Healthy Pastimes

The world is a staircase. Some go up, and some come down. We must ascend. From Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx

Let me tell you one of my favorite pastimes:

On one of my strolls through a bookstore I found the book: "Stair Walks in San Francisco", by Adah Bakalinsky. She describes 27 stair walks around our beautiful city. I started to walk them, and already discovered many places I have never seen, San Francisco's back roads. I come across astonishing views of this beautiful city, hidden places, and learned the history of small neighborhoods. I highly recommend this book and the walks. Even though the walks can be challenging, you can take shortcuts if you are a beginner to exercise.

My favorite walk so far includes the magic stairway. It is a mind-blowing mosaic style stairway at Moraga and 16th Avenue. If you haven't seen it yet, it is a MUST. The author says: "people are entranced by the colorful mosaic tile stairway that tells a story of sky and water and birds and fish and flowers and frogs." And I was too. Come and see it. It is truly astounding!

If you'd like to tell us about some wonderful walking paths, stairs, or destinations around the city, feel free to email us at


Prehabilitation--add a Physical Therapist to your multidisciplinary team for cancer treatment!

“Prehabilitation is the process of enhancing functional capacity of the individual to enable him or her to withstand the stressor of inactivity associated with a surgical procedure” — Wikipedia

What a concept! Not new, but just in recent years getting more attention. I have been advocating prehabilitation since the beginning of my career.

"I use the analogy that people wouldn't run a marathon without training for it," says Tony Brosky, PT, DHS, SCS, a professor of physical therapy and assistant dean of the Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. “…knowing the patient's range of motion, strength, and function preoperatively, through clinical examination and direct observation, allows the patient and PT to more accurately set realistic postoperative goals."

This makes total sense to me. Many patients are seeking pre-surgical Physical Therapy intervention from us, many are cancer patients, concerned about a side-effects like lymphedema and/or quality of life issues on long term, and returning to the current function and activities as soon as possible after treatment.

How smart to get pre-measurements, to understand status quo of function, range of motion, strength and volume of limb pre-surgery. Base line measurements are key to early detection of problems, reduce anxiety and will improve outcomes. Physical Therapy should be part of the multidisciplinary team to improve quality of life before, during and after cancer treatment.

But we are still far from being included automatically in a multidisciplinary team of treating cancer. San Francisco General Hospital however has been progressive and adding Physical Therapists into the multidisciplinary team in the breast cancer clinic. See article.

Tell your doctor that you want to have a Physical Therapist included to your team of experts in your cancer treatment as early as prior to your surgery, if time allows. Share the article with your doctors.

I am also teaching a informational class hot to reduce risks for lymphedema at CPMC every third Wednesday of the month at 6PM. Please share this information with anybody who has or had cancer treatment or going to have cancer treatment. We are here to help, This class is at no cost, and will give you lots of information.

Read on the newsletter of SFGH in 2011:

If you want to read more about some research of prehabilitation, please check out this link:

Healthy Habits

As you may know, there are lots of busy things happening at Rising Sun Physical Therapy and in all our personal lives. But many might ask, how can you stay healthy being so busy and still enjoy some free-time to yourself?

The answer is simple: treat yourself well, stay in tune with your body and your limits, and rest!

Here are 4 secrets to staying healthy, energized and stress-free:

Secret #1: "Healthy Eating & Drinking"

You've probably heard the old saying, "you are what you eat", which is absolutely true!

This is why I eat lots of green leafy vegetables, healthy proteins, and drink lots of water. A gentle summer cleanse is in the air to energize for the long nights. A simple 10 days of staying clean and healthy. (Psst… don’t tell the secret: We will soon introduce you to our brand-new and improved fall cleansing program for all of you people who want to rid your body of those unnecessary toxins. Stay tuned)

Secret #2. "Keep it simple"

You probably know by now that I like to create simplicity while staying active. To do this, try incorporating physical activities and exercises into your daily routine such as biking or walking to and from work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking your dog. The summer brings lots of activities around the city that can add healthy movement to your life.

Secret #3: "De-clutter your life"

De-clutter your mind, computer, home and work.

Go through your closet and let go of all the clothes you have not worn for the past 6 months, organize your inbox, your desktop, and lighten up your house and overcome your own barriers to an organizational bliss. Let me congratulate you if you are planning to start this process. Don't forget to create space in your house for meditation, to take time out, quiet your mind, breath and just be with yourself. Gas up here with fuel from the NOW, and de-stress your mind. Stimulating your vagus nerve will reduce your stress level and reduce inflammation in your body. OM

Secret #4: "Socialize"

Have a healthy social life with family and friends. Take time to meet with your friends every week, or at least once a month at your house for a fun game evening, or go to events. Are your ready for YOUR new practices and potentially a NEW YOU? What's your upcoming health goals for the summer? I'd love to support you in accomplishing your goals, so stay tuned for new ways to learn how you can stay healthy.