The Season of Giving

This time of year we look for ways to give back. Some do that locally and some try a more global approach. When I look at charities to donate time or money to, I  look for a few factors

  1. How much of my donation goes directly toward what I am supporting
  2. How much goes to overhead or the Operating expenses including salaries of the charity
  3. How much does the CEO, COO, CFO make for that chairty
  4. What is the gain provided by the charity.

Personally, I only want 10-20% of my donation to go to overhead. I don’t believe that most of my money should go to salaries and overhead. I look at what the C-Suite or executives make because I want to see how much my money is eaten up by their salary.

The Charities I choose to support have really good causes, provide education and have other ways to cover overhead.

Here is The Charities I choose to support and a little information about them:

  1. St Jude: From 2000 to 2005, 83.7% of every dollar received by St. Jude went to the current or future needsIn 2002 to 2004, 47% of program expenses went to patient care and 41% to research.

    2012, 81 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to research and treatment.

    Operating costs are covered through fundraising efforts and events like The FedEx St. Jude Classic, a PGA Tour event, and things like the St. Jude Math-A-Thon, Up ’til Dawn, direct mailings, radiothons and television marketing. St. Jude also has a merchandise catalog called the Hope Catalog. The catalog contains everything from shirts to office items, and from patient art to "Give Thanks" wristbands. *wikipedia

  2. Charity Water: Founded in 2006, It provides clean drinking water to areas that don’t have access by building wells. 100% of public donations go to fund projects and it costs about $500 to build a well for drinking water. GPS coordinates and pics are provided for each well Built. The Overhead and operating expenses are provided by private donors, Foundations and Sponsors. IF you could get 20 friends to donate $25 each you could help get clean drinking water to people in need
  3. The Heifer Project: Founded it 1944 it is a Global non-profit looking to eradicate poverty and hunger in the world. The encourage persons who have received a gift to then become donors themselves. The educate persons receiving a gift how to best care for their livestock to get the best yield. 23.4% of all donations go to overhead and operating expenses.
  4. Angels Unaware: This non-profit seeks to help and guide children affected by HIV/Aids. It runs 100% on volunteers and offers a camp for children called camp Ray-Ray. All donations go to help with camp Ray-Ray.

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Physical Therapy’s Scope of Practice Extends Beyond Aches and Pains

Physical therapy is an obvious choice when you’ve sprained an ankle or developed tennis elbow, but what about when you need to boost your mood? Though highly skilled in methods that improve mobility and reduce pain following an injury, physical therapists can also play a key role in improving a patient’s mental health.

Exercise, a core component of any physical therapy regimen, is known to benefit patients with mild to moderate mood disorders such as depression. Depression is an underlying condition often associated with chronic illnesses and orthopedic injuries that limit mobility and participation in daily activities. With depression affecting one in 10 Americans at some point in their lives, physical therapy is another avenue to diagnose and treat the associated symptoms. Physical activity reduces feelings of anxiety, depression and stress by improving the patient’s cognitive function and self-esteem. Moreover, studies have shown that aerobic exercise decreases overall tension levels, elevates and stabilizes mood and improves sleep. Because exercise’s mind-altering effects are temporary, however, patients should work with a physical therapist to develop a regular exercise routine to ensure continued benefits.

Patients can expect to work closely with a physical therapist to develop a custom treatment plan based on a thorough assessment and detailed patient history. PTs are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and identify the ways in which mental health disorders interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy life. Each individual care plan includes some combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to achieve optimal physical function.

Physical therapists may be trained to identify and treat a wide range of movement disorders including sprains and strains but they’re also adept at identifying and reducing symptoms of depression. Developing behaviors that maintain good mental health is an important part of overall health and wellness, and it’s never too late to get started.

Vertigo is Not Always Just Crystal Related

What's wrong with self treating?

This video gives some great information in regards to Crystal related BBPV only. This means that if crystals have been Knocked loose and travel into the Canal from the Utricle, It can help Immensely. When we as healthcare providers start isolated a disease process to one option only, We can certainly do harm. The question you should ask is, “Is the room spinning or am I?” Vertigo is the room spinning, not you. What I would like to also add is this, “Is it worse if I move my head when both lying down and sitting up and does that last for 1min or less?” If it happens other than that, or it takes longer, It might be something other than BPPV and it may need more care.

