Phyllis Zlim

Phyllis Zilm, PT, CLT

Physical Therapy

Phyllis Zilm has been treating Roaring Fork Valley physical therapy patients for three decades, helping to keep people active and maximize quality of life in the face of chronic conditions and acute injuries. She is also a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT), an additional physical therapy credential she earned in 2002 specifically to help cancer patients. Through the STAR program she is a certified oncology rehabilitation specialist. In her role at Valley View, Phyllis works closely with the surgeons at The Breast Center and with the infusion nurses at the Calaway·Young Cancer Center.

Phyllis studied the Klose method, a German-based training for her CLT certification. Lymphedema therapy focuses on relieving swelling in the arms and legs by hands-on touch that moves lymphatic fluid out of the limbs. Treatment also includes fitting for compression garments and patient education. In a cancer diagnosis, the lymph system can become damaged as a side effect of cancer treatment.

In addition to traditional physical therapy and lymphedema therapy, Phyllis is also involved in the treatment of edema in other conditions and works closely with wound care specialists. But she maintains that perhaps her biggest role as a healer is to be an excellent listener and a compassionate partner to every patient in her care.

“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a catastrophic time of life. You’re thrown onto a train you didn’t want to board, and it goes faster and faster,” says Phyllis. “I’m another set of ears and my therapy room is a safe place to cry.  If I can help educate; help a patient regain a measure of control, it’s my most rewarding work.”

When Phyllis isn’t treating patients, she’s likely on the tennis court, where she plays competitively and also coaches. As a devoted family person, she spends a good deal of time these days with her new baby grandson.