Sara Shupe, MSPT, Dip. MDT, is a physical therapy specialist and founder of J.O.Y. Physical Therapy. She recently shared her research related to low back pain at the North American Spine Society summer meeting in San Diego.
When was the last time you jumped for joy? Maybe when your toddler walked across the room for the first time, your scary medical report came up as nothing, you have a dream date, or you heard the precious-but-rarely-heard phrase from your teenager, “you were right, Mom.” Now a harder question - when was the last time you jumped for joy at work?
When people ask me the origin of our name at J.O.Y. Physical Therapy, it can often sound cliche, like we are accepting an Oscar award, or much more likely, an $10 gift card for a job well done and declare “I’d like to thank God…” But the reality is, this was His idea, and certainly not mine.
The glaring lack of joy in American medicine.
Although planted many years back, and thus continued to germinate over the years, the idea of J.O.Y. Physical Therapy came to a headway in 2017. Stuck with a job that felt more and more like time-keeping, goal-tending, or fire-fighting, I came home defeated, frustrated and just plain sad. Where were all the people I was called to heal? Why was the time with my patients shrinking and the time on the computer growing exponentially? Why are we charging these folks so much? Why were really good therapists burning out and mediocre ones just carrying on as they always have...clocking in, clocking out. Why is everyone around here so stressed out? In short, when did joy leave musculoskeletal medicine?
As a devout believer in Jesus Christ for the last 17 years, I was called to the mission field many years ago with a distinct scripture that jumped out of the page and into my spirit-
“Heal the sick that are there and declare the Kingdom is near.” Luke 10:9.
It was then that I began bringing (and dragging, in some instances) my teenagers on mission teams in the Caribbean, Latin America and United States to give them a sense of purpose beyond their latest iPhone upgrade. I saw the life-changing effect it had on them, and as a side-bonus, the Lord started to fill up my joy meter once again. These short-term trips from one week to over a month kept me going in a fast-speed, too-many-patients-to-treat-effectively environment.
Adapt or die.
But as with any scenario- when you are gliding under the radar, there will come a point when you need to land or die in a crash because you ran out of gas. I couldn’t do the same thing over and over again that wasn’t working for myself or patients. I had to adapt. I hung up the phone with the last administrator who told me “you can’t…” The Holy Spirit then paved the way to be filled completely, to overflow (Romans 15:13), with J.esus O.thers Y.ou. My J.O.Y had returned.
Gone are the days of making patients adapt to my schedule.
J.O.Y. comes to wherever you are when it is convenient for you. Same-day too!
Gone are the days of insurance company dictating what and when I charge just so I can take home the 1/17 of the cost to my family to pay bills.
J.O.Y charges about 50% of industry standard and does not do “fill-in” therapies that have been utilized to fill in time slots to enable excessive charging instead of proven efficacy in the literature. Because J.O.Y. is fee-for-service and mobile and tele-health, you are not charged for billing, documentation, or a building. In other hospital-based PT settings, if you are otherwise healthy with a $5000 or more deductible, YOU are paying these un-necessaries.
Gone are the days of allowing low-value interventions that have proven ineffective and wasteful time and time again, just because a therapist “prefers it” or “has been around a long time” and “that’s the way it’s always been done.”
J.O.Y. ONLY uses high-value interventions that have proven effective and efficient in over 50 random-controlled trials all over the world for the last 30 years.
Gone are the days of defeat. The days of frustration for both therapist and patient. It is now Jesus, who always points (when I pay attention!!) to the needs of Others, which subsequently fills You up to overflow with J.O.Y. And on and on it goes! Join us!!