PT 360 - April 2020

Getting you back to the life you want to live.


A pril 2020

In Touch

D reams do come true ...


Shelly Coffman

In December, I started the process of bringing a dog into our family, without even an inkling of a lead on an actual dog. Recognizing the need for my kiddo to have this much needed support with VERY specific requirements seemed a giant hurdle. I really didn’t want a puppy, as cute as they are. My never-at-home life did not support puppy-dom. I was worried that in order to get “just the right dog,” a puppy would eventually make its way into my life, despite my objections. I reached out to a local animal rescue and asked if it was possible to find all of the qualities I was looking for in a rescue pup. I was assured that the right pup would come along, but it just might be a while, and that we certainly shouldn’t have a puppy. Many petfinder posts and several months later, we were still dogless (and fenceless.) I got the call from Pixie Project on a Friday that a rescue puppy was available, and they thought this pup would be perfect. I was worried about a puppy, I thought I’d at least be able to get through Girl Scout cookie season before having to “level up.” I was assured this was just the right dog. Many kudos to the Pixie Project — they were not wrong. Meet Supernova, aka Nova. Nova is as sweet and loving and easy a puppy as I could have hoped with an older dog. Nova settled right into our chaos and has become the greeter at the office. Need a therapy dog to accompany your physical therapy? There’s a Nova for that! The sweet blessing that this dog has been for my daughter, once we pulled the trigger, seemed like a speedy arrow. From the first

A void T hese W orkout M istakes

April Fools’ Day is a fun holiday to mess with friends and family, but it also serves as an important reminder about the dangers of deceit. When it comes to fitness, there are a lot of fads and opinions out there, and it can be difficult to parse fact from fiction. If you don’t want to be a fitness fool this season, follow these five simple tips. Don’t OverwhelmYourself A lot of beginners have unrealistic goals. Right off the bat they’ll aim to gain 20 pounds of muscle, lose 15 pounds of fat, cut every carb from their diet, or complete sunrise workouts six times a week. But trying to tackle a mammoth goal right away is more likely to lead to failure. You’ll quickly run out of time, willpower, and energy. Instead, break your goal into smaller steps that are easier to achieve. If you’re trying to build muscle, then start with using more free weights at the gym or increasing your protein intake each day. Then build up to bigger things. Track Your Progress How will you know you’re improving if you don’t measure your growth? After every workout, write down everything you did, including minutes of cardio performed, weights used, and reps

phone call to the puppy pick up was a mere eight weeks. At this time last year, I was six weeks into my eight-week weight loss challenge and had met my goal. This led me to think, What could I do in my life, if I was able to maintain laser focus on one important goal at a time? It is so easy to get distracted,“focus”on too many things at a time (not a thing), and lose focus on the one thing we want or need to accomplish above all else. Time passes, and we’re no closer to that goal because we spread our efforts too thin. When that laser focus is allowed to be channeled toward your dreams, then it’s no longer a dream. Turn your dreams into goals, and take action . Sweet puppy kisses were a nice reward. My wish for you is that you take the time to weigh out where to value your time and, step step step, turn those wishes into reality. May your reward be even better than puppies! –-Shelly Coffman

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completed. Take a notebook to the gym or keep track on your phone. Also, remember to take photos of your body and measure things like body weight and fat percentage periodically. Measuring your progress will highlight your successes, point out where you need work, and keep you motivated. AlwaysWarm Up Many people assume that warming up is as easy as jogging on a treadmill for a few minutes or doing that standard set of stretches we all learned back in elementary school. But in reality, neither of these options adequately prepare your muscles, joints, and nervous system for an effective workout. Instead, take the time to warm up with dynamic stretches, activation exercises, and premovement preparation based on the workout you’re about to do. This will build your strength and prevent injury. Understand Supplements Taking a daily dose of supplements is a great way to add a healthy boost to your fitness journey. However, if you’re relying solely on supplements to get all the nutrition you need, then you’re not using them correctly. Supplements are useless when paired with a bad diet. If you’re eating nothing but pizza and burgers for dinner, then taking a handful of vitamins with breakfast isn’t going to benefit you. Eat a solid diet of lean meats, veggies, and whole grains; drink a lot of water; and take supplements in conjunction.

Value Your Success If you’re pushing your body so hard that it can no longer do an activity — also known as training to failure — then you’re not efficiently exercising your muscles for growth. Training to failure is a popular motivational tactic, but it harms your muscles instead of stimulating them. If you batter your muscles, then they’ll get fatigued and stop growing, but if you coax your muscles into gaining size and strength, then you’ll keep seeing progress. As a rule of thumb, try stopping a few repetitions before failure.

L augh W ith M e ! A L ighthearted A pproach to D ecreasing S tress

to put the research into practice by telling jokes to his patients, and after seeing the positive effects, he took his material to a local park. Parkgoers, who were initially skeptical, joined in on the practice, and the first laughter yoga club was born. The laughter meetup had everyone in high spirits — until the group ran out of jokes. Unsure of what to do next, Kataria found another medical book suggesting the group didn’t need jokes to laugh. Fake laughter is just as beneficial as the real thing because the body can’t tell the difference between the two. Collaborating with this wife, Madhuri, Kataria combined common yoga warmups and breathing techniques with facilitated laughter to create the form of laughter yoga that is practiced worldwide today. If you’re interested in trying laughter yoga for yourself, then you’re in luck. Laughter yoga clubs exist across the United States and the world. Videos on YouTube can teach the basics, but laughter yoga tends to be most beneficial in a group setting. Just think about the last time you found yourself in a fit of giggles with a group of friends or during a comedy show. Didn’t it feel great? Rather than wait for a silly situation to trigger laughter, use laughter yoga to promote laughter and alleviate stress on any day at any time.

