WEST HILLS 7230 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE, SUITE 401 WEST HILLS, CA 91307 WEST LOS ANGELES 10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD., SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025
WWW.M3PT.COM / LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 / FEBRUARY 2020
M3 AND ME
A MARDI GRAS TO REMEMBER ROBERTA’S YEAR IN NEW ORLEANS
repaired, and new life was breathed into the neighborhood. But the city’s revival was most evident during Mardi Gras. Now, if you aren’t from New Orleans, you might have a distorted image of the famous festival. For instance, there is far more than just the Fat Tuesday parade down Canal and Bourbon Street. Parades of all sizes happen the whole month in the lead up to the main event, often confined to local neighborhoods. These smaller celebrations are also more family-centered and less about the debauchery many people think of when you mention Mardi Gras. It was at these more communal gatherings where you really had a sense that the city was coming back. After two years, people had had time to relocate and heal — and you could feel the joy in every celebration throughout the month. Once empty streets were now filled with people, music, and laughter. I’ll never forget that experience. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see Mardi Gras for yourself, maybe don’t start with Bourbon Street. If you can stay at a local bed and breakfast and talk with locals about the smaller parades, you can find a truly authentic New Orleans experience. I still miss that community and would love to return someday. For now, though, I’m just grateful to have learned what perseverance truly looks like and to have seen how joy and celebration can continue to flourish despite adversity.
devastation left by Katrina all over the news just a year prior. Still, I really didn’t know what to expect when I moved to the Crescent City in 2007. What immediately surprised me was how much work was left to be done to repair the damage the hurricane had caused. Moving into the volunteer residence in Mid-City, I was struck by how desolate the neighborhood was. Most of the houses were still in ruin, and few people had returned home. It was shocking that a full two years after the fact, a mainland city in the United States could still be reeling from a natural disaster. But as extensive as the damage was and as slow as aid was to come from the outside, the people of Louisiana were still doing their best to pick up the pieces. I’d been assigned to the Catholic Charities of New Orleans, an organization that had become a primary service provider in the region, filling the void of many civic functions that were still not reestablished. For instance, my work involved designing curriculums for five different parishes and making sure they were equipped with all the books and supplies they needed. Sometimes I had to take materials to schools myself, using the few remaining bus networks in the city to get those vital supplies where they needed to be. On every level, people did their part, and slowly but surely, the city came back together. The houses around our lodging were
As I’ve mentioned in the past, most physical therapists have a strong background in philanthropy. You don’t succeed in this profession without a strong desire to help others. Our own Roberta Brehm is a living testament to this, having served multiple years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. So, with Mardi Gras this month, we wanted to share the story of her time in New Orleans, as the city came together in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Jesuit Volunteer Corps is much like the AmeriCorps program: It’s a service organization that fields volunteers to local charitable groups and organizations. The Corps helps you with housing and gives you a stipend for living expenses while you serve the communities you’re sent to. Like most of the Corps’ volunteers, I joined almost straight out of college, eager to see other parts of the country and do my part to help others. While I’d gone into the program hoping to change others’ lives, the experience ended up changing me as well. I had already been in the Corps a year when I was sent to Louisiana. During my time volunteering in Nashville, I’d met people from that part of the country and other volunteers who had done service in New Orleans itself. They’d told me a lot about local Louisiana culture and traditions. And, of course, I’d seen the –Dr. Raul Lona
Laissez les bons temps rouler,
LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 1
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CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE? THE SECRET TO LIVING A LONGER, HEALTHIER LIFE
The human brain is an incredibly powerful organ. It solves complex problems, recalls forgotten memories, and triggers a dizzying array of emotions. But its most incredible power is the effect it can have on the rest of the body. When it comes to love, well, our brains certainly love it, and our bodies reflect that. LESS STRESS Human beings thrive on a sense of connection and belonging, and studies have shown that love actually has positive effects on a person’s physical health as well as mental. The security and commitment felt in a loving relationship are shown to reduce stress by stunting the production of cortisol, the body’s stress- inducing hormone. Less stress means lower blood pressure, a healthier heart, and a lower risk of stroke, especially in men. HEALTHIER IMMUNE SYSTEMS Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that calm, happy people can fight common colds and the flu more easily than those who are anxious or depressed. The physical benefits of love even go as far as healing wounds quicker. Small injuries inflicted on a wide test group at Ohio State University Medical Center healed nearly twice as fast on people who experienced consistent warmth and care than those who experienced
hostility. In fact, the latter group needed almost a full additional day to achieve the same amount of healing as the first group. LONGER, HAPPIER LIVES
Being surrounded by love may even save your life. A statistic from the National Health Interview Survey states that single people face a 58% higher risk of mortality. Further bolstering that claim is the Harvard Health Blog, which claims happily married participants experience better health as they age when compared to peers in unhappy partnerships. In fact, the blog asserts, “People in stressful, unhappy marriages may be worse off than a single person who is surrounded by supportive and caring friends, family, and loved ones.” So, it seems the results are in: Loving someone is a healthy lifestyle choice. Even having a strong network of friends and family boosts your odds of living a long life by 50%. So, get out there and make the healthy choice for yourself and those around you by leading a life full of love.
