The Bespoken Word

BEYOND THE PRACTICE: EMILY LESINSKI

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Here at Bespoke Treatments we understand the importance of community, but also understand that we can not effectively take part unless we value community from a smaller perspective, the individuals who make Bespoke the practice that it is. As part of, Beyond the Practice, we are excited to highlight the strengths and differences that each of our therapists and team members possess, and how they add value, and shape the culture here at Bespoke Treatments. We will continue to give you a better understanding of what drives our therapist’s to deliver such exceptional service, how they participate within their own micro communities, and why they love everything that they do; helping you achieve your goals!

Emily Lesinski, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and certified vinyasa yoga instructor has been an inspiring addition to our team, she’s driven not only by her love for movement and the body, but her empathy for those who are unable to move the way they were intended to. This is how Emily’s aspirations have helped her achieve the success she has today.

Dancing for twelve years in grade school and high school, slowly becoming more fascinated with mobility, she knew she wanted to take care of people’s bodies in some way, and briefly considered med school, but when her mom had a defining moment with a Physical Therapist her trajectory had shifted.

“The idea of moving through the recovery and rehabilitation process alongside the patient is much more appealing to me than seeing him/her once a year for a checkup, or while they are knocked out on the operating table!, It’s totally been the right path for me.”

How do you stay active and what does your weekly workout routine look like?
For the past several years most of my activity has centered on yoga and acroyoga/partner acrobatics. I do a yoga practice probably 4 days/week and teach 3 classes/week. I practice acro in some capacity 6-7 days/week and I try to strength train 2-3 days/week. It sounds like a lot, but as I tell my patients, it’s imperative to be strong enough to safely do the activity that you love. Acro and yoga are my *activity*, the gym is my *exercise*.

Are there any particular studios you frequent?
The studio where I teach and practice yoga and acro is Warrior Bridge in lower Manhattan. We have the largest offering of acro classes in the city. I also go to Modo or Yoga to the People if I want a hot yoga practice. For strength training I belong to a standard gym and usually stick to interval training area

In what capacity does your routine outside of the practice drive your work in the office, how do you apply these experiences?
I am definitely that kind of person who needs the fix – a workout, a yoga practice, a spin class. It’s partly innate and partly comes from everything I’ve learned about movement and the human body. For that reason, I totally empathize with the patient who comes in frustrated, ready to go crazy because he/she can’t exercise due to pain/injury. More specifically, there are a few principles I’ve lifted directly from my yoga practice that have made a really positive difference in the way I treat – the importance of using the breath to drive your movement, being mindful…things like that.

What inspires you to deliver the best treatment here at Bespoke treatments?
It’s always the patients that are the inspiration. Being based in New York we are super fortunate to come in contact with so many different kinds of people – triathletes who are parents, ballroom dancers who are social workers, formerly-sedentary marathoners, circus performers, pro athletes, the list goes on. The fact that people can and do use their bodies in so many amazing ways inspires me to do everything in my power to keep them at their peak!

How is your role at Bespoke treatments different from that of other practices, or prior roles?
Before joining the Bespoke team I had been a practicing PT for several years. I had worked my way up to clinical director for a large, HIGH-volume practice (24 patients/day!). Not only did I juggle a giant caseload, I had to divide my attention between dozens of managerial tasks every week and never felt closely connected to the staff that worked under me. I am still early in my career, I want to be soaking up new information and skills like a sponge, rather than worrying about the inventory budget. Now that I am here, I have so much greater freedom to pursue what really interests me in continuing ed, to invest a lot of time in each patient, and to converse and connect with my colleagues here.

What do you do to stay active as a voice amongst your fitness community?
This one is easy! Yoga students at the studio where I teach know that I’m a physical therapist and I field lots of questions there. Other teachers also refer injury questions my way. I try to educate as much as possible through my teaching style – there are a lot of yogis out there working for the bendiest poses, and it’s important to understand your body and know why you’re reaching for something.

Are you actively pursuing the latest research or taking any courses at the moment to stay up to date on current studies?
There are a lot of great courses out there, but I find the best are those that are built into a cohesive system and include a lot of clinical reasoning. I like Maitland Physiotherapy for manual skills and joint mobilization techniques, and the RockTape coursework is great because they reinforce really good assessment skills without pushing a product. I like taking small bits that work for me from lots of different courses to make my practice as well-rounded as possible.

Is your work as a PT unique in the approach you choose to treat clients?
I really believe you can never just treat the painful area. People have pain because of some deficit, be it instability, poor posture, muscle shortness or bad movement patterns. I always try to look up- and down-the-chain from the site of injury to get to the roots of the problem and prevent it from recurring. Obviously that shouldn’t be unique, but these days many PTs are so limited in their time and resources that by the time they look at your painful shoulder they have no time to assess your posture or watch how your neck and ribs move.

What is one thing you’d like to do more of, or are there any goals you’ve established for the 2017 year?
This year I have big plans to merge some of my clinical background and skills with my yoga practice! I’m helping to build a yoga teacher training at the studio where I teach, with the intention of creating a group of teachers that is really well-versed in anatomy and movement science. I think the more we educate and reach out to movement professionals of all types (personal trainers, yoga teachers, Pilates instructors) the better served our community will be when pursuing their fitness goals. In regards to my personal growth, it is a goal to take 3-4 high-quality continuing education courses that I seek out through recommendations from colleagues – that is a goal of mine every year!

Any general suggestions or tips you’d have for current or prospective patients?
PLEASE please look at your health as an investment, not an expense! GOOD care is worth paying for. If your initial evaluation doesn’t last more than 45 min, if you are passed from therapist to trainer to assistant to aide, if your PT isn’t constantly re-assessing your goals and treatment plan along with you, GO ELSEWHERE.

Any particular athletes or community figures that you’re inspired by?
One very specifically is Rose Erin Vaughan – she is my acupuncturist and a dedicated yogi. She is one of those types that teaches and treats from a very scientifically-minded perspective. She has an active interest in HOW the body works and pursues her own practice in that way. Additionally, my friend Nerijus Bogdonas, who is a personal trainer by profession but who has done an incredible amount of research and learning to develop a training program rooted in functional movement, primal patterns and having fun. Both of their work and their personal practice is really admirable.