Healthy Living Blog

New Research: Orthotics and Chiropractic a Great Combo!

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

 

Foot pain is very common, almost as much as back pain. It’s estimated that about 75% of people in North America will have foot pain at some time in their lives. A new study published by National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) has found that shoe orthotics alone or combined with chiropractic care can significantly improve low back pain. “Chiropractic physicians have long prescribed custom shoe orthotics to their patients with the thought that back pain treatment might work best when addressing not only the back but also the hips, knees, ankles, and/or feet,” said chiropractor Dr. Jerrilyn Cambron, the principal investigator of the study. Cambron adds that, “For those looking to avoid over-the-counter pain medication and opioids, shoe orthotics combined with chiropractic care may be an alternative worth considering.”

Dr. Chad Morton provides customized orthotics. Come in for a fitting today!

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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

 

A big batch of pesto pasta can be a lifesaver for weekday meals in a pinch. You can substitute the pasta with quinoa and/or lentil/bean based varieties – they are gluten-free and higher in protein and fibre.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 big handful of fresh basil (any greens/herbs will work, see above)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (rinsed if they’re soaked in olive oil)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (any nut/seed will work, see above)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese OR nutritional yeast
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp lemon, freshly squeezed
  • sea salt, to taste
  • *Optional: Top with chopped spinach, kale, or basil.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all of the ingredients above in a food processor and pulse until you achieve desired consistency. I like my pesto to have a bit of texture to it but you could pulse it smooth if you prefer.
  2. Spoon over your favourite cooked pasta, sprinkle with a little more parmesan or nutritional yeast and enjoy!

Is Yoga The Missing Link?

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

 

People have their own reasons for showing up to their yoga mat.  Body toning? Destressing? Quite time just for you? I have my own reasons as a yoga instructor and Therapist in trying to get you out to your mat. My main priority?  Yeah, if you see me often, you know it’s to get you long and strong!

You see, I make a treatment plan when you show up for a Massage appointment. I have strategies that help you to meet your goals, some of which involve stretching, strength training, decreasing symptoms of stress and posture awareness.  Yoga is the full package that meet all of those demands. Have you ever heard of a sun salutation? It’s a major component of yoga. One sun salutation involves the strengthening and stretching of each major joint in the body. On top of that yoga assists reducing symptoms of stress, which makes your body more accepting of the exercises being introduced to it.

It’s for these reasons that I have been giving each of my clients a yoga club membership (yoga club entitles the member to one free yoga class/month at The Balancing Point in Newmarket). It’s my not so secret agenda to get you to your mat, so that you can achieve your treatment goals. So, those are my reasons, I truly want to help you succeed.

Here is a list of the physical benefits of yoga according to The American Osteopathic Association, maybe one of these will help you to find your personal “why” for showing up to your mat.

Physical Benefits of Yoga

“The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” explains Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.”

Other physical benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardio and circulatory health
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Protection from injury

5 Easy Ways To Ease Workplace Aches

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

1 – HEAT: Using a heating pad for 15-20 minutes a day on sore muscles will help relieve muscle tension as well as increase blood flow throughout muscles and soft tissue.

2 – COLD: If you find you are doing a lot of repetitive movements or extensive use of your wrists, hands and elbows, use a cold compress for 5 minutes or until numb to help reduce inflammation within those joints. Or, if you are at work and don’t have access to a cold compress try running your forearms and hands under cold water for 2 minutes or until numb, something I’ve been doing for the last 8 years to help maintain my hands, wrists and elbows.

3 – POSTURE: If you find yourself slouching, your shoulders rounded forward, and you are lifting and bending all day try these little tricks. If you are leaning or doing a lot of bending remember to bend your knee’s, this way your low back won’t be bearing the whole load and your legs will be assisting. If you are leaning forward and find your shoulders rounded, roll your shoulders backwards and hold that position. This will remind you what your proper posture should be.

4 – DEEP BREATHING: Using deep breathing techniques throughout the day can help decrease stress and anxiety experienced while at work. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling up your diaphragm, rib cage and chest and then slowly exhaling through your mouth, and repeat.

