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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.

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.

Jen Fiske

Jen Fiske received her Yoga Alliance RYT-200 in 2013, and is certified as a wellness coach as well. Jen was drawn to yoga by its ability to bring stillness of thought through movement. Jen is a speech therapist who also enjoys spending time in the kitchen as well as most anything outdoors, including mountain biking, hiking, and cross country skiing.

She also loves creating anything, from knitting scarves and making candles, to painting furniture. Yoga is yet another way for her to express and share her creativity!

Mya-Lisa King

Mya-Lisa King is a Yoga Alliance-certified mindfulness and meditation instructor. She has studied and practiced meditation intermittently for almost two decades in a variety of traditions, including Vipassana and Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques, as well as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

She is currently immersed in a two-year professional training program for teaching mindfulness and compassion-based practices with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. In addition to teaching mindfulness and meditation techniques to wellness classes, professional groups, and individual clients, Mya-Lisa enjoys hiking, trail running with her dog, and spending time with her active family.

Marie Hansen

Dr. Marie Hansen is a dean, executive, group and individual coach, leadership consultant, and attorney with over 23 years experience in higher education and law.  Marie is a life-long learner who holds a Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a JD from the University of Maine School of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maine.

Marie is a former Division I tennis player and dancer who continues to enjoy all aspects of fitness that bring joy to her days – including barre, meditation, weight lifting, walk/runs and golf. She certified through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a barre instructor and personal fitness trainer and is a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. She has taught barre for over 8 years.

Andy Stewart

Andy Stewart is a retired attorney who was formerly the Executive Director and Chief Attorney at Legal Services for the Elderly and later was a co-founder and co-owner of Avalon Village, a retirement community in Hampden.

Andy has taught Tai Chi at Avalon Village for several years. He views Tai Chi as the perfect antidote to our fast paced, competitive world.

Julie Milan

Julie Milan is a registered yoga teacher, registered dietitian nutritionist, and educator. As a yoga instructor for over 20 years, Julie carefully adapts her classes to meet the needs of participants of all fitness levels and experience. Her goal is to create an environment that allows for a safe and effective yoga practice in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

She earned her Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) credential through Yoga Alliance, and is also a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP), and a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In addition to her yoga and fitness certifications, Julie holds a PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Maine and is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN/LD).

Jamie Bartlett

Jamie Bartlett is a certified fitness instructor and clinical social worker, receiving her MSW from the University of Maine. Her focus is always on supporting the optimal physical and emotional well-being of her clients. In her free time, she enjoys furniture flipping, reading, DIY projects, and following her two children in all of their activities.

She loves teaching a wide variety of full body classes that will leave you feeling energized and strong, and prides herself in creating a welcoming, supportive and fun workout environment.

Angela King

Angela King is an ACE-certified personal trainer and a Nutritionist with a BS in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Maine. She opened her business, Maxim, in 2015 to offer fitness and nutrition expertise to our community, and she continues to offer both personal training and private nutrition counseling here at the Center by appointment. She enjoys golfing in her free time, and she loves following all of her two athletic daughters’ sporting events.

She recognizes and is motivated by the fact that fitness and nutrition go far beyond physical well-being, impacting lives by increasing confidence, motivation, and optimism.