A year of disruptions!
It feels a bit like a broken record saying how this has been “an unprecedented year” or “these unusual times”, but at the same time – it is an accurate description of what has happened this year and what everyone is going through. Overseas holidays have been replaced by trips to regional NSW (not even interstate!) , singing in church is banned, weddings have just the bridal party dancing only, and hand shakes and high fives have been replaced by fist and elbow bumps! Not to mention all the changes for workplaces, our home lives, going out, and the viability and cost of big office workspaces.
It’s taken a while to orientate to what world and life we are inhabiting. As a business, we are challenged to think through – What has changed, what remains the same, how can we continue to serve our customers /staff/ referrers in the best way possible?
We have been fortunate to be in NSW, and fortunate that our business has recovered well since April when things looked at their bleakest. Our clinic is as busy as we have ever been, and we are continuing to spend considerable time on our inhouse training and systems to best support our staff and provide the best service for our patients. We want to continue giving back to the profession by taking on University students.
A couple of other changes – we are shifting from November to private billing of EPC patients on a Saturday. Doing so will allow us as a clinic to balance out the patient load as evenly as possible, and to continue to provide enough options for patients whatever their situation may be.
As always, any feedback or questions can be directed to me at email@example.com
Staying and working from home (WFH) has become a regular part of our new existence.
Get the right balance:
- The right gear/equipment
- Set it up right – the right heights, distances, backrest position
- Dont sit for too long – remember your body prefers some motion even if it breaks your concentration.
Work efficiently, and this will help you work longer and more effectively!
Let me know if you find these resources helpful
Having the opportunity to train students at the clinic is a time consuming but thoroughly rewarding process. It’s a way to give back to the profession, and a chance to give student physios a chance to see what life in private practice is about and to observe our physios in their element – diagnosing, assessing and treating patients, and all that goes with that. It’s a chance to put their learnings from Uni to practice, to get their hands on, and to start working through the mysteries of the human body.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the enforcement of social distancing, our clinic and physios experienced a sudden but expected drop in patients. This extra available time presented a unique opportunity to take on a student – we haven’t had one for 3 years now – and to be able to devote some time into training that next generation.
Yuhui is a final year student in the GEM Physio programme at Sydney Uni. She spent a few weeks at our clinic in April drilling our physios with many many questions, and found many ways to assist the clinic – helping with admin, and translating for our non-Chinese speaking physios – you’ll also see her pop up in some of the exercise videos which we’ve started doing! She was kind enough to share her reflections.
How did you enjoy your time at the clinic?
The past few weeks at the clinic was definitely a paradigm shift for me and shed new light on my perspective of musculoskeletal physiotherapy apart from what the university has taught. I’ve had many opportunities to participate in in-service sessions and learn directly from the experienced physios. They were very passionate about what they were doing and were willing to share their wealth of knowledge with me and answer my questions even if that means taking time from their breaks to practice with me and teach me some new techniques! I enjoyed being able to interact with the patients as well and getting hands-on experience– it was truly rewarding.
Most memorable experience/patient?
I remember one of Manfred’s patient complaining of neck pain did not seem to improve upon usual corrections in the ribs pelvis, or foot. I could tell he had cudgelled his brain to find the root problem, but he continued hunting. The situation was getting a little bit tense. Then towards the end of the session when Manfred corrected her elbow, she could rotate her head to the right (with an obvious increase in range of motion), and her whole face lit up and she exclaimed “AH! SO MUCH BETTER!”. That moment I was finally relieved but also bewildered at this sorcery..Who could’ve thought the neck pain came from her elbows?!
What are two things you learnt?
1.) The idea that the whole body is connected resonates profoundly with me after shadowing at the clinic. Rather than treating the body segment or region where the pain is arising from. it is important to consider the body as a whole and identify the primary driver to get a complete picture of the problem to most effectively treat the patient. As such, neck pain might stem from a pelvis problem or even a foot problem-which at times can be mind-boggling!
