Synergy Therapeutic Group - September/October 2019


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Part 1 of the Bahinipatis’ Passion for Physical Therapy THE FUTURE OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

N early four decades ago, I left medical school to pursue an education in physical therapy. At the time, my family could not understand why I would do such a thing. They believed I was making a rash decision and heading down the wrong path. Becoming a physical therapist didn’t originally carry quite the caliber of becoming a doctor in their eyes. To this day, I cannot tell you what possessed me to leave medical school for another field. I wonder if it was meeting with a physical therapist who worked for India’s cricket team that lit the spark. My uncle had VIP passes to a game, and I was able to meet with some of the players and staff. After that, physical therapy was always a possibility in the back of my mind, but summoning the courage to leave medical school never seemed like a viable option. I attended the National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. This school brought so much joy to my life. I fostered an appreciation for strengthening ways to heal, met lifelong friends that I continue to stay in touch with, and I met my wife, Chandana. Together, we have built a practice that we are proud of, and none of that would have happened if I decided not to leave medical school. … Until I did it, and I haven’t regretted it since.

dreams and planning to attend physical therapy school after she graduates from high school next spring. I’ve heard people ask her why she chose physical therapy over becoming a doctor, since she is “so bright.” They’re right about one thing: She is very intelligent! But I’m sad to hear there is still a misconception that physical therapists aren’t as knowledgeable about

healing as our practitioner counterparts, but I do have hope that our powerful healing techniques will be recognized more by our peers, patients, and researchers. We have been hunting for the right schools for Mitali, those with advanced physical therapy programs, including universities in Missouri and Indiana. On these tours, I was surprised and excited for the future of our field. There were so many young kids who were

empowered by their choice to practice or consider practicing physical therapy! There’s a bright future in physical therapy, and I’m excited to share this career with many young therapists, including my daughter, in less than a decade. I know Mitali will be a wonderful addition to the profession. Most of all, I’m proud of Mitali for following her dreams and shifting her focus to something she is passionate about. Check out the November/December edition of our newsletter to hear from Mitali about why she chose a career in physical therapy!

Today, my family understands the decision I made, and Chandana and I even devote a few hours each weekend to video calling our family in India to help them through some healing exercises. It took them years to come to this realization. For a long time, they told me I made a mistake by leaving medical school, but eventually, they recognized this decision was ultimately better for me.

I wish I could say the public’s general animosity toward the profession has

dwindled in the past 30 years that I have been actively practicing, but unfortunately, there is still skepticism. My daughter, Mitali, has decided to follow in my footsteps, burying her medical school


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How the Clean Plate Phenomenon May Be Killing Your Diet

As you celebrate your last backyard barbecue, consider this: If someone puts three helpings of potato salad on your plate, would you feel pressured to finish it? According to nutrition experts, this pressure to finish your plate is making people indulge a little too much. Dubbed the “clean plate phenomenon,” this overindulgence is troubling. Researchers have discovered that people feel pressured to clean their plates even when they feel satisfied or full. Even people who don’t fill their plates all the way often reach for that last piece or second helping because “one more bite won’t hurt.” Experts speculate that this compulsion could have stemmed from habits passed down from World War II, when rationing food was required for most, or from a fear of wasting food. Most people have, at some point, heard an adult say to a child, “Eat up; there are starving children in the world.”

But all those “one more bites” add up. Researchers from Vanderbilt University conducted a study in which participants were served individual plates with any number of cookies piled on top. They were instructed to eat three cookies, and afterward, researchers asked each of them if they wanted more. Those who had only one or two cookies left on their plates were more likely to indulge in a fourth or fifth cookie, while those who had no cookies left or had too many cookies left said they were full. Despite what you think about your own diet, this isn’t a problem sequestered to certain parties. Studies have found that plates and portion sizes in the U.S. have increased by about 20% since the 1970s. The same psychology that propelled humans to eat just a little bit more to survive is now contributing to serious overeating and a staggering calorie intake. There are a few simple tricks you can use to break this habit. Use smaller plates or measure out your food portions so you can clean your plate without guilt. You can also get into the habit of leaving a few bites on your plate to retrain your brain that it’s okay to not finish your food. (You can use your leftover food for compost or save it for later!) With a little effort and intention, you can break free of the pressure to clean your plate.


Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, TENNESSEE AND NORTH CAROLINA Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic

lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes.

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!


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Women’s bodies are powerful. Creating, caring for, and giving birth to another human is a feat of nature, and so many components of the female body work together to make this possible. One of the most valuable parts in this process is the pelvic floor. If you can run, walk, sit, or dance, you can thank your pelvic floor. This powerhouse bodily region protects 35 different muscles and connects the superhighway between your spine and your lower extremities. Not to be confused with the pelvic bone, the female pelvic floor includes the bladder, bowels, and uterus, while male pelvic floors are the bladder and bowels. In addition, women typically have stronger and more flexible pelvic floors for childbirth. At Synergy Therapeutic Group, we have treatment programs specifically designed for pelvic floor health, and we encourage patients to safely

to damage. Regular aging, your weight, the frequency of which you lift heavy objects, childbirth, straining when you use the toilet, and even chronic coughing can wear on your pelvis. If this damage is not mitigated or treated, it can subsequently influence continence, sexual pleasure, and comfort. Essentially, you will begin to lose control over your pelvic floor as it becomes weakened or damaged. Specifically for women, because of the rigorous strain of childbirth, studies have found that 1 in 5 women will experience pelvic floor disorders. Overall, more than 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. It can feel shameful or embarrassing to live with a pelvic floor disorder, but the reality is this is an uncontrollable side effect of damage. Thankfully, there is hope for these patients. Physical therapists at Synergy Therapeutic Group can provide exercise routines and strength-training regimens that will enhance the integrity of the pelvic floor. You don’t have to live with incontinence or regular pelvic floor issues. You can find relief and gain back your confidence with a fully functioning pelvic floor. Learn more about your treatment options or inquire about care by calling Synergy Therapeutic Group at (618) 529-4360. Learn more about pelvic floor health by visiting

engage in hip stretching and exercises that will enhance their pelvic floor’s integrity. Without this maintenance and care, the pelvic floor is susceptible



Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy-free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.


• 1 cup sugar • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

• 6 cups frozen mixed berries • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice


1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with 1 cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency. 2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold. 3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. 4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours. 5. Scoop and serve.


Inspired by Good Housekeeping


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INSIDE Part 1: Subrat’s Story 1 The Clean Plate Conundrum The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks 2 The Power of Your Pelvic Floor

Basil Berry Sorbet 3 Hear From Our Clients! 4


When I first came here, my body all over was completely lout. My balance was off. I walked with a cane so I wouldn’t fall. Now I sleep better. I am in a

I broke my leg ice skating that left me in a cast for three months along with a plate and seven screws. Afterwards, my

leg was very stiff. Four weeks later, I was hiking and going back to work. My experience was awesome! Staff is knowledgeable and experienced.

better mood. I will be able to do the things I like to do because my body is in better shape and my pain is gone.

–Wyatt H.

–Harriet T.


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