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The Foundations Approach
Find out what sets Foundations Physical Therapy apart.
Manual therapy is the cornerstone of the Foundations approach.
Founder Anastasia Palaia, DPT, began her career in a sports medicine clinic, treating amateur and professional athletes, weekend warriors, and active men and women of all ages. The common thread that Dr. Palaia found among all of her patients was a need to move better. During her residency with the Institute of Physical Art (and through thousands of hours of patient care), she learned advanced skills of assessment and treatment which allowed her to better understand and care for these patients. When working with our clinic, you will begin to understand that better movement requires the establishment of efficiency in the following three pillars:
Mobility. Soft tissue, muscle, joint, nerve, even your internal organs. Everything needs to move well, in all planes of movement. Foundations' therapists use their hands to diagnose your movement dysfunction and mobilize the offending tissues.
Neuromuscular control. This refers to your brain's ability to "talk" to your muscles and make things happen. Foundations' therapists use hands-on techniques to improve your ability to activate your muscles with full strength, endurance, and control.
Motor control. This is your ability to take your mobility and muscular control and create smooth, coordinated movement. Think about kicking a soccer ball, doing an overhead press or squat, performing a dance move. These skilled movements require a lot of preparation to do well, especially if you've had pain in the past.
Women need and deserve specialized, empathetic care.
Before, during, and after pregnancy, this need is often more urgent than at any other time in a woman's life. Although specialty care is often readily available to women, many of these practitioners only look at one part of the puzzle. Many expectant mothers spend a lot of time in doctor's offices and in waiting rooms, being questioned, tested, evaluated, poked and prodded. And at the end of it all, many moms still feel they lack the answers and information they want. This "siloed" approach to health care can lead to a lot of money and time spent without adequate treatment, and uncertainty can lead to increased anxiety, fear, and discomfort during what many women hope will be a time of joy and focused preparation for their new baby.
Foundations Physical Therapy seeks to fill this gap. By providing both an expertise in pelvic floor dysfunction and treatment, orthopedic physical therapy, and the treatment of women during and after pregnancy, Foundations is uniquely poised to bring together all of the pieces to give you a holistic perspective through your pregnancy journey. Our therapists bring a sense of empathy, curiosity, dedication, and honesty to their consultation, coaching, and physical therapy sessions. We believe that an informed woman is a healthier, less stressed, more empowered person.
Foundations also values efficiency. We know you are busy, and we want to get you back to doing the things that matter to you as soon as possible, so we have crafted short, efficient coaching sessions in your home (with online consultation sessions also available) to teach you what you want to know. For those who need more hands-on assistance due to additional pain and challenges before and after childbirth, we offer weekly physical therapy sessions provided by a licensed physical therapist.
While we value manual therapy and utilize this approach extensively in our physical therapy sessions, we also prioritize providing you with tools to help you manage your body and its challenges independently. Our therapists provide a grounded perspective and help you create realistic expectations for healing and recovery timelines, and will work with you in crafting recovery programs which take into account your work and family time constraints, while working towards your goals. We accomplish this with a combination of education, movement training, and exercise planning--all geared towards improving your ability to do the things that are important you in your new role as a mom or mom-to-be--with less pain, difficulty, and discomfort along the way. We offer flexibility, including evening and weekend sessions, as well as online sessions, to allow you to receive the support you need when and where it works for you.
meet the founder
Early in her career, Dr. Palaia had the opportunity to serve many mothers while working as an orthopedic and pelvic floor physical therapist for a non-profit hospital system. By building trusting, meaningful therapeutic relationships with her patients, she came to understand how profoundly the women she was working with were challenged by the experience of pregnancy and motherhood. Even women who had access to excellent OB/GYNs and other healthcare resources were unaware of what physical changes, sensations, and discomfort they should expect, both during and after their pregnancy. It was clear that the system left a lot of blanks unfilled.
Dr. Palaia created Foundations to fill those spaces, and to create a service that could answer the questions that were important to women, and which they found difficult to ask other healthcare providers. With expertise in manual orthopedic therapy, as well as extensive training in pelvic floor and sports physical therapy, Dr. Palaia is uniquely poised to return you to an active, engaged lifestyle.
Dr. Palaia is an avid outdoorsperson, and loves hiking and long-distance trekking. She is an avid runner, yogi, and enjoys building strength with weight lifting and circuit training--passions she loves sharing with her patients. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and dog, and enjoys discovering natural beauty wherever it can be found. She is passionate about working with moms to get them back to doing the things they love.