Spine & Rehab Specialists - October 2021

OCTOBER 2021

6358 EDGEMERE BLVD. EL PASO, TEXAS 79925 915-562-8525

11855 PHYSICIANS DR. EL PASO, TEXAS 79936 915-855-6466

I FLEW TO DC TO REPRESENT EL PASO! CELEBRATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE APTA

Last month, I flew to Washington, D.C., for one of the biggest celebrations of physical therapy I’ve ever attended: the 100th anniversary of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). It was a full weekend of meetings, plus a fantastic gala at the Washington National Cathedral, which is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. About 1,000 therapists attended to eat dinner, listen to a choir perform, and hear about the history of the APTA (with COVID-19 precautions in place, of course). One of my favorite moments of the trip happened during that gala. At one point, the organizers asked everyone to stand up and remain standing according to how long they’d been APTA members. Until then, I thought my 34 years in the physical therapy business were impressive, but among that group of top PTs from around the county, my tenure was in the middle of the pack! The last woman standing had been a member of the APTA for 74 years . She’ll celebrate her 100th birthday this December. It was a moving scene, and I left the cathedral feeling even more proud of and inspired by my colleagues. If you’re not in the PT world, you may not have heard of the APTA, but it has probably improved your health. The group represents more than 100,000 PTs, PT assistants, and PT students around the country. It provides free online resources to patients through ChoosePT.com, helps support medical research, and spreads the word about the benefits of PT, including how it can help people avoid the potentially disastrous side effects of medications, injections, and surgeries. I’ve represented El Paso in the APTA’s House of Delegates for the last eight years. We meet every year to vote on the APTA’s policies and make sure we’re always advocating for “About 1,000 therapists attended to eat dinner, listen to a choir perform, and hear about the history of the APTA (with COVID-19 precautions in place, of course).”

our patients. Last month, we pushed for the APTA to do more outreach to help people understand how physical therapy can help treat the symptoms of “long COVID-19.” I am happy to say that our motion passed! I think it will help thousands, if not millions, of people who may not realize that physical therapy can help them overcome their muscle pain, body aches, and shortness of breath, among other symptoms. (If you or someone you love is experiencing these difficulties, my team can help.) Not only was this fall the APTA’s 100th anniversary, but October is also National Physical Therapy Month! This is always one of my favorite times of the year, and it’s even more special to me after the anniversary celebration. Connecting with my fellow PTs in D.C. reminded me of how special our profession is. By using the techniques the APTA teaches, we can heal people naturally, simply by moving their bodies . I’ll always be amazed by that and grateful to be a PT.

Here’s to many more years representing El Paso at the APTA!

–Harry Koster • 1 915-562-8525

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SELF-HELP BOOKS CAN’T DO IT ALL HOW READING FICTION CAN BENEFIT YOU

reading are thinking or feeling a certain way, we tend to think or feel that way with them. Less Stress and Better Sleep When we read fiction specifically, we tend to disengage from the world — and that’s a good thing! Our brains can’t always be functioning at their peak capacity. We need breaks, or else we’ll stress ourselves out and negatively affect other areas of our lives. Stress tends to keep us from sound sleep, but reading fiction before bed engages the imagination, taking us away from the stresses of everyday life before we drift off. More Comfort With Uncertainty Even though many stories (particularly those portrayed in popular movies) have nice happy endings, most people would agree that life sometimes leaves things a little more open-ended. While this fact might stress out some people, researchers have discovered that fiction readers don’t need “cognitive closure” as much as nonfiction readers. Greater Happiness Even if none of the benefits of fiction interest you, everyone wants to find ways to make themselves happy — and for many, that is reading fiction. According to one survey, 76% of participants said that reading makes them feel good and improves their lives. So, what are you waiting for? Dust off that novel you’ve been meaning to read and crack it open!

Many CEOs and other successful individuals continually espouse the benefits of regular reading. Many times, leaders read self-help books to improve their leadership skills and become more successful. This is all well and good, but even the most successful people in the world could be missing out on the unique benefits that come specifically from reading fiction. But what are those benefits exactly? Greater Empathy When a psychologist analyzed 86 functioning MRI (fMRI) studies, he found that the same parts of the brain that fire up when reading fictional stories also fire up when we’re seeking to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. That’s because when the characters in the book we’re

TRY THESE TRICKS TO PROTECT YOUR BRAIN! FEEL YOURSELF TAKING A TUMBLE?

Taking a fall is one of the most common causes of a deadly traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is a pretty scary statistic, considering 1 in 10 adults fall at least once a year, and we all live in a world filled with tripping hazards! Not every fall is deadly, but about 1 in 5 can cause a serious injury. Fortunately, you can do a few things to protect your brain if you feel yourself starting to tumble. The insurance company Lawley recommends these:

over 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of fall injuries — almost always for TBIs or hip fractures — every single year. To prevent those, try to make sure your floors at home are clutter-free and be careful on ice during winter. Of course, these techniques are a last resort. Ideally, you should prevent falls long before you feel yourself teetering: Strengthen the muscles that help you balance on your feet, like your core, lower back, and legs with simple home exercises. You can visit NHS.uk/Live-Well/Exercise/ Balance-Exercises for an easy visual guide or turn to a physical therapist for help.

• Tucking your chin and lowering your head

• Turning your head to the side if you’re falling face first

If you’re young and athletic, you may not need a PT, but physical therapy can be a great option for older

• Protecting your head with your arms while keeping your arms and legs bent to spread out the impact (Don’t fall on only your arms or hands — you could break them!)

adults already experiencing balance problems or people recovering from an illness or injury. In these cases, it’s best to work with a professional to ensure you don’t hurt yourself

• Trying to land on your side

in your quest for better balance! They’ll create a customized treatment plan for you, which will protect you from overdoing it.

