Client Testimonials

I am an active woman in my 40’s who still loves competitive running as well as hiking, biking, and skiing at pretty high levels. I began working with Chris after incurring an injury while on an extended vacation. Circumstances prevented me from obtaining a diagnosis from an orthopedic surgeon but Chris had the experience and expertise to determine the most likely diagnosis – a partial quad tendon tear – and start me on the path to recovery immediately. Six weeks after my injury I returned home, and Chris’s initial diagnosis was confirmed by MRI. The orthopedic surgeon could not believe I had already made such significant gains in my range of motion and had staved off much of the muscle atrophy expected from this type of injury – I was literally eight weeks ahead of where I was expected to be in my recovery! I credit Chris’s expertise and guidance with helping me avoid further injury and I am confident that his dynamic and holistic approach helped me avoid surgery and an overly lengthy recovery process. Chris was exceptional at educating me about the nature of my injury and taught me how to best work with my body to heal effectively. He is skilled at building patient/provider rapport and I consider myself immensely lucky to have been able to work with him!

Sarah Lord

Billings

I reached out to Chris after a knee injury from backpacking. I have been working with him for the past 5 weeks and he is a miracle worker. I feel stronger and have more mobility than before. I highly recommend him.

Geoff Griffin

Boise

I had the pleasure of first meeting Chris when he partnered with our small Fire Department to help improve our fitness program. I appreciated his professional and approachable demeanor and his passion to teach. He truly cared about the overall well-being of our crew. When I needed treatment for a disc injury, there was no question I wanted Chris to help. I found his home clinic to be a refreshing change from the norm and a welcoming environment. Throughout the course of my treatments Chris routinely texted me directly to check in and see how I was responding; the most personalized patient care I’ve ever received. He even took the time to stop by my office to provide a treatment that needed to be done in between my normal visits. He continued to study how my body reacted to treatment and modified his approach accordingly. Chris is a master at his craft, not only looking to treat symptoms but also focusing up stream at prevention as well. I recommend you meet with Chris to see how he can help you, experience his personal care for yourself.

Kyle Dodd

Friday Harbor

I was so glad to discover Chris Havel. I was 66 years old and experiencing chronic pain in my hip. As a massage therapist myself, I believe our bodies do not wear out as we get older.  Our bodies are too wise for that. In searching for physical therapy, it was important to me to work with someone who had the same philosophy. Chris had been working as a PT, but found it too limiting. His desire to apply the depth of knowledge he had accumulated in addition to his PT training was just what I was looking for. He works hands on and therefore is in touch with the areas of tension, spasm and lack of alignment in the muscle, nervous, and skeletal systems in the body. Based on what he finds, he continues with manuel therapy and creates an onsite program until the issue is resolved. He also provides a series of ongoing exercises to do at home which I continue to do. In my case, the pain in my hip was allevaited quickly. I have not had any recurrance since then. That was 5 years ago. Chris Havel provides healing and restores function above and beyond the conventional treatments. Do not hesitate to work with him!

Ciely Gray, LMP

Friday Harbor

Over several years, I, along with multiple members of my family, saw Chris Havel for physical therapy. Time and time again Chris brought his thoughtful, thorough approach to our care. Our ages spanned from 12 to 50, with varying issues as may be imagined. Chris has immense knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating causes of pain and immobility, as well as, postsurgical and injury recovery. I highly recommend Chris.

Travis Ayers

Friday Harbor

Given the injuries I have sustained over the years and the resulting ligamentous instabilities they have caused, I have gone to many physical therapists. None compare with Chris. He put me on a boxing and dynamic stretching regimen that has made all the difference. After thouroghly looking at my orthopedic records and through a bit of trial and error, he chose the exercises that were right for me. The physical therapists I have had in the past didn’t seem to get that. They pushed me to do the exercises that were part of their PT process according to what insurance dictated, but didn’t customize my care the way Chris did. He took into account all my previous injuries, not just the one I came to see him for, and developed a program just for me. I continue with my regiment at home, and I know if I need to tweak something, I can get in touch with Chris. I recommend him very highly.

