Spine & Rehab Specialists - March 2020

MARCH 2020

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

1779 N. ZARAGOZA ST., SUITE A EL PASO, TEXAS 79936 915-855-6466

YES, I FAILED MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION THE LESSONS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT STARTING OVER

good intentions, but even so, none of us made it the full month. Almost immediately, we started suffering from upset stomachs because we’d increased our vegetable intake so much. It was really hard! For me and Harry, the straw that broke the camel’s back was our mid-January trip to Mexico. There was so much beautiful fresh fish available that we broke down and enjoyed it. When we got back, we realized that the rest of our staff had given up on plant-based eating while we were away! It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t meet your resolutions, but spring has helped lift me out of that mindset. This is the time of year for growth, rebirth, and fresh starts, so I’m giving myself full permission to regroup and start my resolution over, with some modifications. Instead of giving everything up right away, this time I’m going to do it gradually. First, I’ll eliminate red meat, then chicken, then fish. Hopefully, by taking a gradual approach, I won’t freak my body out, and I’ll be able to stick to my goals. I think it’s really important to prioritize reframing your goals and finding your comfort zone in every aspect of life. You may have an idea of what you think you can do or should be able to do, but it might not match up with reality, and that’s okay! We help our patients work through these kinds of mental roadblocks all the time. Recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery is a process, and it isn’t always

Hello, newsletter readers! This is Harry’s wife, Bonnie, and I’ll be taking the newsletter's reins from Harry this month. In fact, you might see me popping in more often from now on! I love talking to our patients, and I can’t wait for us to get to know each other a bit better. This month, I wanted to talk to you all about something that’s been on my mind a lot lately: New Year’s resolutions. I know it seems like I’m late to the party, but from talking to my coworkers, I’ve found I’m not the only one with resolutions on the brain again. That’s because spring seems to be the time when we all realize we’ve given up on them! We stick with our resolutions for a month or so, then life gets in the way and we don’t stick to them. I’m speaking from personal experience. This year, I resolved to eat a plant- based diet for the month of January. Harry joined in, and so did some of our staff at both clinics. We had really

as straightforward as you’d think. What matters more than how fast you do something is that you do it. Speaking of doing things, spring is the season to take action. The holidays are finally over (Valentine’s Day included), so this is the perfect time to reevaluate where your physical health is at. After months of holiday treats and snuggling up on the couch, some people develop joint or movement problems, and spring is the perfect time to see a PT to address them. time to schedule an appointment related to a particular issue or for an evaluation of your fitness. While you’re here, tell us all about your goals — the more we know, the more we can do to help you reach them! In the meantime, I’ll be doing what I can to reach mine by leaving red meat off my plate. – Bonnie Koster We’re here to help you turn over that new leaf. You can call or email us any

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WHAT DO YOU KNOWABOUT POISON IVY? LEAVES OF 3, LEAVE THEMBE

YOU CANNOT BECOME IMMUNE TO POISON IVY.

Meditation has different meanings for different people. Traditionally, the act of focusing one’s mind has been used in religious and spiritual practices around the globe. More recently, it’s become a popular method of relaxation. Now, new research shows that this ancient practice may have yet another benefit: pain management. In 2008, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that over 100 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain due to conditions like arthritis and debilitating injuries. Because of this, care providers have become focused on finding ways to help patients manage these persistent aches. The sensation of pain is caused by a complex interaction of biological and The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and the great outdoors are calling your name. It’s time to start planning your summer adventures! Just remember to watch out for the enemy of all outdoor enthusiasts: poison ivy. Found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska, poison ivy — or more accurately, the rash- causing urushiol oil on its leaves — can quickly ruin a trip. Before you head out on your next outdoor adventure, make sure you get your facts straight. Many people believe the poison ivy rash can spread if the blisters pop, but the only thing that can cause the rash is urushiol oil. This is why it’s so important to clean your skin and wash your clothes as soon as possible. Urushiol oil can spread onto objects like doors or chairs, and you don’t have to touch poison ivy to have a reaction to urushiol oil. THE POISON IVY RASH IS NOT CONTAGIOUS.

cognitive factors, leading scientists to study how mental exercises like meditation can aid in pain relief. Anecdotal evidence regarding meditation’s ability to reduce pain has existed for as long as the practice itself. However, modern technology has given researchers the means to accurately measure the effectiveness of this age- old tradition. The Department of Health and Human Services has cited MRI brain scans as proof that meditation can lead to moderate pain reduction. These scans revealed that the same areas of the brain stimulated by painkillers are activated when the mind is in a meditative state. This supports the accounts of those who have reported better functionality after meditative sessions. Urushiol oil triggers an allergic reaction in 85% of people, leading to the ensuing rash. Some people believe regular exposure to poison ivy can help develop an immunity to urushiol oil, but this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite. About 15% of the population isn’t allergic to poison ivy, but the allergy can develop over time. The more you’re exposed to poison ivy, the worse your outbreak can become. IF YOU TOUCH POISON IVY, DO NOT POUR URINE ON YOUR SKIN TO PREVENT THE RASH. Urine, vinegar, dirt, bleach, and even gasoline are common “treatments” for preventing or curing a poison ivy rash. None of these are effective, and some can really hurt you. If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, your best course of action is to wash your skin with soap and water. Cleaning off

the urushiol oil within 20 minutes of exposure can greatly decrease your odds of developing a rash. When all is said and done, the best way to treat poison ivy is to avoid it altogether. The next time you’re exploring the great outdoors, just remember: Leaves of three, leave them be.

