(858) 675-1133 | www.waterpt.com
15373 Innovation Dr. #175 | San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 675-1133 12171 World Trade Dr. | San Diego, CA 92128
With graduation season upon us and the recent release of the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” I can’t help but think back to my graduation from UConn. Our commencement speaker was none other than Fred Rogers himself. What I remember most was the entire graduating class standing in unison and singing the iconic song that gives the documentary its name. We had all grown up on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” so it was incredibly nostalgic to sing the song and hear Rogers speak as we moved onto the next chapter in our lives. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” may have been a children’s show, but I think its lessons transcend the age of its intended audience. Rogers taught care, empathy, learning, and above all, kindness. It would be revisionist history for me to say that Mister Rogers inspired me to become a physical therapist, but it’s amazing how much his values align with what I do today. Physical therapy, at its heart, is all about understanding what people are going through, caring for them, and providing them the tools to improve. I learned one of those tools not long after hearing Rogers speak. The first practice I worked at after graduation introduced me to aquatic therapy. It was a novel experience for me, but I immediately gravitated toward it. Seeing the way aquatic therapy helped people made me realize that far too few practices used this type of treatment. As you can probably guess by the name of our practice, it’s now a huge part of what we do. Aquatic therapy tends to engender one of a few emotions in patients. Some people are so eager to get in the pool that we can barely get their paperwork filled out before they want to jump in. Another group of people are fearful. Maybe they can’t swim, or perhaps they simply have an aversion to water. Luckily, we have flotation devices to make everyone feel comfortable and secure. The last group of people are skeptical of aquatic therapy. You can explain the science to them all you want, but they usually don’t get over their doubt until they start to see the results for themselves. I always encourage patients to give a few sessions a shot before making a final decision. YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD POOL My Education in Aquatic Therapy
Over the years, I’ve made a concerted effort to help educate other private practice owners about physical therapy. I may not have a TV show, but I do my best to spread the word all the same. One way I do that is through the biannual International Aquatic Therapy Symposium in Sanibel, FL, which I’ll be traveling to at the end of the month. It’s a great opportunity to teach practitioners who are curious about adding aquatic methods to their office. Not everyone has the luxury to live in beautiful San Diego, but you don’t need a pool the size of ours to offer aquatic therapy. Four years ago, at the Symposium, my class happened to coincide with a tropical storm. Despite patio furniture flying into the pool and serious winds, everyone had the spirit to continue. Once the class was over, though, we made a beeline for safer surroundings. It was a pretty wild experience, but one I’ll never forget. I have my fingers crossed that won’t happen this year, but I’m sure it will be memorable all the same. In closing, I want to say congratulations to anyone who is graduating or has loved ones graduating this year. I hope that you take graduation as the beginning of the next chapter of learning. And always remember to be a good neighbor.
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