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Grace E. Olson

Grace E. Olson

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 04:52

From our editor...

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” —Zig Ziglar

When it comes to accomplishments, the focus tends to be on the success, the outcome of whatever it is you wanted to improve upon. “I did this!” “I made it here!” It’s wonderful, but anyone who has reached an objective — and that’s everyone in one capacity or another — knows it’s not the whole story. Committing to a goal takes dedication, time and effort.

And it’s difficult!

Sure, there are moments of triumph, but there are also times of discomfort and doubt. And that’s normal. It’s our subconscious clinging to a habit, pattern or belief that it’s become accustomed to. Thankfully, we can change what it’s used to by focusing on what we want.

When I visited Wisconsin Hypnosis Center for our feature story, I was somewhat comforted by the realization that this occurs within everyone. Hypnosis is a tool — and Jay Luck a facilitator — to refocus on what it is we want our subconscious to create a habit in. It could be weight loss, to quit smoking, stop procrastinating, etc. (Check out the several testimonials on page 32 to see that the options are endless!)

The common denominator of success stories? The way hypnosis changes the person for the better. Not solely because of the outcome, but because of the process and journey leading up to it. Higher self-confidence and newfound positive habits will always be invaluable.


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What comes to mind when you’re asked to think about hypnosis?

Answers are sure to vary, and at some point often include the widely associated stage shows and silly acts for entertainment. And while that’s a fun portion of the art, there’s much more involved in the method that could easily be described as something not always immediately associated: logical.

Defined partly as “a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness,” it makes sense that hypnosis would have a perfectly appropriate place in one’s quest to reach a goal or accomplish the next level of success in whatever it is they choose.

In fact, in small ways, we use it every day. When we repeat something we want to remember, or when we’re driving our car on a familiar route, we’re in a hypnotic state. But we don’t realize it at the time, and the difference lies in learning how to choose certain states to see a positive result.

That’s where Jay Luck comes in. Now a master hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, he was introduced to hypnosis accidentally, and its effectiveness initially surprised him.

“I met a (hypnotist) by accident. He asked what I wanted to change and I realized there was something my wife said that bothered me… the next time my wife said it — I’m not saying I didn’t hear it or didn’t care — I didn’t feel the emotional shift,” he says. “I wasn’t looking to do hypnosis… but after that I knew how cool it really was.”

Wisconsin Hypnosis Center — with locations in Appleton and Green Bay — has been in business for 29 years and, more often than not, positive reactions much like his own are the rule, not the exception.

It’s similar for Wisconsin Hypnosis Center’s Hypnosis Assistant and Trainee, Angie Levens.

“The best thing about my job is I get to watch people fall in love with their amazingness that they may not have realized existed,” she says. “(It) is all day every day at varying levels… hypnosis is an amazing way to tap into the best version of ourselves.”

Why does hypnosis work?

Jay explains that we tend to believe that our subconscious mind — that which is known for influencing feelings and actions — is in control. Habits, patterns and beliefs fall into this category, and when we feel stuck, we blame it for feeling compelled to do something we know we shouldn’t, like smoke.

“People who smoke have a pattern of believing cigarettes help reduce stress, it makes them look cool and a part of a group, things like that,” he says. “They think they’re stuck with cigarettes but really the subconscious brain hangs on to habits, patterns and beliefs because of the ‘benefit.’ They come to me and say, ‘I’m stuck, I can’t quit.’”

He explains that in reality there’s always something underneath a habit that’s emotional in nature that is why the habit exists. Our subconscious mind hangs on to this, and thus a habit is born. To change the way our subconscious mind runs, Jay focuses on the client’s ability to succeed.

“They can have success with something that they haven’t had it with before. And then (they) fall in love with themselves enough to agree to follow tips and techniques I give them to help them change the habit. But they have to want to love themselves first.”

Jay offers free consultations at Wisconsin Hypnosis Center to determine if a potential client is right for hypnosis and to ensure they’re ready for success. He has each person watch an introductory video while answering questions like, “Why are you here?” “Are you sincere about solving your problem?” “Why is this time different?”

“One of the misconceptions out there is that if you go to a hypnotist you’re not in control,” he says. “I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. A client just has to want to come in and they have to want to have success.”

Jay provides private hypnosis sessions that also include classes, audio tracks, reading material and workshops. He says simply one session isn’t enough. Real change happens one-on-one with a client because he’s asking about what’s happening with them that day, and what they need at that particular time.

“Clients are just blown away with what can change. When they say, ‘Wow,’ that’s the best day for me — and I do get that every day.”

RESULTS VARY. Wisconsin Hypnosis Center teaches self-hypnosis, and are not doctors. They do not diagnose mental health issues or medical conditions, and refer out people who may need those services.

In their own words:

Jay believes that hypnosis is, and should be, a client-focused business and often leaves it up to those who have had success to explain how it has changed their lives. Testimonials — Wisconsin Hypnosis Center clinics have over 20,000! — have a respected and prominent place in describing exactly how hypnosis changes lives.

“I can truly say after three sessions I have not been angry when things that used to trigger it appeared. I have been able to transform my anger and move on from that emotion to something totally different… I am way more relaxed…”

—Jazmin T., Green Bay

“I am able to achieve a state of relaxation beyond anything that I have experienced before. I know that I am in control. I can accomplish my goals… it feels good to be this confident.”

—Karl K., Appleton

“I have smoked for 40 years. I have quit many times but have always returned to smoking. This is different. I think about it but don’t act on it. I didn’t believe in hypnosis until now.” —K. Stevens, Appleton

“I came in to give hypnosis a try after trying many other techniques to try and get myself motivated to finish projects and stop procrastinating. It wasn’t until after Jay told me what my pattern was that I had realized stress had been one of the key factors that made getting stuff done so difficult. I am very thankful for having done this, because I not only found ways to help get myself to finish projects/try new things, but I also discovered that I can do these things without having to feel overwhelming stress all the time.”

—Kale M., Shawano

“In one week my sleep habits have completely changed. I can feel the calmness of simple everyday things that I never paid attention to before… healthier mind, healthier body, healthier me!”

—Debbie D.

“I made the initial call to lose weight, and I am thrilled to be making better/healthier choices, but I am also so proud that I am gaining a mental self-confidence that has been lacking for a long time. I can’t wait to see and feel how this changes my life forever.”

—Jackie K., Menasha

“Before I came (to Wisconsin Hypnosis Center), I had chronic insomnia. After my first session, I learned that I was unconsciously choosing to have insomnia and that I could choose not to… I have been sleeping well ever since my first session.”

