Fluid Physio Manual Physical Therapy Practice Provides One-On-One Treatment for Patients
Hands-On: “My practice is different because I work one-on-one with the patient for an hour. I am focused on the patient’s goal, and we work together to achieve it.” Gianna Bigliani, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, founder and owner of Fluid Physio, is shown in the patient area where she provides individual treatments for each person.
By Jean Stratton
“I wanted to spend all my time with one patient at each therapy session.”
Explaining why she decided to open her own physical therapy practice, Dr. Gianna Bigliani, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, owner and founder of Fluid Physio, points out the difference in her practice.
“The first thing you need to know about Fluid Physio is that we can help you much more quickly than what you expect. We are different than any other physical therapy practice because of our approach: a full hour of one-on-one specialized manual therapy treatment that will return you to pain-free optimal performance and function much faster than others.”
A native of Colombia, Dr. Bigliani came to the U.S. at the age of 12, and later attended Temple University, where she graduated with a B.S. degree in exercise physiology.
Strength and Conditioning
Always interested in fitness and conditioning, she had played basketball as a young girl in Colombia, and spent four years on the Temple crew team during her college years. She has also participated in triathlons.
After graduation in 2003, she became a certified strength and conditioning specialist, working with athletes of all ages (including children) and abilities (including at a professional level). She continued to row regularly, and after sustaining injuries, she became interested in a career in physical therapy.
Returning to Temple, she completed the three-year
physical therapy program, received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and also participated in an orthopedic residency, becoming a certified orthopedic specialist.
“I’ve been a physical therapist for 11 years in the Princeton area and beyond, including Princeton, Hamilton, and Burlington,” notes Dr. Bigliani. “I had three and four patients at the same time, and I thought there must be a better way. I wanted to be able to focus on just one person for the entire session.”
Deciding to open her own practice, Dr. Bigliani, who also is an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University, teaching strength and conditioning, first worked out of her house. She then worked in a Pennington office before locating to Manors Corner Shopping Center at 160 Lawrenceville-Pennington Road in Lawrence Township.
With her focus on manual therapy and one-on-one patient treatment, she is able to give each patient her undivided attention.
“First,” she explains, “there is an hour-and-a-half evaluation. I’ll take time to listen to the patient, observe his or her movement, and then figure out the cause of the problem.”
The emphasis is not on machines, she adds. There are exercise balls, bands, and a giant mirror, among other therapy tools, but the primary treatment is manual therapy, including manipulating joints, soft tissue (muscles and ligaments), and nerves.
“Manual therapy is followed by movement re-education,” points out Dr. Bigliani. “The body needs to learn how to move without the restrictions it previously had so that the effect of the therapy is lasting.”
“It is very individualized treatment. We focus on each patient’s specific goal and help them achieve it. We help both with a new or chronic problem and treat injuries from head to toe.”
Problems with backs, knees, shoulders, and hips are common conditions she treats, as well as many others, such as arthritis, sciatica, sports injuries, sprains, and strains.
“Whether it’s pain from an acute or chronic problem, difficulty moving around, numbing or tingling, weakness or fatigue, or doing the things you like to do, we can help you,” says Dr. Bigliani.
“Every patient is an athlete at Fluid Physio,” she says. “Our goal is to maximize your performance in the activities you love, whether they are on the water, on the road, on the field, or on the floor.”
Patients are all ages — from kids to parents and grandparents (the oldest is currently 94!), and with a variety of conditions. In many cases, they suffer from injuries and pain that have not responded to other traditional physical therapy treatment, she reports.
A number of her patients are high-level athletes dealing with sports-related injuries. Other problems may stem from accidents in the home or outdoors. “I often treat hips and backs in the winter when people slip and fall on snow or ice. Also, they can hurt their backs raking leaves or shoveling snow. Another condition I often treat is foot pain.”
Patients are often referred by physicians, as well as word-of-mouth, and the practice is rapidly growing, she is happy to report.
Reviews have been consistently positive, including such comments as, “I started seeing Dr. Gianna last winter for help with some recurring running and cycling injuries,” says an area patient. “I really appreciate the hands-on approach and the personal interaction. I’ve tried more traditional PT practices before, and this is much better.”
Another patient is equally enthusiastic. “Dr. Gianna at Fluid Physio is absolutely AMAZING! Not only is she extremely knowledgeable, but she is super friendly, a great listener, and very thorough during the visit. You can tell that she really cares about her patients, and she truly wants them to feel great.”
Needs and Goals
The one-on-one manual therapy helps patients improve more quickly, and usually six to eight treatment programs are sufficient, says Dr. Bigliani. In some cases, it may take less time. She also gives them “homework,” noting “Each patient gets specific exercises and movements to do at home according to their needs and goals.”
In addition to manual therapy, Fluid Physio uses advanced deep laser therapy treatment to help relieve pain and speed recovery. Patients have achieved very good results from this treatment. Physical therapist Dr. Carly Ost is the Fluid Physio laser specialist.
“Laser therapy is endorsed by professional clinical organizations,” observes Dr. Bigliani. “These include the World Health Organization (WHO), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). More than 3,000 research studies have been conducted in the field.
“I enjoy everything about my work,” she continues. “Also, we try to make it fun and create a very positive environment. The human body is a miracle. If it’s nurtured and given the right environment, it can do wonderful things.”
“Bodies are meant to move,” she said. “We’re not created to be sedentary. It’s good to be physically active. I chose the name Fluid Physio because ‘fluid’ is how movement should be. We should be able to move our bodies smoothly and effortlessly. Physio is how the rest of the world refers to physical therapy. I also like water and how the water moves, so I thought fluid physio was quite appropriate.
“I also work with physicians, personal trainers, and sports coaches, and we all communicate to help the patients. In addition, I provide an environment for other physical therapists so they can see how manual therapy can be so helpful.
“In addition, I offer a free 30-minute evaluation to prospective patients to make sure this is the right place for them.”
Fluid Physio also provides a regular newsletter with informative advice and commentary, which includes a special “Patient of the Month,” and success stories of other patients. Free monthly workshops are also available to people dealing with pain from a variety of conditions.
Medical insurance coverage is not available at Fluid Physio, but Dr. Bigliani does accept out of network coverage. As she notes, “We help people figure out their benefits, and assist them in developing a budget plan helpful to their needs.”
She is delighted with the warm welcome Fluid Physio has received, and looks forward to continuing to make a positive difference in people’s lives. “It is a great joy to watch people get better. I want to help as many patients as I can to live life to the fullest.”
Fluid Physio is open Monday, Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.; and Friday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., all by appointment. (609) 436-0366. Website: www.fluid