Therapeutic Yoga is an evolving term in 2022, not quite defined, but with some fairly consistent traits. Everyone seems to agree it’s a gentler form of yoga focused to address imbalances or lack of function in a holistic fashion .
‘Yoga Therapy’ is a bit different and more specific. Although it definitely falls within the above definition, it has a governing body (IAYT.org) with an emphasis on a psychological component, and a 1-to-1 therapeutic relationship model. Both incredibly valuable in the right situations, but limiting in scope. All yoga is therapeutic by its very nature, and a perennial aspect of it has always been the observing and quieting of the mind. It's a large and welcoming tent of goodness. What we connect with is the idea that both Yoga Therapy and Therapeutic Yoga look beyond the boundaries of traditional yoga to amplify therapeutic value.
More central to the therapeutic yoga offered at A Balanced Body is the development and use of props. In A Balanced Body classes we are using the props as massage tools to facilitate tissue changes and release. Props have been used in yoga for centuries. From the first tiger skin mats (only from tigers that died non-violently) to the yogapatta (Sanskrit for 'strap'), the yogic tradition has always been open to a little extra help from material objects. Ask anyone who’s been to an Iyengar class, where props are frequently used to promote alignment and stability.
Three of the most popular props in Iyengar yoga are the block, the strap and the bolster, and they can all feature heavily in a therapeutic yoga class. What really separates our therapeutic yoga is the use of two other props from two other disciplines. The spiky myofascial release ball (aka massage ball), and the mini-stability ball used in Pilates. These tools are so important we actually have multiple adaptations; half-massage balls and half-inflated squishy stability balls that allow for gentler release and more supportive destabilization (supportive destabilization sounds crazy, I know, but it’s actually really important and we’ll get into it below)
A combination of yoga, massage and pilates, our therapeutic yoga teaches you to use poses, exercises and props to release, stabilize, and only then, strengthen. There’s a blindspot in a lot of rehabilitative efforts where we identify a function that needs strengthening and we leap to it, only to hit setback after setback. Sometimes there are steps missed before that, releasing the muscles and fascia that have been protecting that function, and then working to engage the function properly. It’s important that we target the stabilizing musculature around the joints to build a foundation of support. Only then is strengthening going to really bring change.
Myofascial release balls and mini-stability balls are the two most effective props in therapeutic yoga, but only with the help of traditional props that support and stabilize the body in a way that simple movements create traction and release. That release, the letting go of muscles and fascia that have been tying themselves in knots protecting dysfunction, is destabilizing. With this approach we are destabilizing to bring in true stability. If it’s done in a supportive manner, you have your best chance of building back up, preventing gripping or tightening muscles and getting a chance to create and imprint some new functionality.
In short, along with the stretching and strengthening offered in traditional yoga, therapeutic yoga also offers the traction and release, and supportive destabilization to re-stabilize. This clears the way for proper functionality. Both use props for support and alignment, but therapeutic props can also have more active intentions, like the traction and destabilization found in massage and pilates.
What’s also really important about therapeutic yoga at A Balanced Body is that it’s not dependent on the unfortunately expensive 1-to1 therapeutic model. We can give you the tools to heal your self, and once you have them, you can practice therapeutic yoga at home. Learn to release the areas that cause you discomfort and pain, as needed, or begin the journey to strength and stability.
Find out more about our online classes, props, video library and wellness clinic at: https://www.abalancedbody.ca/therapeutic-yoga
By Jessica Knox Registered Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga and Pilates Instructor
The link between diet and anxiety is a growing field of interest in the medical community because evidence suggests it's likely that your eating habits play a role in how you feel. In fact many people turn to natural remedies like Naturopathic Medicine for an answer when they're struggling with their mental health because these types of healings can have lasting effects on the body which affect its functions from deep within cells!
The food you eat can have a big effect on your mental health. If anxiety is something that affects your day-to-day life, then it may be worth considering what type of diet could help with this problem and whether or not these foods are actually making things worse for those who suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).
One of the most common mental illnesses is anxiety. If you've ever felt your heart racing or had trouble breathing, then there's a good chance that this condition has affected some aspect(s) in life due to its effects on our physical health- both mentally and emotionally. Some anxiety is normal and healthy. When these feeling happen all the time, it's considered unhealthy and it might be time to seek help. We have a survey you can complete to determine if the amount of anxiety you are experiencing is normal or not.
