MEET THE TEAM

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Your Astym Instructors

Learn More About Our Astym Therapy Instructor Team

We love our instructor team and you will too! These experts in Astym therapy will guide you through all things Astym treatment and ensure you’re ready for whatever comes your way. Get to know our fun and talented team before getting your certification!

SUZIE FREEMAN, MPT, OCS, Astym Cert.

Suzie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC). Early in her career, she worked at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic where she performed research activities for physicians. For the majority of her career, she worked at California Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy in Huntington Beach, California. In addition to clinical care, she was also responsible for marketing the practice to local physicians.

In addition to her daily activities, Suzie was also the Center Coordinator for Clinical Education and ran a competitive internship program on a year-round basis. She was awarded “Clinical Teacher of the Year” by USC and received her OCS in 1994, and again in 2004 and 2014. Suzie has lectured at the Certritos College PTA program, as well as various Occupational Medicine conferences. She was certified in Astym treatment in 2005, and since then, she has been using the technique extensively in her practice. An avid tennis player, Suzie has extensive knowledge and experience in treating the complex upper extremity injuries associated with this sport.

BOB HELFST, PT, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, Astym Cert.

Bob earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Sports Medicine from Ohio Northern University and a Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis. He has lectured at the University of Cincinnati and Ivy Tech State College’s Physical Therapy Assistant Programs and the University of Indianapolis’ Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. He has lectured at Indiana Wesleyan and Manchester Universities’ Athletic Training Curriculum. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member to the Ball State Athletic Training Curriculum and the Husson University Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program.

Bob has over 30 years of experience in sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. His primary patient population is sports and orthopedics, but he also sees neurologic and patients with chronic pain. He has been involved in sports biomechanical analysis, as well as pediatric and adult gait analysis in conjunction with Ball State University’s biomechanics lab. In addition to his patient care responsibilities, Bob provides sports performance training to teams and individuals. He’s had the honor of having been involved in the research, development, and education of the Astym program since 1993.

Ben Kivlan, PhD, PT, OCS, SCS, Astym Cert.

Ben is an Associate Professor at Duquesne University, a small Catholic university in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he currently instructs Physical Therapy students in Orthopedic Science, Human Anatomy, and oversees operations of the Human Cadaver Laboratory. Ben is a graduate of Elon College’s Exercise/Sport Science Program and the University of Pittsburgh’s Physical Therapy Program. He completed his PhD in Biomechanics and Orthopedics at Duquesne University. He is recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy and Orthopedic Physical Therapy. In addition to his academic and clinical responsibilities, Ben serves as the Chairperson of the Hip Special Interest Group for the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy, Research Coordinator for the Multicenter Arthroscopic Study of the Hip (MASH), and is recognized as a national and international speaker with expertise in topics related to diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the hip joint and the pediatric athlete.

Since 2011, Ben has been certified in Astym therapy and has published original research on the utilization of Astym therapy to enhance clinical practice. He continues to enjoy treating patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries at Perform Physio and Tristate Physical Therapy located in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

AMY GODDARD, DPT, OCS, CSCS, PRC, Astym Cert.

Amy graduated from Texas Woman’s University, School of Physical Therapy, with a Master of Science degree in 1995. She opened GO Sports Therapy in Coppell, TX, in 2000, and became Astym certified in 2001. She joined the Astym teaching team in 2003 and has been involved in its development and evolution as a viable, reliable treatment for a wide variety of patients and conditions.

She became dry needling certified through Kinetacore, now Evidence in Motion, in 2011 and joined their teaching team as an assistant lab instructor in 2014.

Amy completed the Executive Program in Practice Management, in 2011, earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, through Evidence In Motion Institute of Health Professions. She also became a board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2011 and became Postural Restoration Certified in 2016. Amy is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Dave Rubsam, PT, OCS, Astym Cert.

Dave received his MPT degree from the University of Iowa in 1989 and has practiced in a variety of settings including inpatient rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient orthopedics, and, as a contracted provider for a small hospital, doing all phases of PT (inpatient, outpatient, care center, and home health). Dave worked for a large hospital-affiliated clinic from 1996 to 2010, seeing a full range of orthopedic clients, including a large percentage of work injury patients — treated both in-clinic and on-site. He then worked for a private practice for 4 years in Marion, Iowa, and now works for Rock Valley Physical Therapy based at Physicians Clinic of Iowa, a large multi-specialty physician clinic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

He received his Orthopedic Certified Specialist designation in 2001, has lectured at the Kirkwood Community College PTA program, and has taught in the Case-Based Learning module at the University of Iowa. Dave has been certified in Astym treatment since 2003 and uses it extensively in his practice for all phases of general orthopedics. His other interests are music, reading, fitness, golf, and martial arts (karate).

