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Best Practices October 2018

At Practice-Well, our goal is to help each client develop self care practices to improve their quality of life, their performance, and their professional abilities. Most of the time our self care practices involve employing breath work, foam rolling and use of other tools, restorative yoga and integrative positional therapy, mindfulness, and other practices to create change from within.

Sometimes when I talk about my own self care, I am really talking about receiving good care from our community of health care providers. Like most, I have a team of healthcare providers--my doctor, my therapist, my physical therapist (and sister), my massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, lymphedema therapist, and the list goes on. Due to the physical nature of my job, I treat myself like an athlete with a team of recovery specialists (an athlete who’s survived cancer, which makes me a little more complicated).

With a nod to Oprah, Laura and I have created our list of Best Practices in Orange County (extended). Our list is not exhaustive and is certainly subjective. For the most part, we are mentioning providers in physical health with the whole person in mind. We’ll try to tell you why we love the people and businesses we’ve listed. And we’d love to hear your feedback about your favorite healthcare providers, teachers, and support team members in our community. If you’d like to share your favorite providers/best practices with us, email Give us a website or contact information and what makes your provider special. We always need a thorough referral list.

The List:

Massage Therapy

Joshua Townsend, LMBT, blending deep tissue and energy work with astounding anatomical knowledge. (I think he’s the best in town).

Jenn Browning, LMBT, offering postural and gait analysis, and offering structural bodywork via advanced myofascial training. (We like that you can schedule online with Jenn at:

John McKelvey, LMBT, dedicated to learning more about the human body--each one--on a daily basis. He’s one of the few in the area practicing visceral manipulation techniques to work with the deeper layers of tissue in the body.

Lymphatic Massage:

Val Collins, PT, CLT-LANA, at UNC Hospital, she’s the best, but quite hard to schedule with. You need a referral.

Ruth Newnam, LMBT, offering MLD and a combo of scar tissue and myofascial work with lymphatic. I’m pretty good, if I do say so myself, and have 14 years of experienced with manual lymph drainage. Schedule online:

Sarah Galfano, LMBT, CLT. Schedule online with Sarah, the newest in our community of MLD providers. Find her at


Chris Hemsteder,, one of the best in the area at providing holistic strategies for muscular and connective tissue issues.

Stacy Hewitt, L.Ac.,, a former officemate and colleague of mine, Stacy is a lifeline for people dealing with chronic pain, autoimmune issues, and more severe health issues.

Physical Therapy:

Bruce Buley, Comprehensive Physical Therapy Center:

Bruce has been a PT for over 40 years, and has owned and worked at this practice for almost 30 years. He’s not normally taking new patients, but if you’re a former one, you might be able to work your way in.

Laura Terry,

Laura combines the ancient discipline of yoga with the biomechanics and anatomical reference of Physical Therapy for a unique, integrative and effective approach to pain relief and improved well being. She brings relief to patients who have struggled with increasing pain even after their consulting other providers.

Grace Physical Therapy & Pelvic Health is dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering from pelvic conditions. The practice offers patients a refuge and safe haven where they can obtain understanding of their situation and comprehensive care. A lot goes on in the pelvic region on a daily basis, and Erika’s patients feel an immense sense of relief in being able to consult with someone experienced, knowledgeable, and caring.


Jason Pyrigyi, DC, MS,

This from Laura, ‘He is one of the best diagnosticians for orthopedic problems in the area.  He’s able to hone in on the problem and give targeted treatments and exercises with low frequency of intervention--you get better faster.’ And I agree. If you want results within a few sessions or a referral if he can’t help, Dr. Jason is the man. If you can’t get in with Jason, we hear that Regan Buck in the same office is also excellent.

Personal Training:

Gayle Silver,, FIT on Main:

We like that Gayle’s training is  customized to your lifestyle and that she keeps your goals and workouts balanced with self care strategies.

Kyle’s a thoughtful and knowledgeable teacher with an emphasis on self care and foam rolling and core stability training.

Meg Pomerantz,

Specializing in work with cancer survivors, Meg shows great care and understanding about each individual’s healing process.



Meredith Haggerty (teaching regularly at the studios of Carolina Yoga Company)

Caring, knowledgeable, filled with positivity. That’s how I’d describe her. It doesn’t seem like she cares for the trends--ever-changing, ever-rebranding, and I appreciate her integrity, authenticity, and knowledge. I also dig her art:

Helen Tapper,

One class with Helen, I laid on my back with my eyes closed for nearly the whole class, and I was engaged and aware throughout. She sees everyone in the class and is skilled with her verbal descriptions. Also, she’s quite knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology--a must for any movement teacher.

Traditional, spiritual, and holistic:

He’s not afraid to take students through the spiritual teachings of yoga, ‘uncovering the love and bliss that resides in the heart.’ Simple, authentic, and accessible. I like that he makes a living teaching yoga full time, but not on the backs of others.


Robin Smith - Zen Accounting Solutions,

Straight from the website: ’As a small, boutique firm, we provide customized and one-on-one services and support. Ours is a holistic approach - because money is personal- even in business.’ Is it any wonder we love her work ethic and style? Personally and professionally, I receive excellent guidance and information with the kind of thoroughness I want in an accountant.

Mental Health

I’ll be honest with you, all the really good therapists I know are fully booked and not taking new clients. So it’s worth doing some research and establishing care before you are in a crisis. I’d be happy to learn of therapists in the area and their specialties, especially if they take insurance and new patients.

Financial Health and Planning

I’m looking for a good recommendation here. Again, I’d love to hear whom you respect and why, as well as their areas of specialty.  

Coming in 2019….

Maybe you’ve noticed a trend in qualities I’m looking for in providers: integrity, thoroughness, knowledge, and positive results. I’m especially pleased if they eschew trends and brands on the way to making the list of best practices. (I could go on a rant/blog about my disdain of branding in healthcare). Along those lines, Laura and her colleague Whitney Wilkerson have created a new yoga teacher training, beginning January 2019 in Chapel Hill.

I’m very excited to be asked to teach some self care practices with a new Yoga Teacher Training: Balance Through Movement, Laura and her partner Whitney Wilkerson have created a YTT that offers more than self discovery and basic sequencing. Students will learn to teach with confidence and with the best interests and physical well-being of their yoga students in the front of their minds. Anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology will be taught in person by instructors from healthcare fields, who will teach not only safe modifications for a variety of differently-abled students, but also the anatomical and physiological reasons why asana and other aspects of yoga contribute to wellness. Both lead instructors are open to different styles of instruction and practice, but aren’t afraid to go deep. Depth, consistency, and a focus on anatomical and physiological study. Sounds like something I’d endorse, right? (Helen Tapper will also teach at Balance Through Movement’s YTT).

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