2.) Palpation is a really useful that takes lots of practice and experience! It can provide so much information about the patient’s body and requires a lot of concentration and sensitivity at the finger tips (sometime you even have to close your eyes to concentrate on feeling!). Often times it doesn’t necessarily mean pushing hard to locate the structure but “sinking” in beneath the structure to search for the problematic area and you would pick up more information by palpating lightly.
Anything that really surprised you?
The thoracic ring approached seemed like a myth in the beginning, but eventually the physios were able to unravel this concept and help me understand how to use it effectively to treat patients.
The accuracy of the physios in detecting minor deviations in body structures and treating it and making the patient feel much better after the session-especially when the patient responded with “Thats exactly where it is!” As well as Derek being able to precisely extrapolate what the patient did to injure themselves simply through palpating body structures and analysing their movements.
Haha Thanks Yuhui! First time I’ve ever been called that!
Well, we hope that we can share some more stories from our clinic and once again, thank you to all our patients that participated in letting Yuhui get some hands on experience.
Early this year, when news reports started coming back about the new virus that was affecting people in China, I, like most people didn’t foresee what would unfold this year.
As the virus spread, and the news continued to confirm the number of cases and what was happening in other places around the world – Italy, Spain, the cruise ships, the pictures of the overwhelmed hospital systems, the worn out frontline workers – it took a while to realise what that would mean for Australia and for life here.
The shutdowns came thick and fast, as did the press conferences – 1 day the PM was still going to the NRL, the next day it felt like all sports (and the world) suddenly stopped. Life suddenly become about – quarrantines, grounded flights, social isolation, working from home, empty public transport, mortgage repayment holidays, quiet traffic and closed cafes and shops.
These changes to our lives have been difficult for most people – with the bad, it has also brought time to reflect, and to consider life, and to evaluate how things are travelling. A difficult decision was made at the end of April to let Cliff go.
Cliff has been a steady hand in our practice for the past 7 years and has been an integral part of the growth of the clinic – in both size and maturity – as he has helped oversee our clinic, and worked to train and develop the other staff. We want to wish him and his young family the best of luck in all his future endeavours, and a sincere thanks from all the patients and staff that he’s worked with over the years.
Change is difficult, and its especially hard in this current environment where so many changes have been thrust open us, and we are left to try to plan around that, and work out how to keep moving forwards. But overall, I can’t help but feel blessed to be living in Australia. Let me offer up a prayer for this broken world we live in, for safety through the next stages of our unwinding, to put our trust in our governments, and for those governments to lead with wisdom and care. Most of all we offer up our prayers to our creator who is loving and watching and knows all that is happening here on Earth.
Are you doing enough physical activity during the COVID19 pandemic?
Posted by Josh Wong
Over the past few years step counters like the Fitbit have become increasingly popular, and with that, a magic number of 10,000 steps became a widely accepted recommended amount per day. Although this number probably isn’t very significant, it is mainly an encouragement to increase physical activity in a generation that sees more sedentary office workers, teens who spend most of their free time playing video games, and even shopping is gradually shifting online. I recently spoke to a friend who told me that working from home has led her to have an average step count of 100/day. Although I don’t track my steps, I would guess my number is similar to this, which equates to 1% of that magic number of recommended steps per day. Let that sink in. During this unprecedented time where we are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, many of us may only be getting 1% of our recommended amount of physical activity!
So, what should we do?
The obvious and simple answer is to do more physical activity. The harder question to answer is how do we do this. The government has continued to allow exercise as a reason to leave home, and many have started to or continued doing daily walks/runs, which is great. But for some of us who lack motivation or perhaps have never been much of a runner, I usually give a few tips to my patients:
1) Start out easy – if you’re new to an exercise (especially if you’re new to exercise in general), start off by doing something easy. If you’ve never jogged in your life, perhaps we can start with doing some speed-walking. We can always progress to jogging once our body is comfortable with doing more exercise. We can also avoid injuries or over-taxing our bodies this way.
2) Set a (realistic) schedule. “I will walk 30 minutes every evening after work” or “I will run for 20 minutes, 4 times per week.” Just like many other things, if we don’t schedule exercise in, we are likely to never do it. Put it in a calendar if you need to, and stick to the schedule as much as you can!