Shayna Slater, PT, DPT, CSCS, Astym Cert.

Shayna earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (with an emphasis in Biokinesiology) from Chapman University and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. She currently works as a Physical Therapist at Huntington Beach Physical Therapy Specialists in Huntington Beach, California, where her primary patient population is general orthopedics and sports-related injuries.

Shayna has a passion, in particular, for treating dance-related injuries and foot/ankle injuries. In 2010, she became certified in Astym therapy and has been utilizing it extensively, with impressive results. In addition to practicing physical therapy on a daily basis, Shayna is a Clinical Instructor for PT students. She is also an NCSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

John Zanas, PT, CSCS, PES, Astym Cert.

John earned his Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and Physical Therapy from the University of Washington in 1991. He currently works in a private practice in Snoqualmie, Washington, where he primarily treats orthopedic and sports-related injuries and develops sports performance enhancement programs for athletes and teams of all ages.

John has been certified in Astym treatment since 1997 and has a special interest in working with young athletes. In addition, he serves as the strength and conditioning coach for Mount Si High School. He has advanced certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength & Conditioning Association, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the International Youth Conditioning Association. John has lectured for the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Washington State Hand Study Group, and numerous youth sports organizations throughout Washington State.

Keisuke “K2” Kanno, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, Astym Cert.

Keisuke is a senior physical therapist and a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) at Fischer Institute, a division of Spooner Physical Therapy in Phoenix, AZ, where he is known by staff and clients as “K2.” He also works as a rehabilitation and training advisor for one of the Japanese professional baseball teams, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. K2 has been a physical therapist since 1999 and works with a wide range of patients with orthopedic pathology and many professional athletes, including MLB and NFL players and professional baseball players from his home country, Japan. K2 practices functional physical therapy with an emphasis on manual treatments, and strives to make patient rehabilitation sessions as personalized, effective, and fun as possible.

K2 graduated from Keio University in Japan with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry. After his arrival in the United States, he earned his Masters of Science and Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Duke University. At the beginning of his physical therapist career, K2 also worked as a personal therapist for Indy Car drivers, traveling with racing teams to major cities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Japan. K2 has hosted many seminars for therapists, trainers, and university students visiting from Japan, educating them about physical therapy, sports medicine, and his own career pathway.

SUE CREEL, PT, ATC, Astym Cert.

Sue has expertise in the areas of orthopedics, sports rehabilitation, neurology, back and neck injuries, hand injuries, women’s health, and golf performance enhancement and rehabilitation. She received her undergraduate training at the University of Wyoming and received her Physical Therapy degree from the University of North Dakota. She has worked in both hospital and private settings and has lectured extensively on Women’s Health, making her a leader in the field. In February of 1990, Sue opened Acucare Physical Therapy, Ltd. and in 2001, the company/clinic became a licensed BACKtoGOLF facility.

Sue has been certified in Astym treatment since 2001 and has used it on a variety of patients including athletes, orthopedic patients, and women’s health patients. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, National Athletic Trainers Association, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Sue is also certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling and is working towards becoming certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, as well as a Biofeedback Specialist.

Scott Larson, PT, MS, OCS, Astym Cert.

Scott is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he received a Master in Physical Therapy. His clinical expertise is in the treatment of orthopedic patients, particularly cervical and lumbar spine issues and work-related injuries. He is a manual therapist and is Board Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy by the American Physical Therapy Association.

Scott has over 26 years of clinical experience and has been certified in the Astym treatment since 2001. Over the years, he has lectured on various workman’s compensation management issues, for Southeastern School of Nursing and has contributed to a clinical guidelines book for nursing students. He is certified in dry needling and SFMA and actively integrates these approaches with Astym on a daily basis. He owns and operates a private practice specializing in orthopedics and industrial medicine. He is married to a beautiful woman and has 3 amazing, yet trying, young men! His hobbies include cooking and fishing and he loves to spend time with his family and outdoors.

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GUS GUTIERREZ, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Astym Cert.

