My name is Brent Stevenson, I am the founder and co-owner of Envision Physiotherapy in Vancouver, Canada. I, like everyone else in the world right now, am hiding out at home watching society shut down around me while we all try to endure the impacts of a novel virus on an overly connected world. Some of my friends are front line workers in the hospitals, others are simply working from home on their laptops until further notice, but I am in the complicated position of running a small business that functions as the umbrella for over seven other health related small businesses in Vancouver. People in Canada don’t naturally think of healthcare and business in the same framework, but most of our allied health services are private businesses with leases and employees to pay.
The business owner in me is worried about our bottom line, the healthcare professional in me just wants to help, the entrepreneur in me twirls with the current strange opportunity of time, and the father in me just wants to protect my family. It is a strange time, but I am determined to make the most out of it and hopefully help as many people as I can by providing something interesting to read or watch other than COVID-19 related news stories. I will start with the story of Envision Physiotherapy, but I will transition to Why Things Hurt, mental health, posture and the stories that have filled my days as a physiotherapist for the past twenty years. My goal is to post a new story or video each day and start an active conversation in the comments below to give readers the opportunity to Ask Me Anything.
The Story of Envision Physiotherapy:
March 1st, 2020 was a big day for Envision Physiotherapy, we had officially acquired Dayan Physiotherapy & Pelvic Floor Clinic and initiated the process of merging the business and its five physiotherapists into our existing clinics. Read More
IMS dry needling is an increasingly popular form of treatment used by physiotherapists in Vancouver, Canada due primarily to the strong influence of local retired physician Dr Chan Gunn. He studied and refined the use of acupuncture needles specifically for treating persistent pain and ran a training and research center in Vancouver over the past thirty years. He engaged physiotherapists that had experience with manual therapy and taught them how to feel and treat inside the muscles instead of just pushing and prodding from the outside. It was a new modality that strayed from traditional acupuncture and pushed physiotherapy outside of its’ customary box. More physiotherapists in Vancouver adopted the new technique than elsewhere due to the local availability of training and the allowance of our regulatory body in British Columbia that permitted physios to puncture the skin.
Early adopters of IMS learned from Dr Gunn in the ‘90s, but relatively more and more have adopted dry needling as a staple of physiotherapy practice in the past ten years. I learned from Dr Gunn in 2008, after being exposed to the technique at Diane Lee’s physiotherapy clinic in 2006. In hindsight I am glad that I had some exposure to the dry needling technique in the hands of physios before I learned it directly from Dr Gunn because it helped me put the model that Dr Gunn was teaching in perspective. His model of intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is very valuable and the underlying principle that I apply when needling, but it is too simplistic and limited in its explanation and application. I wrote this article a few years after taking the IMS course to help explain to clients what I was doing and how IMS was different than acupuncture. If you want a history lesson about acupuncture and to see how many people have different views about needling, please scroll through all the comments at the end of that article. Read More
The following is a copy of an article I recently wrote for BC Physio Magazine:
After fourteen years of literally poking and prodding other people’s bodies all day, I have learned a few things about pain, anatomy and human nature. I have done more than my share of market research in the hurting yourself category and have managed to work with or train under some of the world gurus in the pain and rehab space. My name is Brent Stevenson. I am the co-owner of Envision Physiotherapy in Vancouver and the author of the new book Why Things Hurt: Life Lessons from and Injury Prone Physical Therapist. It is a collection of stories and lessons, written in a humorous, conversational tone, that I have found to be the most meaningful and helpful for my clients as they navigate their journeys down the path of resistant pain problems.
I refer to pain as a 3-dimensional moving puzzle due to the entanglement of physical and emotional factors that contribute to the end perception of a person’s pain. When I started my training as a physiotherapist I learned about anatomy and the different systems of the body, like the boney framework of the skeleton and all the muscles that attach to it. I learned about the nervous system and the basic electrical wiring of the body followed by a superficial look at some of the organs that the skeleton was protecting. I was then released into the healthcare world to try and help people with my new found knowledge, but quickly realized how superficial my understanding of the body and my ability to help people really was. I knew about most of the pieces but didn’t really grasp how most of them integrated together as layers of systems within the body. I helped people, but not the way I am able to today. Read More
This post is just a quick update of what I have been up to in the last
two months and my excuse for not updating this site as I had intended. I
promise there is lots more content to come.
In the last three months I have:
- Located and negotiated a great 1600 sq ft space on South Granville to move Envision Physiotherapy into (#201-3077 Granville St., Vancouver, BC)
- Met with and built a team of some of the best allied health
professionals in Vancouver and arranged for them to join us in our new
- We now have registered massage therapists, experienced Pilates instructors and a veteran Kinesiologist all under the same roof EnvisionPhysio.com
- My wife had our third baby in three years. I now have two boys and 1 girl
- In the middle of all this my partner fell sick and hasn’t been able to work for 6 weeks
- My receptionist quit and I interviewed and hired a new one
- I hired a new physio named Tony Gui
- Renovated the new clinic space to be ready for November 28th, 2011
- We redid our website EnvisionPhysio.com
This is officially the home stretch. We are moving everything into
the new clinic this weekend and will be up and running on Monday,
November 28th, 2011.
Starting next week I will get back to editing videos and writing
posts for this site. Please feel free to leave comments on the blog
with feedback. There is lots of content on here, but much more to come!