Beyond the Clinic: Where Knitting and Physical Therapy Collide, with Andrea Lui PT 036

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Today’s Guest

Andrea Lui, PT, DPT, OCS The Knitting PT

Transitioning to home health was a pivotal moment for Andrea. Andrea’s story emphasizes the importance of self-reflection and taking the time to evaluate one’s career path. As a home health physical therapist, Andrea found a job that offered the flexibility she desired while still allowing her to connect with her patients.

She shares the joys and challenges of working in the home health setting, from the lack of guidance and mentorship to the deep connections she forms with her patients. Andrea’s experiences highlight the importance of resilience and adaptability in the ever-changing field of physical therapy.

In this episode, you will learn about the intersection of knitting and physical therapy, how to find creativity in this industry, and how to overcome the feelings of imposter syndrome. Andrea explains how she assists fellow knitters in managing physical pain and communicates effectively with those who may have no knowledge of knitting.

Andrea’s journey serves as a reminder that authenticity and resilience are essential in navigating career transitions and finding fulfillment. In the digital age, she emphasizes the importance of resilience and not taking online comments personally. Her story serves as a reminder to embrace change and to continually seek out what truly aligns with one’s passions and values.

“I am relearning how to talk with patients, because they don’t think about their bodies that much, not the way we do because it is our passion”

Do you want to chat more about this topic?

Andrea and I would love to continue this conversation with you over on Instagram.

Topics covered on Knitting and Physical Therapy

  • What Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is
  • Why and how her innovative business started (The Knitting PT)
  • Benefits, flexibility, and challenges in home health
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome and comments online
  • Dealing with difficult patients

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Highlight questions from Knitting and Physical Therapy

What is knitting for you?

Ever since I was a child, I romanticized that whole little house on the prairie thing of making your own things. So I started when I was studying for my board exams as a way to motivate myself and say, when you’re done doing this chunk of studying, you get to do something fun.
I’ve always felt like I wanted to create with my hands, but I’ve never really had the talent for it. I think knitting is forgiving enough and also a skill you can actually learn well enough that you become quite good. That was how it started but then, when I was postpartum with my first child in 2016, it became a mental retreat for me. As the years went on, I would find that it became also a time where I started reflecting on my life, reflecting on decisions, reflecting on whatever had happened early in the day. It kind of became a mini self-reflective time

What made you settle down and pursue home health?

I always thought of home health as something that you do when you really just cannot do the outpatient anymore. So since I was looking for something more flexible, home health was really the only thing that offered the flexibility I needed, because my kids are young. So I started a little reluctantly and I found that I kind of really liked it. I was nervous at first because you’re completely on your own but my confidence grew as I started to trust my clinical judgment. I also really like the patients because they’re genuinely interested in you too and they really appreciate my work. However, there is not a lot of guidance, You have to really be very organized

Why combine knitting and physical therapy? How do clients find you?

They found me through my Instagram profile.
I’m really learning, re-learning, how to talk to patients a little bit and to remember where they’re coming from. And then you realize, oh, people who aren’t in our field don’t look at the world that way or they don’t move through the world that way. Lately, I’ve been pushing a lot the concept of body awareness. Learn what your body’s feeling because a lot of people just don’t know. I used to think, well, if they go see a PT, like couldn’t the PT just watch them knit and just figure out what they’re doing from there? but you have to experience a feeling for yourself. And I think knitting is a little interesting in that everyone can do it a little differently, and it results in all these different postures and all these different pain points

What’s a struggle going through this transition from PT school till now and how did you overcome it?

I think one big one is imposter syndrome. I was never really the best student in PT school and especially when I was starting out, I didn’t know if I was doing things right and if my patients were getting any better because of me or by luck. And through this transition, when I started putting the information out there, I didn’t know if I was qualified enough. What I do to overcome it is think about the successes I’ve had, remember these people who have listened to what I’ve had them do and have great success, and trust that that success is because I use my knowledge, I use my critical thinking to the best I could.

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