José Liberato Jr, PT, Dip. MDT


Since graduating as a physiotherapist in 1973 from the Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Minas Gerais, José specialized in cardiac rehabilitation. After a season with Robin McKenzie in New Zealand in 1991, he decided to “retire” from cardiac rehab and became the first PT to work with MDT in Brazil. In 1996, he founded and was appointed Chairman of the Brazilian branch of the Institute. In 1998 he obtained his Diploma in MDT, and in 1999 he was given the Dan Morgan Award of Excellence by the McKenzie Institute International. He has been an instructor at the McKenzie Institute Brazil since 2000 and works in his private practice in Belo Horizonte. In 2014 he was appointed member of the Regional Education Committee for the Americas.


Personal Background

José is married to Jada Liberato who now functions as the administrator of the Brazil chapter of the McKenzie Institute. José comes from a large family and was decided by his parents to be the “doctor” of the family. He lives in a state in Brazil in the center of the country that is known for mining.

Professional Background

Focused on Cardiac rehab for more than 20 years. José’s wife had dealt with back pain for a long time and upon applying the ideas from within the Treat Your Own Back book she improved rapidly. José was so impressed that he wrote Robin McKenzie to learn more. Robin share many articles and after further conversation José was invited to come to New Zealand to observe him in his clinic. He is very grateful for that experience and the things he learned there.


“Experience comes from intent, not just from passage of time.”

“Movement is remedy for mechanical pain.”

“When movement is helpful, we have deconditioning not lesion.” – Gary Jacobs, DC

Greatest Challenges

There are two basic obstacles. The main one is the current healthcare system which is money driven and based on profit. It prevents the widespread use of MDT because we are cost effective and we can significantly reduce the profit of the system. José believes we need to work hard to change the system.

The other obstacle is clinicians who are using the MDT system in an improvised manner achieving poor results. He believes students should trust the system and be persistent in their training.