Phoenix Manual Therapy Mission Statement
Phoenix Manual Therapy was initiated to fill a void in physical therapy education for clinicians who are seeking development of clinical mastery. There are a myriad of educational avenues with educators and researchers at the helm. The knowledge is invaluable and the contributions are graciously respected. When the aspiration is for genuine clinical mastery there is no substitute for clinical experience and the tutelage of those who have honed their expertise in the clinic with the real world of patient presentation where effective treatment is expected now and variables are unlimited without allowances for exclusion nor reliance on theory.
All faculty members with Phoenix Manual Therapy are clinicians whose expertise has been developed in the clinic. The intent is to deliver education in thoughtful clinical reasoning, legitimate manual therapy skills, and expertise in devising genuinely therapeutic exercise for the broad array of patients that arrive seeking physical therapy needs for musculoskeletal dysfunction. The immediate goal is to enable those who seek clinical expertise to attain the necessary foundations, guidance, modifications and direction required to genuinely advance on the path of being capable of delivering that skill set rather than simply understanding it. The larger goal is to develop a broader reach of expert clinicians and thereby elevate the standard of the profession as a whole. We have been pursuing that goal since 1986 without deviation.
No one attains mastery without tutelage and guidance from those who have walked a similar path seeking to attain expertise before them. The willingness of those mentors to share their earned wisdom allows those who follow them to stand on their proverbial shoulders and elevate the profession as a whole to a more substantive future.
I have been privileged to have world class mentoring and I am forever in debt to them. When I realized that to gain expertise in the clinic I needed to seek out clinical experts, I set out on a journey that took me to many doorsteps but some I latched onto and they to me, it has forever changed my life. There is no way to repay them other than doing the same for those who now seek that expertise from me with the same perseverance that I sought it from them. I hope to do this for the rest of my career and to leave some others empowered by my journey, to do the same for the next generation of genuine clinicians who will make a difference in peoples lives.
There are many who assisted me along the way but there are a few who became the foundation of my career. Without going on at great length about each of these people I want to recognize their contributions to me and to the field of orthopedic manual therapy.
Barbara’s influence on me cannot be overstated. She completed both the 3 month program with Geoff Maitland and the year-long graduate program. By the time that we met each other I had developed a fair quantity of physical skills but she insisted that I make my most powerful attribute my mind. She immersed me in a clinical reasoning rigor showing me a focus that allowed anything that I had ever learned before or would from there forward to have dramatically enhanced value. Each of the skills I had worked to master would be used when it was most advantageous and left in the quiver when there was nothing for it to offer the case a hand. She is the only person I have ever known to use clinical reasoning while teaching as she recognized how different learners absorbed knowledge. She has been my primary mentor for 30 years now and she continues to teach me as we teach others together.
Margaret also completed the graduate program with Geoff Maitland. In tandem with Barbara they made certain that I did not stray from the mental discipline to do the basics with unfailing precision until that became a matter of course. In addition to honing the clinical reasoning process Margaret was consistent in making me consistent with recognizing the clarity of common clinical syndrome presentation. Seeing a young therapist with a great deal of Norwegian manual therapy background Margaret was also insistent on teaching me to soften my hands showing me time and time again that force wasn’t necessary but accuracy was. She too has been an influence for 30 years and I enjoy the luxury of teaching with her as well.
Dennis has been the single biggest influence on my development of a bias to active participation in patient care. His experience in manual therapy is second to none. After training in Norway with Freddy Kaltenborn he stayed and practiced there prior to returning to the US and completing chiropractic school, but prior to either he had completed the PNF program with Maggie Knott. His creativity with devising exercise that was genuinely therapeutic for each case at hand was steeped in understanding PNF & analysis of the patient case in front of him. More than anyone he engendered the willingness to trust myself and create that which was necessary for the case in front of me. He too has been an influence for 30 years.
Michael Moore, Tim McGonigle & Don Torrey
Collectively this was the group, Folsom Physical Therapy, that gave me the necessary discipline to practice perfectly in the development of the Norwegian OMT skills that so formed their careers. They were the first group of genuinely expert clinicians whom I met when I abandoned the search for higher knowledge in academia & research. These both have their place but what I was seeking was not to write and not to teach but rather to excel in the clinic and these three were my 1st legitimate guides. Additionally it is through them that I met Dennis.
While I only enjoyed the luxury of short term course work with Maitland he was the primary mentor for Barbara Stevens and Margaret Anderson and through them affected everything that I do in clinical practice and in teaching. My gratitude will be for a life time.
Freddy Kaltenborn & Olaf Evejenth
I also spent little time with Freddy but his influence on Dennis Morgan, Michael Moore, Tim McGonigle & Don Torrey affected my life quite directly through them. I had the luxury of spending 4 days a year with Olaf for a decade and his mastery of the Norwegian OMT skill set emerges in me in the clinic on a daily basis.
Colleagues & Mentees
No one goes forward with out peers to be pushed by in the clinic and students to be pushed by in teaching environments. I have immense gratitude to those who have and continue to fill those roles.
With perpetual gratitude, and the requisite humility to carry forward that which you have given me. tof