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31 Ways to Celebrate August, “Family Fun Month”

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Month of fun brought to you by Dr. Wortman, PT, DPT August is Family Fun Month, so I wanted to lighten things up and help you celebrate 31 days of wacky and unique daily holidays. I hope you have fun getting the most … Continue reading

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Get to Know Owner & Chief Everything Officer, Meri

Mer

How did you get into the physical therapy industry?  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in mind, body, spirit wellness. I always loved exploring nutrition and fitness, and then in college, I decided to study Psychology to learn more about human behavior. It was a fantastic major, but I knew that ultimately I wanted to incorporate that into something more business oriented. With that, I pursued a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (contributing an organization’s success by improving the selection, performance, motivation, satisfaction and overall well-being of employees). Ultimately this led to a career in higher education, but I was always an entrepreneur at heart (thanks dad). I knew I wanted to have my own business someday, so after Geno (husband and co-owner) completed his DPT, I knew this was the perfect opportunity and industry. 

What do you like most about your job? I am so passionate about movement and physical therapy. It’s like you have a secret that can change lives…the ultimate way to move better, sleep better and perform better. So many people don’t know the solution is right under their nose. That’s what excites me everyday. 

What’s your role at Iron? Like most small business owners, I do a little of everything — leadership, marketing, finance/accounting, insurance billing, HR, operations, etc. I work from home which is fantastic, but do miss seeing everyone at IRON. I don’t have a “typical” day, but here’s what happened today: In the morning, I had a phone meeting with our Manager Claudia to discuss upcoming hiring, better processes for insurance authorizations and the new vacation policy for staff. It’s the last day of the month, so next, I reconciled everything in Quickbooks and ran our monthly financial reports. I then wrote a blog post and designed a new marketing piece for upcoming events. I finished the day by organizing our past due insurance payments (grrrrr!) and dropping some Starbucks off to the staff because it’s been a long week. This is my home office where all the magic happens…

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How do you like working with your husband? I love it!! He’s as great as you think he is! We really have our own domains, so there’s not a lot of conflict, but when issues do arise, our different perspectives balance each other out well. The best part is that we never run out of things to talk about – ha! Our work really brings us together. We share the vision for the company, have a similar drive for growth and risk tolerance, place a high priority on integrity and strive for life balance. But even in 2016, it seems hard for people to understand that we are partners and I might flinch if you say, “so you help Geno with the business” or “you’re the woman behind the man” ; ) In this case, we stand next to each other and equally love and drive our business. Just had to say that!

Where did you grow up? I grew up on six acres in Far Hills, NJ with my parents and two sisters. I love them all to pieces. Here’s a pic with my new extended family.SBP_9054-1 (1).jpg

10553523_10203453804558575_1702119767169632896_nWhere did you go to school? I attended Furman University in SC (that’s where I met Geno) and UNC-Charlotte for graduate school. Here’s a pic of us as college sweethearts – lol!

What was your first job after college? I worked for GE in human resources and then transitioned to career services for the next seven years. I worked at Pace University (NYC) and Seton Hall University. I loved higher ed!

Who’s at home? My husband of 15 years, our two amazing daughters and our fur-baby.

 

How do you like to stay active? Anything OutdoorsCycling, Yoga, Running, CrossFit! I think movement heals everything. 

How would friends describe you:  I asked a few besties, and they said — Tenacious, Authentic, Grace-Giving, Grateful, Passionate, Courageous and Dynamic. How sweet are they! The one I own the most is grateful. I’ve always looked at life with deep appreciation and believe, “the world owes you nothing.”

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Hidden talent? Hobbies? Real EstateTo put Geno through school, we flipped a few houses and did all the renovations ourselves. Thanks to Google and YouTube, I learned how to do everything from tiling and sheetrock to design and staging. I even got my real estate license so I could list the homes myself. It was challenging, but fun, and we made it to graduation with no loans!!

