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Chiropractor in Wickatunk, NJ

Chiropractor Wickatunk, NJ

What is Chiropractic Care?

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Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to overall wellness and healing that focuses on correcting issues with your musculoskeletal system. When performed by a licensed chiropractor, it can alleviate and even eliminate common problems such as:

  • Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Knee Pain
  • Automobile Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Body Aches

To treat your conditions and help reduce your pain, chiropractors use time-tested, hands-on techniques to adjust your spine, neck, back, and other joints throughout your body to restore proper function, mobility, and alignment. Once your body is in proper alignment, it functions optimally, leading to improved overall wellness and health.

Unlike some sports rehab clinics in The Garden State, chiropractors from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific goals and needs relating to your pain and ability to live a normal life. Because our team takes a holistic approach to healthcare, we cover all aspects of your health and wellness when developing your chiropractic treatment plan. That way, we increase your chances of living a fulfilling life free of pain and worry about throwing your back out.

 Back Pain Relief Wickatunk, NJ

What are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor in Wickatunk, NJ?

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Seeing a chiropractor can quite literally change your life for the better. According to the American Chiropractic Association, in general, chiropractic therapy is a more effective solution for back pain than other treatments like addictive pain pills, surgeries, and yoga. When combined with services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and acupuncture, chiropractic care may be the key you need to open the door to a pain-free life.

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Some of the many benefits of seeing a reliable, licensed chiropractor include the following:

 Lower Back Pain Wickatunk, NJ

Relief from Back Pain

Perhaps the most obvious reason to make an appointment with a chiropractor is for back pain relief. Some people only need to see a chiropractor when they have occasional back pain, such as when they wake up in the morning. Others, such as those who have been in serious car accidents, need regular chiropractic adjustments and therapies, which are often supplemented with techniques like physical therapy and acupuncture.

There are many causes of back pain that range from advanced conditions like having sciatica and herniated discs to everyday issues like poor posture and sleeping in a harmful position. Your chiropractor's job is to pinpoint the cause(s) of your back pain and build a customized plan to address your musculoskeletal conditions. Once that happens, pain relief follows shortly after.

At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, we craft personalized chiropractic plans for every patient we treat, with the goal of avoiding harmful surgeries and addictive medicines.

Neck Pain Wickatunk, NJ

Relief from Headaches

If you've never experienced a headache in your life, you're exceedingly rare. Just about every American will suffer from a headache at some point or another. For some, headaches only happen occasionally and are not much more than an annoyance. For others, headaches evolve into crippling migraines that can affect quality of life, ability to work, and much more.

If you find yourself digging into a bottle of Aspirin or something stronger when you have a headache, it might be time to visit an NJSSW chiropractor.

Knee Pain Wickatunk, NJ

Improved Sleep

Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you didn't sleep a wink the previous night? Do you have to take sleep aides like Ambien in order to drift off to dreamland? If you have chronic back pain, getting a full night's rest is easier said than done. From misaligned spines to improper sleeping posture, your chiropractor in Wickatunk can use manipulation therapy and other techniques to boost blood flow and align your vertebrae, so your body can heal itself and help you rest better.

Relief For Sciatica Wickatunk, NJ

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

One of the best things about seeing your chiropractor is that when your session is over, you often feel great. The pain relief feels phenomenal. When you're not in pain, you have a more positive outlook on life, and often enjoy better sleep, blood pressure, and even sexual relations. It makes sense, then, that chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, which promotes relaxation and improved mental health.

Pain And Spine Management Wickatunk, NJ

Athletic Performance

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we work with a long list of athletes who suffer from sports injuries and other problems that can manifest from being active. For professional athletes, having a trustworthy chiropractor to care for them is needed for their careers. But you don't have to be a pro athlete to benefit from chiropractic care. Ordinary people that enjoy active lifestyles can reap tremendous rewards through chiropractic care, such as improved range of motion and relief from compressed discs.

Whether you enjoy impromptu games of tag football or simply want to play with your kids, seeing a chiropractor can help you be healthy and active without fighting back, neck, and joint pain. That's especially true when chiropractic therapy is used in conjunction with acupuncture, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.ies and addictive medicines.

