Whether you are recovering from an injury, have just given birth, or are experiencing pain as you age, Danica Center’s Dr. Bente Dahl-Busby can help you feel and move better.
Bente Dahl was born and raised in Denmark. As a young child, she studied ballet, modern gymnastics, and horseback riding. Her father wanted her to become a lawyer but when she envisioned a life of sitting at a desk, she decided it wasn’t for her. Bente trained in physical therapy and graduated in 1985.
She met Peter Busby (her future husband), an American sculptor who was studying at the Art Academy in Denmark, and later they moved to California. While on the west coast, she received a Certification in Acupressure at the American Acupressure Institute in Berkeley and studied Tai Chi. In 1992, Bente and Peter moved east to Cornwall, Connecticut, built a house and raised 3 children.
Bente worked as a physical therapist at Nordicare Physical Therapy in Sharon for 23 years. During that time, she graduated from the Polestar Pilates Institute in Miami as a Professional Polestar Pilates Rehab Teacher. Bente also earned her degree as Doctor of Physical Therapy at A.T. Still University in Arizona, and became a Certified Pilates Teacher.
Since 1984, Bente has been a student of the Master Kai Yin Tung Academy of Tai Chi Ch’uan, studying with Master Tung. She also studied with Jane Golden of Jane Golden’s School of Tai Chi & Qigong for 4 years. She has used principles from Ta Chi in her work as a physical therapist for over three decades.
It had always been Bente’s dream to combine integrated work with her physical therapy skills. She finally had the opportunity to create a whole body movement and wellness center just over two years ago when she left Nordicare Physical Therapy and she opened Danica Center in 2015.
At Danica Center in Sharon, Dr. Bente Dahl-Busby teaches mind-body awareness using movement therapies to help people enhance their mobility, strengthen their core, and find balance as they age. When you walk through the front door, you are immediately aware that this is a sanctuary. The space is elegant, useful, and functional. The setting is simple and spare with small graphic bursts of color. Bente has decorated the walls with modern art posters from museums in her native homeland. The Danish aesthetic is everywhere, from the Hay chairs to the hanging mobiles by Flenstedt, to the yellow Muto coat hooks on the wall at the front entrance. Even the beautiful bowls on the shelves are by Norman Kähler. In the cathedral-like gym the spiraled ceiling lights are by Danish designer, Paul Henningsen.
With a lifelong background in gymnastics, movement therapies, mind/body awareness, and energy works, Dr. Dahl-Busby has concentrated her work in manual therapy, orthopedic and sports physical therapy, and she has a particular interest in Pelvic Floor and Women’s Health Physical Therapy.
Dr. Bente’s clientele ranges from local residents to weekenders; from high school students to middle-age adults and older. “The majority of the people I see in my clinic/studio are 40 and up. We need to feel well as we age so we can live longer,” says Bente. A large number of her clients are recovering from an injury. “The ‘orthopedic’ patient has been the back bone of my 32-year-career and I help with the pain, injury, and surgery to-and-of the neuro/musculo/skeletal system,” says Bente. Some clients suffer from painful joints and a lack of mobility—continual, ongoing issues. There are people who weren’t able to resolve their issues in the mainstream medical system. Others are concerned with maintaining a quality of life, and some come to enhance their lives. “We welcome anybody who wants to learn how to move better as they age.”
“People tend to arrive at the center with an understanding of their problems and goals.” Bente explains, “With my help, they acquire an in-depth learning—it’s not just a short stop—followed by knowing what they can do at home, and what to expect in a class situation. They leave with suggestions on changes they can make. Mindfulness drives your movements.”
Dr. Bente Dahl-Busby provides personalized attention to each of her clients. Many of them have rotator cuff injuries. Yoga instructures come to her to improve their energy. Whether it is rehab for an injury or to simply enhance their life, all of Bente’s clients get her thoughtful approach to treatment. Usually, patients begin with 2 to 4 visits, then call in and check in on a monthly basis. It’s important to have continuity with the same person, and it saves time and energy, no need to go over the original problem and concerns each time.
With women’s health, there are issues with pelvic floor dysfunction, which can cause a range of conditions from urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, to organ prolapse (a common and very uncomfortable condition for a number of women). The pelvic floor is muscular and supports the inner organs, and affects the core of the body. After giving birth, some women need help staying well. Bente addresses concerns and issues pre- and post- partum. She has a deep understanding of the difficulties that women face throughout their lives. (Mothers can even bring their babies to her classes.) “It’s all about finding a balance in your body.”
For those who are dealing with osteoporosis, Bente offers a group class in addition to her private individualized sessions. The osteoporosis class at the center helps strengthen your core to help increase bone density. “Tai Chi is very good for balance for those with osteoporosis,” explains Bente. Tai Chi reflects through all levels of life, keeping energy lines and pathways open. Tai Chi is about balancing your body and expanding your energy using little amounts. She guides her patients as they achieve fluidity and sees the changes in her patients’ bodies.
Tai Chi is also beneficial for those in rehab from an injury. She helps her clients to relearn the patterns of movement using the Feldenkrais Method (a type of exercise therapy devised to reorganize connections between the brain and body and to improve body movement and psychological state). This creates an awareness of where you are in space as you move. Having an injury, being hurt, is usually the beginning of learning how to move better and smarter. In a small group class of 6 to 8 people, imagery is a huge piece of the process. Move like this… feel like this… her guidance is positive and supportive. The key to healing is allowing your body to invite you in. “We are the result of our experiences in our life, or our injuries.
Bente leads workshops on specialized interest areas including the pelvic floor, osteoporosis and tennis. Other workshops that are being planned for this year include golf, running and bicycling, as well as the weekend warrior.
At her practice, Bente does manual therapies such as myofacial release, cranio-sacral and visceral mobilization, joint and soft tissue mobilization/manipulation, and many more that are mentioned on her web site. She also offers Dry Needling—a new and very effective technique to reduce pain and trigger point activity performed by physical therapists that have received special training in DN (DryNeedling).
Danica Center does not participate in health insurance programs because the insurance companies are too limiting on visits, deductibles, demanding shorter visits, etc. “The decision not to be involved with insurance companies is right for the patient and right for me,” says Bente. “We have created a situation here where there is no wait time, sessions are a full hour, which gives the patients time to express their concerns, and time for me to really evaluate, determine the causes and decide what the person can do and what I can do.” They offer all the diagnosis information and use the accepted codes so their clients can submit their invoices to their insurance companies. Danica Center also takes HSA cards as payment.
Dr. Bente has plans for the future of the center. She would like to continue to see it grow. The next step would be to bring in other instructors, people who enhance and compliment what she does—perhaps a Pilates instructor. Other goals are to expand the workshops being offered. If you are interested in scheduling an Educational Workshop for your group with Dr. Bente Dahl-Busby, contact her at the email address below.
In today’s world of quick medical appointments and impersonal connections with healthcare providers, it is refreshing to meet Dr. Bente Dahl-Busby, who is passionate about her work and has devoted her life to helping people move through their lives with a graceful fluidity. As she puts it, “My clients are people who really value their health. Each time they leave the center they should be feeling different. I want them to leave with something they could use in their daily life.”