Our Team

Jamel Esch, PT


Jamel graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA in 2004 with a Master of Physical Therapy following a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Temple University, also in Philadelphia. Jamel’s clinical experience in physical therapy is extensive and covers a wide range of rehabilitation settings. He has helped patients recover from stroke, cardiac events, falls, spinal injuries, joint replacements and many other surgical procedures.  From hospital setting to skilled nursing to inpatient rehabilitation to home care, Jamel has brought the same passion to helping people get back to the activities that they enjoy. 

Jamel is a certified golf medical Professional through the Titleist Performance Institute , focusing on injury prevention and return to play.

Jamel and Stacey opened Balanced PT and wellness LLC in 2015 with the purpose of providing a niche service of a highly individualized, balanced approach to healing, strengthening and moving better. His vision for BPT is a family practice that addresses the patient as a whole, mind, body and spirit.

Jamel and Stacey moved to Albuquerque in 2010 and fell in love with the land of enchantment.  And now, 2 kids later, they have established roots and continue to be very active in local communities. 

Stacey Esch, OTR/L, CHT, CLT and Co-Owner

Occuopational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist and Certified Lymphadema Therapist

Stacey graduated from New York University in 2005 with a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, following a B.A. from George Washington University. Stacey began her career working in the public hospitals of NYC and the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC in the Hand Therapy clinics. There, she worked with accomplished hand surgeons and became very skilled in post-surgical rehab and splinting.  


Stacey is a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) and has also completed the Drexel University Postgraduate Upper Extremity Specialist course in 2011.  

Stacey recently graduated form the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy and is a Certified Lymphadema Therapist (CLT).

Stacey has a wide variety of clinical experience since leaving the east coast in 2007. She has worked in geriatric, subacute and acute rehab, school based pediatrics, and outpatient orthopedics.

Stacey is an avid outdoors woman who enjoys running, biking, hiking and swimming, along with her new role as a mom of 2.

Talia R. Gilmour, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Talia graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UNM in 2017. She currently treats all orthopedic conditions, but specializes in the pelvic floor. Talia is certified in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy by Herman and Wallace and has extensive training in rehabilitation for pelvic floor conditions in both women and men. She has also completed additional training in rehabilitation for the postpartum patient. She believes all postpartum patients should receive a PT consult after birth for optimal health and well being. Talia also offers prepartum physical therapy to prepare patients for pregnancy and birth. 

In her free time Talia enjoys trail running, bouldering, and most mountain sport activities. She is also a writer, meditator, classical music lover, and travels when possible.  

Clark Bearsmith, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Clark graduated from the University of New Mexico Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in 2018. Clark is an avid believer in “movement as medicine” and is passionate about helping all people improve their human experience through this philosophy. He holds an ACSM Personal Training certification along with TRX Suspension and Rip training and kinesio taping certifications. He is an accomplished cyclist, triathlete,  and CrossFitter with a fervent love for rock climbing as well. He is an outdoor enthusiast who believes that nature is some of the best therapy… besides PT of course. 

Christina Decker, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Christina graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of New Mexico in 2019.  In addition to treating adults, Christina has a special interest in the fun and playful world of pediatric physical therapy, and treats children with both musculoskeletal and developmental conditions.


Growing up in an active family, she loves physical therapy because she gets to help people achieve their movement-related goals and get back to the activities they love.  In her free time, Christina enjoys most outdoor activities including hiking, camping, backpacking, biking, skiing, and teaching adaptive skiing.  

Joanna Refsland, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Joanna graduated from Neumann University in 2014 with a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. Joanna loves working with the active orthopedic population and began working in the outpatient setting at Good Shepherd Penn Partners, part of the University of Pennsylvania health system, in Philadelphia. She also served as a staff Physical Therapist at the Pfizer World Headquarters in New York City.

Joanna is a former New Yorker who has learned to embrace all that Albuquerque has to offer, while raising her precocious 3 year old boy with her husband. Joanna has a passion for helping others get back to living their best physical lives by improving and optimizing movement, while smiling every step of the way! 

