BBPT Patient Testimonial: Tanya

I came to Amy as an out-of-town patient from the West Coast to treat anismus (pelvic floor and bowel dysfunction), that I developed after endometriosis excision surgery which included bowel resection. What I liked immediately about Amy is that she did not draw me a “picture perfect.” The first time when I spoke with her by phone, she did not say “after a few weeks of our treatment you will be 100% OK”, rather she was hesitant if I shall come, and referred me to a good PT in my area (how decent of her! She was ready to lose a client but do what’s best for me!) I still wanted to come, because I believed there is no one like Amy. And I was right!

Amy is the most thorough, thinking, caring and insightful physical therapist that I ever met (and I met several during the last year of my healing journey). She understood my condition and its root causes, she gave me the best treatments I’ve ever received (e.g. did myofascial release of certain trigger points that no other PT who treated me ever touched), and during the treatments I saw that she is thinking all the time, asking questions, adjusting treatments to my condition, always looking for new ways to make me feel better.

In addition, according to Amy’s recommendation, I was also treated by another PT in Amy’s office, Michele, who uses a different technique (visceral mobilization) which complemented Amy’s treatments for my condition. Besides, I opted-in for some acupuncture treatments, also provided in Amy’s office by Paula. After 3 weeks of intensive everyday treatments by Amy, Michele and Paula I feel so much better!

But in order to continue my progress, Amy also gave me an extensive home program, which included stretching exercises, breathing exercises, massage of trigger points, etc., and she also provided me with all the equipment needed to perform this program, such as massaging stick, organic heating pad, relaxation CD, etc. She also gave me a lot of tips regarding the diet and food supplements which may contribute to improving of my condition. Amy was so meticulous in training me of how to perform all self-care treatments, she repeated the home program several times with me.

And in the end Amy volunteered to speak with a PT in my area regarding the continuity of my care.

I cannot speak highly enough about Amy and her staff. Not only they are top-notch professionals, but also noble, kind and caring people, who really invest themselves in making you better. And they succeed!

Tanya P., 42

Updates from IPPS!

Here are some updates from Amy’s experiences at the International Pelvic Pain Society conference:

Here is a photo of Stephanie Prendergast, MPT, vice president of IPPS and Amy, board member and chairman of fundraising at IPPS, with Lorimer Mosley in a dress (a well-known researcher of pain and author of explain pain).  We raised over $4,000 in 24 hours for his fundraiser of He had to wear a dress when presenting his conference because the attendees raised the goal of over $4,000. The money goes to young girls in Sri Lanka: $250 gives them an education rather than being married off at 13, pregnant at 14 and either dying during childbirth from poor healthcare or having to become prostitutes to make money to keep their children all while possibly getting HIV.  You can look on their website for more details.  Beyond Basics Physical Therapy donated $800, and you can check out the link above if you want to donate more.

Here’s another Amy and Stephanie Prendergast at IPPS in Chicago, and one in the midst of the conference!

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

By Riva Preil

Not only is October the National Physical Therapy Month, but it is also the National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Down Syndrome, also called Trisomy 21, is a congenital condition associated with nondisjunction (non-separating) of the 21st chromosome during meiosis, which means that the zygote inherits an extra chromosome, totaling 47 instead of 46.

Children born with Down Syndrome are capable of leading long and productive lives despite the medical and cognitive challenges they face. The medical conditions that often affect children born with Down Syndrome include possible congenital heart defects, thyroid disorder, hypotonia (low muscle tone), visual problems, auditory defects, and possible seizure disorder. Many of these children receive physical therapy through early intervention, federally funded services to help these children improve motor control and achieve as many developmental milestones as possible. In particular, children with low muscle tone have difficulty with transitioning from one position to another and they often develop poor postural habits. Physical therapy can help correct for any of these poor patterns and strive to prevent future joint damage. Furthermore, they help the child become as independent as possible in both static (ex. proper sitting, standing) and dynamic (ex. crawling, walking) activities.

Other services that benefit children with Down Syndrome include speech therapy and occupational therapy.  Also, close monitoring of the general health of the child by a competent pediatrician is important, and referrals should be made to appropriate health care providers (ex. cardiologist, endocrinologist, audiologist, and/or optometrist) when necessary.

It’s National Physical Therapy Month!

By Riva Preil

Each October, physical therapists across the country celebrate National Physical Therapy Month. There are many different types of physical therapists who work in a number of various work environments. Several of these venues include working in a hospital in an acute care facility, in a sub-acute rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility, with the pediatric population in elementary schools, or in a private practice orthopedic clinic.  Furthermore, there are many different types of orthopedic clinics that work with a specific population, (ex. women’s health- like Beyond Basics Physical Therapy)!  The diversity that exists within the profession is actually a very appealing aspect to those considering becoming a physical therapist.  

As musculoskeletal experts, physical therapists take great pride in assisting others with moving forward and improving mobility.  Whether it be in helping a patient learn how to use a hemiparetic lower extremity post-stroke or helping an athlete return to their desired sport after a meniscal repair surgery, physical therapists help their patients strengthen weakened muscles and return to normalized gait patterns.  One of the ways they accomplish this is through creating a personalized home exercise program for each of their patients targeting the specific deficits. To learn more about the physical therapy profession and how we strive to help other, please refer to the American Physical Therapy Association website, and in particular please refer to the link below.  Happy P.T. month to one all!

