Vital Care PT June 2018


JUNE 2018


(623) 544-0300

M y U nwavering S upport S ystem

Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call (623) 544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 gift card! CALL (623) 544-0300 Contest is for past and present Vital Care PT patients only. Father’s Day often falls on the Sunday that we are in San Diego with all of my relatives. The kids and I make sure that we take some time alone to celebrate David on his special day. We My dad grew up in a family of 12 kids. One year, all the siblings decided to plan a San Diego beach vacation so they could catch up and give their kids a chance to meet and get to know one another. The first year was so much fun that we decided to make it a tradition. Now over 100 people attend the annual gathering. David, Skyla, Dylan, and I will be attending the family reunion again this year, and we cannot wait! It’s so much fun to catch up with family, and the kids love being able to hang out with all of their cousins and second cousins. Recently, we all got new beach cruisers, and we have been going on family bike rides to prepare for the Mission Beach Boardwalk.

“I am so thankful to be married to a man who has always supported my dream of being a mom with a career and who understands that raising a family requires a team dynamic.” raised by a single mom and has three sisters, so he learned how to be a responsible and contributing member of the family at a very young age. Truthfully, he is more efficient than most men in a fatherly role. When I had Skyla and Dylan, I was only able to take eight weeks of maternity leave for each of the kids before I had to go back to work. When I returned to work, David stayed home with our children. He was incredible at the multitasking job of taking care of babies, and he was also doing real estate as much as he could from home. He stepped up to the plate during that time, and I am forever grateful to him for it. As the kids grew older, David and I worked out a work-home schedule. I woke up early and started work every day at 6 a.m., so he was the one who got the kids up and ready for day care. Having three sisters, he figured out how to do our daughter’s hair, and he helped her pick out her clothes. Dads aren’t normally the I am truly a lucky girl to call David my husband and the father of my children. David was usually break off from the big group to go to lunch and explore other fun excursions in San Diego as a family.

ones who have to get the kids up and ready, but he was willing to do it so that I could leave work early enough to pick the kids up from day care. He had the morning shift, and I had the evening shift. I am so thankful to be married to a man who has always supported my dream of being a mom with a career and who understands that raising a family requires a team dynamic. Not many women can brag that their husband washes the dishes every night, does the laundry, and makes it a point to spend quality time with his kids and wife. David is an outgoing, friendly, and personable man. He is open-minded and willing to help anyone who needs him. Thank you, David, for everything that you do for me and our family. I love you so much. Happy Father’s Day.

I hope all of you have a great Father’s Day, too. We look forward to seeing you soon.

–Andrea McWhorter | 1

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H ow M editation H elps Y ou M aintain B rain H ealth IMPROVE COGNITIVE FUNCTI

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 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.

may reduce this 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.


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.


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.


Your prefrontal cortex thins with age, which is associated with decreased cognitive function in your later years. However, meditation

In one study, people who attended mindfulness meditation classes showed a smaller stress response in brain scans compared to those

S uccess S tories OUR CLIENTS AY IT BEST

S udoku

“When I arrived for PT, I could not sit for long periods of time. My backside was stiff and sore, and I could not bend over very far. I would wake up with pain and soreness in my lower back and bottom. Thanks to Andrea and Abby for giving me the tools (exercises) to do at home plus the exersises done at PT. I now can function 90

percent better with everyday life. Their help, patience, and the time they took to answer any of my questions is much appreciated. Thanks!” -Eileen B. “I had about 14 appointments at Vital Care

recently for weakness in my hips and legs as a result of a fall. I was walking with a cane with difficulty, and at my age of 89, I didn’t think there was much hope for improvement. It took some time, but after working with Michelle and the other staff members, I improved beyond my expectations, can walk without the

cane, and feel more confident with daily activities. I now have a set of exercises I can do at home to keep me fit. I have been treated by a number of physical therapy organizations in the area and have found Vital Care to be the best in my opinion.” -Lawrence R.