• Relaxing your body

• Rolling after impact

In addition to TBIs, many falls also cause hip fractures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports

2 • www.spinerehab.net

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grown and eaten in-season have better nutrient composition. “One study that examined vitamin C content in broccoli found that broccoli grown in-season during the fall had twice as much vitamin C as broccoli that was grown out of season in the spring,” the paper reported. 3. It’s good for the planet AND your wallet. Foods grown in-season require fewer energy- and pollution-intensive inputs like heating and fertilizer, making them more eco-friendly. It’s also more likely to be grown in your area, meaning it traveled fewer CO2-producing “food miles” to get to you. For the same reasons, seasonal food is often more affordable for you to buy and for your local farmers to grow! The first step to eating seasonally is to look up seasonal foods in your area on a website like SeasonalFoodGuide.org or to visit your local farmers market. In many parts of the U.S., squash is one of the tastiest, most affordable fall vegetables out there — and cooking with it is a great place to start. If you can get your hands on butternut squash, try making the “Butternut Squash Soup with Crisp Pancetta” from FoodAndWine.com. If delicata squash is more your speed, check out LoveAndLemons.com for a great recipe for “Roasted Delicata Squash With Apples and Sage.” Last but not least, pick up a copy of “Squash: 50 Tried and True Recipes” by Julia Rutland for a full guide to cooking with squash. The crisp autumn sky is the limit! THE TASTIEST WAY TO SAVE THE PLANET 3 REASONS TO EAT SEASONALLY — STARTING WITH SQUASH

The hashtag #SeasonalEating has been shared more than 140,000 times on Instagram, and it’s a movement that goes beyond social media. Chefs, farmers, and environmental activists are all jumping on the bandwagon! Here are just a few reasons why they might tell you to consider choosing fall produce at the grocery store this month.

1. It’s good for your taste buds.

Imported produce is often picked green and gassed with ethylene to produce the signature color. So, it’s no surprise it doesn't taste quite right! Eating seasonally will ensure that your produce is fresh and flavorful.

2. It’s good for your health.

According to the Fairfax Times, studies have shown that foods

TAKE A BREAK!

SLOW COOKER SQUASH, KALE, AND SAUSAGE SOUP Inspired by SugarAndSoul.co

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil • 4 Italian chicken sausages, sliced to bite-size pieces • 6 cloves garlic

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook 4–5 minutes, stirring often, then remove from the pot and set aside. 2. Add garlic and onion to the pot. Sauté 4–5 minutes. Add squash, salt, and pepper. Sauté 8 minutes. 3. In a slow cooker, combine sautéed vegetables, sausage, chicken broth, and seasonings. Cook on low heat for 3 hours and 30 minutes. 4. Open the pot and add the kale. Cook another 20 minutes, then add the red wine vinegar and stir to combine. Cook 10 more minutes, then serve and enjoy!

• 1 onion, chopped • 6–7 cups butternut

squash, peeled and cubed • Salt and pepper, to taste • 4 cups chicken broth • 1 tsp smoked paprika • 1 tsp Italian seasoning • 3 cups kale, chopped • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

• 3 915-562-8525

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

915-562-8525 | www.SpineRehab.net 6358 Edgemere Blvd. El Paso, Texas 79925

1. HARRY FLEW TO DC TO REPRESENT EL PASO! 2. THE UNIQUE BENEFITS OF READING FICTION TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR BRAIN IN A FALL 3. THE TASTIEST WAY TO SAVE THE PLANET SLOW COOKER SQUASH, KALE, AND SAUSAGE SOUP 4. SHOULD YOU TRY COLD SHOWERS? INSIDE THIS ISSUE

SHOULD YOU TRY COLD SHOWERS? 5 BENEFITS OF THE VOLUNTARY FREEZE

4. Gives You Beautiful, Shiny Hair: If you’d love to have lovely, silky hair, cold showers could be better than conditioner. Dr. Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist, told Real Simple the low-temperature water seals your hair cuticles, boosting the shine of your strands. 5. Freezes Away Your Stress: Anxiety and depression run away from cold water! It turns out chilly showers increase endorphins and decrease the hormone cortisol, which is linked with stress. That said, as good as they are for you, cold showers aren’t exactly fun . Back in 2019, the popular YouTuber Matt D’Avella tried standing under the freezing water every day for 30 days to reap its health benefits. You can watch his hilarious journey — complete with shivering, screaming, and self-empowerment — at YouTube.com/watch?v=MsSBBPeNNDY , part of his “30 Day Experiments” collection. If you want to try cold showers yourself, Healthline recommends easing into the habit by “slowly lowering the temperature at the end of a usual shower” and then standing in the chilly water for 2–3 minutes. Take deep breaths and gradually push yourself to turn the temperature down earlier and stay in the cold longer.

Let’s play a game: Would you rather bungee jump off a bridge or take a 10-minute cold shower every day? Unless

you’re afraid of heights, bungee jumping probably sounds more pleasant. But it turns out the shower is the smart choice! Not only are you less likely to get in an accident, but standing under a stream of cold water also has surprising health benefits, according to experts who spoke with Real Simple. Believe it or not, cold showers can do some amazing things. Here are five: 1. Boosts Your Energy: The cold water “wakes up” your body, shocking you into taking deep breaths, which saturates your blood with oxygen. This helps you reach a focused, energized, almost-meditative state. 2. Strengthens Your Immune System: As crazy as it sounds, standing in icy water can actually increase your white blood cell count. Since these cells fight disease, this is a huge win for your health. 3. Helps Keep You in Shape: Speaking of health, cold showers are also supposed to ramp up your metabolism, which helps keep you slim.

4 • www.spinerehab.net

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