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What a claim. How audacious! Okay, are you ready? You are not going to believe it. You opened this article to see what would improve your health and here is my answer. YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER! If you think about it, you know of three things that would definitely make you healthier- pick from the endless list: drink more water, eat different food, get better rest, exercise, stretch, change your posture, floss before bed... the problem isn't knowing what to do, it is in following through and actually doing it! What am I talking about? Let me use an illustration. We have a wonderful puppy. Becca. She is just over one year old. If you are a patient in our office, you may have heard her…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 19:17

Do you get TENSE when you DRIVE?

If you get tense when you drive, you are not alone! With the increase of traffic and stress on the roads today, many people experience tight shoulders, lower backs and neck muscles as they make the journey from A to B in the relative comfort of their car.  This tension doesn't magically disappear as one exits their vehicle, and it can affect our overall health if not dealt with. I have two things to offer, to combat this tension before it builds up. The first thing to do is to examine your posture as you drive. Many of us first learned to drive while sharing the car with our parents or someone taller than us. As a result, we have developed habits in our driving…
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 16:13

Why I don't like "Diagnosis" as a doctor

If you are a patient in my office, you may feel concern to hear that your doctor doesn't like diagnosis! It isn't the act of determining a diagnosis that I don't like. It is that, once a label is given, there is frequently a change in mindset that follows "the sentence".  I have had patients come to me that have been previously given a diagnosis of arthritis, who consequently attribute every subsequent twinge anywhere in their body to their arthritis. It doesn't matter if the arthritis is in 2 specific joints of their neck, that foot pain they experience must just be "their arthritis acting up". They don't look for another cause! It doesn't matter that they have been wearing stiletto heels all day, or…
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 16:56

Shrug off those "winter shoulders"!

Every year at this time, I notice that many of my patients are exhibiting significantly more tension stored in their upper dorsal musculature. By this I mean that their shoulders and neck muscles are tighter! I think that there are a number of factors that contribute to this phenomenon. With the arrival of the winter weather, we naturally hunch our shoulders against the cold to keep the wind out of our collars. Even once when we have safely arrived at our warm destination, we are inclined to keep our shoulders up around our ears. Some of us also tend to carry our stress in our upper back. Physical stress from shovelling, carrying packages, or winter hobbies (like knitting) can combine with the emotional stress assocciated…
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 19:36

What's this about maintenance?

I had a patient ask me this morning about hip replacements. She is 70 years old. Her friends are all concerned about needing hip replacements and talk about problems with sciatica. She wondered if she should be doing something to avoid these conditions. I told her the good news that she already is doing something! She comes for regular chiropractic care. The body is like a car. It functions better when it is in alignment. When a car's wheels are out of alignment, the tires will wear unevenly. You can drive the car that way, but certain parts will wear out more quickly and eventually you will be more likely to get a flat. When our body is out of alignment, the stress on certain…
This summer, our family took at trip to Guelph to visit the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada. This is a beautiful 100 acre farm, currently housing 61 equines (donkeys, mules and hinnies). It has been a home and refuge to 142 different animals since it started in 1992. At the sanctuary, there are fascinating tours in which knowledgeable guides teach a great deal about donkeys. There are many qualities of the donkey that we value today: an undemanding nature, sure footedness, relative strength and hardiness. These are characteristics we value in people. The famous "stubbornness" of donkeys refers to an instinct that donkeys have to stand still, when faced with a strange situation, and consider what is expected. If the donkey is being asked to do…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 21:51

Depression: Practical Tips for the Battle

It was National Mental Health week last week, but for those battling depression, this topic didn't end with the week. 1 in 5 Canadians will deal with a mental health issue at some point in their life. The other four will be affected by a friend or loved one that will. Depression and Anxiety Disorder are the fastest rising diagnosis in mental health today, they have become the number one cause of missed work disability. At our Depression Workshop last week, I shared some strategies to aid in the battle. These come from my 25 years of experience working with patients, some practical suggestions from people that struggle with depression, and from research I have done on the topic. A particularly good book on the…
Well of course it will! You already know that when you are sore after a long day at work you will tend to be a little grumpy. But it goes so much further than that! Stored tension, whether we are aware of it or not, will affect our emotions. A psychological study by Dr. J.D. Laird demonstrated this beautifully. Two groups of subjects were asked to hold a pencil in their mouth while they watched different cartoons. They were asked to rate the cartoons on howfunny they were. One group was asked to hold the pencil between their teeth, so that they inadvertently tightened the muscles used in smiling. The second group was asked to hold the pencil with pursed lips, which kept them from…
Friday, 14 March 2014 19:57

Lessons Learned from my own surgery

Author's note, or perhaps warning, this article may be a bit more wordy and introspective than usual, but I think there are some lessons held within that may be helpful to anyone going through a recovery from surgery or serious injury. Two weeks ago I had abdominal surgery to repair an inguinal hernia. As surgeries go, I don't think this is considered major surgery. I have visited friends that have had their repair, and thought to myself- "I must plan a hernia for the Spring-Time at Shouldice Hospital. It is beautiful there!" Well, it seems I missed spring time, but I got my wish. I am lucky to live just 10 km away from Shouldice- a private hospital that is world renown in hernia surgery.…
Saturday, 08 February 2014 17:55

Posture- it affects your HEALTH too!!!

In 1994 the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that "despite considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians." Last week we addressed posture and it's affect on our health at two different workshops. Many people think their posture has to deteriorate as they age, but it doesn't need to! It may take some effort, but it is so worth the work to care for our posture. Roger Sperry, Nobel prize winner for medicine, said "the more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy available for thinking, metabolism and healing." In a previous article on posture, (see our blog, July 2013) we talked about how our posture can affect our mood-…
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