1.Tell us about your background in Physiotherapy.
The foundations were laid during my 6 years of graduate education at the International University for Physiotherapy Thim van der Laan in The Netherlands, and I continue building on my theoretical knowledge by taking advanced courses taught by established experts on a yearly basis. Pairing this with the 9 years of clinical training alongside different skilled mentors and having had the opportunity to deal with numerous challenging professional athlete injury cases are what’s given me the practical know-how I apply today.
Some of my top-level sports ‘tombstones’ include the treatment of Isabelle Beernaert’s Modern Ballet Dancers; Hellas Athletics; and being with the Dutch National Youth AA-Baseball team who won the European Championship four years out of the seven years that I worked with them as their Medical, Strength Conditioning & Agility Coach.
2. What are your interests?
Whilst music and the visual arts/design are my daily companions, I am an absolute Science & Nature nerd and capable of losing hours on end watching Steven Colbert’s Late Show and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show. Although always active in and passionate about sports (am amongst others currently coaching/training the Nanjing Emperors American Football Team), I manage to balance out a healthy lifestyle with my sweets/ice-cream/cake addiction and a zealous love for quality coffee.
3. Tell us about a life-changing experience or adventure you’ve been on.
As a result of a debilitating, critical injury at an early age that put me in a wheelchair and involved a recovery period of over 3 years , I am now a firm believer of the power of three: grit, positive incentives and exercise. It has made me a highly motivated therapist with a “can-do” attitude who fully subscribes to the “disadvantage becoming an advantage” concept. More recently I have found myself in a new adventure that is called ‘China’ with its corresponding challenges (public transport, table etiquette, internet speed or lack of).
4. What is your area of expertise?
Although positively an all-round physiotherapist, my expertise is in the neck-shoulder-arm complex, and have considerable experience in trigger point therapy, dry-needling and handling knees, ankles and pelvic problems. In recent years I have specialised in high-cervical spine complaints (e.g. headaches and facial pains), and have obtained a WHO certified degree in acupuncture.
5. What is the most fulfilling part of the job?
I often find myself fascinated by the beauty of the perfectly functioning human body, so I feel fortunate to work with such amazing ‘machines’ on a daily basis. Also, it’s the little tokens of gratitude from my patients (kind suggestion: home-made cookies) that make my job very worthwhile.