Cheryl Babin
Faculty Feature | 2/16/2024

Life in Motion: The Power of Physical Therapy

By Jennifer Persons

Cheryl Babin

In the 11th episode of MCPHS Bicentennial podcast, The Secret to Living to 200, Dr. Cheryl Babin explains the vital role physical therapists play on modern care teams.

When her hockey player brother was injured and needed help to get back on the ice, Dr. Cheryl Babin first witnessed the healing power of physical therapy. She was intrigued by the field and decided to pursue it as a career.

Babin, PT, DHS, MHA, worked in various clinical settings before becoming an educator. She joined Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) faculty in 2013, just one year before the University graduated its first cohort of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students. During her time in clinical and academic settings, Dr. Babin has watched the practice evolve, and the importance of physical therapists grow.

In this episode, Dr. Babin explains the vast applications of physical therapists’ expertise, as well as emerging technologies in the field, and what it takes for physical therapy to be successful.

Listen to Episode 11 and every episode of The Secret to Living to 200 here or anywhere you get your podcasts.

Three Things to Know About Physical Therapy:

1. The first physical therapists in the U.S. treated polio and soldiers returning from World War I.

While some forms of physical therapists have existed worldwide for centuries, the field as we know it today only became common in the United States in the early 1900s. At that time, they were dedicated to helping patients recover from polio, a virus that can cause paralysis, and rehabilitating soldiers.

2. Physical therapy concerns any way the body moves, including breathing.

Many people associate physical therapy with injuries related to sports or exercise. However, Dr. Babin describes physical therapists as movement experts. They can support a patient working to complete everyday activities, such as getting out of bed, doing the groceries, and even breathing.

3. Successful physical therapy often depends on the patient.

Physical therapy is a team effort between the provider and the patient. For the patient to succeed in treatment and move pain-free, Dr. Babin explains that they need to have a positive mindset, put in the work, and be receptive to the information their physical therapist is giving.

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