On the Move Physical Therapy Events to Celebrate Bay Area Dance Week!


On the Move Physical Therapy Events to Celebrate Bay Area Dance Week!

Comprehensive Physical Therapy Evaluation for the Artistic Athlete - Sunday, May 4 1-5pm
A 45-55 minute session with a physical therapist who specializes in physical therapy rehabilitation and injury prevention services for the artistic athlete - dancers, gymnasts, cheerleaders, and ice skaters.  You will have a personally-tailored full body assessment of strength, flexibility, balance, and movement mechanics.  You will walk away with suggestions of exercises you can perform at home to prevent injury and improve performance.  This evaluation is intended for the athletic artist who practices at least 10 hours per week.  This event fills quickly!  Please contactonthemovept@gmail.com to schedule a time.

Groove Fit Family Class - Sunday, May 4 5:15pm
A super fun dance-based fitness class with components of stretching, strengthening, and cardio exercise. Kid-appropriate radio hits will be used to inspire movement and get participants excited about exercising. Basic dance movements from multiple genres of dance will be used.  No previous dance experience is necessary.  For BADW,parents are encouraged to participate WITH their children.  Appropriate for kids ages 7-13.  To save your space contact onthemovept@gmail.com.

For more information about Bay Area Dance Week: http://bayareandw.org/index.php

Thank you for filling all available spots for the Comprehensive Physical Therapy Evaluation event during Bay Area National Dance Week!

Due to popular demand, On the Move Physical Therapy will be holding this same event on Sunday, June 29th from 1pm-4pm. Make your reservations!

Imagery - An innovative way to improve your posture

Poor posture can lead to headache, neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, and fatigue.  Good posture projects confidence!  So, here are some images to help you improve your posture:

Images to help you improve your posture:

  • Sit or stand as if someone is gently pulling you up by your ears
  • Stand on your feet as if they each are tripods - there should be equal weight on the two sides of the balls of your feet and on your heels
  • Stand as if your body is a helium balloon and your feet are anchoring you to the ground
  • Sit as if your seat is a rocket ship and your heading for the moon
  • Pretend you have videocameras filming from the front of your shoulders and out your chest bone and you’re filming the scene in front of you
  • Spread your collar bones outward as if they are smiling
  • Pretend your knee caps are flashlights and they are shining forward
  • Pretend your pelvis is a bowl filled with water, maintain the alignment of your pelvis such that the water doesn’t spill forward or backward

Common misconceptions about posture:

  1. The spine should be flat and without any curves - Actually, there are natural curves in the spine.  Your vertebrae that support your neck and low back curve forward and the vertebrae that support your mid-back and sacrum curve backward.
  2. You should stand with your shoulders back, chest forward, and chin up (think military posture).  - Actually, your ears should be directly in line with the middle of your shoulders, your front ribs should not be flared open, and the tip of your nose should point straight in front of you.  
  3. Your posture is fixed and you cannot improve - It’s true that the muscles that support your posture are endurance muscles and they take time to train, but they can get stronger and support a new posture!  With some stretching, self-awareness, and persistence, you can improve your posture.  

Some tips for the desk jockeys

  • Take a 10 second break every 20 minutes.  During those 10 seconds, do one of the following: 
    • Roll your wrists
    • Change the focus of your eyes
    • Roll your shoulders backwards
    • Stretch your arms above your head or horizontally in front and behind you
    • Gently tilt your head side to side
    • Stand up 
    • Stretch one of your legs behind you (staying seated)
    • Gently twist your trunk in your chair
    • Touch your toes
    • Get some water

Post this guideline at your work station as a reminder!  

Written by Dr. Alyssa Herrera-Set, Physical Therapist - www.onthemovept.net


Book of Mormon!

I’m currently working with The Book of Mormon performers at the Orpheum in San Francisco. Finally saw the show last night and it was hilarious!

