Hydrate!

ID-1006167Your body is approximately 80% water, and it requires an on-going supply to stay hydrated, especially in the warmer months when we perspire more. Water contributes to our cellular composition, and is essential to flush toxins out of our body. Drink a minimum of 5-6 8 oz glasses per day of pure water, and clear fluids such as herbal teas, broths, and diluted juices.

Beware of fluids that further dehydrate your body such as caffeine, sodas, and alcohol. If you simply cannot give them up, make it a routine to counter your cup of coffee or tea with a glass of water when you’re done.

I always recommend keeping water in various places so that it’s easily accessible and will subtly remind you…a glass in various rooms in your home, a bottle in the car, at your desk. When at home, I often carry a glass with me to whatever room I am going into and then leave it there, and before I start my day in my practice I strategically place glasses of water in the various places I know I will be in.

If you’re not fond of plain water try adding fresh herbs or fruit to it! Recently at an event we made “spa water” and filled a beautiful glass pitcher with grapes, strawberries, and orange slices. The water became lightly flavored and it certainly looked lovely!  Other combinations I have tried are:

~ lemon slices and a few springs of fresh rosemary

~ lime slices and fresh mint

~ berry blast:  strawberries, blueberries, raspberries  

~ citrus punch: slices of lemon and orange

~ cucumber slices

~ green apple and ginger

Experiment, create your own, and share your ideas!

Finding a Chiropractor

ID-10083067Everyone can benefit from having a Chiropractor on their health care team, but finding the right one depends on your health goals. Chiropractors are primary health care professionals.  As Doctors, you don’t need a referral to see us, which is great news because you get to choose someone who suits you!

My 3 Tips for finding a Chiropractor:

1) Think about What Kind of Care You Want. The first place to start when searching for a Chiropractor is determining exactly what kind of care you are looking for – someone to help you specifically manage an injury or someone to support your overall health? Are you looking for help with a specific health challenge and a short-term fix? Or looking to rebuild your body?  Remember that any investment in your health will always pay you back multiple returns, and the long-term cost to your health by relying on ‘quick fixes’ is dramatic, often eventually leading to larger problems.  Having said that, sometimes limitations in time or money can cold us back with pursuing some health initiatives, and we just need to do the best that we can at the current time.  Once you know what kind of care you want, you can better determine who can help you.

2) Connect With Them.  I have given workshops, had guests tour my practice, even hosted booths at farmer’s markets to offer people the chance to connect with me!  If you have a name of someone find out how you can meet them, and make the time to do so.  Most Chiropractors will offer complimentary consultations, a time you can meet with them, discuss your health and find out more about their approach.  

3) Do They Fit On Your Team?  You are a consumer in a world of health care professionals, and that’s how I recommend you think about finding the right Chiropractor for you – like you’re hiring someone for your health care team! Consider the doctor’s personality, office atmosphere, location, office hours, office team, and accessibility.  Did you feel heard, cared for, and were you assessed thoroughly? Can you see yourself working with them? Do you want to? 

You are the health care consumer and you have every right to invest your time and finances with someone who will provide the care you want, and to change provider if you are not happy, not getting the results you want, or simply need a fresh approach.

Taking responsibility for your health involves building a team of professionals to support you. Find a Chiropractor to add to your team and get aligned with a better health.

Sleeping Like a Baby

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In addition to what we see clinically, research continues to support Chiropractic care for children!

One study looked at SLEEP PATTERNS IN CHILDREN regardless of the initial reason they were brought to a Chiropractor. Of the 116 infants enrolled in the study, 10% had reported ‘sleep disturbances’ and 75% had presented with ‘excessive crying’.

Overall, better sleep habits were seen in all the infants – and what parents wouldn’t appreciate that?!  Specifically, consecutive hours of sleep, quality of sleep, and time taken to settle before sleep all showed significant improvement. Parents reported that their infants settled more quickly and easily, noting improvements after only a few adjustments.

Chiropractic works. For everyone.

Disclaimer: Chiropractic care supports overall health and healing, but is not a cure or treatment for sleep issues in children.

