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Our Advocates and their Success Stories

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Lily Meyer

Lily M.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with a hereditary connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS causes a collagen defect that affects many body systems and is most easily recognized by hypermobility in my joints. That diagnosis brought into focus a decade of widespread pain. Previous to the diagnosis, doctors and physical therapists tried to help me, but often mis-diagnoses and treatments caused me more harm than good. After my EDS diagnosis, a proper course of treatment began, and one of my specialists recommended me to Flora Cohen. That introduction changed my life. Flora, more than any other healthcare provider, has helped me learn my body with EDS and live a healthy life. Flora knows my main complaints pretty well after 9 years of being her patient, but as EDS can cause issues in any part of my body on any given day, she approaches me with fresh eyes each session. She sees my body mechanics, my nutrition, and the cycles of stress and happiness in my life as an ecosystem that cause imbalances and pain in my connective tissue and surrounding body systems. From the moment she starts her clinical investigation, she’s looking for clues from my entire life to help treat the causes of my pain. It is incredible how she can reveal the origins of my physical dysfunction through her evaluations. For instance, what feels to me like very straight-forward musculoskeletal hip pain may actually be tension caused by restrictions in the organs of the lower abdomen and surrounding fascia. Releasing those restrictions immediately gives me better range of motion and reduces pain. That laser-like differentiation is one of Flora’s superpowers, and it leads to effective treatments. It is one of the reasons why I choose PT with Flora at IPA over acupuncture and chiropractry every time I am in pain. Flora is also an outstanding educator. Like any good PT, she prescribed skills and exercises, but what is special about Flora is that she brings her fresh eyes to my skill proficiency and will have me re-visit the basics whenever necessary. In my condition, this is especially appropriate as my proprioception and normal range of motion continually get out of sync. She reinforces the proper ways to perform simple actions that are often overlooked yet essential for me to limit stress on my joints such as: how to sit and stand supported in neutral, how to hold my head, and how use good body mechanics in manipulating weight. I use skills like these consciously daily in static postures and movements. It’s some of the best prevention I can do, and Flora makes it a priority. I’ve come to value my relationship with Flora and IPA as an integral part of staying healthy with EDS and living an active life. With her expert treatment and focus on education, I trust Flora to take care of me. Anyone who walks in the door at IPA is extraordinarily lucky to be there. I am grateful for the expertise and compassion of the entire team for the last several years and look forward to many more to come!

Lily M.

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