PT Perspective: Q&A with Pilates-Based Clinic...

PT Perspective: Q&A with Pilates-Based Clinician Samantha Schmidt, PT, MSPT

After graduating from PT school, where did you start your professional career?

My career started at a rural hospital, working across all areas of PT for about two years. Following that, I relocated from Missoula, Montana to California to work in a busy outpatient setting while pursuing my Comprehensive Pilates Certification in Orange County with Rael Isacowitz.

When did you decide to open your PT clinic?

After completing my Comprehensive Pilates Certification, I returned to Missoula to establish a practice with Pilates-based rehab as a cornerstone, particularly catering to complex spinal conditions within an outpatient private practice.

Why did you choose to incorporate Pilates into your therapeutic movement program in the clinic?

The natural marriage between the two became obvious through experiencing the impact of Pilates on my own body during spinal rehab after a spine injury from running an icy half marathon combined with a full day of Skiing. My reformer experience proved the power of Pilates for Rehab to me. It creates a positive relationship with moving for patients and allows for the restoration of more normal movement in their bodies.

Which Pilates workshop or training did you find most beneficial?

I pursued my Comprehensive Pilates certification in 2004 and subsequently completed the comprehensive Balanced Body Educator training in 2014. At that time, I was offering CoreAlign courses but there wasn’t a Balanced Body Educator in the area. It made sense to offer Pilates Comprehensive Courses too. Now we host or provide Movement Principles or Mat 1 workshops, and typically send all our staff physical therapists through Reformer 1 training.

How did you initially introduce Pilates in your clinic?

We introduced Pilates by incorporating Reformers into our practice and ensuring all physical therapists understood their potential in assisting patients with breath, movement and enjoyment during sessions.

How quickly did you recognize Pilates as a valuable revenue stream that fosters client retention?

There is a saying that people don’t remember what you say but how you made them feel.

Pilates-based rehabilitation offers an experience that patients remember and refer others to, or return with future injuries, post-op care or sessions. The effectiveness of Pilates in keeping patients and transitioning them into clients is proven daily in my clinics.

Where are you today?

Our company has expanded to five locations in Missoula with a team of 25 physical therapists and one occupational therapist. We’re passionate about elevating the profession of physical therapy locally and nationally through education, community engagement and innovation. Our staff actively presents in state and national conferences, sports activities, book clubs and round table discussions on PT topics. We love to learn, move and be part of something bigger.

Check out some of Sam’s success stories below:

Sam is a physical therapist, Balanced Body Master Instructor, and co-owner of Alpine Physical Therapy in Missoula, MT, where she practices in an outpatient orthopedic setting with emphasis on spine rehabilitation and persistent pain. Sam is also the clinical director of a practice that emphasizes on Pilates based rehabilitation, manual therapy, and CoreAlign. When not treating, teaching or leading movement, Sam enjoys time on the rivers, in the mountains, or out in the woods with her husband, Carey, and their daughter and son.


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