Yahara Therapy

September 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends:
Though I have not written since March, I promise I'll try to be brief! (Just kidding! I can't! Please read at least the first two sections!)

  1. Susan Frikken, LMT, DPT
  2. New Practice and New Contact Information
  3. But wait ... There's more!
  4. Only Leaves Should Fall September 25th
  5. Article: "In Need of a Hip, But Priced Out of the U.S."
  6. Center for Mind-Body Medicine
  7. Therapy Highlight: Rolling feet & low back ache
  8. Find free and inexpensive supplies: Freecycle® and the Madison Stuff Exchange
  9. German wheel and Skeleton news
  10. If you made it this far ...

1) Susan Frikken, LMT, DPT
In May 2013, I graduated from physical therapy (PT) school, passed my state board examination, and became licensed to practice as a physical therapist. I now legally practice physical (DPT) and massage therapy (LMT) in the state of Wisconsin. I did it. I really did it. How did I do it? I used the mantra: "Breathe easily and fully." Among other things. Thank you for your support all the way!

2) New Practice and New Contact Information
I went to PT school so I could build upon my therapy practice—to be able to do more for more people. I now have additional tools, and the legal scope, to expand. My vision is to continue to provide whole-person therapy. I promise to include as much of you—your body, ideas, motivations, environment—and your people and your life choices as possible when working with you. I commit to working not only with your "problem" or the part that is speaking the loudest.

In my last message I introduced some new therapies I am using and what may come next. And now:

  • I will be practicing PT a few days each week with Christine Koth, MPT, of Wellness Physical Therapy in her new office in Evansville, WI. Christine has been a successful PT in innovative private practice for over eleven years. We have been drawn together by her desire to partner with another therapist who is as excited as she is about the work that we both love to do: Focusing on the whole person; taking time to discover the source of the problem and what each person's goals are for their health; using traditional as well as not-so-obvious therapy tools and techniques for best results; engaging in close, collaborative practice with other providers to offer the most comprehensive care options for each person; dedicating energy to prevention of disease and dysfunction; being part of whole community health; and education—empowering and involving people of all ages in their own care.

    Wellness Physical Therapy will share an office suite with Dr. Allison Becker, Naturopathic Doctor. The business will be located on Main Street in the historic Eager Economy Building which has been recently restored, and will be part of a larger effort, The Good Care Collective, "an innovative multi-disciplinary mix of yoga, massage, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, physical therapy and wellness services all under one roof."

    When all details are in place, I will send a brief announcement with contact and scheduling information, directions, Web sites, and other media.

    I am looking VERY much forward to this partnership.
  • I continue to practice in my home office, now offering both massage and physical therapy. Fee structures will vary, depending on the work that we do.
  • To schedule appointments at either location, or for more information about anything, contact me directly.

The Yahara Therapy Web site is in the process of being updated with this new information, including new fee structures. Stay tuned! Is there anything you'd like to see on this site? If so, drop me a line.

If you would like to find me on yet another medium, you can find my profile on LinkedIn.

There is a new contact telephone number for Yahara Therapy. It is now 608-692-8794.

3) But wait ... There's more!

  • Another exciting development: I am now a member of the Falls Prevention Task Force of Safe Communities of Madison-Dane County. Safe Communities "is a non-profit coalition that brings together local public and private sector partners to save lives, prevent injuries and make our community safer." I am working with people from a diverse array of health care and community organizations in our region; we are dedicated to reducing falls, one of the leading causes of injury and death in Dane County.

    I have taken on a specific job, becoming a Stepping On trainer. Stepping On is a community-based program presented to older adults. It is proven to reduce risk of falls in those who take the class. If you would like to learn more about attending or organizing a class, please let me know!
  • Since July, I have been working as a physical therapist on call at Capitol Lakes' rehabilitation department a few days each week. Capitol Lakes is a downtown Madison retirement community that also offers skilled nursing and therapy services. I really enjoy working with the people. Being in a structured health care setting has been a helpful reminder of how insurance shapes our health care system, and how a person's monetary and social resources (or lack thereof) shape their path to health.

