Whether you’re a school child injured in a sports activity or a retiree dealing with joint pain or anywhere in between, you’ll likely find relief and rejuvenation from a relatively new physical therapy practice in town. Peak Performance Physical Therapy, PLC, was opened by Jill Marlan in June 2011. Marlan’s credentials are extensive and impressive. She’s a Board Certified Licensed Physical Therapist and a Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist. Governor Snyder appointed her to the State Board of Physical Therapy — an organization that oversees all physical therapy programs in the country — where she’s served for the past eight years. She has chaired the Board for the last three years. Her interest in the field of orthopedics and sports physical therapy began in high school. She participated in many sports activities and was awarded a basketball scholarship to Lansing Community College. Two years later, she had earned a basketball scholarship to Wayne State University. She suffered a sports injury that required her to spend many hours at a clinic, and it was there that her interest in physical therapy was sparked. “I thought this was a really cool profession,” she said. From then on, she knew that “this is something I wanted to do.” She’s worked for a couple of private orthopedic practices in the area but always knew she wanted to break out on her own. When Marlan started Peak Performance, the staff numbered two — herself and an office manager. Just three years later, her staff has increased substantially. She employs five physical therapists, a personal trainer, a business manager and front office personnel. They practice specialized skills they learn in a program called Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT). The focus of OMPT is treating the source of the pain, not just the symptoms. This approach goes beyond traditional physical therapy and is the only certified therapy recognized by the American Medical Association. Marlan also hires and oversees nine student interns per term. She has a strong internship program with candidates coming from all over Michigan — Michigan State University, St. Mary’s College, Central Michigan University, among others. Marlan requires the interns to undergo vigorous training and testing. The program is popular; and she gets an average of 30 applicants each year. “The practice has grown tremendously — well beyond my dreams,” Marlan said. “It’s far exceeded my five year plan.” Her number of patients has increased steadily and she’s looking to expand the space to accommodate their needs, perhaps opening up satellites throughout the greater Lansing area. She attributes her success to having a knowledgeable staff and giving them the best tools. Marlan has a strong commitment to keeping up with the latest research. She requires her staff to take part in ongoing continuing education. She also equips them with the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, such as deep heating ultrasound, and treatments and procedures such as manual one-on-one manipulation, post-surgical spinal and extremity treatment, traction tables and more. There’s even a small gym area where a personal trainer works with clients on-site. Her staff is friendly and provides a gentle approach to their care. “When you’re already in pain, the last thing you want is to experience more of it,” Marlan said. She and her staff are committed to making physical therapy a positive and healing experience. Her extensive education and experience matches her passion to provide the best care possible. She’s earned a master’s in physical therapy from Wayne State University and has completed the Michigan State University Osteopathic Manual Manipulation Education Program and Oakland University Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Program. Today, her clinic cares for clients with a wide range of needs — pre-operative, post-op and all kinds of strains and sprains. Peak Performance also offers sports programming and training to regional youth sports teams, teaching athletes and coaches prevention training techniques such as proper dynamic warm ups, conditioning and strengthening to prevent injury. Marlan and her staff themselves engage in physical activity. Her family members — husband Russ, and two young daughters Carson and Leighton — enjoying running together in what she affectionately calls the “Marlan Running Club.” Peak Performance is located at 4911 W. St. Joe Highway and is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. For more information about Peak Performance, visit their website at www.peakperformanceompt.com.
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.