Physical Therapy - Therapy

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It’s #ExerciseRightWeek!

Exercise right week is our chance each year, to celebrate movement as medicine and the profound impact it has on the lives of many people in our community. The benefits of exercise for overall health and wellbeing are astronomical, especially when you’re receiving the right advice for your particular abilities.

It’s no secret just how important we believe exercise is, which is why this week we’re going BIG!

This week on our Instagram page @therapycareaus, you will see reels of different participants, celebrating what exercise means to them while getting a glimpse of what it looks like to incorporate exercise into their routine throughout the week.

We’re also doing a 1,000 sit-to-stand challenge which all our participants are getting involved in! Be sure to check our Instagram and Facebook stories to see how we progress.

And lastly, we’ve spoken to one of our exercise physiologists, Chris (below!), who explains exactly why exercise is so important.

We’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to share how exercise has impacted your life, or even better – show us, leave a comment on our blog, Instagram or Facebook posts this week. Alternatively, you can tag us in your posts, @therapycareaus on Instagram. If you’d prefer to get in touch with us privately to talk about what exercise means to you, we would love to hear from you in our Instagram DMs or Facebook PMs 😊

Without further ado, let’s get stuck into our conversation with Therapy Care’s Exercise Physiologist, Chris Hattingh

Movement is vital for sustaining life. Our bodies are made to move and doing so regularly gives us the best chance of maintaining healthy joints, strong bones, physical strength, good circulation, coordination, concentration and keeps our reflexes firing.

Beyond the physical reasons, exercise is a great tool to help us with our mental wellbeing and when done in a group setting or with a coach, can be excellent for our social and emotional wellbeing too.

For our community; people living with disability, exercise can improve a participant’s ability to perform functional tasks which increases confidence and independence. This in turn enables access the community. Because of this, we have witnessed countless participants go from living a somewhat sedentary, isolated lifestyle, to making movement and socialising a part of their everyday lives!

Chris says, “exercise is my way of improving myself physically and is the outlet I need to stay on top of my mental health. It’s my way of relieving stress and having fun with friends. For these reasons and so many more – one way or another, I ensure movement is a part of my everyday routine.

“From a young age I have always been passionate about helping people and empowering them to see what they’re capable of.”

Chris always envisioned a career that would encompass his passion for helping people and his love for exercise. Chris started out at Therapy Care as a personal trainer, and immediately became inspired by the career prospects he saw around him. This led Chris to undertake further study while at the same time working at Therapy Care as an allied health assistant. A journey that four years later has seen Chris become a qualified and exceptional exercise physiologist.

Chris explains, “I was inspired by the difference I saw exercise physiologists at Therapy Care make in the lives of people living with disability. I knew early on that supporting people living with disability and/or chronic conditions through physical movement and therapy is what I wanted to spend my life doing.”

Harry*, who lives with a bilateral hearing impairment has been working with Chris in the gym for two years. His goal was being able to perform compound lifts – such as bench press and squats, independently.

On the road to achieving Harry’s goal, Chris had to prioritise technique to ensure Harry could perform compound lifts safely and effectively. Chris is proud to report Harry can now bench press 25kg and squat 30kg!

While watching these numbers increase weekly, Chris continues to motivate Harry so he realises what he’s body is truly capable of.

Atishay who is living with mild autism spectrum disorder, has been working with Chris for the past year and a half. Initially, Atishay was aggressive and showed signs of self-harm.

Over time and with the intervention of additional NDIS supports with Therapy Care, Atishay’s behaviour has become much more regulated and he is now able to make progress on his goal to improve his overall health and wellbeing.

Chris now has Atishay on a regular exercise regime which has already proved to be effective. Atishay has lost weight but more importantly, enjoys his sessions with Chris.

On top of this, Atishay now engages more in the community and participates in social and recreational activities.

Chris says, “I’m so proud of Harry and Atishay and how far they’ve come. It’s unbelievably rewarding to see how our sessions and their commitment has led to achieving their respective goals.

Chris loves being a part of Therapy Care’s allied health team and training amazing people like Harry and Atishay. He says, “Being part of a team that is just as dedicated to making a difference to the participants lives as I am, is extremely inspiring.”

If you would like to add more movement to your lift and integrate it into your NDIS plan, get in touch with us by emailing info@therapycare.com.au or calling us at 02 9626 8119.

 

*Harry is not the name of the participant featured above. They chose to remain anonymous.

 


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Under our therapy supports umbrella, Therapy Care offers physiotherapy to participants who require physical therapy in their NDIS plan.

Therapy Care’s resident physiotherapist, Naomi works with participants with varying physical abilities who live with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), stroke, and physical cognitive impairments.

Naomi is passionate about improving the physical health of people with varying abilities and obstacles and works with her patients to overcome physical and mental barriers to better wellbeing.

Despite the recent COVID-19 restrictions, Naomi has supported participants to achieve significant milestones in 2020.

