Female Disruptors: Dr Aman Dhaliwal On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
“Never look back” Past mistakes are just that, past mistakes. However, what we learn from them is crucial. Learn to adjust our actions and make well crafted moves in the future based on past mistakes. For example: I used to be very hard on myself for the way I presented at a workshop or the treatment I provided to a complex patient. A friend once told me “never look back” and be kind to myself. So, learning how to let go and surrender has been very helpful in this journey.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Aman Dhaliwal.
Dr Aman Dhaliwal PT, DPT has been the driving force behind women empowerment in her community by helping them learn and speak up in regards to the most taboo topic of Pelvic Health. She graduated from University of Pacific with her Doctorate and has specialized in Pelvic/Visceral health as well as orthopedic, in order to best serve her patient population. With 15 years of physical therapy experience, Dr Aman Dhaliwal is in the process of writing a book to simplify the complex topic of pelvic health, especially for the female population.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
Transitioning to living in the USA with my family at the age of 14 was a challenging, yet rewarding experience. Following high school I enrolled into a pre-med biological science program at U.C. Davis. During this time I came across a physical therapy program that made me rethink the path of medicine I wanted to take. I was immediately intrigued by what Physical Therapy offers to its patients. I admired the conservative approach to get patients back to their active lifestyle.
I was accepted into the DPT program at University of Pacific and began my journey in Physical Therapy. Since then, I have specialized in Pelvic Health, Visceral health, and orthopedic. I love working with each patient and trying to find more effective, efficient methods to treat them. This led me to the role of facility director and eventually returning to school for an MBA in healthcare management.
After working for a large corporation for almost a decade, I got the itch to try something new, and decided to start my very own physical therapy and wellness clinic with the main focus being Women’s health. I was able to draw upon my MBA skills and launch the first cash based PT clinic in San Joaquin County, CA. Patients come from all over and bring unique stories with them. This has been the driving force for me to write a book in regards to healthcare and receiving the proper care. My goal is to create a book that shares their journey for receiving the right care, their emotions, struggles, and how they got to the finish line. In addition to their stories, the book will provide educational material for anyone that wants to absorb the basic knowledge about pelvic health.
With my expertise in pelvic health and desire to create awareness, I recently created a posture spine roller to activate the core & pelvic floor muscle with ease. Solex is a simple yet powerful device to help correct spine and posture deviation, so everyone can live a healthy active lifestyle.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
In order to be disruptive, I believe a strong desire to make a change with a powerful voice and everlasting passion is necessary. After being in the health and wellness field for more than a decade, I continued to hear patients say, “Why did no one tell me this before?” I knew I had to do something and make a change for my patients and the overall community.
Pelvic health is extremely essential but one of the least spoken about topics in both medical or personal life. With posture decline being inevitable in the new electronic era, I feel that it is my job to help inform my patients and spread the word, raise awareness and educate.
I have found medical professionals are either extremely occupied, not informed or unable to give the best advice to patients following a pelvic or spine related diagnosis. I have found it is my duty to not let patients suffer alone, but instead educate both the patients and medical professionals on what more can be done.
I am using every opportunity to spread the word, raise awareness, and educate. By inventing the new Solex posture roller and currently writing a book regarding pelvic health, are a few ways I am looking to disrupt the traditional methods of treatment.
Spine and Pelvic health is just as essential as mental health, especially in the posture decline era. My efforts consist of but not limited to treating patients with spine and pelvic health disorders on a daily basis, writing an educational and inspirational book, offering free educational seminars, writing blogs, giving away free content/resources, and continuing to spread awareness on this topic.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I look back, the funniest and the most humbling mistake I made was not simplifying the information I was providing to my patients. My presentations and workshops consisted of heavy medical jargon which often led to confusion.
I quickly had to realize all the language I was throwing their way was overwhelming and often too much to understand. I had to backtrack and realize that I need to feed them information in a very practical way, where it is easy to absorb, understand, and apply on a daily basis. My delivery had to capture the audience and help them to understand the importance of creating a daily habit. Implementing this information into their lifestyle didn’t have to be difficult.
I also came to the realization, even though we are a very fast paced and advanced society, pelvic health is at the infancy stage in regards to awareness level. Spine related conditions are on the rise and new conditions are being added to the list, i.e. text neck.
Society as a whole is just starting to talk about spine related conditions and we, as medical professionals, do not need to overwhelm patients with medical jargon or information. If information is delivered in relatable ways, stories or analogies, patients can benefit from them quickly. This is why I am using every opportunity presented to me to help spread the pelvic and spinal health awareness in the simplest manner.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
My mentors will always be my patients. My patients gave me the special vision and courage to lead. They are a very big deal to me and my mission is to serve them well.
