DR. ALEX DE LA PAZ, PT, DPT, ITPT
Owner & Physical Therapist
Alex graduated with a BS in Kinesiology from Western Washington University in 2009 and a DPT in Physical Therapy from Regis University in 2013. He met is wife and best friend Kelley in Physical Therapy school and moved to Oregon after graduation. Alex and Kelley live in SW Portland with their dog Kai and enjoy hiking and traveling the globe at any chance they get. Alex is deeply passionate about learning and has accumulated over 325 hours of continued education hours, most of which being taught by the Postural Restoration Institute. In 2015 he opened Root & Branch Physical Therapy and by 2019 he was named Top Physical Therapist in Portland Monthly Magazine's Wellness Issue, as voted by his peers. Soon after he opened Root & Branch Integrative Fitness with the help of his business partner Gina Daley.
BASIC CONCEPTS OF THE POSTURAL RESTORATION INSTITUTE®
"The human body is not symmetrical. The neurological, respiratory, circulatory, muscular and vision systems are not the same on the left side of the body as they are on the right, and vice versa. They have different responsibilities, function, position and demands on them. This system asymmetry is a good thing and an amazing design. The human body is balanced through the integration of system imbalances. The torso, for example, is balanced with a liver on the right and a heart on the left. Extremity dominance is balanced through reciprocal function; i.e. left arm moves with right leg and vice versa.
Postural Restoration Institute® (PRI) credentialed professionals recognize these imbalances and typical patterns associated with system disuse or weakness that develops because of dominant overuse. This dominant overuse of one side of the body can develop from other system unilateral overuse. For example, if the left smaller diaphragm is not held accountable for respiration as the right is, the body can become twisted. The right diaphragm is always in a better position for respiration, because of the liver’s structural support of the right larger diaphragm leaflet. Therefore, the left abdominals are always important to use during reciprocal function, such as walking, to keep the torso balanced.
Keeping the right chest opened during breathing is also challenging since there is no heart muscle inside the right side of the chest. Standing mainly on the right lower extremity to offset the weight of the left upper torso, assists in moving the pelvis forward on the left and the shoulder complex down on the right. This asymmetry compliments the special functions of the two sides of the brain. Although the two sides (hemispheres) of the brain share responsibilities for some functions, each hemisphere has its own “specialties”. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. The left brain has more responsibilities for speech and language and thus the right upper extremity becomes a dominant extremity in communication, growth and development. PRI credentialed professionals recognize when this normal pattern is not balanced sufficiently with left extremity neurologic and muscular activity.
When these normal imbalances are not regulated by reciprocal function during walking, breathing or turning, a strong pattern emerges creating structural weaknesses, instabilities, and musculo-skeletal pain syndromes. Balancing muscle activity around the sacrum (pelvis), the sternum (thorax) and the sphenoid (middle of the head) through a PRI approach best positions multiple systems of the human body for appropriate integrated asymmetrical function. PRI credentialed professionals incorporate reciprocal function to reduce ‘leading’ with the left pelvis and right arm, and respiratory function to maximize airflow in and out of the right lung.
Vision, occlusion, hearing, foot pressure, occupational demands, in-uterine position, etc. can all influence asymmetrical tendencies and patterns. Humpback whales bottom-feed on their right side, lemurs tend to be lefties when it comes to grabbing their grub, toads use their right forepaw more than their left, chimpanzees hold a branch up with the left hand and pick the fruit with their right hand, and humans usually balance their center of gravity over their right leg for functional ease and postural security. PRI credentialed professionals recognize the more common integrated patterns of human stance, extremity use, respiratory function, vestibular imbalance, mandibular orientation and foot dynamics; and balance these patterns, as much as possible, through specific exercise programs that integrate correct respiration with left side or right side inhibitory or faciliatory function."
Quoted directly from www.posturalrestoration.com
OUR TRUSTED PROVIDERS
We work closely with local healthcare and wellness providers in order to integrate the highest level of interdisciplinary care. When a team of providers are all on the same page, outcomes are optimized and recovery is accelerated.
GINA DALEY, NASM CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Gina is a Personal Trainer and co-owner of Root & Branch Integrative Fitness. She has extensive training in dance and Pro-Natal Fitness. She is also is in the process of studying under the Postural Restoration Institute.
DR. BEN REEBS, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine - Primary Care
Dr. Ben Reebs is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and the Owner the Portland Clinic of Natural Health. Ben utilizes both evidence-based and alternative medicine to get the the root-cause of the problem. He accepts most major insurances.
JULIA WALLS, MS, MACOM, DIPL. OM, LAC
Julia Walls is a licensed Acupuncturist and owner of Pathfinder Wellness. She has a background in science and extensive training in Eastern Medicine, which allows her to understand the human body at a deeper level. She accepts most major insurances.
DR. CARESSA GULLIKSON, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine
Dr. Caressa Gullikson is a Chiropractor with Sunstone Chiropractic. Caressa has a deep understanding of the spine and it's most common pathologies. She is trained in The McKenzie Method which is widely known for it's success with treating disc pathology.
LIAT NADLER, MSCN
Liat Nadler is a Clinical Nutritionist and owner of Just Eat Well. She understands the importance and benefits of eating whole-foods and integrating this into our daily lives to create healthy habits for our whole family.
DR. HAYLEE NYE, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine - Women's Health
Dr. Haylee Nye is Naturopathic Doctor and owner of Integrative Women's Healthcare. Haylee is passionate about women's health because of the personal journey she has taken. She herself is a mother and loves working with mom's-to-be.
Laney Coulter is a Master Hypnotist, with multiple certifications including as a BWRT Level 2 Advanced Practitioner. Her background as a special education administrator, teacher and principal, combined with her passion for helping people, give her a unique perspective as a hypnotherapist.