Back Treatment Wickatunk, NJ

Common Chiropractic Techniques

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Your NJ Sports Spine & Wellness chiropractor in Wickatunk may use a range of techniques to restore function and alignment in your body. Some of the most common techniques our chiropractors use include:

  • Mobilization: This chiropractic strategy uses gentle movements to help restore joint functionality and proper spinal alignment.
  • Manipulation: Spinal manipulation uses controlled force and gravity to correct spinal issues and restore healthy alignment.
  • Electrical Stimulation: With this therapy, electrical currents are used to stimulate your muscles and help heal injuries faster.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy: This type of massage and other hands-on techniques relieve muscle tension while providing pain relief and promoting soft tissue health.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: With this therapy, the targeted use of pressure is used to release tension and improve functionality across specific areas of your body.
  • Ultrasounds: High-frequency sound waves can break up plaque and help stimulate your body's natural healing processes for injuries and wounds.

Reclaim Your Active Life with Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care

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Life has a habit of being unexpected. Sure, some surprises only hurt your bank account, like last-minute renovations in your home. But severe incidents, like car accidents, can inflict physical injuries that cause you long-term pain. These problems, like neck and back injuries, affect many Americans daily. Even worse, many hardworking people turn to risky surgeries and addictive pain medications, only to find themselves deep in a hole that seems impossible to get out of.

If you suffer from serious range-of-motion issues or you're in chronic pain, it's important to know that you have treatment choices. You don't have to put your health at risk to relieve your pain. One of the most successful non-invasive treatments offered for pain is physical therapy. The main goal of physical therapy is to restore movement and function to patients affected by illness, injury, or disability.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

Once our PTs have made headway, they will often use our chiropractic therapy to provide the patient with more relief. Having the option of both chiropractic and physical therapy is often very effective, because your chiropractor in Wickatunk can address nerve irritation and joint dysfunction while your physical therapist helps retrain your musculoskeletal system, allowing your body to heal faster.

Some of the biggest benefits of using physical therapy along with chiropractic care include:

  • Restoring Mobility After Injury, Surgery, or Illness
  • Developing Flexibility and Strength for Physical Activities
  • Safe Relief from Chronic Pain
  • Improved Spine and Joint Health
  • Enhanced Knowledge of Your Body and How to Prevent Injuries
Herniated Disk Treatment Wickatunk, NJ
Back Pain Specialist Near Me Wickatunk, NJ

Engage in Activities of Daily Living with Occupational Therapy and Chiropractic Therapy

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Occupational therapy, or OT, is to help patients of all ages and abilities engage in activities of daily living, or ADL. Often, that means helping patients reclaim the ability to continue working, going to school, accomplishing day-to-day tasks, or other activities common to daily living.

Occupational therapy can benefit individuals going through many conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, and chronic pain. The end goal of occupational therapy is to help patients achieve the maximum level of independence and participation in their daily lives. If pain, discomfort, weakness, fatigue, or fear prevent you from participating in activities you love, an OT from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness could become the MVP of your wellness journey.

To give our patients the most complete pain relief and recovery options, our doctors and practitioners will often lean on the expertise of both a physical therapist and a chiropractor in Wickatunk. By working together, your PT, OT, and chiropractor can provide you with a comprehensive approach to total-body functionality, from your spine and joints to your mind and range of motion.

Some of the most common benefits of using OT with chiropractic care include:

  • Chronic Pain Relief
  • Improvement of Both Physical and Mental, Emotional, or Developmental Disabilities
  • Improved Development of Fine Motor Skills
  • Better Spine and Musculoskeletal Health
  • Help with Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Much More
Back Pain Doctor Near Me Wickatunk, NJ

Boost Self-Healing Processes with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care

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Acupuncture boosts your body's functions and helps improve its ability to heal through anatomic site stimulation - usually called acupuncture points or acupoints. To stimulate these points, acupuncturists at NJ Sports Spine & Wellness insert fine, sterile needles into your skin. Most patients don't feel any pain as needles are applied. Typically, needles are left in the skin up to 30 minutes. After your session, it's normal to feel incredibly relaxed.

While some practitioners still adhere to traditional philosophies, modern acupuncturists take an integrative approach to the therapy. Today, professional acupuncturists use these techniques to stimulate your body's natural healing and pain-fighting processes. When coupled with personalized care from a chiropractor in Wickatunk as well as physical or occupational therapy, you can find real relief from the physical and emotional roadblocks holding you back. Some of the most reported benefits of acupuncture treatment include:

  • Back, Neck, and General Pain Relief
  • Improved Digestion and Relief from IBS and Acid Reflux
  • Relief from Menstrual Cramps
  • Treatment for Allergies and Asthma
  • Enhanced Blood Flow
  • Much More

During an acupuncture session, you may feel a slight sensation of warmth or tingling at the needle's site of insertion. Generally speaking, acupuncture is painless and perfectly safe for you to consider. In fact, many practitioners and doctors recommend combining acupuncture with other treatment options like chiropractic adjustments.

