Pearl Physical Therapy’s new facility offers improved wellness services | News


PLATTSBURGH — All excuses are off the table at Pearl Physical Therapy.

With a newly built Lifestyle Medicine Medical Fitness facility and membership program to boot, the physical therapy clinic at 135 South Peru St. has made it easier for more people in the community — no matter what their age and lifestyle is — to utilize exercise as medicine.

“We are changing the trajectory of how people get to live their life,” business owner Elizabeth Pearl said.

“We don’t want to just accept that with every year we age, our quality of life goes down,” Kym Sweenor, exercise physiologist at Pearl Physical Therapy, added.

“No. At the end of the day, it is what you make it, it is how you create it, it is what you put into it. I’ve had so many people sit in that chair and say ‘I can’t build new muscle mass, I’m 70, I’m 80,’ and I say ‘Well, you won’t with that attitude.’”


Pearl’s new facility has state-of-the-art BioCircuit technology and exercise equipment that helps any individual build muscle mass by tailoring to their specific strength levels and movements when they use it. As muscle is built, adjustments can also be made.

The equipment is able to do this once a person joins Pearl’s LifeStyle365 program to use the facility and they are programmed into the circuit. Members then have access to the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week and during clinic hours from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., when exercise is supervised.

However, before any member is approved and gets unfettered access to the facility, they have to go through an onboarding process that includes three appointments with an exercise specialist.


Sweenor said the first one takes an hour and a half and notes a member’s baseline health metrics like Vo2, strength, heart rate, blood pressure, pulse oxygen, grip strength and circumference measures. A segmented body composition is also completed during this first appointment as part of the Inbody570 analysis, which looks at the amount of muscle mass on each leg, arm and trunk.

The second appointment involves the member using the circuit of exercise equipment stations three times so they understand how it works and if unsupervised exercise is appropriate for them.

The third is when a discussion is had about the best path forward for the member’s strength training methods and how they can safely and effectively meet whatever their health objectives may be.

Once established in the program, a member will continue to have monthly check-ins with the exercise specialists to review progressions and make any adjustments that are necessary to meet their goals.


The program’s general recommendation is to do strength training three times a week and get a certain number of minutes in for cardio exercise as well, Pearl said. However, that will vary based on a person’s individual exercise plan.

“The nuance of this whole program is to create safe and appropriate individualized strength training for people, because the biggest thing that happens to people as they age, as it relates to the muscular and skeletal system, is they just get too weak and they don’t know how to get stronger,” Pearl said.

“So lots of people fail for lots of reasons and that’s why knees go bad and shoulders go bad and all that stuff.”

Pearl said her clinic is the only one in New York state that has this equipment. In the country, there are only 70 circuits in use, she said.

Those interested in becoming a LifeStyle365 member can call Pearl Physical Therapy and let them know they want to join and can discuss the next steps. Those with prior medical conditions will need a referral for the program, Sweenor said.

First timers will have to pay an enrollment fee of $199 on top of the monthly membership fee of $144 for a total of $343 to join. Every month after the first a member will pay the regular fee of $144.


So far, 132 people have joined the program and Pearl said the circuit can handle 250.

During a tour of the facility recently, there were several people on the circuit at the time. When this occurs, the circuit syncs every member’s workout session and will rotate them to different stations simultaneously. If someone walks in and wants to begin exercising, they’ll wait in a queue until there is a free station for them to hop on.

Three full-time licensed physical therapists and two exercise physiologists will be spearheading the Lifestyle Medicine Medical Fitness Programming.

Pearl made it clear, though, that the facility is not replacing regular physical therapy in any way.

This program is for those who could benefit from good strength training and not someone who is recovering from a serious injury, such as the case with ACL reconstruction surgery, for example.

“Plattsburgh is a rural place. It’s not Burlington or it’s not Montreal, so it’s really hard to recruit health care providers and part of our challenge in my clinical practice is that we do really good work, so lots of people want to come here, but I can’t see everyone. I need to maintain a good life balance,” Pearl said.

“So I invested in this facility, building this. So clients, they may need three or four visits with me and then they just do the gym because the gym will do what they need: strength training … I can care for so many more people (now).”

“This equipment is different, they are getting feedback that they can’t get anywhere else,” Sweenor said.

“We could have equipped this gym for far cheaper equipment than what’s in there. and it wasn’t about saying I spent the most money. It was about saying “I am providing (for) you. I’ve taken away all your excuses.” It’s 24/7. It’s safe. It’s intended to do great things.”


One of the many who have benefited from the program is Lisa Napper.

Napper said she has been in LifeStyle365 since November and said it has been a game changer for her physically and mentally.

“One of the standout features of this wellness center is the incredible team that surrounds you,” she said, praising Sweenor and new addition to the team, Alyssa.

“They believe in you, inspire you, and regularly check in on your progress. You also see Liz and her PT staff engaging with members and celebrating their progress. This level of support is truly a bonus that enhances the overall experience.”

She said in the past she used to worry about the numbers on the scale when guiding her workouts.

Napper said now, the equipment at LifeStyle365 takes the guesswork out of her workouts, and allows her to focus solely on her form and getting stronger.

“Liz Pearl had a vision for the community. This unique technology is less like a traditional gym and more like a home, filled with the positive energy and support and most of all scientific data to support a ‘numbers girl’ like me. This environment has been crucial in my fitness journey. A month ago, I underwent a knee replacement revision. Thanks to the individual programming, I gained the strength which has helped my recovery be smoother and faster than my physician anticipated,” she said.

“LifeStyle365 is equipped with the staff and tools necessary to help you become a better and stronger version of yourself. Whether you’re looking to improve your physical health, mental well-being, or both, I highly recommend giving LifeStyle365 a try. It has made a significant difference in my life, and I’m confident it can do the same for you. Just yesterday I was working out with a 93-year-old man….the program gives me goosebumps.”


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