Marilyn Miller Von Foerster PT

Marilyn Miller Von Foerster PT

I am a native of Salem, Oregon, a graduate of University of Oregon (’68), Duke University School of Medicine in Physical Therapy (’69), and San Francisco State University (‘83) where I earned a Master’s Degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in exercise physiology and physiology of aging. (See my resume.)

As part of the academic requirements, I researched abdominal muscle coordination training for spinal and pelvic stabilization skills.This research was published in the August, 1987 Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association.  

Illustration of trunk muscles and fascia
  • Miller M, Medeiros J: Recruitment of Internal Oblique and Transversus Abdominis Muscles During the Eccentric Phase of the Curl-up Exercise. Phys Ther,Volume 67 / Number 8, August 1987. 

While living in San Francisco I provided back education programs to many businesses and industries, such at Western Airlines, Macy’s, the San Francisco Fire Department, and the University of California Dental School Alumni Association.  The program at Western Airlines resulted in a 50% reduction in back and hernia injuries, and a 75 % drop in days missed from those injuries for the following year.

skeletal posture illustration of poor vs good sitting

Commitment to Public Education

Since I am committed to public education for reducing the epidemic of back disability, I have advised school districts on furniture selection and backpack use, including consultation with physical educators, coaches and athletic trainers.  I serve as a member of the Healthy Kids Learn Better Coalition which advises the Legislature in school health issues, and designed an ergonomic school bag, the BackTpack, which trains proper postural habits.  Visit the BackTpack website.

BackTpack - Before & After


I am a fourth generation Oregonian and grew up in Oregon in a medical family, the youngest of five girls.  Half of my more than 50 clinical years were spent in San Francisco, then in Oregon. I am married and am blessed with our son Nicholas, now 30 and finishing a residency in Emergency Medicine, plus two talented step-daughters Matty, an accomplished artist in Germany with husband Philipp, and Lilith who leads a progressive non-profit, and husband Lincoln in Milwaukee WI with our two grandchildren, Wiley and Willa Fowler.  My husband Andreas is an architect.  Together we share many ideas and services to help people live as healthy and comfortably as possible within their chosen environments.

I love dancing, tennis, playing almost any sport, family time and flowers. Prayer guides my life.

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