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Monthly archive for January 2014

Hands, Wrists, and Occupational Therapy

Hands, Wrists, and Occupational Therapy

Think about how many times you use your hands every minute of the day. Now imagine if it was difficult for you to reach for a cup of coffee, use the computer, open a water bottle, or swing a hammer. These are just some of the many ways that we use our hands in everyday life, and if you think about it, there’s not much we do that doesn’t involve the use of our hands.  We often take our five fingered limbs for granted, until we injure them. It’s only then that we realize how essential they are to our everyday lives. 

Occupational Therapists play a unique roll in rehabilitating hands, wrists and elbows that have been involved in amputations, burns, and surgical repairs of tendons and nerves. In addition, we treat patients who have conditions such as tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

With the proper treatment and tools, occupational therapy can help you adapt to life with your injury, and/or while it heals. Your rehabilitation will begin at your first visit and treatment is customized to match your unique goals and limitations. You may experience pain management techniques, exercises to restore strength, dexterity, and range of motion; techniques to eliminate swelling and scarring; and sensory re-training. 

As Occupation Therapists, our goal is always to ensure that our patient’s rehabilitation process promotes healing while assisting in the ability to perform everyday activities. A positive outcome in our work together will result in an enhanced quality of life for our patients.

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Hands, Wrists, and Occupational Therapy

New Year’s Resolutions :: Eating Right and Getting in Shape

New Year’s Resolutions :: Eating Right and Getting in Shape

How many of you set a new year’s resolution to lose weight, lead a healthier lifestyle, or get in shape? It’s ok to admit that this year wasn’t the first time you made that resolution. Sure, good intentions are always laid out but a month or two into the year you just might find yourself set back in your old ways. How about making this year different? Start off with a commitment to yourself and a positive change.

If you think losing weight and eating healthy foods is easy, talk to Janis Kemper. She recently lost 80 pounds and feels better than ever. Two of the ways that Janis lost and kept the weight off involve exercise and eating right.

Jennifer Smits, Personal Chef, Fitness Trainer, and Author

Let’s Eat!
You may think healthy cooking is expensive or time consuming, however, with some planning and understanding of food choices you can eat healthier. Learning to cook and prepare new things is a fun way to try out new recipes. And, your body will thank you when you feed it healthy foods! Learn all about this topic at our upcoming fun and educational event featuring Jennifer Smits – personal chef, fitness trainer, and author of the book “Simple and Delicious Gluten Free Dishes: Meals That Support Your Health and Fitness Goals”. We’re excited to welcome her to our Wayland clinic to share her expansive knowledge of healthy cooking with you! Our event takes place on Thursday, January 16 from 6-7pm. The event is free, but you must register in advance.

New Year’s Resolutions :: Eating Right and Getting in Shape

Let’s Get In Shape!
If you’re already off to a great start with your meal planning, the next step is getting in shape. Whether you’re looking to increase your overall strength, tone your body, shed a few pounds, or just lead a healthier lifestyle, our personal fitness training is for you! When you work with one of our certified and licensed athletic trainers you’ll get a personal fitness assessment along with an individualized plan created specifically for you and the goals you hope to achieve. You’ll be able to work out on your own terms, and you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate one-on-one with a professional who has your best interests in mind. This program is a fantastic way to kick off the new year. Get details here.

Eating right and getting in shape don’t have to be a burden. With the right planning and execution, you can succeed at your goals. Let 2014 be your year!

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New Year’s Resolutions :: Eating Right and Getting in Shape

A Personal Journey for Janis Kemper :: Weight Loss Success

A Personal Journey for Janis Kemper :: Weight Loss Success

Update – We checked back in with Janis two years later to see how she was doing with her weight loss. Read that story here.

Weight loss isn’t easy; it’s hard work. No one knows this better than Janis Kemper, physical therapist and co-owner of NPT, who recently lost eighty pounds! We asked Janis some questions about what motivated her to take the proper steps to lose the weight and what she would recommend to others wishing to do the same.