So, I ask them, how can I help? Their needs help me understand what I need to learn and practice, so I can deliver at an optimal level. Their concerns help me realize and clearly understand the gap between a patient and provider, the missing link. The bottom line is to meet their goals. And the best way I can provide for them is to practice daily in the field and keep an open mind on new needs from patients.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Disruption can have a yin-yang effect. If you find a pattern is not benefiting anyone, then the cycle needs to be broken. In order to break this cycle, a strong disruption is needed. Oftentimes the pattern or cycle in a medical practice, can be good. If it has been used for many years as an effective way to heal patients then it doesn’t need to be altered. However, if you find the pattern to show no results or for better results to occur, a change may be necessary. The health care industry is always going to evolve based on development in science and technology, however, there are some ground rules that for the most part will stay the same.
In my experience, I have found a disruption is necessary to raise awareness for Pelvic health and better posture. This disruption will be a reminder to our society to decrease the burden on the medical industry. Overall its purpose is to create a change to help improve quality of life.
However, the disruption can be negative if there is an information overload. During information overload, patients are often confused, overwhelmed and not able to take action. Creating a change to take away rights and freedom of choice is not productive in the medical field. Instead, medical professionals need to keep educational resources simple and consistent, to create a healthy disruption.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
1)“Never look back” Past mistakes are just that, past mistakes. However, what we learn from them is crucial. Learn to adjust our actions and make well-crafted moves in the future based on past mistakes. For example: I used to be very hard on myself for the way I presented at a workshop or the treatment I provided to a complex patient. A friend once told me “never look back” and be kind to myself. So, learning how to let go and surrender has been very helpful in this journey.
2) “One step at a time” Being an overachiever, I always want to do everything at the same time. My plate is always overflowing and I would find myself burnt out by the end of the day. A patient once saw me struggling at work as I was trying to juggle the multiple tasks on my plate. She reminded me to breathe and just take one step at a time.
3) “Fail, adjust, adapt and keep moving forward.” — When I left my job at a corporation to start my own adventure, failure, small or large, was inevitable. I quickly learned how marketing and networking is essential prior to starting a business. However, I found a way to adapt and adjust to the needs of the community.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
Releasing my book and hoping it spreads like wildfire!
The Invention of Solex was an interesting turning point in my career. During my practice, I treated patients on a daily basis that suffered from neck and back pain. During their treatments I found myself restoring the natural curve and alignment of the spine. The curves in our spine are designed for shock absorption and optimal function of the delicate nervous system. However, treatment is typically provided on flat mats, flat treatment tables or flat foam rollers. In order to emphasize a neutral spine, I would always find myself using a towel roll or pillow to tuck under the neck and lower back to help improve and restore the natural curve formation. This method not only restored the natural formation but simultaneously strengthened the patient’s spine.
An arising issue that is a concern for me, is the trend of electronic devices in all settings. We are all guilty of excessive screen time, but the effect of poor posture due to the tendency to look down has caught my attention. The excessive use of technology has created slouched posture, reducing the curvature and led to more neck and back problems. The problem I am looking to solve is How to restore & maintain the natural spinal curves during rehab and exercise. I challenged myself to find a simple and effortless way so patients can heal themselves anytime, anywhere without the need of a medical professional or special setup.
Solex was born after I put pen to paper. Using my art skills and medical background, I doodled different designs and shapes that I felt would be useful. Following hours of research in order to create a simple use and effective device for everyone, everywhere. This device will help shake up the health and wellness industry with its ability to heal poor posture without complicated methods.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
Historically speaking, men have laid down the ground rules for every industry. A woman has to work her way through to get to the same level as a man. It requires hard work and a strong will power to climb that ladder. Women face criticism for stepping out, even from their own family and friends, in some cultures more than others. If a woman fails, she is ridiculed aggressively compared to a man. A woman needs a much larger and stronger support system to get out there and make big moves.
Early on, women are seen as more feminine and weaker. To change this perception is a very painful process but not one that is impossible. As long as we women keep moving forward and believe in our power, the challenges will slowly fade away.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
Books like True North, Super soul by Oprah, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, podcasts by Joe Rogan, and quotes by Maya Angelou, Sadhguru, and Eckhart Tolle, have inspired me to believe in our own grit. They have given me the courage to believe in our own strength and spirituality.
I believe education is a very powerful tool that no one can take from us. So, all these books and podcasts are just another educational resource that I use to keep the fire within me alive.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
My movement would be to start a cultural practice of open communication about health and wellness. Taking the time to slow down and talk with each other, starting with our own self and family members. I believe a movement that can benefit all living beings is crucial and impacts the environment in a positive way. My movement would be to promote daily wellness practice from “inside out” — mental, visceral, pelvic, and physical.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
This quote has helped me to take the leap of faith when it comes to creating awareness and disrupting the health and wellness industry. I have recently launched the Solex brand and am currently writing a book to educate medical professionals and consumers who care about their wellbeing.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!