620 Old West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038 • 508-528-6100 • www.ProPTinc.com
Your Mind and Body Will Thank You
Stress runs high these days because it comes at us from a lot of different directions and sources. April is Stress Awareness Month, so now is a great time to address something that many people around the world are facing. Let’s talk about COVID-19, or the coronavirus. As I’m writing this newsletter, there are already several known cases of the coronavirus not too far from us here in Franklin. By the time this newsletter reaches you, there may be even more. We’ve all seen on the local news that convenience and grocery stores in our area have been picked clean of sanitary wipes and other disinfecting products because people are having panicked reactions to the spread of the disease. But your panic may be premature and is very likely not needed at all. Everyone has their priorities, assumptions, and opinions about what’s going on in the world, as is everyone’s right. But there comes a point when being properly informed and taking actionable steps are important in order to not contribute to mass hysteria, which can have a lot of negative effects on your personal health. This goes deeper than just mental health. Stress can also cause a lot of physical detriment. We live in a world where our stress and anxiety hormones are activated a lot more often than they should be. When the human body feels stress, it releases the hormone cortisol, which is the “fight or flight” reaction and protects us against stressors. But in an age full of stressful stimuli coming at us all the time, cortisol is consistently released in our bodies. The presence of this biological chemical over long periods of time is actually harmful for the body. Chronic stress is detrimental to even the healthiest of people, so if you have any preexisting conditions or unhealthy habits, it can be even more worrisome. It aggravates pain and inflammation, causes sluggishness, and if you’re going through physical therapy, it can slow your recovery process. We want you to know that Professional Physical Therapy does everything it can to quell your stress and anxiety over the coronavirus. We keep ourselves abreast of its progress by getting information from accurate resources, like bulletins directly from the World Health Organization. We keep disinfecting wipes and sprays on hand in every room of our facility, and our staff wipes all our equipment and surfaces down consistently. We’re vigilant about washing our hands regularly and educating our staff and patients about the importance of proper hygiene. If team members
or patients feel sick, we urge them to stay home. This isn’t because we’re panicking over the spread of the virus. It’s because we know the best way to foster a calm and healthy environment is to maintain a clean and hygienic facility. If you’re smart about your hygiene and don’t place yourself in proximity to those who are sick, reputable sources say you should be just fine when it comes to the coronavirus. It certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s also something that shouldn’t fuel your stress hormones 2 4/7 . So, combat the stress by shutting off your news sources from time to time. Keep your hands clean, cover your mouth when you cough, and find time to relax. Don’t allow this stress to get the best of you, because it’s more than a weight on your mind — it’s a burden on your body.
– Dr . Stacey Raybuck Schatz
Professional Physical Therapy | 508-528-6100 • 1
Learn to Breathe Better Holistic Methods for Taming Seasonal Allergies
quercetin, found in tea, red wine, and apples, can act as a natural antihistamine. If you’re looking for something more savory, spicy foods can light a fire under your mucus, break it up, and clear your nasal passages. POKE THEM AWAY Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method that pinpoints specific pathways crucial to the flow of energy throughout the body and reopens them through strategic needle placements. While studies have yet to prove that acupuncture can serve as a stand-alone treatment for allergies, it has been shown to aid in symptom management. Acupuncture can also decrease pain and release built-up pressure caused by congestion. DRAINTHEM AWAY Have you ever just wanted to open your nose and flush out all of your congestion? With a neti pot, you can! Simply create your own saltwater solution with filtered water — do not try this with unfiltered water, as deadly organisms can enter your body this way — and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some experts even suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to the mixture to soothe the bite of the salt. Next, pour the solution into the pot. Tilt your head to one side over a sink, pour the mixture from the pot into one of your nostrils, and let it drain out the other side. Repeat on the opposite nostril and feel the relief!
The season of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, but you don’t have to let your allergies stop you from enjoying gorgeous April blooms and fresh spring breezes. Try these natural solutions to help combat your allergies and breathe a little easier this spring — though if your allergies are persistent, seek professional medical help.
EAT THEM AWAY Food is often overlooked as a method to fight your allergies, but make no mistake: The nutrients in some foods can do wonders for your body! Use this to your advantage by choosing ingredients proven to fight the sniffles. Raw, local honey has the ability to soothe scratchy throats, which protects the airway passage from further damage. ( Warning : Children under the age of 1 should never consume honey.)
Also on the sweeter side, the naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, has been shown to ease inflammation and swelling, while
of the Month
JAMES EHWA DANA FARBER – CHILDREN’S CANCER AND BLOOD DISORDER CENTER
“This charity is important to me because I’ve had several people I know and love unfortunately have to visit this section of the hospital. I would like this donation to help other children with their fight in battling cancer.” –James
Jim has put in a lot of hard work to regain range of motion in his knee, working through his challenges to improve the condition of his knee with determination and humor. His focus on his recovery and his infectious humor are two of the reasons we chose Jim as patient of the month.