Though acupuncture and chiropractic therapies come from different origins, both include non-invasive, holistic, and gentle approaches that don't require drugs to work. They also both facilitate total-body healing by addressing the underlying causes of your symptoms - not just the symptoms themselves.

Because acupuncture is known to release endorphins and improve blood flow, having a session prior to a chiropractic adjustment can be very beneficial. That's because, after acupuncture, your muscles are less stiff, more relaxed, and easier to adjust effectively. Over time, as you combine acupuncture and chiropractic therapy, you'll benefit from less inflammation and less pain as you heal from injuries or musculoskeletal conditions. That same truth applies to patients who undergo serious chiropractic adjustments.

Trust the NJ Sports Spine & Wellness Difference

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At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our staff consists of licensed and highly-trained professionals, including specialists focusing on:

  • Pain Management
  • Sports Medicine
  • Chiropractic Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Acupuncture

Contact Us

phone-number732-316-5895

Every member of our team believes that the path to wellness and a pain-free life begins with customized treatment plans that cater to your needs and body. Unlike some chiropractors in Wickatunk, we do not treat on-the-surface symptoms with one-size-fits-all therapies. We do not rely on powerful pain medications to mask your pain or invasive surgeries that require weeks of recovery. Instead, we address the root causes of your pain so that we can help you live the happy, healthy life you're craving.

To achieve that goal, we'll conduct an in-depth evaluation to learn about your medical history. We'll also perform diagnostic tests and speak with you one-on-one to get a better sense of your needs. From there, we'll recommend the therapies that can give you a new lease on life and be there for every milestone you hit.

If you're fed up of living with the limits of pain and lack of mobility, we're here to help you break free. Contact our office today to get started.

 Back Pain Relief Wickatunk, NJ

Latest News in Wickatunk, NJ

Support Collier Youth Services Summer Social, June 9.

Join Collier Youth Services for their Summer Social, a Great Way To Celebrate the Work Collier Has Been Doing For Over 90 Years! June 9, 2022 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, at Collier Youth Services, 160 Conover Road, Wickatunk, NJ 07765 Featuring Live Music by Pat Guadagno Honoring: Shore Builders Association of Central NJ & Professi...

Join Collier Youth Services for their Summer Social, a Great Way To Celebrate the Work Collier Has Been Doing For Over 90 Years!

June 9, 2022

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, at Collier Youth Services, 160 Conover Road, Wickatunk, NJ 07765

Featuring Live Music by Pat Guadagno

Honoring:

Shore Builders Association of Central NJ &

Professional Women in Building of the Garden State

Woman's Club of Colts Neck

Martha Mary Guild of the

Parish of St. Mary, Colts Neck

Tickets are $175/person

For more information, reservations, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase an ad in our ad journal visit

www.collieryouthservices.org/ss

Support the Summer Social

Participate in our Beat The Heat Raffle and 50/50 tickets! www.collieryouthservices.org/ss/raffle Winners do not need to be present to win. Must be 18 years old or older to enter.

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Got Talent? Showcase it September 22, at the Diane Turton Talent Show

Photo Credit: Pixabay By Press ReleaseDiane Turton to Host Turton Talent Show to Benefit CASA of Ocean County and Collier Youth ServicesWickatunk, NJ--Diane Turton, Realtors is excited to announce that they will be hosting a Turton Talent Show to benefit CASA of Ocean County and Collier Youth Services. The event will take place at the Algonquin Theatre in Manasquan, New Jersey on September 22nd. Please be sure to visit the ...

Photo Credit: Pixabay

By Press Release

Diane Turton to Host Turton Talent Show

to Benefit CASA of Ocean County and Collier Youth Services

Wickatunk, NJ--Diane Turton, Realtors is excited to announce that they will be hosting a Turton Talent Show to benefit CASA of Ocean County and Collier Youth Services. The event will take place at the Algonquin Theatre in Manasquan, New Jersey on September 22nd. Please be sure to visit the turtontalentshow.com website for more details and to purchase tickets to the event.

