As Emily developed her movement science practice, she organically developed a niche. Many of her clients were between the ages of 55 and 80 and needed help post-rehabilitation. However, she discovered there were gaps in her education that limited her ability to diagnose and treat her older patients’ issues. To best serve her clients and their unique needs, she needed to do more. That’s where Gray Institute® and Applied Functional Science® entered the picture.

Emily Wanted to Provide Individualized Treatment, But Her Education Didn’t Give Her the Right Tools

Before investing in her Gray Institute education, Emily intuitively understood how the body moved and how her patients’ unique biomechanics impacted their performance and recovery. However, she hadn’t found a certifying organization that embraced the same truths of human movement, so it was hard to turn her instinctual understanding into something she could use to treat clients.

Emily found herself treating every client in the same way. “I had three different clients that came to me post-meniscus repair,” Emily says.  “I was treating them all the same. One played high school lacrosse, the second client was a stay-at-home mom that ran half marathons, and the third worked in D.C. and sat behind a desk all day.”

But that didn’t sit well with her. “I was a little frustrated and couldn’t help but think, ‘was I even helping my clients, or was I doing more harm [than good]?’”

Emily found Gray Institute while searching for continuing education credits. The content interested her, and the course fee was reasonable, so she gave it a shot. “I am so thankful for that day!” Emily notes.

She was excited to find continuing education courses that emphasized process rather than protocol, and she quickly embraced Applied Functional Science. By taking multiple courses, including CAFS (Certification in Applied Functional Science), 3DMAPS, and Chain Reaction®, Emily learned to trust her intuition and the truth of human movement.

“That ah-ha moment was when Doug Gray said, ‘There is no wrong exercise, only a wrongly recommended exercise,’” says Emily. “It made total sense.”

Emily knew she needed to change her approach. So, she developed a unique program for each client. “After CAFS, I was able to help my clients perform better, feel better, and manage their chronic aches.”

The difference in approach yielded almost immediate results. From there, Emily knew there was no going back to the way she’d done things before.

Emily Finds Success Through an Investigative Approach


Through the teachings of Applied Functional Science, we know that the same solution won’t work for every individual; not everyone with the same dysfunction requires the same treatment. Emily now takes this approach when working with clients.

“During [challenging] moments, I imagine I’m a detective always looking for clues that will help me find solutions. I never like to wallow in struggles or problems. I’m a solver, a movement detective.”

By paying attention to her client’s unique needs, Emily has been able to help them achieve their goals successfully.

“I’ve had one client for seven years, Emily describes. “When she came to me, she had been getting injections in her lower back every six months for two years.  When I started her programming using the principles of CAFS and 3DMAPS, she no longer needed to have those regular injections and has only had one since.”

RELATED: How Applied Functional Science Can Change Your PT Practice

Another one of her clients was blind and lacked body awareness. Through her attentive, individualized approach, Emily helped the client develop her connection to her body and improve her health. During their sessions, Emily manually moved her patient’s body to help her develop attention and awareness. Or, she would place the client’s hands on her body while she performed the movement so the client could understand, even though she couldn’t see. By taking a hands-on approach that she learned at Gray Institute, Emily and her client built a unique trust.

“She blossomed and felt better physically and mentally,” says Emily.

It was a unique situation, but Emily knew that she needed to keep it simple and find the best solution that would work for her client. Whenever she encounters a unique or challenging situation, Emily puts on her detective hat. She remembers the Gray Institute values of truth, honesty, humility, and individuality to build trust and create a program that works and outcomes that last.

Ready to Go Beyond Textbook Learning? Take the Next Step With Gray Institute

For over 40 years, we’ve been working with movement professionals like Emily to apply real-world truths of human movement to the unique problems your clients face. If you’re ready to fill in the missing pieces in your education, we’re here to support you every step of the way. For more information on our course offerings or to learn more about which Gray Institute course is right for you, please don’t hesitate to request a free consultation. We love chatting with talented people like you and would be happy to hear your story and point you in the right direction.

We look forward to speaking with you!