Notice in this video that the ENT ask specific questions regarding Face droop, Speech trouble, Fall and hit head, Etc. The reason he is asking this is because there could be signs of stroke, Bells Palsy, Migraine, Tumors, etc. You really need to have Vertigo that is persistent checked out properly.

After any episode of Vertigo, You might want to see a Physical Therapist who specializes in Vestibular and concussion rehab or at a minimum balance and fall prevention.

The American Healthcare Act Failed, Now What?

Many people are discouraged by what has happened since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. Most don't know enough about what was going on in healthcare prior to that to really have fact based opinions. What we all know is that change is needed, but how do we get there?

How do we fix the ever failing healthcare system in this country?

If you look up stats on other countries healthcare systems you'll see a disturbing trend. The US uses more care, but is sicker, dies earlier, and have more diseases and medications than all other developed nations. We even have the Highest Infant Mortality Rate in all OECD countries. With all of the advancements we have made, how can we justify the increased expense of care? How can we justify that no Cure for any disease has been found since the Polio Vaccine? Why are we settling for more drugs and less car?

There is a serious growing concern in this era of rising deductibles, co-payments and Co-insurances, especially as those costs don't seem to offset the raise in Premiums the Insurance companies are charging as well. The Health Care and education Reconciliation Act from 2010 that lead to the Affordable care Act (Obamacare) was supposed to make health insurance more affordable for all, But what it did was create more loopholes to increase premiums and cause more payments for care to be made by insured than by the insurance company.

The General history of what has occurred is that the overall rate of uninsured went from 14% to 8.6% as a country. Costs of Premiums went from an average of $12,680/year to $18,142/year. This rise in cost is said to be 11% less than the cost increase from 2006-2011, and 43% less than the cost jump in premiums from 2001-2006. High deductible plans ($2500/person insured in a family plan) have become the gold standard, But that's with the increased premium, so what is the insurance company paying for exactly? Unless you have a surgery or two, you likely won't hit the deductible. Even if you do, the out of pocket maximums have jumped from an average of $6,000 to $12,500.

So what happened in the decade before the affordable care act? Total jump in premiums was 131%, even though inflation was only at 28%.

What does this mean? If you look at the rising cost of healthcare, the first place that we should be looking is the payroll for the C-Suite executives at the healthcare Insurance companies. In 2013, there was such a windfall for CEOs that they saw an additional $125 million in bonus's paid to them. Just incase your unsure what that means, 11 CEO's maid $125million extra, above there $11-$17million salaries for that year. That Nearly Doubled the Salary for EACH CEO of the 11 Major Insurance Companies. Why is there a need to pay anyone that much money to stop covering the basics and charge the public more? If you're looking in Colorado here are some figurative stats. At $11million, that CEO brings home about $366,000 per month after taxes are taken out at 40%. As you can see by the Data provided below from the Colorado Census for Wages by Occupation, The CEO makes more in a month than most providers actually giving care in Colorado in a year.

Type of Provider AVG. Monthly Take Home Avg. Yearly Salary
Orthopedic Surgeon $22,500 $450,000
Family Physician $9,594.30 $191,886
Physical Therapist $3,850 $77,000

Why should the pay for non-medical business managers be so much higher than those of the providers who are scraping by to see you, care for you and get you at least somewhat better? I think we can all agree that the rise in Medication first, address the problem later may be driven by this startling trend.

Another thing we might consider is looking at programs run in other countries like Germany, Austria, New Zealand where the actual Consumer (patients) are involved every step of the way. In those countries, the consumer can call, talk to an office representative and get and estimate of costs that are actually fairly accurate. They can compare those costs to a quote from another provider and make a best choice as to how much they want to pay for services. They pay upfront for the care they receive to the provider. Then, at then end of the month or the quarter, they gather all of their healthcare receipts and take them to the national system and the National system then process them and deposits, directly to their bank account, the money due back to them. Imagine the possibilities of actually having doctors compete for your business. They would need to price things so that they can sustain their business and lifestyle appropriate to fit the needs and costs of education; however, they would be able to tell you exactly what costs would be with no surprises later. They would have to prove why they are the best person to earn your business.

This model could cause the insurance companies to actually need to lower premiums and deductibles for the fact that if you have the option and are more aware of how to be a true Consumer of Healthcare, you could form a reasonable argument as to why your premiums should not go up and why they may actually need to go down.

Let us know if you'd like more information on the truth about what your Insurance company does for you versus what you can do for yourself as a consumer of Healthcare.

