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ON THE MOVE
Why I Love Physical Therapy MY ‘WHY’
This may not be a popular opinion, but I’m not a football fan. I’ve always been more into basketball, even when I was a kid, but becoming a physical therapist didn’t help warm me to the contact sport. If anything, learning how the body works just made watching those big hits even more cringe-inducing! But, as much as physical therapy has made me aware of how many ways an athlete can injure themselves, the practice has also shown me the resilience of the human body. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years of practice, it’s that as long as you’re not doing extremely dangerous activities, you can overcome your injuries. As therapists, we do our best to communicate this to patients — something that can be really difficult at first. This is especially true when working with young athletes. Kids can get very upset, believing the pain they feel is permanent. But a confident therapist with the right training can assess their injuries objectively and put them on the path to recovery. And I really do put an emphasis on the importance of confidence here. The more the field of physical therapy expands, the more we find out that it’s more than just physical — there’s a psychological element of what we do. You can be the most knowledgeable therapist in the world, but if your patients don’t believe that the exercises you teach them will help, they won’t stick with them. To be able to inspire people to work through their injuries, that inspiration has to come sincerely from the therapist. That’s part of what I love so much about this profession. Helping people find out that, yes, they can overcome their challenges is an incredible feeling. When I see a patient’s eyes light up as they understand the possibilities opening up to them, their joy is infectious. When you think about it, a therapist’s job is to give people hope — hope that they’ll move better, feel better, and live better than when
they came into your clinic. I often wish someone could have given me that kind of hope when I was a kid.
I suffered from many ankle sprains as a child. My feet were very flat, which made playing basketball, or even just running around and being a kid, very difficult to do without twisting something. I tried things like tighter shoe laces and ankle braces but still always seemed to hurt myself in the same spot. What I needed was a good physical therapist. Unfortunately, at the time, physical therapy wasn’t viewed as highly in the medical world as it is today. My doctor didn’t even suggest I see a therapist. Instead, they sent me to an orthotics professional who did all these cockamamie “techniques” that only made my pain worse. What may have done even more damage was being told to stay off my feet as much as possible. My ankles remained weak and never fully recovered. Looking back, this was the wrong approach for the difficulties I was facing. I should have been doing exercises to rehabilitate my ankles and teach the reaction time I needed to compensate for my flat feet. The human body was made to be in motion, something we’ve come to understand better in more recent years. The old doctor’s adage, “Just go home and rest,” can sometimes do more harm than good. It certainly did for me. That’s why I’m passionate about what we do. Our clinicians have the power to help people bounce back from their injuries, overcome pain, and prevent future complications. Seeing the joy this brings people is the reason I get up in the morning.
–Dr. Robert Morea
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C H R O N I C A N G E R , Y O U R H E A R T , A N D Y O U R H E A L T H HOW THIS EMOTION IS DOING YOU HARM
Anger is a common emotion. It’s natural, and it’s a part of how you respond to certain circumstances in your environment. It’s how you express extreme displeasure. However, new research suggests chronic anger can be detrimental to your health. Essentially, it comes down to this: If you are stressed, tense, easily irritable, angry, and “snippy” all the time, you may be doing serious harm to your well-being. Studies have already shown a link between anger and the heart. People who showed signs of feeling anger on a regular basis experienced higher rates of heart disease. The first studies on the impact of anger came out in the 1950s and have since been confirmed: Chronic anger physically harms the heart. Why? When you get angry or upset, your brain triggers the release of specific hormones, including cortisol and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for triggering the “fight or flight” response. When these hormones enter the bloodstream, your heart rate increases and arteries constrict. This helps to more effectively pump blood to the arms and legs for a fight or a flight.
The problem is that when a person is constantly angry or upset, these hormones course through the body more frequently, stressing the arteries and internal organs. As a person ages, this stress can become more damaging. One study that appeared in the Psychology and Aging Journal looked into this phenomenon. Researchers found a link between frequently experiencing anger and increased inflammation and chronic illness for people ages 80 and older. This equated to more instances of heart disease and dementia. The study also looked at other emotions, including sadness, which has also been linked to heart and other inflammatory disease. Through a number of tests involving 200 participants ages 59–93, the researchers concluded anger was far more detrimental to a person’s health than sadness. Ultimately, if you regularly experience rage and frustration, properly dealing with your anger is one of the best things you can do for your health. Every person’s situation is different, and it comes down to getting to the bottom of what makes you angry, so you can work through it. Whether you work through it alone or with a mental health professional, take the steps to prioritize your mental and physical health, and your efforts will pay off tenfold in the long run.
SUCCE S S S TOR I E S !