3) Find something you enjoy doing. Running is not for everyone (I know it’s not for me), but there is certainly something you may find more enjoyable for exercise, or at least more tolerable. Whether its cycling, or doing a pilates workout on Youtube, or a resistance workout with weights and bands, the goal is to do exercise and it can come in many forms. The likelihood of sticking to an exercise regime increases the more you enjoy it.
Leave a comment letting us know what you’re doing for exercise during this time! And also feel free to leave any questions for us to guide you through your exercises! Get in touch via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been quite an experience operating our physiotherapy practice through these unprecedented times. Like yourself, our team are making our best efforts to adjust and make sound, rational decisions in this rapidly evolving situation.
Our first priority remains in maintaining our high level of service so as to be able to serve our community amidst these tough times. It has been challenging as we have to balance being remain open for business to support and serve our local community and also to keep our clients in our community safe.
Through these changing times, we are committed to follow medical advice from the Australian Government closely to keep our staff, customers and workplace safe. We have implemented more hygiene measures in our clinics, and the plan is to keep our business open and running for as long as possible to minimize disruptions to our services.
Being sensitive to our client’s need also means that we need to be flexible in adopting changes to our model of service. As a result, we are now offering home visits for clients that are apprehensive about going out and into our practices. We can also offer teleconference consultations too for clients that would not require the hands on treatment but would benefit from exercise prescription and customized advice on how to manage their condition.
Our business has never been faced with such challenging times, but our commitment to serving the community has never been stronger, and we thank you all for your ongoing support to our business over the past 10 years.
Our physios gathered together to have our annual mid year planning day yesterday. With blue chilly skies, but no rain, we had a very enjoyable meeting, lunch, coffee and cake at the Container in Dundas. Food was great, and it’s always a nice time to see where we’ve come from over the last 12 months, and to plan for where we would like to get to over the next 12 months. Our team has changed a little – Kevin Zhu has made way for Angela Zhu (no relation), and our 2 clinics at 1Health and CCMC are all to sit under the banner of Tan Hands. I’ve returned to the clinic for the last 6 months at 1Health working two days a week, and ensuring that the clinic runs the way I would like.
Our theme for the next year ahead is to: Evolve.
Our lives are in constant flux, and it’s no different with business. We have to continue to grow and adapt or we get stagnant and outdated. And with growth, there are healthy ways to grow, and unhealthy ways to grow. But if we find the right balance of internal improvement, and a consistent structure to support our growth, both our lives and business will bear the fruit of all that toil.
One advantage of attending an agricultural school growing up (one that actually insisted that everyone learn agriculture – at that time) was the chance to learn and see how balance of elements (in the right combinations) was the vital part of all growth of animals, plants, and life. Plants need Warmth, Oxygen and Water (WOW) but in the wrong combination, the plants will die or fail to flourish.
For our team of physios, it’s often the danger of getting too busy treating and seeing patients that we lose the time to train, and to do the self reflection on things we could improve on or do better next time. Such as, how do I find the right words to communicate 10% more effectively to that difficult teenager who doesn’t see the link between their poor posture and their neck pain. Or how to better structure our athletes programmes to maximise their potential and strength, but also to prevent them from losing time to injuries and recovery.
And, as we find our balance as people and health professionals, we can help our patients to also find that balance and the positive benefits which that brings to their bodies and lives. So it’s important that our practice encourages balance for our staff, so that they in turn can provide the best care and help for the patients they are seeing.
And with all that said, my split life as a mortgage broker and physio, and team leader, administrator and work at home Dad, has had many elements of being as out of balance as anyones life. But it’s in the wrestle of all these elements to bring them under control and to try to excel in those areas, and to flourish and to try to build a team that also flourishes, is the process that still gets me excited each day – maybe a bit less so the brokering, but it continues to grow on me!
To all of our patients, thanks again for joining us on this journey of life and learning. We thank you always for your stories that challenge and educate us, so that we may all arrive to a point of understanding our bodies and our lives that much better.
Any feedback – send to email@example.com
Just a quick update to let you know that we will be open all the way through the holiday period, except for the public holidays.