—Leah K., Minneapolis

“I was a smoker for about two years but still had trouble kicking the habit. After the first session, I noticed that over the next few days there was no need to pick up a cigarette. The sessions there after greatly reinforced that I could live the rest of my life as a non-smoker.”

—Gary C., Oshkosh

“I am so happy with myself. I am now 30 pounds lighter than when I started this program... It’s easier to stay focused on my goal. I really like this hypnosis thing.”

—Gina M., Porterfield

“I have a new self-confidence. I feel better about myself. I no longer desire soft drinks and junk food. My eating habits have become healthy. I want to go walking each day.”

—Kenneth B., Appleton

“I am starting to believe in a new me and know that the right actions will follow. As Jay has taught me, I am being flexible with creating new habits and patterns. I am excited to see myself a month from now and how different life will be.”

—Melissa H., Green Bay

“Since I started working with (Wisconsin Hypnosis Center), I feel different and act different. I am more positive, confident and realize that I can control how I feel… My only wish would have been that I found out about this years ago.”

—Ryan S., Burnsville, MN

Can self-hypnosis help you?

Jay explains the habits, patterns and beliefs he sees at Wisconsin Hypnosis Center that are often successfully treated with hypnosis:

  • Weight loss
  • Quit smoking
  • Anger management
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Procrastination and self-doubt
  • Grief healing
  • Fears and phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Take their online quiz to see if you can be hypnotized!

Wisconsin Hypnosis Center works with individuals from all areas of life from corporate to small businesses with the mission to raise public awareness in order to improve their quality of life through information on maturity, accountability, responsibility, family values, morals and ethics. Along with private one-on-one sessions, they are available for corporate speaking, motivational talks, comedy stage hypnosis shows, personal mentorship, on-site consultations and more. Online sessions are available!

Wisconsin Hypnosis Center

1111 North Lynndale Drive, Suite 203, Appleton

2830 Ramada Way, Green Bay

612-868-8177 • 920-954-1277

Thursday, 01 March 2018 14:56

From our editor...

Tomorrow is a new day, a new beginning...

We’ve all heard the above phrase before. If not verbatim, in some fashion. It’s the belief that every single day, each moment, there’s the potential for a fresh start.

When I think of that in the terms of our seasons, spring is the sure winner in the race to encompass this thought. The weather, especially in Northeast Wisconsin, shifts things. And not just in the form of growing grass, blooming flowers and rainy days — although it’s hard to beat!

We seem to awaken too.

There’s a renewed sense of life that surrounds the first days of spring that make them so sweet. Winters are often long, dark and draining, and we yearn for the warmth and fresh start that spring brings. It’s a dream realized.

Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery, & Pregnancy, S.C. isn’t a stranger to the concept of struggle and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, they are that light. They’re featured on page 34 and provide precisely what is quintessentially March: a hopeful, bright and fresh start for so many.

Happy spring!


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When it comes to someone’s dream — an aspiration; goal; aim — there’s usually a whimsical aspect, something that makes it so significant and worth wishing for that it’s catapulted into a category of its own. When it is said to come true, it can also symbolize that it wasn’t easy. Trials and tribulations sometimes make the actualization of those desires even sweeter.

Motherhood is one of those dreams.

Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery & Pregnancy, S.C. knows this all too well. Founded by Dr. Rami Kaldas, the area clinic is world-renowned for its compassionate and well-versed staff in all avenues of women’s care.

He along with provider, Dr. Donald Menya, are known for their unique approach when it comes to traditional women’s health. There’s nothing customary about their treatment philosophies or their drive to go above and beyond for their patients, who are naturally considered a part of the family.

“It is one hundred percent about the whole person,” Dr. Kaldas explains. “At the Kaldas Center, we wed medical knowledge, the individual, seeing the person as a whole and a hefty dose of a lot of common sense. We’ve got to know how a person’s symptoms fit into their life.”

When their lives include symptoms like pain, discomfort and the interruption of everyday tasks — not to mention the inability to get pregnant — Kaldas Center is determined to relieve and give new and lasting hope to help put dreams in reach.

It’s a passion, a spark that’s in the air at the Kaldas Center that is undeniable whether you’re currently struggling or have seen the light.

“I have so many favorite parts of my day because I have such an incredible team here,” Dr. Kaldas says. “But it’s when the shingles fall from people’s eyes, it’s that ‘I once was blind but now I see’ element that I love.”

The joy of motherhood in reach

When it comes to a woman’s path to motherhood, no journey is exactly alike. In the same vein, each woman and their body is unique, but among those struggling to get pregnant, Dr. Kaldas declares that their infertility is likely due to the same, sole condition.

“If someone has not become pregnant in over a year and everything else — the husband or boyfriend being checked, the other labs — is fine, I truly believe that it is endometriosis unless proven otherwise.”

The chronic condition affects one in 10 women. Dr. Kaldas simply describes endometriosis as “uterine lining gone bad, wreaking havoc outside the uterus,” and attributes it to being the cause of more than half of all infertility cases. Cells that normally grow inside the uterus grow outside of it, resulting in the body’s immune response blocking pregnancy from occurring. This creates inflammation, scarring and pain.

The Kaldas Center is the no. 1 clinic in Wisconsin to excise endometriosis using a laser, removing the problem all together rather than removing surface tissue one visit at a time. They are the experts in this technique.

“(Education) has become a mission and a gospel because we’ve seen so much nonsense. And on top of that, fertility cycles and medication are expensive. We want people to find us sooner rather than later because they go through so much.”

Created in an effort to educate women about the diagnosis, how it affects fertility and quality of life, and what can be done to help, Endometriosis Awareness Month every March is the perfect opportunity to discover and learn about the disease, as well as show support to those living with the diagnosis.

“We would not do what we do if we did not love life, love our patients and love to make their dreams a reality. It is not a job we are doing. It is a calling.”

—Dr. Rami Kaldas

From their perspective...

Dr. Kaldas sees not only multiple cases of endometriosis on a regular basis, but the women who are living with it every day. One of his most admirable approaches — seeing, hearing and believing in his patients as individuals — allows him to help educate others about what they’re going through. In his words, here are six things women with endometriosis want you to know and ways to support them.

1. It’s not all in their head. When women complain they have pain that’s amplified during her period it’s easy to assume they’re overreacting or making up their pain. That’s very false.

2. They can’t “just relax.” If a woman is experiencing pain, it’s a concern. However, if the pain is associated with her period then she is told she just needs to relax. Unfortunately, relaxing isn’t a cure for endometriosis. Don’t tell your friend or family member to relax — ask them if there’s anything you can do and offer your support.

3. Not all endometriosis pain is the same. Not all cases of endometriosis are the same. It truly varies from patient to patient. Never assume that someone with endometriosis can just take medication or have a surgery. It might not be the best option for everyone.

