So excited about this guest-post.  My sister-friend / entrepreneur accountability partner, who happens to be uber stylish and chic, has graced us with some practical wellness tips from the perspective of a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  Deidra aka Dr. Dei has 14 years of experience as a physical therapist. She has practiced in MD, VA, DC, WV and now FL. Deidra has worked with patients of all ages from pediatric to geriatric.  She’s also worked in hospital, home health and out-patient settings.

What I think I’m most excited about is her transition into Private Practice this past year.  I admire how passionate she is about serving and supporting her clientele. Some of the tips that she shares with them, she was kind enough to share with us..

  1. Make your own meals.  
  2. Just move - stay active in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.  

These are two that stood out for me, one because I too am a huge proponent of cooking my food.  It’s one of the major reasons I’ve been able to sustain my weight loss.  I also think it encourages a healthier lifestyle.  As for exercise, I personally had to find a rhythm and routine that worked for me. I’m no gym buff, but I do recognize the importance of fitness and prioritizing exercise and movement.

So... those are just a couple.  Dr. Dei shares other ways that we can upgrade our own wellness practices.  I appreciate that they’re practical things we can easily incorporate into our regimen.  She also gives us some insight on business and running your own practice.

Check it out:

What is your philosophy on health and wellness?

I could really go on and on with this but I will not…  My philosophy is that our bodies were perfectly made and are THE MOST sophisticated and intelligent machines in the universe.  With that being said, we have to take into consideration, like any machine our bodies are not resistant to wear and tear. In order to maintain our health and wellness, we must be mindful about what we put into our bodies and the situations we put our bodies in.  When I received my first car my father said “Your car will take care of you if you take care of it.” I feel the same way about our bodies. Physical activity is so important. I have always loved to exercise since I was a little girl, most likely from watching my father who is a retired 1stSergeant of the Army.  I remember him doing jumping jacks and pushups all the time. As a kid I would exercise while listening to Bobby Brown or New Edition doing crunches or whatever.  When I was a teenager I remember seeing Donna Richardson lead cardio routines on ESPN and recording the episodes and doing them on my own just because I liked how working out made me feel.  After I graduated from college and began working as an adult I found myself in a Cardio-Kickboxing Class. I say all of this to point out I have always kept my body in motion and I always emphasize this to my patients once they get better and no longer need physical therapy….’Just Keep Moving’.  A body in motion stays in motion. If you are not a gym person find something that inspires you and makes you feel good about yourself and do that thing a minimum of 3 times a week for 30 minutes, if you want improved endurance you need to do that 5 times a week. I can attest to life getting in the way of my exercise routine.  I fall off the wagon just like anyone else but the important thing to remember is to not give up on your-self. So what if, I wanted to work-out 3 times this week and I did it once, well at least I did something right? When I fall off, I use every opportunity to challenge my muscles, heart and lungs such as taking the stairs, parking far away from my destination, dancing hard if a song comes on that I like or playing with the kids at the park instead of staring at my phone.  All of these things challenge your muscles and keep you moving but if you want to see change your muscles have to be sore the next day.

The other important factor is what I put in my body.  Now, anyone that knows me knows that I like to eat. However, I am a strong believer of moderation and reading food labels.  I pay attention to nutritional values and serving sizes. If it is an empty caloric item like cookies, I will only eat half of a serving size just to fulfill my craving and then I move on.  I also pack lunch every single day to control what I am putting in my body as well. My family and I rarely eat out at all during the week and I believe it keeps us healthier.

So my philosophy for health and wellness is to stay or become active and enjoy food but keep unhealthy options in moderation because this lifestyle will prevent a lot of the disease processes that are just too common in all Americans.  Preventing illnesses is way easier than living with them.

What impact has your beliefs had on how you structure your business?

Going back to my message ‘Just Keep Moving’, my mission is to help my patients recover from whatever is impeding their quality of life and provide them with the tools they need to be active so they don’t need me anymore.  I start educating my patients from day one about their diagnosis and what they might be doing to perpetuate the problems they are having. For examples, a faulty sleeping posture, an inappropriately set up work station, poor form with an exercise at the gym, the wrong running shoes for their body type or improper lifting habits of a child. By educating the person I allow them to become a part of their healing process and identify things that will prevent reinjury or another type of  injury. Research tells us that people are more likely to comply with advice when they understand WHY they are doing something. At the end of their treatment program, I provide them with a solid home exercise program to continue on their own and as I say “stay out of trouble” or reinjuring themselves.

With your expertise in mind, when it comes to health what are absolute 'must do's' and 'never do's?

You must ALWAYS listen to your body.  If something does not feel right go to the right health care provider and figure out what is going on.  NEVER ignore your body telling you that something does not feel right. A lot of injuries can get better quicker if you don’t let them become chronic and a lot of disease processes can be managed better when discovered early on or avoided all together.

What tip could you give to someone in your field interested in transitioning into private practice?

Be kind and patient with yourself.   Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Find a lot of mentors and ask a lot of questions to help guide you to success.  Be flexible to change, things very rarely turn out how we imagined them so be ready for whatever life throws at you and adjust accordingly.  KEEP OVERHEAD LOW!!!! We live in a society where debt has become a way of life and it does not have to be. So just keep it simple.

What keeps you motivated during times when there are challenges, business or personal?

My faith in God keeps me motivated personally and professionally. Whenever I am faced with a problem in both parts of my life I pray about it, give it to God and I leave it there. I have not always been strong enough in my faith to be able to do that.  I would pray about things and then worry about if my situation would change. Then I realized that everything is not about me, it rarely is. It is my belief, that God places things in our lives so that WE may be a blessing to assist someone else faced with the same challenges.  God is the creator and capable of carrying my problems, not me so I give my challenges to God.

What is your favorite quote/verse/affirmation?

“Encourage yourself in the Lord”.  My maternal grandmother “Mother” says this at the end of every conversation every since I can remember and I never truly understood what it meant until 2 years ago when I found myself at a crossroad between taking a leap of faith by starting my private physical therapy practice or staying overworked at a job that was making me depressed but paying me well.  Which leads to my favorite bible verse 2 Corinthians 5:7 Walk by faith and not by sight.

If you could recommend something or make a suggestion to anyone regarding health what would it be?  

I recommend going to a primary care physician once a year to get a physical examination and  blood work-up done to become informed of what your numbers are regarding blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure ect.  Prevention is the key to a long, good quality of life.


Connect with the expert:

Dr. Dei’s Physical Therapy Centre, Inc
6965 Piazza Grande Ave #210-4
Orlando, Florida 32835
Phone:  407-906-6007
Fax:  407-386-6595


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