Joanne Richardson

Friday Harbor

I am happy to give my testimonial for Chris Havel. I am a personal assistant to an elderly couple and I had the pleasure of getting to know Chris on a personal and professional level over the period of three years. Not only is Chris a pleasant and caring person, but he is a devoted physical therapist. I would drive my boss to physical therapy twice a week and I was involved in my boss’s healthcare. Chris always impressed me with his knowledge and continued education to accommodate the changes in my boss. Chris took the time to listen and understand my boss’ specific issues and the best way to keep him healthy, safe, and mobile. If you have the opportunity to have Chris Havel treat you, I promise you are in very good hands. Chris will not hesitate to go the extra mile to see you fully recover.

Margie Martin

Friday Harbor

For anyone wondering about the new guy in town, if you have the opportunity to work with Chris Havel for your physical therapy needs, my husband and I highly recommend him. You will not regret your choice in partnering with him! My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 8 years ago. His main challenges are decreased mobility, impaired balance, reduced stamina and difficulty vocalizing. Falls are frequent and often require medical care. We have worked with many physical therapists over the years, some specialized in movement disorders and Parkinson’s treatment programs. While all have been helpful we found the skills Chris brings to his sessions to be a cut far above the rest. We worked with Chris twice a week for 3 months and would still be with him were he not miles and miles away. In that time, Chris was the most effective coach for both of us that we’ve encountered. Chris shared tools and techniques that we employ every day. My husband has become stronger and more confident. If he falls now he has techniques for getting himself back up without my physical assistance. We both feel more relaxed and positive about the path ahead. I could go on about other benefits from our work with Chris: my husband’s ability to speak with increased volume, noticeably better stability, the creation of a safer home environment thanks to Chris’s gentle suggestions and guidance, and much more. Whatever the challenges may be, I’m convinced Chris will have creative ideas for a workable and productive program to suit you. On a personal note, Chris is amiable and kind, but also strong in his presentation and encouragement where needed. If you are fortunate enough to work with him, I’m certain you will not only derive great benefit but will enjoy the experience as well. With great sincerity and admiration.

Julie Hart and Steve Gordon

Friday Harbor

I first saw Chris when I complained of persistent back pain and a new acquaintance enthusiastically recommended him. Chris provided analysis and techniques that I continue to use when back pain occasionally creeps in. I then talked with Chris about knee issues and he steered me toward strengthening with BFR cuffs. Lastly, Chris helped me achieve greater range of motion for an injured shoulder. Chris is very hands-on, very professional, very accomplished, very accommodating. Any community would be blessed to have his expertise available.

Lutie Park

Friday Harbor

 

I am 88 years old and have been a patient of Chris’ for many years. I am very impressed with his knowledge, as well as, his eye in assessing problems. Earlier in my life I ran marathons, but after having both hips replaced, I stopped. Chris designed a program to help me start running again. I now run a 1/2 mile, twice a week. My wife developed knee problems and her pilates instructor could not help her. She started seeing Chris who was able to assess her problem and fix her knee. I have over my many years been to numerous physical therapists and Chris, by far, is the best I have ever worked with. I am sorry to see him move, but wish him all the best and envy his new clients.

Bob Levinson

Friday Harbor

Chris has been my physical therapist for 5 years and he’s the best! He helped me through chronic pain issues and evolving body-health needs. Chris’ manual treatments are spot on and always result in a stronger body and more relaxed mind. His creative movement recommendations (e.g., stretches, exercises) reach the root cause of an issue and give you the tools to handle issues as they arise. I have been able to move significantly beyond old health issues (i.e., concussion, knee pain, back sprain) and, as a result, I can now undertake a more dynamic daily workout routine and feel all around healthier. Thank you, Chris!

