Hello thanks for stopping by my website!
I am a physical therapist who graduated from New York University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program in 2017.
A little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Southern California where I completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at University of California Irvine. During my upbringing, I was fortunate to meet great individuals who helped build the person I am today, consistently challenging me to be a better person than I was the day before.
I am a tinkerer. I like to spend my free time figuring out how things work. I love basketball and listen to a lot of hip hop. I’m one of those people who loves making pour over coffee. I enjoy spectating people participating in activities that require a certain level of mastery from sports to computer gaming.
So why physical therapy?
Sunday December 29th 2013, I had my Marshawn Lynch jersey on while playing on a mini-hoop I had set up in my living room. I was waiting for my friend Travis to pick me up to go to a local Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Seahawks v Rams game.
I remember missing a shot and bent over to pick up the ball. As I rose from the ground to dunk the ball, I felt a strong pull in my low back, and my back went into an intense spasm. I proceeded to be locked in spasm for the next 48 hours, stuck on the floor in excruciating pain. I ate and slept on the floor, only forcing myself to get up use the bathroom (with my low back locked in a slightly flexed position).
This back pain had been an issue that I struggled with for years. From some combination of basketball, boxing, and break dance, plus stress of a double major, plus stress of extracurricular leadership responsibilities, I had ‘tweaked’ my back in 2009. With intermittent back spasms during that time period, this specific one was the most poorly timed. I had a flight to NYC in 4 days to interview at NYU and Rutgers University for their DPT programs. There was a predicted blizzard to hit NYC that weekend (I’m from California I didn’t know to expect), and I had arrogantly scheduled the interviews on the same day, back to back with adequate travel time between the two. Spoiler alert: I got into both programs.
I’ve been through physical therapy for my back pains and I’ve been told everything.
“Your core is so weak.”
“You need to activate your core before any bending.”
“Your glutes won’t fire.”
“Your hips are so tight.”
“Your hips are out of alignment.”
“Your posture is horrendous.”
With multiple stints of physical therapy including manipulation, joint mobilization, extension based exercises, psoas releases... I wasn’t getting better. I did get better at performing “core stabilization” exercises and dipped into fun things like Pilates, but the pain persisted. It wasn’t until I learned independently what I needed to do, and I was able bring myself out the chronic pain I was experiencing.
Having experienced a form of chronic pain and receiving inadequate treatment from well-intending physical therapists, I was motivated to become a better physical therapist. The more I push myself to learn, the more I understand how I can help each individual I interact with. The more I understand about how pain works, the more I can help prevent individuals from experiencing inadequate treatment. My interests lie in working with individuals who have tried everything without success particularly with pain and vestibular related issues. I ultimately want to equip people with strategies they can embrace, so they can play the lead role in their own rehabilitation.
During my undergrad, I was fortunate to have the at-the-time director of Dance Medicine, Jeff Russell, as a mentor. This is one of the most memorable quotes that he shared with me. Regardless of my faith, these are quintessential words to live by in order to serve others in any setting from the daily to healthcare.
We will never have full control on what happens to us. I believe that we do have ownership of our ability to react to things. I can choose to positively react to things. Whether the situation is a mishap or something out of my control, I know that my mental health is paralleled with how I choose to perceive and act upon the situation.
I would not be where I am without those who’ve supported and not supported me. I’ve had the pleasure of having awesome mentors and peers throughout my college career helping steer me into the right direction for pursuing a career in physical therapy. I believe that we are the average of the people we surround ourselves with. I am innately drawn to those who grind hard and are budding specialists in what they are doing.