4. Killer cramps are not normal. Yes, many women experience cramps during their periods. Menstrual cramps are a common symptom. However, if her cramps and menstrual pain are affecting her everyday life – that’s not OK. Something is wrong and she deserves support and compassion until she finds comfort through a treatment that works for her.

5. There is no cure. Endometriosis can be managed with medication and therapy; however, we know the best way to relieve pain and give people their life back is to excise the endometriosis. We are experts at excising endometriosis.

6. They don’t want your pity. If you learn your friend or family member has endometriosis, don’t give them pity. Offer them support. Say “I’m here for you” and offer to listen. Respect that they might need to rearrange plans or need extra support.

“Traditional women’s care is missing something. It’s missing the “i” in “patient.” Care focused on the woman is the only care that will truly work. Every patient is different. Life experiences can change treatment options. One solution does not fit all, and we adapt to the needs of our patients.”

—Dr. Rami Kaldas

Could you be experiencing symptoms of endometriosis?

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive pain with periods
  • Frequent pain during intercourse
  • Pain/diarrhea with bowel movements
  • Inability to become pregnant in over a year
  • Abnormal bleeding

“Dreams can come true,” Dr. Kaldas says. “We have dream jobs, and with insight, patience, perseverance and skill, we will help our patients dream the impossible dream.”

Dr. Kaldas recognizes that the Kaldas Center’s ability to treat endometriosis efficiently comes from their technology and commitment to their art. Helping spread that message to those who need it is what it’s all about for them. 

The Kaldas Center is located near the Appleton International Airport and just south of the Fox River Mall, conveniently between College Ave and Prospect. This ideal location offers easy access for clients traveling from in and out of state while the warm and welcoming space provides comfort and privacy in a quiet setting.

701 S Nicolet Road, Appleton • 920-886-2299 •

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 22:33

From the editor

February is an interesting time of the year. It’s not shiny and new like January, but not quite spring’s beginning in March. I’ll lovably call it a middle child (because that’s where I happen to fall in birth order myself).

Don’t let this seemingly lackadaisical month fool you. It packs a punch. And it does so in the most full circle way. There’s a simple association to hearts because of their abundance in February, both in the literal, anatomical sense and also in its more whimsical, intuitive definition. Valentine’s Day falls in the middle and the whole 28 day span is dedicated to National Heart Month and spreading awareness about cardiovascular health. The passion that Dr. Yasser Salem and his team at Heart Failure Survival Center of America hold for both the health and quality of life of their patients is admirable, and we’re glad to tell their story.

This February is also special for us at Nature’s Pathways Magazine. For 12 years, we’ve included a convenient section called the Community Partners Directory where local experts can be found easily in a manner that speaks to your wants and needs. Because of its success, we’ve included our first annual separate piece with our print publication to help make connecting with community organizations easier than ever in 2018. To check it out and grab yours, find a newsstand here:

Enjoy exploring all our community has to offer and be sure to tell your favorite local businesses that you saw them in the CPD. Remember to visit the CPD section here on the website where you can link directly to their websites and social media accounts.

Connecting is what it’s all about!


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The concept of “quality of life” is often different for everyone, but it’s clear in its purpose in providing a positive perspective — it brings a hope that has the power to change someone’s everyday living. In short, it translates to a genuine delight in being alive and being able to enjoy both the big and little things life has to offer.

When one loses that sense of belief due to health issues, hope can be lost and it may seem unlikely that those good days will ever return. Heart Failure Survival Center of America’s most adamant mission is to see patients not only survive, but thrive. And they do so in a multitude of ways through patient-centered, well-rounded care.

“Our integrated system provides comprehensive care to cardiac, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure patients throughout the continuum of their disease stages,” Dr. Salem says. “No matter what the condition is, our main goal is to improve the patient’s survivability, independence and quality of life.”

Dr. Yasser Salem is a board-certified physician in cardiovascular disease, advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, CT angiography, vascular medicine and internal medicine. He and his team at Heart Failure Survival Center of America (HFSCA) provide an array of treatments and tests to ensure all aspects of care are covered.

Dedicated to answering your health questions

Dr. Salem explains that cardiovascular health is complex, and he looks at the whole body to investigate any potential underlying causes to discover why the heart may be failing.

“We try to connect the dots to get to the root of the problem,” Dr. Salem says. “We take care of the person as a whole. We dig through the details of any other things that might have contributed to risk or future risk, down to the genes. We like to solve mysteries… and that gives (patients) hope and independence again.”

Understandably, it can be a tough journey of care when it comes to heart failure, but the team at HFSCA provides a much needed boost of morale.

“Sometimes we see people come in with a negative outlook on life,” Kaitlin Parsons, HFSCA Exercise Physiologist, says. “They’re not enjoying life and they feel they have a death sentence with heart failure. But they come in, they start to feel better, open up and they come out of their shell — taking this person who isn’t themself and changing their attitude is one of my favorite parts.”

However, the team urges people to come in long before they may be feeling sick or seeing symptoms. Their ideal approach to health care is likened to the age-old car analogy because it resonates with so many.

“Our preventive therapy is like buying a car,” Dr. Salem explains. “Most of the disease we see takes a long time to show symptoms, it’s slow-progressing and can be silent so you need to maintain your health like you would a new vehicle. Every 1,000 miles you do this and that to make sure your car works. It’s the same with your body.”

That also means Dr. Salem and the HFSCA team are continuously learning and keeping up to date on technology, and improvements and advancements in their field.

“Education is very important to us to make sure we’re on the same page with statistics and studies,” Tracy Rymer, sonographer at HFSCA, says. “Dr. Salem is always willing to meet with pharmaceutical reps because they offer so much information. We love hearing about the latest studies and getting involved.”

“Once people find us, without exception, they always walk out feeling so grateful,” Kaylah Portmann, HFSCA Administrative Assistant, says. “And when they come in again, they’re like family.”

Comprehensive care under one roof — at two convenient locations

As an entirely outpatient cardiac health center, HFSCA is one of the first of its kind in northeast Wisconsin. The Appleton space was built in a way that encompasses all of the services that a patient might need — internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, heart failure and cardiac transplant.

Dr. Salem and his team also bring this level of expertise to their second location in Marinette County. Dr. Salem and his team travel to Crivitz twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) to provide acute care to a population that previously didn’t have easy access nearby, straying from the typical hospital setting and instead providing a family-oriented practice they can feel welcome in.

“The complex patients’ access to care was the hospital that’s almost 35 minutes away,” Dr. Salem explains. “So we’re able to offer acute care for patients who need it.”

