Over time our bodies lose their access to motion and their ability to utilize the correct stabilizing muscles in the right sequence thus compromising our ability to live and play efficiently and without pain. This leads to compensations throughout the body which eventually leads to various states of chronic pain and dysfunction. High Gear Physical Therapy utilizes a unique approach called Functional Manual Therapy™. Functional Manual Therapy™ treats your underlying mechanical, neuromuscular and motor control dysfunctions to help you eliminate pain, live healthier and perform your daily activities and sports more efficiently. According to Gregg and Vicki Johnson who are the founders of this whole body centered approach to treatment, “Functional Manual Therapy™ is an integrated evaluation and treatment system that promotes optimum human performance by enhancing total body mobility and CoreFirst™ postural and movement strategies” ( and

funtionalManualTherapy_2While the Functional Manual Therapy™ approach can often reduce or eliminate long standing pain in 1-3 treatment sessions it is not just for painful conditions. Functional Manual Therapy™ along with proper introduction of therapeutic and activity/sports specific exercises will facilitate improved mobility, core muscle activation and strength in athletes of all levels including but not limited to runners, triathletes, golfers, tennis players, high school, college and professional athletes.

What Sets Us Apart

At High Gear Physical Therapy we:

  • Utilize a unique and highly skilled integrative approach to helping patient’s reclaim their access to motion, facilitate their Core First Strategies™ and facilitate optimal human movement patterns utilizing the principle of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, more commonly know as PNF. This approach utilizes evidence based evaluation and treatment principles as well as skilled intuitive and artistic treatment strategies.
  • Offer a holistic, hands on approach to therapy in which highly individualized care is provided.funtionalManualTherapy
  • Facilitate the restoration of the body’s joints and systems to an efficient state, allowing patients to function optimally.
  • Address the source of pain/dysfunction not just the symptoms.
  • Empower patients with tools to stay injury free and healthy.
  • Provide our patient’s strategies to help decrease the inflammatory process.
  • Pride ourselves in being able to help patients that have failed in their attempts to be successfully treated within the mainstream medical model.
  • Are Charlottesville’s and Albemarle Counties only clinic with a Certified Functional Manual Therapist™ (CFMT™).
  • Only treat one to two patient’s per hour. This allows ample time to perform our high level manual therapy coupled with patient education and therapeutic exercises.

We focus on

  • Soft tissue mobilization including but not limited to Functional Mobilization™, myofascial release, Rolfing techniques, etc. Restrictions in our fascial system can be a primary restrictor of motion in our bodies. We know that it is tightness in and around our fascial system that limits flexibility and that stretching alone will not improve flexibility over the long term. Often times 1-2 treatments at Holbrook Integrative Manual Therapy will significantly improve a patient’s flexibility which can be maintained with specific and simple range of motion exercises by the patient at home.
  • Joint mobilization (spinal and peripheral)
  • Neural mobilization
  • Visceral (organ) mobilization
  • Retraining of Automatic Core Engagement™ or ACE™ (Recent research utilizing real time ultrasound and functional MRI reveals that past and current injuries that have caused or are causing pain limit the ability for the core muscles around the area to function properly to protect and stabilize that area. Functional Manual Therapy™ incorporates techniques and exercises to specifically turn these muscles back on ensuring proper joint stability with functional activities and sports.
  • Back Education and Training
  • Therapeutic Exercise and exercise prescription specific for each individual patient/client.

What is Functional Manual Therapy™?

Functional Manual Therapy™ is a unique treatment approach that facilitates all patients’ innate potential for optimal performance and function. According to the Institute of Physical Art (IPA, Steamboat CO) Functional Manual Therapy™ is an integrated and seamless treatment system which couples mechanical treatment of the joints, soft tissues, visceral and neurovascular systems with manual neuromuscular facilitation to enhance optimum motor control and human function.

Conditions Treated

  • Acute and Chronic Spinal Conditions [Lumbar, Thoracic and Cervical Pain]
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tendinitis (tennis and golfer elbow, shoulder, hip, etc)
  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip dysfunction
  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Rib dysfunction
  • Core muscle weakness
  • Visceral Mobilization
  • Post Surgical Care
  • Headaches
  • Temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) pain
  • Fractures
  • Wrist and hand injuries