Health & Wellness Coach and Physical Therapist
Medical professionals provide expert advice.
Health coaches help clients figure out how to use that advice in real life.
As a physical therapist, I’ve been asking people to change their health behaviors for almost two decades. I’ve had thousands of patients who want results - to walk better, be stronger, be able to get out of the house, to work and play. These are basic human functions that many of us take for granted. So, of course, motivation to meet these goals is often high. But motivation is not the only thing we need in order to change our habits.
As a specialized physical therapist, I have provided each of my patients with tailored expert instruction on how to achieve their goals. I have told them what exercises to do - what research shows us will work. I’ve provided support and accountability. But expert advice is also not all we need to be able to change. Neither is short term support.
I’ve noticed three major themes:
1) Change is not easy no matter how much we want it;
2) Telling someone what to do, does not mean they will do it; and
3) PT is often temporary, and when that support is gone, people often go back to old patterns.
I wondered how I could provide care to my patients that would better serve them in the long run. What would help them take more realistic, meaningful steps toward their goals, and stick with it? Health coaching kept coming up. I had heard some of my colleagues were successfully using it with people with chronic neurological diseases. The more I learned, the more it made sense.
Behavior or lifestyle change is a practice in and of itself. It requires time and intentional cultivation, a combination of motivation and confidence, alignment with what matters most to us, building on our strengths and small do-able actions. As a health coach, I’ve enjoyed seeing clients make sustainable changes that really work for them. I am grateful for the perspective provided by my experience, and for the opportunity to change!
EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE
Certified Integrative Health Coach through Duke Integrative Medicine
BS in Health Sciences, 1999, Boston University
MS in Physical Therapy, 2001, Boston University
Successful completion of American Physical Therapy Association's gold standard competency course in Vestibular (i.e. dizziness) Rehabilitation
Board Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) in Physical Therapy
Certified in LSVT BIG for people with Parkinson's Disease
Member of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy and the American Physical Therapy Association
Previously a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist (MSCS) and MS Partner in Care with the National MS Society
I address health holistically, not focusing on only one area, but on all aspects of a person. As a healthcare professional, I have cared for thousands of people, many of whom have had complex medical issues. Over the years, I've received copious praise from patients, clients and colleagues for my attentive care and successful outcomes.
I love working with anyone who is sincerely interested in making lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being. However, because of my personal and professional experience, I have a special interest in working with the following populations:
people who provide care to others (e.g. healthcare providers, social service workers, caregivers, etc.)
people who work in construction and trades
people with chronic illness and pain (including Multiple Sclerosis and dizziness)
ABOUT CASPER J. PELLIGRINI
CJP Health & Well-Being is named for Donna’s grandfather Casper J. Pelligrini, who worked as a plumber until he was 75, and lived to one month shy of his 107th birthday. He found his own unique ways to live a full, healthy life, and has inspired Donna in her own journey. Some of his best known health habits included:
washing dishes daily in warm water to prevent arthritis in his hands
eating oatmeal cookies for breakfast every day for the oat bran
putting two cloves of garlic in every meal to keep his blood pressure low
swimming laps in the pool (even after a hip replacement in his mid 90s)
reading the newspaper (Philadelphia Inquirer) every day to keep his mind sharp
traveling regularly to keep close contact with friends and family
There is no cookie cutter approach to wellness! What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Donna hopes to help as many people as possible find their unique paths to health and well-being. What will yours be?
Casper J. Pelligrini
"All things in moderation... even moderation."
Located in South Jersey 10 minutes from Philadelphia and Online
3800 Marlton Pike
Pennsauken, NJ 08110