Think of Food as Medicine

Food as Medicine

"Let Food be thy medicine and medicine thy food."


Before we had a medication to treat every condition, we had food. When is the last time you went to the doctor's office and were prescribed food to treat an ailment? Don't get me wrong, we have made many incredible advancements in the medical field and some medications can be extremely effective, however, I believe we can still learn a lot from Hippocrates' wisdom.

Modern medications are not always aimed at treating the root of the problem, sometimes they focus on alleviating the symptoms. Some also come with a variety of unpleasant side effects. The best part about using food as medicine is usually there are not side effects and often they are able to better address the root of the problem rather than the symptoms. Have you ever heard of someone taking a drug for one condition, but develop side effects so bad that they had to start taking another medication to help? That just does not seem logical or right to me. It's like putting a band aid over another band aid and thinking the wound will heal faster.

If only we knew of foods that decreased inflammation, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure. Food is more accessible, more affordable and easier on our body as a whole. What if I told you there are foods that do all of these things and more. Studies have shown that common foods can do many incredible things for our body.

So why don't our Doctors tell us about these foods prior to prescribing drugs? There are a variety of factors that go into this, but money is the biggest of them all.

The pharmaceutical industry in the US is a billion dollar industry. The top companies are bringing in up to 70 billion dollars a year in revenue and the industry as a whole is spending over 2 billion dollars in research and development annually. When an industry is spending 2 billion dollars in research and development, you better believe they are not going to want people talking about a food that is $3.99 per pound that can work better or as well as their billion dollar drugs. Simply put, there is no money to be made from food. Even the most expensive and exotic health foods cannot come close to the cost of some medications.


Another setback for doctors is the lack of evidence supporting the use of common food items for medicinal purposes. This again, can be tied to financial gain. To complete a large randomized control study, which is considered the highest level of evidence, you need money to support your work. Remember, the pharmaceutical industry spends over 2 billion dollars to fund that research to prove their medications are effective. Do you think the food industry has that much money allocated for research and development? Not at all. Most research completed on food is completed on a small scale and with a limited budget.

For example, one study that was completed on 10 people showed that eating 4 brazil nuts during a single meal resulted in a decrease in LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels by 20 points within 9 hours of consumption. It takes the commonly prescribed statin drugs 4 days to begin showing a decrease in LDL levels. After 30 days, cholesterol levels were tested again on each of the participants and their LDL levels maintained the improvement. Again, this study involved a single serving of 4 brazil nuts without any other diet modifications and cholesterol levels were improved for one month! The most common side effects from statin drugs are listed as headache, difficulty sleeping, muscle aches and weakness, dizziness and nausea and vomiting. The most common side effects of eating 4 brazil nuts…a little extra protein in your day?

Usually a study with incredible results like this would be repeated on a larger population to determine if it was a fluke or if in fact, 4 nuts can make such an impact on cholesterol levels. However, due to lack of financial incentive, this study was not reproduced. But when comparing the side effects of statins vs brazil nuts, do you think it would be worth a shot to start with 4 brazil nuts a month instead of a few pills a day? My thought is even though the research is not rock solid to support this claim, as long as there are not any ill side effects, you might as well try 4 brazil nuts a month first. It's inexpensive, easy and requires less effort than taking a prescription drug every day.

A larger study completed in 2015 in Australia followed 2,500 people over a span of 15 years. Their diets were tracked throughout this period and a surprising connection was made between the amount of nuts a person was consuming and the risk of death from chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and stroke. People who ate more nuts had anywhere from a 25% to 50% reduction in risk of dying from these types of diseases over the 15 year study. A handful of other studies have also found the heart protective properties of nuts, especially walnuts. The best part about these studies is that they are not talking about an exorbitant amount of nuts. Most studies showed about a handful or two of nuts a day could do the trick. One study even stated 1/2 a walnut a day could be beneficial! Is there space in your diet for less than a single walnut a day if it could cut your risk of having a heart attack in the future?

Another under the radar food that could make a huge impact on how you feel is the spice turmeric. Turmeric has been used in Eastern Medicine for hundreds of years for its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. More recent research is showing that turmeric, along with many other common spices used such as ginger, rosemary and clove have the potential to decrease inflammation and pain as well as some over the counter medications. Studies completed on rats have shown doses of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, were nearly as effective as cortisone in decreasing edema. Other studies have found that curcumin was as beneficial than pain medications in patients after hernia surgery.