I’m currently working with The Book of Mormon performers at the Orpheum in San Francisco. Finally saw the show last night and it was hilarious!

ACL Injury Prevention

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of 4 ligaments that provide stability to the knee joint. More than 200,000 people per year experience ACL injuries. Non- contact ACL injuries usually occur with sudden stopping, awkward landing from a jump, or pivoting with the foot planted on the ground. The consequences of an ACL injury potentially include surgical repair, a long rehabilitation period before returning to sports, and in the long run, a higher risk for knee arthritis.

! The good news is that recent studies suggest that certain exercises decrease the chance of ACL injury. Athletes should be examined by a health professional such as a physical therapist to assess strength, flexibility, and mechanics. Itʼs best when these exercises are started with young athletes before poor technique becomes a difficult habit to break. With the help of a coach, trainer, or therapist, an athlete can implement an exercise program to prevent the chances of ACL injury.

Exercises you can do at home to prevent ACL injury:

  1. 1)  Squats - Lower into a mini squat by bending at your knees and hips. Make sure that

    your knees go straight forward (in the same direction as your feet) and they stay behind the front edge of your toes. Maintain the space under the inner arches of your feet and draw in your abs to make sure your spine stays neutral. At the bottom of your squat, your shoulders should be in line with your knees and toes and the side of your hip should stay in line with your heels.

  2. 2)  Single leg heel raises - This exercise is to improve balance, core strength, and leg strength. With very little or no hand support, stand one foot and rise up to the balls of your feet. Make sure your ankle stays in alignment with your foot and leg, your spine stays neutral, your hips stay even, and your knee stays straight.

  3. 3)  Jumping- with feet about 4” apart, use the squat technique and heel raise technique from above to launch your jump. Try jumping in place, forward, backward, and side to side and turning. With every jump, make sure that the alignment described in the first two exercises is maintained. Your knees should stay 4” apart just like your feet.

Remember, the most important aspect of these exercises is to perform them correctly - not to feel the “burn” or push until you canʼt do more. Start by doing them in front of a mirror and then take these techniques to the field, gym, or dance studio!

Written by Alyssa Herrera-Set, DPT

Groove Fit 2nd and 3rd graders practicing “Thriller”

The Core of It: It’s More than Just the Six Pack

We’ve all heard how important it is to “strengthen your core”. Having a strong core is said to improve your sports performance, prevent low back pain, and trim your waistline.

What is The Core? Most people would answer this by putting a hand on top of their mid-section. Or, they simply grab their abdominal fat and look up with a guilty smile. The core, the magical muscle whose strength is said to fulfill all of the aforementioned promises, is actually comprised of multiple muscles including the transverse abdominis, the obliques, and the multifidus. At the top of the core is your diaphragm which attaches to your ribs and lumbar spine. At the bottom of your core are the pelvic floor (aka kegel) muscles. There are more muscles in the trunk, but the abdominal and back muscles that protect your spine, the true core, have multiple short distance attachments to the spine and pelvis. They tighten just enough to stabilize the center of your body allowing your extremities to work from a stable base. Some consider the gluteal muscles as part of your core because their attachment to the pelvis and the legs are important in keeping your pelvis in alignment when you’re standing.

How does the core protect the spine? The core muscles are like an internal corset. They protect your spine and the spinal nerves because they wrap around your trunk and draw the contents of your abdomen inward. They keep your vertebrae stacked on top of each other and maintain the integrity of the 4 natural curves of the spine.

What about the Six Pack Muscle? The most famous abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis or “six pack” muscle, has very little to do with protecting the spine. The action of the rectus abdominis is to flex your trunk forward. It spans multiple segments of the spine and cannot prevent excess shearing or twisting of the spine. When done correctly, the exercises used to strengthen the rectus abdominis can challenge the true core muscles, but, performed incorrectly can increase back pain and perpetuate a hunched posture. The erector spinae of the back help extend the trunk and maintain posture but their long distance attachments spanning multiple vertebrae don’t add strength to your body’s internal corset.

