The Educated Therapist

Let’s face it. Most physical therapists aren’t winning any sales and marketing awards. Most of us have don’t have a business background and typically enter this profession based on a love of health, exercise and helping others. In school, we don’t really have time to cover anything beyond examination and treatment of our soon-to-be patients. We graduate, enter the world of health and wellness as practitioners of physical therapy, and soon realize the competition is fierce. In San Francisco, a city with something for everyone, there are individuals providing health and wellness services that seem in direct competition with everything we offer. There are personal trainers, massage therapists, Muscle Activation Therapists, Sports Therapists, Neurokinetic Therapists, Core Activation Therapists, and more. Have you ever stopped to consider who is best trained to help you heal? While these practitioners may indeed be skilled at the services they offer, based on our level of education and training, physical therapists are in a league of our own.

The other day, I had a pleasant conversation with a gentleman who was interested in learning more about the field of physical therapy. A seemingly intelligent man, he’d also had personal experience as a recent physical therapy patient. At some point in our conversation, he stopped me and asked, “Do you have to have some sort of certificate to be a physical therapist?” My jaw dropped.  It was then and there I realized how physical therapists have done such a terrible job of informing the public of what we do, what we can offer, and why we should be considered the practitioners of choice for musculoskeletal health.

So here’s what you should know: physical therapists go to school for 7-8 years. This includes 4 years of undergraduate education, heavily based in science (physics, chemistry, microbiology, exercise physiology, etc.), and 3-4 years of graduate-level education. Students graduating from physical therapy programs in the United States today earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The first Doctorate program in Physical Therapy was started in 1993 at Creighton University in Nebraska and, as of 2015, all accredited and developing physical therapist programs are DPT programs. Often part of a medical school, PT programs teach physical therapy examination and treatment, as well as courses in Anatomy, Neuroanatomy, Pathology, Pharmacology, Radiology and Differential Diagnosis (how I determine if a symptom may be something more serious—and outside of my scope of practice—than run-of-the-mill back pain). In fact, when I attended UCSF in the early 2000’s, the physical therapy students were the only students who performed full cadaveric dissections. Other programs used the cadavers we spent our first foggy summer in San Francisco dissecting. It was also the start of our collaboration with the first year medical students, where we 2nd year PT students helped teach the medical students musculoskeletal anatomy. Most recently, residencies and fellowships after graduation have grown in popularity to provide advanced training for physical therapy school graduates.

Beyond our formal education, physical therapists are licensed by the state in which we practice and are held to a high level of professional conduct that includes requirements for continuing education every year. Most courses are held on the weekends and many physical therapists travel great distances to take courses of interest. This year alone, PT’s from TherapydiaSF will take courses in San Francisco, San Diego, Montana, and Las Vegas. Some physical therapists also opt to enhance their degree and training by completing board certification in different areas of practice, including Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Neurology and 4 other areas of specialty practice.

The next time someone suggests physical therapy, please consider our extensive training and education and know that we have the education, expertise and dedication to help you work, play and move without pain.

 

 

TRX

This 55-minute class provides an effective total-body workout using TRX® Suspension Training straps. TRX® uses clients body weight to improve core strength and stability, increase muscular endurance and work the body in all planes of movement. Adjusting body position allows users to change the resistance of an exercise and control how challenging the workout is. The 6-week series is designed as a progressive class that will introduce new and more challenging movements each week.  Class size is limited to 6 for individualized attention and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

6-week series: $150

Space is limited!  To sign up, please call 415.765.1502 or email: hello@therapydiasf.com.

TRX

This 55-minute class provides an effective total-body workout using TRX® Suspension Training straps. TRX® uses clients body weight to improve core strength and stability, increase muscular endurance and work the body in all planes of movement. Adjusting body position allows users to change the resistance of an exercise and control how challenging the workout is. The 6-week series is designed as a progressive class that will introduce new and more challenging movements each week.  Class size is limited to 6 for individualized attention and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

6-week series: $150

Space is limited!  To sign up, please call 415.765.1502 or email: hello@therapydiasf.com.

