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Meet Dr. Hope Reyes of Moving Munchkins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Hope Reyes.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Growing up as a competitive dancer, I was always interested in movement. Interested in how dancers can be doing the same choreography, but it looked totally different from one body to the next. This interest in movement science is what led me to my college studies. I completed my undergraduate in pre-med with a minor in chemistry at the University of Arizona (GO CATS!). I then finished my doctorate in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. It was there that I realized I wanted to work with kids, specifically babies.

For the past eight years, I have worked with children from birth-18 years old in local clinics. I became fascinated with young infants and how their movement patterns significantly impact things like breastfeeding/bottle feeding, sleep, reflux, and mastering baby milestones.

Last year I made the decision to leave my stable job and venture off on my own. I created two online parenting courses to help educate current and expecting parents on how to help their babies achieve milestones on time. After having my own baby in 2019, I realized how much of a gap there is in our current healthcare system. Parents want what is best for their babies, and they want to know this information, but they are not getting it from our healthcare system.

Currently, I have my two online courses, and I have active social media accounts to help parents virtually. I also see patients for in-home pediatric physical therapy services in North County. I love having a mix of seeing patients in person as well as reaching more parents online to help.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh man! Does any entrepreneur say their road was smooth? The learning curve is steep. Especially navigating the online social media world and marketing an online business. I went to school for science. I can tell you all the steps in how the heart pumps blood throughout the body or how the brain functions to keep upright balance. But what I did not go to school for was marketing! Luckily my husband is in finance, so he has been a tremendous help in navigating the business side of things. There are also a lot of helpful people in the online space; you just have to find them!

I am a life-long learner. I love learning! What I also struggle with is perfecting things. I have learned a ton of marketing, writing, and online tricks to create your own website. However, the most important lesson I have learned is to be patient with myself and be proud of how far I have already come.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a doctor of physical therapy, and I specialize in pediatrics. From birth, a baby is expected to achieve milestones, including their ability to feed from a breast/bottle when they are only hours old, sitting by six months, and walking by at least 15 months. Pediatricians will recommend physical therapy for a child when that child has not yet met a physical milestone as expected for their age.

In my practice, I focus quite a bit on manual therapy. Manual therapy is the use of my hands to release restricted soft tissue or to guide the child through a very specific movement pattern. I am able to use my advanced manual therapy skills on newborns to help relieve feeding issues, as well as 5-year-old learning how to skip. I take pride in utilizing a collaborative approach. I love collaborating with other clinicians in the area to best serve my patients. I often collaborate with occupational therapists, speech therapists, chiropractors, lactation consultants, and craniosacral therapists.

My services include family coaching and education. My goal for each session is for parents to have a better understanding of their child’s movement and know exactly how to help their child improve. Empowering parents to help their children is the secret ingredient to children making faster and greater gains in their movement skills.

“It is the child’s job to learn through playing, and it is the physical therapist’s job to encourage targeted learning through play.”

My business has two parts- online and in-person. I created two online courses to help parents learn how to best help their babies achieve milestones on time. I also see patients in their homes for pediatric physical therapy.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
If you are wondering if your child would benefit from seeing a pediatric physical therapist, I have two recommendations. 1. Do not “wait and see” The very best research has proven time and time again that the earlier the intervention, the less services were needed. In a newborn’s life, even waiting one month can make a significant difference.

2. You do not need a prescription to see a pediatric physical therapist. Physical therapists go to school for seven years… minimum! We hold a doctorate degree which has earned us direct access. Direct access simply means that no prescription is required.

“Side note: some insurances do still require a prescription. So if you are using your insurance, you may need to call to see if it is required for them to cover physical therapy services.”

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