02 Sep Learning From a Kinetik Mentorship
I often like to sit with my morning coffee out on my back porch and reflect on my journey. A few weeks ago, Jonathan asked me if I would be willing to write up a short little something on my experience with the Kinetik mentorship program and the more I reflect on it with my morning cup of joe, the more I realize there is no way in hell I would be able to keep it a “short little something”. Thus began my morning reflections on how I got to be so lucky to end up finding such a great place to learn and grow.
As a young distance-runner in Ireland I spent a fair amount of time with my physiotherapist to stay healthy. I knew I wanted to have a career working with athletes so the decision to move to the US to pursue my dreams of working in the sports therapy world was a natural decision for me. I was first introduced to Jonathan and Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) in 2016. Observing Jonathan working with his clients opened my eyes to a career where I could work not only with athletes, but with many driven individuals who cared just as much about their healing process as I did. That summer filled me with determination to become not just a therapist, but a great one who could help others. So I took a lesson I learned when I was young, that if you want to achieve greatness you should surround yourself with great people. That was why I contacted Jonathan Pierce in early 2018.
Right away Jonathan took on his role as a mentor with the same intense commitment and presence that I have seen him use with every client that comes to him with an issue. We spoke about my ambitions, career goals, ideas and concerns. After nearly an hour-long conversation, I had booked a flight to San Diego and enrolled in Jonathan’s mentorship program.
Boarding my flight in Georgia in early April I may not have known what exactly I was getting out of this experience, but I was certain that Jonathan had been one of the most driven and educated A.R.T. providers I had ever met, he was passionate about helping others, and I could learn a lot from him even if it was only for a few days. It would be exponentially more than what I knew while boarding that plane.
I arrived at Kinetik on another sunny day in San Diego which for an Irishman coming from the South East was a treat in and of itself. I applied my sunscreen and as soon as we got to Kinetik, we got straight to work. I walked in and was greeted not only by Jonathan, but Ian Armstrong, a very knowledgeable acupuncturist, as well as Ben Kleinert, the director of the strength and conditioning team. I realized immediately that Kinetik was not just a group of practitioners, but a cohesive group of providers that each had their own specialty. Kinetik has practitioners specializing in A.R.T., Acupuncture, Strength and Conditioning, ELDOA, Massage, Personal Training and now they even have Biomechanics analysis and Laser Therapy to add to the wealth of knowledge here.
Every practitioner communicated openly, teaching me my first lesson as soon as I walked in the door – the value of effective communication.
Developing treatment plans with other practitioners allowed the Kientik team to work smart while improving the outcomes for each client. As a young practitioner, I saw the importance of bouncing ideas off more seasoned providers as well as those utilizing a different modality. This was different from my previous experience with soft tissue practitioners working in isolated clinics without mentors or team members. This exposure to a different kind of environment was and often still is something my mind drifts to during my morning coffee reflections. Being exposed to something different forces us to sit and think about what it is we truly believe and want in our lives.
For me, coming to Kinetik made it clear to me that I wanted a team around me to lean on, to learn from and to work alongside to achieve quicker results for clients, and feel that I did my best for any/every client that walked through the door.
It became obvious that the open communication among the entire Kinetik team meant that clients would walk away satisfied that their issues were addressed, and no clients would “fall through the cracks.” Every case that was presented was treated just as uniquely as each client is; to me, this is how clients ought to be treated in every physiotherapy office, chiropractic clinic, or other treatment center they enter. Clients who entered the door at Kinetik are not only treated, they become part of the Kinetik family, and this unwavering support allows clients to feel they have a safe space to heal without hesitation. One of the most common compliments I hear from my clients now is how huge it is that I simply sit with clients and listen to their issues. They feel heard and treated as an individual human being, oftentimes after seeing so many different doctors and feeling as though they are being treated as simply a body.
It was Kinetik that emphasized to me the importance of hearing clients and not simply fixing them, but helping them create a plan that helps them achieve their own goals – whatever they may be.
It is the small, underlying good business practices such as this that one cannot simply teach you, but that you have to learn from experience. At a place like Kinetik, these invaluable tidbits that you pick up over time are just as important as knowing your anatomy and getting hands-on experience. That being said, the Kinetik team knows their anatomy like nobody’s business. To be completely honest, when I arrived for my mentorship program, the extent of my anatomy knowledge was quads, hamstrings, abdominals, etc. After an intense first few days I learned the importance of fascia and fascial planes, how to treat ligaments and why, and how muscle structures interlace with other structures. Everything is connected! Who knew?
I quickly realized that I had quite a bit of reading to do in order to truly understand my anatomy and be able to fully help my clients.
This deepening knowledge of anatomy and watching Jonathan and his clients also taught me how to assess underlying issues while analyzing movement patterns of different activities. We analyzed the mechanics of running, walking, CrossFit movements, yoga poses, cycling mechanics – you name it. The ability to see the body globally allowed Jonathan to see and treat the root cause of issues, not just the site of the pain. He helped me understand how pain at the knee doesn’t mean there is simply a problem with a client’s knee. I loved learning these assessment tools as they were entirely new concepts to me and they now have helped me become a successful and confident practitioner who can help clients more effectively.
In sum, my mentorship experience taught me a lot about anatomy, injury assessment and techniques to become a better practitioner, but it also helped me to understand more about what I valued in a team and work environment. Observing Jonathan and the Kinetik team helped me clarify my goals and provided me with an extraordinary learning opportunity that would push me to grow and find my own path as a therapist without wasting any time.
A.R.T. Provider/Manual Therapist
Kinetik Performance Co.
After Ciarán’s mentorship experience, he quickly got to work and completed A.R.T. certifications for the Lower Extremity in December 2018, Upper Extremity in March 2019, and Long Nerve Entrapment in June 2019. He began working at Kinetik in 2018 as a Manual Therapist and A.R.T. provider, and he assists dozens of clients each week in achieving their particular mobility and performance goals.