He and the HFSCA team do so at Quantum Healthcare, a medical practice with family medical physician, Dr. Peter Curio, which encompasses family medicine, primary and urgent care offering diabetes treatment, hypertension treatment, immunizations, physical exams for all ages and more, along with Dr. Salem’s cardiology specialty.

“(HFSCA) is convenient too. We do everything here and do everything in the most timely manner we can in the urgency that’s needed underneath this roof,” Heidi Miller, RN, BSN at HFSCA says.

“It’s all done here,” Tracy says. “And if you do have to go to another facility we will find the closest one for you that’s in your network.”

“It’s bringing heart care to the rural community,” Sarah Ehlert, HFSCA Clinic Manager, adds. “Dr. Salem has been a huge asset to the area; there is no other cardiac care that covers all of those smaller communities.” 

“Dr. Salem is a world class cardiologist. He has a unique patient-oriented approach… I am 47 years old and I never had a more detailed physical examination. Dr. Salem brought my life back by eliminating symptoms… with a correct diagnosis and treatment. God bless Dr. Salem and (his) wonderful team! —A K.

At Heart Failure Survival Center of America, our mission is to improve patients' quality of life; helping patients not only survive, but thrive. To reduce heart failure hospitalization by providing world-class cardiovascular, advanced heart failure and internal medicine care in a one-site location close to home.

Dr. Salem and the team at HFSCA provide an array of services to help in the management of cardiovascular diseases and disorders, and perform several procedures in two convenient locations (Appleton and Crivitz!). This includes:


  • EKG
  • Cardioversion
  • Echocardiogram
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
  • Blood testing
  • Tilt table testing
  • Nuclear stress testing
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Stress echocardiogram
  • Dobutamine stress echo
  • Cardio-pulmonary stress testing
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • External counterpulsation (ECP) therapy
  • Observation care
  • Cardiovascular prevention care
  • Chronic care management
  • Consultations and follow up
  • Second opinions

National Heart Month

You may be seeing an influx of familiar red and pink shapes this month because of Valentine’s Day, but it’s not the only way hearts take the stage. February is National Heart Month and HFSCA participates in the health initiative to support and bring awareness to heart failure support and caregivers.

Helping patients not only survive, but thrive

Heart Failure Surivial Center of America


2700 East Enterprise Avenue, Suite B, Appleton



(Quantum Healthcare)

515 North US Highway 141, Crivitz


Holistic health is defined as “a form of healing that considers the whole person — body, mind, spirit and emotions — in the quest for optimal health and wellness.” It’s a well-known explanation, and is generally used to encompass several aspects of one’s journey to well-being: a mixture of modalities and techniques to find balance in a variety of aspects. 

It’s rare and unique to find it all rolled into one experience, but that’s exactly what Aerial Dance Pole Exercise in Appleton offers as a carefully constructed and thoughtful space that provides so much more than physical exercise.

Founder and owner Dr. Paula Brusky has intentionally and knowingly created a sanctuary for women, a place where students and instructors alike feel safe and empowered through fitness and community.

“We’re a sanctuary where women can discover their strength and believe in their beauty all while networking with other adventurous women,” she says. “Be adventurous! Be courageous! So much of our culture tells women to be shameful and reserved, and we adamantly want the opposite. Our women want to get strong and feel good about themselves, but they also want to find cool women to be friends with.” 

A full-service fitness community

In addition to what Paula refers to as “play classes” (tricks-based classes on a specific apparatus) that have catapulted the studio into a class of its own, Aerial Dance also provides strength and conditioning classes more recognized in a typical gym environment.

“We teach pole, hoop, hammock and silks and also have a full line of flexibility conditioning and strength building classes. It’s not just the adventurous stuff, it’s the nuts and bolts classes that help members work toward and build up to a pullup or increase range of motion – exactly what women need as they age.”

Paula stresses that you can be a member without ever touching one of the apparatus, and the programs offered are designed for women who get bored and want new and interesting components each visit, including workouts with kettlebells, free weights, resistant bands, and body weight exercises.

All programs are taught by highly trained and certified instructors who are working as hard behind the scenes as in front of the class. Cross collaboration is important at Aerial Dance, and classes are designed with each woman on the roster in mind. For example, Paula explains that if a student had been struggling with a move the week before, a specific exercise will be included in that week’s conditioning class curriculum to specifically address the problem. It’s all in an effort to help women stay engaged and reach their goals.

“Our programs change constantly. And the great thing is that they’re all very small class sizes. It’s particularly true for our strength and conditioning classes that have a max of five women, so really you’re talking about small group personal training and it’s included in your membership. Even our ‘big’ classes are usually eight women,” she explains.

When it comes to the aerial arts, your interests and comfort level dictate what you should try first, and that varies from wanting to try flying and being off the ground to exploring the sensual side and “tricks.” 

So what are they and how do they work? Paula explains: 

Pole. A vertical metal object that is attached to the ceiling and the floor — it’s gymnastics on a vertical apparatus. “Pole is going to be an Olympic sport in 2024 – there are two international groups working to make this a reality!”

Aerial hoop. A metal ring you do tricks on that is suspended in the air. “Hoop is very attainable because once you get in the hoop, there’s a lot you can do without having to lift your bodyweight again.”

Aerial hammock. One loop of fabric that has both ends attaching at the top. “The loop is much easier to start with because you can sit in it.”

Aerial silks. Silks are two strands of fabric that are attached at one point and come down to become two separate pieces.

Choosing and exploring the apparatus to try first (they offer an Intro to Aerial class so you can try Hoop, Hammock and Silks in one class!) is fun, but the safety of students and staff is taken very seriously. The studio features only the most state-of-the-art and dependable gear. 

“Because of how we install our permanent poles, there are no weight limits and the pole itself can spin or be static. In our aerial program, we have a custom-designed steel aerial structure that you can hang cars off of. 

“In general, you’re supposed to have a 2,000 pound point load to hang a human. That’s the safety factor. Ours at Aerial Dance are 30 times that. It lets me sleep at night, and I really like sleeping!” Paula laughs. “I want to know that my students and instructors are safe.”

She also explains that falls do happen, and that’s all a part of learning a new sport. In advanced classes – when students are not upright but inverted and injury is a potential concern – each student has a spotter when learning a new trick, just like in gymnastics programs. Paula developed a curriculum to help keep both the instructor who is spotting and the student who is trying the trick safe from injury, and also in a great mental space to keep attempting tricks and goals.

“Even when a student is “falling” out of a move and an instructor is stopping her, with our spotting technique the student is able to recover the move and is able to come down on her own safely,” she explains. “So she’s not afraid of the move later, which is really important from a mental standpoint.” 

Find your strength. Believe your beauty.

