Encarna Espunya Ripoll
Encarna has been a health professional for 40 years, first as a Spinologist, belonging to the first graduating class of the Philadelphia Spinal Tutorium school, created by the then innovative chiropractor Dr. Reginald Gold.
In Spain, she trained as a Physiotherapist and Osteopath at the University of Valencia, later becoming an associate professor in the Department of Physiotherapy. She was also an associate professor in the Faculty of Physiotherapy at the Cardenal Herrera University of Valencia.
Encarna has more than 20 years of teaching experience in the field of manual therapy, training many health professionals in the techniques of Spinology.
She completed a postgraduate degree in Pediatric Physiotherapy at the University of Valencia (Spain) and has actively participated as a consultant and volunteer teacher in NGOs in the field of disability, both in Valencia (Spain) and in Santiago del Estero (Argentina).
However, in 2013 her life changed forever. Until then, she had been suffering from musculoskeletal pain and other symptoms that accompanied her for as long as she could remember.
On top of this, she also had osteoarthritis in her hands, which made her work as a physiotherapist and manual therapist a real ordeal.
She was doing what she enjoyed most, but she was in pain every day. Pain that she was told she would just have to learn to live with, as it had been diagnosed as “chronic”.
That year however, serendipity led her to discover two books that changed her professional and personal life.
The first book was “Free Yourself from Back Pain” by Dr. John Sarno.
The second was “The Laboratory of the Soul” by Stella Maris Maruso.
Both of these awakened something inside her that still persists until today.
This lead her down a path that allowed her to reverse her pain and the other symptoms that afflicted her. At this same time, she also began a search for education and training in mind-body medicine, treatment of chronic pain and what is now known as psycho-physiological disorders.
Due to her orthodox academic background, it is a sine qua non condition that everything she researches and learns must have scientific evidence. It was this that led her to the “SIRPA Approach” in the United Kingdom. The “SIRPA Approach” works in line with the work of Dr. Sarno, in which she studied and trained.
She then translated the book by her British colleague, physiotherapist Georgie Oldfield, entitled “Chronic Pain: the key to your recovery”, into Spanish. This represents a great contribution to these issues, since there is a lot of literature in English, but very little in Spanish.
In April 2015, at the “London Inaugural Conference in Chronic Pain” Encarna formed a professional link with Drs. David Hanscom, David Clark, and Howard Schubiner, whom she considers her mentors, and with whom she continues to learn at the PPDA (Pschycophysiological Disordesrs Association) in U.S.A., (of which she is also a member).
At the University of Valencia she attended various seminars, workshops and scientific updating congresses held in the field of “Pain Neuroscience Education” with professors of the stature of Dr. Lorimer Moseley, among others.
It was in this field where she met the neurologist Arturo Goicoechea, with whom she attended several trainings: one in the treatment of migraine and another in the treatment of pain and movement. Here she also became acquainted with the research and dissemination work of the S.E.F.I.D. (Spanish Society of Physiotherapy and Pain), of which she is also a member.
Stella Maris Maruso’s work initiated her in PsychoNeuroEndocrineImmunology (PNEI), specifically in its practical application in “supposedly incurable” diseases (as it is used in the Fundación Salud in Argentina and in the Asociación Generar Salud, in Spain). She has collaborated with both organizations for the past six years.
In 2020, she completed her training in this discipline, in the virtual course directed by the prestigious author and professor of international stature: Dr. Daniel Cardinali.
Her training is twofold:
On the one hand, she understands people suffering from chronic pain and knows what they are going through. which, in a nutshell, can be summarized as follows: In addition to the suffering itself, patients have the induced belief that “chronic pain” is incurable.
On the other hand, she also knows the frustration that it produces for health professionals, only to give pain relief and generate dependence on techniques or medications.
Through the approach she leads, she was able to free herself from her own pain and chronic conditions, and no longer fear them. On the other hand, she feels the enormous satisfaction that comes from giving a definitive solution to chronic pain and psycho-physiological disorders that others suffer from.
Presently, Encarna offers personalized treatment by telematic means throughout the Spanish-speaking community.