All the World’s a Stage for Omaha’s Intimate Bluebarn

Celebrating their 30th anniversary season, The Bluebarn Theatre distinguishes itself as the only professional adult community theatre in Omaha.

All the World’s a Stage for Omaha’s Intimate Bluebarn

Susan Clement, producing artistic director of the theater since 2002, attended Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts in New York where she would meet her theatre family and meet the founder of the first Bluebarn Theatre in 1989. While their group of friends came from different backgrounds, they were united, according to Clement, “not by blood but by passion and by training.”

To read the full story, visit The Omaha Chamber’s We Don’t Coast Blog: https://www.omahachamber.org/wedontcoast/bluebarn-theatre-bringing-the-world-to-omaha/

CLC Landscapes: Professional Help for Your Yard

Written for Women’s Edition: https://www.womensedition.com/omahaenterprisingideas#!

As the weather gets warmer, we are reminded that spring is just around the corner and that it’s time to get our outdoor spaces ready for the season. Early spring, when the temperature is comfortable and the insect population has not yet bloomed, is a great time to be outdoors. Once winter’s debris is cleaned up, you can determine what can be salvaged from last year’s plantings and what you have to replace. If you’re planning a major project like new landscaping or establishing an outdoor living area, it’s time to call in the professionals at CLC Landscapes.

The business now known as CLC Landscapes was established in 1992. Current president Andrew Gangestad grew up in the Omaha metro area. Like many teenagers, he earned money by mowing lawns and shoveling snow. Later, he helped his dad with more extensive lawn care and the maintenance of sprinkler systems. Andrew’s developing interest in lawn care led him to study horticulture at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. “Dad was a big help in keeping up my accounts while I was in school,” Andrew recalls. “I think it was his way of easing me into the business.” After graduation, Andrew did join his father’s lawn care business, Corporate Lawn Care, which provided quality lawn and landscaping services to residential and commercial customers in the Omaha area.

As the business grew to provide more than lawn care, Andrew decided to change the name to CLC Landscapes. The firm now offers a variety of services in addition to thorough and professional landscaping. Irrigation is one of their specialties, whether you need regular watering for plants or a remedy for soggy areas in the yard. They also offer hardscaping, including retaining walls, fire pits, concrete work, patios, and landscape lighting—pretty much any outdoor structure you can imagine. Of course, they also offer regular lawn maintenance on convenient-to-you schedules.

You may be surprised to hear that winter is just as busy as summer for the staff at CLC Landscapes. “Because landscaping can be so seasonal and weather-dependent, we expanded our services into snow and ice removal,” Andrew explains. These services are primarily available for commercial customers who need their large parking lots cleared of snow and ice as a safety measure for their clients and staff. An added bonus of expanding services is that it keeps the CLC Landscapes crews busy year-round…a rewarding proposition. “Because our guys know they will be kept busy, we’ve managed to build a solid staff,” Andrew points out. “There’s very little turnover, and we know who works best together. It makes for a more familial feeling.”

The customer-oriented philosophy at CLC Landscapes was established by Andrew’s father. “Dad knew it was vitally important to really listen to customers in order to determine how to best fulfill their dream landscape or project,” Andrew recalls. “We tailor each job to suit the individual and take the time to develop services, programs, and solutions to meet specific needs.”

Andrew and his staff are licensed by the City of Omaha and certified for work with retaining walls and pavers. “Some areas have different licensing standards, and we make sure we can follow those standards before we accept a job.” CLC Landscapes is bonded and insured to handle most any project, and they know who to call if they need a hand. “If something is outside of our expertise, such as hooking up gas lines for fire pits or plumbing for water features, we work with professionals in those areas,” Andrew notes. “We coordinate our schedules so the client only has me or that crew chief to work with.”

Andrew advises everyone considering home improvement to do their homework. Go to trade shows to see what products are available. Having an idea of where you want to end up provides a starting point for conversations with contractors. Then, get multiple quotes. Vet your contractors thoroughly by asking questions and checking references. Be sure to get details in writing. “Even slight changes should be discussed and put in writing,” Andrew says. “There shouldn’t be any surprises to either party.”

