Myodetox, a Canadian-native, boutique physical therapy clinic, now has three locations across Los Angeles: West Hollywood, Brentwood and Studio City. The spa-like clinic is all about offering a fresh approach to physical therapy and is built on the belief that caring for your body should be a preventive part of your wellness routine. With the recent opening of the Studio City location, co-founder Vinh Pham opened up to Angeleno all about starting Myodetox, the importance of body maintenance and his ambitions to revolutionize the industry.
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Can you tell us about the inception of Myodetox?
If you understand anything about the physical therapy industry, it's an industry that literally has not changed in like 50 years.
The old model is there because it makes money, but you should not make money off people's bodies. It's really how I feel... I want to cry about it because it just bothers me so much that people do that.
I started in my condo in my house, literally in my living room and I would have a full-on caseload that I moved to my condo gym. My condo gym was not happy. I was running my condo gym like a clinic. I was above a barber shop in downtown Toronto and I was blowing up because everyone was getting their body fixed. But I was starting to learn about business and I was just this little shop that wished he could kind of thing. I didn't have lights at first. So after 6 p.m., I'm treating people in the dark with my laptop light. I just basically did it from the bottom. The work was so good that people could not deny the results, and they were willing to follow me whether I was on the carpet in my living room or above a barber shop while people are getting their haircut with no lights.
Can you tell us more about the Myodetox system?
For whatever reason, in the rehab industry, they split the human body into three different [professionals you see]. You have the massage people that only look from a skin relaxation perspective. You have a physical therapist that only looks from a muscle perspective. Then you have the chiropractor that only looks from a bone perspective. If you come in with an injury, it can be one of those three or it can be like a percentage of all those three. So if you don't only see one person or you don't really have good communication with the other people that are part of your healthcare team, people end up getting mismatched with their practitioner. So my system is not necessarily anything revolutionary, I just said, “Hey, listen, I'm just gonna teach all my therapists to do [it] all.”
So essentially what we do here is skin, muscle, bones and fascia (connective tissue that holds everything together) and we put everything together and we treat the body holistically.
My goal is to have people actually understand skin, muscle and bones on a deeper level and also be aware of fascia, so therefore they actually know how to troubleshoot their therapy when they're hurt.
My whole goal in life is to standardize that process. Right now, the solution is instead of you going to all these other places, just come to Myo and we will teach you everything. Period. That's really the offering. You have an issue with your body that is related to pain in the knee or you feel off about a body part? Go to Myo, they'll tell you everything. But my goal in the future is you will only come to me when you have… surgeries or high-level stuff that they need to do.
Myodetox Studio City
Tell us more about the preventative element of the treatment system!
When you talk about prevention, you talk about hygiene, you talk about maintenance. When it comes to hair, what do you do? Shampoo, conditioner… When it comes to your teeth: brush, floss. What do we do in terms of prevention or maintenance for our knee, for our foot, for our elbow, for our shoulder? Nothing! Zero. And that's the whole idea, again, of why you should be coming to Myo or learning about these things because you need to learn how to brush your spine, floss your muscles because your spine is really important. I would argue that your spine is equally as important as your teeth, as your eyes, as all these things.
The way that they set up our industry is very reactive. The problem is with all these other things when it comes to your hair, skin and things like that, like if you don't shower every day, walk around, someone's gonna be like, “Yo, listen, you smell weird.” All these other things, you can visually see it or someone will call you out on it. The problem with muscles is it's almost silent. Things are slowly going downhill and because people don't teach people how to be aware of these things, whether it's sitting straight or just moving a certain way, for a year “dirt” just keeps accumulating and no one tells you until you have a huge issue, which is like your knees blowing out. The whole idea of prevention and maintenance is, also, I need to teach people how to monitor themselves and see the signs before they show up.
So would you encourage people to come in if they don't have any pain or an injury or even if they're not an athlete?
1,000%, of course. When we're marketing to the general public, obviously pain is a huge motivator. When people want things, the red lights start showing up on your engine, you're like, “Okay, I need to get rid of it.” You bring it to the mechanic, they fix it and then you're like, “Ah, forget the oil change. I don’t need air in my tires. I'll keep driving until the wheels fall off.” But I'm trying to teach the opposite, which is you just come in once a month. Check it out and as you're learning about your body, at some point, you might not even need to come in anymore because you actually know how to self-maintain. When you know to maintain it, you don't need to come in, to be quite honest, because you can do a lot of things on your own. The other approach is some people just don't have the time to learn about it or do not care. They would rather have someone maintain it for them. Come on in. I'll do the cleaning for you. It's up to you. And then if you have a major problem, then I will front load with three to five sessions to fix that issue and then I put you back on the maintenance model.
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What is your long-term goal with Myodetox?
I do not care if Myo, in the long run, ends up crashing and burning. But if I inspire the whole world of physical therapists and all these people to actually start doing good work and teaching everyone how to really understand how their body works, and in turn, like three years from now, people don't even know I exist. I'm completely gone, but a kid is being taught by their mom how to stretch at the importance of spinal healthat like three years old, my job is done.
Photography by: Courtesy Myodetox