Interviews

Lori Thomsen, MPT, PRC

Lori completed her Bachelor of Biology degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska and her Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her 11 years of clinical experience has resulted in a strong passion for the Postural Restoration science and patient interventions. Lori has recently moved back to the Lincoln area from North Dakota where she enjoyed providing in-services to physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, coaches and athletes in the implementation of Postural Restoration in their practices. She currently practices at the Hruska Clinic, Restorative Physical Therapy Services in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Lori has earned the designation of Postural Restoration Certified (PRC) as a result of advanced training, extraordinary interest and devotion to the science of postural adaptations, asymmetrical patterns, and the influence of polyarticular chains of muscles on the human body as defined by the Postural Restoration Institute™.

During your career as a physical therapist, in what types of settings have you practiced?  How did you become interested in the Postural Restoration Institute?
I have practiced in acute care, rehabilitation, home health and out-patient physical therapy.  I had a strong interest in geriatrics and wound care when I first got out of physical therapy school.  I first got interested in PRI after moving up to North Dakota.  I was practicing in out-patient after having been in home health care for five years.  I wanted to get to a course to update my skills in the out-patient arena as I was feeling a bit rusty being out of this environment.  I had heard of Ron having practiced in Nebraska prior to moving to North Dakota.  A Myokin course was being offered in the Minneapolis area and after that first course it changed my career path and how I practiced dramatically.

You’ve attended several PRI courses.  Can you tell us about your first course and your initial impression of the material?
I attended my first course in the fall of 2003 in Minneapolis.  I remember the fall as there was a Husker football game that Saturday.  I was quite distressed with the inability to watch it on TV and called to get score updates during the breaks. :0)  I also remember passing this vital information along to Bobbie and Janie at the time.  Okay, I regressed here a bit.  Myokin was my first course.  I remember feeling behind the first hour of the course. Ron was talking about shifting into a hip and left AF IR and everyone in the room seemed to be following him, but me.  I remember staying up late and studying the first day (skipped watching more football on ESPN) to try to catch up but still felt behind.  I went to the course early the next day in hopes that Ron would be there to answer my questions…he wasn’t but Karen Jiran was.  She sat next to me in the front row.  She answered my questions, gave me her e-mail and phone number and I wasn’t shy about using them!  (See question 3)  After that first course, I studied the material and exercises in the evenings after work and after a couple of weeks I started implementing the material into my patient care.  The outcomes were amazing and I couldn’t get to the rest of the courses fast enough.  I finally felt like I was practicing physical therapy.  The human body made sense.

Who have your mentors been over the years?
I have had a lot of help over the years with PRI.  I don’t feel that I have been shy to ask questions, admit that I didn’t understand or ask for further explanation when I have been stumped with patient care or with the material.  I have made mistakes with my patients, however I have learned the most from those patients.  Ron Hruska, Jason Masek, Bobbie Ninneman, James Anderson and Carrie Langer all have assisted me throughout my PRI path.  I would say however, that Karen Jiran is my mentor.  After that first course, she spent hours on the phone and e-mail to help me.  It was amazing!  I was by myself in a clinic doing PRI trying to explain it to co-workers, physicians, and the community.  Karen taught and helped me a lot.  I feel indebted to her for all that she has done for me.

Which areas of patient care excite you most?
I am passionate about all things PRI.  I particularly have an interest in PRI in its application with scoliosis and the pelvic floor.  I do also enjoy working with runners.  I was an injured runner for 5 years.  When I was first learning about PRI, I was also getting ready to run a marathon.  After I finished that marathon my hip hurt worse.  That is when I decided to see Ron as a patient and found relief from my hip pain for the first time.  I now run faster and pain free.  I want other runners to have the same opportunity I had. 

You are very active in education outside of clinic hours. Tell us a little bit about the other areas you have become involved in. 

I have done a lot of talks over the years about PRI to chiropractors, physicians, the community, running groups/clubs, running camps, coaches/trainers, and businesses. I have also written several articles about PRI regarding the asymmetrical pattern, cycling and squatting.  This year I am doing a talk to around 125 runners in February and will be assisting with the Integration Course in March teaching with Heather Engelbert on integration between PRI and the pelvic floor.

You’ve been asked to present at the Interdisciplinary Integration course in March of 2009 on Women’s Health.  What is your background in women’s health?
I would not consider myself a “guru” in Women’s Health.  I initiated an incontinence program at a rehabilitation facility that I worked in when I first got out of school.  I feel that all PRI therapists treat the pelvic floor whether they realize it or not.  My clinical experience over the past several years with PRI has offered success with many women who were seeing me for SI, low back or hip pain and would report to me that their incontinence or painful intercourse was also gone as a benefit from PRI.  I was doing PRI work with these individuals, not teaching them kegals or having them keep a bladder diary.  I’m not saying that these aren’t important, but what a fun thing to see the power of PRI.  I noticed relationships with these patients with urge and stress incontinence.  In the Interdisciplinary course, I feel my expertise in PRI will be my strength in application to the pelvic floor.  I will be teaching this course with Heather Engelbert from Minneapolis who has a lot of years of experience in the Women’s Health arena coupled with PRI.

Who have you studied on this topic?
I have taken a course from Kathe Wallace and Holly Herman.  I have read articles and books by Janet Hume, Diane Lee and Paul Hodges.  I will be attending a Paul Hodges course in February. 

How do you plan on incorporating PRI into the discussion of women’s health?
It is going to be fun to integrate PRI and the pelvic floor.  We have one day to cover a lot of information regarding anatomy, PRI tests, hierarchy of treatment, introducing new and current PRI exercises for treatment,  abdominal integration and integration with PRI and other professionals.  Heather and I are excited about this opportunity.

Do you have any professional plans for the year 2009?  Any big projects you plan to work on?
The Interdisciplinary Integration course is a huge project for 2009, however, I have other things I would like to pursue.  I want to write an article to Runner’s World about PRI, write up a case study and present a video/article to a shoe line production.  The running shoes with lack of arch support and lateral calcaneal support is driving me nuts!  A lot to promote and do with PRI!

History of Passion

The Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) is built around 30 years of clinical practice associated with recurring successes of specific patient treatment programs. We established reproducible, outcome-based programs based on consistent evidence-based correlations, discovered with patient biomechanical, respiratory, and neurological functional patterns and limitations. My passion for the integrated systems of the body has resulted in an examination and intervention process of the asymmetrical human body called Postural Restoration.