Libby’s interest in Physical Therapy emerged out of her extensive experience as a yoga practitioner and instructor. She began teaching yoga in 2005 after finding yoga to be profoundly transformative in her own life. She quickly became interested in the deep tradition of using yoga to assist in whole-person transformation. In 2008, she had the fortunate opportunity to immerse in the teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India. Since that time, she has been most inspired by the viniyoga lineage and its approach to Yoga Therapy. In 2011, she completed her Physical Therapy degree from Western Carolina University. She is now a licensed Physical Therapist and a Certified Yoga Therapist with a treatment focus on orthopedic injury/pain and women’s health.
In addition to her work at Asheville Holistic Physical Therapy, she is the Director of Asheville Yoga Center’s 300 Hour Therapeutically Oriented Yoga Teacher Training program, offers yoga teacher trainings in prenatal and postnatal yoga, teaching yoga to older adults, and anatomy for yoga instructors. She also offers a weekly Back Care yoga class at Asheville Yoga Center on Thursdays from 12:30-1:45 which is open to the public on a drop-in basis.
Areas of Specialty: Libby has advanced training in Yoga Therapy, adaptive yoga, and yoga-related injury, and also specializes in musculoskeletal complaints (low back/hip pain, neck/shoulder pain, optimal foot and knee health), chronic pain, postpartum and pelvic floor concerns. Her areas of expertise in manual therapy include John Barnes Myofascial Release, Dry Needling, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Positional Release, and training patients in self massage techniques.
As a Physical Therapist, I specialize in treating structural complaints (aches and pains, physical injuries). My approach to treating the body is to view the body as a forest, and the complaining or painful part as a tree. Sometimes, when you seek medical care for a hurt knee, for example, you are likely to simply have your knee treated. This approach is limited because pain in one part of the body is always a whole-body issue. We cannot simply treat the tree. We must treat the whole forest. None of our parts work in isolation from the whole. So, my approach to treating the body is to start with the tree – I will certainly treat the painful part! But then, I will look elsewhere to find patterns of tension and strength imbalances anywhere in the body that may be driving the symptoms. From a mechanical perspective, I believe movement is the most transformative modality for re-patterning and re-shaping the body and how the body connects with the mind. Accordingly, I typically start treatment by designing yoga-based movement practices for my patients to support transformation of the structure. I also incorporate manual therapy and training in self massage techniques. My goal is to establish a strong home practice including movement and self massage, so that we can then focus our treatment time on manual therapy techniques to further support the development of new habits in the body.
As a Yoga Therapist, I also have another lens I bring to my treatment approach. Yoga gives us a powerful model for understanding the whole person – the pancamaya model. Simply stated, it says that our embodied human experience consists of five main arenas, or layers of experience:
Annamaya: The Structure
Pranamaya: The Physiology
Manomaya: The Intellect
Vignanamaya: The Personality
Anandamaya: The Heart
Each of these layers of human experience is said to be made of that which always changes, or Prakriti. We can also think of this as Matter. Housed inside this changing experience is said to be that which never changes, or Purusha. We can also think of this as Spirit. The embodied experience is always changing, and anything that affects one of these layers, affects them all. One function of Yoga practice is said to be learning how to direct the flow of change in our lives according to our highest goals and intentions. Another function of Yoga practice is to help us remember the unchanging Spirit that dwells in this embodiment.
This model also helps expand our analogy of the tree and the forest. Not only is knee pain always a whole-body issue, but it is also a whole-person issue. The body is just one component of an integrated human experience. It is my in-road to the human being, but it is not so separate from the other layers of our experience. Yoga offers us tools to treat the whole person. Using movement, breath practices, visualization, mantra, and meditation practices, we can transform our embodied, changing experience and move toward greater comfort, ease, and well-being on all levels.
If you have any questions, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org