Mahir Reiss is a board-certified physical therapist. Alongside his business partner, Dr. Bob Westwood, Dr. Reiss is the co-founder of Reiss and Westwood Physical Therapy, based in San Diego. The doctors work with two other physical therapists, a nutritionist and a massage therapist to provide a range of services to a diverse client base. Dr. Reiss has spent time as a physical therapist at other practices, and boasts 35 years of clinical experience. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Physical Therapist Association and the California Physical Therapy Association.
Mahir Reiss approaches physical therapy as a partnership between the practitioner and the client. He believes that a strong partnership between these two parties helps to speed up healing. The physical therapists at his practice work to gain a complete understanding of their clients’ needs and situation in order to devise the most effective treatment plan for that particular person. A treatment plan for a professional athlete will vary greatly from someone who just wants to get back to his or her morning walk around the block.
Dr. Mahir Reiss obtained his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University, where he studied biology. He then went on to the University of Delaware’s physical therapy program, which is where he met Bob Westwood. The two stayed in contact and joined forces to open their own practice, after each individual spent time working at several other physical therapy facilities.
About the practice
Doctors Reiss and Westwood offer services to professional athletes, children, elderly individuals, and those coping with chronic pain. They utilize a variety of strategies to come up with a personalized plan for each patient they see. These unique approaches to treatment help to get that person back on track as quickly as possible. Using manual therapy, aquatic therapy, and land exercise, they help a patient improve range of motion, balance, and strength, while decreasing pain. Some of the group’s most popular services include:
- Physical therapy to all areas of the body
- Programs that specifically work to prevent the need for surgery
- Arthritis minimization
- Spine rehabilitation
- Chronic pain treatment
- Balance and coordination training
- Shoulder surgery rehabilitation programs
- ACL surgery rehabilitation programs
- Nutritional counseling
- Massage therapy
- Aquatic therapy
Reiss and Westwood Physical Therapy offers evening and weekend appointments so as to accommodate clients who have busy work schedules and family obligations.
Mahir Reiss on Aquatic Therapy
Mahir Reiss notes that aquatic therapy is an important part of Reiss and Westwood Physical Therapy. The practitioners utilize a warm pool to help build up patients’ strength, increase balance and flexibility, and fight pain. There are many misconceptions about this type of physical therapy. Some patients believe that aquatic therapy is simply a form of water aerobics; others believe that they must have strong swimming skills in order to participate in this type of treatment. Here, Dr. Reiss debunks these myths.
Dr. Mahir Reiss explains that aquatic therapy and aquatic exercise have many similarities, but are fundamentally different. Aquatic exercise is a way to get the heart rate going, and is taught in a large group. Aquatic therapy is less about getting exercise, and more about improving strength, relieving pain, and improving balance. It’s designed for those who are working to overcome injury or chronic pain, whereas anyone can participate in aquatic exercise classes. During an aquatic physical therapy session, the client works one on one with a trainer to complete the session. Though other patients may work in the same pool, it’s a private training experience.
Aquatic therapy provides a buoyant environment that is perfect for providing support, improving range of motion, and offering just enough resistance to build up a client’s strength, without adding further aggravation to an injured body part. The physical properties of the water bring down swelling and increase circulation. The treatments are performed in a warm pool, which makes it comfortable the patient and prevents muscles from tensing up due to cold temperatures.
Many clients express an interest in this form of treatment, but have hesitations due to weak swimming skills. They’re often pleasantly surprised to find out that you don’t need to have spectacular swimming abilities in order to reap the benefits of aquatic therapy. In fact, your face doesn’t get submerged during the process, and your hair rarely gets wet. For those who have anxiety about pools and water, a physical therapist can work with you to help you overcome these fears and utilize aquatic therapy techniques.
Advice from Dr. Reiss
Mahir Reiss is often asked about how a client can speed up the recovery process during physical therapy. Active individuals miss their exercise routine, and want to get back to their normal lifestyle. Here is some advice from Dr. Reiss on making your sessions work effectively for you:
Enter physical therapy with a positive attitude
Sustaining an injury is depressing and often frightening. You may feel as though you’ll never fully recover, or you may feel discouraged about having to take time off of a dedicated exercise regimen. However, Mahir Reiss explains that approaching physical therapy with an attitude full of frustration only makes your progress slower. In order to maximize your sessions’ effectiveness, you’ll want to come in with a positive attitude and a willingness to recover. When you’re determined to get better, you’ll feel amazed at how much more productive each meeting with your physical therapist will become.
If your practitioner has you performing an exercise that you don’t understand, speak up and ask why this move is necessary. If your physical therapist provides you with specific instructions that don’t make sense to you, never hesitate to ask for clarification. When you know exactly how to follow your physical therapy routine, it will become much more effective.
Lay out your goals
In order for your physical therapy professional to create a routine that suits your needs, it’s important for this individual to understand your goals. If you’re hoping to regain the ability to walk up and down stairs without pain, let your physical therapist know this. If you’d like to get back to running marathons, make this clear. When the individual has an idea of what you want, he or she is able to make a more appropriate training plan for you.
Mahir Reiss is a licensed physical therapist who owns and operates his own practice in San Diego. Mahir Reiss believes in the importance of a partnership between the physical therapist and the client in order to make the sessions as effective as possible for both parties.
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