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Learning to move

Photos by Matt Haas

September 2015

Lisa McNeil stands by "The Beast" at Momentum.

Lisa McNeil had spent much of her professional life keeping the books for several small businesses, but seven years ago the numbers for her career path suddenly didn’t add up.

"With the economy in 2008, I lost some of my clients whose businesses couldn’t make it," McNeil recalls. "I was also going through a divorce. I needed a change."

A friend suggested massage therapy, which McNeil pursued. She traveled the country, attending different seminars to become certified as a medically trained fascial stretch specialist.

"I create space in the body," McNeil says. "Sometimes that’s decompressing a joint or opening up muscle fibers so they get greater flexibility."

McNeil opened a clinic in 2009 that focused on massage but soon thereafter envisioned a business that would cover multiple aspects of wellness. After three years of planning and one year of hiring a staff, Momentum Movement Clinic opened its doors in Brookfield last spring.

Momentum offers various massage therapies, physical therapy, personal training and wellness coaching in addition to activities like Pilates, tai chi, dry needling and cold laser therapy, all under one roof.

"We’re hoping that people will feel the connectivity between the clinicians," McNeil says. "We want them to appreciate the progress they can make when there’s open collaboration among the fitness and the clinical."

Momentum staff meets once a month to compare notes on specific patients to see if treatment synergies could be beneficial. "It’s important for people to have the experience of something different," says Dan Schumann, a physical therapist at Momentum. "To feel that they’re being taken care of holistically by multiple practitioners."

McNeil says her clients range in age from small children to people in their late 80s, all taking advantage of state-of-the-art equipment ­— including a massive exercise apparatus that she calls "The Beast."

"This was designed to further the patterns that we as adults have been deconditioned. It was built for people to climb and push and pull and twist and everything we can do as a child. That’s what that jungle gym was created for."

Jeff Valeri of Kenosha, who is 54, has had hip problems and a knee replacement and said his stretching regimen at Momentum has given him newfound flexibility.

"My muscles are being stretched in ways that let me play golf, ride a bike, do all the activities I want to do," Valeri says.

Milwaukee resident Shannon Roum, who has undergone three knee surgeries, gets regular massage and does stretching exercises at Momentum. "This helps me feel lighter and looser and gets everything moving again the way it should be," Roum says.

"The response has been very positive," McNeil says about the first few months of Momentum. "We’re really excited at what the future holds."



This story ran in the September 2015 issue of: