologic calming; once the person is stable we begin a light exercise routine that will restore sufficient strength to “hold up” the persons skeleton and improve function. Once the patient feels ready we begin a core stabilization program with light cable reformer Pilates exercise combined with Yoga principles for stretching. Once the Fibromyalgia patient further progresses in their healing we will focus on increasing their oxygen uptake to the tissues by starting a light aerobic exercise routine. Although pain is a factor we focus on recovery as the end-result.

    We then have patients follow an education program to teach them how to avoid stress, improve restful sleep and stay adherent with the newly learned lifestyle and behaviors. We may refer a patient conjunctly to an acupuncturist or dry needling specialist, psychologists, nutritionist to “cleanse” toxins from their system for example.

    I have experienced dramatic improvements in 90% of our patients who adhere to their multidisciplinary Fibromyalgia program. I have even seen a few “graduates” continue their routines and run marathons, or resume their occupations with new tools for pain management.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:

    Bodywise Physical Therapy & Fitness: 775-783-7606 in Minden or 775-267-3396 in Carson City, or feel free to email our offices at BWPToffice@gmail.com to schedule your visit.

    I hope this article will enlighten you to the great benefits that come from multiple health care practitioners working together to resolve your physical ailments.

    Monique Haviland MS PT, CSCS, PES

    Director of Therapy, BodyWise Physical Therapy