My name is Molly Hart and I am a Florida native. I grew up on the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria island with my large Italian Catholic family. My mother is a talented & successful business woman who taught me how to mentally and physical care for myself and others with simple life habits and holistic medicine. My father on the other hand was a commercial fisherman and I grew up on the boat with him eating the freshest seafood, catching seahorses on his crab traps, and running around on the beautiful islands nearby. On top of that I also have three crazy & loving brothers who are truly my best friends.
My household was not one with strict rules, in fact looking back we had A LOT of freedom. Jumping on the couch, throwing the ball in the house, having insane pillow fights, and riding down to the beach to catch and sell some bait-fish to the tourists were just a part of life for us. We also talked about everything…and I mean EVERYTHING. My mom always shared her crazy stories of things she did while she was a teen and talked to us about drugs, sex, relationships, emotions, and life in general. She allowed and encouraged us to be ourselves, love ourselves, and care for our one and ONLY body that God blessed us with.
At a young age my parents divorced due to my father’s drug addiction. From age 10 on, I was shown that a female can raise 4 successful children, work a full time job, start her own side business, get her MBA, and overcome cancer. On top of that she also always encouraged us to love my father, be forgiving always, to understand that addiction is a disease, and encouraged us to have a relationship with him despite everything. I went years without talking to my father, and now my millions of prayers have been answered and he is healthier than ever and very present in my life today.
Growing up I was a competitive soccer player and also passionately participated in volleyball, track and field, racquetball, skim boarding, and kayaking on a weekly bases. I knew as a senior in high school that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist as it would enhance my active lifestyle. At a young age I was exposed to PT due to my oldest brother’s Cerebral Palsy (CP) and later due to my own ACL and meniscus injury. I understood the value of this profession and how it helped my family. I also knew I never wanted to prescribe drugs and saw that conservative approaches is what lead to the most optimal outcome for my family.
I went on to attend the University of South Florida where I played for USF’s Women’s Club Soccer team while getting my undergrad degree in Biomedical Sciences. I catered by entire degree, extracurricular activities, and networking opportunities to get into a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. I was accepted first round into USF’s DPT program and became the Class President. I was blessed to have a clinical rotation at the VA’s comprehensive Chronic Pain Program that incorporated all health professions (physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologist, physical therapist, occupation therapist, recreational rehab, vocational rehab). This clinical experience sparked my desire and knowledge for treating persistent pain conditions.
During my undergrad experience my family also went through a rough time frame as my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I attended all of her treatments at Moffit Cancer center and for the first time realized how awful the medical system is to patient's who are suffering. My mom was often treated just like another number - not a real person with emotions and rights. Often she would ask to not have new interns perform her treatment and was told NO, she was switched between so many professionals, misguided at times, and never felt listened to. I had to watch my very strong mother be emotionally destroyed by the cancer and her treatment from medical professionals. This experience made me realize that I would always strive to treat every person I had the pleasure to treat in the way I wished my mom would have been treated.
This experience lead me to be tested for the BRCA 2 gene, as my mother tested positive for this gene. The BRCA 2 gene significantly increases your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Unfortunately I did discover that I am also positive for the BRCA 2 gene. I then received genetic counseling and was informed that I should receive IVF treatments to select out for the gene if I want to have children and then receive a double breast mastectomy and total hysterectomy after having children as preventative care. I was NOT OKAY with this extremely invasive care as a solution for PREVENTION. I started to do more research myself on preventative care that had a higher benefit to risk ratio and discovered that there IS A LOT OF WONDERFUL CONSERVATIVE care options that do not include invasive procedures and surgical removal of my female body parts. I now understand that decreasing exposure to toxins that cause endocrine disruption and managing stress is vastly important to cancer prevention. The food we eat, air we breath, water we drink, and the products we use on our house and body are extremely important to protect our bodies. I discovered how vital exercise is, the importance of stress calming strategies such as diaphragm breathing and meditation, the need for good quality sleep, and last how important our thoughts and beliefs are to our bodies ability to stay healthy and heal itself. This journey to protect my female body lead to my strong passion for specializing in women's health PT.
I decided to take my chronic pain clinical experience and combine it with women's pelvic health because I saw there was a massive need. I was aware that women with chronic pain conditions were being MASSIVELY under served, misguided, mistreated, and unheard. My passion for this work is immense and I do believe I was guided to be here on this earth to do exactly this.
I graduated from my DPT program in August 2017 with a career already lined up at an outpatient pelvic rehab clinic where I received one-on-one mentorship for treating pelvic health dysfunctions. There was a pelvic health team of over 10 women at this company that I had the pleasure to learn from and met with to review literature and techniques. I then finished all of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) pelvic and pregnancy/postpartum courses within my first year of practice. From there I have continued to educate myself on ideal exercise techniques for all body conditions, proper food intake, and how to decrease stress and toxins in my life. This education has allowed me to help my patient's implement these strategies into their own life slowly to allow for life style changes that create a beautiful quality of life.
While I was treating at a traditional PT setting, I discovered that I could not longer sit in my little office and wait for women to come to me after years of abuse and pain. Pelvic PT is one-on-one so my treatment sessions were too short at the clinic, we had a 3 month wait list, poor scheduling that didn’t allow me to properly treat the women on my case load, and I was getting completely burnt out by the setting and situation I was in. I knew I needed to free up some of my time so I could go out and educate women in my local area and online. I also knew that taking on a smaller case load and having longer treatment times would allow me to give proper and detailed care to the women I was serving.
This realization is what lead me to quit my clinic job and start Pelvic Balance Physical Therapy. I now have a full 90-minute evaluation session to allow for a wonderful first interaction that is not rushed and all sessions after are a full 60-minutes. This long treatment time allows me to help women heal quicker than I knew was even possible. I only take on so many patients at a time which allows me to give my full attention to each women’s plan of care to ensure success. This also frees up my time and allows me to post free educational information online, write research-based blog posts, and perform free talks for my local community. I am determined to educate women about their female bodies, their rights when being treated, and preventing women from unnecessary procedures, injections, surgeries, and being placed on extensive harmful medications.
If you decide to work along side me in healing your mind, body, and soul I will ensure to give you my all and treat you like the amazing person that you are. I care tremendously about your success and ensuring that I give you nothing less than what I would want for my family.
With Love & Compassion,
Dr. Molly Hart, PT, DPT