Gua Sha: What the Heck is It?!?

As a manual physical therapist, I’m always looking for new ways to work with the body and was recently introduced to gua sha, a 2000-plus year old Chinese medical treatment involving scraping the skin with a spoon or a coin. Gua sha originally used either a spoon or a coin in order to scrape the lubricated skin in one direction in order to free the chi stuck in an area, such as the lower back, neck, shoulders, thighs, etc. I’ve been told this was often performed at home by grandma, who would just pull a soup spoon out of the […]

What is s Fascia?

We hear the terms “fascia” and “myofascial release” used a lot in the therapy and massage industry, but what are we talking about? What is fascia and why does it matter to you? Muscles have a nerve going to them to allow our brain to tell the muscle to contract or relax depending on what we need it to do. Fascia, on the other hand, has been thought of as a passive elastic connective tissue that runs through our entire body, varying in thickness depending on its purpose in that location. The skin has fascia. So do the muscles, and […]

What a Pain in the Neck!

Neck pain is a very common problem in today’s society, afflicting nearly 25% of us, with reports as high as 86% of us complaining about some level of neck pain. That means 87,750,000 Americans will complain of neck pain something this year. That is a lot of people! What causes neck pain? The answers are as varied as we are. Often times it is as simple as stress in our lives manifesting into tension in our upper trapezius (UT) muscles that attach to the spine of our neck as well as the base of the skull and the shoulder blade. […]

How Helpful is Physical Therapy?

October 19th, I had the honor of presenting physical therapy topics to the Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) in Richmond, Virginia, and I had a great time! The audience was wonderful, and my hope is they learned a few things in the brief hour we had together. I want to share with you some of the ways in which physical therapy can help you during and after your transition whether it involves hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or gender-confirming surgeries. Carpal tunnel syndrome can either flare up if you already have it or you can develop it once on HRT […]

Motion is Lotion

Motion is Lotion, Rest is Rust. My mom she is an F.F.W.W. (Far From a Well Woman) given her health issues as she gets older but I still love her as her memory shifts and the stories we once knew now have different people in them and sometimes different endings….can be quite interesting as the details of multiple events are cobbled together into a new tapestry of a story. She unfortunately slipped in her bathroom resulting in a minor fall and breaking her fibula in two places. She was able to walk on it as long as she used her […]

Trans Wellness Nuggets from the annual Philly conference

My partner Kevin and I had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference (PTWC) this year. If you have never been, then you need to go! This is the largest conference focused on the transgender community from multiple perspectives as diverse as the community itself: medical, legal, rights, gender identity, parenting, activism, and much more. There is something for everyone even if you do not identify as being transgender. We also took time to explore Reading Terminal Market as well as The Bike Stop. This month I want to take a moment and share some of the gold […]

Where & What is The Prostate?

The prostate is largely misunderstood and most of us take it for granted. September is prostate awareness month so I figured I would write a little about it ahead of time so you can properly prepare to celebrate this little nugget of fun. Where and what is the prostate? A healthy prostate is the size of a walnut and sits just below the bladder. When we look closely at where the prostate and the bladder meet we see that the tissue for the lower bladder seamlessly becomes the sphincter (valve) for the bladder and then seamlessly transitions into the tissue […]

EMG and Biofeedback

One of the hidden treasures of a pelvic physical therapist is the use of ElectroMyoGraphy (EMG) The first question to answer is: what is it? Electromyography (also known as EMG) is a way in which I can look at the electrical activity of your muscles. We have heard of an EEG (ElectroEncephaloGram), which reads the wave patterns of the brain and nerve conduction studies in which they look at the electrical activity of the nerves. This is similar in that we are looking at electrical activity but EMG is focusing on your muscles. So, what? Big deal! What does that […]

June is Men’s Health Month

First off … Happy Pride! I came out to myself and a few friends in 1987. The year 1988 saw me in my first Pride parade dressed in my Boy Scout uniform in order to make a statement. A lot has happened in the 32 years since coming out and I am proud of our community on a global and local level! I honor those who came before me to fight for the rights I had when I came out so that I may fight for the rights we now enjoy and hope that people today won’t personally experience the […]

When a Pelvis Needs Some Elvis

May is National Pelvic Pain Month from which an estimated 15% of men and women suffer. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alicia Bolden-Jeffers, a fellow physical therapist who not only has treated women and men for pelvic pain but is also a survivor of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain in general terms would be any pain “down there” in the groin, taint, anus, and tailbone. This can lead to sexual dysfunction ranging from erectile dysfunction in men to painful penetration in men and women, pain when riding a bike, sitting in the car, or even having a bowel movement. […]