The aerial arts provide a whole body workout, but what Paula says is one of the most significant components of Aerial Dance has little to do with physical fitness. 

“We spend a lot of time getting to know our women and getting to know what they’re going through,” Paula says. “We find out where they need support so we’re able to offer that to them. There’s something that happens when you’re scared and doing a move for the first time, and you’re trusting your spotter with your life – literally – that develops a different level of comfort.

“As instructors we’re all very different, which I think is important and unique. It’s not our job to do anything but support you, both in the air and on the ground.” 

Paula and her instructors cultivate an environment of celebration, not competition. Being true to yourself and finding out who you are is as much a part of the process as learning to use the hammock and silks, and every step is celebrated. 

“There’s a lot of individuality in the aerial arts,” she says. “We foster a ‘help each other because life can be hard’ attitude. The more cheerleaders we have on our path, the more willing we are to walk it.

“Find your strength. Believe your beauty. You’re already strong, you are already beautiful. We hear a lot about finding a new you and losing weight going into the New Year, but we don’t want that. Aerial Dance is all about what you can gain and owning what’s already there.” 

“I think it’s important to understand that the aerial arts are about you, and not about eliciting something from someone else. It’s about your journey and feeling comfortable in your own skin. It’s discovering what your body is capable of. It’s about confronting your fears and succeeding. It empowers you and makes you feel strong internally as well as gaining strength externally.” —Dr. Paula Brusky

Building emotional strength 

“We spend so much time working on our physical body and not enough on emotionally building strength,” Paula says. “We’re going to be starting a book club in January — a book a month — about pertinent things happening in life.” 

Titles like Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection,” Terry Orlick’s “In Pursuit of Excellence” and other books about self-compassion and loving and accepting yourself are all on the table in an effort to provide another healthy outlet through Aerial Dance’s supportive community. 

“We want our members to be able to explore other ideas about themselves. Smart is sexy!” 


It’s no surprise that with the supportive environment and focus on reveling each other’s successes that Aerial Dance likes to celebrate — in a big way — each year. Their annual Christmas Show and Holiday Party applauds the past year’s progress in December as a way to celebrate and showcase the growth the students and instructors have seen over the last year. 

And it’s not just the routine and physical tricks that are cheered for. Paula says that it’s about getting excited about outgrowing comfort zones and developing confidence that she sees as a big reason the applause and cheers for the performances are so loud.

“All body shapes and sizes, and all ability levels perform,” she says. “A lot of people have a misconception that you have to look a certain way to do this. You don’t. You can be a very successful aerial artist at any shape and size.” 

Aerial Dance Pole Exercise

1871 N. Silverspring Drive, Appleton


To find schedules and to register for classes (or to check out what members have to say about Aerial Dance!), visit

682.5 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

According to “Waste Reduction is a Smart Business Decision,” these are the figures recycling one ton of paper saves. 2.5 million is the number of plastic bottles Americans throw away every hour. And 500 years is how long it takes for them to break down.

Today it’s easier than ever to see the benefits of recycling. And it’s also never been more straightforward to get into the habit of including it in your daily routine. The option to do so is virtually everywhere, and the physical act has been simplified since the practice first came on the scene.

The evolution to a single-stream system in northeast Wisconsin has helped recycling programs achieve remarkable success and a new standard of ease. One can simply toss all their recyclables — paper, metal, plastic, glass, etc. — in one bin.

However, there are important guidelines.

It’s Tri-County Recycling’s job to make sure they’re followed — for the safety of their employees and the well-being of our communities and the earth. Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties joined forces in 2009 to build the state-of-the-art Tri-County Recycling facility to better serve the region’s recycling programs. The combination has allowed a huge increase in capacity to accept and sort through recyclable material, and the joint effort allows for continuous improvements. With the single-stream process in place, you may think you know all there is to know.

But are you recycling right?

“One misconception that people have is they think they can recycle anything that’s plastic,” Christine Miller, Recycling Coordinator for Outagamie County Recycling, says. “Because it’s plastic they think they should always throw it in the recycling bin and that is not the case.”

“People want to recycle as much as they can, but only certain types of plastic can be recycled in your curbside bin,” Mark Walter, Business Development Manager for Brown County Port & Resource Recovery, explains. “Plastic bags, plastic toys, coolers, lawn furniture and kids’ play furniture are not accepted.”

“Typically, the plastics we can recycle are food and beverage containers or household items like detergent jugs, and shampoo bottles — plastic containers that are often found in your kitchen, laundry room or bathroom,” Kathy Hutter, Recycling Program Manager for Winnebago County, adds.

When nonrecyclable material is mixed in with acceptable items, it can cause major problems to the facility’s well-oiled machines — literally!

Plastic bags, film and wraps clog the sorting screens, cause maintenance issues and prevent proper sorting from happening. Thus, Tri-County Recycling sorting staff must spend time cutting film and debris from the screens (see image to the left), which is dangerous and labor intensive. And once the plastic film and bags are removed, they are too dirty to then be recycled.

That doesn’t mean you should cross plastic bags off your recyclable list entirely. Christine explains that they are a perfect example of recyclable material if handled in the proper way and brought to a grocery or retail location. Included in this category are dry cleaning bags, bags used for ice, bread bags, newspaper bags, and bubble wrap or air pillows for shipping.

“They are a major contaminant for us; however, plastic bags are very recyclable if they stay clean and dry,” Christine says. “Take them from your home directly to a store drop off.”

Along with unwanted plastic, the Tri-County Recycling facility experiences contamination issues that have the potential to cause damage to sorting equipment or are a health risk to sanitation workers. But they’re completely preventable with a little cooperation.

“It’s a matter of resisting the temptation of putting everything in the curbside bin hoping we can recycle it,” Kathy says. “We’ve made recycling so convenient, we really need people to be conscientious about what they’re putting in their recycling bin and understanding that there are items that cause issues for our sorters and how the facility runs.”

Clothing, bedding, rope/twine and hoses encompass what are known as “tanglers,” a major contaminant of recycling. They pose the same problem as plastic bags, and clog and wrap around the sorting screens (see photo above). As an alternative to sending them off to the recycling facility, these items should be donated or thrown in the trash.

Even more dangerous, the top contamination items are known as “sharps” — needles, syringes and lancets — and have the potential to cause serious health issues.

“If a container full of sharps comes in and bursts open, anyone on the line is exposed to whatever is in that container, which could be infectious diseases,” Kathy explains. “Accidental needle sticks to sorting staff, loss of production, shutting down the facility, disposal expenses and medical expenses to treat affected staff are all possible repercussions of placing sharps in your recycling bin.”

Instead, Tri-County Recycling urges people to dispose of needles, syringes and lancets in designated sharps containers at local drop-off locations.

