Episode 17: Chronic Pain and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy ft. Michael Zabala Aquino, PT, DPT


Most people utilize physical therapy for orthopedic purposes, however, physical therapy has so much more to offer. Today, we chat with Dr. Michael Zabala Aquino, the founder of Deconstruct Health. Michael discusses their mission to alleviate the barriers that exist for the queer community, particularly queer people of color and transgender/gender nonconforming individuals, through the use of physical therapy and whole body wellness. Michael specializes in pelvic floor physical therapy (for all!) and chronic pain.


Show Notes

Meet Michael Zabala Aquino, PT, DPT

Michael Zabala Aquino, PT, DPT is an orthopedic and pelvic health physical therapist with a focus on lifestyle management and population health. He attained his clinical doctorate at Chapman University in Southern California and has worked with a variety of populations ranging from individuals with chronic/persistent pain conditions, injured youth athletes, work-related injuries, to the post-stroke population for return to optimal health. In order to serve organizations and address health at a population level as a health consultant, Dr. Aquino went through further education to become a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist(CEAS I) through The Back School and a Certified Applied Prevention and Health Promotion Therapist (Cert-APHPT) through the Institute of Clinical Excellence.

Dr. Aquino also has a background in sociology and attained a BA in Sociology at UC Santa Barbara, where his area of focus was on the impact of race, sex, gender, and sexuality in society and the workplace. It was his undergraduate studies in sociology in conjunction with his lived experiences as a QPoC, that cultivated and nurtured Dr. Aquino’s drive to promote and create spaces of inclusivity where individuals from marginalized communities could thrive. If it were not for the loving support and connectedness with the community of family, friends, and professors he was privileged to have, he would not be the person he is today. 

Deconstruct Health Physical Therapy & Consulting PC is a culmination of his passions in the promotion of health, wellbeing, and social justice. He uses his love of creating art in combination with his knowledge as a healthcare professional with a sociology background to deconstruct what health has been socially constructed to mean, in order to promote a definition of health that is not rooted in exclusion, but inclusion. Through his platform he hopes to build community spaces that not only improve accessibility to health, but also embrace diversity and uplift the voices, ideas, and opinions of the marginalized who have been kept in silence and left invisible for too long. He wants others to experience the same types of communities that embraced him fully and taught him the values of self-love and self-worth, so that they can also flourish and cultivate their talents and skill sets.

Show Notes

Introductory Information About Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy 101

Information About Binding

Safe Binding 101

Donate or Request a Binder, Point of Pride

Health impact of chest binding among transgender adults: A community-engaged, cross-sectional study, Only medical publication surveying implications of chest binding

gc2b Transitional Apparel

Thank you deconstruct health