The residential services at CLC Landscapes are structured to cater to the personal needs of each homeowner, providing timely and professional installation and maintenance. “Your image is our business” is the motto at CLC Landscapes, and maintaining that standard is how they maintain their client base. “Our business is referral-based,” Andrew concludes simply. “If our clients aren’t satisfied, we won’t get referrals.”

For more information, including photos of past projects, check out CLC Landscapes online at clclandscapesinc.comand on Facebook. You can reach the office by phone at 402-734-8088.

Midwest Physical Therapy: Solving Pelvic Problems with Care

Written for Women’s Edition: https://www.womensedition.com/omahavantagepoint

Midwest Physical Therapy Services moved to their current location at 11640 Arbor Street just over a year ago. In their new space, they have continued to serve the area through patient education and physical therapy. Cheryl Wisinski, PT, DPT, WCS, owner of the practice, has been a physical therapist for over 30 years and is board-certified in women’s health. She and her staff specialize in healing pelvic floor issues.

These issues often include incontinence or pelvic pain, Dr. Wisinski says. “We see a lot of people who have incontinence, which could be bowel or bladder. We see women with pelvic pain so bad they can’t have intercourse or do athletic activities.”

Pelvic floor strength is important because it stabilizes not only the pelvis but also the core and lower back. “That muscle is responsible for stabilizing the whole bony ring of your pelvis, which has to work in coordination with your spine,” Dr. Wisinski explains. All the muscles in your core need to be strong so they can work together to minimize back and pelvic pain.

Physical therapy for the pelvic floor is a relatively new specialty, but it’s growing because of popular demand. Dr. Wisinski pursued the specialty after she encountered patients in her general physical therapy practice who couldn’t do the exercises she recommended because they would leak urine if they did.

Some patients who begin physical therapy to address incontinence see other benefits, too. “We just had a really fun patient come see us last week,” Dr. Wisinski shares. “She had originally come to see us because of leakage issues. Along the line, she ended up slimming down, too.” After 90 days of therapy, that patient ended up with weight loss, a flatter stomach, and a complete lifestyle change—all because she finally dealt with her chronic issues.

Some patients have weakness or injury that stems from poor posture, overworking the pelvic floor, or even injury to the area. In some cases, a surgical procedure may be required to fix the patient’s problem. However, notes Dr. Wisinski, surgery and physical therapy go hand in hand. “Surgery changes the organs inside,” says Dr. Wisinski, “but you still need strong muscles underneath it all to have the best outcome of the surgery.” Dr. Wisinski also works with patients who wish to avoid surgery or who have surgery scheduled and want to prepare for it with strengthening exercises.

The small size of the office allows them to serve their patients’ individual needs to the fullest. Before seeing a patient for the first time, the team meets to discuss potential treatment plans for every individual. “We look at the muscles surrounding the pelvis, the patient’s posture…we try to look at all the pieces of the puzzle and figure things out,” says physical therapy assistant Britnee Hoffner.

Strengthening a muscle takes a minimum of six weeks of consistent exercise. Patients who perform their exercises at home, between appointments, get the most benefit from physical therapy. “No one wants to go home and do 30 minutes’ worth of exercises,” Dr. Wisinski notes. She and her team focus on short, day-to-day challenges they call “red light” exercises. “We try to make it functional and allow patients to fit them into the day.”

Patients are more likely to follow through on their home exercises if they understand why they’re doing them, Dr. Wisinski has found. That’s why patient education is so important at Midwest Physical Therapy Services. “We spend half of the first session using models and pictures to teach patients about their bodies—where their bowels are, what the pelvic floor looks like, and how those structures interact.” This empowers patients with the tools they need to help heal their own bodies.

Patient Dennis describes urinary frequency and urgency that were dominating his life. “The medication helped, but not enough,” he recalls. “My urologist recommended that I visit Midwest Physical Therapy Services. What a life-changer! After a thorough evaluation, they set up a program to strengthen my lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. There has been a dramatic decrease in my symptoms!”