One thing on your bucket list? Become a snowbird (I strongly dislike NJ winters)

Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo? Beach House! 

How many pairs of shoes do you own? A lot, but thanks to my PT husband, I have far fewer flip flops : (

Do you play a musical instrument? No. Unfortunately, I’m not at all musical.

At which store would you like to max-out your credit card? Costco!!! Best store ever.

Favorite….

  • Author? Brene Brown
  • Food? Sushi and Ice Cream
  • TV Show? Anything HGTV and Scandal (Parenthood was my fav before it went off) 
  • Ice Cream Flavor? Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Drink at Starbucks? Summer = Coffee Frappuchino, Winter = Peppermint Mocha Latte
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Summer Travel: How to Arrive Pain Free

kristen jayson tight head shotBy Dr. Kristen Jayson, PT, DPT

imagesSummer is finally here, the season many of us look forward to most; warmer temps, longer days and vacation! Whether it’s taking that five-hour road-trip to your family reunion or flying overseas, travel goes hand in hand with prolonged sitting, which can create pesky aches and pains or exacerbate pain you may already be experiencing.

Fortunately, I have some tips and exercises below to help you arrive PAIN FREE!

Keep Moving

For every 30 minute period, 8 minutes should be spent standing, 2 minutes moving around and only 20 minutes sitting still. This may not work perfectly for a road trip, but it’s certainly doable at cruising altitude on a plane or even after you arrive and you’re happily on your beach chair all day (ahhhh!). Even if you can’t easily move around, here are some other suggestions to help you feel great when you arrive.

Maintain Good Posture

Sitting and slouching puts extra stress on the ligaments and soft tissue structures in our lower back, which can cause pain. To make sure you’re sitting in a prfig-1oper position, do this quick test periodically:

  • Slouch forward into bad posture, hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Sit up very straight, pulling your shoulders down and back, hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Relax 10-15%! This is now your ideal position for sitting.

If you’re driving, it’s a great idea to use your rear-view mirror for feedback. images-2If you check your mirror and can’t see much, you know you need to correct your posture. Another good tool while traveling is a lumbar roll that provides a little extra support to your low back, which helps maintain proper positioning.

Movements That Work

Stretching during travel is an excellent way to stay loose and comfortable. The exercises below are also effective when you return to work, but let’s not think about that now.

Back Stretch

When given the opportunity for a rest stop, park far away from the entrance so you get a chance to stretch those legs and move around. When you get out of the car, you can combat low back pain by doing some standing back bends to redistribute pressure across the intervertebral discs and ease tension on the surrounding structures.

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  • With feet about shoulder width apart, place your hands on the small of your low back
  • Gently lean backwards at your waist, keeping your knees straight, until you feel a gentle stretch, hold for a few seconds and then return to an upright position
  • Repeat 5-10 times

Hamstring Stretch

It’s also important to stretch your hamstrings, the muscles along the backScreen Shot 2016-07-11 at 1.44.05 PM of your thighs, which can tighten with prolonged sitting.

  • With the car door open, place one leg up on door or on a bench
  • Keep your hips pointing directly forward
  • Gently lean forward keeping the elevated leg straight
  • Hold 30 seconds, 3 times and then repeat on other leg up

Heel Raises

Get some blood pumping through your legs with heel raiseimages-2s!

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold onto something for support if necessary
  • Lift both heels up, rising onto toes, pause for 1-2 seconds
  • Slowly lower both heels back down to the ground
  • Repeat 10 times, do 2 sets

If you’re unable to get out of your seat, you still have some options. Instead of standing heel raises, you can pump your ankles back and forth for the same effect.imgres

  • Point your toes all the way to the ground, and then pull up towards your face as far as you can
  • Repeat for 2 sets of 10.

