Dr. Bryan Nichols, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT
I have many jobs. I am a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy and an Orthopaedic specialist. In the past I have been a clinical director at an outpatient clinic, and treated patients in both outpatient and home care settings. I also teach in Jefferson University’s Physical therapy Program where I have the honor of mentoring the next generation of physical therapists. But, my most important job is being a father to my child.
When my son River was born, and I added my most proud job title of Dad, little did I know i would be moved to take a new and exciting step in my career. This picture sums up the utter love and joy that becoming parents brought to us. It doesn’t show, however, the incredible struggle River, my partner, and I had in his early life with feeding, sleeping, and finding balance in life.
River was born with a tongue and lip tie. For his first two months he could not create suction or latch effectively when nursing. He struggled to sleep longer than 1 hour at a time and vomited constantly. My partner had pain, bleeding and cracked nipples, vasospasms, and was on the “triple feed train” for 6 weeks pumping, nursing, and bottle feeding round the clock.
We saw so many specialists — lactation consultants, two speech therapists, physical and occupational therapists, pediactricians and more. What we soon realized was that we were very much not alone –that there were so many families struggling with tongue tie and feeding issues that needed holding, support, and a multidisciplinary care team that worked with them. We also realized that tongue tie goes way beyond the mouth — it is a full body experience that often goes along with digestive issues, muscle tightnesses and imbalances, torticolis, and much more.
Babies with tongue ties often have restrictions developed in utero from their positioning that effect their ability to nurse and generally lie comfortably. A hands on, family centered, and whole body approach to care is what we found we needed to get River back on track. It was with these principles in mind that the All Phases Method was developed.
I am happy to report that River learned how to nurse like a pro and in watching him I became inspired to help families through these same sorts of issues.
My second child was born nearly 3 years later. She was born into turmoil with my partner having complications. My daughter was not able to breastfeed for the first 2 weeks due to being apart from my partner. There is often a concern about “nipple confusion” however I was committed to helping my daughter. Beginning with cup feeding followed by utilizing 2 different bottle combinations I was able to cue her to utilize her mouth and tongue efficiently and effectively. She latched at first opportunity and patiently waited for her moms milk to get up to her pace.
My daughter has given me new appreciation for the opportunity available. Before her I knew the research on nipple confusion and the mixed results of moving to breastfeeding. With the appropriate help however I can confirm, on a personal level, bottles can support breastfeeding and allow for people to reach success regardless of how a family may define it.
- Member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy
- Graduate Manual Therapy Fellowship
- Orthopaedic Specialist
- Training in PT OB care
- Craniosacral & Myofascial Training
- Over 5 years of Trigger Point Dry Needling
- Feeding the fragile infant SOFFI Training
- Bryan Nichols CV
What Started Lunara?
As a devoted provider, I am driven by the steadfast determination to improve the quality of care. In pursuit of providing exceptional outcomes, I continually rank among the top 10% of providers nationwide. With a vision for providing excellent care, I lead as a clinic director and advocate for both providers and patients. But the established system did not align with my values and goals.
Clinging to outdated biases and displaying indifference towards those they were meant to serve, some providers resisted growth and burned out. Audits focused solely on documentation and insurance reimbursement, failing to prioritize quality care. Amidst the chaos, I blazed a new trail, establishing a clinic to share my unique expertise and make a difference. But the journey ahead was not an easy one.
It was a personal experience that changed the course of everything. Witnessing the challenges my own son faced with feeding issues, I was motivated to search for solutions. I recognized the limited resources available for these issues during a baby’s first year of life, and I knew something had to be done. Committed to making a difference, I devoted six months to researching every aspect of care, and my private clinic focused on helping babies with feeding issues began to thrive.
But the turning point came when a family member fell due to the neglect of their physical therapist. This inspired a passionate desire to reform the system once and for all. I meticulously and comprehensively examined the healthcare landscape to understand and address the underlying issues, and what I found was a system designed to cater to insurance providers instead of prioritizing quality care for patients. Motivated to bring about change, I created a treatment method that combined the best elements of clinical expertise, patient values, and cutting-edge research, shifting the focus away from insurance providers’ needs towards our patients’ needs.
My ultimate goal is to ensure that clinics prioritize the interests of patients over insurance providers, a mission which defines the DNA of Lunara.