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Community Highlights: Meet Tim Newton of Inspire Movement Physical Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Newton.

Hi Tim, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My background in the field of physical therapy is in orthopedics. I was once myself an injured athlete and always knew I wanted to help people for a living. I liked the challenge of it, and there’s nothing quite like helping someone get out of pain and moving better again. What I found pretty early on in my career though was that there were limitations with the standard treatment model which consisted mostly of stretching and strengthening- particularly with folks with chronic pain or unique problems where this can actually make them worse. What could help these people though were gentle but very focused hands-on interventions to release restrictions in their bodies. In the PT world this is called manual therapy, and it takes many different forms from more aggressive joint pops to very light touch myofascial work. Over time this became more and more of my practice as I kept my focus on how to get people feeling better. Now I’d say my sessions are at least 90% of manual therapy- this is, hands-on work- as opposed to more conventional exercise-based therapy. I have become much more of a holistic practitioner now than I was trained to be out of school.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Several years ago, I had to sit out for seven months as both of my shoulders pretty much gave out on me. I had been a competitive swimmer as a kid and through college, and I think all that mileage in the pool finally caught up with me. I couldn’t exercise, getting dressed in the morning was agony, and I couldn’t even let my arms hang at my side without the pain getting worse. As a manual therapist, I am constantly using my hands, so this was not a good situation! I ended up needing surgery- first one shoulder, then the other one three months later. That whole process kept me away from what I love to do, but I think in the end it was good. It gave me a deeper perspective into what my clients are often going through. Now my shoulders are much better, and I had some time to regroup and read up on different things during my time off. I’m just so grateful to feel back to normal now!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My PT practice specializes in holistic, hands-on treatment of complex conditions from low back pain to headaches to people just trying to feel more relaxed. The type of hands-on work I do is mostly osteopathic (myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, gentle spinal manipulation, visceral manipulation). It’s a small operation- just me.

Overall, I think the big thing that makes me unique is that I have a strong background in orthopedics but also can do the holistic/bodywork (osteopathic) techniques to get people feeling better on a deeper level. Very few practitioners out there have both. I also help people and companies with ergonomic assessments and other services aimed at keeping the workforce healthy (and saving employers money). It’s a preventive philosophy at its core.

On the clinical side, the sessions are one hour, and all on-on-one work being done by me, not an aide or a tech. I usually see people once a week in the beginning and taper off sometime after that.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was so shy – a big introvert. It took me a while to come out of my shell. I was a pretty well-behaved kid, I think… I guess when you’re shy that’s often the case! I liked playing outside with the neighbors and got into sports growing up. Swimming was my big one, as I mentioned earlier, and it is what landed me in physical therapy when in high school. It gave me exposure to the field and the rest was history. I like to joke that most of the PTs out there are washed-up jocks like me!

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