Information About Online Physical Therapy Programs

Becoming a physical therapist involves between 6 and 7 years of advanced education and numerous clinical experience segments.

While online education can be helpful to some in helping them to obtain their degree, there are a number of majors – physical therapy being one of them – in which hands-on education is critical to the student.

Because of this, there are no fully online physical therapy programs, although it may be possible for students to take some of their education online, especially prerequisite classes.

Educational Requirements for Physical Therapists

In order for an individual to gain their Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, they must fulfill a number of educational requirements. An undergraduate 4 year Bachelor’s degree is the first of these necessities.

It can usually be taken from any school, although top schools do recommend concentrating on a study course that includes any prerequisite classes in order to gain easier acceptance into a PT program.

These are usually English courses, maths, sciences and some sociology and social science classes. A list of prerequisite courses is generally available from the different physical therapy programs, and getting those classes taken care of earlier in a student’s educational career can be extremely helpful, leaving the student more time for their technical courses and clinical experiences.

After completing their Bachelor’s degree, students who are accepted to a physical therapy program – and who have presumably completed the necessary prerequisites and general education classes – students move on to the technical portion of their education.

This will involve lab classes where techniques are practiced on each other, more technical and difficult science and medical classes, and most importantly, numerous segments of clinical experience education. After completing all of these specialized requirements, students then graduate with their degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Online Education going Forward

Since the second portion of their training is so technical and intensive, most schools do not offer online programs. Most of the experience that students will gain is based on hands on learning and practice, which is something that cannot be duplicated in an online environment.

Other than some of the more basic required courses, students should be wary of programs offering technical courses working toward a degree in physical therapy in an online format.

For those seeking the ability to study online, a recommendation is to look into Bachelor’s programs geared toward medical and physical therapy post-graduate education that sometimes offer a good portion of their classes online.

Since these are usually very general classes, and are not necessarily technical courses for the physical therapy major, many schools do offer them online. So, while it is not exactly the same thing as taking an online physical therapy program, it can at least offer the flexibility of distance learning through the first four years.

A Note About Accreditation

Anyone studying to become a physical therapist should take note that when applying to programs, accreditation is essential. In order for students to gain their DPT and be eligible to take their licensing examination, they must have graduated from a physical therapy program that is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Failure to do so means that graduating students will likely end up in a position where they still need to fulfill certain educational requirements at an accredited institution, which will only slow down their process of becoming a licensed DPT.

According to the APTA, of all their currently accredited physical therapy educational courses, there are only two that offer a considerable amount of the classroom coursework via online programs formats, those being Nova Southeastern University and University of St Augustine for Health Sciences, both of which are in Florida. Although they offer a considerable portion of their classwork through distance learning, students are still required to complete all necessary clinical experiences in order to earn their degrees.

While it may be disappointing to some to know that they may not be able to take an online program, this should be looked at as a means of judging whether or not this type of degree is really right.

Educational requirements are intense, so students who are unable to devote the time to the learning process may not do as well in these programs. Not just that, but once they have their degree, the job itself is just as intense, being very busy professionals in an ever-increasing portion of the medical industry.

On the other hand, those students who manage to put aside the time to get their degree even though they cannot enroll in online physical therapy programs usually end up in a highly rewarding, pleasurable “dream job” of sorts. This is a career that has been estimated to be one of the best, from peers and professionals actually doing the job.

How Sleep Affects Mental Health and Wellness

There is still much to be known about the link between mental health and sleep, but sleep being a basic foundation of well-being means it can have a certain degree of impact on your mental wellness and capability. A good night’s sleep – just like a healthful diet and lifestyle – is deemed crucial in fostering mental and emotional resilience, with chronic sleep issues feared to set the stage for negative mood and thinking, anxiety, and depression.

Think about it: you absorb new information every day of your life. With sleep, you are able to have the luxury of “down time” to process all these different bits and pieces of information, and then store it in your memory bank. This way they are all available when you need them. Sleep is therefore creative for improving not just concentration but also learning and creativity.

