Last week, when I asked a patient of mine to lie on the treatment table so we could get started with the stretching and exercising part of his treatment, he hesitated and grumbled, “Isn’t there a pill I can take to fix this arm pain? This is so much work and takes so much time. Isn’t there a pill or a shot?”
As a physical therapist, I hear people bemoan our treatments daily. Many people are surprised and dismayed that they must concentrate, work hard and dedicate time to recovering from injury or illness.
Another patient was disgusted with doctors who she perceived to be “pill pushers”. “All they ever do is give you drugs! ” she exclaimed in exasperation. “Isn’t there anything else?”
My response to both patients? Challenge your body.
Your body improves with appropriate challenge.
When the correct body tissues are stressed appropriately, strengthening, stretching and healing occur. Motion is restored. Pain is reduced.
I call this “Challenging Physical Exertion”, or “CPE”.
CPE is the best way the body renews itself, and the only way it maintains its muscular ability, its cardiopulmonary function, and its joint health. Without daily CPE, your joints stiffen, your muscles shrink and weaken, your lungs and heart function less efficiently.
CPE will help your body prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. It will wake up sluggish mental function and release “feel good” chemicals in your brain — not to mention improve your appearance (side benefit!).
The beneficial stress of CPE on the musculoskeletal system occurs from a variety of movements. The appropriate stress that causes improvements is different for each person, and can be different on each day. For example, a person in a wheelchair will experience CPE at a different activity level and with different types of activity than a mother-to-be, a middle-aged marathon runner, a person after surgery or a sedentary high school teenager.
You will benefit from CPE whether you are healthy, injured, or ill. CPE is necessary for everyone — at every stage of life, during almost any disease process, medical condition or injury, no matter how fit or inactive you are.
Who is uniquely qualified to design a CPE program for you? A physical therapist.
Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts who have the training and experience to assess your condition and decide what exercises or therapeutic movement are best for you on each day.
And so, dear patients, I have an answer for you. CPE. It’s your fountain of health. CPE” benefits everyone, at every stage of life and injury.
[The term CPE is copyrighted by Avruskin 2010, 2013]