Allergy Relief

69443tegi1jeqhsAllergies occur when the immune system overreacts to an allergen (dust, pollen, pet dander, foods) and produces too many histamines to counteract this process. Histamines are chemicals the body creates to neutralize the effects of the item offending the respiratory or visual system, a way the body’s innate wisdom attempts to correct the problem. 

Histamines cause you to produce mucous, sneeze, will make your eyes watery, and even give you rash sometimes, all ways the body tries to expel the offending allergen.

Most allergy medications attempt to treat the symptoms your body instigates to get rid of the allergen.  Antihistamines dry up the mucous membranes, and minimize the sneezing, itching and congestion. They can provide relief, but the underlying problem remains.

What if there was another way to help your body with Allergies? 

The Chiropractic approach focuses on restoring proper function to your body, so that you can better adapt to the ‘stressors’ in your environment, including those of seasonal allergies.

Spinal misalignments (termed subluxations) are caused by physical stress, emotional stress, and chemical stress. These misalignments in your spine cause muscle imbalances, joint irritation, inflammation, pain, and weakness. What is more important though, spinal subluxations affect your spinal cord and impair healthy neurological function.

Chiropractic adjustments correct misalignments in your spine, restoring proper joint movement, balancing your muscles, and improving your overall health!

Specific to allergies, the correction of spinal subluxations helps your body respond more appropriately to the pollens, danders and other airborn items you inhale because they help restore balance to your immune system.  There is a direct correlation between your spine and immune system.  It’s simple: A nervous system that is working more effectively permits the immune system to function more effectively – something all allergy sufferers need!

How can you get started finding relief?

An initial consultation and assessment will help us determine if Chiropractic can help, and whether our approach is right for you.  Following your evaluation we’ll create an action plan to get you functioning and feeling better. We’ll monitor your symptoms and changes over time, and document them! Many of our patients note dramatic reductions in their allergy symptoms and improvements in their overall wellbeing when they add Chiropractic care to their life.

Disclaimer: Chiropractic care supports overall health and healing, but is not a cure or treatment for allergies.

Things Unseen

So many times when I speak with someone about what I do, they comment “I would hate to know what you’d find in my spine, it’s probably a mess!”.  This attitude still surprises me.

The attitude “if it’s not broken, why fix it” does not apply to the human body.

Some of the sickest people on this planet have no symptoms and “feel fine”. We all know people who seemed to be fine but then suddenly are diagnosed with a major illness. People who ‘suddenly’ have a heart attack, stroke, are told they have cancer.

Waiting for your body to give you symptoms is like waiting for a bomb to go off…everything is quiet until suddenly there is a huge impact.

I cannot tell you how illogical this seems to me, but I certainly didn’t always look at health this way. Like many people, I too viewed things differently, only responding to challenges in my body with medications. Luckily, 18 years ago, a shoulder injury forced me to see a Chiropractor, and from that point on everything changed. Not only my own health, but my attitude about it.

The Chiropractic approach is just that – an approach to supporting your body from the inside-out in every way.  Giving the body what it needs from the top-down (neurological function from the brain through the spinal cord), as well as all the other ingredients necessary for optimal function….food, hydration, movement, love and social connections, sleep, purpose and passion!

Chiropractic is not just an adjustment or treatment for a symptom, it’s an approach to looking for the causes of problems in the body, rather than just reacting to them. 

Waiting for something to happen before you take action often makes the healing take longer, and requires more investment of your time and resources.

People who choose to make chiropractic care a regular part of their life understand this, but they also see the profound changes in their health, and are more empowered to be in control of their body. It’s a beautiful thing to watch in my practice and something I will never tire of.

People often hear me say “health comes from choice, not by chance”. Choosing to honour your body and give it what it needs on a consistent basis is one of the wisest decisions you can ever make.

If you’re still struggling with some aspects of your health, ask for direction.   If I can’t help you, we’ll find someone who can.

Life is short. Give yourself the gift of better health so that you can live more fully.

A Balancing Act

Just like re-building your body, re-building and transforming a living space is a process. After a year of great physical changes here on Hume Street, there are still projects to start, others to finish.

Life is like that too. Some tasks are still waiting completion, even though they are jobs  I can actually do with the limited buiding skills I have. Why?

