Archive for October 2011

What the “bleep” is Paleo?

Since I did my post on 5 Random Things, I have had people ask me what the <bleep> is Paleo?  The short answer is that Paleo is short for Paleolithic and refers to a lifestyle and eating plan similar to that of our pre-agricultural ancestors.  No, this isn’t an historical re-enactment, this is a way of living that gets back to eating good, whole foods that are gluten, grain and legume free with little or no dairy. Here is how Robb Wolf, one of the leading Paleo proponents explains it: In simple terms the paleo diet is built from modern foods that (to the best of our ability) emulate the foods available to our pre-agricultural ancestors: Meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots, tubers and nuts. On the flip-side we see an omission of grains, legumes and dairy. As this is directed to folks new to the paleo diet idea we need to address the “What Abouts.” This is the seemingly endless list of ingredients that folks ask: “What about artificial sweeteners, agave nectar, red wine…” In simple terms, if it’s not meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots tubers or nuts…it’s a “no-go.” At least initially. I like to see people go after paleo strictly in the beginning so we get the best possible results, then folks can tinker from there. I’ve detailed all of this information in my FAQ shopping and food guide, and quick start guides. These are all available for free (you do not need to buy the book to get any of the information) and it details all of the special considerations of autoimmunity, fat loss, athletic performance and muscle gain. If you have any interest in how the Paleo lifestyle can benefit you, Robb’s book and website will keep you occupied for hours.  He is the witty, […]

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Five Random Thoughts

1)    You need to eat properly.  You can do all the exercise you want, and if you are putting junk in your body, you will get a junk result. Not a judgment, just a fact.                     2)    You need to move.  Just move: go for a walk, stretch on the floor, go to a yoga class, do a DVD, ride a bike.  We were not built to sit at a desk all day, drive home in a seated position, sit at the table (and eat junk), and then sit in front of the TV. Do something to move every joint in your body. Every day.                       3)    You need to sleep. Go to bed in a dark, silent room and get 8 hours of sleep. Trust me, you do need it.                                 4)    You need to treat yourself well.  Don’t put yourself last on the list. No one likes a martyr and you really aren’t fun to be around when you are bitter. Your friends confirmed this for me.                         5)    You need to take care of those nagging injuries before they start screaming for your attention.  Get evaluated by a physical therapist who will look at you as a whole, then work with said physical therapist to address your issues.  If you are given home exercises to do, well………….do them.  We’re really not mean; we just know that if we don’t hold you accountable and don’t encourage you to push your limits, you might as well be having coffee with your friends.     […]

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Why I decided to go back into private practice (AKA Why I would leave a good paying job with full benefits)

Since I have been asked this question multiple times lately, I figured I would answer it in my first blog post as an unempl….I mean self-employed physical therapist.  Many of you know that I was in private practice from 2003-2006 in Alexandria, VA.  After three years of successful private practice, the (un)perfect storm of events conspired to make it clear that I needed to make some changes.  In 2006 I went to work for two of the most gifted PT’s I know at Hand -N- Hand Therapy in Arlington, VA.  I learned so much from these ladies; but, in 2007 I needed health insurance and some of the benefits of a big company.  I went to work for a large physical therapy company.  During my time at said large orthopedic physical therapy practice, I was able to update my skills with post-op orthopedic patients and also take some amazing continuing education (insert shameless plug for Myopain Seminars).  After 100 hours of classroom education and training (and a million more hours of driving and studying, not to mention getting stuck by my partner with hundreds of needles….but I digress), I successfully passed the written and practical exams to become a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (i.e. I can now utilize dry needling in my practice).  After 6 months of incorporating dry needling as a modality, I began to think outside the box again, and realized there was so much more I could do to help my patients………..but not in that setting. The large physical therapy practice I worked for was IMO the best around, so by no means is this about them.  This is about the state of physical therapy (and healthcare) in general.  As providers, we want to have a steady paycheck and full benefits to support our families; but, […]

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Stable to the Core

Donna was overjoyed when she gave birth to her “miracle baby”—Kelly Grace—last year. But shortly after her C-section, the 46-yearold software consultant from West Springfield began to experience pain in her right hip, which grew steadily worse over the next 12 months. Her family doctor referred her to Mark McMahon, MD, at Commonwealth Orthopaedics, who performed arthroscopic hip surgery in May. Although the procedure relieved Donna’s pain, Dr. McMahon recommended post-operative physical therapy to strengthen her muscles and prevent the problem from recurring. For six weeks, she worked with Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, a physical therapist specially trained in core stabilization and Pilates at Commonwealth’s Springfield office. “Core stabilization involves exercises for the deep abdominal muscles, trunk extensor muscles and deep muscles of the back that control rotational movement of the spine,” Wendel explains. “Donna’s pregnancy and C-section had weakened those muscles and made her especially vulnerable to low back and pelvic injuries. loans fl Donna has regained flexibility and stamina as a result of core stabilization and Pilates at Commonwealth. We focused on a combination of flexibility, balance and hip strengthening exercises tohelp her return to her normal activities and quality of life.”    Donna saw  Wendel twice a week and practiced daily exercises at home. Her routine included basic moves such as walking sideways, pivoting and turning, and gradually putting more weight on her hip to strengthen it. “Chasing around after my daughter involves every kind of movement imaginable—walking, running, lifting her out of the tub. I never realized how much my core is involved in these simple moves and what a difference good abdominal strength would make in my daily life,” she says. It also was beneficial to perform the exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist with extensive training in core stabilization and Pilates methods. Ann  […]

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Adapting Thai Yoga Therapy for the Neurologically Involved Client

Neurologically involved clients (and their families) have been through an incredible trial physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Thai Yoga Therapy can be a medium for teaching clients to feel pleasure in their body again, and to show clients that they can still move their body in meaningful ways. When clients are taken passively through the stretches, they are able to relax and let go of the frustration caused by their body no longer moving like it used to. The gentle, rhythmic motions reduce tone and muscle tension, allowing clients to enjoy the therapeutic movement provided by this form of massage. Most clients find the sessions to be an oasis of calm in their tumultuous lives. Thai Yoga Therapy is often referred to as a “meditation of compassion,” 1 and when done in the spirit of metta it is a beautiful dance between giver and receiver. Case Study In order to best illustrate the use of Thai Yoga Therapy as an adjunct treatment for neurological clients a case study is presented. Patient History The patient is a 72-year-old male with a history of cervical spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal causing compression on the spinal cord and spinal nerves). The patient underwent acervical fusion in January 2003 with good initial results. After discharge from the hospital, however, the patient lost consciousness while getting up one night and fell to the floor. As a result of the fall the bony fusion became unstable. Additionally, the patient tore his left rotator cuff muscles (which had been surgically repaired two times previously), and he sustained a mild head injury. large amount payday loans Once medically stable the patient underwent a second surgery to have metal rods implanted along his vertebrae to stabilize the joints. After the second surgery the patient underwent intensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation […]

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