Women Who Work Together  

With  it being International  Women Day, I wanted to share a special women Liz Malatesta! She has been the Physical Therapist I have seen personally and who I have sent my clients to when injured.  She has helped me stay healthy and strong for water skiing, but more importantly she has healed my clients.   At first,  our working relationship was based on my injuries. When she was able to help me return to my regular activity level, I realized  how my clients could benefit from her knowledge and healing hands. Ever since then we have been able to share clients working together for the greater good.  

Working as a personal trainer my number one goal is to keep client injury free.  Yet life happens and there are events that does cause us to become injured.  With working together,  Liz and I are able to create the best for our clients.  Enjoy the interview I was able to have with Liz explaining her philosophy how movement is medicine. 

What made you want to become PT? 

I have always had an interest in the medical field, when in undergrad I had the opportunity to shadow a physical therapist, right away I knew that PT was the right career path for me. I get to help people recover from injuries and get them back in the game.


What have been the benefits working together with a trainer in regards to sharing a client? 

There are many benefits from getting to share a client between PT and personal training, it is a great way to transition someone from the rehab phase back into real life.  Working with a trainer gives the client the opportunity to apply things learned in PT and have them integrated into a long term sustainable workout plan.  This allows the client to not only reach their rehab goals but ultimately stay healthy and prevent future injury.


Can you tells us a little bit about PRI?  

Postural Restoration Institute or PRI is method for integrating whole body systems into rehab, with the main emphasis on proper breathing.  If we don’t breath well we cannot perform optimally.


What are some the benefits using PRI over other techniques for corrective exercises?  

PRI is a way to manage our normal asymmetries (internally we are asymmetrical, with the liver sitting under the right diaphragm and heart sitting above the left diaphragm – we need to balance this asymmetry otherwise injury will eventually happen), when done correctly they allow the person to live, move and perform at their optimal level.


Why treat asymmetric ?  

We have all sorts of micro-habits that create asymmetries in our body, our body is an excellent compensater but eventually those compensated areas will give out an injury will occur.  If can identify the asymmetries, we can target them with corrective exercises and prevent injury from occurring.


Would you recommend train asymmetrically and why or why not? 

Yes, we first need to identify the persons asymmetry.  Once we have identified what muscle is weak on what side we can target that muscle to create a balance.


Why treat the whole body as one verses the injured site itself? 

It goes back to the “arm bone is connected to the…” our body works as a beautifully designed machine, and all parts need to be in the correct position to perform normally.  If we only treat the injured site, we are doing the client/patient an injustice because their injury will likely return, if we do not fix the mechanics behind what cause the injury in the first.


Thank you Liz!  I have enjoyed all the knowledge exchange we have been able to create!  I will miss learning from you as my days come close to an end at PRO Sport Club.


“Fish out of water” aka Injuried

Many of you as water skiers have dealt with some type of injury and understand how the pain impacts you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I can relate. Two years ago I dealt with a back/rib injury. For my back and rib to heal, I was prescribed to take a week off of work and have no physical strain on the body.

Almost two years to the date, I was prescribed to take time off from work again (this time three weeks) for a condition called Osteitis Pubis. Devastated to be in the same situation again, mentally I had to tell myself it is for the best, but my body struggled. Being a personal trainer, I am constantly moving. My body started craving movement. The first week of sitting on my “ice diaper” at night I would have night mares of exercising.  These were night mares! For theses dream were failing the Kettlebell Snatch text, and falling every time I would water ski.  As you could see my mind was freaking out without being able to move. This is when I started to feel like a “fish out of water.”

Desperate to get back into my normal routine, I did everything I thought would help speed the recover process. I did Pulse Electric Magnetic Field (PEMF), Chiropractor, Physical Therapy, Rolfing massage and Shiatsu massage. Having difficulty walking without pain, I decided to only do one of these treatments at a time. I was able to go Healing Foundations in Post Falls, ID for the PEMF treatments. PEMF helps decrease the inflammation and help with the increase of cells growth. After a full week of these treatments, I was able to walk with less pain.

Excited to be making progress, I soon started Physical Therapy. After the first time working with Christopher Johnson, a Physical Therapist at Olympic PT in Bellevue, I wanted to skip out of the office I felt so good. Instead of focusing on the location of the pain, he focused on the possible cause.   He noticed how my ankles have limited range of motion (ROM) and my hips were compensating for it. Understanding the kinetic chain, I completely recognize if one joint does not have the right ROM then another joint will start compensating.

He has taught me how to use the VooDoo Floss Band to help increase my ankle mobility. With the focus being my ankles, I am happy to say the pain has decreased and I have been able to return to some form of exercises (oh and the night mares have also decreased).

Through this experience I realize it is my responsibility to recover being smart with my progressions.  Knowing it will be slow progression and but it will be a healthy progression. Even though it has been extremely difficult being out of work and lack of any physical outlet, I am excited what I have been learning about the human body through this injury, how it relates to water skiing.

Besides learning more about the human body, I have learned the importance of empathy towards one another. There are many of us who have dealt with pain some more visible than others.  With being a trainer I always try to show empathy toward my clients. Having experience with chronic pain, my hope is to help others just like Chris has helped me. I see the value of one’s health and the joy it brings to others.

If you are a water skier who has dealt with injury after injury, or someone who deals with chronic pain, I will be posting some of the simple movement patterns that have helped me to recover.

With it already it being “water ski season,” I had been talking to Chris about my sport and how to stay bullet proof. Stay tuned for more post about the importance of shoulders for water skiing. See the amazing mobility and strengthening exercises I have learned from Chris Johnson!