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An Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine and Medical Therapeutic Yoga in Clinical Practice

Do your patients suffer from comorbidities and make lifestyle choices that are complicating or hindering progress in therapy?

Are you feeling burned out or compassion fatigue from not getting the results you want?

Would you like to learn how lifestyle choices impact your therapy outcomes and how you can influence behavior change to improve them?

To help address the above problems, Ginger Garner has produced a brand new online course, Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate, that is now available on Embodia.

This 24 hour Certificate program will change your practice. It will:

  • Increase your effectiveness as a therapist and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
  • Give you a comprehensive skillset to use Integrative Lifestyle Medicine in practice.
  • Lower burden of care on you as the practitioner and empower the patient to be a partner in their healthcare.
  • Help you determine root causes of disease, pain, and disability which helps patients heal faster and with long-lasting results.
  • Tackle persistent pain and complex comorbidities that are hindering your therapy outcomes.

This blog will introduce the concepts taught in this course and if you aren't ready to take the plunge into the course yet, we have a complimentary 1-hour introductory course. Keep reading to learn more!


Our healthcare system must evolve its paradigm of practice toward a systems-based biopsychosocial model of assessment in order to effectively address the epidemic rates of lifestyle-driven diseases and pain that are afflicting our society and that are complicated by opioid addiction, obesity, chronic disease, and inflammation.

Currently, our healthcare system is ill-equipped to handle the implementation of Lifestyle Medicine; however physical therapy and related practices are ideally suited to be able to address the foundations of Lifestyle Medicine practice. This online course will introduce you to the nuts and bolts of Lifestyle Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine clinical practice in physical therapy and related fields such as occupational therapy and athletic training. 

Biomarkers of inflammation and HPA Axis dysregulation ultimately drive our patient outcomes, and yet our medical education system has not yet evolved to equip its graduates to tackle epidemic chronic disease and pain. As a result, the majority of therapists and clinicians in practice today, according to the latest research, are not addressing these key determinants of health. 

Why We Need Integrative Lifestyle Medicine:

Who Should Learn More:

Current students, recent graduates, and those with years of experience who are interested in learning about the emerging research and benefits of Lifestyle Medicine will walk away with the knowledge to incorporate a systems-based, Integrative Medicine driven approach into clinical practise for improved patient outcomes as well as prevention of clinician burnout.  Medical Therapeutic Yoga, a form of Integrative Medicine and as a means for efficiently tackling stress management, emotional and spiritual well-being, and mindfulness in physical activity will also be included. 

Other healthcare professionals such as occupational therapy and athletic training, can also benefit from the paradigm of care presented in both the complete online course and the complimentary one-hour online course

PYTI® has been preparing licensed healthcare providers to be leaders in the field of Lifestyle & Functional Medicine through the Integrative Yoga lens for 20 years. We believe physical therapists and similar healthcare professionals should be front line primary care providers in Lifestyle Medicine.


  • Define Lifestyle Medicine as it applies to clinical practice in physical therapy and related professions. 
  • List the key systemic and social health determinants that drive orthopedic & neuromuscular outcomes. 
  • Describe the systems-based, Integrative Medicine driven biopsychosocial model of assessment.  
  • Evaluate tests and measures for assessing biopsychosocial well-being and health risk.  
  • Describe the role of the trauma-informed method of Medical Therapeutic Yoga as a means of delivering Lifestyle Medicine.

Learn with Ginger!

About the Author:

Dr. Ginger Garner


Dr. Garner is a physical therapist, published author, and educator. She received her master and doctorate degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 and 2016, respectively. Prior to that Ginger was a practicing licensed athletic trainer. She has spent 20 years in education at the post-professional and graduate level teaching a “whole person” biopsychosocial approach in interdisciplinary rehabilitation through the lens of Lifestyle Medicine, which includes use of Yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness, Music, & Meditation as health promotion and intervention.

Dr. Garner is active in the American Physical Therapy Association and serves as the APTA – North Carolina Chapter Legislative Chair. She also serves on the US National Committee for UN Women as a member of the Board of Directors and as Secretary. Dr. Garner is also a former NC legislative candidate. Her dedication to public service & policy creation fuels her outspoken advocacy for social and healthcare justice and equity. Ginger believes equality is at the heart of resolving issues related to population and public health.

Dr Garner’s has specialized in treating chronic pain & orthopaedic issues in women’s health using an integrative approach since 1995. She founded one of the first integrative yoga-based physical therapy practices in the US in 1999. She is the founder of the Professional Yoga Therapy Institue® and author of Medical Therapeutic Yoga, slated for translated in 4 foreign languages. Ginger teaches internationally and domestically; and is also an adjunct assistant professor at Elon University.

In her spare time, Ginger performs with choral groups around the world, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and in Europe, and also conducts vocal performance workshops. Ginger lives with her husband, three sons, and their rescue pup, Scout, in her home state of North Carolina. 

Learn with Ginger!

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