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Ocean Therapy Center 
Ocean Therapy Center
If you need Orthopedic or Neurological help, you have come to the right place. We will do our best to get you back to being active as fast as possible and help you heal your pain & issues without the need for drugs & surgery.  
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Why Physical Therapy?
Written by Ivan Cusin, PTA on October 15, 2019
I cannot think of a better moment than October (Physical Therapy Month) to write my story.

So, why did I choose Physical Therapy and how did I end up all the way here from Italy?

When I was living in Italy (what I call “My Previous Life) I stopped school right after high school and went directly to work as manual worker for a company that did special electro-chemical treatments on stainless steel and working with no AC or heat. Think about Northern Italian weather: hot during summer, cold during winter. Born and raised in a small town of barely 1000 souls, I was feeling the need of fresh air: small trips to Paris and Scotland really increased my need and urgency for fresh air and new beginnings. But how do I do that? What do I do? Where do I even start? Dreaming is easy, doing something about it is the scary part!

Summer/Autumn 2008 is when the opportunity happened. My friend Mauro had a severe motorcycle accident 2 years prior and Marta (his mother) was taking him to the USA for Intensive Physical Therapy. “Ivan, Mauro and I are going to the US in a few months. Would you like to come and help me out? We leave March and stay 5-6 months?” I was like whhaaatt? 5-6 months? What about work? What about home? What about my girlfriend? The week after I was having a meeting with my boss: “I’m sorry, I going to the US for 6 months, I loved working here, but I am quitting.” They loved me so much they were willing to keep my job open for all those months but no, I was determined and bold…. and stupid all at once and I refused the offer and decided to jump in the unknown full in.   

February 28, 2009 is when I landed to the Dreamland for the first time. Three rural people that did not speak a word of English yet adventurous and eager to make the best out of it. Mauro had a very intense week schedule at therapy: 4 hours/day of PT, speech, acupuncture, HBOT… a full workday and we were all exhausted at night. I spent 6 months, 20 hours/week assisting Mauro’s therapist and admiring the love and commitment towards helping him to get a better life.
 
Those 6 months created a huge shift in me. I realized I was meant to do more than what I’ve been doing. I was determined to move to the States, go to school and become one of those therapists that helped Mauro. “Oh, c’mon, don’t be stupid” was my mom’s answer. She soon realized I was serious about it and she fully supported me into creating the dream life I wanted. The next 4 years would be hard and stressful: a 27 years old guy going to college and study in a different language with no money and no job. I did it though, I had the enormous help and support of my new American family and in May 2014 I finally graduated from college with a PTA degree.

The best part? I started working right away for the same Physical Therapy company where my friend Mauro went for his therapy, Ocean Therapy Center!

My message to you? Never stop dreaming, never settle for mediocre. Dream big and be uncomfortable, that’s the only way to achieve great results in your life! …. AND please, GET YOUR BODY CHECKED at least once a month to make sure your body is in sync, you only get one and it gets to last as long as you!
The Seven Doctors
Written by Donna Barnett on October 12, 2019
Let’s empower ourselves by taking wellness into our own hands.  Self-directed healing which means empowering ourselves to be our own healthcare providers, as best as we can. We can’t rely on our healthcare system to do it for us. Who knows our bodies better than we do? We are with ourselves all of the time; we know what we ingest, our stress levels, how well we’ve rested (or not), if we’ve taken care of our bodies or mistreated them…so we may as well make the effort to learn what our bodies (and minds) need by carefully observing  and checking in to find what adds to our health or detracts from it.  We can’t expect to mistreat our bodies and expect someone else to “fix us”.

Our Lifestyle habits are critical in determining the outcome of our health. Prevention is the best strategy for avoiding illness. Did you know that 90% of cancers are caused by environmental factors and lifestyle behaviors? The foods that we consume are an integral part of our wellbeing, as well as our activity levels. There is no such thing as a “quick fix” without any repercussion. We can’t expect to drug ourselves back to health. Our best Doctors are Sunshine, Air, Exercise, Water, Diet, Rest, and Laughter.  If we are living a sedentary lifestyle that doesn’t include these 7 doctors, we are setting ourselves up for some type of future ailment. What you do today impacts tomorrow. Don’t wait for something to go wrong –make yourself ailment proof.  Small changes add up to big results. Get out and have fun…go hiking…get some sunshine…eat a beautiful salad…Take care of YOU! Lifestyle changes don’t require perfection…just small steps in the right direction.
What Are You Committed To?
Written by Ivan Cusin, PTA on October 11, 2019
Such a simple yet powerful question.

