North County Water & Sports Therapy Center June 2018


(858) 675-1133 |

15373 Innovation Dr. #175 | San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 675-1133 12171 World Trade Dr. | San Diego, CA 92128

With graduation season upon us and the recent release of the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” I can’t help but think back to my graduation from UConn. Our commencement speaker was none other than Fred Rogers himself. What I remember most was the entire graduating class standing in unison and singing the iconic song that gives the documentary its name. We had all grown up on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” so it was incredibly nostalgic to sing the song and hear Rogers speak as we moved onto the next chapter in our lives. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” may have been a children’s show, but I think its lessons transcend the age of its intended audience. Rogers taught care, empathy, learning, and above all, kindness. It would be revisionist history for me to say that Mister Rogers inspired me to become a physical therapist, but it’s amazing how much his values align with what I do today. Physical therapy, at its heart, is all about understanding what people are going through, caring for them, and providing them the tools to improve. I learned one of those tools not long after hearing Rogers speak. The first practice I worked at after graduation introduced me to aquatic therapy. It was a novel experience for me, but I immediately gravitated toward it. Seeing the way aquatic therapy helped people made me realize that far too few practices used this type of treatment. As you can probably guess by the name of our practice, it’s now a huge part of what we do. Aquatic therapy tends to engender one of a few emotions in patients. Some people are so eager to get in the pool that we can barely get their paperwork filled out before they want to jump in. Another group of people are fearful. Maybe they can’t swim, or perhaps they simply have an aversion to water. Luckily, we have flotation devices to make everyone feel comfortable and secure. The last group of people are skeptical of aquatic therapy. You can explain the science to them all you want, but they usually don’t get over their doubt until they start to see the results for themselves. I always encourage patients to give a few sessions a shot before making a final decision. YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD POOL My Education in Aquatic Therapy

Over the years, I’ve made a concerted effort to help educate other private practice owners about physical therapy. I may not have a TV show, but I do my best to spread the word all the same. One way I do that is through the biannual International Aquatic Therapy Symposium in Sanibel, FL, which I’ll be traveling to at the end of the month. It’s a great opportunity to teach practitioners who are curious about adding aquatic methods to their office. Not everyone has the luxury to live in beautiful San Diego, but you don’t need a pool the size of ours to offer aquatic therapy. Four years ago, at the Symposium, my class happened to coincide with a tropical storm. Despite patio furniture flying into the pool and serious winds, everyone had the spirit to continue. Once the class was over, though, we made a beeline for safer surroundings. It was a pretty wild experience, but one I’ll never forget. I have my fingers crossed that won’t happen this year, but I’m sure it will be memorable all the same. In closing, I want to say congratulations to anyone who is graduating or has loved ones graduating this year. I hope that you take graduation as the beginning of the next chapter of learning. And always remember to be a good neighbor.

–Beth Scalone

1 (858) 675-1133


Meditation has often been touted by New Age gurus as a way to find inner peace and stillness. But what if meditating could reduce the effects of aging on your brain? According to research, taking a few minutes out of your day to meditate may improve cognitive function. As meditation’s popularity has spread, so have studies of the practice. The results of 100 studies examining the cognitive

age-related thinning. Dr. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist specializing in the effects of yoga and meditation on cognitive and behavioral function, reports that long- time meditators don’t show a decline in the thickness of the prefrontal cortex. THE HIPPOCAMPUS Your hippocampus helps you process and form new memories, and it’s very sensitive to stress. In fact, research shows that your hippocampus will shrink in response to stressful situations and chronic stress. The remedy? Meditation. Dr. Lazar’s study showed a positive correlation between meditation and a higher concentration of gray matter in the left hippocampus. THE AMYGDALA Often called the fear center of the brain, the amygdala is triggered by stressful situations. But unlike the hippocampus, which shrinks in response to stress, the amygdala has been shown to become denser. In one study, people who attended mindfulness meditation classes showed a smaller stress response in brain scans compared to those who did not attend the classes. Meditation may help to decrease the density of the amygdala and therefore increase your ability to handle stress. Of course, in addition to these benefits, there’s a good chance that five minutes of meditation each day will simply make you feel better. People who meditate report an increase in overall well-being. Why not give it a try?

