Linda-Joy (LJ) Lee
Physiotherapist & Managing Director
Education: PhD, BSc(PT), BSc(Chem), Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT), Intramuscular Stimulation (CGIMS)/ Dry Needling, MCPA, MAPA, Clinical Pilates, Pelvic Health Therapist, Sports Injuries and Performance Consultant
As the founder of Synergy Physio + Pilates, LJ has a passion for helping people explore and realize their potential.
A physiotherapy graduate from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and UBC Wesbrook Scholar (1996), “LJ” became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manual and Manipulative Therapists (FCAMT) in 1999 with distinction and completed her certification in Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) in 2001. A life-long learner with an ever-questioning mind, LJ pursued a research degree part-time and remotely at the University of Queensland over many years while working clinically, mentoring her Synergy Team, and teaching internationally. In 2013 she was awarded her PhD, which focused on Motor Control & Kinematics of the Thorax, based on researching the innovative clinical ideas from her Thoracic Ring Approach™ model.
Recognized nationally and internationally as a skilled educator, presenter and clinician, LJ is well known for her innovative, whole body approach to physiotherapy. In her courses and clinical work over more than 20 years, she has emphasized the importance of structuring all physiotherapy interactions around what is most meaningful to the patient – what speaks to their heart and their mind. She also is known for her expertise in the thorax, and created the 3-dimensional, functional approach to assessing & treating the thoracic spine and ribcage known as the Thoracic Ring Approach. Her research and clinical work challenges the common myth that the thorax is inherently stiff and needs stretching and mobilizing and instead focuses on the role of training more optimal patterns of muscle activity and muscle balanced 3-D around the thorax for optimal function.
From early in her career, as LJ trained in advanced manual therapy techniques and completed her FCAMPT certification, LJ recognized a gap between what she was taught and the application to functional activities that were meaningful to her patients. She started using her manual skills and creating new hands-on techniques to assess all regions of patients’ bodies while they moved functionally, and then also applying hands-on treatment during functional movement. She created a different way of providing physiotherapy.
LJ then started teaching these innovative techniques to other physiotherapists – with the inaugural course called “Manual Therapy & Exercise: An Integrated Approach”, first taught in 2002. These early techniques for both assessment and treatment were the beginning of the assessment framework called “Meaningful Task Analysis” that LJ created within the Thoracic Ring Approach, contributed to the Integrated Systems Model (ISM, Lee & Lee, 2007) and then further developed in her ConnectTherapy™ model (2015).
The key constructs of LJ’s models serve the overarching aims of helping people reach their movement & functional goals.
It is all about movement – increasing movement options, increasing variability in movement patterns, enhancing patient confidence in their body’s ability to move and creating an environment of movement exploration and optimism. LJ Lee
With ConnectTherapy & the Thoracic Ring Approach, LJ has created overarching frameworks for physiotherapy assessment and treatment that are inclusive of all other approaches, with a clinical reasoning algorithm that enables the therapist to identify the regions of the body that are the most important to treat – this is known as “Finding the Drivers”. Identifying the Drivers for each patient – or the true underlying cause – focuses treatment and exercise programming to the area of the body that will create the greatest change in the patient’s experience of their body and their movement strategies. The models also provide patients with tools to self-monitor and self-manage their training programs and life activities – to empower patients with control over their treatment process.
LJ has contributed to several book chapters, produced DVD’s, and published her research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She is also an Associate Editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a Clinical Associate Professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and a Professional Associate at McMaster University School of Rehabilitation Sciences. She works tirelessly to develop people – her Synergy Team, Certified ConnectTherapy Practitioners and physiotherapists learning to use ConnectTherapy in their clinical practices around the globe – with the aim to train more therapists so that ultimately – she can help more patients than she could on her own.
LJ’s passions are not limited to physiotherapy. She loves the outdoors and can often be found running, cycling, skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. A UBC Varsity Ice Hockey alumni, LJ loves to try new sports and is working on her golf game these days. She’s an avid learner and enjoys reading books on numerous topics, and her greatest strength is seeing the connectedness between ideas, concepts and between people.
More about LJ’s Publications & Course Schedule.
Are you a Physiotherapist interested in learning more about Dr. Linda-Joy Lee International and LJ’s Courses? Go to ljlee.ca.