Is it your kids? Your significant other? Your job? What are you committed to?

We are constantly living in such an automatic routine that we often forget to STOP and THINK about what really matters. Alarm goes off in the morning, shower, breakfast (if we are lucky), drop our kids at school and right to work. Work. Work. Work….. Work and then straight home after a stop the grocery store. Fix dinner for the family, do the dishes and wait to go to bed to restart the routine all over. We go with the flow without thinking, our body and mind automatically conforms to what we think we should do.

Now, let me ask you this: who is really in charge your life? Is it you or the circumstances you live in? …. What are you really committed to? Are you committed to YOU or to the circumstances?

The biggest mistake I made in my life was prioritizing circumstances to myself, thinking that happiness/health/joy/completeness was going to come with that…. It won’t! It won’t because there will always be circumstances, there will always be something keeping you from taking care of yourself until you STOP and CHOOSE YOURSELF!

Choose to take a day off, choose to drink a glass of wine, choose to book the vacation of your dream AND choose to take care of your body! You can get a new car, you can get a new job, you can get a new partner, but you won’t get a new body. Take care of it!

Physical Therapy is not just for when you are recovering from injuries, it is also to be used preventatively to avoid pain, injury and decreased mobility of your body. It is also about taking that hour to care for yourself.

The questions become:
    - Are you truly committed to play with your kids or grandkids or to keep having pain as an excuse not to?
    - Are you committed to traveling and making new memories or are you committed to keep complaining about your knee issues?
    - Are you committed to get the best outcome while working out or are you committed on working out while being in pain, knowing that your body has much more potential that that?

We do regular oil changes to the car, we maintain our homes, we do many things to maintain our outward appearance, but we neglect the function of our bodies. Let’s change that. Let’s get you committed to you. We can start by scheduling a checkup of the most precious and beautiful machine you have, YOU!


Call us for a free discovery visit at (954)351-2299! Choose YOU!
Nutrition and Physical Therapy –
A Powerful Combination
Written by Donna Barnett on September 3rd, 2019
Your body wants to regain its health if you let it. But if you keep reinjuring yourself three times a day, with poor nutrition, you interrupt the healing process. Your food intake has a strong connection with your healing progress.

 
It is best to keep your plate very colorful. Colorful foods are often healthier, as they contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant pigments. Blueberries, Oranges, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts—these are powerhouses in keeping your inflammation levels low and your immune system high—WIN WIN!!
A body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest. Keeping chronic inflammation in check is critical to overall health. Staying active and eating the rainbow never sounded so good.

Our lymphatic system plays an integral role in our immune function. It is our first line of defense against disease. It is an entire network of vessels and nodes—pretty cool huh? Our lymphatic system does not have a pump to move our lymph fluid…the only way to get your lymphatic system moving is to get your body moving. Activity and motion—walking, rebounding, yoga, stretching, and drinking clean water and eating fruit—such as watermelon, oranges, berries, grapes.

Packaged processed foods (Frankenfoods) are the biggest culprits in stagnating our lymph and colon function. Fiber intake is critical to human health as well…what we don’t eliminate we accumulate—now that’s a shitty subject! When our lymphatic system and our colon is backed up from lack of movement and lack of clean food and water, this is when the inflammation begins—leading to a myriad of dis-ease.
Do you see the pattern here…true health is not hard to obtain—it’s simple—stay in motion, stay active and eat the rainbow. Your body will thank you.

It is our human birth right to wake up each day without pain. Getting older shouldn’t mean that aches and pains are par for the course. Good input equals good output. Feeling good from the inside out is what its all about. Combining motion and nutrition sets you up for success.

Physical Therapy helps you achieve your goals…schedule an appointment with us and let us help you to get back to your inner child 😊
Keeping New Year’s Resolutions
Written by Julietta Wenzel on January 1st, 2019
New Year’s resolutions that include health and wellness are at the top of many people’s list. It’s great that people are choosing to focus on their health, but only 8% of people keep their resolutions? The odds are not in your favor of you keeping your resolution.

 
There are many reasons why people don’t keep their resolutions. When it comes to health and wellness, exercise is a key component of those resolutions. Injuries are extremely common when people jump into a new exercise regime. If your back or shoulder are hurting, you’re not going to be very effective in the gym, and eventually that pain is stop you from continuing. That makes you part of the 82% who are not keeping their resolutions.

