Are You A Good Listener?

Listening and hearing are two different things.According to several studies,  60-75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood, or quickly forgotten. (

When you come for physical therapy, are you just hearing the words we’re saying or are you really listening to what we’re trying to convey?

Hearing is the unconscious act of perceiving sound. You can hear someone speak without listening to the words they say or putting much meaning to them. Often this can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. 

Listening is paying attention to the words spoken with the intention of understanding the other person.  When you pay attention to something, your brain works like noise-suppressing headphones.  Signals are conveyed through brain pathways in the cortex (responsible for computations), which tunes out signs and sounds that are not as immediately important, allowing you to focus on who/what is in front of you.

Our first goal is always to carefully listen to YOU, our patient. We pay attention to each detail of your unique history as well as your personal challenges and goals. We spend extra time to assess what you're saying and connect with you as a whole person.

But sometimes we see that glazed look in your eyes when it's our turn to provide direction and insight. We see you're busy planning your objection statement or anticipating what we might say, but we are your greatest ally.

Our specialized clinical training and years of experience treating patients have given us a unique perspective. We ask that you listen and trust us as we explain why you should not run six miles or lean over to pick things up THIS week. We ask that you engage as we review the home exercise program we designed especially for you!

So what now?

We find that when you fully listen and engage with us, you are able to go beyond recovery and make greater progress than you thought possible. You can:

  • Eliminate behaviors that aggravate your injury

  • Address mental/physical roadblocks

  • Avoid frustration and further injury

  • Minimize flare ups

  • Get better sooner!!

  • Push your boundaries

  • Maximize athletic performance

  • Stay active and healthy long term

And this carries over to the rest of life as well. When we give the gift of listening, we are the ones to gain. 

Marnie Wortman

Marnie Wortman

By Dr. Marnie Wortman, PT, DPT, ART, CF-L1 with Meri Mayes, MA, Owner-Iron Physical Therapy

Snow Removal Safety Tips!

Shoveling is sno’ joke!

Winter is upon us! Here are some tips to keep you safe and pain free!

1) Warm up for about 10 minutes. Get your blood moving with a brisk  walk, marching in place or other full-body movement. Also include some upper and lower body stretching.

2) Wear shoe chains and watch your step as you go down the slippery stairs to begin shoveling.Many people get hurt before they even begin.

3) Choose the correct shovel. Nothing too big/small or too heavy.

4) Shovel early and often so snow does not become too heavy.

5) Make sure you can see what you are shoveling. Do not let a scarf or hat hide your vision.

6) Watch out for uneven surfaces or icy patches.

7) Push, rather than lift, the snow when possible.

8) Use proper lifting technique including a focus on using your legs to lift the shovel, not your back. 

9)  Do not twist your back or upper body.

10) Do not throw snow over your shoulder.

11) Push 3 times to the Left, then 3 times to the Right.

12) Pace yourself and rest frequently.

13) If your doctor has told you not to lift or shovel, then LISTEN! Ask a neighbor/local kid for help or hire a snow removal service. It's NOT worth doing further damage to an injury!!

Snowblower Safety:

1) Be aware of where the cord is so you don't trip.

2) Never put your hands in the snowblower.

3) Walk slowly and carefully and have a firm hold on the machine.

4) Watch out for any uneven surfaces of icy patches.

How do you keep the snow from giving you cold feet? 

Don't go around BRRfooted! : ))

Marnie Wortman

Marnie Wortman

By Dr. Marnie Wortman, DPT, ART, CF-L1

Total Hip Replacement: Life After Surgery (POM 6/14)

Patient of the Month (June 2014)

"Accept that recovery is a process rather than an eventand set realistically high goals."

Meet Phil (pictured far right at his son's graduation)!



He has been a complete pleasure to work with every step of the way. Instead of doing the bare minimum, I'd catch him on the treadmill increasing the speed and incline to challenge himself. With Phil it was always, "give me more" and "I'll do whatever it takes."

Even while recovering from a total hip replacement, he demonstrated more athletisism, balance and strength than people half his age.

In a world of phony, Phil is refreshingly gracious and genuine. It's also nice to meet someone with such a sincere love and pride for his family.

Phil is the kind of person who has the focus and determination to accomplish anything he sets his mind to. With that said, we look forward to seeing him at an upcoming 5K. Keep up the great work Phil!