One Lung Breathing

By Denise Vidal

In previous blogs, I took you through some fundamental Pilates’ exercises to exemplify how the breath aids in core support. I mentioned how the breath should be felt three dimensionally, moving through the front, back, and sides of your body. I also mentioned that the breath can be focused in either the abdomen or in the ribcage.

All of these posts asked you to explore your breath in a supine position (lying on your back), sitting and standing. However, sometimes accessing different dimensions of your body is difficult in a forward facing position.  The following is an awareness exercise that will allow you to increase your ability to expand the ribcage three dimensionally. In addition, this exercise can be done before your go to sleep to aid in relaxation.

Lie on your right side with a pillow under your ribcage and under your head. You want to have a space between the two pillows to allow for your upper arm and shoulder to rest. Wrap your left hand (top hand) around the bottom of your left side ribcage, with your thumb on your back ribs. Take a deep inhale and feel your ribcage expand into your hand.  As you exhale, feel your ribcage fall back down. Take 2-3 breaths with your hand here, feeling your ribcage opening more with each breath.

Slowly move your hand up your ribcage, wrapping it around your mid- ribs, then under your arm pit, then finally on the top of your shoulder (your first rib is underneath your clavicle and the top of your shoulder blade), taking 2-3 breaths in each position.

When you have finished, stretch your left arm over your head and feel your ribs lengthen away from your pelvis.

Sit up slowly and feel the difference between your left and right side ribcage.

Take a deep breath and feel how you can expand the left side ribcage more than the right.  Lift your left and right arm separately to feel how the range of motion differs. When you’re ready lie on your left side and repeat the whole exercise.

You can do this exercise as often as you would like to increase your awareness.

Give it a try and leave a reply to let me know how it goes.

It’s National Mammography Day!

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

Here are the American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2012:

About 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.

About 63,300 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).

About 39,510 women will die from breast cancer.

As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 19 is National Mammography Day. In 1993, President Clinton first proclaimed that the third Friday in October would be deemed National Mammography Day. Women are encouraged to make an appointment for a mammography on this day or throughout the month of October.

Think Pink!

By Riva Preil

October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this is an appropriate time for us to review important health care information.  In my opinion, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, and fortunately, the American Cancer Society has established guidelines for us to follow.  Women over 40 years of age should have annual mammograms and clinical breast exams (CBE).  Women in their 20s and 30s should also have CBEs every three years.  All women should perform a monthly breast self-exam (BSE)- refer to attached link for further details.

Furthermore, starting at age 50, both men and women should participate in colorectal cancer and polyp tests, including flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, colonoscopy every ten years, double contrast barium enema every five years, or CT colonography (also called virtual colonoscopy) every five years.  Endometrial (uterine) cancer and prostate cancer should also be screened appropriately. Please speak with your primary care physician regarding further details.

Prevention also includes maintaining proper general health care.  This includes avoiding cigarettes, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, participating in regular exercises, eating healthy foods (ex. fruits and vegetables), and regular medical check-ups.  May we all celebrate this year’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the best of health!

Click here for even more information from

Tablet Takeover?

Though there’s a continuing presence of mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, we’re not really paying attention to the way our bodies our responding to them. In reality, they can hurt our necks and our backs if we don’t use them properly. Here’s an article in the Harvard Health Blog offering some tips so you can get your mobile on pain-free!


A little bit about Joe

By Denise Vidal

Joseph Pilates was born in a small town in Germany in 1880. The son of a
gymnast and naturopath, Pilates’s early years were filled with various forms of exercises and holistic treatments. It was this upbringing as well as his talent for boxing that influenced his interest in health and physical fitness.

While living in England during the first world war, Pilates was interned in a prison camp for enemy aliens. It was here that his vision began to take shape. He taught other German nationals different exercises to help maintain their mental and physical strength while they were interned. He called his method Controlology to emphasize the method’s ability to give one a sense of control over their bodies. The movement principles of Contrology were: whole body movement, breathing, balanced muscle development, concentration, control, centering, precision and rhythm. The corresponding exercises were adaptable to everyone, including the bedridden and those suffering from diseases. In addition, it has been said that the effects of his regimen allowed his followers to
withstand an influenza outbreak that affected the camp.

There are various stories that attempt to explain how Pilates came to the United States in 1925. However, it is agreed that once he arrived in New York, he worked tirelessly to try and promote his method. Pilates eventually gained a following amongst members of the dance community, including George Balanchine and Martha Graham. Unfortunately, though, Pilates never lived to see his work become the phenomenon that it is today.

The Pilates method, as it is now known, maintains the fundamental elements of Pilates’ Controlology, and the idea that his exercises can benefit everyone regardless of their condition.

If you’re interested in giving The Pilates Method a try, I am at Beyond Basics every Thursday morning from 8am-12pm. Just give the office a call to set up an appointment!