For the 2nd consecutive year, Bucks Happening has named the Top 10 Movers & Shakers of Bucks County. Our accomplished judges had their work cut out for them with dozens of inspirational stories submitted by readers.
Now, with the official results in and this year’s Movers & Shakers assembling recently to celebrate, we’re taking a closer look at each winner and sharing their incredible stories.
Next up, meet Point Pleasant's Dr. Steve Pertes who runs an in-demand acupuncture practice in Newtown, PA.
Dr. Steven M. Pertes recently completed training with Myopain Seminars to become a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (CMTPT). It is the most comprehensive training in dry needling available in the United States, and Dr. Pertes is currently the only acupuncture therapist in Pennsylvania to hold this accreditation.
One thankful client wrote into Bucks Happening:
I myself used Dr. Pertes services after a car accident last fall. Afraid I had awakened an old back injury that had required years of treatments, Dr. Pertes utilized trigger point therapy to relieve my pain and had me fully recovered within 6 months.
More from Dr. Pertes below:
BH: Where did you attend school?
SP: I've gone through a lot of schooling in my life. I graduated Trenton Steve College ( now The College of New Jersey) with a B.A. In psychology. Then I got my Physical Therapy degree at New York University. Later I went back to school and got my Masters in Acupuncture from Tr-State College of Acupuncture in New York City. My most recent degree is my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University.
BH: What motivates you every morning?
SP: To help people. A lot of my patients I've been seeing for years and they are like close friends. Other newer patients I am still building relationships with and we are working together through acupuncture, dry trigger point needling and therapeutic exercises to try to improve their issues. I see my work as an opportunity and a privilege to participate in people's lives. It opens me up and allows me to become a more compassionate person-when patients share with me the pain and struggles that they go through on a daily basis. If I can help them to decrease their pain and improve the quality of their daily lives; it motivates me.
BH: Who inspires you the most and why?
SP: My dad. He is 81 years old and still teaches at Rutgers at their dental school. He is a dentist specialized to the treatment of facial pain and headaches and has written text books on TMJ. He is still giving an online course for Rutgers University. My dad taught me the importance of education and whole life learning.
BH: What is Acupuncture Physical Therapy and how does it help people?
SP: My instructor from Tri-State College of Acupuncture – Mark Seem developed a system integrating trigger point therapy fron a Western perspective with traditional theory of acupuncture channels and flow through the body. My contribution is applying the more current science and evidenced based practices from Physical Therapists investigation of Dry Needling to the treatment of my patients. Also using more traditional PT exams and theory to determine when a problem is more mechanical -and address those issues or when the problem has a base more in the underlying root “energetics” and working with the body/mind to remove blockages on a deeper level with traditional acupuncture.
BH: How did you decide to get involved in Acupuncture Physical Therapy?
SP: I originally had training, as a sub-specialty of PT to be specialized in TMJ ( the jaw) and headaches. It was while studying myofascial trigger points that I saw the positive response that the needling with lidocaine injections had on patients pain. More recent studies have validated that using an acupuncture needle to stimulate the muscle to release a “contraction knot” is equally as effective as the injections with lidocaine in reducing pain. Now I use the technique of Dry Needling of trigger points with many of my patients with good success.
BH: What inspired you to start your own business?
SP: Well I have a unique combination of skill sets with having dual licenses with both acupuncture and physical therapy – so I didn't want to be pigeon holed into either category by working for someone else. Having my own business allows me to do my own thing without trying to fit in a preconceived category.
BH: Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
SP: Last year, I passed an exam to be a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (CMTPT). It is a series of courses given by a physical therapist from the Netherlands, that teach how to perform a technique called Dry Needling in just about every muscle in the body. The degree of knowledge of anatomy that the test required and the specificity of the technique was very intense. I was proud that I had pushed myself to get the additional certificate and now I believe I am the only CMPTP in Pennsylvania. Other than that, I am a fourth degree black belt in Kokikai Aikido – a style of Japanese Martial arts that I had studied and taught for over 20 years.
BH: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
SP: I knew I wanted to integrate my acupuncture practice with a PT practice , but when I went to acupuncture school I had sold my half of a practice to my partner in Hamilton NJ. Since I new how all encompassing it is to run a big PT clinic I wanted to join an existing PT clinic where I could integrate practicing both the acupuncture and traditional PT. Most PT practices weren't interested, they had visions of me putting needles in people and squirting blood all over the clinic. Fortunately, I hooked up with Bill Gregory and Bucks Physical therapy and have been able to grow with the company ever since and am still working out of there Newtown and Doylestown offices.
BH: What is the biggest accomplishment that you’d like to achieve over the next 5 years?
SP: I would like to transition into teaching more. I'd like to set up courses teaching Dry Needling techniques to Physical Therapists. I would like to contribute my own view to the already existing Dry Needling body of knowledge by emphasizing a more “whole body” myofascial perspective that I was exposed to from my experience as an acupuncturist. I would also be interested in teaching Dry Needling to acupuncturists who were interested in learning this technique.
BH: How do you think your friends & coworkers would describe you?
SP: I think most people consider me calm and easy going. This is a way of being that I developed over the years with my martial arts and meditation practices, Also I tend to be more focused and don't like to change my outward situations to frequently. I prefer to study things at a deeper level which can only be developed over time. My martial arts training and the depth of my acupuncture and physical therapy knowledge has taken decades to develop. I think this in contrast to today's tendency for instantaneous gratification and quick results.
BH: Where’s your favorite place to go in Bucks County?
SP: Home! I live about 15 minutes north of New Hope in Point Pleasant, PA. I'm about 1.5 miles from the walking bridge by the Black – and have easy access to the Delaware River, Tohican Creek and am not far from Ralph Stover State Park and High Rocks. Hiking, biking and paddling all within a 1/4 mile. Love where I live!
BH: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself ten years ago, what advice would you give?
SP: I would tell myself to “trust that things will come out OK.” We think we are in control of what happens to us, but at the end of the day, all we can really control is our attitude. Working with different patients over the years, I have seen people who have had terrible loss of function like losing there leg and somehow they would be able to keep a positive attitude and want to help other amputees or work on golf and just keep moving forward. These people would be totally inspiring to me. On the other hand, I have seen patients with a simple shoulder tendinitis who were going into deep depression because they had to switch up their exercise routine.Studies have shown that some belief in a higher power or prayer effects health and I think “trust” and developing a positive attitude are key to health and well being.