PRACTICE PAIN RELIEF THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

With the ongoing tragedy of the opioid crisis, there is a dire need for pain management strategies that are noninvasive and not habit-forming, such as physical therapy. Meditation is easily accessible and can be used in conjunction with other pain relief strategies. Whether you sign up for guided meditation sessions, download one of the many mindfulness apps on the market today, or simply make time to sit and clear your mind for 30 minutes, it’s easy to add meditation to your normal routine.

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FACT VS. FICTION: THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET AN EASY WAY TO EAT HEALTHIER FOR YOUR HEART

While the basis of the Mediterranean diet has been a staple in its titular region for centuries, it wasn’t until the 1960s that nutritionists popularized the concept in Western culture. Doctors noticed that Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have fewer heart disease- related deaths than the U.S. and northern Europe. When they looked to regional eating habits for answers, they found a common plant-based diet rich in healthy fats, seafood, and bread. However, in modern years, misconceptions plague the popular diet, so let’s clear some up. FALSE. There are no defined portion sizes for the Mediterranean diet. Instead, it comes with a loose guideline: Eat a plant-based diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with a weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Dairy products are allowed in conservative amounts, but nutritionists discourage red MYTH NO. 1: IT’S RIGID.

MYTH NO. 3: NUTRITIONALLY, IT’S 30%–40% FAT.

meat intake whenever possible. To the delight of many Mediterranean dieters, a moderate amount of red wine is encouraged!

1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a colander, toss eggplant, zucchini, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry. 3. In an ovenproof pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of eggplant mixture, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pot. 4. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. 5. In the same pot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and cook onion, pepper, garlic, and thyme for 8–10 minutes. 6. Add half the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Stir in original eggplant and zucchini mixture and top with remaining tomatoes. Do not stir. 8. Transfer pot to oven and bake mixture for 15–20 minutes. 9. Remove pot from oven and remove thyme bundle before serving. TRUE. But be careful about which type of fat. The Mediterranean diet relies heavily on olive oil instead of butter or lard for cooking. Saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats like palm oil don’t contribute positively to your heart health, but a diet based on natural fats can improve your overall cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are also crucial for the Mediterranean diet and include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore, and lake trout. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, consumption of these fish improves your blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body. If you’re concerned about your heart health, try out this plant-based diet with a focus on foods local to you for long- term health and delicious meals. Your body will thank you! RATATOUILLE DIRECTIONS Inspired by Bon Appétit

MYTH NO. 2: IT’S EXPENSIVE.

FALSE. You don’t have to eat only what’s native to the Mediterranean, so don’t swear off avocados just yet. Eat locally by choosing in-season fruits and vegetables that benefit your diet and your wallet. You’ll find that preparing meals centered on vegetables and whole grains is very affordable, especially when you get your grains from dry bulk bins. And while buying olives and cheese might be expensive, you can get away with buying small amounts. Try different brands of canned olives for affordable alternatives to bottled ones. Plus, some grocery stores place cheap cuts of their premium cheeses near the deli.

TAKE A BREAK!

INGREDIENTS

• 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped • 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch- thick rounds • 2 tsp salt • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided • 5 sprigs thyme • 1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, sliced • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

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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. COVER TITLE 1. YES, I FAILED MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION INSIDE THIS ISSUE

2.

POISON IVY MYTHS

MEDITATION AND PAIN RELIEF

3.

HAVE YOU HEARD THESE MYTHS ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?

RATATOUILLE 4. GET FIT WITH FIDO

WELLNESS ANDWHISKERS 3 WAYS TOWORK OUT WITH YOUR PET Creating a healthy lifestyle is often easier with support, but if you’re

RACKING UP THE MILES A simple way to get moving with your pet is to go for a walk. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, then try running, biking, or hiking with your pet. Anything beyond a walk may require extra obedience training or equipment — like a specialty tool that prevents your pet from colliding with your bike — but after a few loops around the trail, your pet will be begging to go again. And how can you say no to that face? Plus, this idea isn’t just for dogs. You can find leashes and harnesses for cats, lizards, ferrets, and other pets that love to get fresh air. GOING FOR A SWIM If you have a dog that appears to be more fish than canine, swimming might be the workout for you! Swimming is a joint-friendly cardiovascular exercise that works your entire body. If you’re not one

for a dip in the pool, then kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are great for your arms and core. Meanwhile, your pet can enjoy a relaxing ride or an exciting game of fetch. Just be sure to secure your pet with a life jacket before you and your four-legged friend splash away! KEEPING IT TRADITIONAL If you want a good full-body workout while entertaining your pet, then consider including them in traditional exercises. Entertain your pup with a game of fetch and drop down for a burpee every time it runs away. Balance your bird on your shoulder while you squat and lunge. Mentally and physically stimulate your cat by dragging a string around your body during Russian twists. With a little creativity and a few of your pet’s favorite things, both of you can work up a sweat.

struggling to find someone to join you on your path to wellness, then look to your furry friends instead. Read on for some ways to get active with your pet, and learn more about their wellness and health at PetMD.com.

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