I’ve had the pleasure of working for Dr. Natalie Sampson as a Pilates instructor in her Physical Therapy office and I’ve seen first hand that she has a deep love for the work she does as well as for her patients.
Who better to interview and let all of Los Angeles know whom to seek out for their Physical Therapy and post Physical Therapy needs.
Let me introduce you to Dr. Natalie Sampson, DPT. Keep reading to find out why you’ll want to put your body in this Physical Therapist’s hands when you’re tired of living with pain.
NG: Why Physical Therapy?
NS: Physical therapists are experts in biomechanics–human motion, and can identify normal vs. pathologic motion that contributes to pain and disfunction.
A thorough physical therapy evaluation can provide valuable life changing information to someone with pain and/or limitations that affect their quality of life. Physical therapy treatment with a qualified Physical Therapist can help with a variety of movement related issues to eliminate pain.
Physical Therapists also help people to avoid orthopedic surgery and help those who have had surgery recover and restore normal motion.
At Symmetry Physical Therapy, we specialize in orthopedic Physical Therapy and perform evaluation and treatment of the spine (neck and back pain), the extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist, sacroiliac, hip, knee, foot and ankle pain).
As Physical Therapists, we have the unique opportunity to utilize a vast variety of interventions to help people get better. This allows us to tailor our treatment to meet the individual needs of our clients. This is essential because every body is different.
NG: How long have you been practicing?
NS: Nearly a decade.
NG: How long have you been a business owner?
NS: I began by renting space at the Schroeder Center for Wellness in Westlake Village 7 years ago. It was a great experience, but after 2 1/2 years of working there I felt the need to spread my wings and expand my practice.
The result was the creation of Symmetry Physical Therapy and Wellness in Calabasas. We have been there for over 5 years now.
NG: Why Yoga, Pilates and Red-Cord in addition to Physical Therapy? In what way(s) specifically does Pilates help in the rehabilitation of your patients?
NS: Physical Therapists are fortunate to have the freedom of using a variety of methods to helping patients achieve their goals.
Yoga, Pilates, and Red-cord are exceptional options for facilitating the healing process in regards to orthopedic issues and preventing further injury.
All three modalities improve strength, flexibility, and balance, yet each has it’s own unique benefit.
Pilates is great for enhancing postural awareness, core and overall strength, balance and flexibility. We can literally realign the body to minimize compressive forces along the spine and within joints!
The Pilates equipment allows us to mimic the movement of almost any activity- everything from walking to surfing-thus we are able to strengthen the movement pattern required for each activity, which cannot be achieved with regular gym equipment. This is extremely beneficial!
Red-cord is an amazing suspension apparatus that allows us to find “weak links” in the body and re-activate dormant muscles. With the Red-cord system you cannot use your normal compensatory patterns because you are suspended with slings and bungees–thus your weak links are exposed.
Once found, training starts with the weakest link first–getting those inactive muscles rebooted, thus creating balance within the muscular system. At Symmetry, our clients have the option of incorporating the Red-cord system with Pilates to address weak links and re-activate dormant muscles before doing the Pilates Reformer work.
Neuromuscular reactivation can be achieved in the first session with long lasting results achieved in 1-5 sessions of Red-cord depending on the individual.
NG: What are the highlights of your day as a Physical Therapist?
NS: The practice of Physical Therapy is extremely fulfilling because we are helping people improve their quality of life by getting them to a pain-free state and reaching their fitness goals on a daily basis.
My most recent highlight was with a new patient, a 55 year-old woman, who had extreme neck pain that began after a car accident over 10 years ago–her symptoms were compounded by pronounced scoliosis, in her case, an S shaped spine. She has had Physical Therapy in the past and had low back pain every time she tried a reformer Pilates session.
After only 3 Red-cord sessions, her spine is straighter and we were able to get rid of the constant neck pain that she’s had for over 10 years! I am also happy to say that she is now benefiting from reformer Pilates sessions and no longer has low back pain after exercise. As a Physical Therapist, the best part is when I help someone achieve something that THEY didn’t think was possible for themselves. The feeling is inexplicable! It doesn’t get any better than that.
NG: How do you set yourself apart from other Physical Therapy offices?
NS: Before I started my own practice, I worked for several PT practices wherein I was required to see between 2 and 4 patients an hour and utilize PT aides for the bulk of each patient’s treatment.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t doing my best work in this setting.
Although many patients did thrive in this environment, I felt that I could help them achieve long lasting results and take them to the next level of wellness by working with them one-on-one.
For many Physical Therapists and patients, this would be a dream come true. I decided to make that dream a reality for myself, my colleagues that work with me, and for the patients that we treat by opening my own practice–Symmetry Physical Therapy and Wellness.
At Symmetry, all of the Physical Therapists are educated at the Graduate school level (Doctorate or Masters degrees), and the best part is that we work one-on-one with each patient for an hour-long visit.
All of the Physical Therapists use a combination of manual therapy, Pilates, Red-cord, Yoga, laser, and taping techniques depending on the unique needs of the patient. We do not spend time placing patients on heat or ice during their treatment time. We focus on skilled interventions that the patient cannot do at home. I believe that in order to facilitate healing you need to pay attention and have time with your patients.
At Symmetry, we also have a Pilates and Yoga studio that was established as a post-rehab studio for those who want to continue progressing toward their fitness goals once their pain is gone and normal motion is restored. The instructors at Symmetry Pilates & Yoga are specially trained to work with individuals with previous and/or ongoing orthopedic issues and work closely with the Physical Therapists. Our studio is also open to the general public and has intermediate and advanced Pilates classes for athletes and sports enthusiasts.
For more information on Dr. Natalie and Symmetry Physical Therapy and Wellness take a look at their website: http://www.mysymmetrypt.com.
Symmetry Physical Therapy and Wellness is currently offering holiday deals on Pilates sessions.
Call for more details at: (818) 880-4758.
If you have questions regarding Pilates or Physical therapy and whether it’s right for you, leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer it.
Lots of love,
The Pilates Mama