After a serious and sometimes debilitating injury, virtual reality can sometimes motivate the patient into seeing what is possible. Over the past several years VR has been used for pain management and for PTSD. Researchers are finding that it may be a helpful tool for physical and occupational therapists. Most patients leave a session, go home and forget exactly what it is or how an exercise should be performed. Virtual Reality can help with not only showing how to do a certain exercise correctly but may also provide a little extra motivation. It is becoming more and more popular with younger practitioners who are well accustomed to gaming. At present it is expensive since most insurance companies will not foot the bill which can be as high as $180 monthly. Not all the programs are fun, some enable patients to practice real life skills such as dishing washing or shopping. However, a well-trained therapist in the use of VR should be on hand to oversee and make sure the patient is not overdoing or hurting themselves. Virtual Reality as a therapy is in its beginning stages. I can tell you from personal experiences with both shoulder and back injuries that I don’t think it can ever replace one to one contact with a practitioner but maybe be useful in addition to.

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Taxing Junk Food…

Posted by Lenny Variano on July 16, 2021

One in three members of the Navajo Nation is diabetic or prediabetic. This is also a reflection on the health of the American population in general. In 2015 the leaders of the Navajo Nation levied a 2% tax on all food classified as “Junk Food”.  The money was put back into the community to promote healthy living education. The tax has averaged $1.5 million dollars a year with 85% of it going to developing vegetable gardens, greenhouses, farmers markets, food preparation classes as well as exercise programs. What it has encouraged is the return to traditional cooking and a reduction in sickness. Following the Navajo Nation’s example and adding an additional tax to our junk food is one way we will be able to help the population maintain a healthy weight.

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Researchers at The Carnegie Mellon University Lab have designed a pasta that starts out flat but bounces into a 3-D shape when it is boiled.  This pasta not only uses less packaging but cooks faster then traditional pasta. It is fun for the younger members of your family to watch the transformation and introduce them to some basic science. The process begins with semolina flour and water. The dough is flattened into sheets. Then a series of holes are punched into the dough which allow the dough to take on different shapes expanding and contracting according to the flat and grooved areas. Teng Zhang is an aerospace engineer who worked on the project. His feelings are that this way of making pasta could prove extremely useful in disaster sites, astronauts in space stations or just simple hiking trips. However, since it cannot hold its shape if it is overcooked, it is a perfect pasta for all the al Dente lovers.

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Blender Pumpkin Pancakes…

Posted by Lenny Variano on July 16, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • In blender mix ½ cup oats into flour
  • Add 1 egg
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup milk or almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of baking powder

Directions:

  • Heat skillet with oil and flip when brown
  • Top with sliced pecans and pure maple syrup
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