Focus PT - April/May 2020

Focus Physical Therapy Bi-Monthly 949.709.8770

April/May 2020

To the Library! Why Don’t We Read More?

Book lovers, brace yourselves.

and from work. That said, I did recently pick up a hardcover book called “The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care — and How to Fix It” by Marty Makary, MD. It’s not what I normally read, but as someone who works in the medical field, I’ve seen firsthand how broken our health care system really is. So, I’m curious to read this surgeon’s insights on the topic and what changes he proposes to provide people the health care they need and want while still keeping businesses open. I can’t exactly read “The Price We Pay” while I’m driving, so I’ll need to make time to finish this book. Usually, I tell myself that I’m going to read a few pages every day. That doesn’t always happen, but on the weekends, I can find time to do some reading here and there. Whether it’s for entertainment or knowledge, it’s always good to keep our minds working with reading. There are tons of known benefits to reading. It stimulates the mind, expands our knowledge, and improves our focus. I’ll even read out loud from time to time because I’ve heard that reading out loud can help you become a better public speaker. As someone who needs to interact with patients all the time, good communication is important. Reading often also gives us the tools to communicate better through vocabulary. If I’m reading and I come across a word that I don’t know, I’ll make a point to look it up even if I can guess the meaning with context clues. It helps me learn more words to really get my point across. It can also help me win at Scrabble. We could all stand to read more. April 19–25 is National Library Week, so let’s celebrate with a trip to your local library! Bring the family, pick up something new to read, and give yourself permission to enjoy a good book this month. Just make sure not to write in them.

I write in books.

I know this might sound like sacrilege to some, but I really enjoy taking notes while I’m reading. I love having a real paper book in my hands so I can highlight passages or scribble in the margins. Sure, you can make notes with e-books, but there’s something about having a tactile connection with the material that makes reading so engaging for me. Of course, I would never dream of writing in a book someone loaned me or a library book. I learned from a young age to treat library books like the treasure they are. My local library did a program where kids could earn points for the number of books they read, and those points could be redeemed for prizes. I’ve always loved reading, so I racked up tons of points all the time. When I was young, my favorite books were westerns and outdoor adventures. As I got older, I really liked Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” and “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer. Today, I’m more likely to pick up business or self-help books. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey is a book everyone should read. “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... And Others Don’t” by James C. Collins is also a personal favorite that I highly recommend. Books have always been part of my life. When our kids were little, each Mother’s Day, my wife and I would read them “Love You Forever” or “I Love You to the Moon and Back.” This was always a lot of fun. Today a lot of extracurriculars take up my kids’ time, but I do encourage them to read more when they can. I guess I can’t blame them too much for not reading as often as I’d like them to. I barely have the time to sit down and read for fun. These days, most of my “reading” comes in the form of listening to audiobooks, usually from Audible.

–Julian Manrique

It’s not the same as holding a book in my hands, but thanks to audiobooks, I tend to get some “reading” in during commutes to

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 1

Finding Motivation on Those Tough Days

Top Mental Strategies for Your Fitness Routine

Whether your New Year’s workout routine is finally embedded in your schedule or you’re still trying to make it happen, always remember that your mind is just as important as your body. On some days, you may feel like anything is possible, and on others, it may feel impossible to even get out of bed. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal! There’s no reason to feel ashamed if you’re struggling with gaining steam and motivation for your workout. Here are some mental strategies to help you get firmly into your routine this year and the years to come.

give you the mental push to actually work out. It’s also best to leave the all-or-nothing mindset behind — a 45- or 55-minute workout isn’t required every single gym session. Life happens, and even if it’s a short exercise, your workout will actually energize you for the rest of your day.

Getting to the Gym

Pushing Yourself to the Limit

What’s the hardest part of working out? For most people, it’s not the heavy weights or the long cardio sessions — it’s actually stepping into the gym. Sometimes, people will wake up and think that the gym isn’t possible that day as they lay in bed. Some people will psych themselves out of working out because their time is limited, or they worry about how tired they’ll be after the workout (especially after or before a busy day).

