Taking measures to address early symptoms of stress, illness, or injury is a hallmark of integrative healthcare. As an integrative health practitioner, I make sure to talk with all of my patients about this. Yet, it was the first thing I neglected at the beginning of staying home.
I was in the middle of a course of physical therapy when it was advised to limit your travel and stay at home as much as possible. In the back of my mind, I knew I should make a Telehealth appointment with my physical therapist Josiah Parker at Elevate Physical Therapy, but I didn’t do so right away. The first week was a blur of trying to find a new routine, making sure we had all of the e-learning information for our kids, and figuring out how to provide leadership and guidance to our providers. My workload increased, and I forgot about the appointment I had canceled with Josiah.
Our bodies do not forget
Fortunately, our bodies have a way of giving us little reminders of what we really need to be focusing on. My hip started to ache, and even though I was exercising every day and continuing with my physical therapy exercises, I could tell I needed to get my next steps.
Even though life is not “normal,” listen to what your body is telling you. Your body does not discern between working at home or working at an office. If anything, what our bodies are telling us is really important right now. We want to be in our best physical and emotional conditions to support a robust immune response and to cope with the collective grief we are experiencing.
Ultimately, I knew that on the other side of staying home, I didn’t want to end up hurting more than when I first started physical therapy.
It’s easier than you think
I figured out telehealth for my patients. I set up my home office to resemble a therapeutic space, worked through spacing of appointments, and encouraged people to keep up with their regular appointments.
But, when it came to my own healthcare, it felt like too much work. How was I going to do physical therapy remotely? Well, it was super easy. I logged in with my laptop and could see and hear Josiah perfectly. It was great to see his face and hear his voice. After a few adjustments, he was able to see what I was doing and give me feedback on my exercises. I could clearly see everything he was describing and showing me. It was super simple.
A good provider still interacts over Telehealth
It may seem like watching a YouTube video would provide just as much information, but a good healthcare provider is going to be able to dig deeper and treat your specific condition. Josiah asked all of the questions he normally would in a regular in-person appointment and gave me the specific tools I needed to tweak my exercises to work best for me.
Having a conversation with Josiah about how I am adapting to our new normal was one of the most helpful aspects of our visit. Even if I had been a new patient whom Josiah had never met, his exploring my unique experience gave him plenty of information to use. With Josiah, physical therapy also provides emotional support, which I am always up for.
You have the time, make your preventive health a priority
By the end of our appointment, we had added several new exercises to my routine. Even though I am still busy, I do have more time. I hadn’t realized it, but I really needed something new to keep me focused and moving toward my goals. Creating the space for this appointment helped me to create the space for the exercises I need to move through the next few weeks.
Dedicating time to your health during this time will only be a win. It will help you positively shape your time while at home and keep you on track with your health. Whether it is mental health or physical health, I encourage you to use your provider’s Telehealth options and stick with it!