The Physical Therapy Doctor - June 2021


Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

June 2021




If you went back in time and told 18-year-old me that 19-year- old me would go to a “summer of love”-type music festival, there’s no way I would have believed it. My life was all about baseball and basketball. I didn’t smoke, drink, or even party! But as it turns out, even a straight-edge guy like me can be talked into a music festival if his girlfriend is the one asking. When I was 19, I was dating a girl from New Paltz, a real hippie town upstate. Whenever we went up to visit, I saw people wearing tie-dye and guys playing their guitars on street corners (not panhandling like in the subway, but just because they could!). It was a free-spirited place. So as you’d imagine, when my girlfriend, her friends, and her cousins heard about the Woodstock revival music festival Woodstock ‘94, they were in. I wasn’t on board at first, but eventually, I caved. I didn’t want to be a party pooper and give New York City a bad name. We packed up our camping gear and headed to the festival for four nights of entertainment. I have to be honest: Before Woodstock ‘94, I wasn’t all that into music. I played the trumpet and the piano in elementary school and listened to whatever was on the radio, but I had only been to one other concert. So the festival was an entirely new experience for me. We parked in a field, then hopped on a shuttle bus. The first thing that hit me when we pulled up to the site was that there were thousands of people there. (According to Wikipedia, more than half a million people showed up!) It was a sea of bodies that went on and on for miles. We were packed so close together with everyone else that it took 15–20 minutes to walk 50 feet. The two stages were in sight of each other, but walking between them took half an hour because we were squashed so close together! I felt like an ant on a huge anthill. All of this was pre-cellphones, too, so if you lost someone in the crowd, you could wander around looking for them for days. Plus, it was raining like crazy! Each stage had a muddy mosh

pit in front of it. There was no way I'd go in there — it was disgusting! But, oh man, the music was worth it.

That weekend, I saw Melissa Etheridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel, Green Day, and Live. We caught as many acts as we could between stuffing our faces with hot dogs, hamburgers, and other junk food. By the time Sunday came though, we considered dipping out early. We were sweaty, muddy, and exhausted from sleeping on the rocky hillside. But we stuck it out, and I’m glad we did! That night was my favorite of the whole trip. When the sun started setting, Peter Gabriel took the stage with his band and a whole orchestra behind him. Then, near the end of his set, something started happening at the front of the crowd. They were passing candles back. I didn’t even know what the boxes were until they were in my hands. Then Peter told the story of how Steve Biko, whose death occurred due to political conflict during the South African apartheid, inspired his song “Biko.” He encouraged us to light our candles and raise them high as he played. It was like magic! I was part of a crowd bigger than a football field, and we held our candles up, swayed, and sang along to the music. Thinking about it still gives me chills! (In retrospect, maybe the most amazing thing is that we didn’t burn the field down.) If you were at Woodstock ‘94 or the real Woodstock, come in and let me know! I’d love to see old photos of you with long hair and tie-dye. The more embarrassing, the better!

–Dr. Robert Morea

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Alzheimer's disease is an ailment that continues to baffle us, even as we learn more about it than ever before. Doctors and scientists have made huge strides in understanding and fighting Alzheimer’s, especially in the past three decades. But for everything learned, more questions must be asked. Sometimes, things just work, and we aren’t sure why. For a long time, exercise and physical therapy were part of that. PT had a role in slowing Alzheimer’s, but doctors didn’t fully understand what that was. Today, we have a much clearer picture, and that provides hope for future understanding. There are two things at the root of PT’s connection to good Alzheimer’s treatment. The first is very basic: Alzheimer’s responds to physical activity. Just as certain mental exercises can help stave off or slow down the advent of the disease, physical activity has been shown in studies published by Harvard and in trade journals to have a positive effect on some Alzheimer’s outcomes. Obviously, it isn’t a frontline treatment, but staying active helps your brain continue to “work out” the parts that are connected to movement and body functions, which are negatively impacted by the mid and late stages of the disease.

we expect PT to progress and then slow down, even cease after a while. That’s because the injury has healed. But with Alzheimer’s, the goal of PT is to keep mobility high for as long as possible . It’s not a winning battle, but the longer we can stay active and mobile, the better our quality of life will be. Once the illness progresses to the mobility and physical function regions of the brain, physical therapy becomes all the more important. Because many late-stage Alzheimer’s patients can expect to be bedridden, increasing mobility as much as possible for as long as possible can help mitigate risks such as bed sores and other secondary ailments. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine, therapy and activity can decrease the disease progressing through the physical activity centers of the brain by as much as 50%. There’s no denying that Alzheimer’s is a frightening condition, and watching loved ones go through it is hard. But we aren’t powerless in this situation. We need to put together a treatment plan, and a holistic plan will include physical activity, and later physical therapy, to mitigate those aspects of the disease. It may not be a cure, but it is a smart and effective treatment based on hard science. Right now, that has to be enough.