Physical therapy can keep those pains away and keep you on track with your resolutions. Pains show up for different reasons. These can include weakness, decreased flexibility, and decreased joint mobility to name a few. It’s important to have a professional do an evaluation to get to the root cause of your problem because it’s possible that what you think is the cause is really only the symptom of the actual cause. For example, you might notice that your muscles feel tight and you have poor flexibility, so you decide you need to stretch more. The problem with that is that often lack of flexibility is caused by the body compensating for weak muscles. When muscles are weak the body feels unstable and therefore will tighten up to create a sense of stability. You can stretch all day, but those muscles will continue to be tight because you haven’t done anything to change the cause of the tightness.
Then you might think “well if my muscles are weak, then I need to do more strengthening”. The problem with that is that the weakness may actually be coming from a faulty connection with your nervous system. If you try to strengthen a muscle that’s not well connected to your nervous system, it will require the body to compensate which will then create additional problems. No amount of strengthening exercises will correct a faulty connection.

People usually seek help after they are injured and the pain has become so bad that it is stopping them from doing the things they want and need to do. When the pain first starts they think it will go away on its own. The truth is, most times the pain does not go away on its own, and even if it does, the problem is still there. The pain may have gone away, but your body has just learned to compensate around the problem, but it’s still there waiting to show up in your future. It’s these compensations that create wear and tear on the joints, muscles, and tendons. If left untreated this can lead to damage that will require surgery to repair. If you’re feeling pain, it’s best to get it checked out to insure the problem is corrected.
Prevention is the best option. Before you start any exercise plan, have an evaluation by a physical therapist so they can uncover any deficits that could create problems for you. If your body is well balanced before you start an exercise program you are far less likely to develop pain, and if you don’t develop pain while exercising, you are far more likely to keep your resolution.

Physical Therapists have all the tools needed to keep you pain free and active so you can do the things you love doing. If you have any questions about how Physical Therapy can help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions, call (954-351-2299) or email (info@oceantherapycenter.com) and we’ll be happy to help.
What is Fascia?
Written by Julietta Wenzel on September 18th, 2018

You may or may not have heard about fascia, but it is an important part of your body that has strong implication in how your body feels and functions. So we think it deserves a little more attention. Here’s a little information about what fascia is and how you can help yours.

 
Fascia, which means “band” or “bundle” in Latin, surrounds, connects and supports our muscles, organs, bones, tendons, ligaments and other structures of the body. Similar to the membrane around each section of an orange, fascia both separates and connects body parts at the same time. Containing nerves, these tissues also serve as a layer of protection and body awareness.

Benefits of Myofascial Release
Releasing fascial adhesions is like clearing out the cobwebs between the muscles, allowing them to slide and glide more efficiently, which increases hydration and elimination of toxins. Freeing up the muscles in this way allows them to begin function independently, contracting and releasing to their fullest potential. Myofascial release also increases range of motion and reduces pain and recovery time. Plus, since our fascia is rich with nerves, clearing up these tissues creates a direct pathway for nerve signals to flow to the brain, which aids body awareness (proprioception), coordination, and our ability to control our movements.

Why the Fascia Requires Special Attention
Many fact ors in our daily life, including poor postural habits, stress-induced muscular tension, limited movement, injury and dehydration, can cause velcro-like adhesions to form within the fascia, sticking muscles together, and restricting their ability to perform their individual functions. Forced to move and work as a team, the muscles become less efficient. 

Three Yoga Poses That Can Do to Release The Fascia and Reduce Pain
1. Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana
Begin lying on your stomach, ground into the top of the feet and zip up the lower abdomen while pressing hands down to lift head and chest off of the floor. Draw shoulders down the back and relax through the glutes. Stay for a breath and repeat 3–4 times.

2. Warrior II – Virabhadrasana B
Align front heel with back arch, stacking front knee over ankle and front toes pointing straight forward. Open hips toward the side of the mat as the tailbone lengthens and the ribs knit back to stack the shoulders over the waist. On the inhale, straighten both legs and as you exhale lower down into your Warrior II pose. Repeat this movement with the breath for 3–5 cycles.

3. Savasana – Occiput Release
Lay comfortably on your back and place a sock with two tennis balls or lacrosse balls inside (be sure to knot the end so the balls stay close together) positioned at the base of the skull (see picture for reference.) Close the eyes and begin by resting the weight of the head into the two balls. Without lifting the head, turn your face about halfway to the right side until you find a tight ropey muscle. Rest the weight of the head into the ball for 60 seconds as you try to relax the neck muscles here. Slowly bring the chin back to center and repeat on the second side.

