“Choosing your reaction.” With Dr. William Seeds & Dr. Amy Hoover

Choosing your reaction — we cannot control our environment but we can control how we react to it. Choose to let the negative go, and let the positive in. It will make a huge difference in your physical, mental and emotional health. As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically […]

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Choosing your reaction — we cannot control our environment but we can control how we react to it. Choose to let the negative go, and let the positive in. It will make a huge difference in your physical, mental and emotional health.

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Amy Price Hoover, PT, DPT . Dr. Amy owns and operates APHysio LLC, a wellness practice where she specializes in hands-on manual therapy. She also has a special interest in both pre and postnatal care and women’s health, plus extensive training in pelvic floor physical therapy. Dr. Amy is P.volve’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, where she’s able to consult the entire community about the method and how it impacts the body.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Iwas a student athletic trainer for my high school, and was an athlete myself. I loved the prospect of taking fitness into the healthcare field and physical therapy seemed to be a perfect fit. I went on to get my doctorate in physical therapy and have been practicing for 17 years. In the past year, I started my own business to help educate women about wellness and prevention as well as serve on the board at P.volve as the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I had a patient once who was 26 years old and she was in a serious relationship but was never able to have sex due to severe pelvic pain. She had never in her life been able to have intercourse. She had been to several doctors who could not diagnose her and eventually sent her to psychotherapy, where she was told she must have been raped and suppressed it (which was false). This woman finally made it to a physician who properly diagnosed her with pelvic floor dysfunction and sent her to me for treatment. After months of education and treatment, this woman was able to have pain free, and even enjoyable sex with her partner. I had taken maternity leave towards the end of her treatment and she finished with another therapist. She sent me a card thanking me for helping her and sharing her success, I still have that card. This woman just needed someone to listen to her and educate her, empower her to help herself. This story is a perfect example of why I do what I do.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Well it wasn’t very humorous, but I did get accused of making a man crawl on the ground like a dog. It was for a specific type of test that included crawling, so I had to do it. His wife was mad at the outcome of the test and accused me of humiliating him. I learned that I needed to explain my reasoning better!

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Educating women about their bodies, how they work, and empowering them with the tools to help themselves reach their goals. Specifically, I help women understand how pelvic health can improve their quality of life, especially around the child bearing years. I love serving on the board at P.volve as well as the Doctor of Physical Therapy, which is a science-backed method (high-intensity, low-impact) consisting of slow and controlled sculpting movements to transform your body without stressing or bulking your muscles — I think this mind-body connection is crucial.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I had several women mentors when I was first learning to do pelvic health. I admire them all equally as they each taught me something valuable to take into my practice. I am forever grateful to them for teaching me. So thank you Kendra, Carol, Heather, Meredy and Leslie!

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I believe lack of planning, lack of commitment and self doubt are the top 3 roadblocks. Envision your health the way you want it to be and then come up with a reasonable plan to get there, with short term goals that are measurable and attainable.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Celebrating small successes. — We all have big goals or long term goals, but it’s more important to set small short term goals and then celebrate when we accomplish those. Want to run a marathon? Celebrate when you run a mile without stopping. Then set a goal for 2 miles. Don’t lose sight of the small successes in the short term, that is what will keep you on track to your bigger goal.

Ending the day with gratitude — I always end my day thanking God for the gifts I have been given. Find your own way to be thankful and grateful for the small gifts of each day, even on your worst day.

Diaphragmatic breathing — this helps to calm our fight or flight response and can immediately help to calm that stress response. It’s the first thing I teach my patients who have pain.

One act of self care daily — self care can be many things. It can be medititstion or playing tennis. It can be walking your dog. It is whatever you choose that helps to turn off your mind to what has to be done, and allow for what you enjoy.

Choosing your reaction — we cannot control our environment but we can control how we react to it. Choose to let the negative go, and let the positive in. It will make a huge difference in your physical, mental and emotional health.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

Increased circulation, stress relief and cardiovascular conditioning all of which improve our overall health and wellness

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

  • Walking,
  • Stretching
  • Light resistance training. If you want to be able to move, you have to move! At P.volve, we use the p.band which lengthens and sculpts your arms.

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

Proper warm up, and stretching for recovery are key. Diet and proper hydration can make a huge difference in recovery. Also not over training. Listen to your body and take rest days when you need them. Cross train, never do the same routine over and over as this can lead to overuse injuries.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

Although I am not a nutritionist or dietician, I do sometimes recommend some specific diet modifications for my patients. It depends on their specific goals and medical needs, so I believe there is not one specific diet for everyone.

I personally follow a mostly plant based diet, with no meat or fish and very little dairy. I try to limit refined, processed foods and preservatives. I did an elimination diet to find out how specific foods were affecting me, and I learned valuable information on what my body needs and what it doesn’t like. I highly recommend this, with guidance from a professional.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

I read more articles than books, but I like to read research and daily meditations that help me guide my practice and my mind. I also follow Dr. Mark Hyman and love his podcast on functional medicine, health and diet. It’s called the Doctor’s Farmacy.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would empower people to take their health into their own hands. Understand your body, how it works and what you can do to feel your best. Prevention is key, and the food we eat as well as how (and how much) we move can help us feel our best. We all have the power to help ourselves. The choices we make directly affect how we function, and knowledge is power. Ask questions and know the “why” when you get advice on your health. Trust in your provider and if you don’t, find one that you can trust.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t- you’re right” — Henry Ford. I love this quote because attitude is everything. I treat many patients with chronic pain. Studies have shown that our thought processes can directly affect our pain and outcomes, either positively or negatively. Choose positive thoughts!

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’d have to say Oprah or Ellen. I greatly admire strong female leaders. But more than that, I have such respect for these two women as philanthropists and their genuine spirit of giving to those in need, and their message of acceptance. They have used their influence in such a positive way.

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