My Physical Therapist Story – “Feel the fear and do it anyway!” – Susan Jeffers
2016 presented me with one of the most challenging decisions ever. At the age of 28, I faced my fears—with tears in my eyes, I left my loved ones and a private physical therapy business I had for over 5yrs and boarded a plane to Florida to seek a more significant opportunity in America. After training, I left Florida and came to Illinois to begin my career as a traveling therapist. During my quest, I battled and overcame two of my innermost fears: driving and re-starting my private practice, in Evanston, IL, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout my journey, one thing that I continually yearned for was the desire to improve as a physical therapist. Before opening my practice, I had the opportunity to work as a traveling therapist. Every 1-3 months, for three years, I would be introduced to a new facility and during my lunch break, I would observe and study each clinic’s therapists to see what I can learn from them or add to my arsenal. After leaving those clinics, I would ask myself how I could improve or separate myself from those other good therapists.
This burning question introduced a new fear – could I really open my own practice, and, if I did, why would people come to me and not those other therapists? As I did with my previous fears, I saw this as a challenge. I analyzed those therapists and niched out the unique identity that separated me from them. This unique identity also gave birth to the name of my private practice, “Skillz Physical Therapy.” What I noticed from those good therapists was they lacked various techniques, leaving them very one dimension. To separate myself, I needed skills – and lots of them.
With a burning obsession, I used my PTO, (paid time off) not for vacation, but to travel to different states to learn new methods to help my clients recover from their discomfort. From Florida to California to Michigan (all pre-COVID-19), I packed my car and drove to the offered courses. On my off days and downtimes (which were barely any), I researched the latest scientific methods used for faster recovery, such as laser therapy which I now offer at my physical therapy clinic in Evanston, IL. Side-note: From the time of this writing, Skillz Physical Therapy is the first and only outpatient physical therapy clinic in Evanston, and one of the few in the Northshore area to provide Class IV Laser.
So, the one “easy” lesson that helped me improve my physical therapy technique wasn’t easy at all. It was challenging and difficult, but by doing what most therapists wouldn’t do, I did what Susan Jeffers quoted best…I faced my fears and did it anyway! To learn more about the techniques that I have acquired, or how these techniques can help you or a loved one dealing with pain or discomfort, visit https://skillzpt.com/physical-therapy-treatments/.
Skillz Physical Therapy
839 Dodge Ave
Evanston, IL 60202
Request an appointment with Aime Maranan and see how physical therapy can help you today!