JUST AS SWEET CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN AND NATIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY MONTH Trick-or-treating in the ‘70s and ‘80s was vastly different than it is today. Parents rarely accompanied us around the neighborhood, and there was less oversight. Instead, it was just a night for kids to be kids, collect candy, and enjoy a parent-free adventure. I don’t remember too many of my costumes from childhood — I’m sure face paint and a cowboy outfit were involved at some point — but I will always remember the joy of collecting copious amounts of candy. Today, Halloween is a bit different. Parents join their kids as they trick- or-treat, and in my household, there hasn’t been too much in terms of face paint or cowboys. Instead, we have had quite a few years of “Star Wars”- themed Halloweens! Growing up, I was a pretty big “Star Wars” fan, and that has translated into a love of the space- western-esque movies for my kids. Now “BUT MANY, MANY AILMENTS CAN BE TREATED THROUGH THE BODY’S NATURAL ABILITY TO HEAL, AND PHYSICAL THERAPY EMPOWERS THIS HEALING.”
that they’re getting older, my kids have shifted their focus to the Marvel movies, but the appreciation for “Star Wars” is still there. This year, I’m not sure my two older kids will be trick-or-treating, especially since they are both in high school and Halloween is more about their friends now than it is about candy. But there’s a good chance we will get a few more years of trick-or-treating out of my youngest son. Thankfully, our Halloween traditions have centered on fun and candy rather than fear, but this time of the year offers the perfect opportunity to address our fears. As a physical therapist, I often hear concerns from patients about their ability to heal or get back to the activities they love. They often want to know if they can avoid surgery, too. Often, my response is to remind them that we take this process one step at a time. Once we go through an evaluation, we will have a clearer understanding of what their healing process will look like. And 9 times out of 10, physical
therapy will help them feel better, avoid the surgical table, and get them back to enjoying their hobbies, adventures, and family — all without pain. When that’s not the case, I opt for giving an upfront and honest response to help the patient decide what is going to be best for them. Physical therapy is a therapeutic healing art. It accentuates the body’s natural ability to heal itself without having to rely on medicine, surgeries, or other devices. Sometimes these outside methods are necessary, and modern medicine has made significant strides in making these resources more readily available. But many, many ailments can be treated through the body’s natural ability to heal, and physical therapy empowers this healing. So, while you celebrate Halloween, I would also encourage you to celebrate National Physical Therapy Month. Sure, we may not hand out candy or dress up every day, but we help the body move and heal. Sometimes, that’s just as sweet.
–Mark Nowlin • 1 (714) 557-2100
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