When I say "Physical Therapy" or "Physical Therapist", what do you think? Massage? Pain? Gentle stretching? Personal training? Physical torture?
Unless you have been to physical therapy (PT), those might have popped into your head.
Based on my experience, the understanding of our profession is actually quite limited. To put it simply, we are "Movement Specialists."
Our governing body, the APTA, provides an excellent summary of our education history and background. One snippet is that we want to "promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for a healthier and more active lifestyle."
Now you may think, “Well I don’t have an injury. Why do I care about this?” That is exactly why YOU SHOULD care!
With a recent injury (broken hand), I was not able to work. I was frustrated that I temporarily could not use my skills (okay, I thoroughly enjoyed my first couple of weeks off…but thennnnn I started getting antsy...and VERY bored). I took online continuing education courses to pass the time, but then what? That's when I reflected on my role as a physical therapist.
It wasn't until I listened to an episode of the successful entrepreneur and physical therapist, Dr. Karen Litzy's Healthy, Wealthy, & Smart that I felt compelled to start this blog. She, along with her guest Dr. Mike Connors PT, DPT, OCS address the importance of advocating for our profession, especially in the wellness world. Wellness is an area of physical therapy practice, however, unfortunately we don't reach these people until they have fallen off the wellness wagon.
One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE fitness. While yes, of course I like it for aesthetic reasons, I LOVE it for the mental benefits, the sense of accomplishment, and the overall feeling of being WELL. Sure, there are plenty of times I don't get my butt to my workout and choose the comfort of my couch and Netflix instead (especially in the dead of a Chicago winter), but I am truly passionate about WELLNESS.
This is another reason I love my profession because I love empowering our bodies not just to move, but to MOVE WELL. No wonder I chose a profession with the mission statement of "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."
In order to even have a chance at succeeding at that, we must provide our most important tool: patient education.
With each post that I write, I want to provide you with at least one new bit of knowledge that may not only help you move better but prevent you from ever losing that movement.
I want to give you the tools for YOU to take ownership of not only your workouts and daily routine, but your BODY. If you commit to this, you will have the power to kick butt EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.