Physical Therapist Builds on Creative Background to Get People Moving
by Sheila Julson
Physical therapist Bryan Green followed a unique path to arrive at his current profession. Born in Dallas, Texas, Green spent part of his childhood in Santiago, Chile, where his mother, an aspiring artist, was raised. Green was artistically inclined as well and spent much time drawing and observing his surroundings to figure out how things work. He was also an avid reader, which expanded his imagination even further.
Coming from a family of not only artists, but also doctors and engineers, Green’s mother encouraged him to pursue engineering. He enrolled in the engineering program at Cornell University, where he was also active in gymnastics. Two years into his studies, he realized that he lacked enthusiasm for engineering. He took time off to reevaluate his path and decided to take a dance class at a community college. He became enthralled with dance and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Texas at Austin.
For many years, Green professionally danced and choreographed with Sharir Bustamante Danceworks, a traveling company that performed throughout the United States. He also had his own company, Xenon Dance. During his dance career, he met the woman that would eventually become his wife, but he also suffered a serious injury when he fell two stories from poorly constructed scaffolding.
As Green recovered from his injury, he realized he wanted to start a family and figured it would be an ideal time to transition into a more financially stable career. He had an eye toward the medical profession, and upon a suggestion from his mother-in-law, he decided on physical therapy. “I started looking into physical therapy and realized how it’s an interesting blend of engineering and physical mechanics,” he recalls.
Green earned his master’s degree in physical therapy from Texas State University and went on to work in San Antonio for Concentra, seeing workers’ compensation patients. Through his coworkers, he learned of manual physical therapy—a hands-on technique that involves practitioners using their hands to put pressure on muscle tissue to manipulate joints to release muscle tension and joint dysfunction.
Intrigued by how he could use manual therapy to help his patients, Green trained in the technique with Mark Hernandez, an Austin-based physical therapist. In 2006, Green and his wife moved to Oklahoma to be near her family, and Green continued manual therapy training with Oklahoma City-based physical therapist Micha Sale, and through a study group that he formed with osteopathic doctor Suzanne Ferguson.
After working at several physical therapy businesses in the Oklahoma City area, Green found an ideal match with Peggy Owens and Natural Balance Integrative Care, where he’s worked since February. Rather than the traditional physical therapy that consists of measurements, repetition and a therapist seeing several patients at once in a gym-like setting, he finds that providing manual physical therapy at Natural Balance Integrative Care allows him to take the time to do full sessions of hands-on work, which results in patients feeling better, having less pain and a greater range of motion. “What I love is that I can help resolve other people’s pain, improve their function and help them get off pain medication so they can be functional in their daily lives,” Green says.
Green sees patients suffering from lower back pain; neck pain; scoliosis; rib neuritis (inflammation of the nerves between the ribs); and shoulder, hip and knee issues resulting from trauma and accidents or chronic pain. But whatever is the cause of a person’s pain, Green emphasizes that there are natural options to relieve pain other than medication or surgery.
After traveling down exciting and diverse career paths, Green is content in his current venture and feels at home at Natural Balance Integrative Care. He says that he and Owens—who specializes in myofascial release—complement each other well and refer patients to each other. “Physical therapy helps people integrate back into their everyday lives with a more efficient way of moving that doesn’t hurt them with side effects from drugs or surgery,” he says. “In the long run, they’ll be able to do what they love into their retirement days.”
Natural Balance Integrative Care is located at 17200 N. May Ave., Ste. 200, in Edmond. For more information, call 405-541-1078 or visit: NaturalHealingBalance.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-area freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.