Give these yoga techniques a try. If you are still experiencing pain or stiffness you may need help from a professional who can get to the root cause of you problem. Physical Therapists are highly trained professionals who can help you improve the health and function of your fascia.
Natural Pain Relief
Written by Julietta Wenzel on August 21st, 2018

Being in pain is not fun. When we are feeling it, we only want to get rid of it quickly. That often leads us to choose options that are not healthy for our body. Whether it’s over the counter or prescription medications, injections or surgery, they all have side effects that delay or make true healing impossible.

 
Medications
Pain relievers do not help our body heal. They simply mask the symptoms. In addition to not helping the body heal, they can have some significant side effects.

These can include:
- Stomach Bleeding
- Liver Damage
- Kidney Damage
- Constipation
- Drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Injections

Whether it’s an epidural for back pain or a local cortisone shot in a joint, there are very significant side effects to having injections for relieving pain.

These can include:
- Increased Pain
- Headaches
- Sleeplessness
- High Blood Sugar
- Infection
- Cataracts
- Stomach Ulcer
- Thinning of Skin
- Tendon Weakening or Rupture
- Osteoporosis
- Osteonecrosis
- Nerve Damage
- Anxiety
- Decreased Immunity

Surgery
Surgery is the most invasive option when dealing with pain. Sometimes surgeries are necessary, but current research shows that many common orthopedic surgeries produce no better results than conservative care. Some of the surgeries that fall into this category include meniscectomy, lumbar discectomy, knee replacements, lumbar fusion and shoulder acromioplasty. The side effects with surgery include some minor ones but the worst negative side effect of surgery is death.

Natural Options
Fortunately there are natural and effective options for dealing with pain. The first simple solution is to use heat or ice to diminish the pain. There are lots of natural anti-inflammatory products to use such as turmeric/curcumin and arnica. There are also essential oils that will help. Try Wintergreen for pain, Lavender to relax tight muscles and Cypress to decrease inflammation. The most thorough option would be to consult with a Physical Therapist to determine the true cause of your pain, which may not be where you’re feeling the pain. Pain is only a symptom, it is not the actual problem. The important thing is to address the pain. Ignoring it will not make it go away.
Feel Active & Strong Following 
your Mastectomy
Written by Ocean Therapy Center on August 19, 2017

Making the decision to have a mastectomy is not easy nor is going through with the procedure. Unfortunately the difficulty often does not end after the incisions have healed. There are many potential post-surgical side effects that you are just left to deal with on your own.

 
These can include:
• Pain and tenderness
• Swelling
• Weakness
• Limited motion in shoulder or neck
• Numbness
• Fatigue
• Capsular contracture

Often women are told the will just have to learn to live with these problems or that they will eventually get better on their own. The truth is that something can be done to help with these side effects and that you don’t have to wait years for the problems to go away on their own. Treatments can help greatly accelerate the recovery process and maximize your ability to return to and active, mobile, and energetic lifestyle.

Scar tissue is one of the most overlooked causes of problems in the medical world, and when it is acknowledged as a problem, the usual solution that is offered is surgery. This only creates more scar tissue.
Scars create physical restrictions in the body that can cause pain, swelling, weakness and loss of mobility. They also create energetic road blocks that limit the flow of energy through our nervous system and the acupuncture meridians which can create an even greater set of problems. Those problems likely won’t be felt until years down the road and the medical doctors will insist that it cannot be related to the mastectomy.

Fortunately there are people who recognize these issues and are here to help. Physical Therapists who are trained in scar treatment have many tools to help you get back to doing the things you love to do. Modalities such as Laser and Micro-current can help speed up the healing processes of the body and break up scar tissue. Hands-on soft tissue work benefit to break up scar tissue in areas that are more resistant. Combining these with muscle re-education and exercise will have things moving and feeling better quickly.

If you can’t find a professional to help you there are some things you can do on your own to help with the scar tissue and to speed the healing process. This could include gentle self-massage, using pure essential oils such as Frankincense or Helichrysum in a carrier oil on the scar and taking a restorative yoga class. You will want to make sure you have clearance from your surgeon before beginning any of these activities.

If you have any questions about your scar tissue and any of the symptoms you are experiencing please feel free to contact us at Ocean Therapy Center.
5 Mindful Tips to Help Deal with 
Holiday Stress
Written by Ocean Therapy Center on November 24th, 2017

It is officially the holiday season! During this time of year there can be so much pressure that unfortunately the joy, magic, and meaning of the season is lost, and is often replaced by stress, frustration, and even resentment. Especially now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is hard to ignore the almost instantaneous rush of frenetic energy that ensues as we near the close of the calendar year.