effects of meditation all show evidence of improvements in psychological and cognitive functions. Some of the results are intuitive, such as how meditation helps us deal with stress. But other results are incontrovertible, such as scans showing that meditation causes structural changes in the brain. For people facing age-related changes like memory loss, the results of these tests are especially relevant. The studies point to evidence that meditation can strengthen certain areas of the brain — the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala — that weaken as we age. THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX Your prefrontal cortex thins with age, which is associated with decreased cognitive function in your later years. However, meditation may reduce this


Fight Against Sex Trafficking Through the Freedom Challenge

Easily the best part of our practice is all the amazing people we get to meet. Our patients do incredible things, and we love to support them when we get the chance. Dr. Shauna Schneider, a long-time pilates patient here, is definitely one such patient. This year, she and her daughter, Erin, have committed to raise their voices for the voiceless as a team hiking together in the Freedom Challenge. The Freedom Challenge is “a movement of passionate women dedicated to freeing oppressed and enslaved women and children all around the world.” Sex trafficking may not be something that is discussed often and openly, but it’s a huge problem in our backyard and across the globe. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that 1 out of 6 endangered runaways in the U.S. are victims of sex trafficking. Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people suffering forced sexual exploitation. The vast majority of these victims are women, and a significant portion are underage teens and children. To combat this horrible, tragic situation, the Freedom Challenge raises money to aid the fight against sex trafficking around the globe. They invite individuals and teams to participate in physical challenges located everywhere from Kilimanjaro to Machu Picchu. Shauna and Erin’s team, the Soul Sisters, will be hiking Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park beginning on Friday, June 22, through Wednesday, June 27.

Shauna and Erin have been training for months to endure this gruelling challenge in the name of a more-than-worthy cause. At North County Water & Sports Therapy Center, we stand in solidarity with the Schneiders, the Freedom Challenge, and ending sex trafficking and any other forms of systemic exploitation worldwide. If you’d like to support the Soul Sisters in their Freedom Challenge, go to to donate to their team. To learn more about The Freedom Challenge, head to

We are inspired by the Schneiders and their desire to make the world a safer, better place for women and children. 2

We all know that sleep is important and that a good night’s sleep makes us feel better and can help us make better decisions. It is estimated that one-third of the U.S. population struggles with sleepless nights. We at North County Water and Sports Therapy Center know all too well how lack of sleep affects our patients. Lack of sleep can impede progress in therapy. We see it often with the inability to get comfortable or being woken up due to pain. Some of the most common questions we get are related to sleeping better. What is the best pillow to use? The right pillow for the job depends on whether you sleep on your side or on your back. In either case, you want the pillow to support your neck in a neutral position. Meaning not too thick where your head is tipped towards the ceiling and not too low where it is bending toward the mattress. Many people scrunch up a down pillow that starts out okay, but as the night goes on, the pillow slips and the head is no longer supported, leading to neck pain in the morning. Some people need to sleep with their head elevated due to reflux or indigestion (GERD). Instead of a stack of pillows, we recommend using a wedge or an adjustable bed to raise the head. If you only have pillows, make sure to place them under your shoulders as well as you neck to avoid excessive forward bend of the head and neck. What position should I sleep in to decrease my pain? On your back with a small pillow under the head and knees. DOES PAIN PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP? ARE YOU HAVING TROUBLE GETTING COMFORTABLE IN BED?

If you sleep on your side, use the pillow supporting the neck in a neutral position and a pillow between the knees, keeping your hips and pelvis aligned. If you have arm or shoulder problems, we also recommend using a pillow in front of the body to support the top arm. POSITIONS TO AVOID: Sleeping on your stomach: This requires you to turn your head and often places stress to the lower back, leading to stiffness and pain in the morning. Sleeping with your arm over head: Keeping your arm overhead for prolonged periods will lead to shoulder pain and impingement.