Gus graduated from the Louisiana State University, School of Allied Health, in 1986. Eight years later, he completed the Gulf Coast Graduate Institute of Manual Therapy Residency Program, focusing on advanced evaluation and treatment of orthopedic conditions with the use of mobilization and manipulative techniques. After completing the 18-month program, Gus received certification as a Level 2 Manual Therapist. He has earned the prestigious Fellowship status in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists, and received his Orthopedic Certified Specialization distinction in 1994, and then again in 2004. In 2010, Gus received his DPT from the Evidence in Motion Institute of Health Professions.

Since graduation in 1986, Gus has been working at BRPT-Lake, a multi-clinic private practice that specializes in the treatment of orthopedic patients and sports-related injuries. He has over 25 years of clinical experience, has worked with athletes on all levels, and has used Astym treatment since 2001 on a wide variety of orthopedic patients. Gus is certified in Dry Needling, Kinesiology Taping and is an Active Release Technique practitioner for the upper extremity, lower extremity, and spine.

Brittani Cookinham, PT, DPT, PhDc, ATC/L, Astym Cert.

Brittani obtained her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training & Sports Medicine and her Doctor in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University. She is currently working on her PhD dissertation, which involves concussion research at Texas Woman’s University. Brittani became certified in Astym in 2016 and joined the Astym teaching team in 2017. Brittani serves as a Sports Medicine Volunteer for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and was able to bring Astym to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Noel Tenoso, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, RYT, SFG Cert. MDT, Astym Cert.

Noel earned his Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, in 1988. He is the founder and co-owner of Advance Sports & Spine Therapy, LLC in Wilsonville and West Linn, Oregon, and his patient load is primarily general orthopedics that comprises mostly of spine patients and sports related injuries. He has interests in general wellness ie. Nutrition, sleep, yoga, strength training. Noel is currently working on Employer MSD solutions and cash-based opportunities in his practice, and growing a social media presence.

Noel earned his certified orthopedic manipulative therapist (COMT) through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 1997, Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) in 1998, and certification in mechanical diagnostic therapy (MDT) through the McKenzie Institute in 2006. He earned his transitional DPT in January 2008 also through Pacific University and has been certified in Astym treatment since 2005.

Scott Tilson, PT, DPT, Astym Cert.

Scott earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Duke University and has practiced in both private practice and outpatient hospital based settings while living in Northern California. He treats a wide spectrum of clientele from professional and collegiate athletes to work injuries and chronic pain.

Scott’s clinical interests lie in the challenge of treating tendinopathies and overuse injuries. He enjoys “the hunt” to find dysfunctional movement patterns, structural asymmetries and soft tissue impairments that can lead to the various musculoskeletal conditions we confront on a daily basis. He is driven to promote the rehabilitation professions as a vital component of today’s healthcare delivery system and enjoys taking on leadership roles within his organization while staying active in patient care. He is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Astym instructor team since 2010 to teach one of his most useful interventions for his patients. He has been successfully using Astym treatment since 2006 as it compliments his other treatment strategies perfectly.

On a personal level he enjoys staying active through experimenting with various forms of exercise, but will often stick to his staple of running. He has a beautiful wife, who is also in healthcare, along with two fun loving children. Together they enjoy the outdoors, singing karaoke, coaching youth sports and constant home improvement!

Nikki Bradley, PT, MPT, OCS, Cert MDT, Astym Cert.

Nikki is a graduate of St. Louis University, where she earned her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy and Bachelors of Science in Exercise Physiology. She worked as a traveling physical therapist throughout the United States for several years, which afforded her a wide scope of practice in various clinical settings including outpatient orthopedic, work-related injury, return to sport, inpatient, home health, and chronic pain rehab.

Her clinical expertise is in treatment of orthopedic and spine conditions, sports medicine rehab, and pelvic floor dysfunction. She is Board Certified as an Orthopedic Specialist (OCS) by the American Board of PT Specialties, is certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) by the McKenzie Institute, and has achieved certification in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP-1) through the APTA.

Currently, Nikki works in outpatient rehabilitation with Meriter Unity Point Health in Madison, Wisconsin. She has been utilizing Astym therapy in her practice since 2014, with a special interest in conservative management of foot and ankle conditions.

Elzbieta (Ela) Bule, PT, KTC, Astym Cert

Ela received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from NCSU in Raleigh. She earned her Masters of Physical Therapy at UNC Chapel Hill in 2002. Upon her graduation, she took a job in a medical center that allowed her to practice in a variety of settings. This included both inpatient and outpatient orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation as well as wound and acute care. Ela worked for 3 years as a traveling therapist throughout the USA. She was able to further her experience working in numerous acute care, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facility and home health settings.

