Soon, Sicamous residents suffering from chronic pain, recovering from an injury or trying to prevent one will not have to travel to Salmon Arm or Revelstoke to get the physiotherapy treatment they need.
Megan Sapinski will be bringing physiotherapy treatments she learned at the University of Manitoba and while travelling to far- off countries to Sicamous starting within the next few weeks.
Sapinski will be opening a physiotherapy practice in a treatment room at the Sicamous medical centre soon. She specializes in rehabilitation acupuncture and Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation, a treatment system for chronic pain conditions in the musculoskeletal system where there is no obvious sign of injury or inflammation. She also offers cupping and manual therapy which mobilizes certain joints and muscles.
“It’s kind of like the reverse of massage; instead of pressing down into the tight tissue you’re using the negative pressure to draw everything up and away,” Sapinski said of the cupping therapy which uses suction applied to the skin to treat inflammation, pain and other conditions. She said it is a great therapy for improving circulation and releasing toxins from the body.
Sapinksi said she has a serious case of the travel bug, having recently returned from living and working as a physiotherapist in Australia from 2014 to 2017. She said she was known as “the Canadian girl with the needles,” by patients pleased with their results.
While abroad, Sapinski visited Bali where she took yoga instructor training. She teaches yin yoga, a form of yoga that targets deeper connective tissue by holding passive stretches for three to five minutes.
“It’s quite therapeutic and I’ve found that a lot of my physio clients, once they’re out of their acute pain, they would come to my yoga classes and then find that yoga class once or twice a week would be enough to keep them feeling good and not have to come see me anymore as a physio,” Sapinski said of the effects of the yin yoga classes.
Sapinski hopes to work with local athletes in the near future. Although she has not had an opportunity to contact local teams yet, she believes her expertise can help with both rehabilitating and preventing athletic injuries.
She is trained in Functional Movement Systems (FMS), a screening system which can assess a person’s mobility and look for weaknesses and imbalances. FMS screening has the subject perform seven movements such as a squat while they are observed. Each movement is graded on a score zero to three, with three being performed perfectly and zero causing pain. Sapinsky said subjects who score 12 out of 21 or less on the seven-movement test have a 50 per cent higher chance of injury when playing sports.
“It’s just a really nice tool to test an athlete once they’re out of rehab and going back into sport,” Sapinski said.
“I plan to implement that screening tool with local athletes.”
She added that FMS screening is used at the NFL combine and with NHL players but also for fire departments and the military.
Sapinski said the wide array of tools and treatments she can use is helpful because each physiotherapy patient is different.
“I love helping people get back to doing what they love and what they’re passionate about,” she said.
Along with a place to practice physiotherapy, Sapinski said she is excited to enjoy everything else that Sicamous has to offer. Her husband Jarid Fink has owned a house in Sicamous for several years and she says she enjoyed the area long before the opportunity to live here full-time came up.
“It was always the fun place to go; he does a lot of sledding in the winter and boating and wake stuff in the summer, so I originally fell in love with Sicamous before we went to Australia,” she said.
She added that the District of Sicamous was very supportive and helpful in answering her questions about the area and finding her a place to practice.
Sapinski said she anticipates her business, Functional Physio and Wellness, will begin taking patients beginning on July 19.