For some people, switching to a diet rich with fruits vegetables along with protein can help reduce symptoms. For those suffering from an unhealthy appetite towards foods high in sugar, this can cause quite a positive change in how they feel on a daily basis. For others, it may be more complicated and require some investigation such as hormone balancing, supplements, or food sensitivity diagnosis and treatment, which our Naturopathic Doctor can help you with today. We also have a survey for food sensitivities by the way.
Anxiety can also be not related to your food or diet at all. The important take away is that if you are suffering from anxiety, it's important that you get help and start somewhere. We offer both clinical counselling and naturopathic medicine as options for people to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Book a free consult with one of our practitioners today, if you think you are suffering from an unhealth amount of anxiety.
I attended this webinar recently and it was very eye opening, both as a healthcare professional and a patient. I've been a Registered Massage Therapist since 2007 and my practice has developed along with my own personal experiences with chronic pain. I've had varying levels of pain since I was about 7, when I had my first big injury; a strained SI joint. This resulted in chronic lower back pain for about 8 years. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts from more than three-six months. Sometimes it was mild, sometimes constant aching and sometimes it would spasm so violently that I would be in bed for days, on pain killers and muscle relaxants. My parents took me for some treatments, but it wasn't really resolved until I started doing Pilates when I was about 15.
My lower back was pretty good until around 19, when I had a serious whiplash injury, from a knee boarding accident. I'm now 37 and have been dealing with the ups and downs of this injury for a very long time. Fortunately, as and RMT, I have the luxury of a lot of knowledge about biomechanics and therapeutic exercises that I have always used to manage things.
About 3 years ago, I had a major flare up of my whiplash symptoms and suddenly all the things I had relied upon were not effective anymore, or only gave me very temporary relief. This is when I turned to counselling and pain science.
Since then, I've taken several courses about pain science through PainBC and other resources. I've read a lot of books about the biopsychosocial model of care. And I've implemented some new strategies to manage pain, that I never would have thought could be so effective. Meditation, mindfulness, body scanning and cognitive behavioral therapy practices are now a big part of my daily self care routine. Though I still rely on other things like self massage, stretching and strengthening exercises, I've come to understand how important nervous system regulation is.
This webinar explains the importance of communication and positivity around pain experiences with children. I am left to wonder, if my first major injury had been handled differently, if the communication my practitioners and parents had used at the time had been different, would I still struggle with chronic pain as an adult?
I can't go back in time and I can't blame anybody for what happened because we just didn't understand pain in the same way we do now. I am sharing this webinar with hope that it will reach someone who will use this knowledge to better communicate with their child or children, and prevent setting that child up for a life of pain.
Neither Remedy Wellness Centre Inc or Me take any credit for the production of this webinar. It was offered through PainBC, a wonderful resource for anyone suffering with chronic pain.
Kasey Thompson, Registered Massage Therapist
When I first moved to Victoria, I noticed something that immediately made me feel right at home as a naturally Kinesthetic (tactile/touch oriented) person... People hugged here, A LOT!
Maybe it was something about the “West Coast vibes” that seemed to attract the most open, and caring people, or because of the huge alternative and progressive subcultures that I was seeing families, friends of all ages, acquaintances, and even co-workers literally in constant touch with one another. Pats on the back, supportive rubs of the shoulder all the incidental gestures that are normally taken for granted were definitely not lost on me. It made me feel safe, made me look forward to socially interacting and joyfully anticipating being embraced by my community every time I stepped out of my house.
There's a reason it feels great to be physically touched. Touch has been an integral part of our society before we even had a word for “human! Our great great furry ancestors would spend hours grooming each other everyday, and not just because there was a lack of showers in the rain-forest resulting in bugs throwing parties on their fur! Grooming was a part of creating and maintaining important social and familial bonds within primates for millions of years. It soothes infants and let's them know they are being taken care of, it allows us to slow down our nervous systems and go from being in a fight or flight response to a “rest and digest” mode. It lets you know who your friends are and who you can trust. It strengthens immunity and uplifts mood with all those fantastic endorphin chemicals that we need to thrive...
