Foothills PT News FoothillsPTMaine.com • 207-625-4300
FROM THE DESK OF Tom Thoman
Concussions It is that time of the year when kids get excited to return to their favorite sports. Did you know that football and soccer are sports with some of the highest concussion rates? Recent research demonstrates that the “old way” of treating concussions is very outdated. For example, athletes are no longer told to sit quietly in a dark room and not go to school. This treatment can, in fact, be harmful. Many schools are now performing ImPACT testing, a computerized measurement tool used to help decide when a player can return to sport after a concussion. While ImPACT testing is valuable, it should be used with other evaluation tools to more thoroughly determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to their sport following a concussion. At Foothills Physical Therapy, we are certified by Complete Concussion Management, a network of trained healthcare professionals who work with physicians, coaches, athletic trainers, and teachers to co-manage concussion injuries We provide thorough examinations that go beyond ImPACT testing. We use the most recent research-based assessments and treatments to help patients who have suffered a concussion return to school, work, and life safely and effectively.
apples bats & chicken feed S ecret O rigins of H alloween T raditions
What’s scarier than being at a Halloween party without a good costume? Being at a Halloween party without anything interesting to add, of course! Avoid this nightmare scenario by learning the fascinating history behind everyone’s favorite Halloween traditions.
WHERE DID ALL THESE BATS COME FROM?
Halloween decorations tend to rely on scary or supernatural themes. Cobwebs, skeletons, and ghosts crowd the scene, but there are usually a few bats in there as well. Compared to jangling skeletons, these little mammals aren’t that scary. While bats do risk carrying rabies, for the most part, bats are more likely to help people by eating mosquitoes than harm anyone. So why are they part of our creepy Halloween decor? Bats were associated with Halloween long before the first trick-or-treaters. When celebrating the ancient festival Samhain — a precursor to Halloween — the Celts lit huge bonfires. These fires attracted insects, which in turn attracted bats looking for a midnight snack. Bats came to be linked to Samhain and that tradition was carried into modern Halloween. Giving out apples instead of candy is a surefire way to get your house egged by angry trick- or-treaters. On a night that’s all about candy and sweets, how did we come to play a game involving fruit? Surprisingly, the old game of bobbing for apples has roots in some more romantic traditions. Bobbing for apples was part fortune-telling game and part courting ritual in 18th-century England. A young woman would write the name of her suitor on an apple and put it in a basin of water. If she could grab the apple in one bite, it meant that she and her suitor were WHAT’S UPWITH BOBBING FOR APPLES?
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to America’s rural communities. Though not initially linked to fall, chicken feed candy was difficult to make and therefore only available between March and November. The scarcity added to its early popularity. In the 1900s, candy makers had to turn down orders because demand was so high! Chicken feed would eventually become candy corn and be cast as the ultimate Halloween candy after World War II. In 1951, Goelitz Confectionery Company — today known as the Jelly Belly Candy Company — had 12 factories making candy corn across the country! Since then, candy corn has made its way into trick-or-treat bags every Halloween.
States by Irish immigrants in the early 20th century, trick-or-treating quickly became a favorite Halloween activity. However, when sugar was rationed during World War II, trick- or-treating started to die out. You can thank Charles Schulz and Walt Disney for keeping the tradition alive. In 1951, Schulz created a series of Halloween- themed comic strips featuring the Peanuts gang dressed as ghosts and trick-or-treating. The following year, Disney produced an animated short featuring Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, engaged in Halloween hijinks. Both the Peanuts strips and the Donald Duck shorts were incredibly popular, and these Halloween specials showed kids across the country the fun of trick-or-treating. When you think about it, Halloween is a pretty weird holiday. But isn’t the weirdness part of the fun?
destined for true love. Two tries meant their love would fade with time. And three or more bites was a sign that the relationship was doomed. Another version of the game was more of a competition. The first person to bite into an apple would be the first to get married. It wasn’t unlike catching the bride’s bouquet at a wedding. Some people adore this sweet mellowcreme treat, while others insist the divisive candy is little more than colored wax. Whatever camp you find yourself in, you may be interested to know that candy corn was not originally created for Halloween. Developed by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, these little tricolored candies were introduced to the world as “chicken feed” in the 1880s. This candy was meant to appeal WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT CANDY CORN?
WHO SAVED TRICK-OR-TREATING?
While trick-or-treating has its roots in ancient traditions that involve scaring away ghosts and praying for lost souls, modern trick-or- treating owes its existence to a more familiar source. After being brought to the United
Stay weird, and have a happy Halloween!
Physical Therapy May Be the Solution You’ve Been Looking For Options Beyond Pain Medication
WHEN TO TALK TO A PHYSICAL THERAPIST
prescription drugs, a physical therapist helps relieve pain through education, hands-on care, and movement.
If you go to your doctor with pain, chances are they’ll prescribe you pain medication. While pain medication can help in certain situations, such as acute pain, cancer treatment, and end-of-life care, in others, it’s not always the only solution. Relying too heavily on medication for chronic pain can lead to bigger problems. To manage long-lasting pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, highly recommends seeing a physical therapist. When you suffer from chronic pain and take pain medications to cope, you’re not solving the problem. The pills only mask the pain, but the issue remains. A physical therapist works to resolve the problems causing the pain and manage pain by strengthening the affected part of the body. Instead of relying on THE BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY
Pain that lasts less than 90 days is considered acute; anything over that is chronic. When a condition becomes chronic, it’s recommended that you speak to a physical therapist about the pain you’re experiencing instead of continuing pain medication. The CDC guidelines note that non-opioid therapies are “preferred” for chronic pain and state, “Clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient.” Suffering from pain doesn’t have to be part of your life, and there are other solutions than relying on medication.
