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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Therapeutic Sessions

Therapeutic Sessions is steadily cultivating a reputation for providing outstanding and comprehensive physical and occupational therapy East of the River.

According to Dr. Emika Embrack, the owner and CEO of Therapeutic Sessions, the primary purpose of opening the site in the fall of 2017 in Ward 7 was to serve a distinct demographic that included individuals suffering from arthritis, chronic pain, neurological conditions, pre-and post-surgical rehabilitation, and many other maladies.

“It is an underserved area.  I felt that [the residents of Ward 7] needed extra education and knowledge of physical therapy,” explained Embrack who is also the clinic director.

The Development of Therapeutic Sessions, Inc.
Therapeutic Sessions—located at 3905 Dix Street, NE—moved from Bladensburg Road six years ago. Dr. Embrack, licensed in both the District of Columbia and Maryland, has more than 15 years of experience in an outpatient setting. The clinic (https://therapeutic-sessions.com/) first opened its doors in February 2014 in Ward 6 before moving to Ward 7.

Dr. Emika Embrack, the CEO and owner of Therapeutic Sessions

The neuromuscular and orthopedic therapist earned his Master of Physical Therapy from Howard University and his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Alabama State University. One of the techniques that Embrack employs is the McKenzie Method which is a biopsychosocial system of musculoskeletal care. His staff assesses and diagnoses all areas of the musculoskeletal system.

Patients like Gionni McDuffie have benefited from the McKenzie concept and the overall professionalism of Embrack and the engaging staff.

“I went to therapy [at Therapeutic Sessions] because I had to get a left knee replacement. At first, I couldn’t walk at all. It took me about 12 weeks of intense therapy to really get better,” said McDuffie, a Special Police Officer, who sustained his injuries on the job.

According to the 22-year-old McDuffie, who came to Therapeutic Sessions in June, the best thing about the clinic is their overall customer service and nurturing environment. “They really made me comfortable and calmed me down. They taught me not to overexert myself.”

Competent Staff
Besides Embrack, there are five other employees at Therapeutic Sessions, with a combined total of 80 years of professional experience: Dr. Gillian Laurence, Physical Therapist; Kirk Holmes, Physical Therapist; Dr. Akinwole Akinfaderin, Physical Therapist; Necothia Bowens, Office Manager; and Jordan Waters, Administrative Assistant and Physical Therapy Technician.

Dr. Gillian Laurence who works at Therapeutic Sessions – 3905 Dix Street, NE.

Dr. Laurence, like her fellow healthcare specialist Dr. Embrack, originally hails from  Trinidad and Tobago. Although they originate from the same locale, the physical therapists only became affiliated later in their professional lives. Laurence, whose mother was a physical therapist too, recently started a mobile physical therapy service in her native homeland.

“I like where I work. I’m not sure if it’s my training or exactly what. It has always been my vision to work in this area and serve a minority population. The patients make it rewarding,” said Laurence who has the added luxury of only having a 10-minute commute to Therapeutic Sessions.

Additionally, Laurence, who serves as Secretary of the American Physical Therapy Association’s D.C. chapter, developed a physical therapy policy and assisted in the expansion of a geriatric fall prevention program and post-fall protocol at St. Elizabeth’s.

“I bought my [Fort DuPont] townhouse in Ward 7 in 2019. It’s a special community. I’ve gotten to know people. I feel more connected living on this side of town,” professed Laurence who earned her doctorate at A.T. Still University in Arizona.

One of Dr. Laurence’s connections is Judy R. Walton, a retired educator and long-time Ward 7 resident. According to the native Washingtonian, she was initially skeptical about receiving therapy at Therapeutic Sessions. Still, she was quickly impressed by the friendliness of the staff, and pleased with Dr. Laurence’s treatment plan. She was very impressed when she realized that “the physical layout and equipment accommodations are comparable to the National Rehabilitation Center, albeit on a smaller scale.”

Another patient, Ronald Mallory, a retired truck driver residing East of the River, has been a patient off and on since the clinic opened. He attests that Therapeutic Sessions and the amazing staff have restored his health.

Future Goal/Next Steps
The clinic, in partnership with other physical therapists within a group called Heart (the Health Equity & Anti-Racism Team), launched Move, Heal, Live—a unique wellness program in 2021. The participants in the program are Therapeutic Sessions’ patients and other community residents. The program occurs on Saturdays and incorporates a yoga class, a walking group, and lively discussions centering around nutrition and mental health.

“The rewards have been great. The mere fact that we have been pioneers in this area for providing physical therapy is a [gratifying] feat,” says Dr. Embrack.

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