with Elite Health Services Physical Therapist, Tiana Werber, PT, DPT
I was not the kind of kid who knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. But I knew what I liked: art and running around. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember and have done a variety of sports, from swimming to ultimate frisbee. In high school, I ran indoor track (300 and 600 m) and outdoor track (400 m and served as a senior captain). I did strength and conditioning training at Mike Boyle’s, who is an influential figure in the personal training world, in the off season, and achieved one step from black belt in karate.
Before college, I served with City Year, an Americorps program, where I got to combine my love of art and being active – my team planned community service days that involved designing and painting murals for public school spaces – with mentoring and tutoring youth, through after school programs and Saturday service days. The experience has deeply influenced my life and set the tone for what I would value into the future.
However, after four years at Harvard, I still did not know what I wanted to do by graduation. Ultimately majoring in evolutionary biology and minoring in photography, I’d nearly finished all the pre-med requirements, but had no real intention of applying to med school. I stumbled upon a part-time job at the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center with Children’s Hospital Boston, where I worked with adolescents who had complex regional pain syndrome in an interdisciplinary acute rehab setting. It was there that I was exposed to the amazing world of physical therapy.
In PT school at the University of California in San Francisco, I worked with at-risk teens in a physical fitness program and spent time analyzing biomechanics through videos of local runners participating in the RunFit program. I took my first course with the Institute of Physical Art in my final year and was blown away by the level of palpation we were being taught to feel. It felt like fortuitous dovetailing of my interests; this time, with the human body as an art and movement system.
Today, as a manual physical therapist, I look forward to furthering my training by preparing for the CFMT certification, and by delving deeper into women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction, an area of specialization that became of interest following IUD removal surgery. In this moment, the most thrilling thing about my path is that it has led me to the work I am meant to do; the kind of work I am excited to wake up for each day!