Tonya’s career in physical therapy was inspired by her own personal experience. Told at the age of 19 that she would need fusion back surgery, Tonya was advised by doctors to “stop being active” and to give up the sports she loved. Instead, she chose an alternative treatment that combined her interest in working out as well as science and anatomy, embarking upon a regimen that involved wearing a back brace and balancing her body through exercise.
Tonya’s recovery, combined with her lifelong interest in exercise and muscle anatomy, convinced her to switch from business to a career in physical therapy. She wanted to teach others how to enjoy a life free of pain, doing the things they want to do, and feeling good again.
She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in health science in 1999 and a Master’s degree in physical therapy in 2001, both from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). In 2009, she became a Certified Functional Manual Therapist® (CFMT) through the Institute of Physical Art—an intensive five-year certification program that included 2,000+ hours of study and advanced course work. She is currently completing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Northeastern University in Boston.
Tonya continues to improve her body mechanics using the techniques she learned in her own recovery. She continues to play sports and is active in yoga, Pilates, weight lifting and anything else new that she wants to try.
Tonya founded Tonic Physical Therapy to help her clients return to health, just as she once did, empowering them with the tools and knowledge to remain fit, strong and pain-free and to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Maintaining a life of optimized, pain-free movement is a lifelong process—a philosophy that is the basis for Tonya’s work with her clients. She understands how to work with people’s bodies, using the knowledge that combines her extensive training, her master’s degree in physical therapy, and her own personal experience to provide her clients something that they cannot get anywhere else.
Tonya is a member of the American Physical Therapist Association (APTA). She has also been to Africa three times with FOCOS, a nonprofit that provides medical assistance for people in need of health care, run by Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, former Head of Scoliosis Surgery of the New York Hospital for Special Surgery. Tonya provided post-surgery physical therapy to patients.
Tonya is also a member of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-NYC).
Tonic Physical Therapy was named after the Tonic muscles—the deep stabilizing postural muscles surrounding the spine that hold us up all day. You’re likely not aware of your Tonic muscles when they are working properly. You may not even notice when I give you exercises to strengthen them.
However, you WILL notice when these muscles shut down or inhibit movement due to pain, injury or surgery. When this happens, the Tonic muscles must be re-facilitated to truly protect the spine, restore movement and decrease or eliminate pain.
My treatments are focused on methods (such as myofascial release treatment, exercise, and joint mobilization therapy) to help these vitally important muscles function properly again.
In addition, research has shown more positive and longer lasting effects are achieved when these muscles are addressed during physical therapy.
The Tonic muscles are essential not only to my therapy programs, but also for a healthy, active life …and hence the inspiration for the name of my company