Bellingham Physical Therapy is Updating our Safety Policy

Statewide Mask Mandate ends Monday, April 3

To coincide with the end of Washington’s statewide mask mandate in health care settings, we at Bellingham Physical Therapy are updating our policy. Nothing is more important than the health and safety or our team members and patients. Masks have been instrumental in allowing us to remain open and to safely provide care to our patients throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we are navigating the transition from public health emergency to living with endemic COVID as part of daily life, we recognize there are many benefits of allowing patients and staff to abstain from wearing masks, including breathing more easily during exercise and enhanced nonverbal communication.

Our Policy

In accordance with guidance provided by Washington State Department of Health, masking will now be optional for all patients and staff at Bellingham Physical Therapy, except for the following situations:

  • Many of our staff members may continue to wear masks and will be supported in doing so.
  • Clinicians and staff are happy to accommodate any patient who would like masks to be worn during their appointment.
  • We will also ask anyone who has a cough or any residual symptoms from illness to wear a mask.
  • To keep everyone safe and healthy, we ask anyone with symptoms of an active illness to opt for a telehealth appointment, or to reschedule their appointment.
  • We ask that anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 infection to abstain from attending in person physical therapy for at least 5 days or symptoms are significantly improved, and to wear a mask for at least 10 days following their positive test.

Keeping Everyone Safe

We will continue to practice handwashing and ask patients and visitors to do the same. Our vigorous cleaning and sanitizing practices will continue. If you would like to wear a mask, please do. If you would like us to wear a mask during your visit, we will be happy to. We will monitor conditions in our community, the health of our patients and staff, and health department guidelines, and adjust our policies accordingly. Please check back here for any updates.

We look forward to seeing your faces!


Winter 2023


Welcome to Bellingham Physical Therapy’s first-ever newsletter! Over the past year, Bellingham Physical Therapy has gone through some new and exciting changes. We want to share those changes with you and keep you in the loop about everything that is going on at our clinic. We created this newsletter to share any news or exciting events we have in the future. We want you all to know how much we value being a part of the Bellingham community, and we look forward to providing unrivaled physical therapy services to all our patients.

Ownership Change

As you may already know, after 41 years as the owners of Bellingham Physical Therapy (BPT), John and Marcia McWilliams decided it was time to retire in January 2022. While we dearly miss John and Marcia, the ownership of Bellingham Physical Therapy has passed into the more than capable hands of Heather Kreizenbeck. Heather has been a Physical Therapist at BPT for more than 20 years, and she is committed to continuing John and Marcia’s mission to provide excellent physical therapy services to every patient that walks through our door. She has many exciting plans for the future of BPT, some of which we have already begun to implement. In the last year, we converted to an electronic medical records system, got a new phone system, started a personal training/wellness program, added new staff members, and updated our website. Stay tuned to see what is coming next.

Electronic Medical Records System

One of the biggest changes we have made in the last year is the implementation of an electronic medical records system. This system will allow us to streamline all our patient scheduling, chart information and billing so that our clinicians can spend more of their time treating patients and less time on paperwork. It also makes retrieval of patient information much easier and convenient for administrative purposes and for communication between physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Each patient will also be able to create their own patient portal. In the portal, they can track their prior appointments, view upcoming appointments, make payments, complete forms, sign up for our waitlist, cancel appointments, and set appointment reminder notifications. We are excited to have implemented this system at our clinic and look forward to spending more time treating our patients; which is what we love to do!

Personal Training

2023 has seen the launch of a personal training program at Bellingham Physical Therapy. We believe that movement is an essential part of life, and we aim to encourage our patients to continue moving even after they are done with physical therapy. Our goals with personal training are to promote enjoyment through movement and provide education on safe exercise practices. Personal training will not be covered by insurance, but we offer training packages or pay-as-you-go options to make it affordable for most budgets. If you are interested in personal training, talk to your physical therapist, and book an appointment with a receptionist or online. Personal Training will be done with our certified personal trainer Jessica Wilcox, NASM-CPT. Jessica has been a member of the BPT team since 2016 and is excited to embark on this new journey. If you have questions about Personal Training or wish to learn more, visit our website, or email Jessica (jessicaw@bellinghamphysicaltherapy.com). Personal Training is the first step we are taking towards implementing a wellness program which will eventually include nutrition, and health coaching.

New Faces

Those of you who have been patients with us for a while may have noticed some fresh faces around the clinic. We have added several new members to our team including two physical therapists: Lane Williams-PT, DPT and Eric Eschelbach-PT, DPT, QMHA and a physical therapist assistant: Nathan Wright-PTA. Join us in welcoming them to the BPT family and do not hesitate to say hello. If you would like to get to know them or any of our staff better, go check out our staff bio page.


