Top 5 Fridays! 10 Healthy Habits That Promote Physical Therapy Part 1 | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Top 5 Fridays! 10 Healthy Habits That Promote Physical Therapy Part 1

It’s past the New Year and a new decade of the 2020s. Around this time, many are looking to develop healthier habits, make resolutions, set goals, and dream big. The thing of it is, many times resolutions affect our personal lives; today’s theme is building habits that affect our professional lives as well.

AND, to move into our topic of the day — one of the biggest categories of resolutions out there is health.
So, without further ado… let’s dive right in to 10 healthy habits that promote physical therapy!

1. Share your #PTwins: Hero stories happen all the time.

Back at CSM 2017 in San Antonio, Texas — Rich Severin, Brett Kestenbaum, Greg Todd, and myself were part of a session that had the distinction of being the first physical therapy conference session to trend on Twitter.

Part of our challenge in this talk about transforming society through social media was for all physical therapy professionals to routinely share about their #PTwins. Physical Therapy wins is both a subject and a statement. We have daily wins ALL THE TIME. Wins that are reflected in our patients reaching their milestones and goals, as well as wins on personal and professional levels that can be uplifting to one another and to our stakeholders.
If you want to start off not just 2020 but this the 2020s as a decade in a strong foot forward in positivity, start with a commitment to sharing #PTwins across your social channels on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be for the entire year, it doesn’t have to be every day or every week. How about just once a month? The first week of every month, share a meaningful story about how #PTwins — for the patient, for the community, for providers, for payers, for our society at large.

2. Invite family and friends to use you as a source of info.

Many of us probably experienced some form of this over the holidays when friends and family look to us for quick help and advice about health aliments. We already know too many people are under-served and under-attended in healthcare for things we can easily cover as the content experts in physical health.
Why not open ourselves up as a resource? Why not make it very well known that “you can come to us if you have questions or concerns?”
After all, with one of the highlighted concerns of our industry internally being lack of public awareness of what physical therapy is and what physical therapists can do for patients, why not just be available at the source to help change this perception?
This leads us to…….!

3. Set the example. Be the change!

It doesn’t mean you need to have a 6 pack, eat only raw foods, and engage in 30 minutes of mindful meditation at the top of your daily 5am hilltop run.
It just means, live in pursuit of best health in a way that would make you proud to be seen — because: You ARE Seen.
When was the last time you told someone you were a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant… or, any of the allied rehab therapy professions…… and, the person you were talking to had absolutely no idea what you did, who you were… just a plain and blank stare??? The fact is, major media and the entertainment industry have keyed into the fact that rehab therapists make good television (see “PT on TV”). We’ve been in the limelight, and, we’ve been around long enough as an industry where people recognize us and know us.
Now, while the general population may or may not have a full depth understanding of what we do… how much do WE really know what other professions do? Maybe even within the small circle of allied rehab therapy as it is? How detailed do we really know a nursing curriculum, or what MDs or DOs learn in school and receive in clinical training? What can we meaningfully outline in depth to what an audiologist, dentist, optometrist, or any other medical professional does in their entirety?
The chances are, if we were to try and spin down another medical profession’s roles, responsibilities, training, scope, and top of license capabilities… we’d likely and very unintentionally sell them short….. only because, we aren’t them and we don’t know them as well as they know themselves.
SO! This brings us all back to the fact that if we wish to be more known and more visible, if we want the public to see us as a first in line, choice provider: We need to lead by example. We live a life becoming of our profession. We need to engage in a way that shows us as accessible professionals and connect-worthy-individuals. We need to talk about our profession all the time… which leads us to!

4. A Vegan and A CrossFitter Walk Into A Bar…

“I only know this because they told the entire bar within two minutes.”
Too soon? ?
The fact is.. you ooze this stuff. Everything you see, everything you say, everything you hear, and everything you do is encoded like PT much as Neo interacts with the matrix.

If you are sensing a theme, you’re absolutely spot on. What this fourth habit is really encouraging you to do is to truly talk and share about Physical Therapy beyond the #PTwins sharing, beyond being available… it’s challenging you to be outwardly expressive in the same way you’re already inwardly aware of how so many facets of life can be seen in PT code. So, share it and share it gratuitously. The 2020s as a decade could certainly use some social influence in pursuit of best health.

5. Lead a community class.

During the nascent years of my career, I had the opportunity to open up a hospital based community fitness/wellness program based on kettlebells and physical therapy wellness principles. During the two years we ran that program, we were named as finalists for the Best in San Diego contest as ran by the local news outlet The Union Tribune. Now, this was way back in the early twenty-teens.
That said, it was an incredible experience as it most fitness programs come out of gyms, studios, and health clubs — rarely do they come out of a medical brand or healthcare practice. As such, we got a different level of attention and TRUST from the public… an exercise and wellness program that was developed by clinicians. Our attendees felt safe under our supervision and more willing to engage in high intensity exercise.
Of the many memories, two moments stand out: (1) when an attendee who had lived with chronic pain for years said for the first time in 20 years, they didn’t have bilateral knee pain. And, (2) this incredible throwback moment caught on video:

Suffice to say, this class was the joy of my time working in this metropolitan medical campus. Why? Because it was through this class I saw the true potential of showing the general community IN PERSON the power, breadth, depth, and scope of Physical Therapy.

Via Dr. Ben Fung - UpDoc Media

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