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!


Healthy Hearts!

Cardiovascular health is important throughout our lives. 

Your heart pumps blood to all parts of your body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to every single cell through the arteries. Once the cells have received the oxygen, the blood is returned to the heart through the veins. The systematic, rhythmic relationship between your lungs and your heart is what refuels the blood with oxygen so that this cycle can continue endlessly. With every beat of your heart, blood is moving through the chambers of your heart and then being pumped through your body. It’s truly an amazing system! Quite simply, heart disease results when the heart has to beat faster than the normal healthy rate to perform its job. When the arteries are clogged blood needs to be pumped through them at a faster rate with greater force (“high blood pressure”).

Most people can quickly think of all the known risk factors for heart diseasesmoking, high cholesterol, alcoholism, obesity, lack of physical activity, diabetes, high blood pressure, poor diets but did you know spinal misalignments can contribute as well? When the vertebrae in the spine are not moving properly they impinge both the nerves and the arteries. Once corrected with spinal adjustments, proper nerve and circulatory flow returns. Research has shown that chiropractic spinal adjustments can lower both blood pressure and heart rate, allowing your cardiovascular system to function the way it was designed to.

Although heart disease remains one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, the great news is that lifestyle plays a huge factor in the development of it!

Make choices to keep your heart working properly by considering the following:

Stress Less: High stress levels cause blood pressure to rise and the heart rate to increase. Evaluate the stressors in your life and make changes!

Eat Well: Choose a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Avoid packaged and processed foods which contain extra fats, sugars and preservatives.

Quit Smoking & Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Just do it. Nothing health promoting about these lifestyle choices whatsoever!

Get Moving: Move your body everyday for at least 10 minutes. Helps relieve stress and supports every system in your body.

Get Adjusted! For a healthier body overall. It’s that simple.

Sit Well! Or Not at All…

Your body was designed to move! However, due to workplaces and lifestyles the average person sits 6-7 hours per day. Prolonged sitting can be tough on your spine and other joints.

Keep these considerations in mind:

  • Maintaining the lumbar curve helps maintain the thoracic and cervical curves. Aim to have your feet firmly resting on the floor with knees bent at 90-100 degrees. Adjust your chair if possible, or place something under your feet. Better yet, consider sitting on a stability ball instead! (Check out the video and hear me explain why this is a better choice for you). Some people have even modified their workspaces to allow them to stand while working on a computer or writing. Take a look at your work station and what improvements can be made. Get creative!
  • The average head weighs 10-15 lbs. Improper sitting posture pushes the head forward, which places severe stress on the muscles, ligaments and vertebrae of the upper neck. 73% of people who sit on the job suffer from headaches due to poor posture. A loss of the normal cervical curve can stretch the spinal cord by 5-7 cm! This leads to many unwanted affects in your whole body. It’s not uncommon for vertebral misalignments in the upper neck to create symptoms such as dizziness, allergies, migraines, chronic fatigue, sinus congestion, emotional stress, and pain or tingling in the arms, hands, and shoulders. Take visual breaks every 10 minutes from your computer screen, and breaks from sitting every hour.

Break Time!

Whether you are at home or office, try these 2 minute stretches:

1) Lying on your back, bring your knees to your chest and hold for 4 seconds.

2) Lying on you back, bring your knee to the opposite shoulder and hold for 4 seconds. Repeat with other knee to opposite shoulder.

3) Leaning on a chair or table edge perform a cat stretch by arching your back towards the ceiling with your head looking down, rounding your back. Hold for count of 10.

4) Interlock your hands behind your lower back, stretch your shoulders backwards and point your nose to the ceiling while pushing your hands towards the floor. Hold for a count of 10.

5) Roll your shoulders backwards, then forwards, doing 10-20 rotations each way.

6) Interlock your fingers and push your hands in front of you and away from your body. Hold for a count of 10.

7) Roll your neck right then left, repeating several times both directions. On your last turn to the right hold the position for a count of 10. Repeat with other side.

8) Perform circular motions with your wrists for 60 seconds.

9) Point and flex your feet, alternating each side. Roll your ankles around in a clockwise direction for a count of 10, then change direction.

Lessons from a Renovation – Part 1

During the restoration and redesign of this building I have thought about many comparison’s to one’s health…

What you see isn’t always what you get.

There were a few surprises we discovered (and continue to find) during the renovation process. I didn’t know the floor was weak until we looked, and so it was rebuilt. We couldn’t see all the old wiring that was hidden behind the walls, and so new wiring was installed. In a 100 year-old house there are always interesting discoveries to be found. Years of changes to the original structure, and many curious solutions to problems that arose.

My attitude with every discovery (although reluctantly because of the time and investment required to fix!) was “Great that we found out! Let’s rebuild it and make it better.”

Yet too often when it comes to our bodies people don’t want to know what’s wrong.

I hear it all the time! “Oh I’d hate for you to look at me, you would see what a mess my body is”. Just like in an old house, many parts of  your body can be overlooked while focusing only on the parts you can ‘“see’”.

How do you define being healthy? By how you are feeling? Or by how you are functioning?

What could be hidden in your body?

I often wonder what it takes for people to take control of their health, why there is such apathy among people? What gets people to take action and make healthy choices to support their body?  Unfortunately the answer for most is CRISIS.  In my experience not enough people truly value their health, or they have been misled as to what the human body needs to function properly.

If you want to thrive, not simply survive, you need to commit time and resources to all components of a healthy lifestyle: proper food, proper movement (spinal joints with chiropractic care and overall movement with exercise), healthy relationships, personal time, adequate rest, hydration, fresh air and sunlight.

