Best of the Boat: Johnson & Johnson takes Best Physical Therapy Practice |

Best of the Boat: Johnson & Johnson takes Best Physical Therapy Practice

Left to right: Brent Yamashita, Quinn Kaufhold, Tracy Eisenbeis, Steve Warfel, Kim Lohrer and Miranda Harvey. Not pictured is Page Stockdale.
Courtesy Photo

Vicky and Greg Johnson have been practicing physical therapy together since 1978, starting in California, moving to Steamboat Springs in 1994 and opening Johnson & Johnson. With a practice in Manhattan and looking to open other facilities around the country, this year marks the local practice’s 20th year in the community.

Their philosophy and practice is based around Functional Manual Therapy, which the Johnsons have been developing and teaching to other therapists around the world for the past 35 years. “There are about 185,000 physical therapists across the U.S., and of those, only 1,200 have achieved the status of becoming a fellow of Functional Manual Therapy,” Vicky says.

It’s a difficult level of certification to get, she adds, requiring at least 360 hours of continued education as well as extensive exams. “We have a wait list all the way to 2017,” she says, adding that only 260 therapists have been certified in the U.S. in their program in the past 17 years. “We only take the top of the certification pool. Our clinic here only has the best of the best in the country.”

What they pride themselves on is not just treating the symptom but getting to the root of the problem. “When someone comes in with symptoms, back pains or post surgery, we’re good at taking care of that,” says Co-Director Brent Yamashita, who also teaches Functional Manual Therapy. “But what we’re really good at is finding the source of chronic pain. We’re very hands-on and look at finding the cause. Exercise is meant to turn on the light again so you don’t have to keep coming back for adjustments.”

The clinic’s therapists look at all the body’s systems and how they work together to pinpoint the source of chronic pain in pre-surgery patients or the main obstacles to rehabilitation in postoperative patients. Many times, the clinicians have been able to deduce the source of the problem and avoid any surgeries, even in some cases reversing paralysis.

“It’s a synergetic approach,” clinician Steve Warfel adds. “We use joints and manipulation combined with exercise. Our model tries to empower you as the patient to see if there’s something you can do on your own that makes you feel better.”

Yamashita explains to people that what it comes down to is the art of caring. And it shows in how their business continues to thrive by word-of-mouth recommendations from clients whose lives were positively touched by their methods.

“This community is full of talented providers, so we work with the community,” Yamashita says, expressing the practice’s gratitude to the community and their patients. “I love to network with town’s talented people — including other physical therapists.”

To reach James Garcia, call 970-871-4254, email or follow him on Twitter @JamesDGarcia7

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