Meet the Bay Area’s top on-demand physical therapy providers
By Lily Beltran
San Francisco—the City by the Bay—is a fabulous place to live and work. From the Golden Gate Bridge to crusty sourdough French bread, it’s a city with its own special vibe. The Bay Area also offers outstanding healthcare services, including physical therapy. Luna is proud to work with the best physical therapists in San Francisco.
Ellen Stockhausen, PT, DPT, OCS
Ellen and her husband, Steve, are both Luna physical therapists. They take the phrase power couple to new heights—they take daily six-mile hikes with their young daughter, plus they’re both trail runners and ultra marathoners. “The Bay Area is great because there are so many trails and places to go,” says Ellen, who graduated from the University of Kentucky’s PT school back in 2011.
“A lot of people don’t realize the power of PT, and I love spreading the message,” she adds. “I really enjoy teaching people to be more healthy, take care of their bodies, and heal themselves through natural means so they don’t have to rely on medication and surgery.”
Born in New York, Itoro received her physical therapy education at Boston University. She lived in Vietnam and Bulgaria, each for two years, and practiced PT in both countries. As a physical therapist, “I find it very rewarding to see my patients get well and the positive results of our hard work and efforts,” says Itoro.
Her biggest challenge? “When a treatment doesn't work out as anticipated,” she says. On the rare occasion that this happens to me, I'll rewind, regroup, and try to figure out why. Each patient can have a different response to treatments, so I don't like to give up. I like finding solutions that work.”
Located in San Ramon, Nima graduated from PT school in August 2017. He originally planned to study computer science, but didn’t want the restrictions of a desk job. As a PT, Nima can combine his love of technology with his need to stay active. “Nowadays, technology is integrated into physical therapy in so many different ways, and I think it’s cool to think about how we can merge those two things together,” he says.
As a newer physical therapist, Nima appreciates that Luna helps him gain experience and supplement his income to pay off student loans. “Luna gives me the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time and dive deep into what’s going on with my patients,” he says. “It’s nice being able to utilize all the skills I've learned in school.”
As a ballroom dancer in college, Mika learned firsthand the benefits of physical therapy. When she tore her meniscus, Mika’s doctor prescribed Vicodin and told her she could be permanently sidelined from dancing. “Luckily, I found an amazing PT who told me there was no reason to stop doing what I loved,” says Mika, who lives in Menlo Park. “Within three months of physical therapy, I was back to dancing. I remember thinking that physical therapy seemed so magical and fascinating.”
Mika brings that magic to her patients. “Whenever I start working with a new patient, I encourage them to make specific goals that they feel excited about and are truly connected to,” she says. “When we reach them, it’s a reason to celebrate. It’s really cool to see how far a lot of my patients come and see them get back to doing what they love.”
In high school, Jenn wanted to go into dentistry. That dream changed after serving as an assistant swim coach at the Special Olympics. “The teens and adults that I was coaching had so much trouble with mobility,” she says. “They would come in with walkers or wheelchairs, but once they got in the water, everything changed. The water was so freeing to them—they could move!”
Jenn, who lives in Fremont, is a true PT expert, having worked in outpatient orthopedics, aquatic PT, outpatient neuro rehab, and in a skilled nursing facility. Now she’s happy to trade in life at a clinic for the freedom of working as a Luna physical therapist. “ like that I get to spend a full hour with each patient,” she says. “I also love how easy and accessible Luna makes physical therapy for patients. It really helps their chances of following through with their full course of care.”