Our StoryThen Until Now
How We Got Started
Breathe. Physical Therapy & Wellness was founded by two PT School classmates and friends with a shared vision for a different kind of physical therapy. Molly started school with a goal of opening her own business one day, and Libby never dreamed she’d own her own business. =They took very different paths to get there, but one hot summer afternoon in August 2016, dreams started to become reality, and Breathe. was born.
We are tremendously grateful for all of the voices in our community and support we’ve received along the way. We ask for your continued support as we begin to change the conversation about how physical therapy is delivered. We are especially grateful to our husbands and families, without whose support this tremendous step would not be possible. Namaste.
We Practice a holistic approach
A Different Kind of Physical Therapy
When you enter our clinic, you’ll know immediately that this is the place for you, a place unlike any other physical therapy clinic. We want you to feel all the stress and anxiety from your day melt away as soon as you walk through the door. There are no big machines or other equipment that you don’t have at home. We have private treatment rooms, and you spend the entire time one-on-one with your physical therapist. We truly listen to you, and work with you to find solutions to all your concerns. You will leave each session feeling comfortable and confident with something to work on at home.
We Practice a holistic approach
A different Kind of Physical Therapy
When you enter our clinic, you’ll know immediately that this is the place for you, a place unlike any other physical therapy clinic. There are no big machines, or other equipment that you don’t have at home. We want you to feel all the stress and anxiety from your day melts away as soon as you walk through the door. We have private treatment rooms, and you spend the entire time one-on-one with your physical therapist. We truly listen to you, and work with you to find solutions to all your concerns. You will leave each session with something to work on at home.
Dr. Kaylee Carroll
Kaylee (she/her), self-proclaimed “little fireball”, began her journey with Breathe. just a few months after our doors first opened. A natural go-getter, she has pursued extensive professional training in women’s health as a CAPP-Pelvic Certified Provider, including: pelvic floor and core dysfunction, incontinence, pelvic pain, pre-natal and post-natal care, dry needling, and a variety of manual therapy techniques. Kaylee’s treatment style makes her clients feel confident and comfortable in their lives – breaking through the obstacle of hopelessness and dropping concerns of body impairments that have gotten in the way of their best lives. Her Type-A tendencies show up in her personal life as characterized by her love creating and planning everything she can! Whether it’s building an indoor playset or home organizational system, to coming up with itineraries and lists in preparation for every event or trip she’s excited for. She loves being surrounded by friends and family, traveling as often as possible, and snuggling her two little boys.
“Your body is a vessel to support you and keep you moving towards your passions, not hold you back.”
Dr. Kristen Strawhacker-Bonzer
PT, DPT, ATC, LAT
Kristen (she/her) calls herself numbers nerd, she loves seeing how outcomes can be measured with statistics. Her passion as a physical therapist comes from her ability to help people in a visible way, and the fact that physical therapists have significantly more time with clients than many other health professionals. She finds joy in getting to know people and being present for their growth and life changes. She combines training in Movement System Impairment, Medical Therapeutic Yoga and dry needling with her pelvic and women’s health training to use a truly holistic approach. Kristen is an avid runner and yearly marathon competitor (she just completed her 14th!). She is passionate about health advocacy, and encourages speaking up, asking questions, and collaborating with providers to achieve the best health outcomes. When not cross training, she can be found in her garden or cooking.
“It is my dream that all humans feel confident and comfortable in their bodies to enjoy movement (however they define it).”
“Wherever you are, be all there” is a quote that influences Haleigh’s life. She continues to return to the power of the present moment and hopes to remind herself and her clients to cultivate more of that. Haleigh (she/her) uses her training in EMDR, CBT and DBT to help clients get to the root of what is causing their symptoms and develop a safe, effective strategy to process and move through those experiences. The queen of Post-it notes and throw pillows, you can always find her putting together organized, cozy spaces to make clients feel welcome and comforted. She is trained in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and loves walking alongside clients as they explore issues around fertility or traumatic birth experiences, sex and relationship concerns, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and the transition to motherhood. She’s known as the “social butterfly” of Breathe. and is motivated by connecting with the team.
“I love being able to witness my client’s growth and being a part of their journey to healing and feeling their best.”
Director of Marketing & Relationships
“In a gentle way you can shake the world,” is a quote that guides Reanna (she/her). A deep thinker and a deeper feeler, she savors simple moments and the opportunity to harmonize and mobilize others through her creative marketing strategies. Using her Master of Arts in Strategic Communication she identifies new and innovative ways to connect with Breathe. clients and the women we hope to serve. As a spirited storyteller, her intention and purpose for the work she does is to elevate the voices of people and companies that are creating meaningful change and putting good into the world. This is why she is head-over-heels for Breathe. She is transformed by her experience as a mother of two.
