Chia Seeds – What’s the Big Deal?

Chia seeds are being called a super food. They contain a variety of valuable nutrients including protein, calcium and omega fatty acids. They also have essential magnesium and phosphorus.

Humans need anywhere from 25-100 gr of protein per day depending on their size and activity level. They contain amino acids which help break down protein into energy for the body instead of being stored. Chia seeds are the choice of many pro athletes because of the excellent protein content.

Chia seeds have more calcium than dairy products and without the fat of dairy. Calcium is important for strengthening bones. Bone health is essential for healthy aging and injury prevention.

Chia seeds also contain omega fatty acids which are important for brain health. Omega-3 acids help the body use proteins and minerals in the seeds as well as give the brain healthy fat for energy. OFA have also been shown to decrease ADD and ADHD.

Vegetarians and Vegans looking for an alternative to fish oil can obtain similar benefits with chia seeds. Non-meat eaters incorporate chia seeds into smoothies, sprinkle them on salads and chopped up fruit and make into cereals with granola and yogurt.

Meals and snacks with chia seeds are easy to prepare. They become gelatinous like tapioca pudding after adding any liquid and stirring.

Chia seeds are very energizing. Poor food choices such as complex carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, Trans fats and refined sugar lead to a crash in energy level and increased weight. Chia seeds boost energy levels without any harmful effects on the body. They leave you feeling great and help to enable weight loss.

Chia seeds are completely raw and unprocessed without the toxic chemicals and preservatives that are found in most snacks today. If you would like to learn more about chia seeds please feel free to check out this wonderful site: 11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Forever Young – How Physical Therapy Can Keep You Youthful

Stress - The Bane of Youthfulness

Stress is one of the biggest factors that cause the cosmetic and physical effects of aging. When people are stressed, the body releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to prepare the body for a fight or flight response. The hormones take a toll on the appearance, but also cause the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise. The hormones can interfere with sleep that's essential for the body to repair itself.

A physical therapist can help with treatments that:

  • Reduce stress
  • Helps with flexible and range of motion
  • Relieve pain
  • Helps with mobility
  • Reduces the potential for Alzheimer's
  • Aids with nutritional deficiencies
  • Promotes better sleep

Many individuals who may be overweight or have chronic diseases avoid gyms and fitness centers out of embarrassment or self-consciousness, resulting in a cycle in which weight increases and physical fitness declines. That's not a problem at a physical therapy office. Individuals have access to safe and comfortable therapeutic exercises under the supervision of a physical therapy expert.

Forever Young - How Physical Therapy Can Keep You Youthful

How Physical Therapy Can Keep You Youthful

Most people immediately think of cosmetic surgery for remaining youthful, but a younger looking visage won't help people stay mobile and active. No one wants to face the effects of aging and physical therapy has treatments and therapies to help you stay physically fit.

People with jobs that require repetitive motion, standing or sitting for long periods at a time, and employment that places unusual stress and strain on joints will eventually take a toll on the body and increase the risk of arthritis. Construction workers, musicians and dancers, along with mechanics, teachers and office workers are among the individuals that often find their bodies are demonstrating the signs of aging long before they're anticipated.

Physical Therapy for a Youthful Body

How Physical Therapy for a Youthful Body

Exercise is a major component of maintaining a youthful body that allows you to engage in your favorite activities. Personal trainers at the local gym don't have the extensive knowledge and training necessary to address the vast number of variables involved in your individual situation.

Clinical Pilates, yoga and other types of specialized exercise can be prescribed to improve flexibility, range of motion, better posture and relieve joint or muscle pain. Exercise aids in digestion, stimulates the immune system, helps maintain lean muscle, and helps increase bone density.

Your medical conditions, level of fitness, any limitations, and overall health will be factored into any exercise program. Hydrotherapy, manual manipulation, and electrical stimulation are all techniques that improve the body's alignment and functionality. Cold laser therapy is an effective means of addressing pain and swelling.

To combat stress, your physical therapist may incorporate therapeutic massage. It improves circulation, stimulates the immune system, and promotes restorative slumber. It's also beneficial for detoxifying the body and enhancing lymphatic drainage.

Your physical therapist can also show you ways of moving that lessens the stress on the body and provide orthotic devices that alleviates pain and aligns the spine for easier movement. Ergonomic and lifestyle recommendations can be provided that lessens the risk of falls and injuries. Your physical therapist can provide nutritional recommendations and dietary supplements to address any deficiencies and promotes development of healthy bones and muscles.

Aging gracefully encompasses more than a youthful looking appearance. If you're not able to move freely and enjoy your life, you're losing out on some of the most important years of your life. Conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis can severely curtail your quality of life and prevent you from doing what's important to you.