Naomi has been working with Amanda since January 2020. Amanda experienced a stroke a few years ago while she was receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Experiencing two significant health implications at the same time impacted Amanda’s mental wellbeing and as a result, Amanda is now living with depression and anxiety.

The stroke affected Amanda’s mobility on the right side of her body, particularly in her arm where she had minimal movement. Amanda also has sciatica nerve pain in her leg to due her brain misfiring the wrong signals.

Amanda’s inability to move increased her depressive state and when she started seeing Naomi, her main goal was just to be pain free.

When Naomi first started seeing Amanda, she couldn’t lift her arm high enough to wash her hair and she couldn’t walk for longer than 30 second intervals without needing to rest.

Naomi started Amanda’s physical therapy with passive movements such as manually manipulating her leg to retrain Amanda’s mind to remember some of the physical movements it had forgotten due to the stroke.

Slowly, when Amanda’s body and mind started to show signs of working in unison, Naomi increased and then loaded Amanda’s movements. With the regular therapy sessions, Amanda went from walking four meters to walking 800 meters down her street.

Naomi also treated Amanda’s lack of mobility in her right arm by introducing regular movements such as spider crawling fingers up the wall. Now, Amanda can dress herself using both arms, hold heavy objects without pain or tremors and hang her clothes on the washing line; one of Amanda’s stretch goals when she started seeing Naomi.

But that’s not all. Naomi now takes Amanda through a two-hour weights and cardio session in the gym each week, where Amanda completes exercises such as:

• Sit to stand
• Lunges
• Heal raises
• Rope pulls
• Leg press
• Leg extensions
• Hamstring curls
• Chest press
• Rows
• Bicep curls
• Shoulder raises
• Walking on Treadmill walking increase pace
• 5 x 1-minute intervals on the treadmill, increasing pace

While the two-hour session leaves Amanda feeling fatigued, she completes all movements pain free. We’re so incredibly proud of Amanda’s commitment and the progress she’s made over the past six months.

Another participant Naomi has been seeing is Anne. Anne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992 but only started therapy with Naomi in February. When Naomi first started seeing Anne, she was unable to bare weight. Because of this, Anne had to rely on a motorized wheelchair and relied on the assistance of her carers and a hoist to move in and out of bed.

Anne was unable to lift her palm higher than halfway to her shoulder. Her lack of independent movement and limited mobility left Anne feeling quite depressed.

While Anne did hear about the benefits exercise has on managing MS, she didn’t have a positive experience with previous therapists and therefore lacked the motivation to exercise and improve her health.

Because of this, Anne’s emotional state was the biggest barrier in committing to physical therapy.

After much resistance, Anne finally agreed to incorporate bed exercises as the first step with Naomi. Naomi knew that when treating a participant in Anne’s situation; where you can’t push against gravity, you must eliminate it. So, she started by incorporating movements such as shoulder raises, where she would assist Anne moving her arm up and down her pillow.

Because of Anne’s hearing impairment, Naomi ensured a mirror was placed in a position where Anne could watch herself perform each movement to which Naomi could deliver clear and concise feedback. Naomi had built a solid starting point where she’d eliminated many barriers and could now start making serious progress with Anne.

Now, five months since Anne first begun therapy, Anne can; lift her arm up in the air, perform 4kg weighted bicep curls, should press 3kg and perform triceps extensions with 0.5kg dumbbells. Anne can also lift her legs off the bed.

But according to Naomi, the biggest achievement Anne has made in the past six months, is her mindset. Anne lights up every time she has an appointment with Naomi, because she has hit another milestone that she can’t wait to share with Naomi.

Anne can now perform tasks she had not been able to for years, such as; reaching for the salt at the dinner table and sitting back into her chair without assistance, holding a drink at the dinner table without spilling it and hold a book for long durations without dropping – as that’s a favourite pass time of Anne’s, this is an incredible achievement.

Both participants have made incredible progress in 2020 despite the interruptions COVID-19 restrictions caused. In uncertain times, they both stayed committed to their goals.

One of Naomi’s favourite phrases she likes to remind her patience of, is; when you replace the ‘i’ in illness with ‘we’, it becomes wellness.

We’re so proud to have such inspirational participants in our community like Amanda and Anne as well as passionate allied health professionals who are committed to our participants’ wellness journeys, like Naomi.

If you or a loved one is considering incorporating physical therapy into their NDIS plan, reach out to us at info@therapycare.com.au


Therapy Care Western Sydney
2/55 Campbell St
Blacktown, NSW 2148

Therapy Care Brisbane
5/1472 Boundary Rd
Wacol, QLD 4076
Spic N Span Gold Coast
13/99 West Burleigh Rd
Burleigh Heads QLD 4220

Thrive on Therapy
Suite 15-16, 49-51 Thomas Dr
Chevron Island QLD 4217