So it was with equal grief that I lamented the loss of said touch in our community. Over the past year or so as a new found fear of touch was instilled in our everyday interactions. Socially distancing quickly turned into physical distancing, our personal space bubbles were expanded, handshakes were all but forbidden, and shaking hands or heaven forbid hugging anyone who you didn't live with... was pretty much a thing of the past. Is it any wonder that this year has seen unprecedented rates of negatively impacted mental health cases, more anti-social behaviour and all time highs of drug use and suicide rates through the roof?
How do you bring back positive touch in a safe way without the “Covid police” kicking down your door? What if there was a trusted way to get all those benefits of health oriented touch from a professional and dependable source? That's where RMT's come in. At a time when we all really need all the support we can get. Allow yourself to benefit from the knowledge, guidance and touch of a Registered Massage Therapist.
-Post By Iz Shafey, Registered Massage Therapist
It is a common occurrence, as an Acupuncturist, to have people ask what acupuncture can and cannot treat. The simple answer is, if you have symptoms, acupuncture can almost always help! This article is going to examine what makes Acupuncture a unique approach to health care, and why that unique approach allows us to treat so many different illnesses, conditions, and concerns.
Making the individual person the focus of our treatments is one of the most important aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In other medical paradigms, the focus of treatment is the illness: what type of illness, which variation of the illness, how severe is the illness, how does this illness behave, et cetera. In TCM, we focus on how this particular individual ended up with these particular complaints; What is going on with this person mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually that has led them to seek me out for help?
This can give Acupuncturists a huge head-start in starting to help someone as we are not bound by test results and imagining studies in order to diagnose a patient, and/or begin appropriate treatment. Focusing on the illness can be troublesome if the illness in question is hard to diagnose, if it mimics other illnesses, if it is an uncommon or rare condition, if there is more than one illness the patient is coping with, or if the illness isn’t showing up on standard medical tests. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had patients tell me (often in tears) that they have been informed that “there is nothing wrong with you” because all of the tests they took came back clear. Talk about frustrating!
In TCM we diagnose and treat patterns of symptoms, so if a patient has symptoms, then there is a pattern to treat. For example, if a patient told me they were having digestive issues resulting in urgent trips to the bathroom every morning, accompanied by sharp cramping in their lower abdomen and a feeling of weakness in their lower back.… I would be able to go ahead and treat this patient without needing much more information. And, any additional information I might need would come straight from the patient. I wouldn’t need to rely on a Western diagnosis to begin treatment, which could be a huge benefit to the patient.
As Acupuncturists, we rely heavily on questioning our patients, observing their physical state and demeanour, reading their tongue, and reading their pulses in order to gain a full and clear understanding of their current state of health. We don’t need to send our patients for tests, or put them on a wait list for imaging, or rely on specialists to confirm or deny what we might already suspect is causing our patient’s discomfort. We have all the diagnostic tools we need so long as we have a patient to treat.
Now, don’t get me wrong! Imaging studies and medical tests are incredible medical tools! No matter how skilled an Acupuncturist I may be now or ever could hope to be, I will never be able to look through my patients’ skin and muscle to clearly view their bones or their nervous system- so, thank goodness for x-ray machines and CT scans! Likewise, I can’t look at someone’s tongue or read someone’s pulse and discover the same information you get from a blood test or a urine analysis….and those can be very valuable test to run! My point is simply that we are not reliant on these tools in order to gain the information we need to start helping our patients.
TCM is also wholistic in nature, which gives us another advantage over other modalities that focus only on one aspect of the person. The mind, body, and soul are all intrinsically connected and cannot be separated from one another. If you have ever been so stressed out that you felt nauseous, or if your never-ending back pain has ever put you in a terrible mood, then you are already aware of the intimate link between our physical selves and our non-physical selves.
In TCM, the link between the physical and non-physical is not just recognized as existing, it is honoured as being key to good health and well-being. Can we really say we have helped to restore someone’s health if we haven’t taken the entire person into account? Would you really feel “healthy” if your body was in great condition but you were suffering mentally or emotionally? Or if you were mentally and emotionally sound but suffering physically? Of course not!
