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Thu, April 18

Q&A: Physical therapist treats mind and body

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br/>Eric Brummel owns Svassama, a physical therapy business in Prescott.<br/>

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br/>Eric Brummel owns Svassama, a physical therapy business in Prescott.<br/>

Q & A with Eric Brummel, owner of Svassama at 115 E. Goodwin St., Suite E1, in Prescott. 445-5639; www.prescottphysicaltherapist.com. Business hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and by appointment.

Q: What service do you provide in the community?

A: "Physical therapy with a special emphasis on the natural restoration of health and balance. Your body has an incredible ability to return to a more balanced condition by releasing restrictions in the tissues, which create pain.

"Most people think of physical therapy as exercise, machines, exertion and sweat. In my practice the opposite is true. Many experience profound relaxation and end up snoring on the table. While some therapeutic exercise is done in the office, it is primarily training for what they can do on their own at home or the gym.

"I spend office time using my training to return symmetry and motion to their bodies so they can feel more like themselves again."

Q: How did you get into this business?

A: "In 1994 I began a master's in the physical therapy program at Northwestern University in Chicago. That was the beginning of my formal training. Then to fast-forward to my post-graduate training, I studied and received treatment from two osteopathic physicians who practice manual or physical medicine.

"With their mentorship, my practice has evolved into what it is today. The real beginning, however, as with many physical therapists, began with injury. As a teenager I was in a bad motor vehicle accident, and so I feel a real empathy with other who've gone through similar experiences."

Q: What is the key to your business longevity?

A: "Providing value. People perceive when they are being treated well, when they are really heard, when they know you care about their result and can communicate with you freely concerning their circumstances."

Q: What is the best business advice you've received and given?

A: "Treat what you find. Each visit is a snapshot in time. What is different today from the last visit, how have the tissues reorganized, what has happened in the interim?

"Conditions are dynamic, not static. One's body is always telling a story. My Shakespeare professor in college once saw Mahatma Gandhi's personal physician. He described two distinct, unrelated problems and the physician's response was, 'They are not unrelated; they are both on you.'"

Q: How many hours a week do you work?

A: "Sometimes I recall one of my dad's phrases about too many irons in the fire. I tend to work a lot. It's one of the perks of enjoying what you do.

"Currently, I am working on an article to submit to the professional journals, so I'm doing a bit of research after treating. I try to limit my treatment time to 35 to 40 hours weekly. Visits at my practice last one hour."

Q: If you could take a week away, what would you do?

A: "Given a dream week, I think it would be very interesting to interview Tai Chi or Aikido masters. Their knowledge of subtle energy flows through the body would be a revealing study that likely would have applications in my physical therapy practice."

Q: What's something unique about your business?

A: "There is a unique understanding of how the body functions. Utilizing my engineering background, the study of vector forces, fluid dynamics and actions at a distance combined with training in the subtle perceptions derived from palpation skills, this approach to physical therapy offers new perspective to musculoskeletal problems.

"With additional assessment tools, solutions to problems often undetected are possible."

Q: What is something unique about you?

A: "I'm an avid art collector. There's great joy in finding that next piece that really speaks to you, that inspires you again with its beauty."

Q: How are you handling the economy?

A: "Challenging economic times can exert the pressure needed to innovate, to jump into possibilities you might not otherwise consider. To that end, I see some great opportunities to develop unique programs that may turn into great benefit for both me and those who are looking for ways to live optimally."

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