Studies have found that the most successful people share grit: the ability to work hard and endure even the most difficult times. Workouts will burn, and the motions may feel uncomfortable or even painful, so it’s crucial to have the grit to push yourself to the limit. Rather than give up, you should embrace the pain and see it as a sign you’re growing stronger. Adjust your inner vocabulary. Anything that seems “uncomfortable” should be reconsidered as “intense” but something you can work through. Of course, be careful of injury pains!

Instead of thinking of reasons you can’t or don’t want to go, focus your mind only on the task of getting there. Stepping into the gym will often

Thank you to all our patients that have referred their friends and family to us!


• Paul Kinnison • Susan Korneich • Lauren Thum • Dino Sahrai • Michelle Jackson • Brett Bleacher • Sharon Carrier • Kaveh Faramarzi • Perrin Turner • Janna Tennant • Mark Koester

• Darrell Cross • Steve Cox • Jennifer Richards • Lerma Voytilla • Valerie Furlong • Yoshiko Tanioka • Karin Hendrick

“I have been using Focus PT for several years, and the staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. I’ve always been highly satisfied with the work they’ve done on my spine.” - Edward Colon “Julian and his staff are excellent. They are knowledgeable and get you back to doing what you love. I would highly recommend them!” -Lauren Anderson

• Tom Barras • Trevor Clift • Steve Smith • Ernest Britt

We love our clients!


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Meet Phillip On

What Makes a Rock star PT?

Many physical therapists didn’t start out on that career path originally. Instead, they found their place in PT through personal experiences, like our newest team member, Phillip On, who began his undergrad studies as a chemistry major. “I was really into chemistry when I was learning it in high school,” Phillip says. “Then I got a job as a lab assistant, and I realized it wasn’t what I expected. It certainly wasn’t where I could see my career going for the

rest of my life. I was looking for a new path when my roommate said, ‘You know, you’re so into working out and health. Why don’t you do something in the health care field?’”

That suggestion stuck with Phillip, and he knew just where to start. Around that same time, he injured his knee while lifting weights and needed some physical therapy.

“That was how I was first exposed to physical therapy. It really sparked my curiosity of how the body works in a musculoskeletal way. My knee pain wasn’t constant, and the PT told me that sometimes your body’s mechanics, even how you’re exercising, can bring on pain. Discovering this was really interesting. Going into physical therapy was a pursuit of understanding my body more and using that knowledge to help other people.” With a firm goodbye to chemistry, Phillip enrolled in physical therapy school. After he graduated and passed his boards, Phillip was faced with the daunting task of finding a job. Fortunately, a very interesting help wanted ad caught his eye. “I was applying for jobs when I saw the words ‘rock star PT,’” Phillip explains. “I’d never seen anything else like it on any other application. I clicked on it, and the application started by listing the core values of Focus PT. A lot of the clinic’s core values matched up with my own core values, so I knew I had to apply. In my first phone interview with Julian, we talked for almost two hours. We really hit it off, and after getting to visit the office in person, I knew it was the place I wanted to be.” Phillip started in early January 2020, and he’s been a wonderful addition to the team. He fully embodies the quality of care we strive for. One-on-one care is our priority, and we’re thrilled to have Phillip on the team to help provide this level of care to our patients every day.




• 3 tbsp pure sesame oil • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 3 scallions, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

• 4 medium zucchini • Salt, to taste • 3 medjool dates, pitted and softened in warm water for 5 minutes • 3 1/2 tbsp creamy, unsweetened almond butter • 3 tbsp coconut aminos


1. If you have a spiralizer, use it to cut zucchini into noodles. Otherwise, use a peeler. Salt zucchini. Allow zucchini to “sweat” out water for 1 hour, wrap in a paper towel, and squeeze the water out. 2. In a food processor, blend dates with almond butter and aminos until smooth. 3. Add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and vinegar and pulse until sauce is smooth. 4. In a pan, sauté zucchini noodles until heated and slightly softened. 5. Toss zucchini noodles with prepared sauce and top with scallions and almonds.

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 3

30212 Tomas #120 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688, USA





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What’s Your Favorite Book?

Top Mental Strategies for Your Fitness Routine

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Success Story

Meet Our New PT, Phillip On

Sesame Zucchini Noodles

The Best Locations for Spring Blooms


Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. Great Smoky Mountains The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year- round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert- led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. Crested Butte Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the

town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains.

Antelope Valley The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780- acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.


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