Check back next month for tips on how to strengthen the core!

If you can’t wait, you can contact me with questions or requests for future articles: Alyssa Herrera-Set, DPT at onthemovept@gmail.com.


So, it’s been several months since I’ve posted to this blog.  It’s not because it has been on my list of things to do.  It’s just been so busy.  If this blog is to be a record of the journey of PT creating an ideal PT space, the fact that I’ve been off the blog for so long should just be indicative of how busy this journey keeps me!  But, today, I finally found someone to help me keep up my social media presence. I want to call her my Social Media Mom.  She’s going to make sure I’m keeping on top of my internet presence by reminding, suggesting, and, well, pretty much nagging me to keep up with my blogs, my tweets, hashtags, and all that stuff that is so natural to people just 10 years younger than me. 

Volunteer Work

Today I’m leaving for Guatemala and looking forward to volunteering at a PT clinic as well as teaching a fitness class at a school. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  Needless to say, the clinic has been keeping me busy.  It’ll be good to get away.  When I come back, I’ll have the task of looking for potential places to move my clinic to :(   John Paye is thinking about potentially renting his gym to somebody else and may want to offer my space to the new tenant.  Good thing I have a two year lease in my favor!


I’m officially at my capacity max.  I told myself that I only wanted to see 20 patients per week so that I can give them all personalized attention and still have time for myself.  Well, I have no time for myself… but I am giving 20 patients the personalized attention they deserve.  Well, to be completely accurate, 13 of the patients are On the Move patients at the clinic space, 7 of them are home health patients, I have 3 slots filled with classes I’m teaching,1 workshop for a gymnastics facility, and one patient that is being sponsored by my fundraiser.  So, the clinic is not at it’s max, but I am!  Now I have to figure out how to manage a waitlist.  

Bay Area Dance Week

I had my first free event supported by the Keeping Them On the Move Project.  With the help of my cousin Christine (who is applying to PT school) I performed 6 comprehensive physical therapy evaluations for dancers from throughout the Bay Area.  The dancers were so generous with their expressions of gratitude and their kind words on Yelp that, in the end, I’m not sure who benefitted more from the free event - me or them!


I’m in the middle of the Polestar Pilates training.  One of the most important focuses of pilates is breath.  Unfortunately, I can barely breathe because of how busy I am.  Last week was a series of wonderfully uncomfortable/new situations.  I taught a dance conditioning class as a substitute at Ayako School of Ballet (new class/kids that don’t know me), I taught 3 classes for new moms (15 moms I didn’t know taking a class that I was teaching for the first time), stretching workshop at Peninsula Gymnastics (new presentation), and speaking at Ralston Middle School.  All of this in an effort to raise awareness about my clinic and about PT in general.  I’m gearing up for a big event with dancers this weekend.  Loving all of it. Just so busy I can barely breathe!

Update on my marketing HEP (PT abbreviation for Home Exercise Program)

So, I’ve been busy all week reaching out to whomever is willing to hear about my little clinic.  I went to MD offices to drop off information (of course they were unable to chat with me because they were busy with patients), I spoke with a few personal trainers, I had a great meeting with a local chiropractor, and I had a really informative session with another PT clinic owner.  The good news is that I have 3 new patients today (not from any of the efforts I made this week).  I’m not sure where they came from, actually!  I will meet them today and find out.  I think that I’m going to continue reaching out on a regular basis to:

1) MDs/Chiros

2) Personal Trainers/Gymnastics/Dance/Sports Coaches

3) My personal network, my community

But, the most important part is that I do a good job with the patients that I do have.  So, today’s focus is being an awesome PT for the people coming in today.  

