In this episode of the Postural Restoration Podcast I sat down with Jennifer Smart, PT, DPT, PRC who practices clinically in Oriental, NC incorporating PRI principles and many other modalities with her patients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and those who she believes exhibit "Parkinson's like" symptoms before they are diagnosed. Jennifer discusses the impact that her life story has had on her clinical practice, including many trips across the Atlantic navigating the seas on her small sailboat. These experiences and interacting with a diverse set of mentors and patients have collectively led to her current understanding of neurological flow, perception of time and ground forces all used for human patterned stability.
Jennifer earned both a Bachelor's of Science and Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree and because of the influences of neurological timing and one's position in space whether at sea or on land, her interest in involuntary neurological movement disorders grew. After starting her clinical journey in Oriental, NC Jennifer sailed to Samoa and had the opportunity to work as the head Physical Therapist for the Samoan Olympic team. It was during this experience that she appreciated the influence of pressure and air flow throughout the body while working with an Olympic power lifter. After returning to the U.S. her love for cycling stemmed from her perception of time and her desire to decrease her speed of travel as her body became used to the slow, calculated and predictable movement across open water. Jennifer was introduced to the science of PRI through her cycling interest and a "Bike Fitting" article authored by Faculty Member Lori Thomsen. To this day Jennifer incorporates cycling with numerous clients who have been diagnosed with PD and other autonomic disorders.
After her first few courses and clinical experimentation incorporating PRI techniques into her clinical practice she had finally felt that the patterns she had recognized through her own journey were being studied and discussed by someone else. Jennifer completed twelve courses over the span of the next two years and became certified as part of the 2015 PRC Class. Jennifer has extensive training in "LSVT", "PWR", Rock Steady Boxing, and has attended and contributed to numerous Parkinson's organizations, including the World Parkinson Congress. She has used these and various other modalities to incorporate PRI into her daily practice and weekly classes offered to her patients and individuals of all backgrounds experiencing involuntary movement disorders. Jennifer in collaboration with Ron Hruska discusses her upcoming presentations as part of this years 12th Annual Interdisciplinary Integration Symposium "Basal Ganglia Disease - An Interdisciplinary Approach in the Management of Kinesia Paradoxica" alongside Neal Hallinan. You can read more about Jennifer's topics of discussion and this years symposium held on April 22-23rd by visiting our website.