To maximize the mind-body well-being and expand athletic longevity of our clients through integrated movement, nutrition, sleep and stress resilience.


The Skinny:

We are a physical therapy clinic that goes beyond treating pain and dysfunction via standard PT practices such as bike warm up, some bands and then a massage with heat/ice. Instead, we focus our attention on the way your body manages itself in gravity. This is referred to as postural control, not simply the way you stand or sit up straight. During movement, the entire body goes through a varying movement pattern that is driven by the way we breathe. This includes the way we move air in/out of the left and right lungs. Why? because air pressure changes drive the ribs, the ribs drive the spine, and the spine drives the rest of the body. The entire body undergoes subtle changes in position and tension patterns, during every, inhale and exhale.

Your Visits: 

Unless there are severe complaints, we leave the impingements, irritations, numbness, tingling, and sprains/strains alone at first. We instead focus on normalizing air pressure patterns through breathing and body awareness - this addresses the foundational reason the symptoms are there in the first place. We never stretch things until the breathing and body awareness issues have been resolved. Sometimes things are tight because of bone position (See above) or maybe the brain needs tension for some reason. Stretching may feel good at the time but may actually make things worse - more isn’t necessarily better.

We strive to maximize a client's movement possibilities using one thing you do most often, breathing. We start at the spine and ribcage because they drive position and possibility throughout the rest of the body. Maximal movement possibilities give access to a fuller range of movement. This tends to balance muscle tension and joint position and reduce aches and pains. 

Why The Breath?

For one, the lungs drive the ribs and the ribs drive the spine. So goes the spine, so goes the body. Additionally, the breath and nervous system are the kings and ultimately drive our position - ever try to force a tailbone tuck or posterior pelvic tilt? Doesn’t work. You usually end up overusing the six-pack muscle or over gripping with the glutes. Have sore spots in the center of your belly or buttocks anyone? At FIT, breathing is more than moving air in and out. It’s an in/out and right/left thing. It’s an air pressure thing. If rib cages don't move through the full range of motion of inhale/exhale with alternating air pressures, you're not really moving at your fullest potential. Again, it all starts with the ribs. 


If your movement is under lock and key. Trying to rotate the spine, which happens every time you roll over, turn to look behind you, or walk, with a locked up rib cage leads to low back and head/neck pain. You see the ribs are the lock and the breath is the key.

Once we have helped our clients find their key to maximal movement possibility, we then help them integrate the newly available movement patterns into their chosen activities. We facilitate the necessary muscle patterns and air pressure changes to make that movement as efficient and pain-free as possible.

What about resistance training/Fitness?

The research is clear on the importance of weight training and cardiovascular health. The best thing for back pain? Lift heavy; lift often; maximize variability (see above discussion about movement possibilities). At FIT, we just want to maximize the efficiency and movement of the entire system first. Otherwise, we may just make the unconscious movement pattern stronger and stronger. This may help in the short term but in our experience, can lead to other issues in the future. We offer an integrated fitness program that will maintain the benefits they have achieved and also improve power and capacity within our understanding of breath driven movement.


Take Away:

As previously discussed, humans tend to rely on unconscious movement patterns that can create tension, aches, and pains. We liberate our clients by unlocking and replacing these patterns. And then, we integrate the new patterns into their favorite activities. Also, making sure we actively listen to our clients ensures they feel heard - that is not always the case in the medical world. People get long-term success because they are doing what they love, just a little differently.


To round things out, we use mediation, mindful movement, and apply the foundations of applied positive psychology to make the behavioral change stick. We ensure an exceptional experience by using active listening and positive inquiry to find out what you really want - our clients feel heard. Focused, mindful education is the bedrock of our interventions.

© 2020 Flagstaff Integrated Therapies, LLC.

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