Episode 9: Go Jump In A Lake! Cold Water Immersion & The Benefits For Your Health

When cold showers were first mentioned to me as a supportive health practice, my first reaction was “NO WAY!”. Maybe you’re feeling the same way just hearing the suggestion of it!  Now I’m converted, and in addition to jumping in Georgian Bay whenever I can, cold showers have become a healthy habit I regularly practice. In this week’s show I discuss 4 reasons to give this a try, and why it might just be easier than you think.

Read more in this blog post

Summer Fun Tips!

My favourite season is summer! I love the sunshine, relaxed schedule, outdoor living and so many sports and hobbies. Here’s a few ideas to help deal with the parts of summer that can occasionally make it a little less fun…

Sun Safety  

Natural sunlight is essential for good health, time in the sun is a question of balance.  Daily moderate exposure enables the body to produce vitamin D and make melanin (our body’s natural sunscreen).  However, overexposure causes damage to the skin, accelerates aging, suppresses the immune system, and can lead to cancers.  Children are much more sensitive than adults so taking some precautions is wise. Use hats, and cover the skin with clothing when possible. Seek out the shade and balance time out in the sun with breaks indoors. This also helps prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.  If you are choosing to use sunscreen, be mindful of the toxic chemicals in many sunscreens that can be worse for the body than sun exposure!  Check out  for a list you can shop with.

Bites and Stings 

Stings from a bee or wasp are not usually dangerous unless you suffer from an allergy, but they should always be treated immediately nonetheless.  Apply a paste of baking soda and water to a bee sting to relieve pain; make a compress from a pad of cotton soaked in lemon juice and apply to a wasp sting. *Multiple stings, or stings to the eyes, ears or mouth should be treated in the hospital.*

Mosquitos 

Avoid bug repellents that contain DEET which is effective for repelling insects but also extremely hazardous to your health. Instead, prevent insect bites by diluting a few drops (or combination of) any of the following essential oils: eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, rosemary, clove, citronella or lemongrass in half a mug of water, gently apply to exposed areas avoiding the eyes and mouth.  Experiment and find a scent that you like, place in a spray bottle and keep on hand for easy access when enjoying the outdoors. Cider vinegar can be used the same way and the smell evaporates as soon as it dries.

Cuts & Bruises  

So common in childhood, but also with active grown-ups, or random accidents! If there is extensive bleeding, or any other unusual symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or a head of injury, take your child to the hospital for emergency treatment. Carefully clean the area and than apply a clean cloth soaked in witch hazel or a cold compress and some TLC!  Arnica cream is also useful for soreness.

First Aid Remedies

Check out this post to find out what I keep in our summer adventure first aid kit!

Episode 8: What Should You Eat?

With so many ideas about nutrition, and constantly changing information and research, food choices are something that many people struggle with. In this week’s show I share the one nutritional idea that all Doctors and Nutritionists can consistently agree on, and 3 things you can do today to start making healthy food a priority for your family.

Stretch Yourself

I recommend stretching to every person in this practice, it’s a dialogue I have almost daily…but I must confess, I’m guilty of not stretching enough! When I was doing my TV show, Good Living, Good Health, we recorded an episode all about stretching with a great panel of guests including a Trainer, a Physiotherapist, and a Pilates/Yoga Instructor. We had a great conversation!

Here are some of the highlights: Our lifestyle habits and daily stressors will inevitably create tightness, aches and pains, and can even predispose people to spinal subluxations and other joint injuries. Adequate muscle flexibility is just as important as muscle strength for performance in athletics and life in general.

Most people know this! However, many people complain they don’t have time to exercise, let alone improve flexibility. What are some practical strategies?

Think “intermittent and often”. I’ve now started stretching briefly while brushing my teeth! What else to do during those 2 minutes? I’ve also started stretching in the evenings while we are often relaxing and watching a movie or television. I listen to tons of audio training and podcasts, so now rather than just sitting still I find myself moving and doing some simple stretches. You can always find small moments to stretch if you are aware it is something you should do! So consider this a reminder.

Healthy movement involves: (1) proper joint alignment (this is where Chiropractic comes in) and (2) muscles that are capable of expanding and stretching to their full capacity; muscles which are full of oxygen and given the opportunity to move through their full range of motion.

Doing a few simple stretches intermittently and often can make a tremendous difference in your overall mobility as well as help you hold your adjustments and build a healthier spine. Including stretching as part of your healthy lifestyle will improve your sports performance, help with daily lifestyle tasks, and prevent injuries! If you need ideas ask me for a copy of the spinal stretches or borrow one of the many books in the practice.

Episode 7: Does Your Baby Need Tummy Time? Is Crawling Important? YES!

In this episode Dr Melissa Longo discusses the basics of infant spine development, why babies need to crawl before they walk, the importance of tummy time for healthy development and what you can do as a parent to ensure your child’s development is on track.

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

Should we abandon the term “clean eating”?

I recently read an article where the author suggested we eliminate the term “clean eating” and although it was a well written article, I don’t agree with the idea that  the term ‘clean eating’ is a bad thing. 

To me, using the term ‘clean eating’ is the one unifier with all the different approaches to nutrition. 

Whether you prefer paleo or keto, whether you choose to eat animal protein or are vegetarian, the one thing that is consistent with every approach to food I’ve observed, and the majority of health professionals would agree with – eating real food will always be better for you than anything processed or packaged, which contains artificial sugars, colours, preservatives, thickening agents and so much more. 

