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I’d like to share a personal experience of generosity and kindness from a trip I took last month to my homeland of India. I had the privilege of giving back to an institution where I took classes in the 1980’s as part of the Occupational Therapy Master’s Program at the University of Bombay (now Mumbai). This facility, called the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIIPMR), is a Government of India Ministry of Health and Human Welfare Institution.

Jyo Supnekar IASTM HawkGrips India OT instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Author Jyo Supnekar demonstrates HawkGrips Therapy at the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Mumbai, India.

To provide a little background, I work full-time as a clinical specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital Outpatient Therapy Services in Baltimore. About four years ago, my coworkers and I were introduced to HawkGrips and how to utilize them for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). Since then, we’ve found the instruments to be extremely beneficial for our clients with musculoskeletal impairments, aiding greatly in their recovery. HawkGrips also help clinicians by reducing stress on our hands and providing excellent feedback about tissue impairment.

IASTM Demonstration

The reason for my India trip in May was actually to help my mother. But a day before the flight, I remembered that my friend from OT school, Smita Jaywant, is head of occupational therapy at the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. So I contacted her to see if she knew about IASTM and would like me to conduct a demonstration for her staff. Smita loved the idea, saying it would be a great learning opportunity. I then asked my director at Hopkins, Ken Johnson, if I could borrow his set of HawkGrips instruments and he said yes without hesitation.

Upon arriving in Mumbai, I created a PowerPoint presentation based on my experience with the instruments and an article I had written about IASTM. I also told the COO at HawkGrips, Sean MacNeal, how I wanted to give back to the Institute because it does so much good work, especially for people with little money. Sean was very supportive and said HawkGrips would be happy for me to share my IASTM knowledge halfway around the world!

In all about 40 clinicians attended my presentation, including physical therapists, occupational therapists and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians. They showed great interest and asked many thoughtful questions while observing this demonstration on how to properly and effectively utilize the instruments. I’ve since received enthusiastic feedback about how they’d like to obtain additional tools for the Institute, and they can’t wait to try the set that HawkGrips has generously donated! I’m so happy to have been given this educational opportunity, and am very grateful to HawkGrips and Ken Johnson for their generosity and trust.

Jyotsna “Jyo” Supnekar is a clinical specialist at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Therapy Services in Baltimore. She earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy at the University of Bombay in 1986 and became a HawkGrips course instructor in 2016.

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