Living Breathing Medicine Podcast

Changing the Narrative of Pain

with Physical Therapist Dr. Fred Gilbert

On episode four of the Living Breathing Medicine podcast, Dr. Natasha Beauvais and Dr. Cecily Havert talk with physical therapist Dr. Fred Gilbert about treating patients with chronic pain. Is it possible to still live a full life while experiencing pain? What can we do to change our perspective on dealing with pain?

Episode Highlights:

  • 0:09 – 1:50 – Dr. Cecily Havert and Dr. Natasha Beauvais begin episode five of the Living Breathing Medicine Podcast by introducing their guest, Dr. Fred Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert practices in the Washington DC area and works for MovementX, a group of physical therapists, personal trainers, and movement experts who personalize their treatment goals to meet the very specific needs of their clients.
  • 1:53 – 5:00 – Dr. Gilbert discusses what brought him to practice physical therapy the way that he does and his focus on chronic pain. “His example of chronic pain or in my case, there are so many layers of development to where that picture ultimately came from. And so I think, for me, chronic pain ended up being an opportunity.”
  • 5:10 – 12:55 – For Dr. Gilbert, it’s about listening, seeing the person where they are in their journey, and ultimately helping them take charge of their pain. Dr. Gilbert shares his “dragonfly” story, a story that resonates with him to this day.
  • 13:08 – 17:51 – Creating safety and trust with his patients is paramount to Dr. Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert shares another story of a patient with chronic shoulder pain, and how they were able to develop a trusting client-therapist relationship.
  • 18:00 – 24:02 – As Dr. Gilbert states, “Our bodies are built to feel pain as a signal to understand – we’re not meant to have it as something that we experience all the time.”
  • 24:05 – 33:50 – The providers discuss how Dr. Gilbert used the SNAP model (sleep, nutrition, activity, and psychological wellness) to help a patient suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia.
  • 34:20 – 38:00 – Dr. Beauvais asks Dr. Gilbert, “What do you connect for them that begins their journey on looking at their relationship with their bodies differently?”
  • 38:27 – 44:06 – “A lot of patients really believe that someone else owns the locus of control for their healing. And there are a lot of reasons that they got there.” The providers discuss the importance of helping their patients feel empowered to take control of their pain.
  • 44:26 – 46:06 – Dr. Gilbert shares his parting thoughts – “That would be my final words of wisdom – wherever you are in your pain journey in your life journey with partners with whoever, be curious just a little bit longer. That’s usually where the magic is.” Dr. Beauvais then thanks Dr. Gilbert for his time and concludes the episode.


  • Check out the AgeProof Your Body community from MovementX and Northern Virginia Family Practice

Living Breathing Medicine is a podcast from Northern Virginia Family Practice. Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. You can also nominate health care providers for future interviews here.

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