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If you’ve got talent (Singers, Dancers, Poets, Musicians, Comedians, Magicians, etc.) and are between the ages of 8 and 18, we want you! Auditions will be held July 6th at the Brick PAL (60 Drum Point Road, Brick, NJ 08723) from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. To set-up an audition appointment, visit the turtontalentshow.com website for more details and audition information. If you can't make auditions, email us a video submission at Turtontalent@dianeturton.com The deadline for video submissions is July 30th. Prizes will be awarded to the top three performers and the audience favorite.

“I so look forward to this exciting event and the opportunity to recognize the talent of our youth,” said Diane Turton, President & Founder, Diane Turton, Realtors. “It is also extremely rewarding to support CASA and Collier Youth Services, two great Monmouth and Ocean County local youth programs.”

About CASA of Ocean County

The mission of CASA of Ocean County is to train everyday people to act as the voice for the neglected and abused children in foster care. The CASA Volunteer serves as the child's voice in court and is committed to moving the child towards a safe and permanent home. For more information, visit CASAofOceanCounty.org

About Collier Youth Services

The mission of Collier Youth Services is to provide at-risk youth a chance to grow toward their potential in an environment that promotes belonging, dignity and hope. For more information, visit collieryouthservices.org.

About Diane Turton, Realtors Since 1985, the Diane Turton, Realtors name has earned renowned recognition as the premier real estate company in the markets that they serve. With 18 strategic locations serving Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, the Diane Turton brand is recognized worldwide in providing complete residential and commercial real estate ownership services and support. Diane Turton, Realtors caters to all real estate requirements, including title, insurance, referral and relocation services. The company is staffed with nearly 425 sales associates along with a full-time management/support team. Led by President/Founder, Diane Turton for the past 33 years, Diane Turton, Realtors was founded on the following five core values: Trust, Communication, Service, Knowledge and Courtesy.

Experts in the markets they serve, Diane Turton, Realtors operates in close proximity to New York City, Philadelphia and Atlantic City. More information on the dynamics of Diane Turton, Realtors can be found on the company website at www.dianeturton.com

3,300 NJ localities aren't part of the state's municipal governments. What are they?

Asbury Park PressThere’s Double Trouble, The Alligator and Water Witch. Loveladies, Wickatunk and Success.They’re among more than 3,300 New Jersey localities tracked by the state that aren’t among the 564 municipal governments incorporated as cities, townships, boroughs, towns or villages within the state’s 21 counties.The curious names for many of these communities, neighborhoods and hamlets have interesting stories behind them, although some are in dispute and a few remain mysteri...

Asbury Park Press

There’s Double Trouble, The Alligator and Water Witch. Loveladies, Wickatunk and Success.

They’re among more than 3,300 New Jersey localities tracked by the state that aren’t among the 564 municipal governments incorporated as cities, townships, boroughs, towns or villages within the state’s 21 counties.

The curious names for many of these communities, neighborhoods and hamlets have interesting stories behind them, although some are in dispute and a few remain mysteries. But many residents strongly identify with them, and some people are unaware of the official names of their hometowns.

The nonprofit New Jersey Planning Officials, a group of volunteer citizen planners that educated and provides support for zoning boards and elected officials, keeps the list of locales on hand for that very reason.

“People will call us and say they’re from Reaville, and we’ll explain they actually reside in Raritan Township and Hunterdon County,” says NJPO’s Eugene Dunworth.”

Where is Double Trouble Village?

Double Trouble Village in Berkeley Township is on the eastern edge of the Pine Barrens. Now considered a ghost town, the village is located in the heart of Double Trouble State Park.

The historic site for the village is considered “a window into Pine Barrens industries,” according to the state Park Service website. A sizable lumber mill began at Double Trouble Village in the 1700s, and a large cranberry operation began there in the 1860s.

One account of the origin of the name says heavy rains twice damaged a dam there and forced two reconstructions.

“A more colorful legend involves local beaver or muskrats that persisted in gnawing at the dam, which caused frequent leaks,” the Park Service website says. “Such leaks gave rise to the alarm ‘Here's trouble,’ upon which workmen would rush to repair the leak. One day two breaks were discovered, and one worker overheard the shout ‘Here's double trouble.’ ”

How did Water Witch, Wickatunk and The Alligator get their names?

Water Witch is in Highlands Borough in Monmouth County and a reference to the nearby Water Witch Club Historic District that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The original club, which still is a site for weddings, included a billiard room and casino and was named after the 1830 James Fenimore Cooper novel “The Water-Witch” about the abduction of a woman by the captain of a ship of the same name.

