Mindful Physical Therapy Found In Aina Haina

Jana Kay works with Annette Mente to help build strength and relieve painAnnette Mente was tired of being in pain. She had been through physical therapy before for hip pain that developed in 1999 from too many aerobic classes performed on bad floors, wearing bad shoes. Although that problem was solved, several years later Mente began to develop shoulder and lower back pain that she believed was related to the physical demands of caring daily for her elderly parents. She was diagnosed with Sciatica and was issued a prescription and therapy. But the medication and treatments were not working. “I believe in prevention over pills” says Mente, “but my medical provider did not agree and soon my pain became so chronic I decided to take my recovery into my own hands and seek outside help.”

After her first injury, Mente took up Yoga and Pilates as a more gentle way to keep fit. When her new injuries began to interfere with those methods, she decided to seek a physical therapist outside her medical provider coverage who understood how important exercise was to her and one who would encourage her desire to get back to working-out.

It was through a Pilates mentor that Mente found Jana Kay, MPT, owner of Integral Rehab in Aina Haina. She was excited to find a therapist who not only was mindful and holistic in her approach to healing, but was a certified Pilates instructor as well. After evaluation and a few sessions, Kay recommended that Mente be checked by her doctor for Stenosis. Stenosis is a condition that can cause compression on nerve roots and symptoms such as Sciatica. Mente’s doctor ordered an MRI and the Stenosis was confirmed.

Kay says, “As a physical therapist, I thought it was important to know exactly what the problem was so I could modify her program appropriately and have the best outcome.”

Once Mente’s Sciatica symptoms were under control, Kay advanced her program to include deep core strengthening and movement re-patterning, also known as neuromuscular re-education, which will help Mente keep her symptoms at bay.

“It is extremely important to look at how a person moves, the way they use their muscles and patterns of movement which might be causing or perpetuating a problem,” says Kay.

Integral Rehab offers traditional methods for recovery such as foam rollers, stability balls and space for stretches and body work. In addition, there is a Pilates Reformer, Chair and Cadillac, as well as the comprehensive Gyrotonic Pulley Tower. Kay uses the Gyrotonic in her treatments as a progression from the more stable Pilates method. “Gyrotonic has complete freedom of movement in all directions. It can really help the patient simulate real-life activity and challenge coordination and control.”

Gyrotonic, claims Mente, is the reason why one and a half years later, she continues with Kay as a post-rehab patient. “I love the way Gyrotonic has increased my core strength and flexibility in a fluid way that is similar to everyday movements.” Kay explains how many traditional physical therapy exercises use movements that are linear, with limited range of motion. “The Gyrotonic system moves you in circular ways with gentle resistance that is similar to functional movement.” Mente added that because of the Gyrotonic, she is able to feel when she is out of alignment or balance in her daily activities. This awareness helps her remember to engage her core and perform the activities – such as helping her elderly mother out of bed – with proper technique.

Kay makes sure to point out that there is a big difference between using Pilates and Gyrotonic for rehab versus general fitness. The traditional Pilates and Gyrotonic exercises are modified and a diagnosis-specific program is designed for each patient. No one patient does the same thing as another.

Kay states that her business was created from a desire to go beyond the traditional physical therapy model, which generally addresses only the injured body part. “It is so important to look at the underlying causes and contributing factors of injury, evaluate the daily living facts and repetitive movement patterns, and create a plan that will not only resolve their current complaint, but keep the patient injury-free for as long as possible after therapy is finished.” 

Once therapy is through, Kay offers private sessions in Pilates and Gyrotonic for people who want to be pro-active in their health and fitness. “My main goal is to increase peoples’ awareness about how they use their bodies. If I can change someone’s life for the better, then I’ve done my job.”