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Valerie Oliphant, PT, DPT Senior Physical Therapist

I believe in the healing power of moving and story telling, and combining the two can be an incredibly powerful experience. My mom is a costumer, so I grew up doing musical theater. Prior to completing my Doctorate in Physical Therapy, I worked as a professional dancer and aerialist in NYC and here in Washington, DC (and still do!). Movement- whether that's dancing at a wedding, chasing your kids, or running after a long day at work- helps us connect to each other and ourselves. I am beyond excited to start every day at Rose helping you get back to what you love most. 

It wasn't until I worked for a non-profit in an active-conflict zone that I truly realized how essential "freedom of movement" is for me (and really for all humans). It took me four years to really return my lost movement to my body, but with it I regained more than just my ability to move- I rediscovered the ability to truly enjoy life. I began teaching a ballet barre class at a local dance studio that also taught pole dancing and was instantly hooked. From there, I jumped into aerial arts and expanded into sling/hammock, lyra, lollipop, and more. I currently dance with Alchemy Performing Arts.

Physical therapy is the perfect blend of my love of movement and my desire to help others heal. While I've had my fair share of injuries, what drew me to PT was the emphasis on continuous learning and growth as a practitioner combined with the ability to serve our clients. I love puzzling out what is going on in someone's body and how it is all connected. Getting to share that knowledge with clients so they better understand their own bodies is so rewarding. 

In addition to dance and circus, I am passionate about helping people experiencing pelvic floor issues. Once my friends began having children, I started receiving a lot of texts asking for advice on pelvic pain or incontinence post-partum. This sparked my initial interest in pelvic floor, which can affect people of all genders and ages. I know working on these issues can be vulnerable and offer a safe treatment space with a trauma-informed care lens for all my clients. 

When I'm not treating at Rose, I'm dancing (pole, aerial sling/hammock, lollipop, and musical theater), snuggling with my sweet great dane Juno, reading sci-fi or fantasy, playing D&D, sewing (I make my own costumes and am trying to make more of my own clothes), running, or hiking and exploring DC with my partner. 

I studied dance and international studies at the University of Arizona, went on to earn an MA in conflict resolution with a focus on trauma healing from Georgetown University, and completed my Doctorate in Physical Therapy at George Washington University. I have taken advanced certifications for treating pelvic floor needs and circus artists (with the amazing Dr. Emily Schwerb). 

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