PLANK FOR 2? WORKOUT WITH YOUR VALENTINE
REACHING PLANKS This core exercise puts you and your partner on equal ground so you have to hold each other accountable for the duration of this challenging plank. • Start in a high plank position, face to face, about an arm’s length from one another. • Lift your right hand to almost touch your partner’s opposite shoulder. • Replace your hand and reach out with your left hand as quick as you can. • Alternate for 8–12 reps. Of course, if you or your partner are out of shape, scale back these exercises as needed. If either of you struggle to work out due to chronic pain, give us a call! We’d be happy to help you get moving again. After all, couples that exercise together stay healthy together!
‘Tis the season of romance, but that’s no excuse to skip out on fitness. If you’re looking for ways to stay in shape (or keep those New Year’s resolutions alive), then why not involve your Valentine in your workout? Here are a few exercises that can help you and your significant other build a truly healthy relationship. WHEELBARROW SQUATS Some may remember doing wheelbarrow exercises during PE at school. This new twist doesn’t require you or your partner to walk around, and it ensures both parties work on their upper and lower body strength. • Start in a high plank position like you just completed a pushup. • Have your partner carefully lift your ankles one at a time and hold them up; this is the “wheelbarrow position.”
• Perform a pushup, being sure to keep your core straight, while your partner squats to keep your legs aligned with your body. • Repeat 12–15 times, then switch. LEG THROWS This is a great one for when your partner needs a breather but still wants to be part of the workout. • Lie on your back with your partner standing behind your head. • Bring both your legs up together so your partner can hold your ankles. • Have your partner gently push your legs back toward the floor. • Stop your legs just before they touch the ground and bring them back up. • Repeat 20 times, then switch.
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MORE FREE WORKSHOPS!
Get ready for spring by getting your body moving again! Whether you’re suffering from back or shoulder pain, we have the event for you. Come learn exercises and stretches designed to help you move better and live better.
• Shoulder Pain Workshop: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m.
• Back Pain & Sciatica Workshop: Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.
• Shoulder Pain Workshop: Tuesday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.
As always, the workshops at both locations are free, but space is limited. Reserve your spot by calling 747.888.3562 for our West Hills workshop or 310.275.4137 for West LA!
VEGAN BANANA PANCAKES
TAKE A BREAK
• 1 1/2 cups flour • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 2 extra ripe bananas, mashed • 1 cup soy milk • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted • 1 tsp vanilla extract • Cooking spray
1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk bananas, soy milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla together. 3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir. Don’t overmix. Lumps are okay. 4. Spray a heated pancake griddle with cooking spray, and scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the griddle. Repeat until the griddle is filled. 5. After 3 minutes or when bubbles appear, flip each pancake. 6. After each pancake has risen to double its initial height, remove from griddle. Repeat as necessary until batter is gone. 7. Serve with your favorite toppings!
LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 3
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10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD., SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025 PHONE: 310.275.4137 FAX: 310.274.1815
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Memories From Post-Katrina New Orleans
The Effects of Love on Your Physical Health
3 Couples Workouts You Need to Try
More Free Workshops!
Vegan Banana Pancakes
Your Epic Adventure Awaits
FORMERLY KNOWN AS WILSHIRE LINDEN PHYSICAL THERAPY — SAME TEAM, NEW NAME!
MYTHICAL ADVENTURES AWAIT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY GOZO, MALTA
One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own.
While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ggantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before
SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world- class golf courses, and delicious food.
lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca!
With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.
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