JAG Physical Therapy Founder and President John Gallucci, Jr. sat down for a discussion about his passions regarding physical therapy, his goal for starting JAG Physical Therapy, and why the JAG Method makes all the difference.
Q: What distinguishes your physical therapy method from other clinics, and how do you ensure the quality amongst your physical therapists is comparable across the board?
A: We treat every patient just as a professional athlete or a VIP should be treated. Based on experiences with high-end athletes, we believe that everyone should be treated in the same fashion. It doesn’t matter if you’re a multi-million dollar baseball player or a painter trying to get up and down a ladder without pain, everyone deserves the same treatment.
I tell my physical therapists that they should treat a person exactly how they’d wish to be treated personally. I want them to treat every individual as if they were treating their own mother or father.
We take patients based on their goals and their needs and bring them back 110%, whether that’s walking several miles a day, kicking a ball as a professional soccer player, or climbing up and down a ladder for work.
When we hire our clinicians, we make sure that they’re social and can carry a great conversation, but can also work well with our patients, because we want interaction. We want to hear from our patients constantly throughout the entire process.
Q: What are some trends you’ve seen in the physical therapy arena?
A: There’s a fundamental lack of understanding in many physical therapy clinics of the biomechanics of the body and how they work in interaction with the musculoskeletal system. Too many physical therapists do not understand how to use body mechanics and exercise to progress the patient. Often there’s a lack of hands-on experience and understanding of the true ways the body moves. At JAG Physical Therapy, we train our staff to put all disciplines taught in school together into one holistic approach.
Q: Many people see you as mainly a sports physical therapist. Can you tell us about your passions and experiences outside of the sports realm?
A: I love children, having two of my own, and I have a strong passion for pediatric physical therapy. In addition, it’s thrilling for me to take a patient who has put his or her body in the hands of a physician to have a man-made joint implanted, and then be able to teach that person how to use the muscles all over again. It really gets you invested in the patient’s goal of being able to say that, “a man-made object was put inside of me and now I function better than before.” Being able to take a post-op patient and bring back the musculature that makes the body operate is a joy.
Q: What are some typical questions you hear from potential patients?
A: Many patients we get don’t understand that the point of physical therapy is to get you back to where you were before injury. For example, a patient may come in saying, “I’m not in pain all the time now; I don’t need physical therapy.” That doesn’t mean the therapy is over if prior to injury, that person was running three miles a day. Our goal is to get the patient running three miles a day again, to 100% functionality, whatever that functioning was. In fact, we don’t release patients until they are back to their pre-injury functionality.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for people seeking a physical therapist?
A: Make sure the facility is well equipped and that the clinicians are well educated. Patients should also understand that a hands-on-protocol is important to return to full function. A good physical therapy patient is one who communicates exactly what he or she is feeling when they’re going through exercises and through hands-on mobilization. A patient should want to invest and understand how to get better efficiently, without harming themselves.
Q: How does your personal experience relate to what you bring to JAG Physical Therapy?
A: I’ve been an athlete, and had numerous surgeries myself. I was a wrestler for 20 years, coached at various levels, and am in the Hall of Fame as a coach for my alma mater, Monsignor Farrell High School. I want my patients to know that I understand what they are going through not only from my education, but from vast personal experience as well.