Dr. Nicole Robinson  Pharm D, CFMP

Dr. Robinson graduated with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2011. Her background includes 6 years as a U.S. Army pharmacist as well as experience in community pharmacy. She completed further training in 2020 through Functional Medicine University, and is now a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.

Dr. Robinson is passionate about helping people get to optimal health. Here she shares how almost 10 years in a traditional pharmacist role led her to seek a different path:

“I have been a part of the conventional medicine approach for a while now, and one thing I almost never saw was people with chronic disease getting better.  I am convinced there is a better way. There is more reason to believe Functional Medicine is the key to improving health. With the current advances in medical science, we should no longer be treating blindly. We should be using a thorough medical history, labs and symptoms to figure out WHERE and HOW to support the body, so it can heal itself. We must treat the body, mind and spirit as a whole; they are NOT separate, disconnected systems.”

Dr. Kate Blackburn, DPT

Kate Blackburn is a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and certified STAR therapist (oncology rehabilitation specialist). Originally from Beardstown, IL, Dr. Kate moved to St. Louis to attend Saint Louis University. She received her minor in Psychology, B.S. in Exercise Science, Masters of Physical Therapy, and ultimately Doctorate of Physical Therapy, graduating at the top of her class (summa cum laude). Her professional career has focused on treating orthopedic and neurological conditions throughout her lifespan.

Dr. Kate has experience with a wide variety of patients ranging from pediatric developmental disorders to complex neurological conditions (Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury) to geriatric balance and gait dysfunctions.

She has also participated in community outreach events to help individuals decrease their risk of falling. Dr. Kate is an adjunct faculty member at St. Louis University, assisting with the physical therapy program. She has a special interest in health and wellness as well as return to sport.

Dr. Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Most of her free time is spent at her children’s various sporting events. She enjoys working out and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues.

Spirit Physical Therapy

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is any form of treatment delivered by the hands of your physical therapist, including soft tissue mobilization/massage, Graston, ASTYM, joint mobilization/manipulation, and active release technique (ART). Medical research strongly supports the use of manual therapy to decrease pain and improve mobility. Because our therapists devote more one-on-one time to their patients than a typical outpatient PT clinic, patients of Spirit Physical Therapy can expect to receive a healthy dose of manual therapy during every treatment session.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a manual therapy treatment that involves the placing of needles into specific muscles and tissues to elicit muscle activation or relaxation. Unlike acupuncture, which is based on traditional Chinese medicine, dry needling uses modern Western medicine principles and is supported by research. Dry needling may be used for many applications including relaxing tight muscles in the neck and back, reducing joint pain, improving muscle activation for sports performance, and even relieving sinus pressure. Dry needling is currently offered at our Ellisville and Wentzville offices, and will become available at our O’Fallon office in September 2020.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training

Due to pain or weight-bearing restrictions, some individuals are unable to exercise at the intensity truly needed to improve muscle strength. Fortunately, our doctors at Spirit Physical Therapy are well versed in a “hack” to work around these types of obstacles. Medical research has shown that restricting blood flow to muscle groups in a specific way during low-intensity exercise triggers a similar release of muscle-building hormones and proteins as compared to traditional high-intensity exercise. This is an excellent alternative to aggressive strength training early after surgeries, in cases of tendon or joint pain, and for patients who are severely deconditioned.

Muscle Re-education

After improving your motion or flexibility, it’s important to re-train your muscles to work correctly in the new range of motion. Muscle re-education techniques are a staple at Spirit Physical Therapy to ensure that you move and feel better for the long run, not just the short-term.

Functional Movement Training

As motion and muscle function are restored, another critical component of rehabilitation at Spirit Physical Therapy is ensuring that your large movement patterns (i.e., reaching, squatting, lifting, etc.) are healthy and balanced. The expert eyes of your physical therapist can tell you if anything is out-of-sync and help you restore regular functional movements to prevent recurrent or future injuries.


Spirit Physical Therapy uses current medical research to back our treatment decisions. When used appropriately, modalities such as electric stimulation, ultrasound, hot packs, cold packs, and laser therapy may provide short-term pain relief and be used by your therapist during the acute stage of your condition. However, emphasis is quickly shifted to the treatments that will promote true tissue healing and adaptation and have a lasting impact on your condition (see above).