“The safety of our staff is the most important thing,” Christine says. “We’re working on getting more sharps collection sites within our area.” 

Recycling: Do you know right from wrong?


METAL: Aluminum, steel, tin, bottles and cans

GLASS: Food and beverage bottles and jars (all colors)

PLASTIC: All household plastic bottles, cups and containers:

  • Dairy containers and lids
  • Produce, bakery and deli containers
  • Soda, water and other drink bottles
  • Food and household bottles, jars and jugs


  • Cartons (milk, juice, soup, wine, etc.)
  • Newspapers, magazines, junk mail and catalogs
  • Cardboard and paperboard
  • Office, writing and school paper
  • Phonebooks, softcover and hardcover books
  • Shredded paper (place in a paper bag and staple shut)


  • Clothing/tanglers

“As already mentioned, plastic bags, ropes and hoses cause big problems with the sorting equipment as it gets tangled in the equipment. Nonacceptable material also ends up in the landfill. Both issues cost money to fix, which means that the recycling process becomes more expensive for your local community.”

—Mark Walter, Business Development Manager for Brown County Port & Resource Recovery

Gift wrap: the nightmare after the holidays?

It’s that time of year! The holidays are fast approaching, and that means an abundance of parties, gift exchanges and messes. What should you do with the aftermath? Christine explains that gift wrap and tissue paper are not accepted in our local recycling program, and points out why such items wreak havoc on the system:

  • Many gift wraps are made from aluminum foil and film plastic. These wraps are usually very shiny and durable, but are not easily distinguishable from paper wrapping.
  • During gift opening, people often throw ribbons, bows, garbage and tissue paper all together inside a large plastic bag. All items mentioned, including the plastic bag, cause problems for the recycling sorting facility and the paper mills that accept the material.
  • Tissue paper is not recyclable because the fibers in tissue paper are long and weak. Strong and short fibers are necessary in order to recycle paper.

Tri-County Recycling urges you to be mindful this holiday season by inspecting and separating 100 percent paper wrapping from all the ribbons, bows, garbage, tissue paper and plastic bags. If you take these steps, you are welcome to recycle your gift wrap!

To learn more about Tri-County Recycling and the efforts in Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties, visit or their individual sites: and

What constitutes healthy living is subjective, and is often based on a variety of things that essentially add up to an overall balanced existence. Physical fitness, mental and emotional well-being, and connecting to a deeper sense of self and spirituality are often parts of such a life.

No one quite understands the significance of this holistic approach more than The YMCA of the Fox Cities (the Y). The group includes five locations: Apple Creek, Appleton, Fox West, Heart of the Valley and Neenah-Menasha, and all carry a strong focus on the spirit, mind and body connection. To describe the group as a “fitness center” is technically accurate, but also only one miniscule piece of multi-dimensional and impressive puzzle. In fact, the establishment doesn’t even mention the two words but instead offer an all-encompassing message in its mission statement:

To put Christian principles into practice by promoting youth, adult and family activities that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

“There’s no other organization that focuses on the total person like the Y does,” Joel Zeiner, a YMCA Mission Emphasis Committee member and local pastor, says. “It encompasses all. People can focus on the physical and be very strong, but their mental or spiritual state might be completely absent.”

“The Y is a place to nurture everyone at every level of their self-development,” Maeghan Johnson, Arts and Humanities Director for the Neenah-Menasha Y location, adds. “We provide tools to really find life balance. We’re all-inclusive and a positive place for all of our members and staff.”

“The members set the culture,” Scott Schanhofer, Executive Director for the Neenah-Menasha location, says. “The staff is great, and our whole philosophy is that we want to leave something better than we found it. It’s a home and there’s a sense of ownership. It’s really cool.”

“We have programs of all types — fitness is truly only a portion of what we do,” Kourtney Kositzke, Arts and Humanities Coordinator in Appleton, says. “We always say ‘cradle to grave’ because we have child care, we have programs for active older adults, youth sports, visual arts. Across the board we have a wide variety.”


One of the ways the YMCA of the Fox Cities encompasses the “something for everyone” mantra is by providing healthy practices for spirituality. And for both longtime members and new visitors, it’s more than the words that make up the mission statement that create the environment that conjures up warmth and a genuine sense of acceptance. It’s a feeling.

“When you walk into the YMCA, we want you to feel it, to feel welcome,” Joel says. “We have a Christian foundation but all faiths are welcome — no matter who you are or your condition — we want you here.”

The YMCA is committed to helping members on their spiritual journeys and make sure to do so in a natural and organic way. Meetings are begun with invocations, inspirational quotes are found on the walls and there are Bible verses littered throughout; however, they are mindful to present spirituality and spirit health in a natural, respective manner.

“We have a spiritual exercise board so people can engage with it at their own leisure. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or a part of a program,” Joel says. “We also have a devotional booklet that we give every leader that provides a lot of different material to use — whether it’s starting a cycling class with music to inspire people spiritually or starting a workshop with a devotion.”

Spiritual workshops vary from all-purpose adult Bible studies at the Appleton YMCA to more focused groups such as Fellowship and Friendship: A program for seniors to join other members for coffee, treats and fellowship; Conversations on Scripture; and Women’s Bible Friendship Group, focusing on spiritual practices of rest and simplicity for women of all ages.

“The one thing that really makes a strong Y is a leadership team that believes in the full holistic focus: spirit, mind and body,” Joel adds. “(The YMCA of the Fox Cities) team does. I’m so proud of that.”


Arts and humanities have long been considered a vital part of a person’s development, and the Y provides a variety of programs for children and teens to set the tone for mental and emotional well-being and growth as early as two years old.

“There’s a lot of diversity in ages,” Maeghan says. “We have a working pottery studio, painting, drawing, stop motion, stain glass working. You name it, we probably do it.”

The art classes are presented in an array of ways and curriculum, like the complimentary program developed at the Y called Artful Expression, encompassing the idea that art has the power to heal and provide coping mechanisms for those who may struggle to express themselves in other ways.

“It’s a program focused on teens, grades 5-12,” Kourtney explains. “It’s great for kids who are battling a mental illness, or it could be as simple as suffering from a lack of self-esteem or confidence. They learn to use art as a form of expression.

“Each child is different but our idea is that by giving them art techniques and making sure that when they’re doing the art they feel good, when they’re struggling and they’re not in our classroom, they can start drawing and feel better inside.”

Participants in the Artful Expression program are often referred by school counselors or teachers, and classes can be accommodated for all schedules: both during the day for homeschooled students, after school and on weekends.

The Y also offers family programming in the form of one-day workshops and progressive week-long courses.

