Jennifer Gonzalez, CMT
Jennifer Gonzalez has a degree in massage therapy and received her certification from Soma Institute in Chicago. She began working as a chiropractic assistant in 2010 and has been working with Dr. Ryan Hamm for the last two years. She is currently the head of the exercise rehabilitation department at First Health Associates where she serves as a movement rehabilitation therapist. Jennifer has been into exercise and fitness her entire life. She has been doing yoga for over 20 years and enjoys other activities such as hiking, running, climbing, kayaking, and strength training.
The exercise and rehabilitation department at First Health Associates is a very important part of your recovery and return to an active lifestyle. Restoring your posture and movement is the key to an excellent recovery and is critical if you want to help prevent painful conditions in the future.
We use the most advanced methods in the fields of physical therapy, chiropractic, fitness and personal training. Our approach is heavily grounded in the most current understanding of the nervous system and how it controls posture, movement and gait.
The pain and injuries you endure throughout your lifetime change the way your nervous system controls your posture and movement. Posture and movement become altered and dysfunctional because the nervous system has “rewired” itself to compensate for pain. These compensations become “hardwired” in your body and typically do not return to normal without the proper treatment and exercise program to “reset” the nervous system to correct the problem. It is crucial to fix these problems when they occur because if they are not corrected, musculoskeletal “wear and tear” will occur over time and eventually lead to arthritis, tendinitis, disc herniations, etc. which can affect your activity level and quality of life in your later years.
What makes us different is we have a unique way of assessing your nervous system, posture and movement to determine what exercises you need the most to restore them to as near normal as possible.
Many of the exercises we teach you are foundational and functional in nature. They are designed to strengthen the most primary and basic movement patterns you learned in your first few years of life and continue to use on a daily basis. The strength you develop from these basic, “movement focused” exercises carry over into higher level activities of daily living and sports. The exercises promote proper joint position, body alignment and stabilization during the movements which make them safer and less stressful to your joints compared to other conventional exercises.
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) is one of several exercise methods we utilize to restore and strengthen your movement patterns.
Once we determine the most important exercises for your “weaknesses,” we develop a home exercise program for you to follow so you can help yourself achieve the level of function and strength you desire. We can also guide you into a personal training program to further build strength and endurance on your new, better movement.
In summary, we teach you how to “retrain your brain” for a better, more normal movement pattern first, then strengthen these new movements with resistance (weights, bands, etc.). This exciting new approach will allow you to live a healthier, more active and pain-free lifestyle than you once did before.