She also worked for several years as a director of rehab for Orthopedica and Sport Injury POP clinic. Currently, Ela works as a PRN therapist and starting her own conciege practice. Ela has been certified in Astym treatment since 2011, utilizing it extensively with great results. She is also Kinesio Tape certified and a Dry Needling (level I) certified practitioner.

Russell Kowalinski, PT, DPT, SCS, Astym Cert.

Russell is your sports specialist! He knows the ins and outs of what it takes to excel at every level of competition, and what it takes to get there. He will work with you to reach beyond your potential and protect your body from the strain of not just athletics, but everyday activities. He played college basketball at Springfield College, and has a true understanding of injuries and recovery from them, as he has gone through a lot of physical therapy himself. He received his Master’s of Physical Therapy from Springfield College. Then went on to get his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Temple University. He achieved his board certification by the American Physical Therapy Association as a Sports Certified Specialist in 2012.

Russell specializes in treating orthopedic and sports injuries. He has been utilizing Astym treatments since 2009. He works with local high schools, clubs, and individuals with ACL prevention training and sport-specific functional training. He is certified as a medical golf fitness instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute, and will not only help your body but your golf game as well! Outside of work you can find Russell enjoying the outdoors with his family. He continues his on-going love for sports with playing golf, basketball, softball, skiing, and snowboarding.

Currently, Russell is the owner and director of Peak Sports & Spine Physical Therapy clinics in Renton and Snoqualmie Washington.

Courtney Dynes, PT, DPT, Astym Cert.

Courtney is a graduate of Midwestern University where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2009. She has treated a wide variety of orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions in patients of all different ages and skill sets. Courtney’s special interests and clinical expertise is in treatment of general orthopedic conditions, sports rehabilitation, and post-surgical rehab.

Courtney has completed her full body Active Release Techniques Certification, and she is also trained in administering intramuscular trigger point dry needling and Functional Movement Systems. Courtney continues to further her education by taking continuing education classes which include running injuries, gait analysis, sport-specific return to play protocols, the overhead athlete, operative approaches for total hip and knee replacements, and various manual therapy techniques.

Courtney has volunteered at numerous local races, ranging from 5K to marathons, and Crossfit events. In addition to community outreach events, Courtney enjoys giving back to the physical therapy profession by serving as a clinical instructor for PT students.

Currently, Courtney works as a Managing Partner and PT with IMPACT Physical Therapy in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She has been utilizing Astym therapy in her practice since 2014 with a special interest in general orthopedics and sports rehabilitation.

Leah Harris DPT, CSCS, CLT, Astym Cert.

There are certain themes that define a person. For me, a few have been constant throughout my life: I have always been active, I have always been a competitive athlete, and I have always had an interest in how the body functions and heals.

Born in Southern Oregon, I spent the better part of my childhood playing soccer, running, riding horses, and generally sustaining some sort of athletic-related injury. This early experience with physical therapy gave me an appreciation of the human body and an innate curiosity for rehabilitation science. I consider myself lucky because I knew what I wanted to do at a young age.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology at Stanford University in 2007. During my undergraduate career, I ran cross country and track as a walk-on athlete. Although I frequently felt it over my head, my experience competing with these talented women allowed me to experience a level of performance that I would have never thought possible.

After college, I held a variety of jobs while applying for graduate school. I dabbled in the restaurant industry as a kitchen manager for Houston’s Restaurant. This is where I met my life-long best friend. I worked in UC Berkeley’s physical therapy department as a technician. Here I ate amazing food, redefined my description of “normal”, and worked with some of the kindest people I have ever met. I cherished every winding step towards my next stage in life, and those steps played an important role in who I am today. In 2009 I moved across the country to pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Duke University. I liked the reputation of Duke’s program with its emphasis on critical thinking and evidence-based practice. During graduate school, I completed my first half ironman and put my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) education to use as a part-time, personal trainer. I began my career as a physical therapist In Nashville, TN where I met my wonderful husband.

Since that time, we moved back to Southern Oregon to enjoy a slower pace of life and greater access to the outdoors. In my free time I enjoy running, gardening, cooking, reading, and being outside. I also enjoy spoiling my cats, chickens, and husband, in that order 🙂

better results. happier patients. unmatched evidence base. more referrals.