Etty Reut doesn’t consider herself a healer, but she spends much of her day helping others heal.
The Israeli-born Squirrel Hill resident and physical therapist specializes in myofascial release — a therapy where massage is used to relieve patients’ pain in their connective tissues.
“My education is in physical therapy, but really I can’t say that this defines what I do,” Reut said.
“The definition of what I do is body/mind therapy and mind/body therapy.”
For Reut, the process begins with recognition of the fascia system and that “we’re one unit … that there’s no separation between my little toe and my eye or any other place.”
The fascia system, Reut said, is “what holds us together. It's what protects us. It's around every cell. It never begins. It never ends, and it's also the carrier of consciousness.”
When Reut first practiced physical therapy 24 years ago she worked in a hospital. These days, she focuses on outpatient practice where she helps people enter into their subconscious and release whatever “wounds” are plaguing them.
There’s a type of call or request that occurs through the work, Reut explained: “I invite people to look at things a little differently, to look at the wounds deeper than what they know from their conscious mind and release those wounds.”
Once those wounds are released, Reut continued, “the surviving self changes, and we get closer to our child — the spontaneous child, the nonjudgmental child.”
Part of Reut’s practice relies on hypnotherapy — and she takes a “heart-centered approach,” she said. “It’s all based in understanding that without the heart, without the compassion and the love of self and of others, it’s very difficult to exist.”
Reut is married and lives in Squirrel Hill with her three daughters. She was raised in an observant home in Israel, she said, and her professional life enables her to more fully appreciate a higher being and how life occurs.
“The connection to the spiritual, to my spirituality, is the base of all my work and all my life,” she said. “The way I am as a parent, as a partner, as a neighbor — it's all-encompassing, and it all came through touching a person in a way of understanding that we are more than just cells, tissue, a shoulder, arthritis and all that.”
Time has permitted Reut to understand physical therapy in new ways, she said, and she’s appreciative of health care practitioners and the way they work, even if she chooses to adopt alternative models to help people heal.
“I want to highlight that there is nothing wrong with the other ways that things are done — I appreciate everybody,” she said. “I have a lot of respect. I found that everybody in health care are amazing people — it just doesn't work for me. I feel it differently, and I see it differently.”
Because of her training — Reut holds a bachelor’s in health science and a master’s in physical therapy, both from Duquesne University — and her ability to see and feel things differently, she has helped patients as young as teens and as old as 97.
Working with such a wide range of people during the last three decades gave her valuable insight, she explained.
“I want people to know that if they don't feel good about themselves, in any way, that's common to all of us, and that pain may be physical, emotional, and it's not their fault,” she said. What’s also essential to understand is that “there are ways in which we can get unstuck.”
Reut acknowledged that she doesn’t “fix anyone,” and that she’s “not a healer.”
“I'm honored to facilitate people’s healing,” she said, “and all healing comes from within.” PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at email@example.com.