See how Luna is reimagining physical therapy in LA.
By Lily Beltran
Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background.
I’m from the LA suburbs. I’ve been doing physical therapy for seven years now. I’m also a new mom to a six-month-old. I see patients three days a week at a clinic that offers one-on-one care and also now work with Luna. I’ve worked in pediatrics, which I loved. I’ve also worked with seniors and neurologic populations. My heart lies in working with women. I have a yoga and Pilates background and love when I’m able to draw upon those experiences in my treatments. I’m all about helping people feel good in their bodies so they can do whatever drives them.
Where are you located?
I’m located in the most urban part of South Los Angeles in a place called Leimert Park. If you’ve ever seen Insecure on HBO, that’s the area I’m in.
Why do you love LA?
I appreciate the diversity. The types of food we can get here is insane. I’m a total Chinese food snob, and LA has the best of the best. As difficult as it can be to get from one end of the city to the other, the weather makes up for it. There are a ton of different outdoor activities here. When I was younger, I was snowboarding constantly. My husband surfs six days a week before heading into work. Someone once told me that to live in Los Angeles, you have to really mean it. To make it here, you need to be driven and have a lot of support. It’s definitely worth it.
What initially drew you to become a physical therapist?
I found my passion for physical therapy about 10 or 12 years ago. I have a background in theater and movement, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make a real living that way. I tried to find a career that aligned with my psychology undergrad. At that time, there was a big push for people to get into the physical therapy profession because of baby boomers and the increased need for rehabilitative services. I quickly realized that PT was a perfect fit for me because I love people, communication, and anything related to movement.
What’s it like juggling motherhood and physical therapy work?
I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it. It’s hard to tear away from him, but it’s not traumatic. We’re finding our groove. The most important advice I could give to new moms is to make sure you love who’s taking care of your kid while you’re away at work. When you’re with patients, you should be devoting 100% of your attention to that person. To be able to do that, you have to trust the person that’s taking care of your kid. Once I was able to let go of the reigns a bit—and I’m a total Type A personality, so that was hard—I noticed a huge difference.
What’s the greatest reward of your work?
When somebody figures out how to make their body feel better through movement. I love watching the lightbulb go off in someone’s head—that’s the moment when a patient takes ownership and want to make a change in their lives. Most of us PTs work arduously to get our patients to that first lightbulb moment.
And the greatest challenge?
When a person walks in and expects me as the physical therapist to do 100% of the heavy lifting to make them feel better. That expectation is all disempowerment. To get somebody to realize that they are capable of being the actual lotus of their change can be challenging. We live in a world where chronic pain is rampant. By the time people get to PT, they feel so disempowered and assume that everyone else is responsible for making their pain go away. In reality, the hands of the physical therapist are fleeting. Long lasting change is all about the patient taking ownership over what they choose to do on a daily basis.
What made you decide to become part of the Lunaverse?
A colleague of mine told me about Luna and said it could be a great fit for when I got back after having my baby. I’ve always thought about doing home health physical therapy. I like the idea of going into a home to deliver care. Up until this point, I’ve only ever charged private wages to avoid wanting to pull my hair out negotiating with insurance companies. Not everyone has the means to pay me a premium out of their pocket. Having a modern and tech-savvy way to deliver care in a way that maximizes the needs of both therapists and patients in LA is so ideal. Luna is such a great opportunity to do what I already do, but better. They make things more streamlined and accessible. I already have a list of people who want to see me in their homes, and now, I have the resources and support to make it happen.
Dreaming of a better way to deliver care? Join the Luna LA Team.