Your body is the house your spirit lives in.  How are you taking care of it? Are you doing everything you could be? If not, why?  Are you going to wait for a crisis to happen before you act?

Please know your answers to these questions are for you to know, and whatever they are, its your responsibility to accept them, or make changes!   Your care here encompasses you as a whole being, and although your adjustments are the most  powerful thing you can do for your body, there are other necessities for healthy function.  My responsibility is to support your health however I can, so if you need or want some direction, ask us!

Workplace Ergonomics

How you spend your day physically can affect your spinal health. Chronic, repetitive postures can create spinal stress, and there are simple ways to improve your workspace to reduce the risk. How can you tell if your office environment is safe and conducive to your comfort and productivity? Consider the following questions:

At the office, do you:

  1. Sit for long periods of time?
  2. Perform repetitive arm or hand movements?
  3. Spend a lot of time on the telephone?
  4. Have to turn your head to see your computer monitor?
  5. Take few or no breaks?
  6. Sit under dim or flickering lights?
  7. Spend a lot of time looking down at papers on your desk?
  8. Experience headaches or neck pain?
  9. Experience aching, numbness, or tingling in your fingers and hands?
  10. Experience back pain?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you could be at risk of developing or already suffering from repetitive strain injuries related to your office     set-up.

So, take a few minutes now to check out your work station….what can you improve? Consider these tips: 

The Keyboard: Position it above your lap. Ensure that you can type with your arms relaxed, close to your body with elbows bent at 90 degrees and wrists level.

The Computer Monitor: Position it directly in front of you. (Your eyes should be looking straight ahead, not with your head tilted up and back, and not looking down).  Keep your monitor free of dirt and smudges, in order to reduce glare. Allow the muscles in your eyes to relax by taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes, during which you look at an object that is located at least 20 feet away from you.

The Mouse:  Try using a light grip to avoid strain. When you move it around use your elbow to guide it instead of your wrist.

The Telephone: Use your hand to support the telephone against your ear, and alternate regularly instead of cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder. Consider using a headset or speaker to limit the strain on your neck and arms.

The Chair. Sit upright and all the way back. You can even roll up a towel and place it against the arch of your back for lumbar spine support. Your chair’s height should be adjusted to a level at which your knees are bent at a 90-100 degree angle, with your feet touching the floor.

Take breaks! By far the most important thing I can stress is to vary your tasks as much as possible throughout your day. Keep your body from being stuck in any position for too long, and give your brain a boost as well. Can you switch up the

Spending some time to make simple ergonomic changes to your work environment can improve your comfort and productivity.

Gratitude Wall

Of all the years in practice (10! Yes a party is being planned!) I think this year’s Thanksgiving event was my favorite.

Everyday as we discussed the importance of living with a grateful heart, encouraging you to take a moment to share what you were grateful for, we were inspired by the responses we received.

More than just the act of writing the gratitude note, others read all the notes on the wall, had a laugh, shared a sentiment, and left with a smile on their face.

We watched people reflect, and often converse with others in the practice. We witnessed people coming together, interacting with each other, and watched a community unfold.

I am a big believer in the power of community and to see it happening in my own practice always makes me smile…to see new relationships formed within the walls of this office.  Its precisely why we will continue to create events that bring people together, that share in the human spirit and foster greater harmony within our community.

THANK YOU for playing along and sharing your stories.

THANK YOU for committing to get well and for choosing us to support your health.

THANK YOU for trusting us with your referrals of friends and loved ones.

THANK YOU for your flexibility with scheduling changes.

THANK YOU for your continued patience and support during the rebuilding of this space.

THANK YOU for the laughter you bring us during your office visits.

THANK YOU for inviting us into your children’s lives.

Congratulations to our draw prize winner Zach…a 12 yr old boy who shared his gratitude list after his adjustment one morning before school.  He won’t be going to Le Scandinave Spa but will be enjoying a gift certificate to a sporting goods store instead!


Often I hear the comment in the practice, “I need to be fixed”, “You’re going to fix me right doc?”, “Sit here honey, mommy’s just going to get fixed now.”

I always had a challenge with this vocabulary.  Fixing means that something is broken.

Unless you break a bone, break your skin or internal organ with some trauma, you are not BROKEN. I don’t think of your body as BROKEN when you come here to see me. When you come here for care, I am not fixing anything, and you do not need to be “fixed”.

The adjustments RE ALIGN your spine, TAKE PRESSURE OFF your spinal cord, BALANCE your muscles. Your body will do the rest.

When you take the position that something is wrong with you, that you are BROKEN, it takes your power away, and makes it seem like you need something external to your body to get well. It gives me the responsibility to get you better, and takes it away from you.

But that’s not how healing happens.

Your body needs no help, just no interference. Your body can heal itself, it just needs the right  environment inside. My role is to remove the interference, educate, and inspire you to make other healthy lifestyle choices. Your job is to see them through, and take control of your health.

Then I looked up the word FIX in the dictionary…and I had to rethink my position.

Fix: to repair; mend; to put in order or in good condition; adjust or arrange 

So let’s agree that although I just might ‘fix’ you with an adjustment, its not because you are broken but because you are choosing to repair tissues that have been strained, put them in healthy  order, and adjust your body to more optimal functioning.

We are not here to fix something that is wrong with you but rather to restore what is right with you, to return your body to its natural state. You are whole and complete just the way you are.

You just need your Chiropractic Fix!