Founder & Owner

Sonja Parker


Hello, and welcome to Designing Fitness Physical Therapy! I earned my Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Duke University in 1993 after receiving my Bachelors degree in Biology from Colby College in 1990. As a physical therapist, I have worked with a broad spectrum of adult clients in many different settings, including acute care, outpatient, home care, nursing home, assisted living and wellness facilities. My clients range from those with orthopedic ailments to victims of stroke and other neurological conditions. I am also licensed as a massage therapist, and have found that by incorporating more customized manual therapy into my physical therapy sessions, I see even more dramatic effects in the results for my clients.

In addition to creating client-specific exercise programs for an extensive range of individuals, I have also taught many strength, flexibility, and balance classes to adults with, or at risk for, medical issues. I enjoy conducting workshops and presentations for audiences of all ages, with some of my recent classes including Exercises for a Healthy Back, Steps You Can Take to Prevent Falls, Strengthening for Independence, and Exercising with Arthritis and Osteoporosis.

I have seen and fully believe in the effectiveness of tailored exercise and therapeutic massage to improve lives. I am passionate about the role of fitness in healthy living and I work with utmost professionalism, positivity, and commitment to helping you achieve your best self! These beliefs sustain the mission of my business:

To provide safe, client-specific exercise, therapeutic massage, and education to adults who seek an active, healthy lifestyle, thereby opening doors to a lifetime of fitness and well-being.

For a referral, or to learn more . . .

Melanie Armstrong


I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of New England in 1995. Since that time I have worked in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, home health, skilled nursing facility, school based, and private practice. Within those environments I have had the opportunity to provide traditional therapy services, as well as aquatic therapy, and even hippotherapy, working with pediatric clients on horseback. I have experience with both adult and pediatric clients, and have treated a variety of different diagnoses, including neurologic conditions such as stroke, MS, Parkinson’s, and spinal cord injury, as well as developmental disorders, generalized weakness, balance and gait issues. 
My main interest is in orthopedics, including muscle and joint pain, and injuries such as sprains, strains, tendonitis, arthritis, neck and back pain. I also work with pre and post surgical patients such as joint replacement, rotator cuff repair, and ACL reconstruction, among others. I was a practice manager at 2 different clinics, and served as both the Clinical Coordinator of Clinical Education and a Clinical Instructor for students from physical therapy programs across the US. I have attended many conferences and taught several inservices over the years, with the majority being based around manual therapy techniques. 
Manual therapy has always been part of my practice, and I became trained in the Graston Technique® in 2016. Since learning the Graston Technique®, I have seen clients improve faster, and in some cases, been able to help clients who have been seen by multiple providers without any improvement in pain or function.  I have found that manual techniques in conjunction with a patient specific stretching and strengthening program have allowed my patients great success in pain management and return to normal function, allowing them to reach their goals.