The state’s entry of The Alligator in Jackson Township in Ocean County stumped officials at the Ocean County Historical Society and Lakewood Historical Museum. All three said the only recollection they have is the existence of a former bar called the Alligator Inn on the Jackson-Lakewood border that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s because you could gamble and drink in a remote setting.

Loveladies in Long Beach Township in Ocean County was the site of a government agency that was a precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard beginning in 1871. The area was named after the man who owned an island next to the agency’s location.

Wickatunk in Marlboro Township in Monmouth County, meanwhile, is believed to have derived its name from “wikewetung,” the word in the Indigenous Algonquian language that means “the fishing place.”

What about Success and Ho-Ho-Kus?

Success, an area in Jackson Township in Ocean County, could have been a nod to its thriving timber-related industries that included making charcoal and tar in the late 1800s and early 1900s. State Historic Preservation Office documents show that the areas around Success were also part of an effort to make parts of the Pine Barrens a winter vacation resort destination as companions to the summer spots at the beaches.

“This was a response to strong social trends, national in scope, that advocated vacations for all people, and were responsible for the contemporaneous Ocean County developments along the seacoast,” according to a Jackson Township survey on the state’s website.

Of course, even some of the state’s official locales have interesting names as well, including Ho-Ho-Kus Township in Bergen County -- and Pohatcong, Netcong and Lopatcong townships and Hopatcong Borough. The Ho-Ho-Kus website says there are up to 16 different definitions for the word but says the most accepted version is that it was the Delaware Indian word for “The Red Cedar.” The Congs, meanwhile, derive their names from Delaware or Lenni-Lenape Indian languages.

As my year of service comes to a close, one last community check-in

by Caileigh PattisallView Author ProfileEditor's note: Notes from the Field includes reports from young people volunteering in ministries of Catholic sisters. A partnership with Catholic Volunteer Network, the project began in the summer of 2015. This is Caileigh's final Notes from the Field blog post....

by Caileigh Pattisall

View Author Profile

Editor's note: Notes from the Field includes reports from young people volunteering in ministries of Catholic sisters. A partnership with Catholic Volunteer Network, the project began in the summer of 2015. This is Caileigh's final Notes from the Field blog post.

I've been feeling all sorts of nostalgia lately, especially since my last blog post corresponds with my last month of service with Good Shepherd Volunteers.

I've been thinking a lot about when I first applied to this program. I was 21 and had just graduated in a pandemic. I had vague ideas of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.

I turned 24 last month. I got to celebrate this birthday in a new city with new friends. I'm in such a different place now, and I'm grateful. I have grown in so many facets of my life, met incredible people, and had all sorts of new experiences.

I'm grateful for the initial community I have lived with this year in Washington Heights. My roommates are so different from me, and I have learned so much from them and their own life experiences. I would have never met then if I had stayed in Northern Virginia, if I had never taken this leap of faith. Living with them has been truly a gift, one where I've been able to gain perspective.

My roommates surprised me after a long day at work with our apartment decorated and this beautiful carrot cake. (My favorite!) It was so thoughtful and a great way to turn 24. (Caileigh Pattisall)

I'm also grateful to have met and worked with all the participants in the program at Barbara Blum Residence. I've never been so inspired by resilience and growth, and it's been incredible to bear witness to.

I'm also grateful for the experiences I have had through being a part of this organization. A few weeks ago, all of the Good Shepherd Volunteers were graciously invited to LifeWay Network's Event Towards New Life. The event was a beautiful gala in Midtown Manhattan, where we celebrated the accomplishments and work of LifeWay Network to end human trafficking. We also celebrated Good Shepherd Sr. Maureen McGowan, who represents the Sisters of the Good Shepherd on the board. It was fun to get dressed up and be together to support and learn about a great cause.

In the first piece I wrote for Notes from the Field back in December, I walked you through what a community check looks like at my placement site. I find myself checking in again and feeling proud of how far I have come in just one year. I'd like to pay homage and take you all with me through one last community check-in.

"How are you feeling?"

I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward this year and the people I've met who have inspired me to keep going when things got tough. I'm also, of course, feeling nervous for what comes next, but with that comes excitement.

"What is your goal for today?"

Today, my goal is to stay present. I want to cherish these last small moments of this year that I will fondly look back on.

