Jennifer Chu, MS, PT, WCS, is one of the country’s first Board Certified Women’s Health Specialists. She has been a physical therapist since 1997 when she started her career working with musculoskeletal injuries in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. It was here that Jennifer began her specialty in women’s health. In 2001, she opened ITR Physical Therapy in order to create an environment where patients would receive the individualized, quality and manual care she believes each patient deserves.
Jennifer has spoken nationally at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Annual Conference and Exposition and has sat on the Board of Directors as the Director of Communication for the APTA’s Section on Women’s Health. She has participated in clinical research regarding myofascial soft tissue release techniques for painful bladder syndrome and painful cesarean section scars. She is committed to teaching and empowering women and men with pelvic floor dysfunctions on how to help themselves.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?
“I love connecting with my patients. I love letting them be heard and validated in whatever is going on with their bodies. Our patients come in to our clinic with problems and dysfunctions related to their pelvis or pelvic organs and many feel isolated and shame because certain parts of their body are not ‘working’ the way they feel they should. We get to help our patients release any shame while educating, empowering and helping them connect with their bodies as they heal.”
WHAT SETS YOUR PRACTICE APART?
“We specialize in women’s, men’s and pediatric pelvic health, in addition to bowel and bladder dysfunction. We also help women with pregnancy and post-partum issues. Unlike other practices, we are blessed to spend an entire hour with each patient and are able to really listen to our patients with that quality time. We believe all patients deserve to be treated from a truly holistic approach. We understand the importance of working with the musculoskeletal and facial systems, but that is often only a piece of a patient’s dysfunction. We have both a functional nutritionist and yoga therapist on staff, in addition to sharing space with massage therapists and talk therapists for a truly multi-disciplinary approach.”
HOW DO YOU EASE PATIENTS’ FEARS?
“I started ITR Physical Therapy 18 years ago because I knew patients deserved to be treated with quality one-on-one care. Having both the time and the experience allows us to meet each patient where they are at. We understand that coming to see our physical therapists when you are dealing with diagnoses such as pelvic pain, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse can be quite daunting. Because of this, we spend a lot of time educating each patient on their body, talking through treatments ahead of time, and only using the techniques each patient feels comfortable with. We believe that the more each patient knows, the better off they are, and we love to empower our patients by giving them tools that they can use to help themselves heal.”
“To create a community for those dealing with pelvic related issues or dysfunctions while facilitating healing through community connection and treating the mind, body, and spirit.”
YOUR HAPPIEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?
“After 20 years of working with this patient population picking one moment is not so easy… but I’d have to say getting to see pictures of my patient’s new baby, when they originally came to see me because they had pelvic pain and were unable to be sexually intimate with their husband, is one of my favorite moments.”
Jennifer created ITR Physical Therapy in 2001 because she believed that each patient deserves to be treated in a caring and supportive environment while receiving quality one-on-one care and rehabilitation. Jennifer and her staff at ITR come together with the same philosophy: that you deserve the best holistic approach to your health and wellness. ITR’s staff emphasizes open communication between you, your physical therapist, and your physician with a special understanding of the issues affecting women’s and men’s health with a manual therapy approach.
ITR Physical Therapy is accepting new patients at their Bethesda, Md, and Mclean, Va locations. Call 301-770-7060 to schedule an appointment or visit ITRphysicaltherapy.com.