The Environmental Physiotherapy Assocation (EPA) continues to grow by the day. Members are pouring in from all corners of the world and all areas of our profession, including students, teachers, clinicians, researchers and professional representatives, and all of them are sharing their excitement and thoughts with us as they join. If you are thinking about joining yourself, but are not sure whether this is for you, what you could get out of it, how you could contribute, reading some of these comments might resonate with you. And even if you don’t want to join, hopefully reading these comments will get you as excited about the future of environmental physiotherapy as it gets us. There is just no way we couldn’t share these with you, so enjoy the read: 

“As a student physio it is fundamental for me that the profession I am going to qualify and grow in leaves as much as a positive impact on the planet it depends on as possible – my practise and professional ‘habits’ are still far from formed so what better time to try and mold them towards a more environmentally conscious approach?” (Issie Long, physiotherapy student, Wales/UK).

“I am a physiotherapist and I care about our environment. How can I help find ways we can make a difference?” (Jo Bishop, physiotherapist UK).

“I am so excited to read of the establishment of an environmental physiotherapy group and would like to join you. … It unites the 2 sides of my life. Wanted to marry them because I have long thought they are a perfect match (& cost-effective) but didn’t have the courage to do anything about it. Thank you” (Esther-Mary D’Arcy, Ireland).

Interested to join. I’m keen to develop ethical graduates and being considerate to the environment is something I think the profession is well placed to do. I’m really interested in urban design and how physios can influence this for the better” (Jill Morgan, physiotherapy lecturer, UK).

“I am a PT since 14 yrs, living organic to the bone since over 20 yrs. …  I am convinced that our environmental conditions (convenience food, lack of activity due to civilisation, multiples stresses, resulting changes of the gut’s microbiome) are contributing to increasing numbers of patients with e.g. Parkinsons or Multiple Sclerosis, or such with chronic inflammatory processes/ NCD or mental health general. As we are not single islands, the bio-psycho-social approach of understanding a patient’s circumstances needs to include environmental factors as well. … I really appreciate this initiative!” (Andrea Sturm, physiotherapist and researcher, Austria).

“Thank you for creating EPA. I have friends who study biology etc and they thought me a lot about climate and pollutions problems. It will be nice to share with them some new information from a Physio perspective. I was also talking about this problematic with my schoolmate a month ago and we agreed that this is something the Physio community missed :)” (Nikola Häringová, physiotherapy student, Czech Republic).

“I am physiotherapist and always open to new perspectives. I am interested because I totally don’t know anything about environmental physiotherapy” (Noémie Wyseur, physiotherapist, Belgium).

“Congratulations for this wonderful initiative, we need to have an active position as health care professionals and we cannot simply look the other way … We have a vey exciting and challenging goal with our future practice because we want to reduce the waste and environmental impact as much as possible, therefore, I have been researching online but there is not a lot of content” (Sarah Martins, physiotherapist & clinic owner, Canada).

“I’m a physiotherapy student and I’m trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle. I would love to to incorporate that also in my profession. I hope the EPA will succeed in raising awareness and I can do my part in that” (Evelin Colja, physiotherapy student, Slovenia).

I like your initiative. I agree that we should not isolate the individual of its social and physical surroundings. I believe that we are interconnected, so let’s see what we can do with that thought (Physiotherapy lecturer, Netherlands).

“I am really excited to see this happen. I have dreamed about a course that spreads awareness on how much we are influenced by our environment and how our environment has the power to change us. I am just starting with my bachelor thesis now and I feel that it might fit here. … I am excited to be a part of this :)” (Thies Bundtzen, physiotherapy student, Germany/Netherlands).

“I just finished my studies few months ago. Now I am considering, what is going to be my next step. … I am really interested in environment and sustainable life on this planet. When I will start my professional career, I would like to include something that can help not just me, patients, but this planet overall as well. I think this project and association is exactly what I am looking for. I would love to brainstorm and discuss with other physiotherapists, how we can include and get involved in bringing to more sustainability into our work. I see this as a really important act nowadays, to start the process of changing actual system not just individually, but also all together” (Patrícia Skovajsová, physiotherapist, Slovakia).

I’d love to become a member and learn more about how we can be environmentally sustainable as physios” (Jessie Robinson, physiotherapist, UK).

“I am so relieved to see this initiative in our profession and have the opportunity to join a movement of paramount importance of our time. … Looking for ways to apply my experience, strength and commitment for a better world to an initiative that is dealing with our most imminent crisis. … Thank you for demonstrating yet another way we can all work together and please let me know how I can get involved” (Holly Mitchell, physiotherapist, Canada).

Hello! Although I am not 100% sure yet what environmental physiotherapy actually is, I am quite intrigued by the idea of combining the two areas and seeing physiotherapy from a more global perspective” (Physiotherapy student, Austria).

“This is great. I’d love to be involved. I’m a physiotherapist working in the public and private sector and also studied sustainable horticulture, permaculture, yoga and herbalism. So the way we interact with our environment and how it impacts on our health and wellbeing is my reason d’être! I completed a diploma in health promotion recently so starting to try and work to link these all together. Look forward to being apart of this in some way” (Gráinne Flannery, physiotherapist, Ireland).

“I think we can contribute more in the fields of active transport and public health that will support sustainable or regenerative change” (Physiotherapist, Australia).

“I was searching for physiotherapists working in environmental health on the internet the other day and your article came up which took me by good surprise also bringing me to this wonderful organisation. In fact, only your site came up with information on this field. I am a physiotherapist and soon to be starting a part-time Masters in Public Health. I want to expand my learning on global health issues and contribute more in the future on a global scale. Climate change being one of my key topics of interest! I am very keen to join this organisation! :)” (Hazel-Anne Shah, physiotherapist and Public health Masters student, UK/Germany). 

“Hello, I’m a physio and am interested in knowing what I can do here in my place (city/country) to work towards your goals. Always liked environmental ideas, but can’t seem to do much with my profession. Can you help me find a nice way?’” (Physiotherapist, Portugal). 

Well, if you haven’t already been convinced that we have set sails in a truly exciting and much needed direction, maybe this has done the trick to convince you that you will be in good company. It might also help to keep in mind that membership is free and, as these comments also underscore, there are no obligations to contribute anything in particular, but lots of space to contribute and get active in a wide variety of ways or just be curious. Now here’s to hoping that you will join us in this endeavour and help us make some of these things and more happen as we go forward. If you are interested in joining, just use the contact form at the bottom of our home page or send an email to info (æt) and tell us who you are, where you are based and what you currently do as a physio. We’re looking forward to having you on board.

Filip Marić (PhD)
Filip Maric is a physiotherapist and researcher interested in practical philosophy, ethics, planetary health, #EnvironmentalPhysiotherapy and sea kayaking.