Accredited Education

Physical Therapist Profile – Sara Daly, PT

Bachelor’s in physical therapy from the University of Vermont, 1994

Certification in Complex Lymphatic Therapy from Casley-Smith, 1999


Sara Daly is one of those multi-hyphenates. She is a physical therapist, a massage therapist, and a complex lymphatic therapist. She runs her own day spa and wellness center in Middlebury, Vt., and is director of the Vermont Wellness Professionals Network. She also writes about the profession on her blog, Upstream Wellness, and for continuing education companies.

Question: What do you think has helped make you successful during your education and starting your professional career?

Daly: "Being able to connect with people. Having an easy smile. I have an average academic side, but I am a doer and I make friends fast. My kids joke that they can’t go anywhere with me without stopping to talk to a dozen people at a time. Physical therapy and massage is about being comfortable around people of all types, many who are in pain. It takes being centered and balanced to do focused work, and I work on that every day."

Question: What kinds of things do you do to promote yourself professionally and remain up-to-date in the field?

Daly: "I write, I read, I take courses. I ask questions. I have started a professional network for people in wellness careers called Vermont Wellness Professionals Network.ÿBeing with like-minded professionals is a great way to stay current and have fun at the same time."

Question: What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had in your professional career?

Daly: "One? I have so many: being thanked for helping someone out of pain and leading them to function, watching someone who was on a ventilator with a 10% chance to live walk out of the hospital, opening my own business, writing for international magazines on health and wellness."

Question: What advice do you have for people just starting their education or their professional career?

Daly: "Make sure you think about what you want to do with your career. Where do you want it to lead you? Are you a researcher? Do you want to work with kids? Do you want your own practice? As you start your career you may think it isn’t necessary, but as life takes over and you get married, have kids, you lose that sense of vision. It took me 13 years in my career to rethink what I was good at and how I could take my career to another level. The answer to that was to open my own day spa and wellness center."