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Physical Therapists

Dean Hazama

What inspired you to get into PT to begin with?
Actually I fell into it. One day on Bruin Walk on the campus of UCLA, I ran into a friend who was headed to volunteer at the VA Hospital PT Department, and asked if I wanted to go along. Right away I knew that this was something I could see myself doing. I enjoy working with people and have always had a passion for helping others. Just so happens that on that day, the director of the PT Department asked if any of the volunteers were interested in a PT Aide job at a private practice. Without any other thought I raised my hand and that set me on the path on my journey to becoming a PT.

Where you were born? what has been your "living" story?
I was born in Los Angeles, California. The City of Angels. Grew up in and around Venice Beach, California and spent most of my life in SoCal. I grew up playing a lot of basketball and competing in judo, and received my black belt in judo when I was sixteen. I attended undergraduate college at UCLA, where I received my BS in psychobiology the same year that UCLA won their 11th National Championship in Men’s Basketball. From there I went to Azusa Pacific University where I received my Masters in Physical Therapy. It was during my time at APU where I was first exposed to the FMT (functional manual therapy) approach. It was during one of my clinical affiliations that I started to see which direction my career path would take after graduation. I was fortunate that my first job was in a clinic utilizing the FMT approach, and it was then that my colleagues encouraged me to sit for the CFMT certification. I sat for and received CFMT certification with distinction in 2003, and was asked by my mentor, Gregg Johnson to start my fellowship training in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 2004. Once completing the fellowship, I was asked to stay on and run the fellowship program and train the new fellows alongside Gregg Johnson. I had the fortune to spend seven years in Colorado, and along with developing my career, I found a couple other passions like, riding in the Champagne powder and flyfishing the Elk river. I have had the opportunity to work with and train some of the most talented therapists in the country. Fast forward to today, I am now part of this amazing physical therapy practice in Manhattan. I continue to serve as a mentor to our staff and enjoy working with the people of New York. I have adjusted well to life in Park Slope and love all that Brooklyn and Manhattan have to offer. Life doesn’t get better than this!

What is your favorite thing about practicing physical therapy?
As cliché as it sounds, I like helping people and getting to know them on a personal level. Getting an entire hour with a person really gives me the opportunity to interact with and get to know the person on a level that I think is rare in heath care today. It allows me to really understand and help people get back to the things that really matter to them. I enjoy the challenge of problem solving and helping people get to the root of their problems.

If you had to give me 1 line of your favorite hobbies or your family, what you think brings your 'life to the fullest' (that's a big part of what we're inspiring :-).
Riding the Champagne powder in the trees of Steamboat, flyfishing the Green River in Utah and playing ball in Brooklyn.


Clinical Director and Instructor of Functional Manual Therapy Fellowship

Program with the I.P.A. and AAOMPT

Completed CFMT certification with distinction and first in his class

Graduated Azusa Pacific University with a Masters in Physical Therapy

Received his Shodan (black belt) in Judo

Dani Luna

Dani obtained her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York University. While at NYU, she was introduced to the Institute of Physical Art (IPA) and their Functional Manual Therapy (FMT) approach. She was inspired to approach the whole body as an integrated system and influence the system through manual touch and manipulation to restore efficient function and eliminate pain. During her last year in the DPT program, Dani took courses through the IPA, which began preparing her for the rigorous certification process in Functional Manual Therapy (CFMT). After practicing in New York for a year, Dani moved to California and completed a 1-year residency, through the IPA to further her manual therapy skills. As she moved on from residency, she decided to venture into the world of pelvic floor taking Herman and Wallace Pelvic Health courses. She finds the scaffolding of FMT allowed for ease of integration with other system approaches that she took continuing education from ie. the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy, Spinal Manipulation Institute, and Herman and Wallace Institute. Dani is excited to be returning to New York and is incredibly fortunate to be working with such high caliber and expert clinicians here at IPA Manhattan. At NYU, I was lucky enough to have an extensive course on pelvic floor health, assessment of pelvic floor dysfunction, and treatment. Today, I have the pleasure of treating a wide variety of pelvic conditions including but not limited to chronic pelvic pain, pudendal neuralgia, incontinence, prostatitis, hernias, sexual dysfunction, dyspareunia, diastases recti and prolapse.


