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Our Advocates and their Success Stories

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Melissa Ommundsen

Melissa Ommundsen

As a physical therapist and a life-long competitive athlete, I have always admired and appreciated the work and dedication of the IPA in providing our community with the highest quality of treatment, research and education. Having suffered many orthopedic-related issues throughout my career as a Division I Volleyball player, my continued education with the IPA made so much sense for me to pursue, as this was the quality of the services I would like to provide as a therapist. However, in May of 2012, my future became quickly uncertain, as I suffered an unknown infection that took several months to clear and left me 25 pounds under my healthy weight and with severe dysfunctions in breathing, swallowing and eating solid food. After several attempts to get my health back so that I could be strong enough to work again as a manual therapist, I decided to take a class on visceral mobilization with the IPA instructor and therapist, Dean Hazama. By the end of that weekend, I was able to swallow solid food for the 1st time in 1 year! As Dean, my husband and I all discussed the stress and fear that I was suffering as a result of this ongoing trauma to my body, we agreed I would find a way to get into Manhattan to see Dean regularly for treatment. It took time and patience and a lot of anatomy books, problem solving and perseverance, but Dean never gave up. More importantly, he never let me give up! I am undoubtedly forever grateful for him and for all of the beautiful people I met at IPA Manhattan who encouraged me to fight to get every part of my life back. I can’t even say thank you enough! The picture accompanying this testimonial, is of me at the Ohio Star Ball in 2017, dancing my “Best of the Best” Silver Smooth Viennese Waltz solo to the song ‘Hallelujah’. In this case, I would indeed say that a picture is worth more than 1,000 words. Thank you for bringing this peace back to my body!

Melissa Ommundsen PT, DPT, WCS

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