We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that human physiology supports this claim. When we laugh, our body releases a flood of

feel-good chemicals and neurotransmitters. Our

blood flow increases, and our production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, decreases. Oh, and laughing also burns calories!

The feel-good, endorphin- inducing benefits of laughter

are exactly what prompted Dr. Madan Kataria to develop laughter yoga in 1995. Laughter yoga incorporates breathing, stretching,

clapping, and of course, laughing.

Kataria developed the initial idea after coming across research into the benefits of laughter on overall health and well-being. He began

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The season of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, but you don’t have to let your allergies stop you from enjoying gorgeous April blooms and fresh spring breezes. Try these natural solutions to help combat your allergies and breathe a little easier this spring — though if your allergies are persistent, seek professional medical help. L earn to B reathe B etter H olistic M ethods for T aming S easonal A llergies Food is often overlooked as a method to fight your allergies, but make no mistake: The nutrients in some foods can do wonders for your body! Use this to your advantage by choosing ingredients proven to fight the sniffles. Raw, local honey has the ability to soothe scratchy throats, which protects the airway passage from further damage. ( Warning: Children under the age of 1 should never consume honey.) Also on the sweeter side, the naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, has been shown to ease inflammation and swelling, while quercetin, found in tea, red wine, and apples, can act as a natural antihistamine. If you’re looking for something more savory, spicy foods can light a fire under your mucus, break it up, and clear your nasal passages. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method that pinpoints specific pathways crucial to the flow of energy throughout the body and reopens them through strategic needle placements. While studies have yet to prove that acupuncture can serve as a stand-alone treatment for allergies, it has been shown to aid in Poke Them Away Eat Them Away

symptom management. Acupuncture can also decrease pain and release built-up pressure caused by congestion.

Drain Them Away

Have you ever just wanted to open your nose and flush out all of your congestion? With a neti pot, you can! Simply create your own saltwater solution with filtered water — do not try this with unfiltered water, as deadly organisms can enter your body this way — and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some experts even suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to the mixture to soothe the bite of the salt. Next, pour the solution into the pot. Tilt your head to one side over a sink, pour the mixture from the pot into one of your nostrils, and let it drain out the other side. Repeat on the opposite nostril and feel the relief!

B eet , G oat C heese , and A rugula S alad

This crowd-pleasing dish is sure to be the biggest hit at your next gathering. And it’s good for you, too!


• 6 cups fresh arugula • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries • 1/2 avocado, cubed • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese

• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar • 3 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced • 1 tbsp honey • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste • 6 beets, peeled and quartered Directions 1. Heat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, and honey. 3. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. 4. In a small bowl, toss the beets in dressing until they are coated.

5. Place coated beets on

baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool.

6. In a large bowl, toss arugula, walnuts, and

berries with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Top salad with beets,

avocado, and goat cheese. 3


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Dreams Do Come True ... Don't Be Fooled by Fitness Mistakes Page 1 Laughter Yoga's Rise as a Global Health Movement Page 2 Fight the Sneeze With These Holistic Remedies Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad Page 3 Bringing Asana Into Physical Therapy Page 4 I nside T his I ssue

J oining H ealth and Z en H ow Y oga M eets P hysical T herapy

and relaxation. Yoga promotes overall health and well-being, and in many ways, this ancient practice overlaps with modern principles of physical therapy. Incorporating yoga into physical therapy isn’t some New Age trend. There is a lot of research to suggest that yoga and physical therapy together can improve patient recovery. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that patients undergoing physical therapy after a total knee replacement surgery experienced greater pain relief, less stiffness, and improved overall function when their therapy sessions included yoga movement postures. In the United States, yoga has long been used to help with stress relief. Today, its value in treating musculoskeletal issues — including

Imagine walking into your physical therapist’s office but instead of picking up light weights or climbing on a machine, you lay down a large foam mat. When your physical therapist arrives, they guide you through a series of body positions, using terms like “Asana,”“Child’s Pose,” and “Warrior Pose.”This combination of poses is a basic yoga session, and more physical therapists are incorporating yoga into their patients’ treatment plans. When you think of yoga, the most common image is of an incredibly fit contortionist bending their body into impossible shapes. While some yogis (dedicated practitioners of yoga) can achieve these levels of flexibility, the purpose of yoga isn’t to fold your body into a pretzel shape. The core principles of yoga focus on exercising your body with gentle movements and calming the mind with focus

lower and upper back pain, sciatica, and shoulder, neck, and hip pain — is becoming more apparent. Dr. Loren Fishman, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Flushing, New York, is known to prescribe Downward-Facing Dog pose for osteoporosis, Twisted Triangle pose for piriformis syndrome, and Side Plank pose for scoliosis. Yoga is not a total replacement for physical therapy, but it can aid in recovery. Talk to your physical therapist today about your options for yoga therapy.

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