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Whole-Person Physiotherapy

An advanced, evidence based approach

for holistic, person-centered care.

Biopsychosocial Model

What it is:

The Biopsychosocial Model is the framework for the holistic,

person-centered approach to address your health and

wellbeing at Centered In Health. It is an evidence based

approach for managing persistent pain, muscle tension, and

other physical symptoms as well as various health conditions.


It has three primary components:

  • Biological - the state of the physical tissues including muscles,

       joints, ligaments, fascia, and nerves, existing injuries and scar tissue,

       as well as systemic factors including the nervous system as a whole,

       inflammation, and genetic factors.

  • Psychological - a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviours including factors like stress, fear, and beliefs about pain and function.

  • Social - support systems, social engagement, socio-economic considerations, and lifestyle factors like work and sleep habits.

It's important to note that these domains interact with each other. For example, excessive cortisol levels (for example, from being chronically stressed without effective enough stress management strategies) negatively impacts gut health which can lead to systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation can then further the stress cycle and contribute to depression and pain. 

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How it's done:

The complex and interconnecting components are assessed with a thorough discussion and history taking, self-report questionnaires, and a physical exam. Commonly, individuals have multiple factors that are contributing in varying degrees to the symptoms they are experiencing.


All assessments and treatments are done in our private treatment space to allow the comfort and freedom to discuss sensitive concerns that may be impacting persistent pain as well as thoroughly assess physical components.

Once the contributing factors are determined, an individualized treatment plan is created. It is important that this plan is created collaboratively so you are confident in its ability to address your issues as well as to ensure that it is realistic to implement into your life.

Treatment Techniques:

Some of the techniques and strategies that may be used as part of a biopsychosocial model of care include:

  • Education and collaboration! Understanding the mechanisms contributing to your pain, muscle tension, and other symptoms and the science of how we can change those mechanisms is vital! This also allows us to work together to determine the best strategies for you as an individual. 

  • Understanding, empathy, and non-judgemental care. Your pain and other symptoms are real and being able to share your experiences while feeling heard and believed is an important part of the process. 

  • Hands on techniques for muscles, joints, and fascia can be beneficial to change the tissue functioning as well as influence the inputs from the body to the nervous system.

  • In person and home based exercises/strategies to improve movement in the body, strength, and/or re-training the nervous system.

  • Lifestyle strategies with direct guidance like improving sleep hygiene, stress management, and building/utilizing social supports.

  • Possible referrals to other practitioners to further address specific needs

(Referrals are only ever offered and discussed, no personal information is shared with others without your consent unless significant safety concerns are present or legally required.)

How it's used:

This biopsychosocial model underlies all care provided at Centered In Health. Depending on the concern you present with as well as your comfort with the different aspects of the approach, the assessment tools and treatment strategies may differ.


Regardless of the area of concern, a recognition that our physical and medical conditions are impacted by a variety of factors is always present. Equally as important is the understanding that there are unique abilities and limitations to incorporating treatment strategies into individual lives and our approach is directed accordingly.

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