New Jersey Institute of Balance - January 2018

Jan 2018


An Optimistic Look Into the New Year

2018 is here with a new array of opportunities for growth. While I’m not a huge New Year’s resolution guy, I do use the beginning of the year to take stock, recalibrate, and focus on what will allow me to be a better husband, dad, public official, and business owner during the coming 365 days.

up: ensuring my wife has a car that can fit three car seats and a booster, making plans for what we’ll do when the three-bedroom apartment fills up with older kids, figuring out the logistics of how I’ll make it to the clinic when my wife is taking care of four kids back home — it’s a lot. Still, I can’t wait to experience that incredible feeling you get when your child is born. When my daughter first came into this world, it was almost certainly the most amazing day of my life. At the time, I never thought I’d be able to experience that again, and then came my son. Now, with the anticipation of having two new children, I just can’t imagine what a profound opportunity I’ve been given. Right now, I feel poised to make 2018 one of the best years yet, both personally and professionally. Honestly, it’s difficult to put my excitement into words. —Dr. Michael Russo

year has reaped huge benefits. Each year, I become a little more reasonable, a little more rational in decision making, and a little more understanding. But the star of the show isn’t the past. It’s the new year and everything that it will bring. Right now, I’m just looking forward to the birth of the two newest additions to my cozy little family in May. My wife and I are optimistically cautious after a few false starts in past years, but so far it’s been smooth sailing. Well, I say smooth sailing, but any parent knows that what I really mean is chaos. It’s a whirlwind preparing for twins. All the little preparations we have to make really add

I’ve practiced this for the past six years, and I’ve tried to spread it to my family. We keep a holistic eye on self-improvement, rather than attempting sweeping changes, which will likely lead to disappointment. I teach my kids the basics of goal setting, encouraging them to pick something to focus on in the new year. Though it’s not always a deep idea they land on — sometimes it’s as simple as keeping their room cleaner in the coming year — I think it’s an important skill to learn. After all, when you know where you’re going, it’s a lot easier to actually get there. Of course, taking this approach makes the whole process a little more intangible and a little more challenging. But I’ve found that taking a moment to reflect on the prior


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Want to See Better Report Cards in 2018?

Make Reading a Family Resolution Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms. Make It a Family Resolution There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus, we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books in your house somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained. Set Reward Milestones Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring. Use Reading Apps Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find recommendations, share ratings, and create lists of both completed and to-be-read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. “My experience [with NJIB] has been very good.When I arrived for the first time, I had a lot of pain; but after completing the therapy sessions, day by day I began to feel better and better. Thanks for helpingme feel good and pain-free. I wanted to sharemy experience with others becausemy pain has completely disappeared.” Patient Success Stor

With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household.

–Gladys C.

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training. This is usually the result of a muscle imbalance and tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles. However, it can also arise from internal anatomical factors, such as naturally poor patellar tracking, improper foot posture, or weak hip control. Patellofemoral pain is localized in and behind the kneecap, but it can cause swelling and pain that may spread throughout the structure. This pain is usually the worst after climbing hills or stairs, squatting, running, hopping, or sitting for long periods of time. Patellofemoral pain is complicated and extremely common, and it can easily lead to more serious conditions such as patellar tendinitis or arthritis.

The human leg is a delicate and incredible instrument, developed and slowly perfected over millions of years of evolution. But complication comes with a price: a heightened risk of injury. Our knees, especially, can succumb to any number of issues. Chief among them is patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. Normally, as you bend your knee, the patella, or kneecap, glides along the femoral groove, a track in our femur cushioned by cartilage. The muscles and ligaments of the leg work to keep the patella sliding normally along this groove. However, if something is amiss and the patella doesn’t ride normally through the track, it will begin to slide to the side. This forces the patella

Luckily, it’s usually treatable with careful exercise and physical therapy. Treatment often involves the initial mitigation of pain symptoms, followed by exercises that restore range of motion, a battery of stretches, and a muscle-strengthening regimen designed to even out any imbalances. After a fewmonths of treatment, most patients are able to return to playing sports and living pain-free.

to rub and grind against the edges of the femur. As the problemworsens, it can irritate the joint, which results in kneecap pain and deterioration of the patellar surface. According to PhysioWorks, approximately 25 percent of the American population experiences aching kneecaps at one time in their lives, but it’s even higher in athletes. Often, pain will begin after a period of overuse, like after ramping up training or performing high-intensity

Leftover Turkey




• • •

4 eggs

• • • • •

1 leftover turkey carcass

4 ounces bacon

6 scallions, divided

4 portions fresh, not instant, ramen noodles 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded

8 slices ginger

6 dried shiitake mushrooms

16 cups water

Directions 1.

Remove most of the meat from the turkey carcass, shred, and set aside. Put carcass in a large stockpot, along with 3 scallions, ginger, mushrooms, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove pot from heat and let sit for 4 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool.


Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, chop, and set aside. Chop remaining scallions. Once the broth is done simmering, prepare the fresh noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and cover with broth. Add shredded turkey, chopped scallions, chopped bacon, and an egg to each bowl.



Recipe inspired by 3

216 Palmer St. Elizabeth, NJ 07202


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INSIDE This Issue

Michael Russo Anticipates the Coming Year

The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades

Patient Success Story

Why Knee Pain Is So Common

Revive That Leftover Turkey!

Books to Inspire You in the New Year

Your Reading List for 2018

adventures to letting us in on the physical toll space takes on the body, Kelly helps us understand what it’s really like to be in the great unknown. If you’re looking for inspiration in the new year, reading about Kelly’s harrowing year of challenges will surely give you the courage to overcome your own. If You Loved the ‘Divergent’ Series Veronica Roth brings us a new sci-fi/fantasy series with “Carve the Mark.” Roth whisks us to a planet where each person has a “currentgift,” a special power they develop. But for heroes Cyra and Akos, currentgifts are more of a curse. The two must work to overcome their distinctly different pasts and unite to save their world — or die trying. When You Need a Hero School is tough, and no one knows it better than George Heffley. In installment 12 of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, titled “The Getaway,” Jeff Kinney takes us on a tropical vacation with the Heffleys as they attempt to escape the cold weather and frenzy of the holidays. But the island isn’t the relaxing sanctuary it’s supposed to be. The suggested reading age is 8–12 years old, but this book would make an excellent listen for the whole family during a road trip of your own.

Can you believe 2017 is behind us? Elections, weather, and just about everything on the news left us feeling uncertain. We could all use a dose of optimism in the new year. Here are some books that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, even in the most challenging situations. Finding Forrest When an actor tries their hand at other creative mediums, the results are varied, but the buzz about Tom Hanks’ new book, “Uncommon Type,” has been largely positive. His literary debut is a collection of 17 short stories, all featuring, in some way, a typewriter. At their heart, though, the stories are about human relationships, and Hanks manages to inject his most memorable character’s charm into his writing. As NPR reviewer Heller McAlpin puts it, “In a world where the news is unrelentingly bleak and much fiction tends toward the dystopian, postapocalyptic, dark, or edgy, this is a gentler, sweeter kind of storytelling than we’ve come to expect.” Overcome a Harrowing Year Few have done more to earn the title of modern-day hero than Scott Kelly, who has served as a military fighter pilot, an engineer, an astronaut, and now, an author. “Endurance” is Kelly’s memoir, and it recounts the year he spent on the International Space Station. From sharing everyday space

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