The Therapy Gym does it all. The center offers a variety of therapeutic services for local youth including, but not limited to, physical, occupational, speech and behavioral therapy. Helmed by Dr. Elisheva Fuchs, The Therapy Gym recently moved to a new location as part of an expansion. They are now located at 1400 Palisade Avenue in Teaneck. One of the new additions is an indoor pool on-site, which allows the center to offer a number of aquatic-related services. Fuchs is extremely excited about the new addition, and reports that her clients have already been enjoying the benefits of its inclusion.
The Therapy Gym was created 12 years ago, and quickly saw growth. Fuchs, who has a doctorate in physical therapy, originally started the center to provide physical therapy services for kids, but soon identified a need in the community for a variety of offerings. She then decided to expand and offer a comprehensive model.
“People were looking for a one-stop shop where a child could come for more than one discipline and the therapists could collaborate to provide the best care for each child, and we have accomplished that goal,” Fuchs shared with The Jewish Link. “The community really embraced us, and we continue to be able to offer a variety of classes and therapies to benefit each child. Aquatic therapy was our newest additional therapy that we started four years ago, and it’s been going really great so far.”
With the addition of the pool, Fuchs and her staff are now able to hold therapy sessions in the water. Fuchs has found that doing so allows clients to benefit from the properties of the water in ways that land-based therapy does not offer.
“There’s actually a real benefit in holding sessions in the water,” Fuchs said. “For kids who are overstimulated, it gives them full-body input, allowing them to focus on other skills. Also, it just makes sessions more fun, and the kids really enjoy it. We’re able to work on a lot of different things at once, and the kids don’t even realize how much they’re working.”
The pool opened about a month ago, and since then Fuchs reports that it’s become an instant favorite of many of her clients. She keeps it at a therapeutic temperature of 88 to 90 degrees, and has put in a comprehensive dehumidification system, giving the pool room a dry heat room. She also put in a UV light system that kills 95% of bacteria while the salt system does the other 5%, so there are very few chemicals in the water.
“The kids have just really taken to it,” Fuchs continued. “A lot of my clients love coming in and getting into the water. They’re eager to learn, and we’re happy to teach them. I really tried my best to make the pool room a comfortable space, and based on the feedback so far we’ve really accomplished that.”
The Therapy Gym moved to its new locations at the beginning of this year. Fuchs found the building located on Palisade Avenue, and decided to renovate it. The inclusion of a pool was in Fuch’s plan from the beginning, and was even one of the reasons the location was selected in the first place.
“The new building is a beautiful space,” she said. “We have ceilings that are 16 feet high, a rock-climbing wall, a jungle gym, monkey bars. I even have a zipline. There’s separate treatment rooms for occupational, speech, physical therapy, and ABA [applied behavior analysis], and even a separate room for babies to [have their needs] address[ed], including feeding.”
The Therapy Gym offers aquatic therapy throughout the week, and on Sundays. They had previously rented a pool from a hotel, but now with the brand new pool, the program has expanded. They bill insurance directly for their therapy services.
“The process of putting in the pool was a massive undertaking, but it has been so rewarding,” Fuchs went on to say. “I have one client who struggles to stand on her own, but in the pool we can work with her on walking up and down stairs and building her muscles. Whenever we work with her she just has the biggest smile on her face.”
In addition to aquatic therapy, The Therapy Gym is now offering swim lessons and other pool programs. If you would like to learn more or sign up a client, visit their website, thetherapygym.com. You can also call them at (201) 357-0417, or follow them on Instagram at @thetherapygym.
Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. He blogs at www.adamssoapbox.com.