Holistic Physical Therapy is a whole body approach. Practitioners at Integrative Wellness & Physical Therapy integrate a variety of gentle hands-on approaches to help a person reach better health and feel better. At the forefront of these approaches is a comprehensive and gentle hands-on technique called Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT). The practitioners at Integrative Wellness & Physical Therapy are certified in Integrative Manual Therapy from the Connecticut School of IMT. Most of the practitioners at our clinic have been teaching faculty for the Connecticut School of IMT for many years. In addition to manual therapy, we offer state-of-the-art modalities such as therapeutic laser (Class IV Low Level Light Laser Therapy) to support pain reduction and tissue healing. Sole Supports® orthotics are used to reduce back pain, knee pain and foot pain. A functional exercise program to increase strength and endurance is designed for the client. At Integrative Wellness & Physical Therapy, all of these tools are integrated into our hands-on sessions with our clients.
Nutritional Wellness at Integrative Wellness:
At Integrative Wellness, we practice nutritional wellness with a whole body approach. We incorporate principles from Functional Medicine, as well as other nutritional paradigms that focus on promoting health and healthy living at a foundational level. We offer nutritional consultations with dietary intervention and nutritional supplement programs. We empower our client with ample education about the body and how to get healthy! Clients are able to schedule sessions with Holly Niles, our Nutrition Director, for one-on-one support. Our clients also can ask questions during their Integrative Manual Therapy session.
Functional Medicine Based Nutrition:
The importance of nutrition and the impact of our food choices have been well documented. We are bombarded with a myriad of reports detailing what we should and should not eat. This information, although some of it is very accurate, is just one piece of the puzzle. The philosophy of Functional Medicine includes an emphasis on food choices. However, when diet alone is addressed, it compartmentalizes our wholeness, limiting its effects. Our bodies’ imbalances can be linked to not only our diet but many other factors including our lifestyle, belief systems and our emotions. When we expand our view to include our whole being we discover both wisdom and important information to guide us to wholeness. This Holistic view can unlock the door to wellness.
Our Nutritional team will guide you to empower yourself by learning to make healthier choices cutting through to the essence of what it means not only to eat healthier but to live holistically. Our approach includes a complete analysis of diet and lifestyle along with a step-by-step program of practical ways to transform your health. We believe in the simple yet profound impact of a whole food diet and whole food supplements along with lifestyle tools.
Our Nutritional Services include:
* Individualized nutritional recommendations and meal planning
* Nutritional supplement review and recommendations
* Educational handouts and resources
* Personalized lifestyle coaching
* Review of medical history and coordination with medical professionals as needed
Each session is unique and is customized to the client’s needs.
Nutrition Director: Holly Niles, MS, CNS, LDN, CFSP
Holly Niles is a Functional Medicine Licensed Clinical Nutritionist, Integrative Health Practitioner and Wellness Educator. She brings diversified skills and a lifelong passion for holistic health to Corporate, Clinical, and Private Practice settings. Her more than 25 year career as a hands-on client centered practitioner includes roles as a Certified Instructor of Power Pilates, Kripalu Yoga and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Holly has extensive training through the Institute of Functional Medicine and experience in alternative medicine and complementary practices including yoga and yoga therapy.
Most recently, she has been working for several years as part of the nutrition team at Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultra Wellness Center in Lenox, MA. Working with such a diverse client population has deepened her commitment to the art of Functional Medicine. Her approach is to help patients find practical ways to enjoy making healthy changes to create wellness. She believes that not only is our food a key to creating a well-being but that our food is our medicine.
Holly’s personal journey has taught her that the body is designed to heal itself. It simply needs tools to work with such as:
* A positive mental and emotional attitude
* Good nutrition
* Eliminating toxins
* Deep breathing
* A balance of rest and exercise
Its all about building health and wellness. Holly’s intention is to help lead you to a place in yourself where you are “lit” up, excited about the unlimited potential that lies within you. With caring wisdom and commitment to your process, it will be our privilege to guide you on a compassionate healing journey.
In the last couple of decades, there has been a significant shift in our general health. There seems to be more cases of infection and inflammation induced illness, for example, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and other auto-immune disorders. Whereas, historically, a person would walk into a Physical Therapy clinic with a ‘clear-cut’ history of a car accident or back injury, today, our histories are much more complex. We complicate these injuries with additional inflammatory syndromes that can prolong healing.
