What is Physiotherapy?

I practice physiotherapy. In Canada I’m a Resident Physiotherapist, in America I’m a Doctor of Physical Therapy. That’s great but what does it really mean to be a physiotherapist? Well, it could mean as little as “here’s a hot pack and stretches, go home and do them”. However, I know I’m much more than that, I work with my hands, I delve deep into the tissue to discover the source of pain. Maybe 20 years ago being a physio would define me as a unique individual. Someone that can provide treatment to alleviate physical issues like a sore back or a tender knee. I think today it takes much more effort to stand out because there’s so many fields of PT. To me being a PT means more than just healing, I would also consider myself a teacher, a mover, and a researcher. I like working with elite athletes as much as I do the client on worker’s compensation. I enjoy working with people one on one to help them achieve their goals in life, whether that’s being pain-free for the whole day or winning a competition. I went to school for kinesiology in Canada and physical therapy in America. I’ve had the opportunity to do apprenticeships as a PT in Buffalo NY, Niagara on the Lake, ON, Fort Lauderdale FL, Medford OR and Boston MA. I enjoy working and learning from chiropractors, massage therapists, yogis, movement specialists and other physiotherapists. I know there’s always something to learn and I want to know it. I listen to podcasts, watch YouTube channels, read research journals, have meetings with anyone I find interesting. I like to specialize in things I find interesting but approach it from an interdisciplinary perspective to get the full picture. I’m confident in the ideas I present but I always leave the door open to be proven wrong. Adaptability is key in a profession where new research comes out daily. Fads come and go and there’s always something to learn from them, I just don’t dive in when I haven’t checked the depth.

This blog is a place where I will synthesize new ideas, combine theories from multiple sources, draw conclusions and test methods. The sources I draw from are new and upcoming with fresh ideas that I want to explore. I am excited for this journey as the path is wide and endless.

Thanks for your time,

Zach Plug, DPT

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