When rheumatoid arthritis (RA) left Stefanie Gluckman fighting chronic pain and relegated to a wheelchair, she turned to Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, DPT, PT, MAppSc, YTRX, of Mosaic Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, for relief.
Explore this issueFebruary 2016
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Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio knows what it’s like to suffer from excruciating pain. After sustaining career-threatening injuries in a horseback accident in 2007, Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio was determined to return to her physical therapy (PT) practice. She credits physioyoga with helping her return to work, and she decided to integrate the practice—a mixture of physical therapy and yoga—into her clinic to help patients reclaim their lives.
By combining traditional physical therapy and yoga with evidence-based physiotherapy, physioyoga helps patients restore and maintain optimal movement and function. The practice is used by physical therapists who are also certified yoga instructors. As movement experts, Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio says physical therapists are uniquely qualified to integrate yoga into their practice.
“Physioyoga complements a patient’s traditional medical treatment by offering a more holistic approach to their rehabilitation experience,” Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio says. “When working with a client, I look beyond their illness or injury at factors, such as posture, breathing patterns, sleep issues, stress management, psycho-social issues and nutrition.”
After conducting a pre-assessment on each new patient, Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio designs an individual treatment plan that incorporates yoga poses, breathing methods and meditation. She notes that physioyoga relieves a patient’s stress, helps relax their nervous system and empowers patients to take part in their healing process.
“I work in collaboration with rheumatologists to incorporate physioyoga into individualized treatment plans and ensure positive outcomes for patients,” says Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio.
A Former Ballerina Gets Back on Her Feet
After undergoing five surgeries on multiple joints, Ms. Gluckman, a former ballet dancer in her mid-40s, was anxious to feel better, ditch the wheelchair and return to her job. Her rheumatologist recommended physical therapy as part of her rehabilitation plan and Ms. Gluckman started working with Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio.
“I’m a cynical East Coast Jewish woman, and at first, I was skeptical whether physioyoga would help,” Ms. Gluckman admits. “But with my RA flare-ups and unrelenting pain, I was willing to try just about anything that might help.”
Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio designed a physioyoga routine that Ms. Gluckman could do at home. The two met every other day for an hour at Dr. Rubenstein Fazzio’s clinic, and it didn’t take long for Ms. Gluckman to begin seeing results.