Creating New Neural Pathways: Britton Taylor Discusses the Power of Laughter in Physical Therapy

Physical therapy

Britton Taylor is President and Founder of Taylor’s Touch, a revolutionary physical therapy practice in Portland, Ore.

We recently checked in with Britton to learn more about his philosophy on physical therapy and how he helps his patients. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about your practice. What sets you apart from other practitioners in your area?

I believe that laughter is the best medicine! With this core belief in mind, I’ve developed a groundbreaking, nontraditional approach to physical therapy that utilizes humor to diagnose and treat my patients’ most pressing ailments and maladies.

For proprietary reasons I can’t go into too much detail, but I can tell you that humor creates new neural pathways in the brain and can also retrain the central nervous system to work more economically. My patients heal quickly and have a rip-roaring time in the process!

We’d like to talk about a patient success story you’re especially proud of. Tell us about the patient. How did they learn about your practice?

I would say that I’m very proud of my success with a patient named Allen.

Allen came to my office with severe pelvic pain. He was extremely depressed, and I was determined to help him get him back on track.

It sounds hard to believe, but humor can be incredibly revealing. In Allen’s case I used a variety of jokes as diagnostic tools, using the vibrations of his laughs to detect anomalies. Through this technique I was able to diagnose severe inflammation and tension in his pelvic bowl.

In addition to a vigorous and regimented set of exercises, I give all of my patients a “comedy prescription” that is personally tailored to their medical needs. In Allen’s case I recommended two Richard Pryor albums and one Jeff Foxworthy TV special, followed by an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”

The impact of the treatment was nothing short of miraculous! Allen has regained full control of his bladder and has a completely new outlook on life!

What advice would you give PT students today? For instance looking back at your own career is there anything you would do differently?

Don’t always believe what the textbooks tell you! Find an approach that honors your voice and your unique personality. Everyone has something special to give. Be the change your want to see in the world. Also, follow your dreams. In my case, it’s combining healing and humor to make the world a better place.

Please talk about any ways you are trying to impact the community you’re a part of

I used to mentor veterans and teach the disabled, but frankly I don’t get out in the community much any more because I don’t want people stealing my proprietary methods. However, I do perform standup on the weekends, and this is a great way for me to share my therapeutic methods with the broader populace.

Anything (that you care to admit) that you would never do again?

Oh boy. This one is embarrassing. I used to dress up as a clown when I first started seeing patients. I thought it would make them laugh, but it honestly terrified most folks. For aspiring therapists, I don’t recommend this approach.

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