Hear What Our Clients Are Saying!
“I feel 99% better. I can move my arm without pain up and down and do many things I have not been able to do for a long time. “I would like to thank Jenove James, my occupational therapist. After a left shoulder replacement, the simple
“After a ... shoulder replacement ... I can do everything.”
everyday things gave me the most problems. Being left handed, it was hard brushing my hair, reaching for dishes, and putting my left hand behind my back. Now, thanks to Jenove, I can do everything. Every session he would ask if I was having any problems with arm movements or any pain and gave me new exercises that always helped. The best advice Jenove gave me is, ‘If you have pain, do more exercises.’ It really works. “Thank you again for all your help and patience. You are an incredible OT and thank you to your staff. You all are great.” -Nancy C.
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Sudoku Train Your Brain With
Like with most medical treatments, many people find it difficult to make the call to go into physical therapy. Sometimes we learn that a person was in pain for weeks before they decided to come pay us a visit, which is absolutely heartbreaking for us to hear. Ideally, we want to help people feel better as soon as possible to make sure they recover quickly and to keep their pain from getting worse. Here are some common misconceptions that keep people from seeking the help they need. ‘I NEED TO FEEL BETTER BEFORE THERAPY’ Some people have the perception that PT is only an outpatient procedure. While it’s true that therapists can help rehabilitate you after surgery, this is just one facet of the practice. If you are experiencing pain and/or limited mobility, you shouldn’t wait until the problem “gets better” to go to a clinic. Often, PT can do the most good when conditions like herniated disks or frozen shoulders are at their worst. Waiting only prolongs the problem. ‘I NEED TO BE REFERRED BY A DOCTOR’ This may have been the case at one time, but not anymore. Most states, including New York, allow you to visit a PT clinic of your own volition — no doctor’s note required. Even better, most insurance covers physical therapy treatments, meaning you can focus on getting better without breaking the bank. Just search for a clinic you trust, look Sometimes you are in so much pain or so immobile that going to see a therapist is impossible. It’s easy to feel helpless in this situation, which is why we bring the therapists to you! Through our home care PT program, you can schedule one of our licensed and experienced clinicians to meet you where you are most comfortable: your home! Not only will they go about helping you recover, but they’ll also make suggestions to make your home safer for mobility. We know the decision to seek PT is a big one, but there’s no reason to live in pain. If you’ve found yourself making any of the above excuses, please give us a call. It will be your first step on the path to a more comfortable and mobile life. Misconceptions Keeping You From Recovery WHEN TO COME IN at the insurance providers they accept, and go! ‘I CAN’T GET TO THE CLINIC’
Recipe of the Month: BASIL BERRY SORBET
Inspired by Good Housekeeping
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
6 cups frozen mixed berries 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with one 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.
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What Flat Feet Taught Robert Anger May Be Harming Your Heart Hear From Our Clients Basil Berry Sorbet Are You Avoiding Treatment for These Reasons? Celebrating Math and Puzzles
International Sudoku Day Solve Your Favorite Math Puzzles!
INTERESTING FACTS The name “Sudoku” is short for the Japanese expression “sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru,” which translates to “the numerals must remain single.” In Japan, Sudoku quickly became very popular, mostly because it’s so much easier to play than other puzzle games like crosswords. Sudoku continues to be a popular puzzle choice in Japan where, according to Sudoku.com, over 600,000 Sudoku magazines are purchased every month. OBSERVING SUDOKU Celebrating this holiday has never been easier! Grab a Sudoku book, magazine, or newsletter and start solving! The best thing about Sudoku is that the puzzles can be done anywhere: while you’re enjoying breakfast, during a lunch break at work, or while you’re relaxing at home. They can also be done in one sitting or over an extended period of time. Filling out a puzzle doesn’t have to be an individual task, either. Challenge family or friends to see who can finish a Sudoku the quickest or work on one together.
International Sudoku Day brings puzzle and math lovers together to enjoy the perfect in-between! Specifically chosen on Sept. 9 by the World Puzzle Federation, this holiday is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the beloved 9x9 puzzle game. HISTORY OF SUDOKU One of the first mathematical puzzles was published in “La France,” a French newspaper, in 1895. However, the puzzle we now see in newspapers, Sudoku books, and newsletters wasn’t invented until 1979 by Howard Garns. Originally published in “Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games” magazine, Garns named it “Number Place.” It was later given the name “Sudoku” in 1984 when it was published in Japan. However, the puzzle didn’t catch the interest of Americans until 2004, when it began to be regularly published in newspapers.
Pick up a few Sudoku puzzles today and start solving!
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