So far I hope I’ve painted a clear picture of just how awesome TCM and Acupuncture are….but, it wouldn’t be a fair discussion if I didn’t make sure to mention that as amazing as acupuncture is, it is not a miracle cure-all. While there is very little that acupuncture cannot help, there are lots of conditions that it cannot “fix” or completely cure. Multiple Sclerosis is a great example: Acupuncture for MS can help relieve pain, increase mobility, help prolong periods of remission, it can relieve the emotional stress and frustration that often accompanies chronic illnesses, and generally help the person feel better. But! Acupuncture absolutely cannot cure someone of MS, no matter how educated or experienced the acupuncturist may be.
Likewise, any Registered Acupuncturist in B.C. is trained to recognize medical “red flags” - in other words, we are trained to recognize when TCM and acupuncture are no longer appropriate forms of treatment, and that the patient requires emergency Western medical intervention. For example, we are trained to know the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack, and when we have enough evidence to call 911 no matter what we think might be happening to our patient. Acupuncture is a truly amazing medical tool, but it is not always the most appropriate tool to use in any given situation. That being said, there is a lot an acupuncturist can do to help stabilize a patient while waiting for emergency intervention to arrive.
So, now we know that TCM is wholistic, it is not reliant on outside equipment or testing for diagnosis, and that it relies on identifying patterns of symptoms rather than specific illnesses, we can begin to see how acupuncture can be used to treat a wide array of conditions. You can use acupuncture for…
-Migraines and Headaches
-Reproductive Health and Hormonal Imbalances
-Fertility, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Support
-Menstrual Pain and Dysfunction
-Insomnia and Sleeping Difficulties
-Stress, Anxiety, Frustration, Anger, Fear
-General Mental and Emotional Well Being
-Allergies, Stuffy Sinuses, Chronic Rhinitis
-Physical Pain of All Kinds
-Fatigue and Burn Out
-Common Cold and Flu
-Asthma and Respiratory Conditions
-High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Pressure
-General Cardiovascular Health
-Dizziness and Vertigo
-Stroke and Bell’s Palsy Recovery
-Edema, Water Retention, Swellings
-TMJ and Teeth Grinding
-Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue
-Menopause, Hot Flashes, Night Sweating
-Disharmony of the Five Senses
-Foggy Thinking, Inability to Focus/Concentrate
-Lack of Appetite, Weight Loss
-And just about anything else you can think of…….
So, the next time you wonder to yourself “Can you use acupuncture for…..”, the answer is most likely a resounding YES! If you still aren’t sure if acupuncture is right for you, feel free to book a 15 minute free consultation with one of our Acupuncturists.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is an exciting new online service that Remedy Wellness Centre is now offering as an option for all of our patients. In light of Covid-19, Remedy has decided to do our part to help flatten the curve by offering virtual appointments when in-person treatment isn’t appropriate. This may be from the need to self isolate, a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask or a condition where the risk of a possible exposure outweighs the benefits of in-person treatment.
Health concerns, injuries and pain don't take a break. And neither do we. We're here to help our patients by utilizing technology to guide you through self treatment from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our practitioners have come up with some creative strategies to empower you with what you need to stay on top of things. We recognize that each patient's situation will be unique. You may be limited by space, equipment, mobility, privacy or other factors. We've taken these into consideration and are confident we can make it work for you. If we give it a try and it turns out that Telehealth is not a good option for you, you will not be charged for your appointment and we will look into other options for you. Telehealth is available for Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Kinesiology and Registered Clinical Counselling.
Restrictions for Chiropractic: In accordance with the guidelines set by the College of Chiropractors of BC, we are unable to accommodate new patients for CHIROPRACTIC at this time, and you must have seen Dr. Ken Alexander within the last 12 months. If you are booking an appointment for a new condition that you and Dr. Ken Alexander have not previously discussed, education will be provided, but exercise prescription will be limited. For these reasons, we are considering offering acute care in person for select patients who meet certain criteria. If you are one of these patients please email us to let us know you are in need of care now.
Kinesiology via TeleHealth with Megan Phillips, Registered Kinesiologist & Clinical Exercise Physiologist.