For more tips on how to get a better night’s sleep:

Check out our blog on our website, titled “Let Me Sleep On That” let-me-sleep-on-that/

TEST YOUR ABILITY TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT POSITION: From the pictures below, choose the recommended sleeping positions. Answers can be found at the bottom of the page. A B








Call 858-675-1133 today to schedule your FREE 15-minute screening with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy to help you get a better night’s sleep. Offer Expires: July 11th, 2018 ***Bring this sheet and your favorite pillow with you to your appointment.***

Answers: F and H

It’s not uncommon for physical therapy (PT) to focus on the strictly physiological aspects of your health; after all, the word “physical” is right there in the name. But while PT is an incredible recovery tool, it provides a number of other benefits that are often overlooked. EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING The emotional impact of PT cannot be overstated. An injury can cause feelings of helplessness, fear, and uncertainty, which can suffocate even the most iron-willed individuals. After a major surgery, it feels defeating to wake up every day with severe limitations. PT helps you take proactive steps toward recuperation, putting the power back in your hands. SLEEP QUALITY Before pursuing physical therapy, many patients experience varying levels of sleep deprivation. This can lead to a slew of other health complications and a decrease in quality of life. When you start physical therapy, you push your body to its limits, and the natural effects of exercise will help you sleep better. You’ll also sleep better once pain no longer keeps you tossing and turning at night. STRESS RELIEF Stress caused by an injury can derail your body’s homeostasis, piling up and creating a catastrophic landslide in your life. By actively participating in regular physical therapy, your mindset will change, and the stress caused by your injury will gradually begin to decrease.

CONFIDENCE BOOST Perhaps the most substantial nonphysical benefit of PT is what it does for your confidence. When you’re on the path to recovery, you don’t have to feel vulnerable anymore. You are in control of your destiny, and that will give you the peace of mind and confidence to achieve your goals. Physical therapy may feel daunting in the beginning as you teach your body to relearn proper movement and work through an injury. But if you stick with it and follow your physical therapist’s instructions, you’ll come out the other side feeling better physically and emotionally.



Add a nutritional punch and plenty of flavor to this classic American dish by swapping out white bread and processed cheese for something a little more creative.


1. Pulse chimichurri ingredients in a food processor or blender until combined but not pureed. Add extra olive oil as needed. 2. Heat grill or skillet to medium-low. Brush outsides of bread with olive oil. Smear 1 tablespoon chimichurri on each slice of bread. Place a layer of avocado and cheese between slices. 3. Cook gently until bread is crisp and cheese is melted. 4. Slice and serve.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHIMICHURRI • 2 jalapeños • 4 green onions • 1/2 cup cilantro • 1 clove garlic • 2 tablespoons olive oil • Juice of 1 lime •

FOR SANDWICHES • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 ripe avocado, cut into slices • 2–4 ounces fresh mozzarella • 4 slices whole- wheat bread

2 teaspoons honey

inspired by

3 (858) 675-1133


Monday—Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (858) 675-1133

15373 Innovation Dr. #175 San Diego, CA 92128



Graduation Is Just the Beginning


How Meditation Can Help the Aging Brain

How to Support the Freedom Project


Physical Therapy Is More Than a Physical Journey Spicy Chimichurri Grilled Cheese With Feta


Local Events Worth Checking Out


With summer in full swing, the San Diego calendar is packed with outdoor events. Here are three ways to make the most of the sunniest time of the year.

will also be games, food, events, and spur-of-the- moment contests. Buy tickets for the session that fits your schedule at 4TH OF JULY RUN & RIDE Where: Red Cedar Drive and Aviary Drive When: July 4, 6–10 a.m.

SUMMER MOVIES IN THE PARK Where: Parks throughout San Diego When: Fridays and Saturdays all summer long

Is there anything better than catching a movie on the big screen under the night sky? Well, yes: catching a free movie on the big screen under the night sky. Every year, the city hosts a series of screenings at parks throughout the city. With a lineup that includes “The Lion King,” “The Sandlot,” and “Black Panther,” you’re sure to find a flick that’s perfect for your friends and family. Showings begin at dusk. You can go to for a full schedule and more information.

If you like doing a little fitness before your fireworks, check out the Fourth of July Run & Ride presented by the Scripps Ranch Old Pros. There are races for all

SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL BEER FESTIVAL Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds When: June 15–17, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

levels of participants, from a casual 2-mile fun run to a grueling 50-mile bike ride. Each race has a course designed to provide plenty of natural beauty along the way. The Scripps Ranch Old Pros help raise money for local youth and high school sports programs and provide scholarships to student athletes. Get all the details at

This year’s San Diego International Beer Festival falls on the same weekend as Father’s Day, which is a nice coincidence if your dad happens to be a beer fanatic. The weekend-long event features breweries from around the world, many showing rare and unique styles you won’t find on a store shelf. There 4

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