PT Elevated - Align 2022 - Spirituality and healing | Jessie Podolak and DeAndre Caldwell • Posts by EIM | Evidence In Motion Skip To Content

PT Elevated – Align 2022 – Spirituality and healing | Jessie Podolak and DeAndre Caldwell

July 7, 2022 • Pain Science • Jessie Podolak, DeAndre Caldwell

Welcome back to a NEW season of PT Elevated where we are broadening our topics to include more researchers but still focusing on topics that you can use in your clinic every day. This season we will have some of our speakers as guests who will be live in-person at the EIM Align Conference this August 26-28 in Dallas, Texas.

On our fifth episode of season 3, guest DeAndre Caldwell, DPT, ATC, MDT, TPS and Jessie Podolak, PT, DPT, FPS join us. This episode will dive into the concept of spirituality and pain and how that might fit into practice. They both will be speaking at the Align conference in August. Jessie is the Program Director for EIM’s Pain Science Fellowship, and she owns and operates her community’s first direct-pay physical therapy practice, seeing a variety of patients with acute and chronic pain conditions. DeAndre is a physical therapy program manager at ChristianaCare Rehabilitation Services in Smyrna, DE. He is passionate about treating those with low back pain and chronic pain.

They focus their discussion on DeAndre and Jessie’s Align conference speaker topic, “Beyond Taboo: Accessing Spirituality to Enhance Healing,” integrating that into the clinic, the biopsychosocial model and more!

Here are some of the highlights:
DeAndre talks about the biopsychosocial model and how it is interesting that spiritual is not part of it, it seems like it is missing. Often someone’s spiritual make up is part of them. When you talk to patients you can hear it is engrained in them, but it is now engrained in us to not talk about politics or religion at work or at school from childhood. DeAndre thinks what happens is when patients get to the clinic that way of thinking is still there so they are bringing themselves but part of them is missing so they aren’t being their authentic selves because they have a feeling they can’t talk about certain things in the clinic. He says that goes for clinicians as well.

When asked how they integrate spirituality into the clinic Jessie says integrating open ended questions for patients like, “Where do you draw strength from?” can help. She says we are so used to asking clients for impairments and what is wrong and what are you struggling with? But when we lean into green flags like questions, What is good in your life? Where do you have hope? What gives you hope? Even asking patients what their goals are, Jessie says she usually asks patients about goals and asks for a fun goal and a functional goal and sometimes she says clients will say things that will shock you and you have to maintain that unconditional positive regard for the human before you?

DeAndre’s Clinical Pearl
“The power of coming to work your authentic self, show up as who you are. There is a scripture that says do not hide your light under a bushel. Be yourself and let your light shine and if that light is reflected,  great you guys can explore that, if not, either way you are still going to have a good interaction. Just let your light shine and be your authentic self.”

Jessie’s Clinical Pearl
“I hope all our young clinicians are already doing this but take care of yourself, recognize this is a part of our health. Take care of our physical health and mental health because we cannot pour from an empty cup. One of the things that has filled my cup is connection to other people and to something bigger than myself. Get to know yourself, you deserve to take the time that it takes to sit with people that you love, that build you up and with a creator that loves you.”

Helpful research and training:

Online: Therapeutic Neuroscience Education
Therapeutic Neuroscience Education
Advanced Therapeutic Neuroscience Education: Focus on Function

Ad Info: We are excited to be back in person and back to hands-on learning for the 2022 Align Conference. This year you can join an all-star lineup of speakers in Dallas, Texas, August 26 through the 28. The labs and lectures focus on sharpening the physical, hands-on treatments essential to patient care. Save 5% on registration as a PT Elevated Podcast listener. Visit and use the promo code PTELEVATED at checkout.  You can find the promo code and a link to the website in the show notes. We can’t wait to see you!

Connect with us on socials:
@ZimneyKJ on Twitter
@PMintkenDPT on Twitter
@DrCaldwellpt, on Twitter
Jessie Podolak, Align Conference Website
DeaAndre Caldwell, Align Conference Website
Align Conference 2022, Website

Jessie Podolak

Jessie Podolak received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the College of St. Catherine, Minneapolis, in 1998. She completed her transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University, Denver, in 2011. She has been teaching pain neuroscience education and manual therapy techniques at continuing education courses since 2013 and now serves as the Program...

DeAndre Caldwell

Dr. DeAndre W. Caldwell, DPT, ATC, Cert. MDT, TPS  is the physical therapy program manager at ChristianaCare Rehabilitation Services in Smyrna, DE. He is passionate about treating those with low back pain and chronic pain. He holds dual credentials as a certified therapeutic pain specialist and is certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) for treatments of low back pain, neck pain and extremity...

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