Using solely a traditional approach today is often not enough to help us reach optimal health. In some instances, a traditional approach is very aggressive and invasive.
Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a gentle hands-on therapy that can identify underlying causes for chronic and acute pain. By using IMT to treat these underlying problems, relief from pain can be achieved.
For example, when there are joint problems at the low back and pelvis, a traditional approach of stretching and exercise can stretch out stiff muscles and looser joints but often this type of approach does not affect the tight joints which may be more contributing to the person’s pain and symptoms. Smooth and painless movement comes from normal joint mobility and alignment.
In addition to treatment of joint alignment with IMT, there are many underlying causes for why a person might experience pain, not necessarily related to a particular injury. Often, pain is contributed to by inflammation, digestive problems, circulation issues, and much more. When there is something in the body that is requiring protection (for example, circulation or immune related), the body’s tendency is to inhibit movement—to ‘lock up’. This lack of movement can cause pain and stiffness which is persistent. IMT uses a comprehensive hands-on assessment process to identify underlying causes of pain. Once these sites of dysfunction are found, a customized IMT treatment plan can be developed to treat the underlying issues and help to restore normal movement in the body.
How many of us suffer from low back or hip pain? Shin splints? Foot pain? Fallen arches in the feet? Bunions? There are a variety of approaches that can support improved low back, leg and foot health. One of these approaches is a combined approach of shoe orthotic intervention (shoe inserts) and manual therapy. Though the feet and low back are not directly neighboring, it is helpful to understand that they are strongly related. Whereas the forces from the ground enter through our feet as we walk or run, these forces are then transcribed and dispersed up the legs and low back. This process is essential to being able to function through life with any kind of movement. Having mobility in the feet as well as the low back allow us to move through life without pain. When the alignment or biomechanics of the low back and/or feet is affected, we start to ‘break down’. Correcting the biomechanics at these sites in the body typically will help to reduce pain, improve function and strength, and improve overall movement in the whole body.
There are many different brands of shoe orthotics or shoe inserts. Some are soft to attempt to relieve foot pain or pressure on the bottom of the foot. These are often used with people that have medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. More rigid foot orthotics are also available. These were developed to control the posture of the foot during walking, specifically when the foot hits the ground. Many people are aware that their foot position is important when running. They ‘pronate’ which means that their foot arch collapses and the foot rolls inward, contributing to conditions like foot pain, shin splints, and reduced performance.
Biomechanics of the low back, or healthy alignment of the low back joints, serves as the foundation to the house that is our body. This is like the alignment of a car. If the car alignment is ‘off’, the tires will wear down incorrectly. If your low back, hip, knee, ankle or foot alignment is ‘off’, you may develop ‘wear patterns’ in other joints. Commonly, when the mechanics of the pelvis and legs are faulty, the leg usually rolls inwards during impact with the ground. That rolling inwards of the leg causes our foot flatten and over-pronate.
The position of the foot in such sports as skating or skiing is also very important. When people have foot or ankle pain or other symptoms such as swelling, and they seek therapy for these symptoms, the therapist must evaluate the whole person. Forces from the ground must be normalized through good joint alignment therapy techniques or the stresses of this joint dysfunction can cause pain.
Custom orthotics are precisely measured to each person’s foot. A rigid orthotic helps to change the forces traveling from the ground as they contact the foot. Sole Supports®, a brand of custom rigid orthotics, offers a unique quality to orthotic intervention. Firm orthotics actually distribute the forces evenly. Whereas most custom orthotics maintain a corrected posture of the foot during standing, Sole Supports® orthotics maintain this optimal foot posture throughout the whole walking cycle, from standing through ‘swing phase’. This is very important especially at heel strike when the heel first hits the ground.
At Integrative Wellness & Physical Therapy, our Practitioners frequently incorporate Sole Supports® orthotics into a treatment program to optimize healing and elimination of pain.
People may experience many positive results from wearing orthotics in their shoes that include reduced back pain and foot pain, reduced shin splints, as well as improved endurance, faster running, and better athletic performance. Even sciatica or disc degeneration can be improved by proper dissipation of these forces from the ground.