Here's one more study to sink your teeth into. A study performed in 2013 on 110 people looked at the effect of ground flax seed on blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The study demonstrated a potent effect of flax seed consumption on patients blood pressures. Over 6 months of eating 30 grams of ground flax seed daily, participants decreased their systolic pressure (the top number) by 10 points and diastolic pressure (the bottom number) by 7 points. The decrease in pressure over the 6 months correlates to a 46% decrease in the risk of having a stroke and a 29% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. Even more interesting, if a participate had a starting systolic pressure greater than 140, they dropped that number by 15 points.

Now that is a lot of information to chew on! By no measure does this information mean that you should go home and empty your medicine cabinet and start eating only flax seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts and turmeric. Before making any changes to your currently prescribed medications please discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist. What I hope you gain is some insight and knowledge and potentially peak your interest into a hidden world of food as medicine. Most of these foods have been found to be more effective as preventative medication. So if you don't have high cholesterol or elevated blood pressure, maybe adding a few brazil nuts and flax seeds to your diet will help you keep it that way. Next time you snack on some walnuts think about the impact your making on your health.

Preventative Rehabilitation for Hiking

Prehab for hiking
It's getting warmer, the snow is melting, and the days are getting longer. Winter is coming to an end (hopefully) and spring and summer are upon us. For some Coloradans, that means heading to the mountains to hike and explore the endless miles of beautiful trails this state has to offer. Some may be enjoying a easy day hike with friends and family, others may be attempting to bag a few 14er's this year.

Whatever you choose, are you ready to tackle those trails all summer without those pesky knees, hips and ankles acting up? What about that back? Are you going to suffer through those aches and pains that pop up after your first few tough hikes? What if there were a few exercises that you could start doing now to get your body ready?

Hiking can be a lot more strenuous than your day to day walking, especially in Colorado. You will have to deal with uneven terrain, elevation gains, and possibly carrying a heavy pack. All of these things can wreck havoc on your joints and can potentially end in injury. Good ankle stability can be the difference between recovering from stepping awkwardly on that root and a nasty ankle sprain. Strong hips can make all the difference in the forces your knees have to put up with while descending that mountain you just conquered. And good core stability can allow you to rest pain-free after a long day in the mountains and be ready to do it all over again the next day.

By focusing on specific strength exercises and addressing any movement dysfunctions, a physical therapist can help you put your best foot forward this summer. I want to share with you a few of my favorite prehab exercises that focus on what hikers need most. These exercises are also great for those trail runners out there.

Calf Raises

We will start at the bottom and work our way up. Balance starts at your feet. If you don't have good foot and ankle strength, flexibility and stability, you may have trouble adjusting to uneven terrain. My favorite exercise for foot and ankle strength is single leg balance. The twist is, you lift your heel off the ground so you are balance on the ball of your foot. In this position all the muscles in your foot and ankle have to work together to keep you stable. First try this while holding onto two hiking or ski poles. This will give you a little more stability at first. Try to balance for up to 2 minutes at a time. To progress, make small circles or a marching motion with your non-stance leg. You can also get rid of the poles to challenge yourself more.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Next, lets move up to the hips and knees. The biggest complaint I hear about hiking is knee pain. More often than not, it really has to do with hip strength. Your hip abductor muscles help to keep your knees in proper alignment, this can significantly reduce the risk of anterior knee pain. Hip abductors, the muscles on the lateral side of your pelvis, are often ignored in exercise routines. There are a few exercises you can do in your home to improve the strength of your hips. Half kneel balance is my favorite stability exercise. Line your front foot up with your knee as if you were on a balance beam and attempt to hold this position for 2 minutes. If this is easy, close your eyes. Keep your front knee bent to 90 degrees and focus on keeping good posture throughout.

Doorway Squat

Doorway squats are another great way to improve hip strength and stability. Being in a doorway limits your ability to 'cheat'. Focus on keeping the knee of your front leg in good alignment with the door, but do not let it touch the door frame. You want to keep your weight through the heel of your front leg and try to sit straight down. Only use the door frame for balance, do not pull on it. Do 10-20 repetitions each leg.


