Heidi Gastler, DPT
& Natalie Eckhardt

Above: Dr. Gastler & Natalie Eckhardt


Mountain to Sea is a physical therapy clinic offering treatment for pelvic floor, orthopedic and sports disorders; manual therapy (myofascial release, cupping, Graston Technique, trigger point) and modalities (ultrasound, taping, electrical stimulation); and personalized exercise programming. Owner Heidi Gastler is a doctor of physical therapy who has worked in the medical field since 2005 and opened Mountain to Sea in 2016. Natalie Eckhardt joined the practice in 2019 as business administrator and also serves as a postpartum doula and perinatal educator.

What makes Mountain to Sea different from other clinics?

Mountain to Sea is the hub for your overall wellness. We know we can’t fix everything, so we sometimes connect patients with other providers who may move their care along faster—whether it be chiropractic, acupuncture, functional medicine or other specialists. By tying all of those threads together, we make real progress and see more improvement in a person’s overall mental and physical health.

Our office is light, airy and your space alone for the entirety of your session. We want you to be comfortable and the only focus of our time and attention. That means you can come as you are, say what you want and be yourself. If you’re in pain that day, you can be in pain that day. If you need to vent during your bodywork, we’re all ears.

Why is pelvic floor health SO important?

Orthopedic injuries, back pain and other issues patients experience are often tied to pelvic floor dysfunction. Many people think that pelvic floor physical therapy only applies to pregnant or postpartum women, but that’s a myth. Everyone has a pelvic floor, and people of all ages and genders can benefit from improved pelvic floor health.

We enjoy working with others in the wellness community to help spread the word on pelvic floor health because it’s so vital to our stability, breathing and core. Dr. Gastler is a medical advisor for Tabu, a company that focuses on sexual health and wellness, and we work with other wellness practitioners, coaches and trainers to educate them on the pelvic floor and how to address it with their own clients.

We’re building a gym space to include weight-lifting equipment precisely to help patients in this area. The equipment helps us simulate activities where patients are loaded with weight. The therapy not only helps athletes in powerlifting, Olympic lifting or CrossFit pursuits, but it can also help average people learn how to manage their core when being loaded with weight for everyday tasks.

What is the best advice you’ve heard? 

Just start. Stop waiting for the perfect timing or for everything to line up. If you want something, jump in and work toward your goal. Don’t hold back; keep pushing forward.

Tell us your favorite quote. 

“The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Why did you choose to start your practice?  

Dr. Gastler: After more than 10 years in the business, I decided that I wanted to offer the kind of physical therapy that I’d want for myself. I wanted to take patients out of the therapy “mill” and give them a unique, one-on-one experience. Mountain to Sea is what that looks like: a highly personalized, deeply skilled, holistic approach to helping all types of people obtain their goals.  

The South Bay embodies so many things I love. The sun, ocean and nearness to nature are just part of why I chose the area for my practice. People here put a value on being active and investing in their health. Everyone tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle regardless of their age or abilities. I enjoy being part of such a wellness-oriented community.

What should we know about your team?

Natalie: We offer more than just physical therapy. I became a full-spectrum doula and have been developing a postpartum planning program and childbirth education course centered on postpartum recovery and care. It’s something I never even considered doing before joining Mountain to Sea and discovering major gaps in pregnancy and postpartum care. But I’ve found a new career path, and I really enjoy it. Working with this company gives me the space, confidence and support to do this work and help the people of the South Bay while raising my family.

What has been the most significant barrier in your career? 

Dr. Gastler: In 2020 my life was flipped upside down when I was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was inconceivable that I had been running my business, powerlifting and crushing long weekend hikes with a tumor the size of a baseball in my head. Suddenly other things like my diagnosed fertility issues and recurrent foot weakness began to make sense. They were all a product of cancer.

Since then, I’ve had two brain surgeries, kept my business open and navigated it all through a pandemic. My illness has put my dreams to have a family on hold, but I hope to fulfill them in the future. I’m now undergoing chemo and radiation. 

Through it all the business is still thriving, and we’re looking to hire another doctor of physical therapy who shares our patient-centered, community care approach.