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3 Great Ways to Start a Spring Diet
if they’ve been cooked over flames, then don’t hold yourself back. Start tossing on lean meats like chicken breast or turkey burgers, and don’t forget you can grill vegetables and fruits, too! Squash and peppers are great grilling choices, and pineapples and peaches bring a sweet touch to the plate. AVOIDTHE SALAD RUT When we think of spring food, our first thought is leafy greens and other vegetables, especially if they’re freshly picked and raw. All those signs point to salad for every meal, but that doesn’t need to be the case. There are hundreds of veggie-focused entree recipes to get creative with. And if you change it up, you’re less likely to get food fatigue and give up on making healthy choices. Take advantage of spring by getting all the fresh foods you’ve been missing back into your diet. And remember, summer is only a few short months away. Start good habits now so you have energy to take advantage of the sunshine later!
Spring is in full swing, and when the seasons change, the food we eat usually does, too. There are a lot of healthy choices to consider during a season that’s all about fresh fare, so here are some great places to start. SAY BYE TO HIGH-FAT FOODS During the winter months, we tend to load our diets with things like cheese, cream, and butter. But spring is a great time to start cutting out those high- fat foods. The best way to do that is to add more vegetables into your diet.
They don’t even have to be raw — add some olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast them in the oven for great nutritional flavor. Also shop for your veggies at the local farmers market for great seasonal treats. GET OUT THE GRILL People tend to reserve summer for firing up the grill, but why wait? If you love grilled flavors and will eat more lean meats
“After an auto injury left me with a lot of middle back pain and discomfort (on top of my preexisting neck pain), I was happy to have selected Pro PT for my therapy. From day one, I could tell the staff truly cares and works as a team to help their patients. They worked closely with me through challenges and discomfort and always at my speed. I feel even better than before the accident now. Great team.”
Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad
6 cups fresh arugula
• • • • • •
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 avocado, cubed
6 beets, peeled and quartered
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
Directions 1. Heat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, and honey. 3. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. 4. In a small bowl, toss the beets in dressing until they are coated. 5. Place coated beets on baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool. 6. In a large bowl, toss arugula, walnuts, and berries with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Top salad with beets, avocado, and goat cheese.
“I came in with left knee pain and somewhat of a limp. This is my first time at Pro PT. The staff is top notch, helpful, and professional. They have helped me avoid surgery. This has been a very positive experience. Thank you, all!”
Inspired by FoodNetwork.com
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www.ProPTinc.com 620 Old West Central Street Franklin, MA 02038 508-528-6100
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Don’t Let Stress Get the Best of You Fight the Sneeze With These Holistic Remedies Patient of the Month Spring Eating Made Easy
Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad Bringing Asana Into Physical Therapy
How Yoga Meets Physical Therapy JOINING HEALTH AND ZEN
research to suggest that yoga and physical therapy together can improve patient recovery. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that patients undergoing physical therapy after a total knee replacement surgery experienced greater pain relief, less stiffness, and improved overall function when their therapy sessions included yoga movement postures. In the United States, yoga has long been used to help with stress relief. Today, its value in treating musculoskeletal issues — including lower and upper back pain, sciatica, and shoulder, neck, and hip pain — is becoming more apparent. Dr. Loren Fishman, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Flushing, New York, is known to prescribe Downward-Facing Dog pose for osteoporosis, Twisted Triangle pose for piriformis syndrome, and Side Plank pose for scoliosis. Yoga is not a total replacement for physical therapy, but it can aid in recovery. Talk to your physical therapist today about your options for yoga therapy.
Imagine walking into your physical therapist’s office but instead of picking up light weights or climbing on a machine, you lay down a large foam mat. When your physical therapist arrives, they guide you through a series of body positions, using terms like “Asana,” “Child’s Pose,” and “Warrior Pose.” This combination of poses is a basic yoga session, and more physical therapists are incorporating yoga into their patients’ treatment plans.
When you think of yoga, the most common image is of an incredibly fit contortionist bending their body into impossible shapes. While some yogis (dedicated practitioners of yoga) can achieve these levels of flexibility, the purpose of yoga isn’t to fold your body into a pretzel shape. The core principles of yoga focus on exercising your body with gentle movements and calming the mind with focus and relaxation. Yoga promotes overall health and well-being, and in many ways, this ancient practice overlaps with modern principles of physical therapy.
Incorporating yoga into physical therapy isn’t some New Age trend. There is a lot of
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