EastTennessee Physical Therapy News
FROM THE DESK OF
DANNY D. SMITH
So, here we are in the midst of winter. Fortunately, we have had a number of days when the temperature is tolerable and we can get out and enjoy to outdoors. I just spoke with a PT friend of mine who recently had a total knee replacement, and prior to that
he was an avid bicyclist. He informedme that today he returned to his bicycle without difficulty. That is great news when someone can return to regular activities after a total knee replacement. How about exercise when you cannot get out? Walking is the easiest, simplest, and least expensive form of exercise. I know a group of individuals who walk on a daily basis at the local mall. The mall opens early before the stores and welcomes the people to walk. The distance is marked so you can monitor your progress. If you decide to exercise at home, the kitchen counter is your best friend. You can walk while balancing yourself with one hand on the counter forward, backward, and side to side. This will strengthen your legs and trunk as well as improve your balance. Look around the house for things like throw rugs and extension cords that may be a fall hazard. It is very important — if you go out of the house alone— to be sure to take a cell phone or cordless phone to call for help if needed.
These days, the term mindfulness is more likely to conjure thoughts of smartphone apps than rooms wafting with nag-champa. Business guru Tim Ferris and journalist Dan Rather profess an almost cult-like devotion to the practice, and multinationals like Goldman Sachs, Google, and Bank of America all offer mindfulness training to their employees. Recently, another large organization has jumped on the bandwagon: the United States military. So, what’s all the fuss about? For years, mindfulness devotees professed that cultivating it as a practice could alleviate the symptoms of everything from high blood pressure to anxiety. Historically though, critics were dismissive, claiming studies on mindfulness weren’t rigorous enough because they didn’t include a placebo. Unlike participants in traditional studies, where half the group believes they are being treated but are only taking the equivalent of a sugar pill, participants in meditation studies usually know whether or not they are meditating. One researcher changed that in 2016. Neuroscientist Dr. Amishi Jha conducted a study where students at the University of Miami were split into two groups and then put through a series of cognitive tests. One group received mindfulness training and practiced it for a combined one hour a week, over a period of nine weeks. The other group of students received instruction about escaping worries and fake stress relief strategies. W hy the M ilitary J ust G ot M ore M indful T he B enefits of M indfulness
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