And last but not least, core stability. Core stability is the building block of all movement. If our arms and legs have a solid foundation, they are able to move correctly and efficiently. There are hundreds of different exercises you can do to maintain good core strength and stability. If you are lost in a sea of YouTube videos about which one is the best, fear not; just plank. There are a few plank variations I like more than others. As always, start on elbows and knees, focus on maintaining alignment of shoulders, hips and knees throughout, and do not perform any exercise that causes you pain. Side planks with a leg lift are a great two for one exercise. Core stability and hip stability in one! Shoot for 10-20 repetitions on each side. Front planks with alternating leg extensions are great too. They focus on keeping your trunk still with alternating leg movement, mimicking the demands of walking with a heavy pack. Do 10-20 repetitions at a time.

All of these exercises can be completed in your home without any special equipment in about 15 minutes. Everyone can make time for 15 minutes of stability and strength training. The standing balance exercise can even be done while waiting in line at Cost-co, just don't try the other ones there…people may question your sanity!

This is not a comprehensive list and by no means will address every impairment that you may have or guarantee an injury free hiking season. The only way to address your specific deficits is to see your PT and let them customize a program for you. Currently our healthcare system is pushing for more preventative health care. Let's translate this to physical therapy. PT's are movement experts and we love nothing more than to help people move better. If we can keep you moving well, hopefully, we can keep you pain and injury free. Wouldn't you rather see your PT a time or two now so you can avoid having to see them down the road after an injury or surgery? Prehab is typically not covered by insurance, however, if you compare the cost and benefit of a personal training session or two versus a couple sessions of PT, there is more value in seeing a PT. Physical therapists are highly trained individuals who typically have a clinical doctorate degree. You will gain insight into how and why your body moves and functions the way it does and what you can do to reduce your risk of injury. Our goal is to not have to see you again unless it is to enjoy a hike together. So call a physical therapist today and ask about a prehab program customized to your needs.

Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

(303) 773-0771

Preventative Rehabilitation for Orthopedic Surgeries

Prehab: It's not a typo for rehab.

You may have heard the term being tossed around by orthopedic doctors and rehab professionals. Prehab, an abbreviation for preventative rehabilitation, is the use of rehabilitation principles and strength training prior to any actual injury. Prehab can also be used to improve strength and endurance prior to a surgery with the idea that the stronger you are prior to surgery, the quicker you will recover.

Today, I want to discuss how prehab can help prior to surgery. In upcoming blogs, I will discuss the benefits of prehab for athletes of all types and the active, injury-free population.

Studies have found that prehab prior to abdominal or cardiac surgery results in fewer postoperative complications, shorter hospital stay and improved quality of life. Unfortunately, research has shown prehab and pre surgical education is not necessarily beneficial for orthopedic surgeries including total joint replacements. So those six PT visits your orthopedic surgeon suggests you complete prior to surgery are not always necessary.


So why am I talking about prehab if it is not beneficial with orthopedic surgeries? Often times, when surgery is imminent, a person will feel as though there is nothing they can do but wait. Control is lost over the situation, which can be scary. Having a concrete role in your health by having specific exercises to do, can give you some control back. PT's are also helpful with answering questions, decreasing anxiety and providing a support system during a stressful time. Being proactive about your physical strength and endurance will also give you a daily exercise routine. This will make it easier to be compliant with your exercise routine after surgery.

So is just going to the gym sufficient? Probably not. The most important part of a prehab program is to strengthening the key muscles in recover while minimizing pain. Your best bet is to get in and see your physical therapist.

What will Prehab look like? First, your physical therapists will complete a full evaluation and assessment. This will include gait and posture analysis, strength and flexibility testing, as well as balance and movement screens. After, a PT will be able to customize an exercise routine that is specifically tailored to address the weakness they uncover. Expect to have a 30-45 minute routine that you can complete 3-5 times a week. These can be exercises that you can complete in your home if you do not have access to a gym.

Don't wait until the week before a scheduled surgery to meet with your PT about setting up an exercise routine.The best time to start a prehab program is as early as possible. Two to three months prior to a planned surgery is ideal. This will allow for true strength and endurance gains and develop a strong habit of exercises. If you don't do this before a joint replacement, you will still have to do it after…it's your call.

Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

(303) 773-0771

Poor Balance, Dizziness, Vertigo all Cause Risks to Your Health

Did you know that dizziness is the number one cause of a fall in persons over the age of 70? Even more staggering the falls in this population are responsible for most Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Fractures of the wrist, thigh, and hip as well as the shoulder in this group of seniors. These injuries can lead to our seniors being placed in Homes or Long Term Care Facilities. Of those that fall, 20% will die with in the first year afterward if they sustain an injury.