4) Only Leaves Should Fall September 25th
"Only Leaves Should Fall" is a fun and interactive seminar about healthy and independent living, including ways to prevent falls. It is Wednesday 25 September from 11:30 - 2:30 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 S. Segoe Rd. in Madison. There will be food! Read below, or choose this link for more information: http://safercommunity.net/news.php.

"In most cases, falls are preventable. This workshop provides information that will help you measure your risk for falls, and learn what changes you can make to lower your chances of falling. Speakers include: Judy Dewane, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Jean O'Leary with Madison School and Community Recreation. Individual screening will identify risks in the areas of balance, gait, strength, vision, medications, bone health, blood pressure, bladder health and more. There will be Stepping On and Tai Chi fall prevention class demonstrations, as well as information on adaptive equipment, home safety assessment and other resources. The cost for the workshop is $10.00 and includes a catered lunch and door prizes. To register, contact the West Madison Senior Coalition at 238-7368. Registration deadline is Wednesday, September 18."

5) Article: "In Need of a Hip, But Priced Out of the U.S."
I am interested in being part of a system in which health care is available to those who need it, and one in which we all are part of reducing the costs of becoming more healthy.

I know many of you have been on the journey of considering or receiving a joint replacement. You may or may not have adequate (or any) insurance coverage.

My friend and colleague, Sonya Barton, made a choice to leave the U.S. to have her hip replaced in a facility in India. Read more about her story, here: http://sonyabarton.com/

A recent series in The New York Times discusses the cost of health care in the U.S. by examining some commonly performed procedures, including hip replacement. Here it is for your perusal:

"In Need of a Hip, But Priced Out of the U.S."
By Elisabeth Rosenthal | August 3, 2013
"Michael Shopenn's artificial hip was made by a company based in this remote town, a global center of joint manufacturing. But he had to fly to Europe to have it installed."

6) Center for Mind-Body Medicine
Perhaps you or someone you know can benefit from the research and trainings the incredible Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) has to offer. "The Center teaches scientifically-validated mind-body medicine techniques that enhance each person's capacity for self-awareness and self-care to health professionals around the world, including those in traumatized communities in the greatest need."

Two colleagues of mine have done and still do incredible work for CMBM, delivering critical services and training others to provide these services in their own communities, including the Gaza Strip, Haiti, Kosovo and New Orleans.

They offer a course for health care practitioners, "Transforming Your Practice", which helps providers to take care of their patients and deliver the most effective care, and to learn how to take care of themselves in the process. Here is a short video about the course: http://vimeo.com/56779112.

7) Therapy Highlight: Rolling feet & low back ache*
Roll your feet for overall relief of foot and lower leg tension and pain—and as a quick treatment for the rest of your body. You can use:

  • Tennis balls
  • Golf balls
  • Dog toys, super balls, croquet balls
  • Broom sticks
  • Specially designed fancy balls, rollers, sticks or domes (some even have textured knobs or ridges for extra stimulation)
  • Bottles of frozen water (make sure to leave a little air space in the bottle when freezing)
  • You get the idea!

How: Sit or stand with the object under your foot where you feel tension, or anywhere between the ball of your foot and the heel. Shift your weight onto the object until you feel a medium-to-deep pressure. It may be uncomfortable, or it may feel great! Use small and slow rolling motions, focusing on one section at a time, or along the length of your arch. You may also use steady, constant pressure without rolling. Breathe easily and fully, and make sure you aren't in a funny position—relax the rest of you! As you feel tension decrease (a minute or so), move the ball and try another section.

There is no "wrong" place to use this on your foot—you can roll over bone as well as the softer tissues, just use care. Imagine your foot sinking into the pressure instead of pushing—take your time to let it settle. If you feel sharp or intense pain that gets worse, or any numbness or tingling, stop.

