Troy Chamber President, Tara Tomcsik-Husak interviews Dr. Ayesha Qureshi, DC,  Chiropractor and Owner of BodyWorks.

TARA: Hello Dr. Qureshi, thanks for chatting with me today. Obviously, we are constantly seeing how this virus is affecting hospitals and clinics. It is also reaching across the entire medical community, including the Chiropractic industry. How has this effected the way the Chiropractic Industry and BodyWorks serves its current patients?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: Like most businesses, BodyWorks has been affected by covid-19 and the executive orders from Gov. Whitmer. While chiropractic is part of the health care sector and part of critical infrastructure, we are doing our part by reducing our hours and only seeing acute care patients.

In photo: Dr. Ayesha Qureshi, DC (owner) and Dr. Eli Redman, DC (chiropractor) not pictured: Ericca Boucicaut (practice manager), Jamie Gills-Takenouchi (front office staff), and Jonathan Man, LMT

TARA: Hello Dr. Qureshi, thanks for chatting with me today. Obviously, we are constantly seeing how this virus is affecting hospitals and clinics. It is also reaching across the entire medical community, including the Chiropractic industry. How has this effected the way the Chiropractic Industry and BodyWorks serves its current patients?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: Like most businesses, BodyWorks has been affected by covid-19 and the executive orders from Gov. Whitmer. While chiropractic is part of the health care sector and part of critical infrastructure, we are doing our part by reducing our hours and only seeing acute care patients.

Chiropractic care and getting adjusted regularly is important so this difficult for all patients. At the very least, a lot of the repetitive stress/strain we put on our body is going to reduce range of motion and cause pain. Staying mobile when we are cooped up at home is so important, and if we can’t move well, this will impact our sense of wellbeing and health. This is why we are continuing to see those patients that are experiencing acute levels of pain or have had their range of motion or activities of daily living significantly reduced. At BodyWorks, both Dr. Redman and I are also certified in Active Release Techniques (ART), which is a specialized system that addresses scar tissue and soft tissue ‘issues’ that can further reduce range of motion and cause pain. For those of our patients that are on the front lines of covid-19 (law enforcement and medical staff) moving well without pain is going to be even more important!

TARA: I am sure this is a big adjustment for you and your entire team. What would you say has been your largest obstacle or challenge for you during this crisis?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: The biggest challenge is to reduce the sense of isolation we are all feeling right now. As chiropractors, we see our patients on a more regular basis (even if it is only once every two months) and develop close doctor-patient relationships. With many of our patients we learn the hobbies they enjoy, the sports they play or watch, and sometimes hear about that first serious boyfriend or girlfriend. Needless to say, I feel like we learn a lot about our patients over time. In turn, they also learn about Dr. Redman and I and the other members of our team. It’s a privilege when people let us into their lives – even if it is just momentary and we help get them moving better after only a few visits and they go on their way.

TARA: I think we all feel the pain of isolation and missing the interactions of others. You have so many patients that you work with, it must be difficult not seeing them. We are all having to be more creative in how we find ways to connect with people during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Orders. How are you staying connected to your patients and team during all of this?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: With the social distancing that we are all a part of now, I feel it is even more important to reach out to our patients. I have been sending out regular newsletters to my patients since I started practicing in Michigan in 2009; and since the ‘Stay-at-home’ order, we have been reaching out more frequently to our patients. I send out weekly newsletters (instead of the once a month newsletter) letting them know what BodyWorks is doing and encouraging them to reach out to us and check in. We’ve made phone calls when we’re at the office to check in and see how patients are doing. We have also been more active on Facebook and Instagram the past couple weeks as well – trying to give people exercise ideas or things they can do to stay healthy.

TARA: Speaking of staying healthy, we are all under an unimaginable amount of stress and that stress is affecting our health in so many ways. Do you have any recommendations for staying healthy while we are quarantined at home?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: Absolutely, my top recommendations are:

• Avoid stress where possible – this is a stressful time, no matter your situation, so trying to reduce it where you can, is vitally important. Take a moment to breathe; journal; color; do a puzzle.

• Exercise – exercise boosts the immune system and your mood (see the point above). There are numerous studies out there showing that moderate intensity exercise boosts the immune system.

• Nutrition – now is a great time to clean up your diet. We are, hopefully, cooking more at home, which is going to be healthier than a fast food option. So, fortify your diet with fruits, veggies, and good clean food.

• Sleep – this is probably one of the most overlooked components of health. We need that 7-9 hours of sleep – sleep is so important for our cognitive function and immune function (and…every other system in our body as well!). This is no time to skimp on sleep.

• Reach out – humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted person might be starting to feel isolated about now. Reach out in some healthy ways – like actually calling a person and talking (or video chatting) with them.

• Help Somebody Out – giving to others in a time of need really does wonders for us, so if you are healthy and able to volunteer, find small ways you can help a neighbor out, volunteer at a charity, or go shopping for someone who can’t.

• Play – yes, play. Play is important for our mood. Do something silly! Try skipping and frowning…it’s impossible!

• Mental health – if you are feeling increasing depression or anxiety and things are starting to feel unmanageable (or even before they get that way), don’t be afraid to reach out to your mental health provider. This is a valuable resource to tap into.

• Last, but not least – all the sanitary things that we should be doing: coughing/sneezing into an elbow, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, don’t touch your face when out in public (this is hard as humans touch their face about 25 times an hour), and avoid going out if you are immune compromised in any way or if you are showing symptoms of covid-19.

TARA: With all the stressors in our lives right now, we need to allow time for joy… and sleep… I miss sleep. I am also quite positive, I have never skipped and frowned at the same time so I might give that a try. Thanks for the great advice. Sometimes we forget the importance of mental health and this is a wonderful reminder that that we need to take care of the entire body. But going back to exercising, we are so used to going to the gyms and having our routines. What are some good exercises we can do from home?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: I’m a big fan of an exercise system called Original Strength. Tim Anderson developed Original Strength based on ‘resets’ or movements based on baby movements. The great thing about OS is that the movements can meet you where you are. For example, if hands and knees crawling is too easy…advance to the ‘leopard crawl’ – this will get your legs burning in no time! I’ve been encouraging my patients to visit their website and YouTube to learn more about OS. Also, many of the exercises I give are simple and tend to involve little weight, so they are accessible to everyone. I do love Olympic style lifting, but not everyone has barbells and weight plates at home (or should be doing them without proper coaching!), and sometimes the easiest/simplest exercises can provide the most gains.

TARA: Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world at BodyWorks and for the impactful advice for all of us to stay safe and stay healthy. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Qureshi, DC: I just wanted to say thank you to the readers and if BodyWorks can be of any assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.

Stay healthy!

To feature your company in the Blog Series: The Effects of COVID-19 on Industry, please contact Troy Chamber President, Tara Tomcsik-Husak.
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