Friday, April 29, 2016

A Year Out Of School... Again...

So, for those of you that don't know... I've been through too much school. Not as much as some others... but, too much... haha, for my family.

I met my wife in grad school round #1 for my DPT. Then, not two years into marriage, I started an MBA program. Well... it's been a year since I was conferred an MBA in Marketing with Distinction from the University of Michigan.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Product Review: The Pelvic Clock™

Today's product review is sponsored by The Pelvic Clock™.

While I don't do many product reviews on this blog; and more so, do product reviews on my dad blog #DaddyInTheRaw... there is a remarkable story behind the Pelvic Clock -- the person, behind the product.

As with many inventions, the Pelvic Clock came out of personal necessity. Founder & CEO Yana Blinova created the Pelvic Clock during a time when she was told her spine was so of whack, that her only hope was spine surgery. Being an olympic coach, she knew the power of Physical Therapy... both professionally and personally. Both her parents were olympic coaches; and, one of her twin brothers -- being born with clubfeet -- experienced transformative improvements through Physical Therapy.

Refusing to give up, she looked around her house for ANYTHING she could use to augment therapeutic exercises and alleviate her low back pain. Fashioning a broken pot lid & a towel for padding, she performed the popular Pelvic Clock exercises and felt immediate relief across her sacroiliac joint & low back.

Not thinking much about it until far later when her many clients urged her to produce the Pelvic Clock as formal product, she went to work on design and production. After numerous revision and manufacturing intensities two years in the making...

The Pelvic Clock™ is proudly made in the USA!

It's a rather intuitive device with a truly comfortable material texture. It isn't too hard, nor is the height of it impossible to appreciate in terms of spinal extension. It is also more intuitive (to me at least!) with the explanation of the Pelvic Clock exercises as well as the proper muscle engagement in performing the pelvic clock exercises as a whole.

Yana and I had a wonderful conversation together and remarked on both the portability (for home health), the ease of use and simple patient education, and of course, the fact that it can be utilize in the clinic as ther-ex. The Pelvic Clock can be used on a hard surface, a soft surface such as a mattress, and even against a wall... which was, as Yana recalled, how a pregnant Physical Therapist used it the first time she was introduced to the product.

Through personal use of the Pelvic Clock, I was truly impressed by how HARD it was to cheat. Typically, with supine core exercises, it's easy to engage with the lower extremities to feign substitute and compensatory movements. However, I tried... I mean, I REALLY TRIED to perform a posterior pelvic tilt with the lower extremities... No Go. However, *BOOM* with core engagement... PPT #Done.

The Pelvic Clock is highly rated on Amazon -- and -- I agree! It's a solid product. Feels really nice. Is quality material. And, is made in the USA! I can see this useful in the clinic as a foundational exercise for low back concerns. And, since the exercise is rather self regulating, it can also be used much like most warm up exercises are in the clinic in terms of maximizing time management & productivity. Of course, that's after a patient has demonstrated proper exercise technique ;)

I'm very pleased to present the Pelvic Clock with my recommendations. While the price may be seemingly high; the quality it presents with, the ease of use, and the fact that is made in America earns it my thumbs up!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Trainers, Chiropractors, and Scope of Practice. OH MY!

When we start to feel the need to muscle up for term protection, defending scope of practice, etc... it all comes from a good place -- that the public consumer needs to be FULLY AWARE of what they are buying and who they are actually buying it from.

Still... we don't want to come across like this guy:
"This guy hates charity." - Monster's University

Positive media will always beat out negative media as it pertains to change. Sure, negative media gets more "press"... (contradiction in terms)... or, rather, is likely to get more attention. However, it may not actually get any action.

So, how do we do this? How do we go about protecting ourselves, our customers, and the consumer at large without looking like we're trying to nitpick, or even worse, come across like we're bullying other professions. Here are my suggestions:

1. Forge Strategic Alliances.
For every profession, there exists a continuum of excellence from totally amazing to "shouldn't even be in this profession." We see it all over healthcare, we see it in other professions, and certainly in personal trainers, chiropractors, etc.

Instead of saying the proverbial, "Get off my turf!" I suggest we approach the best of the trainers, chiros, acupuncturists, massage therapists... anyone who would otherwise seem to be a "threat" and make THEM our champions. After all, kind words mean a LOT more coming from someone who may be perceived as a rival. Some of the most successful cash and out of network physical therapists I know create alliances with those that would otherwise be stereotypically considered "the enemy."

It should speak volumes that such personalities are THAT successful because their mindset is not on the scarcity of resources; but, on a growth mindset that there isn't a piece of the pie to be had... rather, to make the pie bigger!

2. Get Public!
How many chiropractors, massage therapists, and TENs representatives do you see at your county fair, farmer's market, or local health fair? And... how many PTs? #PointMade

Truly, if we even wish to hope to have some semblance of professional brand awareness amongst our consumer base, we need to at the very least GET PUBLIC. GET VISIBLE. GET OUT THERE. We can't blame consumers for going to the most visible brands for substitutable expertise and solutions. We only have ourselves to blame on that one.

Therefore, what must be done is for physical therapists to capture every opportunity out there to get publicly visible. This means social media, health fairs, conferences, county fairs, conventions, community events, schools, sponsorships, ads, local news, the local paper... you name it! Anywhere there are people, ears, or eyeballs... PHYSICAL THERAPISTS SHOULD BE THERE. That... is the only way we can point the arrow to the practitioner of choice regarding physical health, the movement system, pain, rehabilitation, etc.

3. Approach Everything via Consumer Concern.
It's all about protecting the consumer. Just like we want accurate food labels, we want accurate labels on exercise, fitness, wellness, and healthcare.

This is where we can approach from a legal standpoint of false advertisement, misrepresentation, etc. We don't need to publicly blast people for doing (knowing or unknowingly) what is against the law, or at the very least, is inaccurate or unethical in terms of advertisement. What we can do, is come at this from the angle of concern for the consumers. After all, no one wants someone post-op to get hurt because they went to the wrong person, right? After all, no one wants someone who has a healthcare concern to be cared for by someone who is unlicensed, right? After all... it's all about making sure the public is protected, knows their options, and are free to make their best choice as consumers.

Coming at it from the lens of social responsibility is a powerful focus and gets a lot of positive attention, even regarding uncomfortable topics at hand which require hard changes.

Some Closing Thoughts 
As PTs, we definitely need to advocate for our consumers, protect our profession, and defend our scope of practice. We can do so with strong allies on all sides, rather than by pointing fingers at misdeed. We can do so by being a beacon of hope and constructive thought in the eye of the public. We can do so by demonstrating genuine concern for the consumer, over our own "turf," "scope," or "gain."

It is through such angles of approach that we gain favor in the public eye -- that we constantly aim for the betterment of all through transparent mindsets of mutual growth and societal benefit at large.