Melinda Halford, PT, MFA, CLT, Cert. MDT
Founder, Skyland Physical Therapy / PT, MFA, CLT, Cert. MDT
Wondering about all those initials after Melinda’s name? The short answer is: she relentlessly seeks new therapies and achieves new certifications in her search to bring patients to maximum healing.
“Melinda has a built-in guidance system that is focused on helping people heal,” said a recent patient. “Her passion for seeing healing take place, combined with her training and extensive experience, truly make an astounding combination.”
“All people have an innate ability to heal themselves,” Melinda said. “A therapist’s work is to help clearly identify the problem through a thorough Musculoskeletal Evaluation, and work with you to resolve your condition through appropriate treatment options. Those options always include self-healing. We are devoted to finding the most specific diagnosis for your problem and then the best treatment approach designed for your needs.”
With undergraduate degree in Movement Therapy, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography, and completion of her Physical Therapy Degree and Licensure in 1998, Melinda understands the body and how it moves and heals. She is also a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and a Certified McKenzie Specialist.
One of her specialties is Spinal Care, from the neck to the tailbone.
“So many people tell me they have tried everything to manage back pain with no success.” Melinda’s focus is on clearly diagnosing the problem and finding out specific movements that relieve pain. The problem is usually mechanical in nature and can be easily treated by simple techniques applied at home. Patients tell me how surprised they are to quickly get relief and learn how to manage their symptoms during the healing process. “
Melinda specializes in McKenzie based Spinal Care, Orthopedic/Sports and Neurological Physical Therapy, Lymphedema Management, Pediatric Physical Therapy and helping Sports, Yoga and Dance Students return to their practice without painful symptoms. She has been practicing Yoga since she was 12 years old and was a professional dancer prior to becoming a PT.
“My background and training in dance and education as well as physical therapy prepared me well for intricately analyzing movement patterns and offering simple and effective solutions for patient problems,” she said. Melinda worked as a North and South Carolina Artist in Residence teaching dance and movement to children through adults in schools and universities for 12 years.
Melinda has extensive experience working with children. She began the pediatric program in a hospital owned clinic in 1999 and then continued it at Skyland in 2004, serving children of all ages in outpatient clinic, homes and day cares. She taught a sensory integration group movement class and her experience teaching creative movement to children has served her well in working creatively to help children develop and move efficiently through creative play. She also has a background in working with children and adults with developmental disabilities and she, along with her husband Richard, developed a nationally recognized job training program for disabled adults while working for the Maui ARC.
Melinda is an expert in helping patients develop an appropriate post rehab fitness / wellness program. She began the Aerobics and Dance program at Asheville Buncombe Community college. She also has a special interest in working with patients who have neurological conditions, problems with painful conditions or balance and gait difficulties and helping them realize their maximum possible level of independence and comfort.
As a result, patients learn to identify a potential recurrence and learn to attend to the symptoms at home, reducing their dependency on health professions for on-going treatment.
Melinda is a certified Lymphedema Therapist and along with other Skyland therapists, began the Lymphedema treatment program at Skyland in 2005. She is committed to working with cancer patients and with others who have chronic swelling. This specialized treatment is widely successful in helping people manage all types of edema.
She received a BA from Appalachian State University, an MFA in Dance University of North Carolina Greensboro and a Physical Therapist degree from Western Carolina University.
Melinda is an avid yoga practitioner and loves to hike, travel and spend time with her family and two dogs. She sings and performs music with her husband and plays guitar in Irish session groups.