Meet Your Merchant: Physical therapist brings new techniques to Incline
April 16, 2014
What: Incline Physical Therapy
Location: 797 Southwood Blvd. No. 3
Mimi Palu has been treating patients with Trigger Point Dry Needling therapy in her office in Incline Village for nearly one year.
The method uses small filament needles to treat chronic pain and loss of motion due to muscular tension.
"The idea behind TDN is that it's a way of releasing trigger points, those painful nodules in the muscles that everyone has," said Palu, owner of Incline Physical Therapy.
Trigger Point Dry Needling is new to the state of Nevada, and Palu is one of the few therapists in the state performing the treatment.
“We still have so much to learn about the human body. If you don’t stay up to date, you won’t be able to provide the best care for your patients.”
Incline Physical Therapy
Commonly referred to as "knots," the painful muscle spasms can be developed for a variety of reasons, Palu said, such as poor posture, experiencing an injury or accident, or from overuse or illness.
She recommends the treatment to patients who receive regular massages for muscle tension release.
Although Trigger Point Dry Needling uses the same sterile filament needles as acupuncture, the therapy stems from principles of Western medicine and research.
No injection occurs; the healing takes place because of the needles' contact with each trigger point.
Over the several hundred treatments Palu has already performed, she said just about every patient has seen an improvement.
After even one session of Trigger Point Dry Needling, clients report an increased range in motion or decrease in pain.
"With the needle I can release those trigger points within seconds. It's very quick and it's more long lasting than a massage," she said.
Patients like the therapy's quick results as well.
Receptionist Breana Horvath said that even patients who were hestitant at first, due to a fear of needles, have come back for TDN treatments.
"A lot of patients come in specifically for the Trigger Point Dry Needling," she said. "After they have the reaction they want they come back and keep receiving treatment."
The therapy's fast results also allow Palu to have more time with her patients. "Because I'm able to release these muscles so quickly, I can focus on the patient's training," she said.
HABITS OF MOVEMENT
At Incline Physical Therapy, Palu works with patients to not only cure current problems, but to retrain their entire motion and habits of movement.
"No movement or skill becomes natural unless it's be practiced thousands of times," Palu said. "In order to perfect a movement or skill it requires practice."
Palu studied for six months to receive the certificate to practice TDN and believes continuing her education is an important part of her career.
"We still have so much to learn about the human body," Mimi said. "If you don't stay up to date, you won't be able to provide the best care for your patients."
Mimi opened Incline Physical Therapy in 1993 and has added other treatments, such as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, in 2011.
The physical therapist recommends people check their posture throughout the day, as many problems can result from years of sitting and slouching.
Exercise and movement, of course, is essential for health of the spine and the whole body, Palu said.
She recommends "any activity and exercise that you like to do, because otherwise you won't do it."
Incline Physical Therapy will host an open house for community members to come learn about the best ways to get into shape for spring and summer sports.
The event will take place at Incline Physical Therapy in the Village Center on May 7, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Talks from acupuncturist Volodar Kuzyk, health and wellness specialist CJ Johnson and occupational therapist Feyge Pegi, owner of Hand Rehabilitation Services, will take place while refreshments are served.
Jenny Luna is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun newspapers. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.