1x/week for 20 weeks

In an effort to increase public awareness about physical therapy and my services, I plan to do 1 community event per week.  Last weekend I attended a gymnastics competition and had a booth there.  This weekend, I attended an elite training gym’s anniversary barbeque.  Both organizations were really welcoming.  The gymnastics gym announced my clinic during their address to the parents and the training gym owners were really gracious hosts.  Although it’s not confirmed yet, I may be doing backstage physical therapy for a local performance group. 

Thank you - Peninsula Gymnastics, Team TAF, and Broadway By The Bay for being helping me spread the word!

Bye Bye BaySport

It’s time to say goodbye to my PT position at BaySport.  I’m sad to go, but I know it’s a step in the right direction.  I’ll have time to focus all my energy on On the Move.  I’m hoping to help by substituting when they need the help.  I’m going to miss my buddies there.  It was a good time…  

Posture Police

I have scoliosis and my colleagues are often reminding me to straighten up.  Perhaps years of people nagging me is the reason my eyes zone in on people with postural impairments.  Today, I saw a friend running on Redwood Shores Parkway and I couldn’t stop thinking about how hunched over she was.  I was compelled to call her to nag her about her posture.  She was a good sport about it.  She promised to work on it… but I do wish she would just come in.  Friend - if you’re reading this, come in to the clinic and let’s work on it!  Fortunately, I had another mom schedule an appointment today specifically to work on her child’s posture.  Hooray!  I think it’s great that this mom is working proactively to prevent any of the impairments associated with a slouched posture.  

Good Turn Out

Today was the open house and I think there was a great turn out.  I saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in awhile and felt the love and support coming from all directions.  I had family, old coworkers, old classmates, mommy friends, patients, and students come by.  With a late night out last night for the school district fundraiser,  daylight savings, and all the entertaining today, I am exhausted!  

Speaking of good turn out, I just got this great new tool for dancers to help work on their turn out.  It’s great for measuring dancer’s turn out and for strengthening those deep hip external rotators.  image

functional footprints

Open House this Sunday

I’m having an open house for my space this Sunday.  I hope it’s sunny but not too hot and I hope that people filter in little by little so it doesn’t get too crowded.  I’m super excited to show everybody my clinic/studio.  I think there’s a good feeling in here.  Last night, Nadia came in after not being here for awhile and said that she really likes it too.  

long time no blog!

Oops, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here.  This project is keeping me busy.  Since my last entry, I’ve:

- Set a date for my Open House - Sunday, March 10 from 1-5pm  (Come one come all)

- Started distributing my flyers - Thank you Julie Mun for your help with those!  

- Started seeing my first 3 patients/clients.  Hooray!  I’m tempted to frame a dollar bill and put it up on my wall but it’s all electronic payment so I guess that old tradition won’t work anymore.

- Figured out my stupid printer.  My whole printer set up took up literally 3 hours of my time.  The good news is that, while I was setting it up, I met a lot of the nice coaches at the gym.  

- Went on a trip to Tahoe and rode 5 out of 6 days!  It’s so awesome to have a season pass.  I wonder how many snowboarders have unilateral neck pain.  

I’m still feeling a little awkward in my space.  I fumble around not knowing where to put all my stuff when I’m done with it.  Or, maybe I don’t realize how much the aides clean up after me.  

Wishing I could spend more time at my own space… but I need to have patients there to justify that… but then I need to be there to meet people passing by to get more patients.  It’s like double dutch and I’m waiting for the right time to jump in. 

Ready and Booked!

The space is finally ready!  I wish I could share a video of the spot but my computer is out of commission.  It’s time for a new computer but, sadly, it’s not in the budget.  It’s been to the Genius Bar 7 times in the 6 months!

So, now it’s a matter of getting people in.  I have my first appointment set up on Tuesday.  Hooray!  Thing is, it’s a complimentary visit.  So, not quite bringing in the dough but it will bring some much provided feedback regarding the user experience and I’m really grateful for that.  The family is going to give me feedback on my website, the booking system, etc.