Gail Mancarti

Friday Harbor

I saw Chris for pain that had been bothering me for years related to an old skiing injury. His approach to body work just makes sense and led to excellent results. His techniques are specific and really work. Chris gave me exercises that were actually fun to do, but not always easy. I saw results immediately. Boise is lucky to have Chris as a competent, experienced, and creative physical therapist.

Jane Hart

Friday Harbor

Chris is a great physical therapist who helped me regain the ability to walk after suffering a knee injury which resulted in severe and debilitating pain. He also helped my son with several different injuries throughout his 4 years of playing high school basketball. The summer before his senior year, Chris worked with my son and 5 other boys from his team to help them gain core strength and agility that helped prevent all of them from getting injuries during their final season of basketball.

Kori Mapstead

Friday Harbor

Not only was I impressed by his knowledge of the workings of the body but also his compassion and understanding. He spent time with me, answering my questions and then explained the treatment needed. He started on some simple exercises that I was able to accomplish, and then moved me on to more complex ones, giving me words of encouragement all along the way. I was soon out of pain and back to normal. His care and understanding is something out of the ordinary in today’s medical field. I am very grateful for his help.

Karen L. Moore

Friday Harbor

I had suffered from a chronic sacroiliac issue that I was treating with chiropractic care. Unfortunately, the weekly adjustments provided limited stability and improvement. In my first session with Chris, he identified the issues. In the next three sessions, Chris designed and implemented a treatment program that consisted of stretching and movement which was both effective and sustainable.

Dave Koch

Friday Harbor

I have been under Chris’ care for the last couple years and have been very happy with the results. Most notably, he has helped me eliminate the chronic back pain I have had since I was a teenager. First, by helping me understand how I was moving improperly, then by giving me the tools and support to establish proper movement habits. I have been treated by many different physical therapists over the years, and none of them were able to deliver the results I have seen under Chris’ care. His deep knowledge of the human body is evident, and it is combined with serious, focused care that he adjusts to an individual’s needs and situation. I cannot speak highly enough of his services.

Bryan Johnson

Friday Harbor

Chris Havel fixed my frozen shoulder and he did so in a fairly short period of time. From my first day in physical therapy with him, Chris was a perceptive listener. During our physical therapy sessions Chris showed his professional understanding of my condition and the technical know-how to correct it. From the outset, Chris’ physical routines seemed tailored for my condition. I found it natural to have confidence in Chris, since he is so knowledgeable in his field. For me, that sustained my confidence in him, and I felt motivated to follow through on his prescribed routines at home. He fostered a team approach with each of us doing our part to achieve the end goal. Chris’ patient commitment is so apparent and genuine that as the patient you are motivated to want to do your part. Chris has a comforting manner about him. I highly recommend him!

Michael Carter

Friday Harbor

Last fall while at a conference, my sciatic nerve got pinched again. I was in pain for almost 2 weeks until I was able to get back onto the island. Many people recommended seeing Chris, so I made an appointment. When I came in for my appointment, Chris did not rush me, but took the time to talk about what was going on with my back and how it related to my symptoms. He then began to stretch me and lengthen my muscles. He also demonstrated stretches, which we did together, so that I could make sure I did them correctly. I was amazed at how good my back felt afterwards. Within a few days my sciatic pain had been reduced to almost nothing and within a week or two my back was back to normal! I highly recommend Chris!!!
John Boyd

Friday Harbor

When I got hurt running the National Championships 50 mile race, I thought my running career was over. But after successful hip surgery I was on my way to recovery. All I needed was a great physical therapist to help me rehab. As a competitive distance runner all my life as well as being a physical therapist, I knew I could trust the expertise of Chris Havel. He mapped out the rehab process and successfully got me back on the road and racing again. After this devastating injury, with Chris’ professional knowledge and guidance, I was able to recoup and went on to win my local home town marathon the next 6 years in a row as well as win the Pacific NW Masters cross country championship 6 times. Thank you Chris!