Megan’s practice doesn’t usually include a lot of palpation and/or touch so transitioning to TeleHealth has been very smooth and easy. Megan utilizes the Physitrack App that allows her to prescribe exercises. Her patients have the program on their phone to watch videos, track progress, rate pain and message her. She is committed to being adaptable and personalizing the experience so the patient gets the most benefit. In some sessions she will do the exercises with patients, and in others she will focus more solely on their form while using an instructional video as an aid.
Kinesiology TeleHealth sessions can focus on:
- chronic pain management
- healthy lifestyle management
- ergonomic assessment and instruction
- postural analysis and correction
- exercise prescription and guidance
Some Physiotherapy practices are primarily exercise and movement based. They can treat most things (e.g. lower back pain, knee arthritis, shoulder impingement, whiplash, ankle sprains) via TeleHealth as long as it doesn't require manual treatment. A consult can be provided to determine if this would be appropriate for your treatment.
We would really like to know if you would use this service. Would you let us know by completing a 3 question survey? HERE
I’m Stuck At home! Now What?!
Canadians are doing their best to “flatten the curve” during the Covid-19 pandemic by self-isolating and staying home as much as possible. This will be an important step in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak in our country and our communities.
At the same time, many Canadians are concerned about maintaining good health and a strong immune system during these times. Many of us are no longer able to go to the gym, eat the same diet, or live the same lifestyle. These limitations can be stressful and frustrating for many of us.
The following article will give you some Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tips and suggestions on how you can keep your body and your immune system in tip-top condition even while you practice social-distancing and self-isolation.
Why Your Spleen/Stomach System Is So Important Right Now:
In TCM, having a strong and healthy body requires an abundant supply of high quality Qi (energy) and Blood (nourishment), circulating without restriction within our bodies.
Whether or not you are able to produce an abundant supply of high quality Qi and Blood depends on the health and functioning of all of your organs, but the Spleen (SP) and Stomach (ST) play special roles.
The SP/ST are responsible for your ability to break down all of the food and drink you consume into the basic building blocks your body needs to repair itself, function properly, and maintain a strong immune system. They are then responsible for ensuring that these vital materials are transported to the next organs responsible for the manufacturing of Qi and Blood.
The ST has the mechanical jobs of actually breaking down food. It churns and contracts, and releases stomach acid in order to physically break down the food you eat.
The SP has the energetic job of sorting the useful from the useless - what are the useful and vital building blocks for Qi and Blood, versus what is useless and should be excreted as waste. The SP also has the responsibility of transporting these materials to the next appropriate organ for further processing.
As the SP/ST are responsible for starting the most vital process your body performs, their proper functioning directly and significantly impacts your overall health and general well being. Likewise, a weakness or deficiency in the functioning of these organs can leave you feeling run down and generally unwell.
What Does SP/ST Deficiency Look Like
A weak SP/ST system results in an inability to properly turn food and drink into energy and nourishment. Therefore, a weak SP/ST often results in symptoms such as:
-Fatigue -Indigestion -Dry Skin/Hair
-Weakness -Loose Stools -Pale Complexion
-Lethargy -Bloating -Loss of Appetite
The SP also has the added jobs of holding blood within the blood vessels, keeping the internal organs in place, and moving fluids appropriately within the body. When the SP is weak, it is not uncommon to have symptoms such as:
-Sinus Congestion -Inability to Concentrate -Hemorrhoids
-Phlegm -Easy Bruising -Water Retention
-Foggy Thinking -Organ Prolapse -Feeling Cold
What Weakens the Spleen/Stomach
The health of your SP/ST is largely dependent on your lifestyle choices and your diet. The SP/ST are most effected by excessive mental activity, insufficient physical activity, and an overly cold, damp, and raw diet.
In the case of excessive mental activity, it requires a lot of energy to run your brain. Your brain is a really impressive piece of equipment if you stop to….think…about it! It requires a great deal of energy and nourishment to function properly, so the more you use your brain, the more energy and nourishment it requires.
Obviously, using your brain is a good thing, but using extra Qi and Blood to overthink, worry about, obsess over, and fixate on any given thought or circumstance is not a good thing. Not only do you end up focusing on topics that are upsetting you mentally and emotionally, you also end up using a great deal of energy your body could have used in much more productive ways.