"Who can help you with that?"

I think everyone I'm currently in community with can help me stay present. At home and at my job, everyone has done a fantastic job checking in and fostering a space where I want to be present.

"What's your commitment?"

Each community check-in, we have to make a commitment to one of the Seven Sanctuary Commitments: nonviolence, emotional intelligence, shared governance, social learning, growth and change, social responsibility, and open communication. I would like to continue with growth and change. I hope committing to growing myself and my experiences can make me a better advocate and worker in the social justice field.

"What is your safety plan?"

Safety plans are strategies you can use to remain calm when experiencing a stressful situation. These can look like physical exercises, things you're looking forward to, or just simply something you can tell yourself. I remember reading a quote by writer Robert Brault: "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

It's hard to see sometimes through the stress or the trivial moments that these might be things you'll miss down the line. Through all this nostalgia, I'm realizing what it means to take each day in full, to actively try to be more present. Because over time, it's been the little things I've seen and been able to be a part of that have truly contributed to my overall growth.

Collier Youth Services Officially Opens its Inclusive Playground

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.Community CornerCollier celebrates the opening of its Inclusive Playground with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Collier Youth Services, Community ContributorDiana Piotrowski and her family cutting the ribbon to official...

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.

Community Corner

Collier celebrates the opening of its Inclusive Playground with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Collier Youth Services, Community Contributor

Diana Piotrowski and her family cutting the ribbon to officially open the Collier Inclusive Playground (Collier Youth Services)

Members of the Woman's Club of Colts Neck and members of the Collier Board pose with Sr. Debbie, Executive Director of Collier Youth Services, in front of the Inclusive Playground (Collier Youth Services)

Andrew and Colleen Janiw pose with Sr. Debbie, Executive Director of Collier Youth Service (Collier Youth Services)

The Piotrowski Family poses with Sr. Debbie, Executive Director of Collier Youth Service (Collier Youth Services)

Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn poses with Sr. Debbie, Executive Director of Collier Youth Services (Collier Youth Services)

Collier Youth Services, a nonprofit located in Wickatunk, NJ, officially opened the Collier Inclusive Playground on Monday, June 27th. This playground will provide hundreds of hours of fun as well as mental and developmental growth for campers at Kateri Day Camp as well as Students in Collier School, both programs of Collier.

To mark this joyous occasion, Collier hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for all the donors who helped make the playground a reality. Among the audience were members of the Colts Neck Woman’s Club, the Lions Club of Colts Neck, Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn, individual donors, and board members. After the ribbon was cut, campers flooded the playground running toward their favorite pieces of equipment—the twisty slide and the whirl and twirl were among the top.

Since 1977, Kateri has provided a safe, supervised summer camp experience that enriches the lives of children from Monmouth County’s poorest neighborhoods. Kateri is unique because it is the only day camp in Monmouth County that solely focuses on the children of families who live in poverty. Each summer, over 220 campers come to Kateri at little or no cost, thanks to camperships (camp scholarships) covering the full camp tuition, round-trip transportation, breakfast, lunch, snack, swim lessons, literacy program, and on and off-site activities.

The benefits of the Inclusive Playground Studies are truly significant. Studies have shown that playgrounds improve athletic abilities by gaining cardio endurance and strength from the varying equipment. Agility will improve as well as fine and gross motor skills, balance, and coordination. Imaginative play that occurs on a playground helps develop executive functioning skills providing them with opportunities to troubleshoot, prioritize, plan, and negotiate.

An Inclusive Playground allows youth with disabilities to be included in this vital development. Last year, 55% of Kateri campers were diagnosed with some form of disability such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, and cerebral palsy. An inclusive playground respects the needs of each of our campers. This safe and fun space where everyone can play together will foster a sense of community where everyone feels welcome, and there is something for everyone.

When camp is not in session, the inclusive playground will be used by 80 students currently participating in the Occupational Therapy (OT) program at Collier School, also located on the Collier campus. Collier School is a Middle and High school for students whose mental health and behavioral challenges cannot be met within their public school. Many students are diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, depression, mood/attention/adjustment difficulties, oppositional/defiant behavior, poor social skills, and school avoidance. Children with these diagnoses can quickly become under or overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, or agitated throughout the school day. The playground will build gross and fine motor skills, core strength, and body awareness for them. Students will also use the playground to provide "movement breaks" to help them reset and be more productive in the classroom.

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