Graduated from New York University

Will be completing her CFMT in 2020

Diane Richmond

Where were you born and what has been your living story as it relates to Physical Therapy?
I was born in Palo Alto, CA and spent my time between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Growing up, I had a very active lifestyle - I was on the Squaw Valley Ski Team, on my high school gymnastics team, and on a dance team in college. As a result, I am not a stranger to injury, physical therapy, and recovery. In addition, I've always had an interest in the human body and helping people achieve optimal health. I began my career in Biomedical Engineering, driven by my love for anatomy and physiology and desire to contribute to the healthcare system. I continued to expand my knowledge of healthcare while working as an EMT. During this time, I also continued dancing and started aerial circus arts. And, unfortunately, still suffered the occasional injury. I chose physical therapy because of the role it can play in everyone's life - staying active, healthy, and recovering from injury. I wanted to further my ability to individualize care and to help people not just "get better", but to feel their best. I received my Doctorate of Physical Therapy from NYU, and spent my last clinical rotation at IPA Manhattan. I was not only inspired by the therapists as they changed their patients' lives, but when I was injured as a student, I was also impacted by my time as a patient. The therapists at IPA helped me get back to what I love and changed my relationship with chronic pain as well. It was as a patient that I knew I wanted to advance my career as a Functional Manual Therapist.

What is your favorite thing about practicing Physical Therapy?
The people I meet are definitely the best part of practicing Physical Therapy. Each new patient impresses me with their creativity and uniqueness. I've found it's important to know a person's story, in addition to their injury, in order to tailor treatment to best serve them. It is an absolute pleasure to help guide my patients to better health and a pain-free life. I know it can be overwhelming to negotiate our healthcare system. So, I constantly strive to empower people to take control of their health.


Graduated NYU with a Doctor of Physical Therapy

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson graduated from University of California San Francisco with his doctorate of physical therapy. After graduating, Ryan enrolled in the Institute of Physical Art’s APTA Credentialed Orthopedic Residency where he spent 8 months in Eugene, Oregon mentoring under Michael Baum, PT, CFMT and Kent Keyser, PT, MS, OCS, COMT, ATC, CKTP, FFCFMT, FAAOMPT. He then moved to Delhi, India and worked for 3 months as Residency Co-Director/Instructor for the Institute of Physical Art’s Functional Manual Therapy Residency program where he was involved in training 14 Indian Physiotherapists in Functional Manual Therapy. Upon returning from India he tested for his Certification in Functional Manual Therapy (CFMT), which he passed with distinction (greater than 94% cumulative score) and the highest overall score of that year. He relocated to New York City to go through the Institute of Physical Art’s AAOMPT/APTA Credentialed Functional Manual Therapy Fellowship program. After attaining the recognition as a FAAOMPT (Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists) Ryan continues to work and train at the IPA Manhattan clinic. In addition to his clinician responsibilities, Ryan is a primary faculty member for the Institute of Physical Art, teaching several continuing education courses each year. Furthermore he sits on the research committee for the Functional Manual Therapy Foundation.


Primary Faculty Member of the Institute of Physical Art

Sits on the Research Committee for the Functional Manual Therapy Foundation

Completed his fellowship training in Functional Manual Therapy™ in conjunction with the IPA and the Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT)

Completed CFMT certification with distinction

Graduated from University of California San Francisco with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Brad Gilden

What was your inspiration to join the Physical Therapy profession?
My older brother Lance was hit by a car and shattered his femur when he was 9 years old. I watched him painfully rehabilitate and couldn’t help, but admire the physical therapist that came to our house each day to work with him to get him back on his feet. I’ve always known I wanted to help people. Physical Therapy has given me the opportunity to get to know my patients on a very personal level and to have such a positive influence on their lives.

