BETSY ALLEN, PT

Betsy's physical therapy practice specializes in the treatment of chronic pain. This expertise runs the gamut from treating intermittent and nagging discomfort to more constant and debilitating pain.

Betsy first studied yoga in 1971 and did her thesis in physical therapy school on integrating yoga with traditional physical therapy. After graduating from the University of New Mexico Physical Therapy program in 1987 (valedictorian with a 4.0 average), she returned to Portland where she worked for 8 years in a multidisciplinary Pain Center. She has been teaching yoga here since 1991 and opened her private practice at Gudmestad & Associates in 1996.

As a physical therapist she instructs and monitors patients in yoga poses that directly fit their needs.  She also incorporates the teachings of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the use of theraband, ball exercises and other approaches into home programs. The importance of a regular exercise practice is emphasized and Betsy acts as both coach and cheerleader towards this end. Equally vital, she feels, is the integration of yoga principles such as improved body/posture awareness into our everyday lives off the mat.

Betsy is also a trained Biofeedback Therapist. This is often an extremely helpful tool that offers objective information regarding unconscious actions, e.g. muscle tensing or breathing habits unique to the individual. Undoing these with the help of immediate feedback is often key to getting over what has been a chronic, negative condition.

Betsy is seeing more teens in her private practice and she finds it satisfying to be able to guide young adults into healthy practices. Lately she has gone into the local schools with her biofeedback equipment and taught high schoolers body/breath awareness and stress management techniques. This is a free service appropriate for biology or health classes.  If you'd like to act as a liaison, please contact our office.

Betsy also performs manual techniques; mostly myofascial release and craniosacral therapy. This is not only soothing and relaxing, but is a very successful means to finding more long-lasting and even permanent relief from symptoms.

When she's not caring for her patients, Betsy can be found happily hiking, cross country skiing, playing tennis or gardening. In fact she supplies (from her own garden!) and arranges flowers in the clinic offices each week. She's also known to have a quiet addiction to New York Times crossword puzzles.