Clean eating is the simple idea of eating whole foods as the primary foods in your diet. With the huge variety of perspectives out there, the diets and even some fads that tell you what and how to eat, this is one principle that everyone can agree on. Whole food, real food, is always going to be better than artificial food that comes out of a box. Whole foods are found in nature, and made of one ingredient. Fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, meat, fish, nuts and seeds are some examples.

To me, ‘clean’ is a reminder that choosing good quality food, (local and organically grown is even better) should always be the goal. It’s also an idea that is more easily adopted by most people, rather than the restrictions of most dietary protocols. To me, it also means that yes you can choose homemade brownies, cookies, cakes, even the occasional fried food when it’s made with real ingredients and by the hands of a human being in a real kitchen. 

Check out this post about the basic nutrition recommendations I give people to get started making healthy changes to their diet.

Episode 6: Playtime Isn’t Just For Kids!

When was the last time you did something spontaneous and fun? Do you have hobbies that make your heart smile? Time for recreation and play is time worth spent to make the rest of your life more productive, and all your relationships better, including the one you have with yourself. In this episode Dr. Melissa Longo discusses the importance of finding time for hobbies and recreation in your life – for the benefit of your health!

Movement is Life!

One of my favorite quotes that pertains to Chiropractic doesn’t come from a Chiropractor, but from a brain researcher…

Roger Sperry, the recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1982 for his work in brain research, stated:

“The more structurally distorted we are, the less energy we have for metabolism, for healing and for thinking.”

This is Chiropractic 101!

Without movement you could not sustain life. Blood cells that don’t move cannot transport oxygen, lungs that don’t move cannot breath, hearts that don’t move can’t pump blood, and spines that don’t move can’t create the motion needed for proper joint nutrition or body mechanics.

Most importantly, spines that don’t properly move cannot adequately stimulate the joint-brain pathways for the regulation of hundreds of internal functions your body performs each and every day.

Movement and alignment of the spine is required for healthy brain function, specifically the coordination of activities such as concentration and learning, emotions, motor control and organ function.

Chiropractors ensure your spinal joints are moving the way they were designed to, so that YOU can move, think and feel the way you were designed to!

Episode 5: What’s Your Health Habit Style? Reacting, Preventing or Optimizing?

What’s your attitude when it comes to looking after yourself? Do you react to problems, take preventative measures, or actively work towards building greater health and wellness? Your approach to health is just that – YOUR approach, but when was the last time you gave it any thought? In this week’s episode Dr. Melissa Longo discusses 3 ways to look at health and what questions to consider to make the best choice for yourself.

My Summer Adventure First Aid Kit

I love summer!  I love getting outdoors with my sons on the trails or at the beach. Even though it’s starting to get a little tougher to recruit them to spend time with me in their teenage years with their own sports involvement, jobs and their own friendships, time together outside is consistently what I’m aiming for.  At all ages, during every season, there are minor injuries that can happen, and I’m often asked how I deal with them in my home.

In our home there are no pharmaceuticals, harsh chemicals or commercial preparations, period. The majority of minor scrapes, bruises, burns, rashes, I have always been able to support with some of the items listed here, as well as herbal medicines, foods, fluids, rest, and spinal adjustments, particularly if there has been a tumble or fall or sports collision. Based on my training, I am comfortable handling many injuries but we have still made trips to the ER for stitches and broken bones! 

Here’s what I keep in my home, and in a pack that I can easily throw into a basket or backpack if we are heading out the door.  Please remember, if you’re ever in doubt about how to handle an injury or illness, get in touch with me, contact your medical doctor or head to the emergency room for further advice. 

Arnica cream or Traumeel – for aches and pains, to help reduce inflammation

Arnica 30c (homeopathic remedy) – for bites, bruises, cuts, broken skin, burns, scalds, nosebleeds, stings, sprains, fractures, muscular aches and pains, (or virtually any injury to the body)

Aconite 30c (homeopathic remedy) – for fear, anxiety, restlessness, sudden illness, intense pain, shock.  Give it to any child who has been hurt or traumatized in any way

Chamomilla 30c (homeopathic remedy) – for teething, insomnia, earaches, digestive troubles, anytime they need

Band-Aids, gauze, wet-wipes (for traveling only, when at home I just have soft rags and water or peroxide for disinfectant)

Tweezers, Ice packs

Hydrogen Peroxide, Rubbing Alcohol – Basic disinfectants, but the best way to clean a wound is to first wash your hands, then wash the wound with mild natural soap and water. This is what I use 95% of the time!

Witch Hazel – Strong natural antioxidant and astringent; good for disinfecting and promotes healing. Also helps with itching and inflammation

Bach Rescue Remedy –  A flower remedy designed for shock, trauma, any type of anxiety.  Can be taken orally. Very relaxing and soothing.

Calendula cream – Great healing salve for cuts, stings, burns, scrapes and scratches, any skin irritation. Easy to find at any natural health store or at markets throughout the summer!

Olive oil – soothing to the skin and a great carrier oil for using essential oils. Coconut oil is also a favourite. Use about a 1/4 cup combined with 6-10 drops of the essential oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin. There are so many essential oils of benefit to keep in your home, these are my top 3:

Tea Tree Oil – antibiotic, anti fungal, antiseptic and antiviral

Eucalyptus – antibiotic, analgesic (pain relieving), antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory 

Lavender – antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antiviral, anti fungal, antidepressant, healing, and sedating