An Omaha physical therapy clinic is taking a different approach to healing. Integrative Wellness, Inc., Physical Therapy and Consulting is rooted in the idea that wellness is about much more than physical health.
“It’s about living well, where you are,” said Dr. Natalie Dowty.
Dowty is the founder and president of Integrative Wellness. It was her fascination with movement that led her to where she is today.
She attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she received a bachelor of arts in natural science, a bachelor of science in exercise science, a master of science and health education and her graduate certificate in gerontology. She went on to earn a doctorate in education from the College of St. Mary and a master of physical therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dowty has taught health education, health promotion and allied health education for 20 years.
“Love of a movement became love of study became love of teaching became love of practice,” she said.Dowty approaches each case individually. She serves patients from all walks of life, encountering different obstacles. Some are cancer patients attempting to live their best lives during and after treatment. Some struggle with stress or suffer from chronic pain and fatigue. She addresses their needs and desires and plans their therapy accordingly.
Sessions are typically 50 minutes long and happen once a week. Patients learn exercises and techniques to do on their own.
“In order to be a good match for this practice, you have to be engaged,” she said.
It’s her favorite part of the job, watching clients take what she offers and run with it.
“I give them the seeds and they plant their own garden” she said.
Dowty also is a macro-botanical photographer and sees parallels between taking photos and her work in physical therapy. The waiting room of Integrative Wellness doubles as a show room for the pictures she’s taken. In her artist’s statement she explains why:
I am a physical therapist who works with people challenged with chronic disease, chronic pain and cancer. My life through the lens, as in the clinic, tends to focus on things that are small but powerful, and common but remarkable, if viewed in a slightly different way. Like my patients, I am learning to be receptive to the potential within my vision and often find the most dazzling beauty in small, overlooked places. I offer my photographs as an extension of my work as a physical therapist – with hopes that the images remind you of your own peaceful, healing places.
It’s a running theme in her business, the idea that we can all achieve wellness, despite the challenges and setbacks we may face. It’s what inspires her to chase her goal: “to help people more joyfully inhabit the body.”
Regency Review • April 2016