We will be shut: Christmas Day – Monday 25th December – Boxing Day – Tuesday 26th December, and New Years Day – Monday 1st January
Adrian is taking some well deserved time off from Christmas for 2 weeks, returning the 8th January 2018.
Derek will be covering for Adrian – working Thursday 28th December, Saturday 30th December; and Tues/Thurs/Sat the following week.
Just after Christmas, Angela Zhu will start work at Carlingford. Angela will spend the first month getting up to speed while working alongside our other physios, seeing how our clinic runs before she begins seeing clients from late January 2018. She is a natural communicator and teacher, with a sharp mind, and a particular interest in hand therapy and women’s health. I am sure she will bring a new perspective to our clinic, and be a great addition to our currently male-centric team!
As always, wishing you the best for your health and family through the Christmas season and into 2018. Hoping that you have some time off to spend time with family and loved ones, and have a moment to reflect on what Christmas means to you. Is it just another public holiday, or is it a day to remember the birth of God’s son down here on Earth? And if it was the latter of the two answers, what was he doing here?
Happy holidays all,
I hope things are well in your lives. Just a quick update about me – life as a mortgage broker/physio/at home Dad continues to grow on me. It was roughly February this year when I started really considering working more seriously alongside my Dad, and possibly reducing my physio patient load. The first 6 months were difficult, and both busy busy busy (in terms of things to do and sort out) and slow (in terms of real broking work).
The last 3 months it feels like things are slowly starting to fall into place. I have a lot of sympathy for those trying to work out of home with kids around – it’s very tempting to only work when the kids are asleep cause of the chaos when you try to sit down for 30 mins. I can feel myself slowly morphing into an office worker … for better or worse!
I’ve still been treating patients, but I miss the clinic routine – I miss seeing patients, I miss being on my feet all day, the buzz and tiredness that comes after a hard, busy day of work – full of so many people’s lives and stories. I miss the satisfaction that comes from assessing and treating the wonderful, beautiful, complex human body (and of course inflicting a bit of pain!).
So, with Manfred away for the next few weekends (enjoying some well earned annual leave), I’ll be back around the clinic a bit more – Saturdays (9-12), and a few Monday and Wed afternoons (2-5pm) over the next 3+ weeks from 18th Nov to the 9th Dec. The plan is still to see how things re-balance in early 2018 before I can confirm the days/times that I’ll return to physio work at Carlingford.
Come see me if those times work out well, it’s always great to catch up and see how you are all getting along! And while you are getting your back or neck etc seen to – would you like a home loan with that?
This is the email that I sent out to my mini mailing list of patients from 2017. If you want to join the mailing list – just drop me a quick note at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a quick note to let you know that I am briefly back at Carlingford Court Medical Centre between the dates 12th July and 3rd Aug 2017. You are receiving this email because you were a patient of mine in the last 5 months, and I’m doing my best to keep people updated of what is happening.
I am returning to cover the clinic while one of the physios is off on paternal leave and while one of the other physios is on a course. It will be Mondays and Wednesdays 10-5, and a one off Thursday 9-5. Please contact the clinic or check online for availability. If you want to see me outside of those times, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can arrange.
If you are currently seeing one of the other physios at the clinic, don’t feel obliged to move your appointments over to me. I am grateful to have staff that have are covering the clinic and working hard to get your bodies in good shape, and if all things are going well, it might be just as well to let things continue as you are currently.
For those that just want to know how things are going – things have been good, but incredibly busy, much more so than I could have expected after finishing work at Carlingford. The time available each day just flies by so quickly, and I’ve had to reduce my expectations of what I can achieve or do – I’ve pretty much settled on the following criteria for a good day – if the kids have eaten breakfast and are dressed for school, and we get to school on time – it’s been a good day. Everything else is a bonus!
My plans otherwise haven’t changed much, but I’ve got much more empathy for those with little kids, and doing the bulk of the home duties –it’s certainly a different busy-ness. Enjoying parts of it, as seems to be the case with most parenting things. Am still planning on being away till the start of 2018, but will have the odd days in at the clinic during that time.
Anyway, thanks for reading this and if you didn’t enjoy it – please let me know and I will bump you from this mailing list – I wont take it personally!