The Physiotherapist’s Role in Health and Wellness: The Canadian Context with Christina Nowak

The Physiotherapist’s Role in Health and Wellness: The Canadian Context with Christina Nowak


This course includes

54:00 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase

The instructors

Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Neurosciences Division


a. Background

There is increasing interest in physiotherapists in the role of health, wellness and prevention spaces. Physiotherapists have an extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and exercise prescription. As primary healthcare providers, physiotherapists are in an ideal position to be connecting with individuals about aspects of healthy living and lifestyle.

b. Relevance to Physiotherapy Practice

Although equipped with the necessary skills and experience to help their clients with healthy lifestyle choices, many primary care providers are not providing health promotion services or speaking with their clients about healthy lifestyle practices. Exercise and physical activity are often cited as two of the most beneficial practices for individuals to stay healthy and manage symptoms for many different chronic conditions (Adamson, Yang, & Motl, 2016; Barry, O'Neill, & Graham, 2016; Huang, Fang, Li, & Chen, 2016). However, many physiotherapists are unsure as to how to approach topics of weight management, stress reduction and adherence to physical activity programs with their clients (Aweto, Oligbo, Fapojuwo, & Olawale, 2013; Goodgold, 2005), even though clients believe it is appropriate for them to do so (Black, Ingman, & Janes, 2016). Having a resource to help guide physiotherapists through the scope of practice and best practices around health promotion guidelines would help them navigate this role.

The business of physiotherapist involvement in health and wellness is also a relatively grey area. Rules of practice and ethical considerations need to be taken into account.

c. Target Audience

Physiotherapists working in private or public sector that have an interest in the role they can play in health, wellness and prevention for all Canadians.


Upon completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

1. Create a template to incorporate health promotion questions into their daily practice and assessments.

2. Be equipped with the current rules and regulations of provision of health and wellness services in the private sector regarding scope of practice, business considerations and ethical concerns.

3. Identify the current gaps and unanswered questions in the role of health promotion in physiotherapy practice and advocate for the answers to these questions.


Christina Nowak, MSc(PT).

Christina finished her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto in 2007. She then continued into her Masters of Physiotherapy at McMaster University, graduating in 2013. After graduation, she gained experience working in both the public and private sectors in outpatient orthopaedics focusing on exercise and soft tissue based therapies for the relief of muscle aches and pains.

She is a believer in the strength of exercise for rehabilitation, especially with older adults. This passion led her to begin her PhD in 2015 in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Ada Tang. Her doctoral studies look at the utilization of strength training principles for healthy aging and prevention of disability. She is currently completing her comprehensive examinations in which she is interested in evaluating the role of physiotherapists in health and wellness.

Christina is also the owner of STAVE OFF Physiotherapy & Exercise Facility, a clinic that focuses on preventative programs and exercise-focused rehabilitation practices. She has been working closely with the CPA and College of Physiotherapists of Ontario to advocate for the role of physiotherapists in all aspects of health.

We are very excited to be providing a service to members through CPA. Our aim is to assist neuroscience physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants in enabling their clients to reach their full potential and participation in their communities through assessment, treatment, assistance, consultation, education, and research.

We encourage all visitors to feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or suggestions at

The Physiotherapist’s Role in Health and Wellness: Canadian Context

The Physiotherapist’s Role in Health and Wellness: Canadian Context

The Physiotherapist’s Role in Health and Wellness: Canadian Context with Christina Nowak