“We love hosting family classes for an intergenerational group to come together. It opens family dialogue. Once you start creating something, you really start to see the conversation flow. I’ve heard so many parents say, ‘You actually got my teenager to talk to me!’” Maeghan laughs. “They’re able to connect in a face-to-face, engaging way.”

The Growth and Development program helps children prepare for school and focuses on fine motor and gross motor skills, and socialization. Private (one-on-one) and semi-private (two students to one instructor) music lessons for piano, violin, drums and voice — to name a few — are offered as well as humanities courses for safety in the form of classes teaching the importance of safety in technology to babysitting certification and bike safety.

“We can start to see the trends in our community and parents really set the pathway for us by letting us know what they’d like to see and what our next curriculum should be,” Maeghan says.

“I personally oversee the dance program. We offer every genre you can imagine: ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, ballroom — baton is making a comeback. We have both recreational and competitive programs. Every student is welcome and everyone is a part of a team. We work a lot with special needs clientele and we hold a great sense that there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished.”

“Mental health concerns can start as early as young childhood,” Kourtney adds. “Finding things that kids enjoy and make them happy will help them in the long run and can help them get past some of the struggles they might face… You never know who is going to walk through our doors. It’s really neat to see young kids connect and interact with older adults.”


The physical aspect of health is no doubt a focus of the YMCA of the Fox Cities. The state-of-the-art fitness center provides physical fitness for all levels and ages. Youth sports programs can begin as early as 4 years old, and encompass core sports: flag football, basketball, indoor soccer, track and field, volleyball, as well as lesser available offerings in our community like fencing, “Jedi training,” rugby, archery and more.

While it’s an impressive list in itself, Scott explains that there’s an added component to the program that incorporates all three of the aspects of health that the Y focuses on: spirit, mind and body not readily found in other clubs.

“We do value talks and huddles in all of our youth sports. One team or both teams talk about our core values – caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and what it means to them in school or within the game. It makes them think about the sport but also their experience overall. Winning and losing is only a small part of what sports are.

“What we’re finding is that club sports and competitiveness is forcing some kids out of sports because they’re not as engaged,” he adds. “We want them to have fun. We want to teach them to compete against themselves, to learn new skills and to understand that failing isn’t fatal. We want to give sports back to the kids.”

The Y approaches sports and all aspects of health with the belief that while promoting skills and lessons within the program, the bigger picture includes volunteer coaches and staff teaching life lessons in a natural and organic way that’s easy to understand: fun.

“If kids aren’t having fun, they’re not putting in effort or getting better,” Scott explains. “Having fun means more easily developing skills. If you come to the Y and participate in youth sports, you’re getting the benefit of developing as an athlete but so much more.”

Meet some of the YMCA of the Fox Cities family!

Bill Breider

President/CEO, YMCA of the Fox Cities

“The YMCA of the Fox Cities is a mission-driven organization bringing people together from all walks of life and at all stages of life, around a common and inclusive set of values by providing programs, services and facilities that improve spirit, mind and body. Our purpose is to strengthen the foundation of our community by providing opportunities for everyone to reach their highest potential in all areas of health.”

Maeghan Johnson

Arts and Humanities Director, Neenah-Menasha

“I love the sense that I’m connecting with people and making a difference. And they’re giving to me too. I love interacting with our members and my co-workers. We have a sense of family. There’s something for every age, every family — every internal need.”

Kourtney Kositzke

Arts and Humanities Coordinator, Appleton

“I really like being able to bring my creativity to different programs and see children grow and flourish. Knowing that a child went home better from just meeting with me and knowing I made an impact is huge. Our art program has grown into so much more. It has been really rewarding.”

Scott Schanhofer

Executive Director, Neenah-Menasha

“One of the unique things about the Y is that it’s a community organization. We attract many different people to our facility. Visitors always say we’re a very warm place, welcoming and friendly. And that’s important to us. Coming to the Y is a great way to start your day. People care. Impact isn’t necessarily changing someone’s life, it can be as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face.”

Joel Zeiner

YMCA of the Fox Cities Mission Emphasis Committee Member

“Physically you can be strong, but if you don’t spend time on spiritual health and trying to connect with God you’re going to miss a really important, joyful and life-giving part of your experience. We want everybody at the Y, no matter their religious background, no matter their lifestyle. This is a place where the community gathers. And they’re connecting in meaningful ways.” 

“You can thrive at any age”

The YMCA of the Fox Cities offers a wide range of ways focusing on spirit, mind and body health to prove that you can be happy and healthy – and active! – at any age. Their Active Older Adults (AOA) program offers activities such as:

  • Land and water exercise classes
  • Health screenings
  • Use of workout equipment/walking track/pools
  • Yoga/Pilates/Tai chi/Qui gong
  • Enrichment Classes: Language/computer/music
  • Clubs: Knitting/Book/Chorus
  • Social events/luncheons

The YMCA of the Fox Cities collaborates with the Menasha Senior Center and the Thompson Community Center to provide the above programs. For more information, visit

For more information and to discover how you can get involved in your nearest YMCA of the Fox Cities location, visit or contact:

Apple Creek YMCA

2851 East Apple Creek Road, Appleton • 920-733-9622

Appleton YMCA

218 East Lawrence Street, Appleton • 920-739-6135

Fox West YMCA

W6931 School Road, Greenville • 920-757-9820

Heart of the Valley YMCA

225 West Kennedy Avenue, Kimberly • 920-830-5700

Neenah-Menasha YMCA

110 West North Water Street, Neenah • 920-729-9622

Variety is the spice of life. It feels good to have choices and when you find the right fit, nothing is better. Differences in products, amenities and overall services are what makes up any industry, and health care is no different. Providers vary in their philosophies and treatment plans, along with patients’ ideals and priorities.

Seemingly endless options abound, making the right decision regarding your well-being sometimes overwhelming and intimidating. One thing remains the same, though, and that is wanting to feel appreciated and cared for.

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy gets it. 

Owner Steve Barnett opened the first clinic (it has expanded to 19!) in 1990 with the mission to create a business model that encompasses both high quality care and the kind of environment that makes everyone comfortable — from staff members to patients. 

In celebration of their 27th anniversary on September 4, Orthopedic & Spine Therapy shares their approach to what sets them apart in both values and daily operations as an exceptional choice in physical therapy in the local community:

One-on-one attention, continuity of care and communication

At Orthopedic & Spine Therapy, patients receive the hands-on (literally!) attention they deserve by being the only patient in a session. 

“We see one patient at a time and we’re with them that whole time, we don’t scuttle between rooms, between patients. It’s also important for us to keep the same therapist throughout their therapy,” Steve says. “We find by doing that there’s a greater continuity of care, which will then ideally be a shorter term of care for patients. And in today’s care that means less dollars out of their pocket.” 