To that end, physical therapy itself has a big part to play. The key goal is to retain mobility. If a patient has a broken leg,

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KALE, SEAWEED, AND OTHER NOT-SO-NEW SUPERFOODS There’s nothing so trendy as a new superfood or diet, and the “in vogue” ones change constantly. Older readers may remember the Atkins diets and other fads of the early 2000s, but younger ones may not even remember a time before the paleo diet was a thing — and it’s already almost a thing of the past. Many things we associate with these trends, though, are anything but new. We see this most clearly with the grains we turn to in the name of health. Westerners generally wouldn’t be familiar with quinoa, amaranth, teff, or kamut if it weren’t for their presence in the hippest healthy-eating Instagram feeds. Many of these foods

hail from Africa or the Far East, so it’s understandable we don’t know them all — but there’s nothing really new about them. People in the Americas and the Old World have eaten quinoa for 3,000–5,000 years. Teff, which is technically a grass seed, was one of the first domesticated plants, emerging thousands of years ago in what is now Ethiopia. Alternate sources of protein and fiber show a similar trend. Seaweed — the perennial favorite of Twitter dieters everywhere — has been consumed in China, Korea, and Japan since before recorded history. If you know anything about recorded history in those regions, then you know that’s a long time! And kale, whose reputation precedes itself, has been cultivated since at least 2,000 B.C. in Greece, Asia Minor, and other parts of the Mediterranean. So, the next time you dig into your favorite health food, take a moment to Google what you are eating. You might be part of a long line of human beings who have turned to that food for sustenance over the millennia!




• 2 tbsp ground cumin • 2 tbsp ground coriander • 2 tsp kosher salt • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 2 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp ground ginger

• 1 tsp ground black pepper • 2 tsp allspice • 8 garlic cloves, minced • 6 tbsp olive oil • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs


1. To create marinade, whisk all spices with the garlic and olive oil in a medium bowl. 2. Add chicken to the bowl, coat well with marinade, cover, and let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes — or up to 48 hours. Strain off excess marinade before cooking.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill thighs for 10–12 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F. 4. Serve with rice, vegetables, or pita bread with tzatziki.

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718.747.2019 212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360

Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.





‘TOO OLD’ FOR MARTIAL ARTS? TELL IT TO MR. MIYAGI — and also beat down bad guy John Kreese in the process, despite Kreese being a much younger man. Mr. Miyagi is based on a “stock” character, or archetype, from traditional Asian martial arts culture. But there’s a grain of truth to it, whether you’re looking at real-life martial artists (Henry Plée comes to mind, who practiced well into his 80s) or fighting school founders in medieval Japan — who often viewed karate as integral to their understanding of Zen and other spiritual matters, and thus essential as they got older. Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” carries on the tradition, showing us a much-older LaRusso who takes on the Miyagi role, opposite his longtime “frenemy” Johnny Lawrence. LaRusso and Lawrence have both returned to karate in middle age, and even Kreese reappears, now in his 70s and as formidable as ever. Is that realistic? You bet! According to one study, the average karate practitioner is 55 years old, and the average martial artist is 46. Many in both groups report regular sparring and contact practice. If you’re a martial artist, you may have to make some adjustments as you get older, but you’ll never have to give up your discipline entirely. And if you’re new to the world of martial arts, it’s never too late to start — as long as you find the right teacher and school!

Martial arts get added to the list of activities we can’t do as we age, right? Unless you’re doing tai chi or aikido, most people think there’s no place in contact sports for aging folks.

Except, as it turns out, there is.

From hip shows like “Cobra Kai” (and its basis, “The Karate Kid”) to centuries of tradition, older people and martial arts actually mix quite well — and they can be a great throughline for an active life. Martial arts took off in the United States back in the 1980s with the “Karate Kid” franchise, which continues today. The original movies showed us Pat Morita, an Okinawan expatriate and karate master who trains Ralph Macchio’s character, Daniel LaRusso. Morita’s Mr. Miyagi is no spring chicken, but he’s able to take LaRusso to new levels of karate expertise

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TREAT YOUR BACK PAIN WITH THIS FREE WORKSHOP HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED BACK PAIN, SCIATICA, OR ARTHRITIS IN THE PAST 30 DAYS? DOES THE PAIN INCREASE WHEN YOU STAND OR WALK? DOES THE PAIN DECREASE WHEN YOU SIT FOR A MINUTE OR TWO? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may qualify to attend our Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop on June 30 at 2 p.m. This workshop will take place at our facility and is absolutely free! WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30 • 2 P.M. LIMITED SEATING! DON’T WAIT! CALL US TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT.


The Physical Therapy Doctor 212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360 SEE REVERSE FOR MORE DETAILS!


• Missed work due to sciatica, back pain, or arthritis

• Missed out on family vacations or activities you love because you’re afraid of aggravating your sciatica

• Found yourself worrying more about your pain, numbness, and tingling than about living your life

• Tried EVERYTHING and just want to get back to normal THEN THIS FREE WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU! At this workshop, you’ll learn great tips and exercises to manage your pain naturally, without the need for invasive treatments or medications. What better way to bring in spring than to ensure you can be out and about in the warm weather? Space is limited and disappearing fast! To ensure you get a seat, register for our Back Pain Workshop by calling The Physical Therapy Doctor at 718.747.2019. Don’t put up with pain any longer! Register today and give yourself the knowledge and skills you need to reclaim your life!

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