“My vision is for all people to be empowered to connect to their authentic voice, and be fearless and honest in their experience with vulnerability and love.”
Alison (she/her) is a native of Des Moines and loves being part of a locally owned business that centers on holistic healthcare. Her warm and welcoming personality creates a safe space for every client that calls or walks through our clinic doors. In addition to her passion for serving each and every person as the face of Breathe. Beaverdale, she is a licensed massage therapist, with a deep understanding of the healing potential of this modality. Outside of work, she likes to spend time exploring nature with her dogs, traveling, going to live music, and trying to find the best cup of coffee in Des Moines. Ask her to share the story of how she got an umbrella stuck in her mouth as a child.
“I dream that women in my community have safe spaces to pursue health, happiness, and pleasure.”
Hannah (she/her) lives her life by the words of Fleetwood Mac, specifically the song “Gypsy”. She’s wild about serving people and making them happy. Whether she’s sitting behind the front desk at Breathe. or teaching yoga in our community, she aims to be the bright light to someone’s day. Even if it’s minuscule. She is the self-proclaimed crazy dog mom of a goldendoodle named Patrick Melt, aka Paddy Melt, and a labradoodle named Pearl). She considers them her children.
“I want all the women in my community to feel safe and empowered.”
Dr. Liz Lahr (Swartz)
Liz (she/her) lives by the mantra “there is beauty in the sweet, slow and simple”. She knows that she shows up as the best version of herself when she creates space to rest and recharge and offers that same grace to those around her. Her education in pelvic health and medical therapeutic yoga guide her ability to help women with a wide variety of problems, from bladder leakage to headaches and foot pain to shoulder stiffness and everything in between. Nicknamed the “sourpatch kid” she’s a perfect mix of sweet and salty, in addition to the combination of creative and science minded. She hopes to help every client achieve their own version of success whether that be picking up their kiddo without back pain, crossing the finish line of their first half-marathon, or entering into pregnancy and birth feeling fearless and strong. She knows and lives by the belief that all women deserve to feel beautiful and confident in their own bodies. She married her high school sweetheart and wants everyone to know If she ever goes missing, look in Maine, a place she fell in love with after residing there for the summer.
“My dream for my clients out in the community is to feel limitless.”
Dr. Molly Lechtenberg
PT, DPT, CMTPT
Molly (she/her) envisions a reality where every time she walks into a room, “Hotel, Motel” by Pitbull plays in the background to pump her up. She has known since she was in eighth grade that she would be a physical therapist and has worked with clients through all phases of life for over 10 years. Her interest and focus in women’s health is the product of her personal experience with years of infertility and the traumatic birth of her first daughter. She focuses on hands on therapy to ease pain quickly and she is certified in myofascial trigger point dry needling. She also has training in Medical Therapeutic Yoga, and uses that to restore strength & flexibility after the muscle restrictions are released. Author of Planned C-Section Guide: How to Prepare and Recover Fearlessly, she wants all women to know that cesarean birth doesn’t have to be scary. She has two beautiful daughters and an irrational fear of penguins.
“After a traumatic delivery myself, I want women to know that it’s okay to not be okay after you give birth, and there’s lots of people to help you.”
Dr. Lily Gasway
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” guides Lily (she/her) in everything she does. She is blanket obsessed, calling herself the “cozy queen”. She chose a profession in pelvic health because she is passionate about helping people feel heard, understood, and supported while working on vulnerable topics. Her interest is in individualized care, learning each person’s unique goals and helping create a plan to work towards them. She has practiced yoga for years, and was immediately drawn to Breathe. to combine her medical and yogic training. She is known around the office for having the best smelling coffee, and the cutest dog, Archie. You might just get a chance to meet him at your appointment!
“My dream for my clients is that they can see and be amazed by their wonderful strength and abilities, and that they gain a valuable toolbox of skills to help themselves feel vibrant and free to do whatever they choose.”
Jenn (she/her), nature enthusiast, optimistic realist, believes each of us should “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” She has over 20 years of experience working with bodies of all shapes, sizes and ages through movement and self care. She is a huge advocate in the power of touch to promote healing. As a self-proclaimed “anatomy nerd”, she feels strongly that being a massage therapist allows her to live her purpose, while feeding her intellectual interests, on a daily basis! Whether you want deep tissue or a pampering prenatal massage, Jenn provides a totally customized experience that is unique and effective for your body. Her wish is that every person she has the pleasure to work with feel confident in their bodies, and able to comfortably participate in whatever activities feed their souls and fill their hearts with joy.