What happens to the mental aspect when you are faced with chronic sleeplessness or insomnia? Here are some of the potential adverse effects:

Your mind may slow down – Did you know that just one night of having inadequate sleep can massively impact your attention span, alertness, concentration, and ability to solve problems? Those who regularly find it hard to sleep could have impaired intelligence and mental development.
Your memory may be less optimal – While you sleep, the things you have learned and experienced during the day are thoughts to be organized or “filed” in your mind properly for future use and access. Now, if you are not getting enough sleep you would have trouble remembering what you go through today.
You may become depressed – Insomnia has been associated with the development of depression. According to some studies, people who regularly reported being unable to sleep were five times more likely to show depression symptoms. It remains unclear, again, where depression was the byproduct of sleeplessness or vice versa. Regardless of this, getting an optimal amount of sleep is considered important in treating this disorder.
You may become less smart – If you don’t get enough sleep, your performance in tasks that use the brain – such as tests or complex projects at work – may suffer. A full night’s sleep, the vital piece of the mental health puzzle that it is, organizes and makes connections within your mind to the information you obtained during the day. Without it, you may have a hard time retrieving those details for school or work the next day.
Your happiness levels may be affected – Sleep lets your brain have the time it needs to properly get into balance the chemicals and hormones affecting mental clarity, emotions, and mood – the bigger context that makes it possible for you to be relaxed, calm, and happy.

There are different ways you may achieve improved sleep. You need to tweak your sleep habits first, following a regular bedtime and waking time schedule and routine, as well as avoiding stimulants like blue light from gadgets and unnecessary noise. If you feel you are in need of greater intervention, it is best to talk to your doctor, sleep psychologist, or an expert who can get to the bottom of your sleeplessness and recommended effective natural sleep remedies.

Health Food Supplements Promise Increased Wellbeing

One of every three people in the world is suffering from Protein- Energy Malnutrition (PEM) or micronutrient malnutrition also known as “hidden hunger”. Like several nutritionists and doctors, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have admitted that modern diets should be complemented with vitamins, minerals and other health supplements to tackle ill-health.

Studies and research conducted in almost every country has proven that several nutrients are lost or reduced on consuming fast-food and convenience-food. With the growing awareness on different types of diseases and deficiencies, a marked increase has been recorded in the consumption of functional foods, super foods, fortified foods, dietary supplements and probiotics. Sale of vitamins – C, D, E and B complex, drinkable yoghurts, energy bars, ready-to-eat salads, fortified juices and drinks in addition to bottled mineral water has sky rocketed in the past two years. However all health food supplements do not come with the government’s stamp of approval. The FDA comes into the picture only when a manufacture self-reports an issue with his product or a health concern is raised.

It has been proved through researches worldwide that toxicity in the body can also increase with high dosages of vitamins A, D, E, C, Pyroxine and Iodine. Therefore health food supplements should only be taken under proper guidance because the effect may vary between individuals, depending on factors like age, sex, physical condition and the combination in which supplements are taken. As a general principle, “kitchen sink” combinations should be avoided. Unless necessary, it is advised that natural health food supplements be added to daily diet.

Researchers at National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), India, have conducted extensive research on health food supplements and concluded that spices are extremely beneficial to well being:

• Debitterised fenugreek seeds: Delay or impair glucose absorption when 25gms are consumed by diabetic subjects.
• Turmeric and its active principle called curcumin: Possess antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. Ingestion of 2gms per day enhances body defences.
• Onion and garlic: Rich source of compounds, like diallyl sulphide, diallyl disulphide, allium and ajoene. These have antimicrobial, hypolipidemic antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties. They stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify mutagens/carcinogens.
• Ginger: Helps ameliorate conditions like rheumatic disorders, inflammation and gastrointestinal discomforts. Studies also suggest it to be usable as a chemo-preventing agent.
Other well researched health food supplements are:
• Chlorophyll: Builds blood, renews tissue, promotes healthful intestinal flora and activates enzymes that produce vitamins A, D, and K.
• Wheat Grass Juice: Has detoxifies the body and has a high concentration of beta-carotene and vitamins such as E and K.
• Alfalfa: Helps assimilate protein, fats and carbohydrates. It alkalizes and detoxifies the body, especially the liver.
• Barley grass: Contains folic acid, pantothenic acid, beta carotene and vitamins C and E.
• Spirulina: Helps to protect the immune system, lower cholesterol and facilitate mineral absorption. It is high in chlorophyll, protein, beta-carotene, B12 and nucleic acids.
• Flaxseed oil: Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6. Provides essential fatty acids required for normal cell structure and function.
• Dark chocolate: If consumed in a moderate amount, helps to lower high blood pressure and keep the heart healthy. It is rich in flavonoids.
• Curds/Yogurt: Provides the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria that help to fight cancer, build bones and boost immunity. These are probiotic foods.
• Oats: Consumption of this food lowers the risk of heart diseases as it is rich in fibres, it also helps muscle growth.

In a nutshell, consuming a variety of edibles with the right health food supplements leads to increased longevity, proper hormonal functioning and physical as well as mental efficiency.