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Jackie Giese and Renee Hancock opened the doors of their new business, Shift Physical Therapy and Wellness, on Oct. 5 in Cambridge.

The new business, which is an outpatient physical therapy practice, is located at 330 Garfield St. S., Cambridge, south of GrandStay Hotel & Suites.

Shift stands for self-love, hard work, inspiration, family and trust — values the company practices. The services they provide include massages, mobilizing joints, muscle strength exercises, ensuring the body’s right position and more.

“I’m very passionate about educating people about their bodies,” Hancock said. “People find their bodies fascinating, as do I. … I think people value the fact that I really take the time to listen and allow people to tell their story when I meet with them.”

Hancock holds a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Minnesota, and Giese holds a physical therapist assistant degree from Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids. Both started their journeys in physical therapy in a nursing-home-type environment and then moved to outpatient care, which is how they first met each other.

“We are a doctorate-level profession,” Hancock said. “So you’re evaluated on your first day by a doctorate-level physical therapist. So that’s when we determine (or) make for sure it is something that physical therapy can treat versus something that may need to be seen by a specialist.”

At Shift, people can receive a free consultation for their first visit, Giese said.

“If you have any hesitation or just not sure that physical therapy is right for you,” Giese said, “come on in. ... We can get most people on the same day.”

After they conduct hands-on treatment on their patients, Giese and Hancock will show them appropriate exercises to help them continue feeling healthy, Giese said.

Inside Shift, upon entrance, there’s a reception, two private treatment rooms for patient care, and an open gym area for exercises and classes. For both Giese and Hancock, Shift is a dream come true, Giese said, because they’ve always wanted to have their practice and provide care, especially to women.

Women’s health

One of their main goals is to provide quality care for women’s health, Hancock said. Women’s health is “underserved in this area,” which is why they decided to open their facility in Cambridge, she said.

“We have specialized training to work with women who are maybe experiencing urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, some other conditions related to postpartum issues,” Hancock said.

“We’re really focused on helping women get the care that they need,” Giese added. “And it’s very underserved in this area. So we’re one of the only specialty providers for women’s health in the area.”

Paying for care

Shift is a cash-pay clinic, so people coming in under Medicare, Medicaid, or workers comp aren’t legally allowed to be treated, Hancock said. However, people who have a flexible spending account or health savings account can be seen.

“That allows us to be able to treat people without needing a doctor’s order,” Giese said. “And then we don’t have to go through the loops of insurance to make sure that they need authorization. We can treat them. There are no delays in their care, which a lot of times occurs when you go through an insurance provider. … We can get to feeling better right away.”

COVID-19 pandemic and physical health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of one’s body has become more important, Giese said.

“Maybe there’s someone who does not have a good exercise plan,” Giese said. “We can come in and help develop that for them so that they can start taking care of themselves. Because exercise and proper nutrition are more important now than ever — to have that healthy body to fight off infection or virus and illnesses.”

Shift is offering exercise classes for moms and their children to participate in.

“I designed a moms and littles exercise class where moms and their kids can come do some fun exercises, and that program I designed with my daughter,” Giese said. “So she’s coming in, and she’s instructing the class with me. And it’s something that we get to do together and still help other people. It’s really awesome to be able to bring the family aspect into that as well.”

Giese and Hancock can provide patient care via telehealth in case of a government shutdown due to concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Hancock said.

“Long-term vision for Shift is to be a pretty much a one-stop-shop wellness entity,” Giese said. “We would like to eventually bring in chiropractic care, or massage therapy, some maybe nutrition counseling, mental health assistance. If you think about wellness — big picture — wellness doesn’t stop at just physical wellness, so we would like to eventually bring in other wellness entities.”

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