Physical activity is good for us - we already know that! But what does that have to do with how we produce Qi and Blood? Well, while we’ve already discussed why its important to have a large amount of high quality Qi and Blood, we haven’t spoken much about why the unrestricted flow of Qi and Blood is just as important.
Think of it this way, if you had a huge amount of money sitting in a safe somewhere that would be great, but in reality, the money is only useful if you can move it to places outside that safe like to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or your landlord’s bank account.
Likewise, having a large amount of high quality Qi and Blood is great, but they are only truly useful if they can move freely through out the body in order to get where they are needed. If Qi and Blood fail to flow smoothly then the body does not get properly supplied with Qi and Blood, and therefore, cannot function properly.
While you are capable of moving Qi and Blood around your body without exercise, physical activity helps to profoundly increase the flow of Qi and Blood both in the moment and in the long term. For example, we already know that regular exercise strengthens the heart making each beat of the heart stronger and more efficient; bigger results with less effort. Physical activity helps you save energy in the long run as your body becomes stronger and more efficient the more you maintain a healthy physical activity routine.
When you don’t move enough, your Qi and Blood wont move enough thus leaving you feeling lethargic and unwell.
Finally, its no surprise that your diet plays a huge role in how well your SP/ST function. The SP in particular does not like cold, wet, or raw foods. You have to break down everything you eat and drink and bring it up to at least body temperature before you can even start to turn it into Qi and Blood, and that process takes a lot of effort.
If you consistently eat a diet that requires a great deal of effort to break down, you can end up spending more energy breaking down the food then what you get from the food itself. Basically, you end up using up your resources faster than you replace them. You can only do that for so long before you end up seriously depleted.
In general, foods that are cold, raw, wet, greasy, and processed are the hardest to digest. If a food takes a long time to chew with your mouth, it will undoubtedly require more “chewing” in your stomach. Likewise, the further away from body temperature a food is, the more work you have to put into heating it up/cooling it down. For example, the SP/ST will exert more effort to break down cold, raw vegetables then they would for a bowl of warm vegetable soup.
Foods that are warm, cooked, and moderately spiced are the easiest for your SP/ST to process. Even making the simple change of lightly cooking your veggies instead of eating them raw can make a huge difference in how easily your body can utilize the food you feed it.
What Can I Do To Strengthen My SP/ST?
If you resonated with the symptoms listed above, or recognize that your lifestyle might be taxing your SP/ST energy, then there is a good chance your SP/ST could use some serious TLC. Here are some simple steps you can take to strengthen yourself from the inside out.
**Please note: this information is intended to help people maintain good health while self-isolating and social-distancing are still recommended. These are not tips on how to treat or cure Covid-19. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 (fever and coughing in particular) please get tested as soon as possible. If you are unsure what do to, please cal 811 for assistance. **
While it is important to keep ourselves informed and occupied, it is not necessary for us to obsessively check the news or worry about what happens next. Here are some things you can do to ease your mind at this time:
-Gratitude Lists: Many of us are facing serious financial burdens at the moment, as well as concerns about future employment, child-care, the health of our loved ones, et cetera. While it is important to recognize the severity of the situation we find ourselves in, it is important not to get overly focused on these issues. Listing all of the things you are grateful for everyday can help shift the focus from the negative to the positive.
At first it can seem hard to find the silver lining, but once you start looking for it you’ll find it was brighter then you thought it was! Start with the obvious things like having a home and food to eat, the more you list the more you find to be grateful for!
-Meditation: Youtube provides a plethora of guided meditation videos you can access for free. Even a few minutes a day of intentionally slowing down, checking in with your thoughts, and trying your best to clear your mind can have an immediate positive effect on your mental well being.
-To Do Lists: Remember all those books you’ve bought but haven’t read yet? Remember all those household tasks and repairs you keep putting off because you just don’t have the time? Remember all those little things you said you’d accomplish if you could just find the time to get it all done? Well, good news! The time as come!
We all have a list of things we could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done if only we had the time in our busy lives to get to them. Now that many of us have nothing but time on our hands, this is an excellent time to accomplish all those little tasks and chores. It can be simple way to not only be productive but feel better about yourself and your situation too! Accomplishing goals, no matter how small, can help you feel useful and busy, thus boosting your mood. It can also be a great way to avoid checking the news and social media for the 700th time today!