Patient Kim started physical therapy about nine months after giving birth to her second child. “I have benefited the most from uncovering what areas to focus on in order to improve my weakness, my pain, and my overall strength, stability, and function,” she says. “I am still discovering new things about my body that I did not know or think about previously. I’m excited to continue to learn even more to improve function and symptoms during my current pregnancy.”

To schedule your appointment, call 402-933-8383 or visit them online at midwestpts.com.

Like Pulling Taffy – BodyWise Therapy

With a winning combination of tactile techniques and verbal communication, Shanna Paopao of BodyWise Therapy, PC, provides relief to a diverse group of clients, from infants to young athletes to older adults dealing with chronic pain. In her 20 years as a physical therapist, Shanna has gained experience with all ages and conditions.

After training as a physical therapist at UNMC, Shanna worked in different places, including nursing homes, hospital inpatient wards, and outpatient settings, before going out on her own. Shanna began a partnership with another solo practitioner in 2013 and took over for her in 2014 as sole operator of BodyWise Therapy.

Shanna uses a hands-on technique called myofascial release, a term coined by John F. Barnes. The treatment itself focuses on the fascia—the connective tissue all throughout the body. “It surrounds all of our blood vessels and organs, including the brain and the spinal cord. It’s what joins everything.” It is essential to maintain the health of this layer of connective tissue. Trauma, bad posture, or inflammation may cause tension, resulting in additional pressure on sensitive nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and organs. The catch is that fascia does not appear on standard tests such as CAT scans or x-rays. Therefore, it is essential to use a tactile approach.

Shanna prefers a holistic, overall look at health and the way we move about every day. “We all need to move more,” she says. Though not all injuries are preventable, it’s true that when the body is at rest too often, the risk of fascial pain increases. Shanna likes to get a full history from each client, and she completes a physical evaluation before manipulating the fascia. “People will minimize things,” says Shanna, such as car accidents, falls, or other traumas to the body that they may not have considered before. Taking the time to go over clients’ initial paperwork, she gains in-depth knowledge of what issues might be affecting the body’s current state.

Fascia has a very high tensile strength. A prolonged, easy stretch is how Shanna describes her myofascial release sessions. “It’s like pulling taffy,” she shares. She takes her time, slowly rooting out the cause of an issue and then manipulating the body to allow for a deeper stretch and to promote healing.

Having worked with such a wide variety of clientele, Shanna has learned that everyone’s body is unique. “There’s no algorithm or set protocol,” she points out. “The challenge is figuring out everybody’s uniqueness. One person’s triggers differ from another person’s.” However, the daily challenge of serving such a diverse group is also one of Shanna’s favorite parts of her job. “I get to meet so many different people!” she says. “Everybody comes in with a unique personality, individual problems, and individual strengths.” Many of her clients have already tried other methods of pain relief or therapy before coming to see Shanna. She finds it immensely rewarding when clients tell her that they get better sleep after their appointments or that she’s made a difference in their quality of life.

Myofascial release is an ideal method for all ages because it is gentle on the body overall. Clients sometimes experience a bit of soreness after their sessions, but they may also feel relaxed or adversely energized. This is because the relaxation of the fascia in one area of the body can travel through the interconnected tissues and benefit other parts of the body, as well.

Shanna appreciates the work of her fellow therapists and would rather collaborate with them than compete. “I value what other physical therapists do,” she says. “For some patients, we can complement each other…I have some who come to me for the piece that I do and may see another therapist for another strengthening aspect.” Physical therapists who work with clients to strengthen the body through exercises have different goals than Shanna’s and, therefore, different techniques and approaches. Through myofascial release, Shanna encourages the body to work harmoniously and soothes everyday aches and pains.

No matter what their goals, Shanna advises patients to be open with their physical therapists and ask their own questions. “People should be involved in their own care,” she says. “If someone comes in and says, ‘Fix me,’ I can only do my best to do my part.” The path to health cannot be forced on anyone. However, if you want to get the maximum benefit from physical therapy, you’ll need to reinforce the work at home. “It’s a partnership,” Shanna concludes.

If you’re interested in learning more about BodyWise Therapy and myofascial release, call 402-932-8686 or visit Shanna online at bodywiseomaha.com. BodyWise Therapy, PC, is located at 2504 South 119th Street, in Omaha.