The Stretch Method® Story

This heartbreaking client frustration led me to create a comprehensive program that would identify, and fix the root cause of my community’s pain and tightness.

I developed The Stretch Method® after seeing the need to help people better understand the true problems behind their pain and tightness. By utilizing my experience and education in the Physical Therapy and fitness fields, I combined skilled treatment programs that took patients through natural prevention options to success.  In this process, I was able to clearly see what each client needed to keep them away from surgery and prevent degeneration before it was too severe and needed to be addressed by surgery or our reactive healthcare field.

Before revealing to you where I am now and where I am heading, I need to step back to tell you more about why I opened SPT and why we are where we are today.

I opened Stretch Physical Therapy after listening to countless clients over a span of 14 years working as a PTA, who were telling me that I was providing a different type of treatment and experience than traditional PT was delivering. I mistook these statements as a kindness for many years, not yet understanding that my clients were helping me to realize my calling. When I spoke to my peers, I would hear statements blaming the client for not getting better, instead of looking deeper to see how we could meet the client where they were and lead them where they needed to go for healing.

In 2003 my Mom died from a massive heart attack. I was only 33 years old. It was devastating and life altering for me and my family. Mom had been experiencing medical problems for the previous 5-10 years without resolution, and she was really frustrated with our fitness and medical systems. She was trying to improve her health by eating right and beginning an exercise regimen, and despite her hard work, she was being told by personal trainers, dieticians and doctors that she was doing it wrong. This left her confused, frustrated and hopeless. Not one person could provide her with a detail of where to start and how to do it to be successful and healthy. One night we were on the phone talking and she told me how she was frustrated and losing hope in our system. She made the statement,  “You are in this healthcare field, you need to figure this out.”

She passed away one week after that conversation. A lot of changes occurred after her passing and, the feeling that I wanted to help more people and provide a more comprehensive care started growing within me. I knew that a PTA could open a PT business, but I did not know how to go about it or if this is what I truly wanted to do. I was working at the time as a PTA in the field of home health. My passion has always been orthopedics but I found that there were big gaps in traditional PT for seniors that were receiving home care services. I was starting to see what clients needed after their home care was complete and thought of starting a restorative, strength program for seniors at home as a side gig.  At this time, I was a single mom and my drive to help others on a larger scale was really growing, but I had to get this right because I had to provide for my family without other financial backup.

In 2009, I met Jim Nartker and we were married in 2012. I relocated to Hamilton after living in the Dayton healthcare market for seven years. After marriage, the desire to help others on a larger scale was growing more rapidly. I could clearly see that I wanted to work in orthopedics, so I did some market research in our area. I found that people experiencing back pain and sciatica that sought PT gained little results from traditional PT.  I spoke about this with my husband and he suggested that I do it. I was new to the West Chester/Hamilton area and I knew no one. My PTA position in home care was not as busy as it was in the Dayton market so after work and on weekends I would learn more about business ownership. There were no PT mentors that were helping new owners so I had to reach out locally to ask for help. I met some really fabulous local business people during those initial meetings. They are a big part of the success I’ve found since I opened Stretch Physical Therapy.

Stretch Physical Therapy was opened to bridge the gap in current orthopedic PT care by providing a more comprehensive care model. We were providing the best care around, but the business was losing money. Our clients were getting better, we were growing faster than we could have imagined, but financially we were not going to make it unless we changed our business model. I never doubted that the care that my team and I were providing was the best available, however, I had to figure out how to offer the same services, while somehow charging what it was worth so that the business would survive. In 2019, the business went cash-based. I was terrified but excited to move forward to see if this was the answer to help more people and keep our doors open for our community.

In 2020, I made a big decision to stop training my Physical Therapists on wellness care. This decision was not an easy one to make. I wanted to help more people, but my therapists were not following the method that had been successful in the clinic, so our patient outcomes were declining. I hired a new PT and allowed him to do PT the traditional way, while I took a chance utilizing experience and education in rehab and fitness to create and offer The Stretch Mobility Coach. I was simply amazed at the reaction from my new clients. They were thrilled with the new service, and willing to invest in themselves and take a chance on a care model that was preventative. My schedule filled in less than two weeks–even my PT was sending his clients over to the new program. He said it was a no-brainer, that what I was providing was what his clients needed.

I went through the two year process of developing this program, based on what clients were seeking.  I had to develop this new message, with new marketing materials and refine what our offerings were going to be. The Stretch Method is now registered with Physical Therapy in its registration and The Stretch Mobility Coach is now trademarked. The Stretch Method corners the Well Care market and is growing quickly around the US. The West Chester clinic is now the corporate office and national headquarters for The Stretch Method. We operate out of Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness in West Chester, Ohio.

Since 2020, I have developed The Stretch Method Online training program for professionals that wish to work in a well care system and have successfully trained Jordan Kimmel to be a Lead Stretch Mobility Coach for our West Chester location. 

Jordan Kimmel, Stacey Harris and I are currently working together to train PTAs to be their own BOSS and open a Stretch Mobility Coach Clinic in their care communities.

This will allow us to help more people nationwide, connecting more PTAs to their passion and placing the skill of prevention back into the hands of skilled professionals. If you are looking to work with a Stretch Mobility Coach, go to our Find a Coach page here.