Emily Heimer, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Emily graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in 2011.  She has had a wide variety of clinical experiences on the East and West coasts and currently treats all orthopedic conditions. Having grown up as a runner, she has a special niche for treating lower extremities in athletes and maintains additional certifications as a Running Specialist, a Strength & Conditioning Specialist and in Functional Dry Needling. Emily enjoys helping people of all abilities achieve their optimal wellness and functional goals. Her draw to Balanced Physical Therapy stems from her underlying passion for promoting comprehensive wellness for others in an individualized manner. 


When Emily is not at work, you will find her playing one of her favorite instruments, running, cycling, hiking in the foothills, or trying to keep up with her three year old daughter and husband.  They have both been able to surpass her while cycling and scootering around town and will soon be breaking her Ironman PR. 

Niem Nguyen, PTA

Physical Therapist Assistant

Niem graduated from PIMA Medical Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2018. He is fluent in Vietnamese. He is also fully certified in Instrumented Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), which focuses on pain reduction, edema , blood flow, muscle relaxation, and overall well-being. Niem is also  a WorkSTEPS provider, for which he evaluates and assesses applicants' functional capabilities based on the physical demands of the job for which a candidate is being considered. He believes that with education on good body mechanics and proactive therapy, the human body is extremely resilient despite the passage of time. Niem is a  health enthusiast and finds balance in both fitness and nutrition. Much of his own regiment he learned through education and evidence based research. He enjoys sharing that experience and information with others through open communication to assure his patients can reach their full potential goal.


“That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero” – Stan Lee

Joalda Lopez, PTA

Physical Therapist Assistant/Director of Worksteps program

Joalda graduated from the Pima Medical Institute in April of 2018.

Joalda heads the Worksteps program at Balanced PT, which integrates health, fitness and ergonomic and postural assessment into the workplace.  She works with community business to ensure each new hire as well as existing employees are fit for duty.

As a clinician, she has a passion for orthopedic rehabilitation, balance and strength training, as well as postural and ergonomic re-education. She strives to help patients reach their physical goals, while putting a smile on their face.  

Joalda is a mother of three, who enjoys, spending time with her family, fishing, camping, BBQs and bike rides.

Liana Velasquez, OTR

Occupational Therapist

Liana graduated from the University of New Mexico with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She has a Bachelor’s in Strength Conditioning and Training for Special Populations from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. 


Liana has a passion for outdoor activities such as rock climbing, biking, camping, and hiking. Liana’s areas for professional pursuit include specializing in hand therapy and pediatrics. Her knowledge and special interest in the biomechanics of the human body lead to her special interest in the complexity of the hands and upper extremities. Her spark for excitement in life leads to a soft hearted, playful therapist that enjoys working with children. 


Liana demonstrates a professional and empathetic demeanor when working with patients of all ages to promote their ability to achieve their desired goals and maintain dignity across the lifespan.

Liana specializes in hand therapy and rehabilitation of the upper extremity and pediatrics. 

Nicole Biller, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Nikki graduated from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Doctor of
Physical Therapy Program in 2019. Having grown up in New Mexico, Nikki is happy to
be back in her hometown and treating patients of all ages and types. She firmly
believes in the saying “Movement can replace many drugs, but no drug can replace
movement” and finds great joy getting to know each patient and helping them achieve
their specific goals. In her spare time she enjoys numerous outdoor activities such as

hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting!

Tiffany Hodges, PT, DPT, OMPT, CLT

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Pelvic floor certified

Tiffany has been practicing physical therapy since 2013 in Maryland and Arizona. She graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore and became certified in dry needling, running analysis, lymphedema therapy, and as an Orthopedic Manual Therapist. She also has extensive experience with Visceral, Vascular, Neural, Craniosacral and Pelvic Floor Rehab. Tiffany brings an integrative approach to physical therapy and continues to improve her skills in a variety of areas with continued education. She recently opened her own office in Tucson. Tiffany’s goal is to provide individualized, hands-on care to all her clients with an emphasis on looking at the whole person rather than just the ailment or dysfunction. At Sabaidee Physical Therapy, (Which means Feeling Well in Thai), she spends more, one on one time with each person, working as a team to reach your goals.

In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, rock climbing, traveling, tango, west coast swing, yoga, running, karaoke, and hiking

Marie Torres

Office Manager

Jack Brown

Social Media Manager, Technician, Jack of All Trades

Paul Jiminez

Marketing Liaison

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© 2015 Balanced Physical Therapy and Wellness, LLC