 
It is more than possible though, to not only survive the holiday season, but to even thrive and connect to your particular observance in a deeper and more profound way. Here are some common stressors that pop up this time this year, along with mindful antidotes to help you through the discomfort.

1) Demands on Time
In December, our schedules often fill up quickly with work and personal holiday parties. These back-to-back parties start to feel overwhelming as we try to juggle them with all of our other commitments.
Also, creating the holiday experience we desire for our loved ones and ourselves takes planning. It often starts to feel like we are chickens running around with no heads collecting recipes, buying and wrapping gifts, inviting guests, hosting, traveling, cooking, cleaning, buying trees (or menorahs!), and decorating.
Antidote: Treat yourself! You do not need to say yes to everything. Giving and giving without stopping is not an altruistic notion. It is important to be mindful of when we might need refueling and to allow that to happen. Self-care can mean many things, but it can be as simple as a night to ourselves that includes a bath and a good meal—cooked by someone else!

2) Loneliness during the Holidays
There is an immense amount of pressure to please the people we love with the gifts that we think they will love. Instead of a joyful endeavor, gift giving becomes a chore, and we often become resentful and unloved if we do not receive something equally meaningful in return.
Pressure can also manifest by way of the longing to spend the holidays with those we love, and those we desire to love. For many, this may create feelings of loneliness.
Antidote: Donate your time to help those less fortunate. The holidays are a particularly poignant time to practice the art of compassion, to think of others needs before our own. There is great opportunity to give to, and establish meaningful connections with, those who don’t have as many resources as we do. Giving doesn’t have to be monetary or a physical gift. Giving comes in many forms, including smiles, time, and emotional support.

3) Expectations of Perfection
This time of year is ripe with the expectations we put upon ourselves to get it just “right.” Things have to look, taste, feel, and be a certain way. We start to get into this mind space where things have to be perfect, which of course, is not possible. It’s how we deal with this realization that determines our well-being.
While it is nice to take the time to create a mindful, aesthetically, and gustatory pleasing experience, we often get caught up in the trap of perfection. Not only does this make the holiday journey feel less joyful, but we also set ourselves up to experience a lot of disappointment.
Antidote: Reflect on the meaning of the holidays. It is hard to stop and smell the roses at any time of year, and it is especially easy to get caught up in the commercial version of what the holiday season means today. But taking the time to mindfully reflect on what matters, whether it be our religion or tradition, or even the healing power of love, helps us to keep our perspective as the year draws to a close.

4) The Indulge/Guilt Cycle
We often seem to let all notions of wellness and health fall by the wayside during this time of year. The problem is not only are we not staying healthy, but we are also setting ourselves up for feelings of guilt and self-deprecation.
A thriving life depends on moderation, and this concept particularly applies when we are inundated with mass amounts of food and drink. By eating mindfully, we can keep our minds, bodies, and brains healthy without the self-defeating thoughts of “we are so bad” “we are so fat,” etc.
Antidote: Take time to enjoy all the flavors of the holiday season. There are five basic ways to begin a mindful eating practice:
Ask yourself
Why am I eating now?
What am I eating now?
What else am I doing now that may be distracting?
Be grateful
Chew, and then chew again
Dine (don’t just eat)
Engage your attention

5) Stress and Family Anxiety
Family stress shows up in many ways. This has taken on a new tone this year, given that many families made different political choices.
However, most of the stress and anxiety around family is often anticipatory. Based on not-so-pleasant past experiences, combined with the upcoming impending mix of different personalities, we start to worry about family dysfunction rearing its ugly head. While there might actually be very real difficulties surrounding the interpersonal dynamics of our family, we sometimes get caught up in fueling the fire, rather than abating it.

Antidote: Engage in gratitude. Take the time to step back and bear witness to all that you have, to count your blessings, as they say. Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to overall wellness. During this time of year, a sense of gratitude can easily fall by the wayside as indulgence and the idea of “more” and “merrier” are front and center.

So, while in the midst of the tumult of the holiday season, try to re-center by consciously being grateful for the multiple aspects of this season, and our loved ones, that we are blessed to engage with.
Contact Us!
Feel free to give us a call at:
(954) 351-2299
Or email us at:
info@oceantherapycenter.com
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