-Adequate Sleep: Getting enough sleep is vital for your overall well being. When we sleep our brain is flushed with Cerebrospinal Fluid which helps to clean the brain of all the metabolic waste its accumulated after a long day of thinking. It is also when your body repairs itself. Furthermore, it is believed that dreaming allows your subconscious mind to vent out any troubling issues it might be dealing with in waking life….something we could all use right now!
Many people have dedicated exercise routines that involve time at the gym, time in group settings, and/or extended periods of time outside. While some are lucky enough to have yards and outdoor space to utilize, many people are self-isolating in condo buildings with little to no private outdoor space. And since most gyms and recreational centres are currently closed, many of us are left wondering how to maintain an active lifestyle during these times.
-Exercise Videos & Apps: Technology saves the day! We are lucky to be living at a time when so much valuable information is available to us through the internet. Youtube is an excellent source for exercise videos of all kinds: yoga, pilates, stretching, at-home workouts, work outs that don’t require equipment, et cetera. There are also many apps available (for free and for purchase) that can provide you with similar info and videos to help you keep fit and active.
-Household Chores: A great way to exercise when at home is to clean your house! This is an excellent opportunity to deep clean of your home. Not only will you being burning calories, stretching, and lifting heavy objects, you’ll end up with the peace of mind you get from ensuring your personal space is clean, orderly, and comfortable. This is a great time to see if you have items you can donate to those who are struggling through this situation.
**Please Note: these dietary guidelines are generalized information. You know your body better then anyone else does, so if there is a food or cooking method suggested that you know you do not react well too, please do what you know is best for your body. **
It may not be possible to eat an ideal diet right now, as what is made available for purchase may not be what you would normally choose. The following foods and cooking suggestion are generalized - you might not be able to follow many of these tips based on what you currently have access to, but following the ones you can will still be helpful.
-Avoid Extremes: As mentioned above, the SP/ST do not enjoy overly cold and wet foods, or overly processed and/or greasy foods. This remains true, but the bigger picture is that the SP/ST doesn’t like extremes - that includes extremely spicy and extremely hot food as well.
-Cook Your Food: The SP/ST likes food that doesn’t require much effort to breakdown. Cold, wet, and fibrous foods tend to be the hardest for us to deal with - things like smoothies and salads can be some of the most challenging foods you can give yourself.
Usually when I tell people this, they shift uncomfortably in their seats, look concerned, and then say “But I eat smoothies and salads every day!” I totally understand that a busy daily life can make it difficult to eat a hot sit-down meal three times a day. But, if its possible to turn a smoothie into a bowl of oatmeal with berries and cinnamon, or to turn a salad into a stir fry with garlic and ginger then you will be doing yourself a big favour. Remember: some change is better than no change at all.
AND NOW, FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP I CAN GIVE YOU RIGHT NOW!
BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND THOSE AROUND YOU!
For most of us, this current situation can be a scary and lonely experience. Its possible you may feel a lack of control over your own life and your own future. You may be immunocompromised and scared to interact with others or to go outside. You may be sitting at home feeling helpless as you check in with an elderly loved one who feels alone and scared.
All of these feelings and thoughts are valid and understandable, but please don’t forget - while social-distancing and self-isolation may be difficult, they are some of the most powerful tools we have to ensure that when all of this is over, most of us will emerge healthy and happy and ready to return to our daily lives.
-Taking care of yourself is an act of kindness for those who love you.
-Self-isolating is an act of kindness towards those who have no choice but to go to work; people like grocery store staff, medical personnel, government workers, et cetera
-Self-isolation is an act of kindness towards yourself, as contracting Covid-19 can be a life-threatening situation.
Do what you can to help those in need, but don’t forget that you are one of those people too! We could all use a little extra love and attention right now, and for many of us that love and attention will need to come from ourselves for the time being.
-Caroline O'Hara, Registered Acupuncturist at Remedy Wellness Centre
Help us keep the WELL in Wellness Centre
As you are probably aware, there has been a recent outbreak of a virus, called the Corona Virus or COVID-19, that is starting to spread rapidly around the globe. We do not want to add to the overwhelm of information or fears. However, we do want to assure everyone that we are doing our best to maintain a clean and safe environment.
