JOANNA HERMANO, PHYSIOTHERAPIST
Treating Persistent Pain with a Holistic, Trauma-Informed Approach
As a physiotherapist with a background in counselling, Joanna offers a multifaceted, patient-centred approach. She combines traditional physiotherapy techniques and complimentary methods that address the effects of unresolved stress and trauma showing up in the body as physical symptoms.
YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM THIS APPROACH IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING...
Unexplained physical symptoms
Physical symptoms that have not responded well to previous treatment
Fibromyalgia, migraines, frozen shoulder, jaw pain/tension or other chronic pain conditions
Body pain accompanied by stress, emotional distress or a history of trauma
Sensitized nervous system or increased pain sensitivity
WHY IS THIS MULTIFACETED APPROACH MORE EFFECTIVE
FOR TREATING PERSISTENT PAIN?
As we go through life, we sometimes have overwhelming experiences that send our nervous system into the fight, flight or freeze modes. These responses are a normal and necessary survival mechanism. Once the danger has passed and we return to safety, our nervous system is meant to return to a calm, balanced state again.
But when that cannot happen, either because a feeling of safety is not achieved, or we don't get the opportunity to fully process what happened to us, or the stressors continue to occur, our nervous system remains in an activated state, ready for the next sign of danger. And while in this state, some of our other body systems cannot function optimally, such as the digestive and immune systems. Our heart rate and blood pressure stay elevated and our muscles are tense, stress hormones continue to circulate through our body, and we live in a hypervigilant state. Or conversely, we may live in a state of numbness, disconnected from our bodies and unable to fully feel our feelings or enjoy life. Both are reactions to trauma.
All of this can have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health over time. Muscle tension and pain, headaches and other painful conditions are common presentations when the nervous system has become dysfunctional. Often, our bodies provide information that our conscious minds do not have access to, and when we explore this in a safe and gentle manner, we can help bring the nervous system into a more regulated state so that the body can focus on healing.
Combining nervous system regulation with physical therapy can help to address the pain
from multiple angles, thereby optimizing results.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A SESSION?
Joanna will provide a full 60-min physiotherapy assessment, and with your input, she will create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your goals. During treatment sessions, which are also 60-mins in length, you may be offered any combination of traditional physiotherapy interventions, such as:
- manual therapy
- exercise prescription
Plus, Joanna weaves in complementary techniques that address the effects of unresolved stress or trauma in the body by bringing the dysregulated nervous system into a calmer, more balanced state.
Joanna listens with a curious, non-judgmental and empathetic ear. She creates a safe environment for healing, and provides care through a trauma-informed lens.
Sessions can be provided either in-person or virtually. Most insurance benefit plans provide coverage for physiotherapy.
Joanna (she/her) is a physiotherapist with over 15 years of experience in health care. She holds a Master of Science in Physiotherapy, a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Therapy and a Diploma in Transpersonal Counselling Psychology. She has worked as both a physiotherapist and a counsellor. In her younger years, she was a competitive athlete and earned a scholarship to a US university for rowing.
Most recently, Joanna has begun training in Somatic Experiencing (SETM), which is a body-focused therapy that addresses unresolved trauma manifested as bodily symptoms, by helping to restore the dysregulated nervous system to a calmer, more balanced state.
Joanna brings these skills into her practice along with traditional physiotherapy interventions to create her own unique style of care that nurtures the whole person; body, mind and spirit. Her approach is gentle and supportive, and she listens to her clients with curiosity and empathy. She believes that everyone has the ability to heal, and enjoys helping her clients break through barriers to realize this potential.
A proud mom of two boys, Joanna enjoys playing piano and singing, growing veggies in her garden, hiking with her labradoodle Ziggy, and camping with her husband and kids.
SCHEDULE, RATES AND BOOKING
14 Cross St, Dundas
*Virtual Sessions Also Availabile*
Saturdays 9am - 2pm
Wednesdays 4:30pm - 8pm
Thursdays 4:30 - 8pm
Initial Assessment (60 mins) = $140
Follow-up Treatment (60 mins) = $120
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN THESE VISITS BE COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?
Most insurance benefit plans provide coverage for physiotherapy. Please check with your insurance provider for specifics about your plan, or contact the clinic and we can inquire for you. Joanna is not able to provide OHIP covered physiotherapy services.
DO I NEED A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL?
WHAT ARE YOUR COVID-19 PROTOCOLS?
Both clinics that Joanna works at follow strict health and safety protocols to keep clients and practitioners safe, including screening, distancing, mandatory mask-wearing, hand washing, disinfecting of surfaces, scheduling to allow for proper distancing and cleaning between clients, and more. Also, Joanna is fully vaccinated with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Please contact Blueberry Therapy or Thrive Physio for more details.
No, a doctor's referral is not required to access physiotherapy services. However, some insurance companies require one in order for sessions to be covered.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST SESSION?
ARE VIRTUAL SESSIONS AVAILABLE?
You may wish to complete the intake form in advance of your session (for Blueberry it will be e-mailed to you and you can submit it electronically, and for Thrive you may download and print from the clinic website or simply complete it upon your arrival). Bring any relevant physician reports/recommendations or imaging results. And please wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move easily.
Yes, Joanna is pleased to offer both in-person and virtual sessions, both for assessments and follow-up visits.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Joanna would be happy to connect with you.