Jessica Leslie, PT, MPT for Asheville Holistic Physical Therapy
I believe in the intuitive nature of the body to heal itself when shown the way. We are born with everything we need to survive and be happy. Throughout life, these things can be forgotten or bypassed, however, they are never lost.
The human body has an amazing way of persevering, and will alter its patterns to suit what we perceive as necessary to survive. Our body follows our mind, and what we set out to do, our body evolves to assist.
Pain and discomfort are messengers from our body. It is the physical manifestation of a glitch in the system, a pattern that needs re-examining, a part of you that needs attention.
Our work is to find where the body has followed the mind beyond the point of assisting–where it is now hindering. Together we restore the connections that have been forgotten and heal the places that hurt.
I have always had a profound interest in the human form and human movement. At a young age I began drawing the human figure. I also found that I had a gift for touch. I could find areas of restriction and holding in my family and friends and pets and I was drawn to further study anatomy and biomechanics.
In 2005, I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Over the years, I worked as a fitness instructor, personal trainer, rehabilitation technician and chiropractic assistant. In doing so, I was introduced to different schools of thought and techniques and I witnessed amazing instances of healing. I knew I wanted to further my education to become a clinician. I began taking courses in therapeutic massage and became a licensed massage and bodywork therapist in 2009. Combining exercise and massage increased my interest in Physical Therapy, and I began taking prerequisite courses to gain entry to graduate school.
In 2012, I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. This experience was eye-opening. I learned that rote memorization does not a good clinician make. I learned that I loved research, however, I also saw that not everything I have experienced has been –or even can be – researched. I found that black and white clinical knowledge is tested when shades of gray are reality. Luckily, I was blessed to find placement with several amazing clinical instructors, who encouraged and applauded the use of intuition while utilizing evidence-based practice. I was even more fortunate to have a few less than amazing clinical instructors—who taught me that not all clinicians are the same.
I became a licensed physical therapist in the state of North Carolina in February, 2013. My practice began in outpatient orthopedics, where I treated patients with musculoskeletal injuries, as well as those requiring post-operative rehabilitation. I enjoyed my job, however, I found it difficult to see multiple patients at once while providing the level of patient care that I felt necessary. Exceedingly laborious documentation for insurance reimbursement left even less time for patient care. I was burning out quickly and I was frustrated.
This frustration led me to enroll in a 9-month, 230 hour, yoga teacher training program at Asheville Yoga Center, with the intention of delving deeper into myself. This was a life-changing experience for me. I discovered a yearning to combine evidence-based practice with something else, something less tangible. No longer was I afraid to utter the words “intuitive healing”. The human body intuitively knows how to heal itself. Sometimes it just needs to be shown the way.
I am eager to provide a patient-centered, holistic approach to healing. I have also been fortunate to teach yin, prenatal and vinyasa flow classes at Asheville Community Yoga.
My biggest and most rewarding accomplishment by far, however, is being Mommy to my two daughters, ages 1 and 4.
I am so excited and humbled to work with and learn from Ruth and Libby at Asheville Holistic Physical Therapy!
My passion lies in restoring balance to the body. Therefore, I typically treat ‘up and down the kinetic chain’, meaning: I analyze your entire person and treat the root of the problem. In any given session, I will utilize multiple “interventions” including but not limited to: joint mobilization, muscle energy technique, myofascial and trigger point release, general soft tissue work, strain counter-strain technique, postural restoration, biomechanical analysis, re-education of muscular imbalance, positional release, yin and restorative yoga practices, education in self-massage and exercise, etc. I also work to integrate the senses using modalities/treatments such as sound, scent, color, touch/pressure, visualization/imagery and breath-work.
I have 5 years of clinical experience treating kinetic chain dysfunction that manifests as medical diagnoses such as low back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, degenerative disc disease (DDD), migraine and chronic headache, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), shoulder impingement, rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, sacro-iliac joint (SIJ) pain, degenerative pain of the hip and knee, plantar fasciitis, bunions and other disorders of the foot, osteoarthritis, sprains, strains, etc. I have worked extensively with both non-surgical and post-surgical patients of all kinds, as well as those hoping to avoid surgery.
I have completed several post-graduate continuing education courses including, but not limited to: Yoga and Self-care for Chronic Pain, Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga, and Yoga for the Pelvic Floor through Asheville Holistic Physical Therapy, 3-D Maps through The Gray Institute, and Sacroiliac Mobilization through Great Lakes Seminars.
I was fortunate to gain placement with clinical instructors who underwent extensive training/certification in the following: Active Release Technique, Temporomandibular Disorders and Craniofacial Pain through Myopain Seminars, and Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) through St. Augustine. I have spent the last 5 years of clinical practice honing techniques and skills learned from these amazing teachers.
Additionally, I am a big proponent of self-study and I am heavily influence by the amazing work and literature produced by the Postural Restoration Institute, Anatomy Trains Institute, Modern Manual Therapy, Integrative Manual Therapy Organization, and many more.
Jessica Leslie, MPT
NC License # P14095
“I spent literally years with constant low back pain. Jessi evaluated me, performed a few manual therapy techniques on my lower back, and taught me some new and creative stretches to help relieve my pain and stiffness. After just a few sessions my back pain was gone, and with the stretches and exercises Jessi provided me I’ve been able to maintain it! No back pain, amazing.” -David