TRX

This 55-minute class provides an effective total-body workout using TRX® Suspension Training straps. TRX® uses clients body weight to improve core strength and stability, increase muscular endurance and work the body in all planes of movement. Adjusting body position allows users to change the resistance of an exercise and control how challenging the workout is. The 6-week series is designed as a progressive class that will introduce new and more challenging movements each week.  Class size is limited to 6 for individualized attention and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

6-week series: $150

Space is limited!  To sign up, please call 415.765.1502 or email: hello@therapydiasf.com.

TRX

This 55-minute class provides an effective total-body workout using TRX® Suspension Training straps. TRX® uses clients body weight to improve core strength and stability, increase muscular endurance and work the body in all planes of movement. Adjusting body position allows users to change the resistance of an exercise and control how challenging the workout is. The 6-week series is designed as a progressive class that will introduce new and more challenging movements each week.  Class size is limited to 6 for individualized attention and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

6-week series: $150

Space is limited!  To sign up, please call 415.765.1502 or email: hello@therapydiasf.com.

TRX

This 55-minute class provides an effective total-body workout using TRX® Suspension Training straps. TRX® uses clients body weight to improve core strength and stability, increase muscular endurance and work the body in all planes of movement. Adjusting body position allows users to change the resistance of an exercise and control how challenging the workout is. The 6-week series is designed as a progressive class that will introduce new and more challenging movements each week.  Class size is limited to 6 for individualized attention and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

6-week series: $150

Space is limited!  To sign up, please call 415.765.1502 or email: hello@therapydiasf.com.

Navigating Nutrition Part One: Processed Food

“Avoid processed foods” is common nutrition advice given out these days. It is a well-intentioned, sound suggestion that seems easy enough to follow…assuming you know what the term “processed foods” means. As it turns out, there is no easy definition of “processed foods”. Most foods we eat are processed in some form or another unless you’re eating it straight out of the ground.

The degree of processing is what most people are talking about when they use this term, and even then, there is no set list of things to avoid, and some processed items are better than others. Generally speaking, this refers to anything that comes in a package, but doesn’t usually apply to things such as milk or whole beans in a can. Confused yet? Who can blame you?

So why is this advice out there? One reason is that it can be very easy to overeat packaged goods. A box of cookies can disappear in an instant, and no time was taken to prepare them. Another reason for this advice is the number of unfamiliar ingredients used in our “food” these days. For example, maltodextrin, soy lecithin, and artificial flavors are all common ingredients found on nutrition labels. Do you have any idea what they are? This isn’t some big exposé, I’m just pointing out that you might not know what you are putting in your body. Lastly, processed foods tend to have a lot of sodium or sugar added in, which isn’t good for us.

It might not feasible to go “package-free”, so here are some rules of thumb to simplify things:

  • Only choose foods with 5 ingredients or less.
  • Make sure you know what each ingredient is, and how it’s made (knowing that something is made “from corn” or “from soy” doesn’t tell you how it’s made).
  • Check the nutrition label for the amount of sodium (look for items with 150mg or less per serving).
  • Choose items with no added sugar. That means NONE of the following ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, honey, brown rice syrup, dextrose, maltose, sucrose, molasses.

Do your best to buy whole foods and do the processing yourself, but when you need to buy things in a package, be sure to check the labels!

TRX

This 55-minute class provides an effective total-body workout using TRX® Suspension Training straps. TRX® uses clients body weight to improve core strength and stability, increase muscular endurance and work the body in all planes of movement. Adjusting body position allows users to change the resistance of an exercise and control how challenging the workout is. The 6-week series is designed as a progressive class that will introduce new and more challenging movements each week.  Class size is limited to 6 for individualized attention and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

6-week series: $150

Space is limited!  To sign up, please call 415.765.1502 or email: hello@therapydiasf.com.

Eat Healthy: Smart Nutrition Strategies for the New Year

Start your year off right with Nutritionist Bethany Pianca, RDN.

In this one-hour interactive workshop, Bethany will discuss why past resolutions may not have worked and help you develop a plan to succeed at this year’s goals.

Cost: free

TRX @ TPSF

Join us for a 4-week TRX series that will safely challenge you from head to toe!  Whether new to TRX or a regular, this class is a full body workout appropriate for all levels.

Class size limited to 6–Only one spot left (as of 10/31/14)