Vertigo Chart

The cost of a fall can be staggering to both the person and the Medical system, but also the family of the person that falls. Imagine that your mother or father fall and fracture a hip. They have surgery, but due to their age they have more difficulty in recovery. Instead of going home immediately, where they can be in familiar surroundings, they are sent to a rehab facility for a stay ranging from 2-8 weeks. Often times going to a rehab Facility can cause depression because the persons want their independence and feel like they are having their freedoms taken away. This can lead to them not participating n the rehab need to go home so the end up going to Long Term Care instead.

What if there was another way?

Physical Therapists trained to do rehabilitation for Dizziness; Vertigo and balance dysfunction, Like those at Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, can help prevent that fall, that potential TBI or Fracture. I won’t say that it is easy, but the right steps and exercises can make a huge difference in Quality of life for persons over the age of 60.

Steady as You Go Infographic

Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation exercises focus first on getting your vision clear with head movement. We then gradually progress through standing balance tasks with cognitive tasks and head movement to help move you through at a pace that is right for you. We also add things for simple tasks like sit to stand and core strength.

Dizziness Home Remedies

Some of the Things can even be as simple as Drinking water, while others require some work on the part of the patient. Decreased Strength, Dehydration and Low Blood Sugar can all attribute to the cause of your dizziness. We can teach you how to manage them all and help prevent a fall in you or your family.

People who are at risk include anyone with a neurological condition such as MS, stroke, TBI; Concussion, even if it was in your earlier years, anyone over the age of 40, people who don’t regularly exercise. Research has shown that as much as 35% of persons over 40 have had at least one episode of Vertigo

If you or someone you know has suffered from episode of poor balance, Contact a Vestibular Therapist today.

Vertigo Shark

Improving Lives of People with Parkinson’s Disease

Imagine living in a world where when you want to step forward a foot, you really step forward a mere 6 inches. Every step you take is half the size of what you expect but your brain can't adjust and take a bigger step. It takes you twice as long to walk anywhere, but you just can't seem to speed up or take bigger steps.

This is a world people with Parkinson's disease live in every day. Parkinson's Disease is a progressive neurological disease that primarily affects movement control. The disease makes it hard for a person's brain to connect what they want to do with what their body actually does. This is called a sensorimotor deficit. Other motor control symptoms of PD are tremors, small movements, decreased balance, shuffled gait and stiffness. Medications and exercise can improve motor control symptoms in many people. But there is only one program that is specifically designed to address the motor control and sensorimotor deficits in this progressive disease.

This program is called the LSVT BIG program. It is based off the LSVT LOUD program which is now the gold standard for treating voice impairments in people with Parkinson's Disease. This program has been researched and developed over the past 25 years with funding from the National Institute of Health. Research has shown that after completing the LSVT BIG program, people demonstrate faster walking with bigger steps, improved balance, increased trunk rotation, and improvements in activities of daily living such as bed mobility.

So what makes the BIG program so unique? It is an intense program that is completed over 4 weeks. Each week consists of 4 one on one hour long sessions with a physical or occupational therapist whom is a certified LSVT BIG practitioner, daily homework and assignments. The program is customized to each person's needs and goals. Goals can be as simple as being able to stand up from the couch without help to getting back to road biking 20 miles a day.

"I got my life back"

"I feel like I have purpose again"

People who complete this program, are truly grateful for what they have learned and how they have improved. With hard work and dedication, amazing things can happen. Lives can be changed. Movement becomes the medicine.

It is not an easy program to complete. It is intense and requires complete dedication. People have said it takes over their lives for a month. Exercises are performed two times a day, seven days a week. Each exercises session takes about 30 minutes to complete. Once the program is finished, people are encouraged to continue with the exercises one to two times a day for the rest of their lives. The BIG program can be completed every year to continually adjust exercises to allow for continued challenge and improvement. Medicare and other insurances will typically cover the program.


Is the LSVT BIG program for you? If you have Parkinson's Disease, yes, it is for you. No matter what your level of ability is, this program can be customized to allow you to achieve your goals. Make an appointment to see your local LSVT BIG certified therapist and learn how movement can be your medicine or call Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine to speak with Jenna for any questions or concerns.

Visit the LSVT Global website for more information.