Because I believe its my responsibility to live the life I encourage you to live. 

I encourage you to make time for physical activity and exercise.

I encourage you to maintain social connections and loving relationships.

I encourage you to choose good food and prepare as much as you can yourself.

I encourage you to get plenty of rest.

I encourage you to play with your children, and give them the attention they need.

I encourage you to have fun, pursue new hobbies and play!

I encourage you to balance all of these things in your life because you are a whole person, and because being healthy requires attention to all these areas.

Are the different facets of your life balanced? Sure there are times when some of our responsibilities dominate, when we must focus specifically on doing the best we can to manage everything.  However, if this is a consistent challenge for you – what can you do differently? Do you need to shift your priorities? How can you make a change, and what do you need to get started? 

We all have work responsibilities, family obligations, and personal objectives.

The key lies in balancing all of them every week, sometimes every day, and giving ourselves permission to do so.

 

Get in Your Garden!

ID-100161723I love spring. It’s such an amazing time of year, and I find in my practice that people are so much more eager to get out and get moving with physical activity.

 

Many people love the spring because they are passionate about  gardening. I am not one of them, but I do appreciate the efforts and results of others!

Working outdoors in your garden and yard is a great form of physical activity, even better if it’s something you are passionate about.

To protect your body and avoid injury, consider some of these tips when stepping out to get your garden started this season:

1) While mowing the lawn, keep your head up and stand directly behind the mower so you can keep your hips and shoulders in line with your spine. Push the mower uphill rather than pulling. Always use both hands rather pushing  or twisting with one.

2) When working in the dirt, crouch down, sit on a stool, or squat instead of bending at the waist which can strain the joints in the low back. Bend your knees when lifting anything so that you can use the strength of your legs.

3) Keep yard waste bags close to your body while lifting them.  Hold a rake with one hand at shoulder height, one hand at waist level and walk or drag the pile. Most importantly, vary your tasks and take breaks when necessary.

Avoid staying in prolonged postures involving the lower back and neck.

Your best bet for protecting your back? Consider Chiropractic care!

Waiting until symptoms appear before taking care of your body often can make the problems worse, ultimately causing them to take longer to heal. Chiropractors assess your posture and spinal joints to ensure they are moving properly and that your body is physically balanced. The results people experience from regular spinal care are profound, and the increases in their quality of life measurable.

Find a Chiropractor who fits your needs and will work with your other health professionals to keep you feeling and functioning your best.

Joints Inflamed?

Arthritis is a term used very loosely in a broad range of circumstances, and many people are not exactly clear as to what arthritis actually is.  The word “Arthritis” means inflammation of the joints. The cartilage surface that lines either side of a joint begins to breakdown, causing the joint space to narrow. The increased friction and stress on the joint surfaces causes an inflammatory response consisting of swelling, pain and loss of function.

Quite simply, the joints begin to wear out prematurely.

However, random genetic mutations aside, the human body was not made to break down. So what causes arthritis? Improper alignment and faulty mechanics.

Proper alignment and function of joints is essential to maintaining healthy joints. When a joint is out of alignment, proper mechanics are altered and muscle imbalances occur. Whether it’s your spine, hips, knees, feet, shoulders, elbow, or wrists, every joint needs to be moving the way it was designed to in order to function well.

Proper joint function cannot be maintained if the joints are not properly aligned, it’s that simple. Just like mal-alignment of your automobile causes the tires to wear out faster, spinal subluxations create the same problem in your spinal joints.  With greater stabilization within the spine, the other joints can heal too. Only a trained, licensed Chiropractor can locate subluxations, correct them, and restore structural balance to your body.

With the correction of spinal subluxations, the joints heal.  I see it all the time in the practice with dramatic changes in symptoms, but also objectively with improvements in measurable diagnostic tests such as X-rays, as well as with neurological and orthopedic testing.

The body is self-healing, but all healing takes time.  The longer the joint breakdown process has been occurring, the longer it will take to fully heal. For some people, the only challenge with the Chiropractic approach is just that…time.

