Episode 111 - Lee Poston, part 1: "McKenzie was a Genius"

Lee Poston PT, Dip MDT, CSCS

Lee Poston, PT, Dip. MDT, CSCS, is a small town guy who was raised on a Cotton farm in Maury City, TN and who knew early on farming wasn't for him.  He did his undergraduate PT studies at Austin Peay State University and achieved a B.S. in PT at Tennessee State University in 1994.  Lee worked as a traveling therapist eventually landing in Hawaii and accidentally discovered MDT due to taking a continuing education course just to refresh his outpatient skills.  He went on to become credentialed in Mechnanical Diagnosisi and Therapy in 2002 and diplomaed in 2009.  He’s co-owner of Therapeutic Associates of Maui and of owner and coach of Maui Crossfit Extreme.  Lee is supported by his wife, Michelle. Together they have four children Zachary, Josh, McKenzie and Mckenna.  He enjoys time with his family, outrigger canoe paddling and coaching and participating in Crossfit and he feels blessed to be living in paradise and to have been so lucky to stumble on MDT. 


Show Notes

Professional Background

Lee shares his experiences after PT school, starting with a hospital PT mentorship program, his transition to travel therapy, and how he eventually came to discover MDT. He reflects on working in close contact with the head of sports medicine at Vanderbilt University, whose influence helped Lee recognize the importance of communication and patient education. Eventually Lee landed in Maui, HI, and has been there ever since.


Accidentally Discovering MDT

Lee shares how he came to be at a Part A course taught by Mark Miller, and how this course transformed his thought process. He talks about his growing relationship with Grant “Wattie” Watson, who pushed Lee towards the Diploma Program. He reflects on the Diploma Program and how his experiences helped him realize the genius of Robin McKenzie.


Business and Professional Growth:

Lee discusses opening and maintaining his first practice, his relationships with his partners and practice manager, and the growing success despite a lack of business experience. 



Lee gives us his story of opening a Crossfit gym, the benefits and cautions of participation, and recognizing how MDT fits into the Crossfit mold. He presents some critical thinking points regarding short duration/high intensity exercise, and gives a few intriguing parallels between McKenzie and Greg Glassman (the creator of Crossfit). 


Boiling it Down:

Lee reflects on the confidence that the diploma program instilled in him to speak about what he does, as well as his growing confidence to “hurt” patients without causing harm in order to understand their pain. He talks about the traffic light guide, the intrinsic safety of patient applied forces and symptom response/pattern recognition. He goes on to speak of the simplicity of the exam form, and the efficiency that it provides the clinician.


Early Struggles:

Lee looks back on the problem populations early in his career, but notes the biggest struggle of his career being the Diploma Program. He tells a story of a personal trauma, and balancing a rigorous study regimen and a personal life at the same time. He notes that teaching students has allowed for a great learning experience, and allows the clinician to stay “on top of their game.”


Current Frustrations:

Lee talks about his current frustrations, especially athletes and people portrayed in the media who are undergoing potentially unnecessary surgeries but never getting evaluated by an MDT clinician. He goes on to share some Crossfit frustrations, and his opinions on core training.