Physical therapy is an investment in your health. It provides a variety of treatments to keep your body in good health and working correctly, allowing you to enjoy every stage of your life with a more youthful and functioning body.

What is Dry Needling?

Here at Purcellville Orthopedic PT, dry needling is used as an excellent way to treat neuromuscular dysfunction from myofascial trigger points

Dry Needling is a general term for a therapeutic treatment procedure that involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the area of the body which there is pain and typically contains a ‘Trigger Point’. There is no injectable solution and typically the needle which is used is very thin.

What can dry needling treat?

Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even pain and injury prevention, with very few side effects. This technique is unequaled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits. It is a very quick and effective treatment that tends to result in shorter rehabilitation times as it can restore normal myofascial mobility quite quickly. It can help with deactivating the trigger point, thereby reducing pain and restoring normal length and function of the involved muscle.

What does dry needling feel like?

Most patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it has and is advanced into the muscle, the feeling of discomfort can vary from patient to patient. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of the needle; however, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp — which is often referred to as a ‘twitch response’. The twitch response also has a biochemical characteristic to it which likely affects the reaction of the muscle, symptoms, and response of the tissue.

How long does it take for results?

Typically positive results are apparent within 2-4 treatment sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms, overall health of the patient, and experience level of the practitioner.

Come visit us to see if you could benefit from Dry needling!

Purcellville Orthopedic Physical Therapy

850-C East Main St, Purcellville, VA, 20132

Call us at: (540) 751-1970 or visit for more details

How Alzheimer’s Patients Benefit from Physical Therapy

Maintaining Physical Health

There’s currently no way to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s, but there are ways to slow the worsening of symptoms and remain physically healthy and physical therapy can play a major role. Microscopic changes take place in the brain long before Alzheimer’s is diagnosed. Plaques and tangles form in the brain, damaging cells and the nerves that transmit impulses and directions to the rest of the body. Physical therapy can help by:

  • Maintaining mobility
  • Keeping bones and muscles healthy
  • Mitigating the risk of heart disease and associated conditions
  • Maintaining proper nutrition
  • Building core strength, balance and coordination
  • Reducing the risk of falls and injuries

Complications of Alzheimer’s disease include heart attack, strokes, infections and kidney disease. Those who die from Alzheimer’s typically have multiple organ failure. Individuals with the disease misplace things and repeat questions/statements over and over since they don’t remember they’ve already asked the same question. Patients have difficulty finding the correct words to express thoughts or identify objects.

Individuals eventually become a danger to themselves and others. They can’t effectively respond to emergencies and deal with everyday problems. Judgement and the decision making process becomes severely impaired. Delusional behavior, wandering, depression and apathy, and social withdrawal are all common. Skills learned early in life are the last to be lost.

Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and it’s believed to be the result of factors that include genetics, lifestyle choices and environmental components. Smoking, poor diet, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity and sedentary lifestyles may increase the risk.

How Alzheimer’s Patients Benefit from Physical Therapy

A crying elderly woman covering her face

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating condition that robs people of their ability to think, remember and function without assistance. It’s equally devastating to the patient’s family who mourn the loss of their once vivacious and active loved one.

The disease is the most common form of cognitive disabilities that come under the category of dementia and is responsible for 60-80 percent of all dementia cases. Symptoms appear slowly and worsen over time, but typically begin years before a diagnosis is made, leading many to mistakenly believe it’s an “old people’s” disease.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are often ignored as part of getting older. Individuals begin to forget, have difficulty remembering, and may occasionally become confused. They experience changes in the way their mind works, but it isn’t obvious to them. They’re afraid and reluctant to even broach the subject for fear of discovering they might actually have the disease.

Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain that’s responsible for learning and remembering new information. As the disease progresses, individuals have increasingly severe symptoms. They may become suspicious of family, friends and caregivers. Symptoms include mood and behavioral changes, along with difficulty speaking, walking and even swallowing.

Quality Of Life With Alzheimer’s

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Your physical therapist will be focused on improving quality of life for you or a loved one and maintaining functionality as long as possible. He/she can develop a specialized exercise program to reduce the risk of falls, improve balance and enhance coordination. Exercise is beneficial for strengthening bones to mitigate the risk of fractures, reducing cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.

If you aren’t able to fully participate in an exercise plan, hands-one mobilization can provide the movement needed to maintain flexibility and mobility. Exercises ranging from clinical Pilates and yoga to stationary bikes may be employed, along with electro-stimulation and hydrotherapy depending upon your ability. Adaptive and ergonomic recommendations are available to help you get the rest you need, perform everyday tasks, and establish routines that aid in the ability to retain information.