By the time joint degeneration has reached the point of chronic pain, the process has often been developing for years.  Every spinal adjustment retrains your brain and muscles towards healthy mechanics, building momentum and greater stability along the way.

The good news is that although it doesn’t take years to correct the damage, it does take a consistent and holistic approach to restoring proper motion in your body to heal fully.  The body’s ability to heal is so profound, it doesn’t take years to restore function to the body and feel better. It does take time though, and is not the “quick fix” that many are looking for.

The question I often ask people is this: do you want to patch things up or fully heal? I am honoured to help people with a wide variety of goals and health challenges, and I respect everyone’s ability to choose the level of chiropractic care that suits them, but my recommendations are always the same.

Based on my years of experience (in both practice and life!), fixing something properly generally works the best! Not only does it ultimately save time and investment in the long term, more importantly it gives people the opportunity to start LIVING sooner.

And what’s more important than that?

Your Body Talks, Do You Listen?

Many people hold the belief that if we have symptoms we are sick, and if are without symptoms then we are healthy. Much of modern health care relies on this approach, ridding people of their symptoms.  Many people come into my practice to get rid of their symptoms, seeking relief from the physical ailments they are experiencing.

But there are limitations with this belief.

Some of the sickest people in this country are symptom free. Similarly, a person who is experiencing symptoms is not necessarily SICK. Many of the symptoms people experience are actually signs that the body is healing, and stopping those symptoms can inhibit the healing process. Think about some of these examples:

fevers – the body raises the internal temperature to kill bacterias or viruses

sneezing/coughing/vomiting/diarrhea – the body is trying to expel something foreign to it!

joint pain – the body tells us to be careful, to avoid using the joint and doing further damage

swelling – the body creates a natural splint to protect the joint

inflammation – the body increases the circulation to repair the injured tissue

bloating & indigestion – the body tells us something we ate was not right for us!

Symptoms are not bad, they just tell us to pay more attention! Every symptom is our body lovingly giving us a message.  When symptoms occur, our body is trying its best to communicate with us. Do we listen and act? Or just try to stop it? It’s up to you.

Health is not the absence of symptoms, and sickness is not the presence of symptoms. Health is a condition of wholeness in which all your muscles and organs are functioning 100%.

Life is a process, not an event, and so is healing. Sometimes symptoms are simply part of the healing response, part of your body adapting to a new healthier internal state and a way it clears things out.

I care about people’s symptoms, but I care more about their whole body and the longer-term effects of neurological and structural damage going  on inside!

After you are adjusted your body will always function at a higher level, regardless of how you feel. I know the power of a chiropractic adjustment. I have witnessed it for 10 years clinically, and I have seen it personally with my own health and that of my family.

If you are living with spinal subluxations you are not functioning at your peak. Your ability to move, think, and feel is compromised. It’s that simple.

 

 

More Chocolate? Other Ways to Fill Easter Eggs

ID-10074204Traditional easter egg baskets are filled with chocolate, but why not consider some other ideas this year? 

I’ve been asking patients in the practice some of the ways they celebrate easter weekend with their children and they have shared some fantastic, creative ideas.  Whether you create a basket for children in your life or conduct an easter egg hunt, consider these tips to avoid the overdose of chocolate, sugar and unnecessary waste that is often created with commercial packages.

Chocolate, jellybeans, and candy are fun treats for most children and adults, but in moderation! Even a teaspoon of sugar causes the immune system cells to drop substantially, and can dramatically affect behavior.

If you enjoy filling eggs, purchase ones (yes even plastic) that you can reuse every year and try some of these items to place inside…

  • Stickers, coins, small toys
  • For older children try little pieces of paper with bigger ‘prizes’  written on them. Then create a scavenger hunt to find them too!
  • Use numbers or symbols inside the eggs, and have a corresponding chart for them to follow on – they will love the challenge and skills they will build!

As with all gift-giving, don’t forget about the gifts of ‘experiences’. Many of us already have enough ‘stuff’. Movie/event tickets, lessons for a sport or hobby, gift cards for music or clothing, jewellery, sports cards, games (especially if they are ones you can play as a family!)

Get creative, have some fun, and share  some of your favorite ideas too!