Orthopedic and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy 


Physical Therapy FAQ's

  • Do I need a referral or prescription?

    • Not at first. New York is a Direct Access state, which means you can see a Physical Therapist for 30 days (or 10 visits, whichever comes first) without a referral from your physician. We recommend clients come in for an initial evaluation, then contact their doctor for a referral before the second visit.

  • Will you take my insurance?

    • We are out-of-network providers, which means we can help you submit a claim, but only if you have out-of-network benefits. In-network insurance is particularly limiting for highly specialized PT services. In order to avoid reduced quality of care due to these restrictions, this practice is out-of-network with insurances, but does help our clients to receive reimbursement if they have out-of-network benefits for physical therapy.

  • Do you accept Medicare/Medicaid?

    • Unfortunately, no.

  • Can I use my HSA Flex Spending card?

    • Absolutely!

  • What can I expect from my first session?

    • he initial evaluation will start with your patient history, followed by a comprehensive examination and initial treatment. Treatment usually includes hands-on manual therapy, rehabilitative exercise activities, and the initial home program. Follow-up appointments always start with an update from you, a brief re-evaluation to assess progress/change, and the treatment. Treatment techniques and activities are tailored to your needs and progressed to help you meet your PT goals.


Questions? Give us a call! 



Our licensed Physical Therapists hold doctorate degrees in physical therapy, with specialized training in pelvic floor health and orthopedic injuries.

  • male and female pelvic pain

  • bowel and bladder disorders

  • endometriosis symptoms

  • female fertility support

  • labor and delivery preparation

  • pelvic floor disfunction

  • post-prostatectomy

  • prostatitis symptoms

  • prenatal

  • postpardum

  • pudendal neuralgia

  • vestibulitis

  • vulvadynia

  • back and neck pain

  • joint pain

  • post-surgical recovery

  • arthritis

  • joint replacement

  • injury prevention

  • osteoperosis

  • chronic pain

  • balance and fall prevention

  • sports injuries

  • athletic performance enhancement

Denise Small, PT, DPT, Master Pilates Teacher

Denise Small, DPT

Denise Small, DPT

Denise combines her experience as a professional ballet dancer, Certified Master Pilates Teacher, and Licensed Physical Therapist to provide her patients with a comprehensive rehabilitative program. By combining her physical therapy practice with movement- and Pilates-based interventions, Denise takes her patients from acute and chronic pain states and progresses them to their full functional strength potential. Denise not only improves her patient’s pain complaints, she also helps them to avoid future reoccurrence of injuries.  

Denise danced professionally for over 15 years with ballet companies across the country, including the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Kansas City Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New Chamber Ballet. Denise was certified in Comprehensive Pilates instruction and Standing Pilates instruction in 2005 with the Physical Mind Institute in New York City, and later completed the bridge program to be certified by Balanced Body University. While working as a Pilates instructor, Denise studied with Doris Pasteleur Hall and Lesley Powell, both Certified Movement Analysts through the Laban Institute, as well as Irene Dowd, Eric Franklin, and Tom Myers.

Denise received her doctorate in physical therapy in 2016 from SUNY Downstate University. Denise has spent the last two years specializing in male and female pelvic health, attending continuing education courses through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and receiving one-on-one training with the physical therapists at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy in Manhattan.

Melissa Stendahl, PT, DPT

Melissa Stendahl, PT, DPT  Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy and Postpardom Physical Therapy

Melissa Stendahl, PT, DPT

Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy and Postpardom Physical Therapy

Melissa brings a unique blend of expertise to the physical therapy treatment table. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences from Clemson University in 2004, when she was also commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. She served for over 11 years, transitioning to the physical therapy profession in 2010. She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Texas State University in 2013. Melissa's movement background includes over 13 years of weight training and over six years of regular Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga practice and self study. She enjoys applying her extensive experience in athletics and leadership and management to coordinate individualized and multidisciplinary rehab plans with her clients. Her emphasis is on helping patients learn to help themselves in achieving mind and body wellness to maintain rehab gains and personal goals.

Melissa began practice in general orthopedics and sports rehabilitation in Texas and then Colorado before realizing a passion for male and female pelvic health and obstetrics. She took advanced coursework from the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and the American Physical Therapy Association, and moved to New York, where she specialized in orthopedics and pelvic rehab at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy in Manhattan before practicing in Brooklyn.

Melissa currently specializes in men's & women's pelvic health, obstetrics (prenatal, postpartum, labor and delivery), visceral (organ) mobilization, and orthopedic manual therapy, and is one of fewer than 90 practitioners with a Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy/Postpartum from the American Physical Therapy Association. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. To maintain a high level of professional competency, she attends 4-6 courses per year from the Institute of Physical Art, the APTA, Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute, and The Barral Institute, and participates in community events and professional conferences.

The Fine Print



New York is a Direct Access State for physical therapy, meaning that you can access physical therapy services without a prescription or referral from a physician, dentist, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife for 30 days or 10 visits, whichever comes first. Ellie Herman Pilates requires that patients seeking physical therapy beyond the Direct Access grace period have a referral, no more than 90 days old, on file. Services without a referral might not be covered by your health plan or insurer; said services might be covered if you do have a referral. It is your responsibility to know your health plan or insurer's coverage options and requirements. 



Payment for physical therapy services are due at time of visit. Physical therapy services at Ellie Herman Pilates are may be eligible for out of network coverage by your insurance company. It is your responsibility to know your insurer’s coverage options and requirements, and to submit documentation for reimbursement if eligible. Upon request, you will be provided with an itemized billing receipt for each session of physical therapy, which can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement if you have out of network benefits for physical therapy. Please let your physical therapist know if you would like these receipts.

If it’s your first time doing PT with us, you’ll need to book a Specialist Intake session, even if you’re already a Pilates client at the studio.