“The therapist knows you and knows your condition. You get undivided attention,” Sami Barnett, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, adds.

And that courtesy and care isn’t limited to your one-on-one session.

“My cell phone number is on my card,” Steve says. “It’s easy for patients to call or text me at any point in time. I’ll answer any questions because I want them to recognize that I’m there to help them. Just like they have “a doctor” or “a dentist,” we want to be their physical therapists.” 

Manual physical therapy

Manual physical therapy at Orthopedic & Spine Therapy is a technique that utilizes a therapist’s hands for the treatment process as opposed to modalities like therapeutic ultrasound or hot packs (although these tools are available if a particular case calls for them).

“We feel we get better results when we use our manual therapy skills we have developed in our continuing education courses,” Steve explains. “It’s a mindset, it’s our culture.”

Continuing education

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy believes in building upon education to expand knowledge that benefits therapists, and thus their patients. Dry needling, pelvic health, cranial and TMJ issues are a few of the specialized topics the therapists are continuing to learn about to improve skills and treatment techniques on a regular basis.

“As therapists, we only get to learn so much in school in terms of how to evaluate and treat a patient,” Steve explains. “Every year our therapists go to courses to expand their evaluation and treatment knowledge. My feeling is the bigger the toolbox we can carry with us to treat our patients, the more opportunities there are for them to get better.”

“If there’s something the therapists are interested in — like pelvic health or pediatric health — and they find a course, they’re able to do that,” Sami adds. “We bring in courses and even open it up to therapists from other clinics.”

In-house billing and customer service

Ease and accessibility is important to Orthopedic & Spine Therapy, and that includes in-house billing and customer service within one office. If a patient has any questions or concerns, it’s easy for them to speak with a representative they know and are familiar with.

“If a patient has questions or payment information, they know they’re talking to Katy, for example, because they’ve come to know her,” Sami says. “It’s a part of their experience at Orthopedic & Spine Therapy — part of their treatment and health journey.” 

It’s not just the team’s approach to making the technical process of working with Orthopedic & Spine Therapy that catapults them to a higher level of care, but also the attention to detail to let patients know they’re valued and appreciated.

“We’re in tune with customer service and like to do things we’re drawn to ourselves,” Sami says. “Things like handwritten thank you cards and taking the time to do it right.” 

Quick appointment turnaround and ease of scheduling

“Our goal is to always get people in within 24 hours of the referral or when it’s most convenient for that patient,” Steve says. “We want to reduce and alleviate their pain as fast as possible.”

Therapist specialties 

Dry needling, or Intramuscular Manual Therapy, uses a dry needle without any medication to release the negative effects of trigger points, thus relieving pain and improving musculoskeletal function. Orthopedic & Spine Therapy was the first group to bring the technique to Northeast Wisconsin, and it remains a well-known specialty among the group.

“When I became certified in dry needling and realized the benefit that I was achieving with my patients, I knew that we needed to bring this course internally so the other therapists could learn it as well,” Steve explains. “It’s a great tool in the toolbox, and patients are now aware of it and recognize that we were the first to adopt the practice. It’s still in its infancy in other practices but all of our locations offer this treatment.”

Pelvic health for both men and women is also amongst the specialties offered at each clinic, and includes focus on bowel or bladder dysfunction, post-pelvic abdominal surgery, pain and care for issues during or after pregnancy. 

A holistic approach, treating the whole body

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy is known for providing “physical therapy from head to toe” and they mean it quite literally. They hold a holistic view of health and recognize that pain expressed in a part of the body may not necessarily originate in the same area. Their goal is to always find the underlying cause of discomfort to accurately treat the problem. So, while you may come in for back pain, and your therapist will take that into account, they’ll consider your whole body to develop a treatment.

“We don’t want to focus on the pain and the area of pain necessarily because that might not be the cause of their issues,” Steve explains. “It’s a matter of evaluating the whole body and finding the areas of greatest restriction and treating those areas.

“For instance, we look for things like asymmetry, range of motion difficulties, texture abnormalities. If we see these restrictions, we’re going to treat them no matter where they are in the body. We want the whole system to be efficient and work functionally.”

The mission and customer service approach to Orthopedic & Spine Therapy encompass many facets, but to Steve, Sami and the team, it truly boils down to a simple truth:

“We have the attitude that we treat others the way we ourselves would want to be treated. It’s a cornerstone of our values,” Steve says. 

“We will be partners with you to provide superior physical therapy solutions to enhance your quality of life.”

A Time for Change Health and Wellness Fair

Coming soon: Saturday, October 14!

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy presents “A Time for Change,” a health and wellness fair for all on Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The fair’s message, that there’s always time for change, whether that involves healthy eating, exercise, mental and emotional well-being, self-care, etc., is brought to life with 35 vendors and field experts offering their advice and knowledge, like free blood pressure monitoring by Fox Valley Technical College.

“We wanted to have a health fair for the public, for people who are at any health level,” Sami explains. “People who are into fitness, people who love yoga and natural products but also people who might be beginners and not know how to begin, or have little knowledge. It’s for everybody. The time for change can be now.” 

  • When: Saturday, October 14 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Where: The Early Learning Center, 313 S. State Street, Appleton (Across from St. Mary Church with ample parking available.)
  • Who: Everyone is welcome and admission is free! Monetary donations accepted for St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, and Orthopedic & Spine Therapy will match collections! 

For more information, visit

The “WOW Philosophy” 

Steve and the team of physical therapists and staff that make up Orthopedic & Spine Therapy are serious about treating their patients the way they would want to be treated, and they do so in a variety of ways. Outrageous customer service, education and results are what drive the “WOW Philosophy” they believe in and adhere to.

Services Offered

  • Physical Therapy: Our physical therapists use a variety of techniques to treat a variety of conditions to help assist in the process of healing and recovering.
  • Pelvic Physical Therapy: A safe, highly effective, discreet, drug-free way to treat a variety of women’s and men’s pelvic health conditions.
  • Workplace Solutions: We provide superior workplace solutions to enhance your quality of business and get our Workers Compensation patients back to work safely and quickly. We are trained and licensed by nationally recognized return-to-work programs.
  • Massage Therapy: A form of holistic therapy, which is a natural way to help your body heal itself with invigorating massage and reflexology.

Convenient locations near you!

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy has 18 clinics throughout Northwest and Northeast Wisconsin — and has recently opened a location in Minnesota! — to treat all musculoskeletal conditions. No matter where you’re located, there are exceptional physical therapists nearby to help with any pain or frustration you may be experiencing. 

Visit to find the location and contact information for the clinic nearest you.

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