Mike Lynus, MPT

Tacoma

I am a slightly past “middle aged” woman doing my best to remain physically fit and flexible so that I can enjoy life to it’s fullest. I try and exercise regularly and enjoy a number of outdoor sports. I was not pleased a year or so ago when I woke up one morning with what I might call a “frozen shoulder”. It was a persistent and annoying pain, preventing full range of motion. I can’t even tell you what actually caused the complication, it may been aggravated by hours of sweeping up sawdust at a construction site or the delayed result of a jarring fall I had taken while walking my dog. I dealt with the pain for a number of weeks thinking it would eventually resolve itself before I was referred by my GP to Christopher Havel, MPT. I saw Christopher for 4 physical therapy sessions, and through his gentle massage, manipulation, and stretching exercises I suddenly realized one day that I was pain free and had recovered full use of my shoulder, no stiffness whatsoever. Christopher’s treatments gave me back my ability to pursue my activities and I would highly recommend him.
Kit Moorhouse

Friday Harbor

I am so grateful for the physical therapy I received from Chris Havel. The two simple stretches he showed me have helped clear up and keep away the chronic back pain I had experienced for nine years. He has also helped me to keep my shoulders healthy with strengthening exercises to prevent injury. Thank you, Chris!
Sarah Bergman

Friday Harbor

Over the course of the summer of 2017, I suffered from back pain that limited almost all of my physical activities. That fall, I got Chris’s help. Over three weeks of treatment, he taught me daily routines (stretching and strengthening activities) that returned me to full capacity, even running again. Chris’s command of both the technical and the practical (he knew I’d only commit to a 15 minute routine) is masterful and, without hesitation, I would recommend him to you. He’s professional, funny, and a good listener. I continue to be blessed by his care and attention.
Jeff Smith

Friday Harbor

I highly recommend Chris Havel. After my hip replacement surgery his skilled care enabled me to quickly start walking normally again. More recently the stretches he taught me provided me with great pain relief. In addition, Chris’s mobile therapy service brings the convenience/comfort of having treatment take place in one’s home.
Joe Bettridge

Friday Harbor

I am currently a deputy.  In my line of work I have to be able to react to any situation quickly, which means my body must be in good shape. In October of 2017, I probably had the worst injury of my lifetime. I ripped apart my patellar tendon and partially tore my right quad. I underwent major surgery and needless to say, I could no longer perform my duties in law enforcement and had to take time off. In the hospital right after the surgery the doctor told me 4 to 6 months for recovery time. I was devastated. When I first started therapy I felt like it was a road that would never end. Chris was very encouraging through this process. There were times when I was not sure if I would be able to work in law enforcement again. Chris always stayed positive and the best part is he would do the same exercises that he was having me do. He pushed me when he needed to and took it easy when it was necessary for the recovery. We became friends and I really looked forward to our sessions because of how positive he always was. I had a goal of when I wanted to return to work but I was not sure if I would be able to meet it. Chris pushed me hard through our sessions. He not only physically made me stronger, but mentally as well. He showed me different techniques to relax and breath. I gained confidence and saw that I would be able to return to work. Chris and I still work out together and he still is pushing me beyond my limits. I have achieved goals I never thought I could achieve. If you get a chance to work with Chris I would definitely recommend it.

Doug Maya

Friday Harbor

I am extremely satisfied with the care and results that I received from being treated by Chris! He took the time to ask me questions about my pain. He not only told me what exercises to do, but he also got down on the floor and showed me exactly how to do them. He even let me use my phone to video him doing the exercises, which proved to be very helpful. My knee is not only feeling better, but my entire body feels stronger and more flexible. My pain has greatly decreased, and Chris’s holistic approach has drastically improved my quality of life! I can now hike with my kids.
Jeff Fitts

Friday Harbor

If you need physical therapy go see Chris Havel. His extensive knowledge and dedication to helping his patients heal are evident every step of the way. I know for a fact that Chris’s expert guidance helped me recover more quickly and thoroughly from hip replacement surgery than I otherwise would have. If I know anyone needing professional physical therapy in the future, I will certainly recommend Chris’s services. Thank you Chris!
Diane Giesy