“My dream for my clients is for them to feel valued as individuals.”
Debbie (she/her) is known as the “cuddly” personality in the office. She lives by the verse “Love never fails” and leads each interaction from those words. Her passion for our clients and her job shines through in her fresh perspectives and welcoming demeanor. She’s the bright light and smile that greets you on the phone or at the door, and the office “baby whisperer”, who delights in allowing moms their appointment time with attention undivided. She has a major fear of heights, but once climbed up three stories high to jump into an airbag. She calls the experience exhilarating! Outside of her role in the office, Debbie has flower gardens that she tends to and two granddaughters that she cannot live without.
“I wish all women had the tools to TRULY take care of themselves, because then we have what we need to help others.”
Dr. Heather Alaniz
Heather (she/her) brings a wealth of experience working with diverse populations as a physical therapist in Chicago for nine years. She is knowledgeable and passionate about understanding cultural differences in pregnancy and birth. The quote “don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because courage can be contagious and hope can take a life of its own,” guides her practice and life approach. She wants you to know that you are supported and listened to, and that you have an entire team cheering you on your pathway to healing. She’s known as “naturally caffienated” and is energized and focused by helping clients enjoy their lives to the fullest and not miss a moment due to an uncomfortable pregnancy, traumatic birth exeriences, pants peeing, painful sex, or impossible exercise. The mother of two boys, her birth stories include both a c-section and a VBAC. You can frequently find them running in their double stroller. She loves to bake and is always up to the challenge of making a cheesecake that rivals the Cheesecake Factory.
“I want to change what pre and postnatal care in America looks like. All women should have access to both pre and postnatal physical therapy!”
Dr. Kelli Jarrard
Kelli (she/her) is described as “tiny but mighty”, living her life by the quote “life is tough, my darling, but so are you”. She became a physical therapist following a lifelong passion for being active and developing a deep understanding of the importance of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for herself and so many others. As a young girl, she envisioned working in the healthcare field as a way to help others. One of her very favorite things is helping people understand what they can do, providing hope and guidance so each and everyone of her clients can become healthier and happier humans through movement, education, empowerment and so much more! She’s extremely proud of her accomplishment as a 5x Hooverball National Champion – think volleyball with a 4-6 pound medicine ball.
“My dream for the clients and all the humans in my community is for them to be strong in their bodies and minds, confident in their ability to move and be active, and involved in all the things that make them happy.”
Dr. Mary Hausler
Mary (she/her) is a natural go-getter, living by the motto “don’t stop until you’re proud”. She claims to have a “habitually smiling” face that attracts strangers and stories wherever she goes. We agree! She began her career with specialized training in pelvic health and thrives in working with this population. Additionally, one of Mary‘s many passions includes serving the LGBTQIA+ population, and all individuals with persistent and complicated pain. She chose a profession in physical therapy because she wanted to be a light to those in pain. Furthermore, raised in a family dominated by strong, independent women, pelvic floor therapy was a natural fit as she hopes to empower and uplift other women in her community. If she wasn’t a physical therapist, she would be a themed party planner – costumes obviously required.
“I hope all feel welcome in my space and recognize the authority they have over their bodies and their health.”
Dr. Libby Trausch
Libby (she/her) has had 3 babies and experienced nearly every pelvic floor and low back symptom we treat, in addition to most kinds of birth (C-section, VBAC and almost a home birth). Alongside co-owner Molly, Libby identified gaps in traditional models of care and relentlessly went to work creating a company that inspires women to hope. Libby is driven to create a space where energy, vibrance and activity is accessible for all women and guides Breathe. on that intention. A fluent Spanish speaker, Libby was a high school exchange student in Argentina. She’s currently learning French, knitting and climbing! She authored Peaceful Pushing: How to Train Your Pelvic Floor & Improve Chances of an Easy Birth, and is currently writing an all-inclusive Postpartum Guide to help all women recover comfortably and confidently after delivery.
“I dream of a society where women are valued in birth, where they are supported physically, emotionally and socially and empowered to improve their outcomes.”
Jaden (she/her) is the office Fashionista. She spent several years working in the fashion industry and developing a love of style, and loves to be the best dressed, smiling face you encounter when you walk in the door. She transitioned to Breathe. following her love of health and wellness, and a deep desire to connect with clients and watching them discover that hope and healing is within reach. In the past 12 years she has lived in Chicago, IL, Florence, Italy, and Los Angeles, CA. She is so excited to now be rooted in Des Moines with her husband and young son. A few of Jaden’s favorite things outside of work include listening to 70’s music and spending time with her family.
“No one should have to suffer mentally or physically after having a baby. There are resources out there for you to get help and feel like yourself again.”