NI Physical therapy & Wellness (DBA) (Natural Instincts Inc. – legal name)
Prior to becoming a physical therapist, I danced professionally here in Chicago. I was well into my career when I injured my back while performing in Europe. When I got back to the states, I went everywhere seeking pain relief. I was told by doctors that I should just give up dancing. Dancing was like breathing to me, so quitting was not an option. Eventually, one of my dancer friends referred me to a physical therapist that trained me. She told me that I needed to use my “core” while I was moving. Finally! Someone said something that made sense!! As we talked further, she asked about my background. I told her I had a BS degree in microbiology. (How I ended up dancing is another story). She thought that my previous education combined with my professional dance experience would make me a great physical therapist. She suggested that I look into it whenever I decided to stop performing. Well, I kept that thought in the back of my mind as I continued to perform and tour (my back was great thanks to her). A few years later, after my second child, I revisited that thought. It did seem like something that I would be good at. It would mean that I could help people “FEEL” the benefits of movement while helping them overcome their physical limitations. To make a long story short, the day I sat for my state boards, I also had an evening performance! Yes, I had a hard time letting that dance world go, and I still go salsa dancing as often as I can. Now, I am a doctor of physical therapy, but that professional dancer remains as part of me! I have brought my passion for movement with me into the world of physical therapy. I love what I do!!
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
NI Physical Therapy & Wellness is a 2300 square foot rehab/wellness facility, located on Chicago’s south side. At its inception (2006), the intent was to integrate physical therapy,(the treatment of bone, joint, neuromuscular and balance disorders), with wellness classes such as Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, core sculpting, massage and acupuncture, creating a unique holistic approach to address the ongoing issues of the patients and wellness clients we serve. We created an avenue for our patients to be exposed to a world of wellness that otherwise they may have never tried and often, have never been exposed to. As an incentive, while in physical therapy, their wellness classes are free of charge. Should our wellness population need physical therapy, we are right there for them. Most of our patients are between the ages of 45 and 85 and are challenged by pain, weakness, movement limitations and balance disorders. In the traditional setting, patients finish their physical therapy and then go back to their old ways, which often results in the return of pain and dysfunction. We felt that there was a need to offer more than just therapy and we wanted to offer it in a way that was appealing, approachable, non-intimidating and possibly life changing.
We are challenged by the limitations of insurance reimbursement and the restrictions they have placed on private practices such as ours. However, in spite of this, we continue to reach out to our community with a monthly informational article in the local paper, offer free fall prevention workshops, and go out into the community presenting free educational sessions to any group that will welcome us. Many have expressed great appreciation of our efforts and are very supportive. We pride ourselves on uplifting our clients, educating them and encouraging them to be more proactive in their own health using a preventative approach. We want to continue to help them avoid unnecessary surgeries, dependence on medications and the development of chronic pain leading to declining function and loss of independent living.
Right now we are finding a growing need to address balance/vestibular disorders. Statistics show that the percentage of our aging population ending up in the ER due to falls is on the rise. To address this, we have implemented a vestibular/balance program that will help eliminate dizziness and disequilibrium. However, we are in need of a special computerized testing system that will help detect the source of the inner ear problem for proper diagnosis and intervention, and an overhead harness suspension tract for balance training. We know that once movement declines, so does the quality of life. We want to stop the falls and promote movement and independent living. We are very excited about this program and know we can make a difference!
What is the purpose of this loan?
We currently have an increase in patients who are coming to us in need of vestibular rehab due falls and balance problems. There is not many physical therapy facilities that treat these types of patients, many who have had poor results with medication and are becoming more limited in there mobility due to fear of falling. The computerized diagnostic system and balance overhead suspension tract will allow us to be highly specialized and equipped to receive referrals from medical specialist wanting their patients seen as well as from patients themselves who may self refer. This will create a market niche with potential for rapid revenue growth.
Years in operation: More than 5 years