Cassell & Associates of Novi, MI blog on brain injury rehabilitation and occupational therapy.

Spotlight on Veterans and TBI Awareness

In honor of all of the Veterans who have served our country, we wanted to share a bit of awareness about an often invisible wound that many Veterans sustain while serving our country. The news media has reportedly touted Traumatic Brain Injury as the “signature wound” of war in Veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website (www.

In the VA, TBI has become a major focus, second only to recognition of the need for increased resources to provide health care and vocational retraining for individuals with a diagnosis of TBI, as they transition to veteran status.

For more facts, please visit the DVBIC website.

Thank You, Veterans!


“TBI & the Military.” Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. N.p., 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Gift Shop

The holidays are fast approaching! Are you ready? Make sure your gifts arrive in time, and beat the holiday rush by ordering your gift basket, Michigan cutting board, hand-painted ceramics, and more from our gift shop!

Cassell & Associates has a beautiful selection of hand-made, artisan gifts to choose from! For more information about the beautiful product we have available, please call Chelsea at 248.615.6020, or email her at

  • Hand Painted Ceramics, starting at $6.00
  • Made in Michigan Gift Baskets (themed, or custom), starting at $20.00
  • Hand Made and house designed Michigan Cutting Boards, starting at $50.00
  • Holiday Cards, starting at $1/card, or boxed sets starting at $9.95

Payment via Cash or Check upon ordering. Credit Cards are not accepted at this time, but hopefully will be SOON!

Partnering with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI)

Cassell & Associates is proud to partner with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) for this year’s Spring Tribute Legacy Society Dinner. The Legacy Society Dinner honors industry professionals who have gone above and beyond in their endeavors to provide services to Brain Injury Survivors. All proceeds from this beautiful formal event support the BIAMI.

While discussing this year’s event with our friends at the BIAMI, an idea was developed to include our Survivors. Through our Creative Groups, Survivors hand paint valuable works of art – paintings, ceramics and a variety of other detail oriented tasks that encourage them to focus on dexterity, concentration, creative expression and even social skills! Art is a multifaceted therapeutic medium! It didn’t take long to figure out a way to incorporate this into the BIAMI’s special evening!

In the spirit of celebrating life, perpetual growth and uniqueness of spirit, Cassell & Associates survivors are creating beautiful, handmade pieces to be used at the dinner. Make sure you’re on the lookout for our stunning work!

Under the creative coaching of our Rehabilitation Specialist, Brittany, each Survivor has been proud and enthusiastic to create a piece for the event.

For more information about this exciting event, or to make a contribution to the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, please visit their website:

Cassell & Associates Employees Enjoy the Survive & Thrive Benefit for CPAN

Survive & Thrive 004  Cassell & Associates would like to give a big “Thank You!” to Studio West Gallery in Brighton for hosting “Survive & Thrive”, a benefit supporting CPAN in their efforts to preserve Michigan’s precious auto no-fault insurance. This event was held on Thursday June 19, 2014.
It was an evening of camaraderie as folks came together to support CPAN in an atmosphere of fun, which included original artwork, jewelry and crafts, many of which were made by survivors of traumatic brain injury.
Along with the artistic atmosphere, Renee Chodkowski, “The Great Foodini”, tantalized the taste buds with deliciously creative samples throughout the evening. Renee has been teaching enrichment cooking classes for over 26 years and has been recognized on “Good Morning America” and even has cooked with Gordon Ramsey on “MasterChef” (to name just a few of her accomplishments).
Here is what some of the Cassell & Associates employees have to say about their night out at this event-
“A fabulous time was had by all who attended CPAN’s annual “Survive & Thrive” benefit. In addition to viewing/purchasing spectacular works of art, we watched great cooking prep demonstrations by Renee Chodkowski, “The Great Foodini”. Who knew that sharp knives were less dangerous than dull knives? Or, that the best way to make cutting fruits and veggies that are oddly or round shaped a breeze, was to cut a small portion off of one side, to create a flat surface?” -Chelsea, Assistant Program Manager
“This was a beautiful event for a cause close to many of us. I was not only in awe of the amount of artwork on display, the diversity of the works and the different mediums used were just amazing! I must admit, the “Great Foodini” was also a favorite artist, which was certainly proved by the delectable roast beef sandwich that included bleu cheese and caramelized onions, yummy!” –Amy, Rehabilitation Assistant
“As an artist I really enjoyed looking at some other great works of art. There was also the feeling that I get when I could see others finding appreciation in my own creations that were on display. To top it off, the “Great Foodini” was terrific and I left with a recipe for some delicious mushroom soup!” –Greg, Survivor

Survive & Thrive 018                     Survive & Thrive 007                                    Survive & Thrive 017

Spotlight on Yoga



   Yoga has been a long time favorite around Cassell & Associates for about 15 years, taught during this time by our inspirational instructor, Gail. Her warm and gentle personality is as welcoming as the environment she creates for each class.