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WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST PHYSICAL THERAPY APPOINTMENT If you’ve never been to physical therapy before, you may have a lot of questions. What will happen on my first day? What should I bring? How should I dress? Will it hurt? At Vital Care Physical Therapy, we want to do all we can to ensure you have an exceptional experience while in our care. Here is what you can expect at your first physical therapy visit. PATIENT FORMS AND REGISTRATION The first thing you should do before your first visit is go to our website online at and click on the “patient forms” link at the top of the page to fill out our patient intake paperwork. If you don’t have access to a computer, or you feel uncomfortable with this, just let us know and we can mail you the forms. We suggest arriving 10 minutes early for your first visit to complete our registration process, if you’ve already filled out the forms at home. If you did not fill out the paperwork at home, arrive 30 minutes early. Make sure to bring the prescription that the doctor gave you for physical therapy (if you have one) and your insurance card or case number. Also, wear comfortable clothes that allow you to bend, flex, and lie down. INITIAL EVALUATION The first part of your initial evaluation involves an interview where we gather your medical history and current complaints. Remember, the more complete and accurate your medical history, the easier it will be for your therapist to help you. Be prepared to answer questions like these: • What types of symptoms are you experiencing? • How long have you had this problem? • How did it start? • What aggravates or eases your symptoms? Make sure to tell your therapist about any previous treatment you’ve received and the results of your treatments. Next, your therapist will perform an extensive evaluation to determine your strength, range of motion, flexibility, and posture. This shouldn’t hurt at all, but if it does, please let us know. TREATMENT PLAN After your evaluation, we will make an assessment of your condition and explain our treatment plan. Please ask us if you have any questions. Your understanding of your ailment, your goals, and our treatment plan is fundamental to your success. On your way out, make sure to schedule your following appointments (typically 1–3 times per week) as recommended by your physical therapist with our front office specialist. If you have any other questions before your first appointment, feel free to call us at (623) 544-0300. We look forward to treating you.

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?

F ather ’ s D ay C hili L ime C hicken W ings


• 4 pounds chicken wings • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened • 1 1/4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste • 1/4 cup honey • 1/4 cup soy sauce

• 1 lime, halved • Extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper • Chopped cilantro for garnish


1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Rinse wings under cold water and pat dry. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast on a baking sheet for 25 minutes or until skin becomes crisp and brown. 3. Blend butter, red curry paste, honey, and soy sauce in a large mixing bowl. 4. Toss wings in butter mixture. Squeeze lime juice on top, transfer to serving plate, and garnish with cilantro.

Inspired by | 3


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I nside 14545 W. Grand Ave., #108 Surprise, AZ 85374 Celebrating My Support System PAGE 1


How Meditation Can Help the Aging Brain Success Stories PAGE 2 Father’s Day Chili Lime Chicken Wings What to Expect at Your First Appointment PAGE 3 Cut Down on Flight Costs With This Rule PAGE 4


In case you haven’t noticed, traveling is expensive. It can feel like you’re signing away your soul when you sit down to plan a vacation. But when it comes to flights, there’s good news: They’re getting cheaper! According to a 2017 report published by online travel company ODIGEO, long-distance trips across Europe fell by 7 percent last year. Luckily, the same trend is reflected in North American airlines as they engage in a price war to woo a growing base of ultrafrugal travelers. Still, a $600 summer flight to Honolulu isn’t exactly pocket change. What’s worse, flight prices are slippery;’s 2017 Annual Airfare Study determined that the fares for any given trip go up or down an average of 71 times, about $33 each shift. When you purchase your flight is nearly as important as where you’re going. But how do you choose a booking window that will maximize your savings?

According to the study, in which they evaluated 921 million airfares, the best time to book is 21–105 days in advance of your flight, on average. If you want to get even more specific, try to book 55– 75 days out, and book on a Sunday. Many travelers swear by Tuesday and Wednesday bookings, but as Condé Nast Traveler reports, Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation say that Sunday is the way to go, based on data from billions of flights. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to actually fly, though. The study also pinpoints the absolute best windows for specific seasons: 54 days for winter trips, 75 days for spring, 76 days for summer, and 45 days for fall. Of course, these are averages, but if you stick to these rules and check fares regularly on sites like,,, and on the handy app Hopper, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting close to the best price possible.

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