Where were you born and what has been your living story as it relates to Physical Therapy?
I was born in Ramsey, NJ and lived there for my first 8 years. Having moved around quite a bit, I settled into Rockland County, NY, a quiet suburb north of Manhattan. I started a paper route when I was 12 years old and have been working since. I put myself through undergraduate and graduate school working as a waiter. I worked for 2 years doing biochemistry research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine before attending New York Medical College to receive my masters in Physical Therapy. Having a strong passion for learning and a thirst for knowledge, in 2005 I went on to get a clinical doctorate in upper quarter and hand therapy from Drexel University. What solidified my career and has allowed me to open two successful practices, has been my proficient utilization of functional manual therapy. I continue to be part of the I.P.A. faculty teaching other therapists FMT, as well as completing an intensive Fellowship training at I.P.A. — N Y C. Being surrounded by such an amazing staff of physical therapists continues to challenge and motivate me to provide the highest level of PT to my patients.

What is your favorite aspect about practicing Physical Therapy?
Unlike most medical professions, having 1-hour treatments allows me to get to know my patients on a personal level. I learn their habitual patterns that are typically driving their dysfunction leading to pain. This ability to become so familiar with my patients allows me to get a much better sense of what needs to be changed to prevent the continued damage caused by faulty posture, body mechanics or some type of environmental factors such as a poorly set up workstation. I could provide the best hands on treatment in the world, and my patient can walk out of my treatment room, pain-free, but if they go back to what they were doing that led them to this place, they are going to continue to suffer from dysfunction, leading to chronic pain and inflammation, and what we call in PT terms as the degenerative cascade.


Completed his fellowship training in Functional Manual Therapy™ in conjunction with the IPA and the Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT)

Completed first Olympic Triathalon

Completed CFMT certification through the IPA

Completed the NYC marathon

Completed a Clinical Doctorate in upper quarter and hand therapy from Drexel University

Graduated New York Medical College with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy

David Park

David earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in organizational psychology and finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He worked in mortgage banking for over 6 years but during these transformative years, he felt a calling to serve and help make a difference in people's lives. That is why he chose a career in Physical Therapy and movement science. David earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Hunter College in New York City. He has undergone extensive training through the Institute of Physical Art exploring and adhering to the Functional Manual Therapy™ paradigm. In August 2018, David tested and passed with Honors the intensive certification through the Institute of Physical Art. Dedicated to lifelong learning, David continues to take courses through many different paradigms in order to grow and better serve his patients. As an avid golfer, he is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute to evaluate and treat golf related injuries. David is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring new eats, hiking, traveling, playing golf, cycling, and spending time with family and friends.


Graduated Hunter College with a Doctor of Physical Therapy

Titleist Performance Institute Certification

2nd Degree black belt - Tae Kwon Do

Completed CFMT Certification through the IPA

Young J. Cho

YJ is a New Jersey native who graduated from Northeastern University in 2013 after completing a six-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He has since settled into Brooklyn, NY to work at IPA Manhattan Physical Therapy. His passion for sports and people initially drew him to the physical therapy field, but throughout his educational experiences he has worked with many different patient populations. In 2014, he completed a nine-month Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) residency in Vallejo, CA, and is now recognized as a PNF level 5 therapist by the International PNF association (IPNFA). The residency focused on learning and understanding concepts of fundamental human movement and primarily involved working with patients dealing with neurological deficits. In 2017, he completed an Orthopedic Functional Manual Therapy Residency through the Institute of Physical Art (IPA) under the mentorship of Seth Blee, DPT, CFMT at Inova Health System in Fairfax, VA. He received his Certified Functional Manual Therapist (CFMT) certification after passing the examination in Steamboat, CO. He is currently in the process of completing his fellowship through Institute of Physical Art’s Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT)/American Physical Therapy Associate (APTA) credentialed Functional Manual Therapy Fellowship program. One of his past experiences he has gotten to enjoy was traveling to three Central and South American countries on different missions and physical therapy trips and hopes to remain involved with international efforts in the future.


Graduated from Northeastern University Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program

Completed CFMT certification through the IPA

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