Local Physical Therapist Uses Innovative Therapy to Change Children’s Lives 

Dana Broughton, Dynamic Movement Intervention, and Options for Children with Developmental Delays

One-size-fits-all care isn’t going to work for every child, and local physical therapist Dana Broughton provides her expertise in a new therapy to expand options for children in need. 

Dynamic Movement Intervention, or DMI, is a therapeutic technique used to treat children with gross motor impairments through repetitive specific motor responses. Dana has seen great success implementing this kind of therapy on children that have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, hypotonia, and other developmental, genetic, or injury-related delays.

With a degree in physical therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill and over twenty years of experience, Dana Broughton brings her life-changing therapeutic skills to the Triangle and beyond. 

Meet Dana

As one of the only DMI practitioners in North Carolina, Dana helps children aged 0-5 all over the world reach new developmental milestones each year. By offering one, two, or three week-long intensives (at two visits a day), her patients receive more therapy (and often greater results) in just a few weeks than they would in six months. In January, Dana will complete the Intermediate A ranking, making her the only DMI practitioner in the state at that advanced level.

With over twenty-three years of pediatric physical therapy experience as well as the Intermediate A DMI certification, Dana provides patient-first care that empowers parents to continue their children’s progress at home. She teaches them doable stretches, exercises, and developmental techniques in addition to working with their primary care physician to provide the best and most realistic outcome for these little patients. 

Dana also uses Total Motion Release, or TMR, which is a technique that focuses on exercising parts of the body that are not causing issues in order to heal and strengthen pained muscles on the other side of the body. For babies with torticollis, for instance, TMR addresses trunk issues without subjecting the baby to painful neck stretches. 

{Dana Broughton working with Levi Chrisholm (age 3) and his mom Meagan Chrisholm}

Meagan Chisholm’s twins, Lainey and Levi, had a near-fatal drowning accident at a friend’s pool in November 2020. Lainey had recovered but Levi suffered a severe brain injury. 

“Dana just felt like the next step for him. We’ve done a lot of internal reflex work and we are ready to see him start moving,” said Chrisholm. 

Chrisholm said she went with her gut on DMI therapy after reading success stories about kids improving.  

“With this therapy we’ve seen an increase in head control, increase in body awareness, more movement. Overall the reflex patterns are coming back. This is a neurological-based therapy and that’s what he needs to reconnect his brain,” added Chrisholm. 

Service and Acceptance

Dana’s path to practicing DMI stems from one core value: radical acceptance. “This idea of radical acceptance is when we stop fighting reality—and we let the magic happen,” she says on her website. “It means not letting a diagnosis determine how we approach each child and their future outcome.” By practicing radical acceptance, these children and their parents are on a path to success that’s free of judgment. 

Dana doesn’t only extend radical acceptance to her patients. She practices it in her own life, as well. As the single mother of two girls, a business owner, and a lupus patient, she focuses on staying present each day.

“When I stopped trying to control everything in my life, things started to open up,” she says. “When I started serving others, I became more free, and that’s when my business took off.” 

Looking forward, Dana plans to hire more physical therapists to help the most children in need. DMI isn’t covered by insurance, so she’s also looking at starting scholarships.

Working with Dana Broughton and DMI Therapy

It’s easy to get started with Dana. Prospective patients can visit her website, allkidsperfect.com to set up an email consultation. As she gets to know the child’s personality, comfort level, and motivations, Dana begins to assess the why behind the motor delay. This empowers everyone involved to collaborate on the most effective action plan for that child’s needs. 

Hillary Jacob is the mom of two-year-old Finley Jacob-Yamada who has gross motor developmental delays. Jacob told us they’ve tried other therapies but nothing has worked like DMI therapy. “I think DMI is life-changing. Finley is confident, more stable, stronger… more ways than we can even express. She’s a different baby,” said Jacob. 

Combining the principles of DMI therapy and Total Motion Release, Dana is able to holistically treat each unique child. She works hand-in-hand with the child’s primary care physician as well as East Point Orthotics in Raleigh for any bracing or helmet needs. Parents and families are also provided a toolbox of stretches and exercises to continue therapy in the comfort of their homes.

Dana’s office is located at 1142 Executive Circle, Suite E in Cary. She currently offers physical therapy evaluations, visits, and one, two, or three-week intensives for children ages 0-5.

Big thank you to Dana Broughton for sharing her inspirational story with us. Do you have your own story you’d like us to share? Reach out to us here.