Neck and Shoulder Stretches

The lower back isn’t the only joint affected by prolonged sitting. If you feel a stiff neck coming on, perform some chin tucks to wake up the muscles that are responsible for holding up our heavy heads all day. You can also roll your shoulders forwards and backwards to help loosen the muscles along the top of your shoulders. Last but not least, stretch out those shoulders and chest.

  • Chin Tucks

    • Looking straight ahead, slowly move your head backwards as far as you can go keeping your eyes and chin level
    • Maintain this position for 3-5 seconds and then relax
    • Repeat 10 times, do 2 sets
  • Shoulder Rolls

    • Relax your arms at your sides
    • Slowly circle your shoulders up and back then lifting up and forwards
    • Repeat each direction 10 times
  • Posterior Capsule Shoulder Stretch

    • Reach one hand across your chest, reaching for your opposite shoulder
    • Use the opposite arm to grab the back of your elbow and gently pull your arm towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your shoulder
    • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times with each arm
  • Pectoral Stretchseated-chest-stretch

    • Reach behind your lower back with both arms, if you’re able to grasp your hands together or grab onto the chair
    • Squeeze your shoulder blades together, lifting your chest up the ceiling, until you feel a stretch across your chest
    • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times

I hope you have some great travel plans this season to practice these easy movements and stretches. Have a safe and healthy summer!!!

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Get to Know Owner & DPT, Dr. Geno Mayes

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Why did you go into Physical Therapy? While playing soccer in college and high school, I spent my fair share of time in the sport medicine department due to several injuries including multiple ankle sprains. This ignited my interest in healthcare, but I … Continue reading

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Get to Know Clinic Assistant, Beckie

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What do you like most about working in a physical therapy clinic? I love when I can be helpful to people. I consider it an honor to be able to come close to people when they are in such a vulnerable … Continue reading

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Get to Know Clinic Assistant, Joanna

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What do you like most about working in a physical therapy clinic? I love talking with patients and helping them on their journey.  I love to see their progress from the moment they walk in to start PT until the day they graduate. … Continue reading

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Get to Know DPT, Dr. Jayson

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Why did you go into PT? In middle and high school, my ballet teacher Ms. Rosemary seemed to know each and every stretch and exercise to do whenever we complained about something bothering us. Her knowledge came from years of experience as a professional dancer. She sparked my interest in physical therapy, and from there, I volunteered at a PT clinic in high school and decided to apply to physical therapy programs for college! 

What do you like most about being a PT?  Getting to know my patients! It’s great to be in the medical profession yet be able to develop relationships with patients. We may see you three hours per week, for several months. That’s a lot of time! I also love how we’re on our feet and every day is different. 

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Skillman, NJ, located in central Jersey in Somerset County. 

Where did you go to school?  I went to Northeastern University in Boston. I graduated with my BS in Rehabilitation Science and then my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. 

What was your first job? My first jobs included lifeguarding, babysitting and teaching swim lessons.

Who’s at home? Any furry friends?

  • My husband Ben and our 9 month old daughter Kayleigh 
  • Two dogs, Riley a 4.5 y/o Goldendoodle and Kaia, a crazy 1.5 y/o golden retriever mix 

How do you like to stay active? I enjoy Barre classes, a group exercise class that combines elements of ballet, yoga and pilates.

How would friends describe you? “Kayleigh’s Mom” lol 

Hidden talent? Hobbies? I love traveling, photography and scrapbooking! 

One thing on your bucket list? Go on an African Safari 

Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo? Beach House … but further South than NJ. It’s not unanimous in my household though! 

How many pairs of shoes do you own? I plead the fifth… 

Do you play a musical instrument? Nope, I’m not musically inclined at all! 

At which store would you like to max-out your credit card? So hard to just pick one… but I’ll go with HomeGoods 

Favorite…

Trips? Honeymoon in Thailand and Cross-Country road trip across the US 

Sport to watch? Football (I’m the reigning Fantasy Football Champ in our league :) 

Drink at Starbucks? Skinny Vanilla Latte