Can Good Vibrations Mean Good Health?
Anyone remember the vibrator belts machines of the 50’s and 60’s that promised you could shake your fat away without strenuous exercise? They didn’t work. Different versions of that idea have surfaced over the ensuing years, but a small, Spanish government-funded study is making healthcare and rehabilitation professionals revisit the benefits of vibration devices, especially for senior populations. A group of 24 men and women 65 plus performed 10 reps of squats, 3 times a week, for 11 weeks while on a vibrating platform. The underlying premise of the study is that vibration increases circulation, activates muscles and may strengthen bones. The results were inconclusive, with participants showing only a slight improvement in stamina and lower body strength.
But, other studies have shown that vibration platforms can improve balance and joint motion in geriatric patients, especially when used concurrently with more standard forms of exercise. Aerobic exercise remains the best way to ensure good health as one ages, but for those who are cardiac restricted or less ambulatory, such devices provide a beneficial minimal level of physical activity. The promise is also there that by improving fitness and movement, other chronic conditions associated with aging, such as depression and anxiety, will also be positively impacted.
Ranging in price from $150-3000, vibration platforms are financially feasible therapeutic tools for ALFs, rehab facilities, and therapists alike. However, further studies will be needed to determine their full potential for this population. In the meantime, if you are a PT , PTA ,OT ,or COTA,looking to make a significant difference in the lives of seniors contact the Centra team at 800 535 0076.
- Category: Health Technology
Digging Out the Right Way:
A friend in Canada recently sent me a message complaining of severe pains in his legs and arms, the result of digging his car out of snowdrifts for the second time in one day! Although used to heavy snowfalls, he was unprepared for having to repeatedly “rescue” his only means of transportation. There was no faulting him for choosing expediency over efficiency, while copious amounts of white stuff fell all around him, rapidly covering everything in sight, including his vehicle. I am not surprised that he didn’t stop to Google snow shoveling techniques on his smartphone. Nor am I surprised by the painful outcome. He is certainly not alone in those who end up in ERs and clinics with preventable shoveling related traumas.
A 2009 study published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reveals that musculoskeletal overexertion accounts for about 54% of all snow shoveling injuries. Of these, soft tissue damages - strains, sprains, abrasions and contusions - account for over half the cases, and lower back injuries make up another third. Reminding patients of proper shoveling techniques can not only stop recurrences but reduce the overall number of incidents. Here are a few tips to pass along to your family, friends and patients in wintery climes:
- Use an ergonomic shovel - one with a curved and/or adjustable length handle.
- Warm up those muscles - 10 minutes of stretching or walking pre-shoveling.
- Shovel early, shovel often - new snow is lighter than heavy accumulations.
- Push don’t lift - reduce back strain by moving/plowing snow aside.
- Take frequent breaks - don’t overexert aerobically
- Drink lots of water - prevent muscle strains due to dehydration
- Wear the right footwear - snowboots/non-slip soled shoes prevent falls
Injury prevention, not just post-traumatic treatment, is part and parcel of a Physical Therapist’s job description. Got some other tips you’d like to pass along? Love to work in snowy climates or ready for a change of scenery? Contact the Centra Team.
- Category: Patient Care
The healthcare staffing/recruitment field is filled with options for those seeking employment. So how do you choose? You can rely on word of mouth - a recommendation from a good friend or colleague. You can conduct a very random or a very thorough search using Google and other social media. But, no matter what method you use, a good customer service track record is critical to your choice. Professionals often cite recruiter indifference and poor follow-ups as top reasons for not using/recommending a particular staffing firm. In this competitive and difficult (still) job market, having a strong advocate could be the difference between your resume being at the top or the bottom of the employer’s pile.
The best staffing companies have both a high placement success rate, and a relationship driven strategy regarding their clients, employers and employees alike. Here are a few telltale signs you may have picked the wrong company/recruiter to represent you:
- He/she doesn’t know the difference between PT and OT or NP and RN.
- They don’t solicit your references. If they don’t check you out, how do you know they checked out your potential employers?
- They ignore/avoid asking for your specific goals. Could be they are trying to meet a quota and not trying to further your career.
- They are more interested in promoting their accomplishments than in listening to yours.
- They provide little background about the facility/company. No long-term relationship has been built, spelling disaster for your chances.
- He/she stops calling once they place you in the position. Could it be they don’t plan on working with you ever again?
Centra prides itself on meeting or exceeding its candidates’ and clients’ expectations. This includes recognizing the importance of updating you about the search process and post-placement follow ups to ensure your total satisfaction. Our recruiters are not limited to normal business hours, touching base on weekends and leaving messages even when you aren’t there to take the call. So call our team at 800 535 0076 and let us show you the difference that exceptional, quality concierge service means to your career!
- Category: Career Advice
Dance: Mind and Matter
A gem of a movie, “Silver Linings Playbook” is bringing the issue of mental health,and how we treat it, once again out of the recesses and into the forefront of American psyches. It not so subtly suggests that focused physical activity, in this case dance, should be a part of any therapy plan for a variety of mental health syndromes, in this case bipolar disorder. The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) defines dance therapy as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.” As with other expressive therapies, dance enables an individual to express or confront their conscious/subconscious feelings and thoughts. But dance is mind-body centric, involving a physicality that increases endorphins, improves focus, reduces stress levels, and enhances general well-being, perhaps more than alternative strategies.
Are you are a PT or OT with a passion for dance? Then you might want to explore an advanced degree in Dance/movement Therapy. The Bureau of Labor Statistic estimates that Certified Dance Therapists will increase in numbers 15% by the year 2018. There are currently six ADTA approved programs in the U.S. :
- Antioch University, Keene, NH
- Columbia College, Chicago, IL
- Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
- Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
- Naropa University, Boulder, CO
- Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Check out these specific institutions if you are looking for a trending career opportunity. Not yet ready for a full degree program? Centra can help you enhance your own mind body connections, simplify your job search and help you find an employer who shares your interests.
- Category: General Information
“To Be Rather Than to Seem” - North Carolina
It is unclear whether the state’s nickname derives from its earliest exports, tar and turpentine... or from the tenacity of its fighting men in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. “Tarheels” are universally proud of the role they played in the formation of this country, both economically and militarily, traditions that continue to this day. North Carolina boasts great natural beauty - from its majestic mountains to its nationally renowned beaches. These contribute to its reputation as a sportsman’s paradise that can be enjoyed year-round thanks to a mild climate. Home to The Biltmore Estate, the largest private American residence and Kitty Hawk, site of the first powered air flight, North Carolina’s strong economic history and support of innovation make it a great place for therapists to live and to work!
North Carolina offers both the friendliness of small town living, in towns like Elkin, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, or more cosmopolitan atmospheres, in towns like Gastonia. You can attend Scottish Highland Games in Laurinburg or celebrate German heritage at The New Year’s Shooters in Cherryville. See the largest sand dune on the East Coast in Nags Head or native Venus Flytraps in Hampstead. You can support our armed services in Havelock, home of Cherry Point, the world’s largest Marine Corps Air Station; in Fayetteville, home of Ft. Bragg, America’s largest Army installation; or in Warsaw, home of the oldest consecutive Veterans Day celebration. Attend “Merlefest”, the world’s largest folk and bluegrass music festival in Wilkesboro or “Mayberry Days” in Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy.
Want to enjoy this and much more that North Carolina has to offer? Call Centra at 800 535 0076 and let us make “The Old North State” your next great career opportunity.
- Category: General Information