Easter Treats For Your Family

The ritual of hunting for easter eggs is something that all children enjoy (even my teenage son still enjoys easter treats and the hunt for eggs – just don’t tell him I told you!), but let’s think about some of the items we place inside the eggs.

Traditional easter baskets are filled with chocolate. Chocolate tastes great, I’m a huge fan! However, our kids are not likely to appreciate the organic-fair-trade-dark chocolate that actually can benefit your health in small doses. Commercial candy and confections are filled with sugar, artificial colours, and flavours, and although they tastes great, they don’t promote health, and for many children there are adverse effect on their behaviour due to the sugar and caffeine.

Chocolate, jellybeans, and candy are fun treats for all of us, and we’ve been having fun with them in the practice all week, but consumption in moderation is the KEY! Even a teaspoon of sugar causes the immune system cells to drop substantially, and can dramatically affect behaviour. With the chocolate on the reception desk this week I’ve been using it as a great time to remind all the kids in the practice that their body needs good foods to stay healthy, and we’ve been talking about other things they need to also be doing to keep their body healthy.

This year why not consider some other ideas too? 

I’ve been asking families 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.

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
  • Small cookies or animal crackers
  • 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!

ERM 037: Lorri Fleming | Nurturing Families At The Womb

Lorri Fleming is a mom to 2 adult children, Cole 22 and Kyra 19 and has been happily married for almost 25 years. Lorri is a Doula, Parent Educator and Co-founder of The WOMB in Milton, Ontario where she is passionate about Nourishing, Nurturing and Inspiring families through life!

In this conversation with Dr Melissa Longo Lori talks about how life changes with adult children, and why she believes that nurturing comes from wrapping our arms around our children, while at other times from letting go. Lori openly shares some of the struggles she and her husband have experienced, but how their faith, strong communication and the support of others has helped keep their family strong.

With her children growing up Lori has been able to focus her attention on opening her dream business – The Womb, a place for all things pregnancy, postpartum and life with children. In this space Lori shines and works with other moms to help them find support, inspiration and ways to care for themselves and their new families.

Another great conversation with another everyday rockstar mom!

Healthy Hearts! Lifestyle Tips & How Chiropractic Helps

Cardiovascular health is important throughout our lives, and our cardiovascular organs are part of an incredible system within our bodies that gives every single cell in our bodies the fuel to function. 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. Its truly an amazing system!

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”). The sad news is that far too many times the first symptom of heart disease is a serious heart attack! We can’t see the heart gradually losing it’s ability to function properly, which is why waiting for symptoms to start isn’t the  wisest approach. 

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, and a poor diet. It’s estimated 9/10 Canadians have at least one of these risk factors, and 4/10 have 3 or more.

There is another risk factor! Did you know spinal misalignments can contribute to heart health too? When the vertebrae in the spine are not moving properly(subluxation) the heart’s ability to internally regulate itself is disrupted due to impingement of both the nerves and the arteries. Once proper function and movement is restored 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 the majority of risk factors are lifestyle choices! Change your habits and you change your risk.

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

Stress Less: High stress levels cause blood pressure to rise, heart rate to increase, and disturbances in heart rhythm. Evaluate the stressors in your life and make changes! Learn how to cope with stress effectively, and find professional support as needed.

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, preservatives, and sodium. Avoid high consumption of fried, fatty foods. 

Quit Smoking! Just do it. There is nothing health promoting about this habit whatsoever!

Get Moving: Move your body everyday for at least 10 minutes. Exercise helps relieve stress, and supports every system in your body including your cardiovascular system.

Get Adjusted! To support nerve function, heart function, and for a healthier body overall!

Have questions or need more direction? Let me know how I can help.

~ Dr. Melissa

Colds, Coughs, Congestion & Chiropractic!

Many times when people in the practice are dealing with colds, coughs, sore throats, or congestion they want to stay home, but you’ll often hear me encourage them to come get adjusted and stress the importance of it during illness.

If germs were the only factor that made us sick, we would all be in serious trouble! But a healthy body is dealing with germs everyday, and does not become ill. Sure, some bacteria or viruses are more threatening than others, but in general when we become ill it’s because our body’s ability to cope with the demand on our immune system has failed.

