Arbor Therapy

April Is Parkinson's Awareness Month; Do You Know The Symptoms?

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April Is Parkinson's Awareness Month; Do You Know The Symptoms?

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month and we at Arbor Therapy are wondering if you would recognize the symptoms of this disease in yourself or loved ones. We have included some of the most common symptoms below:

The primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease are all related to voluntary and involuntary motor function and usually start on one side of the body. Symptoms are mild at first and will progress over time. Some individuals are more affected than others are. Studies have shown that by the time that primary symptoms appear, individuals with Parkinson's disease will have lost 60% to 80% or more of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Characteristic motor symptoms include the following:

* Tremors: Trembling in fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs, jaw, or head. Tremors most often occur while the individual is resting, but not while involved in a task. Tremors may worsen when an individual is excited, tired, or stressed.

* Rigidity: Stiffness of the limbs and trunk, which may increase during movement. Rigidity may produce muscle aches and pain. Loss of fine hand movements can lead to cramped handwriting (micrographia) and may make eating difficult.

* Bradykinesia: Slowness of voluntary movement. Over time, it may become difficult to initiate movement and to complete movement.

* Bradykinesia together with stiffness can also affect the facial muscles and result in an expressionless, "mask-like" appearance.

* Postural instability: Impaired or lost reflexes can make it difficult to adjust posture to maintain balance. Postural instability may lead to falls.

* Parkinsonian gait: Individuals with more progressive Parkinson's disease develop a distinctive shuffling walk with a stooped position and a diminished or absent arm swing. It may become difficult to start walking and to make turns. Individuals may freeze in mid-stride and appear to fall forward while walking.

* Dysarthria (difficulty speaking): Have "slurred" or "mumbled" speech that can be hard to understand. Some common characteristics, speaking softly, either slowly or very fast, reduced movement of the tongue, lips, and jaw. You may notice a robotic or choppy voice quality and can be hoarse or breathy.

* Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing): this can happen at any stage of Parkinson disease. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include: difficulty swallowing certain foods or liquids, coughing or throat clearing during or after eating/drinking and feeling as if food is getting stuck. As the disease progresses, swallowing can become severely compromised and food/liquid can get into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death in PD.

The domain-general mechanism of timing is a “jack of all trades” mechanism that manifests itself in fine motor control, sleep cycles, speech patterns, ability to attend over time and overall efficacy of brain communication. This timing in the brain, or temporal processing, has been shown to be deficient in several common conditions, including Parkinson’s. Interactive Metronome (IM) is the only training program that improves timing in the brain in an organized, systematic, flexible and engaging format. Arbor Therapy is proud to be a Certified Interactive Metronome Provider

Once there is a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Arbor Therapy’s team of experienced therapists can provide a variety of skilled services to address all the client’s needs. Occupational therapy is used to help people with Parkinson's Disease to continue with their daily tasks as the disease progresses. Occupational therapists can help evaluate and plan these activities that are crucial to the well-being and independence of people with Parkinson's Disease. Physical Therapy can also improve strength and flexibility and decrease pain and stiffness for those who have Parkinson's Disease. Speech Therapy will assist people improve their speech and language skills, voice quality and swallowing ability. The SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) will also help determine the least restrictive diet consistency with the least risk of aspiration with both solids and liquids.

Contact us at (480) 935-0614 to schedule your appointment today!

Self-Reflection and the Lessons Learned During 2017


Self-Reflection and the Lessons Learned During 2017

The New Year’s holiday is a time many use for self-reflection. They look back at the previous year and try to draw conclusions or lessons they can learn and apply to the next year. It’s done in hopes of bettering the year for themselves and those they care about, but also as a way to improve the world as a whole. 

I recently took a look back at 2017 and thought to myself: How could I have done things a bit differently? Could I have worked a little harder toward achieving my goals? For the most part, I think looking back helps me focus my attention and effort on the future—what I want to accomplish in the next twelve months. 

When I look back at 2017, I think about a special person that I had the privilege of working with at the clinic. She was such an amazing woman. I had originally worked with her two years ago after she underwent a knee replacement. At that time, she’d been discouraged—the pain and anxiety of the unknown weighted heavy on her soul. She was in her early eighties, frail, and admitted to never being one to enjoy exercise. Needless to say, she struggled in the beginning and stayed at the facility for three weeks. 

