When I began my MTY journey during the onsite M8 module, I was hopeful to learn how to integrate my passion for yoga into patient treatments and to gain competence in teaching yoga classes. Following the onsite M14 module, my mind was blown by the additions to my orthopedic patient treatment toolbox, specifically using the FMA (Functional Movement Assessment) to evaluate, document, and treat.
But most significantly, during M14 (level II training) and with reinforcement in M15 (level III training), the training gave me concrete tools and evidence so that I could begin to apply nutritional counseling into my patient care. In hindsight, this was a missing piece for me, given how much a part of my patients’ problems were tied to poor nutrition and gut imbalances. It wasn’t that I didn’t already recognize the importance of this pillar of patient care; it was that I wasn’t comfortable in my role dispensing this information.
Recognizing that inflammation is at the heart of most, if not all, of my patient’s chronic problems has changed my “order of operations” with patient care. Instead of mentioning nutrition several treatment visits or weeks into care, all my initial patient visits now begin with dietary questions and a discussion of the connection between the gut (“second brain”) and pain/inflammation.
Armed with the evidence and resources from this class series, and with the awareness that nutritional counseling is a definite part of my scope of practice as a PT, I now consider it mandatory to provide this information. And for the most part, my patients are hungry (no pun intended) for this counseling, as they have received none of it from their physicians.
As I’ve expanded my practice to include MTY classes, my purpose as a physical “educator” has been clarified. I have absolutely loved the freedom and fun of teaching yoga to my former patients, many of whom have been intimidated by the thought of yoga class, and watching them become empowered to move more freely, confidently, and safely. I am now entering a new chapter of my life (physical move) and career (leaving the practice I’ve worked at for over 25 years!). I’m not sure what shape my “work” will take this year, but I see more clearly after completing the final onsite MTY module 15, that it will involve using my license in physical therapy and this training in medical therapeutic yoga to continue to help future clients or patients reach their goals in overall wellness.Betty Conroy, PT