What initially made you decide to change your lifestyle?
My health was declining. I had high blood pressure (requiring two medications to control), borderline Type II Diabetes, Fatty Liver Disease, and Sleep Apnea. My husband and kids told me they were worried about my health and I decided that I wanted to see my future grandchildren grow up. Making the decision was the toughest part!

What did you do to lose the weight?
I talked to my doctor who agreed that I needed to change my lifestyle. He recommended that I see a physician who specializes in Weight Loss Management. There are many tools available to people wanting to lose weight. My doctor and I decided I should try the VLCD (very low calorie diet). Essentially, for five months I ate between 800-900 calories per day. This was done with “product food” to ensure the proper balance between protein, carbs, and fat. To be on a diet with so few calories required weekly physician visits and bi-weekly blood work. The other components of the program are exercise (60 minutes per day at least five days per week) and weekly attendance to a support group. The support group was educational and led by nutritionists, behaviorists, and exercise physiologists. After the five month period there was a five-week transition back to regular food and a calorie intake of about 1200 calories per day.

How much weight have you lost?
I’m so proud of my success! I was able to lose and keep off 80 lbs. I was a size 18/20 and now I am a size 10.

A Personal Journey for Janis Kemper :: Weight Loss Success

What was the hardest part of your journey?
I always thought, “If I could just lose the weight, then I will be good.” Well that isn’t true. I have come to realize that maintaining my weight and changing my lifestyle has proven my biggest challenge. I have accepted the fact that I use food as a coping mechanism. Similar to an alcoholic, a drug user, a gambler, etc., I use food. When I’m happy I like to celebrate with food and drink, when I’m stressed I use chocolate to cope, the list goes on and on. I have the disease of obesity but right now I am managing it well.

What kept you motivated throughout the process?
There were days that I would have a pity party for myself. I would ask, “Why do I have to spend two hours a day to maintain my weight and be healthy?” and “Why do I have to think about every morsel I put in my mouth?” Then I realized how fortunate I was to be able to exercise, and eat healthily. I chose to focus on the positives of the weight loss like being able to wear regular size clothing and not plus-sized, being active without getting out of breath, and not having to take any obesity related medications (my blood pressure is now normal, I no longer have a fatty liver, I no longer have sleep apnea, and I have normal blood sugar levels). I think that there are many things that keep me going including a very supportive husband who motivates me, attending support group regularly, and awesome co-workers who challenge me to stay fit!

What advice would you give to others who may be thinking about changing their lifestyle?
Make the decision and then do it. Don’t attempt to do it alone, get help. The program I went through was Grand Health Partners. It was so motivating, that we decided to launch a personal fitness training program at Northern. We have certified and licensed Athletic Trainers who are equipped to work one on one with people who want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. The program will launch this month! Contact one of our clinics to get more information.

A Personal Journey for Janis Kemper :: Weight Loss Success

What would you say to those who are in the process of losing weight, but are struggling with reaching their goal?
Find support! Challenge yourself with a new workout video, class or routine. Try keeping a food journal and see if extra calories might be sneaking in. Eat protein at every meal, and eat six small meals a day. Use a smaller dinner plate. Weigh and measure your food – it’s surprising how 4 ounces creeps up to 6 ounces! Educate yourself on how to cook healthy. NPT is hosting a healthy cooking seminar at our Wayland location on January 16th from 6:00-7:00pm. It’s free and you can register at www.northernpts.com/rsvp.

For the first time in decades, obesity rates in America are on the decline. Recent government data showed that obesity among U.S. adults is continuing to level off after several decades of skyrocketing growth. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but it’s likely due to awareness and better information. Although this is good news, 34.9% of Americans in 2012 were still obese. Medical professionals all agree: sustaining a healthier weight is critical to improving blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid control levels as well as gaining better mobility and improved moods. I’m living proof that you can lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle. More and more people are making the choice to not allow the disease of obesity to control their health and happiness, and with the right tools you can be one of them!

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A Personal Journey for Janis Kemper :: Weight Loss Success

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