NOTE: If you do this while standing, be sure you have your hands on something stable for balance!

Illustration of using tennis ball under the hips on the floor For minor low back achiness or tension, try this: Tuck two tennis balls under your hips.
How: Lie on a firm but padded surface, like a carpeted floor or mat. Bend your knees. Tuck two tennis balls under your hips—one on each side, evenly—and lower slowly so your weight is fully on them. Again, sink down slowly, don't push! Place them high just under the rim of your pelvis ("hip bones"), or try them nearer to your "tailbone" (sacrum). Avoid putting them in your lower back; also avoid the middle of your buttocks, because your sciatic nerve passes through there, and that can be irritating.

Just rest in that position. Breathe easily and fully. If you have tension in your hips and back, you may feel it "unwinding," which can be a little achy. It helps to perform some deep breaths and to scan your body—release any tension you might be holding (in other words, "relax"). If it doesn't feel better after a minute or two, stop.

Maintain this position for up to three (3) minutes or so. Move out of the position slowly, and see how it feels. If you did have tension in your hip muscles, it may continue to feel better as the tension releases throughout the day.

Illustration of using tennis ball under the hips against the wallHow #2: If the first position is too hard to get into or too uncomfortable, stand with your feet slightly apart and a little away from a wall. Bend your knees slightly, reach back, and ease your back and hips onto the wall. Rest your head there, too. This should be a comfortable lean, not an effort to hold! Place balls in the same location, and sink into them in this position. Don't forget to breathe!

NOTE: It is helpful to put the tennis balls into a sock or stocking for easier management. (Keep away from dogs and other animals ... including children! This is a chewing/swallowing hazard.)

8) Find free and inexpensive supplies: Freecycle® and the Madison Stuff Exchange
I have used these resources multiple times over the years with great success. Freecycle® is a national resource. Try them out! Save money, landfill space and time:
"Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community. " Sign up at the website for a local list from over 5,000 groups across the country. Website includes instructive video. Easy to use. Spam-free.

The Madison Stuff Exchange and The Dane Business Surplus Center (Sponsored by the City of Madison)
"The Madison Stuff Exchange lets you sell, give away or trade things you don't want with people who do, like an online garage sale. There's lots of free stuff available, plus it's good for the environment. You can also post requests for items that you need. The site works like a classified ad section, and it's free to use!
You can post listings of items and materials you wish to get rid of or browse for those currently available in your area.
The Dane Business Surplus Center ... is an online location for businesses to sell or exchange unneeded items and materials with other businesses in the area.
The purpose of the Surplus Center is to keep usable materials out of the landfill by finding them a new home. The site is intended strictly for the use of businesses in the Dane County region. "

9) German wheel and Skeleton news
Skeleton FootYou may know that I was searching for a skeleton model to use in my therapy business. It has been found and employed! This yet-to-be-named volunteer is now ready to assist you in learning more about your body and how it works. After some minor repairs (it has been in the therapy business for a while), it is waiting only for a new knee joint. I know some of you can relate!

In the interest of living fully as a groovy Madisonian, and because this is as close as I will get to my dream career in the Cirque du Soleil, I have I have signed up for a beginner German Wheel class, to be held at the new Madison Circus Space. Here is a video of the instructor performing some advanced moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BZLS3HydsnA

Wish me luck!

10) If you made it this far ...
If you can tell me how many times I used the phrase "breathe easily and fully" throughout this letter, get $5 off your next session. Just for fun! To claim your reward, send me an email with the answer before the next session.

I wish you good health, supportive people, and a little down time! As always, breathe easily and fully,

*Pain can come from many sources. If you have sudden, ongoing, or worsening pain, please see a medical professional. If you are uncertain if either of these techniques is safe for you to practice, contact me. We can evaluate your situation and design a self-treatment plan that is safe and effective for you. Use care and caution if you are pregnant, have a fracture, sciatic pain, history of/current circulation problems or loss of sensation in the area being treated. Always check your skin before and after to be sure all is well. **