Nutrition is a prime consideration for Alzheimer’s patients, who often forget to eat or stay hydrated, lose interest in cooking, or may not make an effort to eat a balanced diet. Your physical therapist can provide recommendations for specific foods and dietary and nutritional supplements that offer convenience and the essential nutrients needed.

Alzheimer’s patients may not be able to communicate effectively, but they often enjoy looking at old photos, listening to music and being read to. Your physical therapist can provide suggestions for connecting with a loved one that’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

There’s no cure or preventative for Alzheimer’s disease, but your physical therapist can improve the ability to function, remain physically healthy and stay mobile. Your physical therapist will help you or your loved one maintain quality of life at every stage of the disease.

Happy National Nutrition Month

Happy National Nutrition Month! This is a nice continuation from last month’s theme of Heart Health Month. Nutrition plays a pivotal role in disease prevention and vibrant health. Over the next few weeks, we are focusing on the importance of making smart food choices, mindful eating, increasing physical activity and promoting Habits of Health (HOH).

This really hits home for me. I’ve been practicing PT since the 80’s and love the profession. We are the health care providers who can virtually change people’s lives, enabling them to return to their previous level of function. Working part time and raising a family of three boys, I had put on a substantial amount of weight over the years. My energy levels decreased, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, high BP, high cholesterol, have musculoskeletal joint pain, and toe arthritis.

Last year my husband and I started working out at the Green Valley YMCA and I looked forward in participating in the fitness classes each week. Although I was inevitably feeling stronger, I still was unable to dump the weight. At that point in time, I met Megan Reilly at the YMCA. She is a ‘Take Shape for Life/Optavia Health Coach’. She had asked me pointed questions that involved a considerable amount of thought and soul searching. Yes, many of us want to lose weight but the big question is ‘why’? My answer was lifelong optimal health and personal wellbeing. That will require making numerous choices on a daily basis. What are my life long goals and how do I get there? For example, will eating that cookie bring me closer to my goals? Will taking the elevator or taking stairs help become closer to my goals? What do I need to do to avoid certain situations and how can I be better prepared for them next time?

I wanted to feel energetic, get off my medications, and truly reduce the risk factors of inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, high BP, high cholesterol, diabetes, and muscular skeletal issues.

Why do I want to minimize the risk factors? Maintaining optimum health will enable me to enjoy my family, friends and hopefully grandchildren someday! I would like to do a lot of traveling and be able to continue to treat my patients.

TSFL was co-founded by Dr. Wayne Anderson, a critical care specialist. I have been on the TSFL/Opaivia program since this past October. So far, I have gotten rid of 34 pounds!

How about you? Physical Therapy can help you improve your health. After performing a detailed evaluation, we can customize specific exercises tailored just for you, while taking into account your medical history and mobility level. The key in helping prevent disease/disability and getting you to feel healthier!

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t have to run or do vigorous exercise in order to reduce risk factors. According to a recent study in the Journal of Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology by Paul Williams and Dr. Paul Thompson, walking briskly at least 5x/week for 30 minutes a day or 150 min/week at 3-4mph, is as beneficial as running or doing high intensity exercise 3x/week for 25 minutes. Both running and walking led to similar reductions in risk of HBP, high cholesterol, diabetes and CAD. Their findings suggested that there are similar benefits with exercise, whether it is vigorous or moderate intensity. However, those capable of performing more vigorous exercise may be more time efficient, as they can go through the same distance in shorter period of time.

Another study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests some movement is better than no movement. For example, if you sit more than 1 hour, you take 22 minutes off your life. Six hours of television or videos a day reduces life expectancy by five years. The research claims that, a sedentary lifestyle is as bad for your health as smoking and obesity.

The longer you sit, the more your blood circulation slows and blood begins to pool, causing an increasing risk of blood clots.

Decreasing obesity by just 10% of your weight could significantly decreases your risk to certain types of cancer.

A few tips about healthy nutrition:

  • Drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day or half your body weight in ounces of water a day.
  • Eating 5-6 small meals or “fueling” per day is more advantageous then 3 large meals per day.
  • Complete moderate exercise 5 days/week. A diet of low carbs, low sugar and high protein will send your body into fat burn.
  • If you are sitting quite a bit on your computer whether at home or at work, a great tool to purchase is a Versa Desk, which is a variable height desk that will allow people to move and stand up for spinal/nerve health and cardio-vascular health.

By Janet Keller, PT


  1. Health Day: News for Living – “Brisk Walking Equals Running for Heart Health, by Steven Reinberg
  2. Dr. A’s Habits of Health: the Path to Permanent Weight Control and Optimal Health, by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson