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
Today I find myself sitting in a coffee shop across the street from St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada waiting for my mother to have a procedure on her heart. I just admitted her through the emergency room that has the insurmountable challenge of helping the people of our downtown Eastside caught in the epidemic of our opioid crisis. It was an eye opening experience that inspired me to write this post and think further on the topic that I know is plaguing my city. I am a healthcare professional that deals with people in various levels of pain all day. I am also a person that due to a freak accident has found himself in the emergency room, in the operating room, given OxyContin, morphine and other drugs to try and help my immediate pain on a cycle of over three months. My experience talking to Lance today in the St Paul’s ER has made me reflect on my experience and realize how slippery of a slope it can be for a person to go from a normal life, to an injury, to being a homeless drug addict living among throngs of others living out their own journeys on the street.
We arrived at the ER at 8:45am on a Saturday morning to a relatively quiet waiting room for downtown Vancouver’s only hospital. There was one very talkative man being processed by the nurse. He was seemingly a drug addict in withdraw and his father was quietly waiting in the chair looking like he had been through this before. The dad was about my mother’s age and the talkative man was about my age. I made sure my mom was taken care of at the admitting desk and then I was told to wait for about twenty minutes while the nurses processed her. Read More
Posted in Blog
, Case Studies
Tagged with: addict
, opioid crisis
, St Paul's