We are also asking for YOUR HELP on this matter. If you have any flu like symptoms, or feel unwell in any way, please STAY HOME. Call the clinic (250-590-5221) to cancel your appointment and let us know you are not feeling well. You will not be charged any cancellation fees.
The North, as a famous Northerner rapper pegs us, loves to travel during the North’s hallmark—a chilly winter. Many opt for a brief southward migration to bask beneath a sunnier sky, cocktails and bug spray in hand, sand in toes. Others prefer to buy local, venturing to nearby powdery hills for a log-cabin chalet and local brew filled weekend of winter sports and festivities. Some, those super beings among us, accomplish a flawless transition from beachy vacay to annual ski trip, shunning the vertiginous difference in climate and geography: the Adventurers.
But trips take their toll, and not just on the chequing account. Our bodies can only handle so much moving about, so much sleeplessness, and so much wear and tear. Even the G.O.A.T.s among us (think of one Lebron, of the house James) know their limits, push beyond them, and then mitigate the effects through therapy so they can repeat. The body needs its repose, and Physiotherapy during the winter is the perfect antidote to an activity or work filled winter that may predispose you to an injury filled spring and summer that frustratingly holds you back. Not to mention the seasonally-specific injuries that occur during the winter (take note of how many of your friends and colleagues have casts after that ski trip at the cabin).
Many of us tend to experience activity and occupation related injuries during the warmer months, and attribute it to the increase in our output during those times. And yes, while we tend to be more vigorous during this time, those aches and pains we feel can be attributed to the general, albeit unwitting, neglect of our bodies during a crucial period for preventative rehab (prehab). Research has demonstrated time and again that being consistent with bodily treatments throughout the year not only enhances performance and output, but also helps ensure prevention of injury when we intensify things. Once an injury takes place, however, reversing it is certainly more arduous and protracted than simply averting it with prehab.
Physiotherapy during the winter is one of the most effective ways to remain active and prevent injury in the cold, and stave off injuries that are likely to occur when activity intensifies as the climate heats up.
Taking advantage of physiotherapy prehab during the winter not only ensures that you thrive during this season, but also banks forward the advantage of a stronger, fitter, more resilient body during the rest of the year. Don’t simply wait till you injure your knee on the slopes, or your wrist on the keyboard and mouse, optimize your health with regular physiotherapy to ensure a pain-free and activity filled year.
- Daniel Rashid C. PT
Curious to learn more about Daniel and his Physiotherapy practice? View his bio here!
Cosmetic acupuncture (also called facial rejuvenation acupuncture, facial acupuncture or “acupuncture face-lift”) is a safe and natural method of reducing the signs of aging. It was originally used as a treatment for patients with paralysis of facial nerves caused by Bell’s palsy or stroke. As cosmetic “side-effects” were noted, it was adapted for use as an “anti-aging” treatment.
When the face is needled, it caused micro-damage to the tissue which then body then needs to repair. It repairs the tissue with a protein called collagen that continues to build after each treatment. Also, acupuncture naturally stimulates blood flow and energy (Qi) which helps bring new blood to the face, and flushes out and moves any stagnation, resulting in a natural acu-glow.
Aesthetic benefits of cosmetic acupuncture include:
-Improved skin texture
-Improved skin elasticity
-Reduction of skin wrinkles
-Reduction of “double chin”
-Reduction of “drooping” of eyelids
-Minimization of pore size
-Reduction of acne
-Increased “brightness” of eyes
What to Expect:
Although benefits may be noted in as few as one or two treatments; effects are typically noticed after five treatments. 10 treatments in total, once or twice weekly, are recommended to attain optimal results.
At your initial assessment, an individualized treatment plan will be devised to address your specific cosmetic needs. Treatments involve insertion of acupuncture needles at specific points at and around the face, and at points elsewhere over the body. You will leave relaxed and glowing after each treatment!
To maintain results, a follow-up appointment is recommended once every one to three months depending on the individual and desired results.
Cosmetic acupuncture is not recommended during or shortly after pregnancy, when you are sick or have the flu, bruise easily or have a bleeding disorder.
-Dayna Mulkay, Registered Acupuncturist - Click here to book with Dayna!
This blog is collaborative collection of information provided by several of our therapists. We hope you find some useful information and tips.