Friday Harbor

In May, 2017, I was fortunate to meet Chris Havel and work with him in regaining strength and stability with my walking, following knee surgery eight months previously. Chris coached and worked with me individually making sure I performed each exercise correctly; and then slowly added more time and intensity to my routine. Not only was he instrumental in my improvement physically, but also in my confidence. It was with his help that I was able to travel on a long trip to see family in Europe. Chris is a fine person who cares deeply about helping others. I am grateful for his wonderful care.
Jenny Burgess

Friday Harbor

Following my hip replacement surgery, Chris was encouraging, helpful, and carefully answered any questions. My recovery went extremely well under his direction, and I recommend him to others who need physical therapy.
Candy Dossett

Friday Harbor

In August 2015 after a prolonged bout of severe pain in the lumbar region, I received a diagnosis of multilevel degenerative changes, with convex right lumbar scoliosis. The recommended treatment was physical therapy with various instructions including MET (Muscle Energy Technique). At that time there was no one on San Juan Island with MET training. In January 2016, Chris Havel moved to the island, and among his certifications was MET. He helped me a great deal, and was delightful to work with. I would whole-heartedly recommend him to anyone requiring a physical therapist of the highest quality, with a broad range of knowledge and the ability to apply it appropriately and thoughtfully.

Angela de Grave

Friday Harbor

I had the opportunity to work with Chris Havel for several months after having a full shoulder replacement. At the time I started therapy with him, I was midway through a long recovery and feeling discouraged by pain and the slow return of the mobility of my shoulder. Chris’s knowledge and experience combined with his positive, supportive attitude pushed me to a deeper level of commitment to my healing. Through his manipulation, massage, and education of natural movement, Chris helped me to integrate this new joint not just into my body, but also into my daily life. He helped combine my previous experience with yoga poses into my shoulder exercise routine and that brought more joy and meaning to my rehabilitation – thank you, Chris! I highly recommend Chris for physical therapy and movement coaching.
Susan Feldmiller, LMP

Friday Harbor

Chris Havel was my physical therapist both before and after surgery. He is compassionate and caring. The stretching and strengthening exercises that he gave me I still do everyday. I would recommend him to anyone needing a physical therapist.
Janet Wright

Friday Harbor

Thanks to Chris, my pain due to arthritis in the lower back and hip are under control with a program of stretching exercises he tailored for me. Working with him for around 4 weeks was great. He was very professional and is an all around good guy. I highly recommend his services.
Ed Ferro

Friday Harbor

I went to Chris Havel after having a severe back issue. My pain was debilitating and I had very little hope that I would fully recover. After working with Chris for 4 weeks, I was able to continue my activities and my job tasks with no pain whatsoever! Chris was very knowledgeable and thorough during my rehab appointments. The exercises he gave me helped heal my condition much faster than I could have imagined. He also gave me hope that he could treat the injury and I wouldn’t have to live my life in pain. It has been over a year since my last visit and I have had no issues with my back. I’m very glad that I went to Chris and thankful for his help.
Jordan Ross

Friday Harbor

Following a broken femur as the result of a serious horseback riding accident, I give credit to Chris for helping me get on the right course toward full recovery. The stretching exercises Chris taught me during treatment continue to be integral to my daily routine and I know contribute to my overall strength and flexibility. I am grateful for Chris’s knowledge, skill, and emotional support during a very difficult and painful time. Chris is a gifted therapist and teacher and it’s alway a pleasure to recommend him.
Jill Hopkins

Friday Harbor

Chris Havel excels at physiotherapy. I sat incorrectly while watching the Apple Cup last year and had neck pain for 2 weeks.  I delayed treatment, then Chris aligned my back and neck with one visit.  He is very knowledgeable, professional, and genuinely cares. He sent me home with exercises and I have been pain-free since. I recommend Chris Havel to my closest family and friends.  

Kathy Cope

Friday Harbor