Thinking Outside The Box: Mindfulness and Physical Therapy with Justin Ternes DPT 037

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Today’s Guest

Justin Ternes DPT Mindset and Performance Coach

In our latest podcast episode, we welcomed Justin Ternes, a licensed doctor of physical therapy who is pushing the boundaries of his profession by integrating mindfulness and stress coaching into his practice, thus cultivating a unique blend of physical therapy that considers not just the physical, but also the psychological implications of healing. Growing up in Arkansas, studying in New Hampshire, and landing in San Diego, Justin’s journey is an inspiring tale of perseverance, innovation, and commitment to holistic healing.

Justin’s transition from a general population practice to home health was a pivotal point in his career. Despite the challenges he faced, he was driven by his desire to provide a more personalized and holistic approach to physical therapy. His business operates on a home health model, allowing him to bring his unique blend of physical therapy directly to his patients.

This episode offers a glimpse into the future of physical therapy. It highlights the potential of integrating mindfulness and stress coaching into physical therapy practice and how this approach can transform the healing journey of patients. It also underscores the importance of continual learning, professional growth, and the willingness to challenge the status quo in advancing one’s career and improving patient outcomes.

“Physical Therapy is a great profession but there is a lot of things that could be better, like learning from other professions. Psychologists are the best at engaging and communicating”

Do you want to chat more about this topic?

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

Topics covered on Mindfulness and Physical Therapy

  • How his career has changed over the years
  • Conflict personalities and reg flags
  • Mindfulness, breathwork and meditation
  • His current business and dreams for the future
  • The importance of mentorship

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Highlight questions from the episode

How did you start combining Mindfulness and Physical Therapy?

I went from practicing in just the general population capacity to being very interested in chronic pain and pain science. All of that while doing breath work, meditation, and sitting in men’s groups. I found a lot of value in my personal life learning about stress regulation, emotional health, and wellness, and started to bring those aspects into my clinical work as a physical therapist. I was feeling better from doing these things and so their outcomes seemed to improve. That really caught my attention and during COVID, a lot of people were stressed out and whenever I advised friends and family to breathe, they were thanking me. It was fascinating how just a simple suggestion turned into a really impactful practice for a lot of people. So I’ve been transitioning from physical therapy into breath work, stress coaching, and health coaching.

How did you know home health was a good fit for you?

I went into home health and was surprised that working with the elderly geriatric population was really satisfying. In this, there was a lot of neuro mixed and that led to me again having that autonomy to take into consideration some of the things that I was learning on the side. A lot of my continuing education was in chronic pain and I went to the San Diego pain summit. My eyes were very much opened by a lot of the ways that older physical therapists were practicing in the world of pain, where it wasn’t just a physical practice, there is a mental and emotional component, and so I really started to lean into that in the home health setting and do exercises, but in between exercises, in the rest period, do some breath work, have some conversations, talk about the sense of safety.

What made you decide to start your own business?

The entrepreneurial spirit is in me, primarily through my grandfather, who was a fairly successful businessman, and then my dad was a psychiatrist and he also started his own psychiatry clinic. Also, what I said at the beginning, goes with my personality type. I am a person who pushes the status quo and challenges some things, and I think that also aligns with the entrepreneurial spirit and wanting to have autonomy to do things.

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