     Over the years, many people were hesitant to try a class, often due to physical limitations. Gail has that special way of putting people at ease and offering reassurance that yoga can be modified to fit the needs of each individual that walks into the room. Quite often, what starts as “just come in for one trial class” is actually the beginning of a long relationship with yoga.

     Some yoga participants were asked to give their thoughts on the experiences they have in our yoga program:

     “When I first was told that Yoga would help me in loosening up my tight muscles I had after my first car accident, I had doubt in my heart. Then Gail introduced it to me with ease and her gentle smile and soft, relaxing voice. Many others in my class talk about the experience of being in her class and the positive changes they have seen in themselves. Every time I lay on one of her mats in a yoga class I feel my body saying: thanks ma, I needed that!”  -Angela

     “Yoga, with our instructor, Gail, has got to be my favorite event at Cassell and Associates.She focuses on issues that I am having, such as lower back, where she puts emphasis on what she thinks will assist in resolving the pain.  At the beginning of our class, she will ask what we need to address, followed by entering the state of relaxation, which entails us laying on our back, feet up and practicing the breathing technique (in through the nose, out through the mouth).  From there, she then allows us to run-through the next group of broadening our body’s movement, muscle strengthening, and balance.  Within no time, she speaks out with the closing statement, which always brings both frustrations, with the class ending, but with relief, with having the pain reduced or eliminated”.  –John

     “Yoga was something new for me to practice; I was not sure about it, especially because it was after the accident. At the beginning it was hard for me to focus; I could focus just for a few minutes. By practicing once a week my focus continues to progress day after day. Another thing it helps me with is stretching my muscles. Before each class starts, the teacher (Gail) asks me how I am feeling today, do I have any pain, so we do exercises to stretch stiffness and relieve pain. At the end I always feel much better and I continue on my day very happy and relaxed”. -Jinan

     These are the experiences of three participants out of many. In speaking with others who practice, many cited the same sort of benefits from yoga. Reports of less pain, increased focus, feelings of relaxation, increased flexibility, range of motion and increased feelings of well-being. People are often quite surprised at what they can do in yoga and the changes they notice that soon follow with regular practice.

     Offering both seated and standing classes, Gail finds a way for those interested to benefit from practice. She brightens up the buildings as soon as she breezes in to set up for class. When her day here at Cassell & Associates is done I hope she feels the significant positive impact she leaves on so many individuals. To her we say, “Namaste, Gail”.                





Upcoming Holiday Luncheon

     Some of us find it hard to believe that we are already into the second week of December. Long summer days seem far behind us and a few lingering leaves cling desperately to branches of trees, reminding that autumn, seemingly in the blink of an eye, has passed.

     Though it is not official, many of us feel winter upon us, already nipping at our noses, chilling our toes. Daylight is dwindling quickly into lengthier nights. Winter coats, hats and mittens have made their appearance.

     Along with the wonders of wintertime comes the holiday season, which goes hand in hand with one of my favorite events of the year: The Cassell & Associates Holiday Luncheon!

     This event for Cassell & Associates employees will take place Tuesday, December 17th. The fun will begin at noon and runs until 3:00 p.m. If you are not scheduled to work on Tuesdays PLEASE come and join us for the party.

     Aside from the amazing lunch itself, this will be a day of fun and entertainment. As we have in the past, there will be Karaoke in one area and Bingo in another and a new addition to our good times: John the Magician! Some of you may have noticed him walking around our Cassell & Associates picnic and this man is spectacular. Keep an eye out for him, he will be performing in both the Karaoke and the Bingo areas, don’t miss your opportunity to be mystified!

     If you have any questions about our holiday festivities please contact our office.