In his own words…

Three words to describe me…sincere, friendly, appreciative!

What brought you to PT? Total hip replacement (right side)

How have you benefitted from PT? I have benefitted because Dr. Mayes encouraged me to not see physical therapy as something I had to go through but rather as an opportunity to use it as a gateway back toward the active lifestyle I missed. I first came to physical therapy in a sour mood because of a neck injury that forced me to postpone scheduled hip surgery. I leave physical therapy filled with optimism about what I can do rather than frustrated about what I can’t.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury? Use the injury as motivation, read about successful recoveries, accept that recovery is a process rather than an event and set realistically high goals.

What activities are you most excited about getting back to?Skiing, walking on vacation without whining and in a couple of more months starting to run again. I hope to touch the floor with my knees unbent, run another 5K and then the Thanksgiving Day race in Glen Ridge, chase after my granddaughters, and laugh a lot.

2013: The Year in Review


It's been an exciting year at IronPT and we feel incredibly blessed to have connected with so many people in our clinic, community and online.

As entrepreneurs, we usually go full speed ahead but the end of the year is the perfect time to pause and reflect on how far we've  come.

Here are some of the highlights of 2013:

We saw our practice double in size for the 2nd year in a row!

We were quoted twice in Runner's World Magazine and recognized locally as one of the "Best PT Clinics"  in Essex County.

runner's world magazine quotes dr. Mayes on injury prevention

runner's world magazine quotes dr. Mayes on injury prevention

We added yoga classes to keep our community in tip top shape. Only one spot left in our 6-week series starting Jan. 7!

We teamed up with Fleet Feet Montclairand Essex Running Clubto directly support our local runners

Running Tips for Fleet Feet Montclair

Running Tips for Fleet Feet Montclair

We continued to support CWC Soccer and all things Chiefs!





Hosted 1st "Iron Half Marathon" after Jersey Shore Half cancelled

Iron Physical Therapy Half Marathon

Iron Physical Therapy Half Marathon

Dr. Mayes earned certifications in Active Release Technique and Selective Functional Movement Assessment

For the first time an "Iron Team" participated in the Fitzgerald's 5K



We continued our efforts to stay connected with the many people who touch us through Facebook, Twitter, and the Blog. In case you missed them, here were the most popular blog posts in 2013

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 2.40.20 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 2.40.20 PM

Most importantly, we had the privilege to partner with our patients on their journey to get better and be better. They are what make this place and this work so special. Together we battled injury and setbacks and PAIN. We honor each person who walked through our doors and showed us what real courage and perseverance looks like.  

Stay tuned for another exciting year in 2014! Lots of great things on the horizon... you'll be the first to know.

Now Offering Yoga!

Iron Physical Therapy is excited to announce that we are now offering small group yoga classes. Yoga is for everyone. It is not just about twisting your body in a pretzel. It is about tapping into the powerful connection of your mind, body and spirit to achieve optimal wellness. Yoga can help you maximize performance and minimize injury through improved posture, mobility and balance. It is also relaxing and fun! Our small studio provides a semi-private environment (8 or less) where you can get the most out of your practice.

*graphic courtesy of


Contact us at to reserve a spot!  

Only 8 slots in each class.


Yoga for Flexibility, Balance & Wellness (all levels)

Wednesdays from 9-10am (weekly beginning Nov. 13th)

Do you have tight hamstrings/hips, poor mobility or a high level of stress? This class will help you develop flexibility, balance and strength in both your body and mind. You will be guided through poses while focusing on breathing and mindfulness. The small class size will allow your instructor to pay attention to your form and suggest modifications when necessary. Call to reserve your spot today.

Pricing: 3 Class Package (new students only) =  $30 ($10/class); 5 Class Package = $85 ($17/class); 10 Class Package = $150 ($15/class) 

Fundamentals of Yoga (6-week series)

Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm (beginning Jan 7th); Cost is $99

Have you been wanting to see what all the yoga buzz is about, but aren’t sure where to start?  This is the perfect place for the beginner!  Each week you will learn about different groups of poses and their benefits.  Each pose will be taught slowly and thoroughly while emphasizing healthy and safe alignment.  Our semi-private studio offers the perfect environment for personalized attention.