In that time, we worked hard together. She had specific goals she needed to achieve to return home and I helped her accomplish those goals. Working through the pain, she eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. When she left the facility, she told me she’d have to have her other knee replaced and hoped to work with me again. 

Fast-forward three years. She came back to our facility after having her other knee replaced. When I walked into the therapy gym that morning, she was sitting there waiting for me to arrive. Despite her pain, she had a huge smile on her face. First thing she told me was how happy she was to see me. The second thing she said was how she applied the therapeutic interventions she’d learned from me at the clinic and was able to push the knee replacement surgery off for the three years. She even remembered the exercise routine we’d used during her first stay and she couldn’t wait to get started. 

When it was all said and done, her rehab stay was two weeks rather than three, and she walked out of there using a cane rather than a walker.  

It was great to see my patient had looked back at her past experiences and applied what she’d learned to her life. It helped her move forward in a positive direction toward better times to come. With the New Year approaching, let us all learn from our past and create a positive future.  

Know that at Arbor Therapy, we will be happy to aid you in achieving your goals for 2018, no matter what they may be. 

I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! 


Welcome to 2018


Welcome to 2018

“I want to lose weight.”  

“This year I’ll pay off my car.”  

“2018 is my year to get into shape for my wedding. . .graduation photos. . .vacation to Hawaii.”  

New Year’s Resolutions. They’re something most of us make, but few of us stick too. For decades, gyms across the nation report a spike in membership and attendance, but just as consistently, report that it only lasts a few months.  

The purpose behind these resolutions is to push us toward a better future. But, a better future often means more than just our own future. How about those around us in the community? Could one of our resolutions be to help others? Volunteer at a charity? Donate our time and energy at an animal shelter? There are so many in our area that are in need. 

As an Occupational Therapist, I have had the opportunity to help people. Many of those that I’ve helped over the years had nowhere else to turn and no one else to rely on. They were down on their luck, or made a poor decision, or even lost everything through no fault of their own. Whatever the reason, I had the opportunity to help them turn their life around and regain their independence. 

There’s something truly profound about helping someone walk, stand, get dressed, and use the bathroom for the first time in years. To help someone grow strong, regain balance, and improve endurance so they can once again rely on themselves has been a blessing I have trouble putting into words. 

One really great thing about 2018 is that it’s a great place to start over, regain your spirit, and make plans for the future. Reflecting back on this past year, I’ve learned from my mistakes as well as from my successes. The point here is to renew our spirit so that our energy will always remain positive and moving forward toward better things. It might take some time, effort and planning, but it’s more than just a wishful thought or resolution that disappears in a few months.  

For me, it’s about surrounding myself with great people and seeking out great opportunities to help others. That’s how I found Arbor Therapy. 

Arbor Therapy has given me the opportunity to touch the lives of even more people within my community. It’s a fact of life that every day someone has an accident, gets sick, suffers a stroke, or is born with a disability. While there may not be anything we can do to prevent unfortunate things from happening, there are places people can go to get better. With staff that are highly skilled and eager to help, Arbor Therapy is one of those places.  

May 2018 be filled with positive life experiences for all who read this blog. I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy new year and look forward to meeting anyone that needs our help. 

Arbor Therapy

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Arbor Therapy

What does the word Arbor mean to you? A large towering tree of great strength, offering shade on a hot, sunny day? How about a framework that supports climbing vines? An axle or spindle on which other objects revolve? 

Whatever definition you decide to use, the sentiment is the same: strength, supportive, steadfast, and true. Arbor Therapy, a fitting name for an innovative therapy clinic located in Chandler, Arizona.   

Arbor Therapy prides itself on hiring some of the finest Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists, the Valley of the Sun has to offer. With a wide-range of clinical experience, you’d be hard pressed to find a therapy-related situation that they haven’t already tackled head-on. This interdisciplinary approach has proven invaluable within the community in a variety of settings ranging from Home Health Care, Out-Patient, and even the newly emerging market of Tele-Therapy.  

Wow! What a sales pitch that turned out to be. Right?  

You may be surprised to learn that the purpose of this blog is NOT to sell our services, but simply to educate. Knowledge is power, as they say. And the more you know about the services that are available to you and your loved ones, the sooner you can make an informed decision. The decision to choose a team to treat your mom, dad, son or daughter is an important one. It can have lasting benefits and impact their entire life—often in ways you may never have dreamed possible. 

For more information regarding the services that are offered at Arbor Therapy, please contact us. We will be more than happy to show you how we can be of service.