THERAPY COMES IN MANY FORMS WHAT MAKES READING 1 OF THE BEST WAYS TO DESTRESS
I noticed there are a lot of holidays related to reading in March. Holidays like Read Across America Day on March 2, World Book Day on March 5, and even Read an E-Book Week during the entire first week of March got me thinking about how important and meaningful reading is to the world we live in — not just for educational purposes but also for the life value it can provide in many different ways. I may not be the world’s most avid reader, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy getting into a good book from time to time. or magazines related to the world of physical therapy, I like to read all about true stories written by real people. I’m currently reading “Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations” by Admiral William H. McRaven. He’s the bestselling author of “Make Your Bed” and, if you couldn’t guess, also a former member of the U.S. armed forces. All his books and stories are remarkable; they recount some of the most famous military missions in recent history, like the raid on Osama bin Laden, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips. This guy was involved in all of those and countless other impressive feats. I’m not much of a fiction reader. When I’m not reading clinical journals
people’s lives, what makes them who they are, and what causes them to be leaders, innovators, or storytellers teaches me about how I view the world and gives me inspiration for ways I can work to be better within it. I’ve always found keen interest in discovering what qualities in a person make them admirable to others. What makes a leader a leader? There’s no better way to discover those details than to read the words of advice a leader has written for others. This is a great way to learn from them and implement their advice in your own life. Business owners who wish to create the best environment for their team will find this especially useful as well! Reading is a powerful tool for people of any age. It brings us into the world of education when we’re young, and it allows us to continue with our own education long after we’ve completed our schooling. When it comes to the health of our brains, studies have shown that reading can be a useful start in treating things like depression, anxiety, and panic. The soothing effect that reading has on our well- being has even been given the name “bibliotherapy.” Bibliotherapy can be practiced simply by reading the genre that’s right for you, whether that means more obvious self-help books or the escapist worlds of high fantasy. Reading can also be as deeply personal as you need it to be. Take it
from someone who knows all about the power of therapy: If there’s an effective method that works for you, then by all means practice it as much as you can. Reading can be a wonderful tool for humans to find a way to bring out the best in themselves. Even though we shouldn’t need designated holidays throughout the year to remember just how important reading is, it doesn’t hurt to celebrate these days to the fullest. So, find some time to crack open some fresh pages or download the newest e-book to hit the market. Then, start reading. Whether you’re doing it for inspiration, education, healing, or pure pleasure, there’s really no way to go wrong.
This is why I enjoy reading about real people so much. Learning about
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WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT POISON IVY? LEAVES OF 3, LEAVE THEM BE
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 less 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!
• 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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1. COVER TITLE 1. THE POWER OF A GOOD BOOK INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. POISON IVY MISCONCEPTIONS MEDITATION AND PAIN RELIEF 3. HAVE YOU HEARD THESE MYTHS ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET? RATATOUILLE 4. GET FIT WITH FIDO
WELLNESS AND WHISKERS 3 WAYS TO WORK 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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