There’s a real town in Texas called Waxahachie…I’m not kidding.
Dallas Stucco Construction employee and PT client Johnny “Big Boy” Stephens is a longtime resident of Waxahachie, Texas.
They say it’s an Indian term which translates a Muskogee Indian dialect into an English… wax creek…or, cow tail creek…or wax picking place…or…you guessed it, nobody knows because everyone who says they know don’t agree on what they know.
Turns out there is an Alabama-Georgia creek with the same name…Waxahachie. The full story gets so boring that I can’t keep my mind on it, but here it is if you want it Waxahatchie.
The “wax on, wax off” comments from Karate Kid 1 is just unavoidable. But, we use it a lot on physical therapy routines, just to get the range of motion.
Why not find some kind of historical story just to make the mundane more enjoyable. I admit, it’s a stretch (no PT pun intended) at times to come up with something while trying to work with clients. Yet, the effort always pays off in the delight and interest of the patients who are engaged.
Now, I admit, I wasn’t looking for it hen it came. It was a sincere question asked by a close friend, when in therapy recently.
Is the physical body the choice of the one inside the body?
I don’t know about you, but when I got here in my birthday suit, I was a complete package. My body and I have always been very close. I mean look, I’m a PT. That’s PHYSICAL Therapist.
So, I can appreciate that my friend felt she was asking a practitioner of the physical realm. I’m going to be a little more transparent with you than I would be if we were face to face. (That’s sort of a physical attribute as well, the idea of physical distance can introduce a level of safety, can it not? False safety nonetheless.)
I can be accused of being an anaphrodite. It’s OK, it means a person that has no sexual desire or only a very slight one. Frankly, I have found it to be a professional advantage. When in the throws of manipulation or adjustments to bodies, it is nice to never deal with anatomical stimulation effects like erections and what not.
That is said to let you know that I have studied this matter of physical identity for some time. I wondered if nature had played some sick trick on me. If I had been affected in some way and what my sense of identity was if I had none to little sexual desire.
I concluded, media and media stimulated conversations are so rebounding in reference, preference, and orientation to sexual identity, that one is pushed to identify male and female by their sexual behaviors primarily, if not entirely.
I answered my friend this way, “If sex was not your measure, how would your question change?”
She didn’t have an answer.
So I concluded, “If your question can not change when you don’t consider sexual organs or sexual interaction, then you have already answered your own question. Now, how is that working for you?”
I had an uncle when I was about 5 years old that taught me, “how the horse ate the cabbage.”
What a real jerk! He was on my father’s side of the family and they are all jerks! So, as they say back home, “He came by it honestly.” (That mans, h’s not putting on airs or being something he’s not…he’s real, honest to goodness, jerk)
Reaching over, he grabbed my little kneel with his big enormous hand and like only a plumber can do, clamped down like a vise grip and squeezed my bones till I could feel them pop. The lousy jerk! And then he laughed as I screamed out like only a little kid can do, “That hurts! Stop!” He just laughed all the more.
I understand when someone says to me, “It hurts right here.” I’ve been long time experienced in the matter.
That’s why I’m the last to push my thumb into the very spot and ask, “Does it hurt when I do this?” They’ve already told you it hurts, why bring the pain?
I think of my uncle every time. Maybe he did a good thing after all. I know my clients have benefited from that jerk (have I said he was a JERK?)
I always encourage clients to describe the movement, the occasion, the specifics about what first caused them to notice the pain.
Pain came relocate due to strain. The body truly is an amazing mechanism of connection. Bone, muscle, tissue, nerves, psychosomatic impulses…at times it’s like trying to discover the source of a water leak on the ceiling that invariably is traced to a rafter or beam quite a distance from the ceiling leak detected.
The body can be exactly like that, only much more complex.
It hurts right here is only an exposed symptom of what can be a complex remedy. The full motion of a regular exercise can bring adjustment when no direct connection can be clearly determined.
A central nerve can be inflamed due to an allergic reaction to something you ate yesterday and you don’t sense the impact physically until tomorrow and there’s no sensible connection between the two.
