The Physical Therapy Doctor - September 2023



212-73 26th Ave. Bayside, NY 11360

Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

2. Stop Waking Up in Pain: The Right Way to Sleep 3. Pasta Maker Turns Vegetables Into Nutritious, Delicious Pasta Walnut and Blue Cheese Tomato Salad 4. Can’t Fall Asleep? Try This Brain Tapping Technique 1. A Dangerous Game From the Past: Did You Play It? INSIDE THIS ISSUE


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.5% of Americans have trouble falling asleep every night — that’s more than 48 million people! If you’re part of this sleepless group, we’re pretty sure counting sheep isn’t cutting it. That’s why we’re sharing a sleep strategy that works naturally with your brain and can help you to fall asleep in less time than it would take to eat a bowl of cereal.

The strategy is called “brain tapping,” and it involves using your hands to create “repeated rhythmic patterns,” which our brains naturally love .

thighs lightly using your hands with palms facing down four times, with about one second between each tap and alternating between each hand. You don’t have to hit your legs hard, just loud enough to hear the sound. Do this for 30 seconds. Then, after following the four-tap rhythm for 30 seconds, you’ll slow the taps even further to just two taps with about two seconds between each tap. Do this for about a minute or a minute and a half. Finally, you will slow the tapping to almost three seconds between each tap. You’ll do this for about four minutes, and during this phase, you also close your eyes and take slow deep breaths. After those final four minutes, you’ll be surprised how tired you feel and how quickly you can fall asleep. Sweet dreams!

The auditory rhythm will trigger the brain to “switch over” to the

parasympathetic nervous system. If this sounds familiar, you’ve likely heard of it before. Evolutionarily, our bodies have two states: fight or flight and rest and digest. The sympathetic nervous system controls our body during a fight or flight situation, and the parasympathetic nervous system controls rest and digestion. So, to fall asleep more quickly, we want to “trick” our bodies into activating our parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest and digest state.

So, how do you do it?

To start the brain-tapping process, sit on your bed or a chair. Then, tap your

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