Congestion, coughing, sneezing, fevers, and a runny nose are all signs the body is effectively creating an immune response to help the body eradicate the bacteria or virus causing the infection. This is a good thing and not to be suppressed! Medications to make you feel better offer temporary relief, but often create other imbalances in the body that can affect your long-term health.

As per any ailment, my recommendations are always to support the body as best as you can and strategize to boost the immune system, and Chiropractic care is a huge contributor to a healthy immune system!

Chiropractic works:

A study by a neurologist found that 92% of children with chronic tonsillitis had upper cervical misalignments, and after studying 76 children with chronic tonsillitis it was concluded that “tonsillitis goes hand in hand with movement restriction in the cranio-cervical skull and neck junction”

If you’re sick and suffering make a spinal check-up high on your priority list. In addition to increasing fluids, sleep, and nutritional support, your body will likely recover without any other intervention and give your body better health moving forward.

~ Dr. Melissa

ERM 030 Barbara Andrews: Using Your Intuition, Changing Careers & Taking Care of Yourself As A Woman

cadb75c6d49443139e28428481f4f8c2Barb Andrews is a 63 year old single mother of 2 grown children, and proud grandmother of Brooke! Barb is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and work with clients both privately and at Stonetree Naturopathic Clinic in Collingwood. She also works as a children’s preschool teacher at Pretty River Academy, and feels blessed to have family and 2 jobs that she loves.

In this interview with Dr. Melissa Longo, Barb shares her experiences throughout motherhood, from the infant and toddler years, through the teens, and now continuing to nurture her adult children. Barb shares some of her biggest challenges, her greatest successes as a mother, and how listening to her intuition as a woman has never failed her.

Barb also discusses how and why she made a shift in her career at the age of 50, and the impact of this decision on profoundly changing her health and life.

Another great conversation with an everyday mom who rocks!

Leg Pain & The Chiropractic Approach

Every part of your body works better with a spine that is moving properly.  Many people come into the practice complaining of pain in their legs, and it often starts within their spine.

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Challenges with walking, running, climbing, jumping or general mobility can be resolved with Chiropractic care – from kids through to seniors!

Spinal misalignments called vertebral subluxations cause muscle imbalances, joint irritation, inflammation, and early degeneration.  Spinal subluxations alter the healthy mechanical and neurological functions in the body. Subluxations weaken all organ systems, leading to sickness, pain,  and a lesser quality of life. As a Doctor of Chiropractic my role is to correct spinal subluxations to restore proper motion and function within the body.

Subluxations in the hips and lumbar spine can lead to leg pain, numbness & tingling in the legs or feet, and muscle weakness. They can also contribute to pain and dysfunction in the knees, ankles, and feet. It’s amazing to watch people’s flexibility return, pain subside, walking patterns change and athletic abilities soar when we address spinal function and restore the body’s natural mechanical function. 

If you’re suffering with cramping or pain in your legs, knees or feet, instead of relying on medications (with side effects!) help your body heal from the inside-out. Consider Chiropractic first!

ERM #26 Dr. Theresa Warner: Find Your Inner Voice | Live With Passion | Top Tips For Healthy Moms

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-10-42-56-pmDr. Theresa Warner is a Paediatric Chiropractor, International Speaker, Author, Wife and Mother of Three!  She is a passionate leader in the health and wellness field with her passion for helping children achieve their full potential for health. She is a widely sought-after speaker on the topics of paediatrics, health and wellness, and pregnancy; serves as a La Leche League leader, and is the founder of Wellness Moms International. Together with her husband of 23 years she maintains a private practice in Point Pleasant, NJ.

Despite her many accolades, her greatest achievement by far are her 3 beautiful children, and on this interview with Dr. Melissa Longo, Theresa chats about motherhood and what it has taught her. She discusses how she has created a lifestyle that is truly in line with her passion for her family life and her profession. Theresa shares her best strategies for managing a busy schedule, how she makes time to take care of herself, and the challenges and joys of business life with her husband.

This is a packed episode full of great information from a rockstar mom who is helping other women do the same!