You could have had a jerk of an uncle that so traumatized your knee joint that every time you sympathetically hear someone say, “It hurts right here” that a twinge of pain is associated to your own body that you could swear that jerk had just squeezed your knee where the horse ate the cabbage!
A new release has simplified an age old question, “how much exercise is needed to lower the risk of heart attack?”
This new rule of thumb? “Take your height in inches, divide by 2, if this measures your waistline, then you are at the lowest percentile for cardio disease.”
Although that’s a great suggestion, and will undoubtedly assist you in touching your toes, it doesn’t at all assure you of avoiding a heart attack.
Where do they get these guys?
The factors for susceptibility to heart attach are numerous and multiple in their evaluation of your over all health and healthy (unhealthy) practices.
Don’t fall for these kinds of “rules of thumb.” You can take them as occasional goals to attain… but keep them in the right perspective.
As a goal, half your height as a waist size is really good!
So, how do you do that.
Keeping touching your toes… don’t stop until you do… keep doing it. How’s that for sage advice?
So, how do you sleep?
I have a friend who always answer, “Like a baby. I sleep a while, I cry a while. I go to pee a while.”
It’s always amazing to me the variety of routines my clients have with regard to getting to sleep each evening.
One always goes to sleep with the TV on…knowing she is affected by the flickering lumins stimulating her closed eyelids.
Another always is asleep within the third commercial break of her night time sitcom.
But what I’m talking about is, can you require yourself to sleep anytime you so desire…for a quick power nap of 15 minutes or for a night time rest?
1. Get in a place you can be assured others will not approach you (that can and is quite often in public for me). It’s a matter of choosing where to sit. If convenient, where to lay down.
2. Begin at your toes…clinch them until you can say, “My toes are clinched” and feel the truth of the statement as a genuine certainty.
3. Now, with the same assurance, relax the toes entirely until you can say with equal certainty, “Toes relax” and they are relaxed.
Think about this a moment. Don’t proceed until you have disciplined yourself to know with certainty your toes were clinched, but now they are relaxed.
4. Simply say, “Go to sleep, toes” and know that they do so.
Now, do steps 2, 3, and 4 with each primary limb: toes, feet, mid-leg, leg, waist, torso, chest, fingers, hand, forearm, upper arm, shoulders, neck, face, head.
I have a patient who always calls me, “Phil, the fill up man.”
He tries to keep a rosy outlook on things, but he is dying. He’s a young 40ish in a body more likely for a 89 year old.
His range of motion is more like a bedridden invalid with rheumatoid arthritis in all joints.
He has an amazing disposition. He’s a Christian.
I don’t mean one of those, I go to church on Sunday and have nothing to show for it all week long kind of Christians.
He really prays. I mean he really talks with God and God really talks with him. He really reads his bible. He really wants to know if God is pleased with what he does on a daily basis. It makes a difference to him if God approves of his actions and his attitudes.
He is “others” focused. You ask, “Ready to do those stretches today?” and he says, “How are you doing?” He doesn’t take a moment’s thought about his own condition. He never stays focused on his ailments. He center his attention on the treatment focus for the moment, but he is always reaching out.
He told me once, “Phil, you ever noticed about life that much of who we are and how we are is expressed in our hands?”
He said, “You couldn’t do what you do without your trained hands. But, think of a baby coming into the world. That little one comes into the world with his hands grasping out…always kicking with the feet and grasping with the hands.
God makes us “takers” when we are young. We are so dependent upon taking from others. Our survival depends on it.
As we get older, just like you did, we learn to extend a hand to help others. We fill our hands with the needs of others.
That’s why I call you Phil, the the fill up man.”
Now, when I die, I’ve asked my people to make sure my hands aren’t folded together across my chest in the usual way. I want them palms up, open and laying more across my stomach. I want everyone to know, I’ve given everything I could and I go to my Father with open, not grasping hands. I’ve nothing left to hold..I’ve given it all away.”
What a guy!
Poona is a game played in India and you could swear it is India’s tennis. As early as the last quarter of the 19th Century His Majesty’s soldiers brought it back to England.
The Duke of Beaufort held a party and introduced the past-time as recreational diversion. Voila, the game played at Badminton, the country estate of the Beaufort, took on a life of its own. And so soon the game played at Badminton became the game of badminton.
