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Community Highlights: Meet Maksim Birikov of Physica Medica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maksim Birikov.

Hi Maksim, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I always wanted to be in medicine. I was born and raised in Azerbaijan. During my childhood, my family moved to Israel, then to Canada, and finally to Baltimore when I was 14. English became my fourth language. I got into physical therapy when I was in college through an internship set up by a friend. I was instantly drawn to the discipline because it is hands-on, it requires creative thinking and problem solving, and because I wanted to help people feel better. While working through my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Elon University, I was fortunate to be selected to study abroad in Brussels.

While there, I was exposed to the European healthcare system and their overall approach to the human body, which I found more holistic and socially conscious than the approaches I was exposed to within the standard American healthcare system. This European methodology understood the human body as a global unit instead of as disconnected body parts that simply fit together. After coming back from Europe, I traveled to Colorado Springs and, while there, treated Air Force personnel around the US Olympic complex. Since receiving my doctorate, I’ve traveled to Italy to study at a postural institute under the world’s leading expert in posture, Daniele Raggi, who truly opened my eyes to the importance of fascia (the connective tissue of the human body) in all aspects of therapy. Each of these experiences has shaped me into the therapist I am today. I chose to open my own practice in Baltimore because I love this community. I am proud to be able to grow within the fabric of this vibrant city.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is always financially challenging. My first year, I operated out of my living room while working a full-time job at another clinic. My client load grew so much that I eventually decided to take the plunge and open a small studio. My first space wasn’t my dream studio – it was on the small side and didn’t have much in terms of equipment. I was located inside of a fitness studio, but the walls separating my office from the gym was pretty thin, which meant loud music and the sounds of weights hitting the ground were permanent fixtures in my clinic. A year into my lease, there was massive flooding in Baltimore. I had to evacuate and rip up the floors from the water damage. Needless to say, there were countless challenges along the way. Thankfully, I have an extremely supportive and dedicated patient base, friend group, and family who helped me pick myself up and keep going.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I founded Physica Medica in 2018. Physica Medica is a physical therapy & postural correction studio. I specialize in treating both new and chronic pain using physical medicine and corrective exercises. I believe that a holistic combination of eastern and western philosophies builds the most direct path to a healthy lifestyle. My approach focuses on restoring freedom to the deep fascial chains, re-educating towards proper functional movement, breaking down muscle knots, improving joint mobility, strengthening the muscle tissue, and re-training the diaphragm to maximize cellular oxygen intake. I established Physica Medica to restore proper functional movement by eliminating unhealthy soft tissue relationships and bringing the body back into balance and harmony. The goal for my patients is long-term relief and pain prevention.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Patient satisfaction. I deeply care about my work, and my methods and results prove this. Every patient deserves 100% of my effort every day. I think this level of care is what has brought me success so far. I don’t cut corners, I don’t take shortcuts, and I train my staff to be an extension of myself.

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