Speaking of websites, we have been working on updating and improving our website. If you have not looked at it in a while, go to https://bellinghamphysicaltherapy.com and see the changes we have made. In between these newsletters, make sure to check in occasionally with “What’s New” on our website to stay up to date with what is happening at Bellingham Physical Therapy. We will be posting more content on our Facebook and Instagram pages, such as videos, news, updates, pictures, and fun events so make sure to find us on Facebook and Instagram.

A Call for Artists

We recognize that there are many talented artists in our local community, and we would like the opportunity to partner with some of them. Artists who partner with us will have the chance to display their art to many people at our busy clinic. The artists can include their contact information and a price for each piece on display. We will be happy to connect artists to anyone who is interested in buying a piece of their art. In return we get to keep our clinic full of beautiful local artwork. Artists who partner with us will loan us several pieces of their artwork to be hung up around the Bellingham Physical Therapy clinic for 6-8 weeks (about 2 months). We will then rotate to a new artist display for the following two months. If you are an artist, or know of an artist who might be interested in this partnership, please email Jessica (jessicaw@belllinghamphysicaltherapy.com) to discuss this opportunity in more detail.

Thank You

We hope you enjoyed reading our first ever newsletter! It is important to us to keep our community up to date with what is happening at Bellingham Physical Therapy. We hope to send out a newsletter every 3-4 months, so be sure to follow our social media pages and check our website for upcoming news or events. As always, it is our pleasure to serve and be a part of the Bellingham community. We look forward to providing you with excellent physical therapy services.

All the best,

The staff at Bellingham Physical Therapy

Welcome our new Physical Therapist Eric Eschelbach PT, DPT, QMHA

Eric graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Portland State University in 2016. He worked in the psychology field as a residential treatment specialist, serving to assist in the rehabilitation of adults living with severe mental illness transitioning from the state hospital to semi-independent living. In 2021, Eric received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Pacific University in Oregon. After graduation, Eric worked as a travel physical therapist in Oregon, Arizona, and California at outpatient orthopedic clinics.

He now joins Bellingham Physical Therapy to combine his passion for rehabilitation in both mind and body to treat each patient holistically while addressing their musculoskeletal and neurological concerns.

What conditions does Eric treat?

Eric was trained in the Maitland Approach of Orthopedic Manual Therapy which utilizes joint mobilization and manipulation of the extremities and spine, neurodynamic techniques, stretching, stabilizing exercises, and functional exercises specific to each individual. As a result, Eric is able to treat all orthopedic conditions of the extremities as well as the spine that include but are not limited to acute injuries, pre and post-surgical rehab, age related joint pain, and chronic pain.

In addition to all orthopedic conditions, Eric works with some neurologic conditions. He treats individuals that have sustained a concussion (also known as mild TBI) and vestibular related conditions.

Is concussion rehabilitation right for me?

There are many concussion related symptoms which can greatly affect your physical, emotional, and mental health. Symptoms include but are not limited to headache, imbalance, dizziness, blurry vision, ringing in the ears, confusion, difficulty concentrating, depression, and agitation. When these symptoms last for a few weeks after the initial concussion, it is often referred to as post-concussion syndrome. If left unaddressed, these symptoms can last for months to years. A physical therapist can help to alleviate symptoms and aide in quicker recovery from these symptoms.  

A physical therapy examination will assess the neurological, orthopedic, or cardiovascular symptoms that are occurring as a result of post-concussion syndrome. The physical therapist will then provide education, manual treatment, therapeutic exercises, and/or vestibular exercises based on these symptoms. Whether you are trying to return to sport, return to work, or generally return to living life, physical therapy may be able to get you back to these activities expeditiously.  

Is vestibular rehabilitation right for me? 

If you are feeling dizzy or off balance, you may have an inner ear or vestibular issue. After the initial evaluation, a PT will determine whether or not vestibular therapy is indicated for you. Vestibular therapy is directed at assessing what the sources of your dizziness or balance issues are and addressing them with specific treatments based on your diagnosis. The treatments are designed to improve your balance and move your head and body freely without an increase in dizziness or vertigo. Vestibular related symptoms can impact your daily life in a significant way and our goal is to get you back to living your life without apprehension or fear of movement.  

A physical therapist can help to diagnose and treat BPPV, cervicogenic dizziness, PPPD (Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness), vestibular nerve hypofunction, vestibular migraine and post-surgical acoustic neuroma. Other vestibular related conditions, such as superior canal dehiscence, Meniere’s disease, and nestibular neuritis will require a referral to another specialist. In some cases, your neurologist, otolaryngologist, audiologist, or primary care physician will work in conjunction with a physical therapist in order to properly diagnose and treat the condition.    

If any of these sound like you, give us a call to schedule your appointment with Eric today!