Thomas Physical Therapy - September 2018

THE THOMAS TIMES

SEPTEMBER 2018

Randy’s Ramblings

Sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed dealing with our injuries or life in general. We encounter many things that can take our energy to negative emotional states, but there are also many things that can lift us up if we change our focus. I found myself going in the direction of being overwhelmed this morning and the thought occurred to me, “I don’t want to TRY to be in a better place emotionally; I want to BE in a better place.” But how do I accomplish that? As soon as that question formulated in my mind, I saw a beautiful beam of sunlight streaming through the trees and realized that I had just been given the answer. Appreciation will lighten the sense of overwhelm like the light replaces the dark. Get outside and enjoy nature, walk on the beach, call an old friend and reminisce, listen to some happy music and dance like nobody’s watching, or recall some of the funniest events in your life and laugh about them all over again. These things won’t make your troubles go away, but you’ll sure feel better in the moment, and

Hot and Bothered SOME TRENDS, TRUTHS, AND TENETS OF THE MODERN YOGA ERA

For many people, no matter how trendy yoga becomes, the idea of testing the limits of their flexibility still sounds less than appealing. A fair number of first-time yoga-goers report unpleasant and distressing experiences, inwardly cringing as they watch seasoned practitioners bend into pretzels while they sit on their brand-new mats, barely able to reach their tippy toes. Take this initial discomfort and add 105-degree temperatures, and the experience goes from bad to mortifying. No matter who you are, the first time you try hot yoga, it’s likely to feel unpleasant, and this feeling may stem from the unfamiliarity of the poses as much as the sweltering heat. If you are practicing traditional hot yoga, the temperature will be set between 90 and 105 degrees. Ask 10 people the reason behind the high temperature, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some seasoned yogis tout the health benefits of this sauna-like practice, claiming that the sheer amount of sweat pouring off one’s body helps remove unwanted or unhealthy toxins. According to Yoga International, this claim couldn’t be further from the truth. While exercising in the hot room definitely increases circulation, relaxes muscles, and promotes flexibility, the notion that it creates a physical purification system is false. What are some scientifically grounded benefits of hot yoga? Well, biomedical researchers are exploring whether or not a natural antibiotic in one’s sweat called dermcidin can be used as a treatment for superbugs like tuberculosis and MRSA. Additionally, these researchers are studying hyperthermic conditioning, or exercising in the heat, to see how it boosts the production of the human growth hormone and ameliorates heat shock proteins, both of which can cause elevated muscle growth and promote healing properties. Healthwise,

in the end, all we really have is this moment.

-Randy Thomas

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there are a lot of benefits to hot yoga, but they just don’t provide the same functions as the kidney or liver, organs that exist to rid the body of bad toxins. In addition to these physical benefits, many yoga-goers boast mental perks from being in the hot room that are grounded in the practice of asceticism, a way to transcend suffering through intentional discomfort. Contemporary practitioners might think of this as an exercise in mind over matter, perseverance, or grit. The tried and true benefits of hot yoga rely on the poses as much as the heat. The most popular posture sequence in a hot yoga class is made up of 26 poses, and instructors usually have their students complete each pose twice. This specific series has been circulating for nearly half a century, starting with a yogi named Bikram Choudhury, who was the household name in hot yoga in the U.S. until 2013, when two sexual assault lawsuits were waged against him. Since then, many practitioners of hot yoga are creating new ways to continue the practice while distancing themselves from the infamy of the man who created it.

Some of these new sessions rely on traditional yoga sequences that are more than 5,000 years old, while others incorporate fun, original ideas like yoga with goats, cats, or beer. Yes, there are real classes where you can perfect your downward dog while hanging out with baby goats. Of course, in the classes that contain farm animals or alcohol, the temperatures are kept cool for safety reasons. The popularity of these nontraditional classes emphasizes the exponential growth in the yoga industry in the last decade. In fact, there are a slew of yoga Instagram influencers whose financial livelihoods depend on creating sponsored advertisements for thousands of followers. The trend has also captured the attention of many famous actors, politicians, and musicians, including Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama, Jennifer Aniston, and Matthew McConaughey. Yoga wasn’t intended to be an embarrassing or a painful experience, but as with any new activity, there is always a learning curve. Reaching your own nirvana takes time and repetition, and in some cases, beer and cute animals. If you tried a hot yoga class and were

absolutely miserable, you are not alone. The unpleasantness usually dissipates over time, but if you find that hot yoga isn’t for you, look up yoga classes with goats or cats instead; they might even smell better than all the sweat anyway.

Find the Right Food Balance Foods That Cause and Reduce Inflammation

The food you eat plays amajor role in how your body functions on the cellular level. Some foods can wreak havoc on your body, while others canmake you feel great. This is especially true when it comes to that all-too-common ailment, inflammation.

NOW, FOR THE GOOD STUFF. EAT THESE FOODS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION: BLUEBERRIES: Many studies call blueberries one of the best fruits you can eat to ease symptoms of inflammation. These blue orbs of goodness are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, polyphenols, and somuchmore. Eat a handful every day! SALMON: As a source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best protein choices for people with inflammatory conditions, or for those who want to keep inflammation at bay. BROCCOLI: One of the most nutritious and easily accessible vegetables around, the little green buds that cover the tops of broccoli are loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.

HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF FOODS THAT LEADTO INFLAMMATION: SUGAR: One of the biggest culprits behind inflammation, sugar is far worse than eating fatty foods. It’s best to skip foods that have added sugar (and this includes sugar of any kind, including corn syrup, fructose, and sucrose). Many manufacturers now label food withmore specific kinds of sugar to hide the fact that they added sugar to their product. Be sure to read labels carefully! REFINED CARBS: Basically anythingmade from white flour falls into this category, including

bread, pasta, baked goods, and cereals. Research suggests that refined carbs may be a bigger contributing factor than fat in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. ALCOHOL: Toomuch alcohol puts a burden on your liver, an organ that helps flush toxins out of the body. You know all of those detox diets? They don’t work. In fact, the only way to detox is to let your liver do its job. When you consume alcohol, it’s harder for the liver to pump out the toxins in your body. When it can’t do its job properly, the result is inflammation.

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The Pullman Strike and the Origin of Labor Day How a Railroad Protest Laid the Foundation for a National Holiday

Today, Labor Day mostly means a day off and the closure of public pools. But when it was first created, it was a president’s desperate attempt to curb the tension after one of the most violent strike breakups in American history. In the late 19th century, the workers of the Pullman Company, which manufactured luxury train cars, all lived in a company-owned town. George Pullman, the owner, lived in a mansion overlooking houses, apartments, and crammed-together barracks, all of which were rented by the thousands of workers needed for the operation. For some time, the town operated without a hitch, providing decent wages for the workers while netting the higher-ups millions of dollars. But after the economic depression of the 1890s brought the country to its knees, everything changed. George Pullman slashed his workers’wages by nearly 30 percent, but he neglected to adjust the rent on the company- owned buildings in turn. As a result, life became untenable in the town, with workers struggling tomaintain the barest standards of living for themselves and their families.

But Pullman, stubborn as he was, barely acknowledged the strike was happening, and he refused tomeet with the organizers.

The tension increased when Eugene Debs, the president of the American Railway Union, organized a boycott of all trains that included Pullman cars. The strike continued to escalate until workers and Pullman community members managed to stop the trains from running. Eventually, President Grover Cleveland sent in soldiers to break up the strike. Violence ensued, with soldiers making a great effort to quell the strike at its core. By the time the violence ended, 30 people had lost their lives and an estimated $80 million in damages had been caused throughout the town. A fewmonths later, President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a federal holiday. Many experts believe that this act was an effort to build rapport among his pro-labor constituents after handling the incident so poorly.

This month, as you fire up the barbecue and enjoy your day off, take a moment to remember the workers who fought for labor rights in our country.

In response, the workers began a strike on May 11, 1894. As the event ramped up, it gained the support of the powerful American Railway Union (ARU).

Clinic/ Workshop Upc ming Workshops

BRAISED SWISS CHARD

MARK YOUR CALENDAR We have a summer full of workshops and clinics that are open to you! Call today to reserve your spot 386-257-2672

Ingredients

1 1/4 pound (2 bunches) Swiss chard, trimmed and halved crosswise 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

Clinic/ Workshop

2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Date

PT

Sarah Thomas, PT & Krista Ghaffarian Oakes, RT

Sept. 20

Safe Yoga

Directions

Sept. 25

Lower Back Pain

Randy Thomas, PT

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium. 2. Once heated, add Swiss chard and sprinkle with carrots and shallots. Put canned tomatoes over chard, add sugar, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a simmer. 4. Partially cover skillet and cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 15–20 minutes. 5. Transfer to a large platter and serve.

*Note: All clinics/workshops are from 5:30–7:00 p.m.

Recipe courtesy of Saveur magazine

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Thomas Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy www.ThomasPhysicalTherapy.com

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Randy’s Ramblings PAGE 1 Have You Tried Hot Yoga? PAGE 1 The Best andWorst Foods for Inflammation PAGE 2 Why Labor Day Is Indebted to the Pullman Strike PAGE 3 Braised Swiss Chard PAGE 3 3 Steps to Staying Pain-Free in the Car PAGE 4

EASYRIDER Avoid Neck Pain While Driving

LET OFF THE GAS

steering wheel from this position, shift the whole seat forward. In older cars without built- in lower back support, it’s a good idea to slide a small pillow between your back and the lower part of the seat. After you have your sitting position figured out, make the necessary adjustments to your mirrors. You should be able to glance at each with minimal headmovement. Constantly bobbing or craning your neck to see what’s behind you is a surefire way to develop neck and shoulder pain. A dirty windshield can be just as bad as poorly adjustedmirrors. Having to lean forward to see when sun and dust cut your visibility causes stress as your neck muscles accommodate. In general, poor vision is a consistent source of these sorts of aches and pains, so it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right pair of glasses (including shades) every time you drive. STAY INTHE CLEAR

Normally, good sitting posture normally entails having both feet firmly planted on the floor. Drivers don’t normally have that option unless they literally put the pedal to the metal. During long drives on the highway, cruise control is a great option to give your feet a welcome rest. Otherwise, pull over to take a break and stretch your legs if you feel your neck beginning to tense up. There are also preventative measures you can take to avoid pain and discomfort before your next road trip or traffic jam. If you find yourself haunted by chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain no matter how long you drive, it may be time to contact a trusted physical therapist. These may be signs of more serious issues, but physical therapy can help you live and drive pain-free again.

Long commutes will always be a pain in the neck, but the discomfort doesn’t have to be literal. Developing stiffness or soreness in your upper back and neck is all too common in the driver’s seat. It’s annoying at the time, and repeated incidents can lead to more chronic problems down the road. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent this pain from developing behind the wheel.

MAKE ADJUSTMENTS

If you frequently experience neck pain while driving, the position of your seat and mirrors may be the issue. Ideally, you want the back of your driver’s seat to be almost straight, at about a 100 degree angle to the seat. If you find yourself leaning forward to reach the

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