Meet Michelle Laging
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, my path toward Physical Therapy was a circuitous one. I graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University in 1997 and landed my first job in Denver, Colorado late summer that same year. I worked as a Landscape Architecture for approximately 8-years and contributed to several projects around the city of Denver. Most notable, I was one of the designers who worked on the Columbine High School library re-design/outdoor space in 2001. This experience gave me perspective on how spaces, indoor and outdoor, can be therapeutic on a variety of different levels. This extremely meaningful experience illuminated my desire to “make a difference in people’s lives” and I continued to explore what this meant for me professionally.
An enthusiast for movement, I became a fitness instructor and worked part-time for both 24-Hour Fitness and Curves around 2003. After shadowing a few Physical Therapists, it became obvious that this was the path I needed to pursue to fulfill this professional need. I graduated from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2008 as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and began my career at Denver Health Medical Center late fall of 2008.
I have had the pleasure of working with Michelle Laging for almost a decade now, starting at our prior program the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health and continuing into her brilliant practice Movement is Medicine. Michelle is quite simply THE best physical therapist for those with eating disorders that I have ever met. Her outpatient and acute rehabilitation background as well as extensive expertise in caring for patients with eating disorders makes her an extraordinary resource for patients to add to their treatment team. Michelle truly led the way for a whole new way of considering physicality and strength for those who have been impacted by malnutrition, and her practice now is totally unique and brilliant. Any time I have a local patient who is working on recovery from an eating disorder--of any body shape or size--who wants to get stronger, work through an injury, and/or get help returning to movement or their sport of choice in a mindful and sound way, I always call on Michelle. My patients just love her. Her warmth, enthusiasm, expertise, and eating disorder informed approach are exactly right. Michelle will never engage in diet-culture talk, but rather aims to reunite patients with a love of what their bodies can do, a vital part of recovery. I recommend her with extreme enthusiasm!
Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS, FAED,
Founder & Medical Director, Gaudiani Clinic
My 10-years of experience in inpatient care at Denver Health has been robust and extremely rewarding. Knit within the fabric of my experience on the orthopedic unit, medical-surgical units, and acute rehabilitation, was the development and delivery of Physical Therapy services to individuals with eating disorders. The past 3-years were solely dedicated to the unique needs of these individuals admitted for medical stabilization at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders by Denver Health. As I reflect back on my wonderful experience at Denver Health, I can truly say that my work both on the ACUTE unit and the acute rehabilitation unit allowed me to live my dream to “make a difference in people’s lives”.
But I have jumped from this safe nest and now find myself standing at a beautiful crossroads.
Why (you might ask)? Because I am ready… I am ready for change and a new challenge… I am ready to flex my creative muscles and build something entirely new. I want to partner with clients to build a bridge toward a more healthy relationship with movement. As a warrior against this disease, I desire to support clients, regardless of body size, in the journey toward long-term recovery from eating disorders or disordered eating.
I want to utilize my expert “PT vision” as a detective with clients to discover how best to integrate Physical Therapy services into a relatively new world and encourage them to reconnect with their bodies.
I am SO ready… are you ready to be a detective with me?