MYTHS ABOUT PHYSICAL THERAPY
You may have heard that physical therapy is painful or that a center will only accept someone who has been injured, but that’s not true. Physical therapy works with a patient’s range of motion and limitations to heal and restore their body’s proper function. The PT’s goal is to relieve your pain, not create it. Patients include older people experiencing age-related wear and tear, athletes, and individuals hurt in accidents. Physical therapists specialize in restoring mobility and relieving pain as well as detecting and diagnosing problems before they become worse.
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The History of Trick-or-Treating WHY THERE ARE KIDS ONYOUR PORCH ASKING FOR CANDY
As Halloween looms and you load up your grocery cart with candy, you may ask yourself, “Why do I provide these spooky gremlins with a sugar high every Oct. 31, anyway?”Well, when your doorbell starts ringing around 6 p.m. this All Hallows’ Eve, you can thank the Celts for this tradition of candy and costumes. Halloween itself is a kind of mishmash of four different cultural festivals of old: two Roman fêtes, which commemorated the dead and the goddess of fruit and trees (not at the same time); the Celtic Samuin or Samhain, a new year’s party thrown at the end of our summer; and the Catholic All Saint’s Day, designed to replace Samuin and divorce it from its pagan origins. Long before there were young’uns on your porch dressed as Thanos with candy-filled pillowcases in hand, the Celts believed that Samuin marked an overlapping of the realms of the living and the dead. To trick the spirits leaking into our world, young men donned flowing white costumes and black masks — a great disguise when ghosts were about.
The Catholic Church was never a big fan of these pagan traditions, so they renamed it “All Saints’ Day” and gussied it up in religious garb. By the 11th century, people were dressing up as saints, angels, and the occasional demon instead of spirits. Eventually, costumed children started tearing through town begging for food and money and singing a song or prayer in return — a practice called “souling.” But when did they start dressing up as Minions? Starting in the 19th century, souling turned to “guising,” which gave way to trick-or- treating in mid-20th-century America, and the costumes diversified. So put on some clown makeup and a big smile, scoop up a handful of sweets, and scare the living daylights out of ‘em — ‘tis the season!
Take a Break!
PUMPKIN SEED CRUNCH
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon light agave syrup
1/4 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4. Using a slotted spoon, strain spoonfuls of mixture over bowl and transfer to baking sheet. Discard excess egg white mixture. 5. Bake 20–25 minutes, tossing once. 6. Let cool and serve.
1. Heat oven to 300 F. 2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 3. In a mixing bowl, whisk
together egg white, agave, salt, and spices. Add nuts and seeds and toss until evenly coated.
SCARY STORIES SPOOKY TRICK-OR-TREAT ZOMBIE
HALLOWEEN HALLOWS EVE
CAULDRON COSTUME DRACULA GHOST
Recipe courtesy of The Food Network
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Tom PAGE 1 Secret Origins of Halloween Traditions PAGE 1 Physical Therapy vs. Pain Medication PAGE 2 The Surprising Origins of Trick-or-Treating PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Spiced Pumpkin Seed Crunch PAGE 3 Weirdest Cryptids in Pseudoscientific History PAGE 4 There are people who would have you believe that monsters live among us all year long. These individuals, referred to as cryptozoologists (or just “wishful thinkers” by their skeptics), believe a hidden animal kingdom exists just beyond the edge of mainstream biological science. Here are three of the weirdest, almost-certainly imaginary “cryptids” to ever capture the human imagination. THE JERSEY DEVIL According to legend, the 1.1 million-acre Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey are home to more than just birds and deer. The story goes that when one Jane Leeds gave birth to her 13th child, she was dismayed to add yet another kid to her responsibilities. She cried out, “Oh, let this one be the devil!” Shortly after the child was born, the boy was transmogrified into a twisted creature with the malformed head of a goat, leathery
THE MONSTERS SOME BELIEVE ARE REAL 3 of the Weirdest Cryptids in Pseudoscientific History
THE LOVELAND FROG One night, near Loveland, Ohio, a man reportedly beheld a trio of bipedal frog- people slapping their webbed
wings, and a thrashing, forked tail. After slicing the midwife with its ragged claws, the beast flew up the chimney and fled into the trees. Hundreds of years later, the beast is still said to creep the backwoods on its cloven hooves, glowering from the blackness with shining, red eyes. THE BUNYIP When European settlers began edging into the territory of Aboriginal Australians, they heard whispered, frightened tales of a man- eating “water spirit” that lived in the lakes and rivers of the area. Descriptions of the creature varied wildly. The monster was alternately described as an enormous starfish, an alligator-like creature with the head of an emu, or a massive bulldog-faced beast. But accounts held one thing in common: The monster claimed the lives of any who dared camp near its watery domain.
feet along the side of the road. If that wasn’t enough, one even had a magic wand, which shot sparks as the man ran off. Apparently, not all
mythical beasts are bloodthirsty monsters; some are a little more Kermit than Cthulhu.
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