Best Tips For Choosing BackPacks For Your Kids

ID-10093588 2The countdown is on and for many children school will be starting in a few weeks! Hard to believe. Some summers seem to pass by more quickly, or perhaps as my children get older (and I do too!) time just seems to move at a faster pace. Parents have already started asking me about how to choose a proper backpack for their children, here are my top tips! 

Every September I have a ton of fun with the kids in my practice taking a look at their backpacks and chatting with them about how to adjust them and wear them properly – we make it fun and engage them in the process of understanding why it’s important to take care of their body. 

Choose a pack that is proportional to your child. Avoid the temptation to pick pack with the latest cartoon character, super hero, or princess your child adores and be sure to find one that fits. The bottom of the pack should sit no lower than the point where the low back meets the hips, and the top should  comfortably rest on their shoulders. Look for padded, adjustable straps can be easily adjusted to fit their frame.

Pack it Right! Fill the pack so that it weighs no more than 10% of the child’s body weight(grades K-8), or 15% of the teens body weight (grades 9-12)  Pack the heaviest items closest to the body, make use of pockets/compartments to distribute the weight, and pack any odd shaped or sharp items on the outside so they don’t dig into the back.

Wear It Well  Encourage your child to use both shoulder straps & tighten them so that they fit snugly enough so the pack sits on the shoulders. Remind them to avoid slinging the pack over one shoulder only, this causes the spine to lean and puts stress on the joints and muscles in the mid and lower back. If there is a waist strap on the pack, use it! It helps reduce the strain on the back by transferring some of the load to the hips. If the pack is exceptionally heavy, place it on a table or chair and lift it onto the body one strap at a time to avoid straining or twisting to pick it up.

A child’s backpack is a convenient, necessary item to transport their belongings to school everyday, but it’s also a common source of strain on young spines! Take a few minutes with your child and consider making a few changes to ensure it’s not doing any harm. If you still have questions be sure to get in touch and book your complimentary back pack check up.

ERM 018 Karla Findlay: Shifting Priorities, Learning To Let Go & Dropping The Overachiever Mindset!

FamKarla works in municipal government, teaches fitness and yoga, and just added entrepreneur to her resume by launching a plant-based meal delivery service highlighting local, organic ingredients.

She lives with her supportive partner and hilarious 3-year-old son, and on this episode we talked about how motherhood has helped her stop trying to be an overachiever, and shift her priorities to the things that are most important in her life.

Karla shared how her struggle with infertility affected her as a women, but that when she was ultimately able to let go of the emotional weight, the experience helped her develop more patience, and learn to just roll with life a little easier.  Karla also talks about being an early riser and taking time to take care of herself, her supportive partner and how they continue to build their relationship, and some of the family rituals that keep them all connected.  Fun episode – check it out!

Chiropractic To Boost Fertility?

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As much as I love working with babies, it’s fun to help people make them too!

It’s always exciting for me when couples who have struggled with fertility challenges, and who have often tried numerous other therapies and sometimes invasive interventions in hopes of conceiving, are able to do so after consistent chiropractic care.

What’s the Connection?  Spinal misalignments (subluxations) cause muscle imbalances, joint irritation, inflammation, and early degeneration.  Most crucially, subluxations disturb the healthy mechanical and neurological functions in the body.

Subluxations in the lumbar spine and hips and can lead to dysfunction of the internal organs in the lower abdomen, particularly the bladder, bowels, ovaries, uterus, and prostate gland. Not limited exclusively to fertility challenges, other problems with reproductive health in both men and women such as menstrual irregularity, PMS,  menopause, and impotence and erectile dysfunction have also shown improvement and resolved with chiropractic care, and I’ve seen it over and over again in my practice. 

Doctors of Chiropractic correct spinal subluxations to restore proper motion and function within the body.  Many people find relief when we restore proper joint mechanics with spinal adjustments, and  when combined with other lifestyle changes and supportive therapies the results are dramatic. 

If you or someone you care about can relate to some of the symptoms above, you don’t have to continue to suffer!  Although this can be a sensitive subject for some people, and it’s not something always easy to talk about, I encourage you to seek out every option to support your body’s ability to heal. Consider finding a Doctor of Chiropractic who will do a thorough assessment, explain the results, answer all your questions, and get you on the path to healing.  

Help your body heal from the inside-out with  Chiropractic first!