Dr. Jenna Schauer, PT, DPT, CKTP

LSVTBig Cert

Improving Communication is Absolute Key in the Current Social Media World

Recently, My husband and I have been attending classes with our Twin Boys to help them improve Brain Organization and Function at a higher level. See, as it turns out, Both of my children border on the Autism Spectrum of disorders. They have been labeled high energy, lack of ability to focus and even disruptive. What I have learned about development Neurologically from Physical Therapy School and what I have seen my children do or not do told me something more was going on. I started doing some research and came across Brain Highways. (you can check out there onsite and distance Learning programs here: )

The most important thing I learned in my research is that every brain has the potential to keep developing and Every Person, Not just Children, Can gain from simple 35 minutes/daily patterning that mimics what babies should naturally do as they move from in-utero to 1 year of age.

The other thing I learned is that my husband and I also could benefit from further development and that our communication during the process is far more important. Warning:PERSONAL INFORMATION OF SENSITIVE NATURE ABOUT TO DROP
after almost 16 years of marriage we had our very FIRST FIGHT. it was like we as a team forgot to actually look at the other with respect and one of us became accusatory instead of knowledge seeking. The following steps are the way we tried to come back to our normal even Keeled selves and COMMUNICATE

The Intentional Dialogue Process
I'm not an expert on this process, but here's how we've been practicing it:

Have one person be the "sender" and the other be the "receiver." If one of you has a frustration, you ask the other person to have an Intentional Dialogue. By agreement, the other person can ask to do it later when they're not busy, but they have to pick a time within the next 24 hours. Commit to doing this process when the other person needs you. It's good to separate the roles like this, because usually when we have relationship talks, it is both people trying to be heard and understood, and neither is trying to do the hearing and understanding.
Prepare for your role. The sender should give some thought to how they might concisely state their frustration in the beginning. The receiver should do their best to show up ready to listen and empathize, and to put aside their own story about whatever the issue is so they can hear the other person's side. This can be difficult.
The sender shares and the receiver listens. When the dialogue starts, the sender shares what they're frustrated or hurt about, by saying something like, "When you did this, I felt this way." And then continues to try to share their experience and perspective. The receiver just listens, trying to really understand their partner with an open heart, without trying to explain themselves. The receiver should try to notice when their own story is getting in the way of listening (for example, "Hey, I was only trying to __!") and put their story aside for now. Just try to understand.
The receiver mirrors and confirms. When the sender is done talking, the receiver should try to mirror back what the sender said, in the sender's words. Yes, that can mean just repeating what they said, without putting it into your own words or interpreting it. Try to be true to what they said. It helps them feel heard, and can help them show you where you mis-heard them. If the sender has a lot to say, they might do it in chunks, allowing the receiver to mirror the first part of what they have to say before going on to the next part. When the receiver mirrors the sender's message back to them, they should end by saying, "Did I get that?" (sender: "yes") and then "Is there more?" Then the sender can say, "Yes, there's more..." or "No, that's all."
The magic words are: "That makes sense." When the sender is done talking, and the receiver has mirrored their words and gotten confirmation that they got it right... that's when the magic happens. That's when the receiver simply says, "That makes sense." Those three words are what the sender really wants to hear. Now, the receiverdoesn't have to agree with the receiver, he or she just has to see that it's understandable that they feel this way, given their perspective. That's all. If you're really trying to understand the other person's perspective, you can see that they're not crazy, that how they feel makes sense.
The receiver then does empathy. Next, the receiver will try to give empathy to the sender, after saying, "That makes sense." For example, "It does makes sense that you'd feel that way... I imagine you felt hurt when I did that, maybe you were hoping I'd be more supportive, and you felt abandoned, rejected by me, frustrated that I wasn't listening to you. And when I didn't want to hear your side and just accused you of complaining again, that probably felt like I didn't want to understand you, and felt like I was judging and criticizing you for feeling the way you do." This is just a quick example, but the main idea is that the receiver is trying to get into the sender's shoes, and really show the sender he or she can understand what they're going through. At the end of this step, the receiver says, "Did I get that right? Is there anything else you wish I had said?" And the sender can then fill in any holes or correct the receiver's perceptions. That's it!
You can switch roles if needed. At this point, if the sender feels heard and understood, the receiver might want to share their side of the story. And so he or she can ask to switch roles, and then start the process from the beginning.

This is all better explained by John Wineland and his co-teacher Guru Jagat in this great video (

Watch it and you'll understand the process, I think.