Kinesiology Taping

Have you ever seen athletes wearing this on TV?

Kinesiology tape is used to increase or decrease muscle tone, depending on its application, as well as to enhance your body’s natural proprioception (a fancy word for positional awareness). Your therapist may recommend kinesiology tape applications to improve muscle balance and movement patterning during your treatment plan. After being released from care, you may continue to stop in for a quick tune-up and tape application before any of your athletic activities.

Home Exercises

You maximize the benefits of your in-office treatment, the patient, when you participate in a daily home exercise program (HEP). Your “homework” is designed to be simple, quick, and effective for your specific condition. At Spirit Physical Therapy, you typically receive and practice your HEP on day one. Your physical therapist will also provide illustrations and a personalized online portal to keep you engaged and on track with your HEP.

Functional Medicine FAQ’s

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is finding the root cause of your health problem and supporting your body so it can heal itself. That will look different for every person, depending on your situation. We look at the individual as a whole, rather than as a group of symptoms. We recommend diet and lifestyle changes, as well as natural herbs and supplements to restore function.

Do you think you can help me with my health problem?

At Synergy, we use an innovative approach to assessing and treating your health care concerns. Most physicians are trained to look only in specific places for answers, using the same familiar labs and diagnostic tests. Yet, many causes of illness cannot be found in these places. The usual tests do not look for food sensitivities, underlying infections, environmental toxin exposures, nutritional exposures and metabolic imbalances.

We use a variety of innovative testing techniques to help our patients prevent illness and recover from many chronic and difficult to treat conditions. We are highly skilled in evaluating, assessing and treating chronic problems such as fibromyalgia, fatigue syndromes, autoimmune disease, inflammatory disorders, mood and behavior disorders, digestive problems, hormone imbalances and other complex conditions.

What is the process of the Functional Medicine experience at Synergy?

Our starting point is to take a thorough look at your medical records. This will help us better understand “Your Story”. It is a crucial piece of our investigation into the root cause of your illness. Next, we want to hear from you. No detail is too small. When you fill out our health history forms, we will gather details on your family history, personal health history and goals for the future. We may recommend advanced lab tests that can be used to identify underlying contributors of disease based on your unique health history and symptoms.

Once we discover the root cause(s) of your illness, we will develop a personalized protocol to remove these causes and restore normal function. Protocols often include a combination of diet management, exercise, stress management, sleep optimization and natural supplements that can enhance function.

Dr. Robinson is passionate about helping people get to optimal health. She believes you are not beyond help. When was the last time you invested in YOU?

Call today to schedule your FREE consult! We will discuss where you’re at with your health, where you want to be and how to bridge the gap.

Mercier Therapy

What is Mercier Therapy?

Mercier Therapy is a deep pelvic organ visceral manipulation technique. It is noninvasive, as the work is done on the abdomen and lower back. This technique relieves organ restrictions, restores blood flow and encourages movement in these organs and the surrounding pelvic area, which leads to optimal functioning.

How does Mercier Therapy work?

The Mercier protocol is a total of 6 therapy sessions that are 1 hour each. These are completed weekly to work through the abdomen, and accomplish the goal of releasing pelvic organ restriction. This is an additional therapy we offer for our Functional Medicine patients. When we are looking at women’s health issues, or any chronic condition, there are often several factors at play. This therapy will be an additional physical technique for women used in conjunction with our other recommendations to optimize health.

This protocol can be used to assist women with the following:

  • Natural fertility preparation
  • Regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation
  • Normalize the hormone and endocrine system
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
  • Decrease anxiety and stress
  • Offer support for issues like PCOS and Endometriosis
  • Help relieve pain and support healing from C-section, hysterectomy and other abdominal surgeries

Office Hours:

Tuesday       9am-11am   12pm-3pm
Wednesday 9am-11am   12pm-3pm
Thursday     9am-11am   12pm-3pm

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Kayla Dry

Office Hours:

Monday: 9am-3:30pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 9am-3:30pm
Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-3:30pm
Saturday: 9am-3:30pm