My name is Maysa and I am the founder of In The Box PT. Today I wanted to talk with you a little bit about why I chose cash-based PT and started my own business (with Made2Move) right out of PT school. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it is risky, or that I am brave or stupid or ballsy – or a lot of different things – for jumping right in. Maybe they are right…but I thought I would explain why I am so passionate about taking this route:
I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy, but before that, I was a patient. Many times, with many injuries, in many different clinics. I’ve had my fair share of therapy – I’m a pretty injury-prone person. (Disclaimer: I am able to CrossFit, lift heavy things and do all the activities I live pain free despite these injuries – 100% due to really good rehab). I’ve torn up my knee (acl, mcl, meniscus) , subluxed a shoulder – twice, hurt my back and broken multiple bones. Let’s just say the list goes on and on. The upside to this? I’ve learned exactly the kind of therapist I want to be, but more importantly the kind I don’t want to be.
I don’t know about your experiences with doctors and PTs, but typically – and unfortunately – mine have gone something like this:
You – the patient – is being treated by a therapist along with 2 other patients in a 45 minute time slot. As a PT, a coach, and a patient, I can’t wrap my head around how someone is supposed to provide me quality care for my complex injury when they have two other people – injured, in need, people- to attend to. It turns a PT into a traffic cop, monitoring from afar, dictating when to switch to the next exercise. “Do 3 sets of 10 of this exercise I spent 15 seconds briefly showing you with no explanation and I’ll be back in 10 minutes to tell you good job and throw some other random exercise your way even though I never saw you do the last one” – or at least that’s what they should be saying if we were all being honest. Anyone can research some rehab exercises online and then do them at home without instruction. It won’t get you very far. What patients need is a person who will individualize their care, and give them a PLAN. They need someone who knows their goals, their situation, their past, and is going to take the time to get to know them. You can’t fix someone if you never have time to figure out exactly what’s wrong. You can’t fix someone without their trust and commitment to the program – the one you never had the time to discuss with them.
As a PT, you have to ask questions.
What brings you to in today? What activities do you do? What are you trying to get back to?
If you know me, you know I love CrossFit. I basically live and breathe it, and spend most of my days traveling to different boxes. It has enhanced my life in so many ways, through the community, the fitness, the body image – and so much more…but that’s another conversation.
So when I tell a PT that I do CrossFit, I brace myself for the typical reply. Again, it’s unfortunate.
“CrossFit? Really? That’s so bad for you. Why would you do that? You should definitely stop.” I usually ask if they’ve ever taken a class, the answer is always no. I can’t stand someone who is willing to bash something they have never tried, but as a profession, we do it far too often. We are far too quick to judge what is good or bad for our body, when we should be encouraging all forms of movement – ALL forms. We should be taking the time to learn the movement forms our patients practice, and figure out how best to get them back to what they love.
(I once had a doctor tell me if my knee hurt with squatting to stop squatting. I guess I’ll never sit down and stand up again sir.)
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had some phenomenal PTs… you know what set them apart?
They cared. They cared enough to look into the activities I loved and help me get back to them, instead of telling me no. They cared enough to ask me the questions they needed to, to get the answers to help me. They spent time talking to me, watching the way I moved. They dug deeper. They gave me 100% access to them if I needed help – I could call/text/ drop in. They did more than the textbook asked of them.
They didn’t see multiple patients an hour. It’s really that simple.
So why In The Box PT (IBX)? Why cash based? Why dive right in? Because I want to do better. I want to be better and I want to provide better care. At the risk of sounding cliche, I think movement can change lives. I think with the right plan – that takes individualized one on one care, without cookie cutter clinic guidelines, or insurance restrictions – people can and will move better, and therefore live better. I want to be the PT that gets people back in the box – or on the field, or in the water, or in the yard, or wherever you go to MOVE – not the one that tells them no.
I want to say “Choose PT”, and mean it.