The shuttlecock (lightweight object) batted back and forth over the mid-net, was originally constructed of goose feathers. Thankfully, that has resulted in most people referring to them today as “birds” (though most are made of plastic and or rubber, now).
Records indicate that a legally constructed ‘bird’ has never been batted more than 80 feet!
Here’s the point, it’s not the impact with the ‘bird’ that causes the more common injuries in badminton. It is the over extension of the upper limbs or the repetitive strain injuries (rsi) from not making full contact between the racket and the ‘bird.’
So, we tend to see in the PT world, rotator cuff tendonitiis, tennis elbow, and wrist injuries. It carries to the lower body with ankle sprains and jumper’s knee.
All in all, it tends to happen to those not accustomed to the sport because they over lead and over power the game.
Here’s what’s interesting, its the absence of contact that produces the most strains, but the impact with the ‘bird.’
Do you know where we see similar injuries today? Virtual game involving full body motions…great exercise, but nobody, I mean, no body, wants to disclose to friends or family that the reason for a series of 10 PT sessions is due to having been playing a virtual, non contact, game.
Centuries old, no matter what the game might be called.
Physical Phil here! (I know, it’s cheesy, but it was what was on my mind and at the end of my fingers.)
When I think of all the hours required to get through the PT school, I can’t help but want to make lots of money every time I get with a client. It’s a sense of “Hey, let’s get the pay for all the days I had to grind it out to get here.”
The truth is, that’s what I’m thinking, but that’s not what I’m saying out loud and it certainly not what I’m experiencing in the checkbook or the billfold.
My debit card has less card and more debit.
What I like about PT is the truth that is in the experience. You don’t merely talk with the client, you actually engage in a truth exchange with the client.
It’s a matter of, “does that hurt?” and not a matter of “do you think it might hurt?” We PTs know the truth of what we say and do, and so do our patients.
They are less of a client and more of a patient where I come from. I truly want to witness the positive result of my efforts in the here and now.
I can’t satisfy my desires of the past in the present. I can’t even recall what they are most of the time. The money thing is more attached to a memory than a part of what I do in the present.
I think back on what I could have charged, but in the present moment, I just want to make a difference regardless of how I get paid. (sometimes, if I get paid).
I’m just going to keep it physical…and that will keep it real. How many other occupations can say that?
Phil is an interesting name for a physical therapist.
I doubt that my parents considered my future occupation or career choice when naming me, but it has come in handy (get it, handy?)
How’s Phil feeling today….that’s a common question with a LOL kind of intent.
Mostly with my hands, that’s a quick response at least 12 times a day.
Physical Therapy is just about as intimate an act of care as there can be. Of course, the medical professionals become very intimate with their patients, but there seems to always be an instrument or device or medical assistant in the mix. Not so with PT.
It is a powerful feeling to realize that with the mere use of hands and position and thrust, a PT can bring comfort and healing to another person.
Admittedly, he machines o care we are provided today can be great assistors to what we do, but nothing replaces the PT feel for the patient.
I feel and I Phil, that’s who I am, what I am privileged to do, and how I interact with you.
It as become more than a name and more than a phrase. It has come to describe the best of who I am and the greatest act of relationship I can have with another person.
What’ your name, how does it relate to who you are, and what you?
I, for one, am very grateful for the natural match by name and occupation.
I do know some unfortunate matches, however:
Real people I know, and their occupations are all PT.
I had a 40 something, 245 lb, 5′ 11″ male come in the other day. He’s a facilities superintendent at a local church.
Said he’d just taken the job and had previously been on an assembly line for aircraft seats. Around 3 years of repetitive motion in a standing, bent posture, three full turns of a screw in for points, with approximately 40 units per hour, for 3 hours straight, then 2 hour break for another set of tasks, then return for 3 more repetitive hours.
Within just 3 weeks of working at the church, he reached from an overhead valve in the HVAC duties he performs, and heard a “rip” in his upper right shoulder.
Five points of internal tears in his shoulder muscles…and now he’s my patient.
His quick explanation was, “When I finally stopped screwing around at work, and went to church, everything went to hell!”
He’ll be coming in for close to a year.