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Meet Julia

Doctor of Physical Therapy &
Certified Functional Manual Therapist

RESPECT & HONESTY

My focus on building trust in a safe environment and honoring each individual’s unique needs, leads to the unfolding of an untapped potential to heal.

Discover the center
of your pain

Using observation and palpation, I assess the current state of a person’s mobility and motor control. Considering my findings with respect to their medical history, we get right down to work. The two main forms of treatment I use are body mechanics training to help people understand how to find optimal postures and use them throughout their day and manual therapy to resolve restrictions of the connective tissues.

Throughout the evaluation and treatment process I’m educating the patient, parent, or both so that they gain the ability to understand the messages from their body. I do this by using models of the body, descriptions of anatomy and physiology, and most of all by pointing out what I feel or see so that they can feel and see it too.

Untapped Potential to Heal

Working with me, you have full control over your or your child’s healing process.

There is no third party telling you how many visits you are allowed to have or how long they need to be. We will make the plan that best fits your condition, time, and resources.

You will have a private, one on one experience as opposed to being in a large gym where the therapist is working with 3 other patients at the same time. With this level of intimacy, care is adjusted in the moment to be just right. Your input matters and it will feel safe to express your needs including your boundaries.

We will address the whole body, acknowledging both the physical and emotional influences, in order to get to the source of your or your child’s pain or imbalance.

I am always working on furthering my understanding of the body. Since 2012 I have been studying Visceral manipulation, Craniosacral Therapy, neurology topics (centralized pain, the triune brain and polyvagal theory) and pediatric topics in physical therapy (torticollis, primitive reflexes, body work for babies).

  • Bachelors in Exercise Science 2003
  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy 2006
  • Certified in Functional Manual Therapy 2012
  • Member of American Physical Therapy Association
  • Medallion Member of the IAHE
  • More to come in the future!!!

My Journey

My introduction to the field of physical therapy was just like most people’s. I was given a prescription by an orthopedist after tearing my ACL. The injury happened when I was playing field hockey during a summer league game between my sophomore and junior years of high school. My surgery was a few weeks before school began and I was unable to play the entire fall season. Instead of going to practice with my teammates, I spent 3 afternoons a week with physical therapists. This was the time in life when the pressure was on to think about college and what you wanted to do with your future. The physical therapists seemed to be alright people. They seemed happy and positive. I felt a connection with them, unlike the cold bedside manner of the orthopedist. And most of all, I felt empowered by the work I was doing at physical therapy. So this became my answer when asked, “What do you think you want to do after high school?” But deep down, I wasn’t so sure. The world had so much to offer and I knew there was room to change my mind.

But the fall of my freshman year at University of Delaware, I suffered another ACL tear on the opposite leg. I was performing the same cutting motion as when it happened two years before, but this time playing ultimate frisbee. I knew it immediately but didn’t want to accept that I had to go through the long rehab again! This is when I swore off field sports forever and gravitated to outdoor adventure.

This was not the last time I would tear my ACL, but each time I learned something new about the healthcare system and the process of rehab. The 4th and final time, I sought therapy from Mark Patterson, DPT, CFMT who was practicing Functional Manual Therapy. It became clear that the pain I associated with arthritis in my knee, that I had received injections for, was actually from fascial restrictions. He taught me how to engage the stability muscles of my feet, pelvis, abdomen, shoulders and neck in a way I never knew. Eventually through studying FMT myself, I learned how walking on my knees instead of crawling as a baby set me up for these future challenges.

Another mentor of mine, Karen Johnson DPT, CFMT introduced me to visceral manipulation. I scheduled a session with her for annoying pain in my left knee that I was unable to resolve. Whenever I did a squat, lunge, or walked up the stairs, it let me know something was wrong. Her skills lead her to treat my uterus. During the session, she never touched my knee. But when I got up from the table, squatting and lunging were now pain free. After this session, I was able to carry my 1st child through a full term pregnancy. I truly believe that her work on my reproductive organs was a significant piece of solving my infertility puzzle that had been a struggle for the previous 3 years.

Photo collage with Julia holding baby and Julia with riding bikes with her family

Motherhood brought on a whole new relationship with my body. Formal workouts took a back seat and I learned to use exercises like tools. Integrating the work my body needed into the constant movements of caring for babies or working with my patient was my way to fit it all in. Despite my commitment to being a mother, an undeniable drive to learn more pushed me to continue pursuing new techniques. No longer did I want to treat a knee, if the source of pain was actually in someone’s pelvis. So in 2014, I took my first course in Visceral Manipulation (VM) from the Barral Institute. By 2016 I was introduced to the light, but profound touch of Upledger’s Craniosacral Therapy (CST). VM and CST quickly became my primary methods of manual therapy I used with my patients while still using the fundamentals of posture and body mechanics I learned from The Institute of Physical Art. Gradually I realized that in order to use these skills to their full potential, I needed to walk away from the constraints of a 3rd party payer system.

And so, in 2020 Julia Kegelman Physical Therapy, LLC was born. The advent of Covid delayed a full transition to making JKPT my primary practice. With gratitude for all the support my Back Clinic family had given me over the past 14 years, I said farewell in June of 2021.  Like when I went off to college, I felt a sadness for leaving a nurturing, comfortable environment, but knew it was time to walk into the unknown. Since then, I have truly enjoyed collaborating with so many like-minded providers and patients who share the belief that it is possible to live with a genuine sense of well being and offer our full potential when serving others in this world.

When I’m not working with you and your family so that you can do the same, I’m taking on one of my other roles as a Mother, Wife, Gardener, Homemaker, Outdoor Explorer, Student, or Meditator.

A partner in healing in essential to your success.