Meet Erin: a Luna PT living in LA with lots of hobbies and passions.
By Lily Beltran
Tell us a bit about your personal and professional background.
I’m from Saint Louis. Now, I live close to the beach in Mar Vista. I got my doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis and then moved to Seattle for work. I’ve been working in outpatient orthopedics since then. It turns out that I’m not one of those people who can function well in overcast, so I moved out to LA two years ago for the sun.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love soccer. I go to all of the LAFC home games. I also enjoy running and cycling. Right now, I’m attempting to learn how to golf, working on getting a private pilot’s license, and writing a children's book. My dog and cat, Josey and Bruno, are my pals who keep me company.
What initially drew you to physical therapy?
After undergrad, I decided I didn’t want to do what my degree was in, so I got a certificate for massage therapy. I opened up a private practice and ran that for ten years. I came to a crossroads where I had to decide between growing my business or building on my skills. I went with the latter and went back to school to get my doctorate in physical therapy. I grew up playing sports and relied on massage therapy and PT to heal from various injuries, so I wanted to help others do the same and “heal it forward.”
What about physical therapy inspires you?
I like to educate people about their bodies and how to heal from injuries. Every injury becomes like a little physics problem in my mind. I really enjoy coupling my visual and spatial awareness with everything I know about PT to heal movement patterns and resolve issues. I also love helping people learn how to move more fluidly so they can prevent future injuries.
What’s the greatest reward of your work?
I love it when patients tell me they’ve gone beyond where they thought they were capable of going. I had a patient last week tell me that, not only did his knee feel better, he was also more active and faster than he’s been in 20 years. That’s so cool to hear.
What about the greatest challenge?
For me, it’s coming to terms to the fact that despite how much I want to help people and how clear it is that they can get better, they are limited by their own internal motivation. Honestly, I’m at peace with that; it’s out of my control. Whatever they’re ready for, they’re ready for.
What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the Lunaverse?
I started working with Luna in April when we first launched in LA. At the time, my dog had an emergency that forced me to stop working where I was working. I was ready for a change and it just seemed like the right fit at the right time. The idea of having more time with patients and more flexibility and freedom was very appealing. I’m at a point in my life where I’m going to be financially okay if I see fewer patients. What matters most to me is feeling good at the end of the day—both with the work I’ve done and myself physically. With Luna, I can breathe, get work done, and feel good.
I also love caring for patients in their homes. The environment is a bit more relaxed and comfortable. I get to see first-hand what their issue is rather than make guesses and also see what equipment they have so I can tailor their treatments to what they have available at home. It’s such an easy-going, fun vibe when patients are in their own environment.
Have any advice for other PTs out there who may be struggling?
Learn how to set healthy boundaries that will best take care of you, your own personal situation, and your career goals. Knowing these will really help you mentally, emotionally, and physically throughout your career. Doing what we do is demanding, so you have to be okay with setting those limits and accepting your boundaries.