Professional Physical Therapy - April 2020

APRIL 2020

620 Old West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038 • 508-528-6100 •


Your Mind and Body Will Thank You

Stress runs high these days because it comes at us from a lot of different directions and sources. April is Stress Awareness Month, so now is a great time to address something that many people around the world are facing. Let’s talk about COVID-19, or the coronavirus. As I’m writing this newsletter, there are already several known cases of the coronavirus not too far from us here in Franklin. By the time this newsletter reaches you, there may be even more. We’ve all seen on the local news that convenience and grocery stores in our area have been picked clean of sanitary wipes and other disinfecting products because people are having panicked reactions to the spread of the disease. But your panic may be premature and is very likely not needed at all. Everyone has their priorities, assumptions, and opinions about what’s going on in the world, as is everyone’s right. But there comes a point when being properly informed and taking actionable steps are important in order to not contribute to mass hysteria, which can have a lot of negative effects on your personal health. This goes deeper than just mental health. Stress can also cause a lot of physical detriment. We live in a world where our stress and anxiety hormones are activated a lot more often than they should be. When the human body feels stress, it releases the hormone cortisol, which is the “fight or flight” reaction and protects us against stressors. But in an age full of stressful stimuli coming at us all the time, cortisol is consistently released in our bodies. The presence of this biological chemical over long periods of time is actually harmful for the body. Chronic stress is detrimental to even the healthiest of people, so if you have any preexisting conditions or unhealthy habits, it can be even more worrisome. It aggravates pain and inflammation, causes sluggishness, and if you’re going through physical therapy, it can slow your recovery process. We want you to know that Professional Physical Therapy does everything it can to quell your stress and anxiety over the coronavirus. We keep ourselves abreast of its progress by getting information from accurate resources, like bulletins directly from the World Health Organization. We keep disinfecting wipes and sprays on hand in every room of our facility, and our staff wipes all our equipment and surfaces down consistently. We’re vigilant about washing our hands regularly and educating our staff and patients about the importance of proper hygiene. If team members

or patients feel sick, we urge them to stay home. This isn’t because we’re panicking over the spread of the virus. It’s because we know the best way to foster a calm and healthy environment is to maintain a clean and hygienic facility. If you’re smart about your hygiene and don’t place yourself in proximity to those who are sick, reputable sources say you should be just fine when it comes to the coronavirus. It certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s also something that shouldn’t fuel your stress hormones 2 4/7 . So, combat the stress by shutting off your news sources from time to time. Keep your hands clean, cover your mouth when you cough, and find time to relax. Don’t allow this stress to get the best of you, because it’s more than a weight on your mind — it’s a burden on your body.

– Dr . Stacey Raybuck Schatz

Professional Physical Therapy | 508-528-6100 • 1

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