By Sarah Pridgeon
Sundance welcomes a new business this month in the form of Peak Motion, a physical therapy studio affiliated with two other branches in Buffalo and Spearfish. Now refurbished in calming tones with welcoming décor, the business is housed in the former Croell Redi-Mix headquarters, where it offers assistance for physical issues through personalized care.
“I value one-on-one time with my patients, so we don’t work with assistants, aides or techs. We block out 45-minute sessions for each of our patients and it’s with the physical therapists, so any questions you have get answered right away and we problem solve together,” says owner Janie Hett.
“That’s where I feel is the best quality of care. Your insurance company is being billed the same but you get to work with the licensed physical therapist, and it’s more rewarding for me personally as a practitioner that I can be there and see those results and make those changes as needed.”
Peak Motion is now open and accepting clients, and Hett says she has plans to expand in the near future. At present, the premises include a large gym with all the necessary equipment for physical therapy, but she hopes to move the cardio machines into a second room, leaving the first available for yoga and other stretching activities, some guided by streamed workouts.
“My first two businesses I started together in Spearfish and Buffalo eight years ago. My family is from Buffalo so I wanted to get closer to them, but I didn’t want to move home to a [small] town while single and starting my career,” Hett says of how the business began and grew.
“I settled on Spearfish, which is beautiful and we love the Black Hills, and I think we made the push to Sundance when we started to see some clients from Sundance at our Spearfish office and they were encouraging us that there was maybe an opportunity.”
Personal considerations, too, brought Crook County to Hett’s attention.
“Our little boy is a year and a half old now and, when we found out we were pregnant with him, we chose to move into Wyoming. We moved to Beulah because we wanted him to be in the Sundance school district,” she says.
“We wanted to be where it was a little bit smaller, a little more accountable, where the community comes together and watches your kids grow up.”
Hett’s husband, who she describes as a “true partner in every sense of the word”, is now also her practice manager.
“He’s the brains behind the business end of things so I can do what I love and what I’m really good at and he can do what he loves and is really good at,” she says.
Peak Motion currently offers patient sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, open to all clients needing physical therapy from the surrounding area. Hett is hoping, towards the end of January, to bring in a second physical therapist as patient numbers grow and extend the hours of operation.
“We just continue to grow and grow. The last couple of weeks we’ve seen some great growth, so that’s exciting,” she says.
Hett’s interest in physical therapy came from her own experience with a muscle injury.
“My physical therapist moved my knee and said he thought I had a partial tear of my ACL and I thought, wow, how did he know that? How did he tell me what an MRI could have told me just by knowing how to move the body and test?,” she says.
“I was fascinated with the idea of knowing anatomy so well that you could tell those things.”
After a health scare of her own, Hett has found herself on a new journey with a movement known as functional medicine, for which she has completed her foundation course.
“It’s kind of an underground movement of western doctors whose needs haven’t been met by our current system and so they’ve taken everything back to the basics and look at nutrition, stress management and how those things play a role in our physical wellbeing,” she explains.
The idea is that what we put into our bodies affects whether our bodies become sick or stay well, she says, and her vision is to approach physical therapy from the idea of fostering wellness. It’s about creating true health care, she adds, rather than just “sick care”, and advice about a holistic approach to wellness is something she will happily offer to clients, if they are interested.
Visit Peak Motion online for more information at peakmotion.net.