Biography

Melissa Stendahl, PT, DPT

Melissa Stendahl

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Melissa earned her Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences from Clemson University in 2004, when she was also commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. She served for over 11 years, transitioning to the physical therapy profession in 2010. She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Texas State University in 2013. Melissa grew up playing sports and has maintained an athletic lifestyle. She enjoys applying her unique blend of experiences in athletics, leadership and management to her physical therapy practice, to coordinate individualized and multidisciplinary rehab plans with her clients. Her mission is to empower clients to live their desired lifestyle with confidence and to have autonomy in their health by understanding mind and body wellness concepts and self care. She promotes the concept of “prehab” (preventative care to avoid injury or re-injury) and active participation from clients, placing great emphasis on education so that each person understands their diagnosis and plan of care, and has confidence in pain and injury management. Melissa also uses a highly collaborative client-therapist relationship in order to identify strategies for clients to continue their activities, rather than just saying “no”. Her special interest areas include labor & delivery prep (including autonomous birth advocacy) and postpartum programming from early postpartum to advanced sport. She is equally enthusiastic about helping clients of all genders.

Melissa practiced in orthopedics and sports rehabilitation in Texas and Colorado before realizing a passion for adult pelvic health. She recognized a significant lack of resources for the prenatal and postpartum population, and for all people suffering from pelvic issues, and became passionate about helping to change this. Melissa studied pelvic and obstetric rehabilitation with the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and the American Physical Therapy Association before moving to New York, where she trained and worked extensively in pelvic rehab at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy in Manhattan before establishing her private practice in Brooklyn. She later moved back to Texas to be near family and friends. Her studies in the area of pelvic health revealed just how integrated the pelvic region is to injuries that are often considered non-pelvic, and how this expertise allows for better treatment of a variety of symptoms from head to foot.

Melissa currently specializes in orthopedic and visceral manual therapy for adult pelvic health and maternal care, working with clients with athletic injuries, lifestyle injuries, and pelvic health conditions. She guides patients in managing and preventing musculoskeletal injury during labor and delivery, and is one of less then 140 practitioners to have the Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical Therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association, which indicates comprehension in care for the prenatal and postpartum population, including high risk pregnancies and the pregnant athlete. She is also in the first graduating class of PECOS Program certified practitioners globally, providing support and therapeutic services to individuals during pre-conception/conception, pregnancy, and early childhood parenting for the prevention of chronic disease and optimization of human development. She remains active in her community collaborating with fitness professionals, birth workers, physicians, and other partners in the healthcare industry.

Achievements / Certifications

PECOS Level 1 & 2 Certified (evidence-based wellness interventions for pre-conception, pregnancy and until 2 years of life)

Certificate of Achievement in Prenatal and Postpartum Physical Therapy (CAPP-OB) from the American Physical Therapy Association

Coursework / Experience

400+ hours accredited advanced coursework in physical therapy from the:

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Barral Institute
  • Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute
  • Institute of Physical Art
  • Julie Wiebe PT
  • Mulligan Concepts
  • Pelvic Guru
  • The PECOS Program (thepecosmethod.com)
  • POP Up Pro (www.popuplifting.com)

Movement Experience

  • Weight Training and HIIT – 15 years
  • Ashtanga & Vinyasa Yoga – 8 years
  • Boxing – 2 years
  • Soccer – 25+ years
  • Pilates reformer level 1 teacher training course – Ellie Herman Pilates