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Old 11-13-2005, 10:50 AM   #1
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kelley_bsb HB User
Lightbulb Health/Fitness Center for people with chronic illnesses

Hello again everybody! I haven't been on for a while because I've been so busy but am now in need of some feedback from this wonderful family. See, I'm a senior in highschool and have been trying and trying to decide on what I want to do when I 'grow up' and end up with lots of choices of things I would be good at and would probably enjoy doing but nothing that really grabbed me and made me think, oh my goodness this is my calling. That is until very recently.
I have been thinking a lot about people with chronic illnesses and diseases and disabilities and came up with something that I would absolutely love to do. I think that people with chronic illnesses (such as fibromyalgia, lupus, diabetes, etc.) have such a hard time because they need exercise but can't manage to get it/ aren't sure how to exercise the right way to help them. My idea is to create a health center for people with dissabilities that can create fitness plans based on each persons needs. There could be classes on nutrition to teach proper eating habits tailored for different illnesses. Also, I'd hire acupuncture and massage therapists trained for handling the different things like fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome and physical therapists. It would have basically everything people with lifetime problems would normally have a horrible time seeking out, all in one facility. There would be normal doctors and therapists available as well as support groups. Nobody would have to feel like a wreck just because they can't exercise the same as 'normal' people and they would learn ways to adjust better to a life with a chronic illness.
The exercise classes would probably tend to be things such as pilates, yoga, light swimming exercises, etc. for those who have rheumatic/autoimmune disorders but there would be more difficult classes available for people battling with obesity or thyroid problems who just won't go to a normal gym because they feel out of place.
One of the main goals of an institute like this would be to eventually reduce the amount of medicine being consumed by making people feel better through more hollistic, healthy lifestyle changes.
Now, this is something that I personally think would be absolutely wonderful but I want some feedback as to whether or not this could actually work. I also have no idea how I would go about creating such a sanctuary-would I just take business classes in college? I would really appreciate any feedback, I appologize that this is so long!
~Kelley

 
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:52 AM   #2
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Cannalee HB User
Re: Health/Fitness Center for people with chronic illnesses

It's a wonderful idea--some hospitals have in conjunction with their physical therapy depts. health "gyms"--the one I joined has a swimming pool, with aquatic classes offered as well as times set up for lap swimming, and kids can swim on weekends...it has two or three racquet ball rooms, a basketball court, lots of weight resistance type machines with state of the art treadmills, and offers various classes such as yoga, pilates, etc...my biggest disappointment is that personal trainer time cost money and is not cheap, but the staff will show you how to use a machine, etc. You're plan sounds like it would carry forth more PT into the actual gym setting, which I think is a more ideal way of helping people...I didn't know exactly just how much good PT can do for people or I would have chosen that as my career choice in earlier years...good luck with your idea...you might check around with various hospitals to see what has been done in this area.

 
Old 12-03-2005, 07:55 PM   #3
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last1 HB User
Re: Health/Fitness Center for people with chronic illnesses

Dear Kelly: THis is an incredibly insightful and much needed idea! As a person with a chronic illness, one of the reasons I don't find someone to assist me with a workout regime, is because I don't want to discuss my medical condition at a Gold's Gym or something like that. There are tons of people, I would think, who would love to hook up with nutritionists, althernative medicine people, yoga, weight trainiers, aquatics, etc. who would want a regimen that's tailored to meet their medical and spirtual needs. Good luck!!!!! chris

Last edited by last1; 12-03-2005 at 07:56 PM. Reason: punctuation

 
Old 01-19-2006, 09:45 AM   #4
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Re: Health/Fitness Center for people with chronic illnesses

You have a terrific idea, here. Your main problem doing this will be money. If you have the capital, you can start this up without much education on your part, you would simply hire all your experts. If you're like most of us, however, you probably don't have lots of money, so you may take one of these approaches:
1.Go to school and become a physical therapist yourself. Be aware, however, that you must now get your Master's degree in PT to become licensed as a full fledged PT. You could then work for someone for a while, then start your own place.
2. Go to school and become a physical therapist assistant. This is an Associates degree. You would need to hire a PT to be your "boss" so to speak, as a PTA needs to work under the direction/supervision of a PT (depends on the state as to how closely supervised.) This position is also licensed by the state (in most states, you must take a "board" exam.)
3. Go to school and become a Chiropractor. A lot of Chiros get very involved in nutrition and exercise, and frequently have massage therapists working closely with them. This should be approximately a Bachelor's degree (I think, you'd need to check it out.)
4. Do the business degree thing and hire all your healthcare folks, you'd manage all the business stuff.
5. Massage therapy schools are usually only several months long, and massage therapists make ok money. After you get set up (requires state licensure in some states, city by city licensure in others, and none in some others) you may find yourself working with lots of other like minded people, and possibly you could combine resources and start what you're thinking of.
6. Become a nutritionist (don't know anything about how long, sorry.)

Hope this helps give you some ideas of ways to get started.

P.S. If you plan to get started on your education this coming Sept, you'd need to apply to schools NOW to meet the deadlines.

Last edited by shanedonna; 01-19-2006 at 09:46 AM.

 
Old 01-28-2006, 01:58 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: California
Posts: 395
Musical_Muse HB User
Re: Health/Fitness Center for people with chronic illnesses

Kelley,

I think this is an awesome idea!! I am absolutley behind you 100% on this, and I hope that you're able to build it to your specifications. It will take a lot of money, patience, and time, so you'll need to be prepared for this, also.

I was wondering about your desire to hire doctors. Perhaps if you talk with a hospital or some other medical facility, they may be willing to work in tandem with you on this, thereby providing the doctors that you may need to make this a reality. I'm sure that hiring doctors will prove to be a HUGE expense which is why I suggest this.

EXCELLENT idea!! I wish you a lot of success with it . I want to help the world, too, so I really am with you on this in spirit.

~Colleen

 
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