5 – SELF MASSAGE: By using golf balls, lacrosse balls, frozen water bottles or foam rollers, you can massage out the different muscles groups that may be causing you discomfort and help with general maintenance.

Finding Work-Life-Health Balance

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

 

We’ve all been there… feeling overwhelmed with the stresses life throws at us and not finding time to focus on the things we love or, our health.  Finding a balance between work, life and health is arguably the most common source of stress evident in clinical practice.  Sometimes taking a step back and a change in perspective can make all the difference.

The strive for perfection is overwhelmingly common these days. During this unrealistic pursuit, people are often left feeling discouraged or worse, defeated.  For this reason, I have always encouraged a sound Work-Life-Health balance which focuses on the small but significant changes (micro-changes). These are changes we can make on a daily basis to better our lives and aid in sustaining a more positive mindset.  My advice is simple: make one small micro-change at a time and be proud of it!  Making one micro-change at a time is easier and more manageable than revamping our whole lifestyle and routine.  Each small goal we accomplish increases our chances for success and motivates us to continue.

A great way to make micro-changes is starting with the basics.  These simple daily tasks can greatly impact our overall health, energy and mood, all of which keep us motivated and feeling great!

Self Care = Do one thing for YOU everyday!  I’m a big fan of encouraging self-care practices. I often find we are so busy doing things for others we forget to take care of ourselves.  Self-care habits are simple and easy ways to nurture your soul as a means to cultivate inner happiness.  This doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly, just something that’s for you.  Some great examples are: Enjoying your favourite cup of tea, taking a bath at the end of the day, reading a few chapters of a book, stretching, meditating, drawing, colouring, painting or, journaling, etc.  Whatever it may be, this time is for you and should be something you look forward to each day.  Remember, you deserve it!

Spend time outside in the sun!  This is as simple as it sounds: Leave all devices at home and get outside in the sun and fresh air!  Spending time outside is a great way to reduce stress and blood pressure. Additionally, while the sun provides us with much needed vitamin D, it also helps maintain mood, bone health and a strong immune system.  Canadian summers are short so, get out there, soak up the rays and enjoy the heat!

Make Health changes simple– when it comes to diet and exercise it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the endless diets and programs out there.  So, let’s make it simple:  Do ONE thing at a time!  Why?  Well, when we fully remove the demand and pressure placed upon ourselves to do everything all at once can we truly relax, focus on the task at hand, and break events/stresses down into small manageable steps.

We all know ourselves best and where we’d like to improve so, when making goals, think small and then think even smaller!  For example: For some people, a goal of drinking 2 liters of water a day is a challenge.  But if the goal is to drink a big glass of water each morning, that already seems more manageable and a goal more likely to be achieved!  Setting goals is about making small changes into habits.  Once a healthy habit has been formed we add-on to it, therefore working our way towards a healthier lifestyle with ease.

Celebrate your efforts and micro-changes!  Rather than focusing on the things you haven’t accomplished, be proud of the efforts and changes you have made each day and each time you action them.  This positive feedback naturally encourages and motivates ourselves to continue to set goals and meet them.  It’s important to remember: The point of anything we do is to improve our quality of life!

So, let’s keep the message small, refreshing and, simple: Take care of yourself, get outside, breathe and start one micro-change at a time. Micro-changes lead to Macro-results. You’ve got this!

Looking for ways to fight Colds and Flu symptoms in the Fall? The 5 essentials everyone should have in their natural medicine cabinet!

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

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Looking for ways to fight Colds and Flu symptoms in the Fall?

Here are 5 essentials everyone should have in their natural medicine cabinet!

Here are!

It’s that time of year where the leaves are changing colour, nights are getting colder and parents and kids are back to school… and we all know what that means: colds and flu season!!

Keep you and your family’s immune system boosted and effectively fight those pesky infections with these 5 must haves in the house:

  1. Vitamin C– start taking these antioxidants as soon as September hits! A daily dose of 1000mg for adults and 500mg for kids can go a long way in helping to prevent illness and keep your immune system strong.
  1. Vitamin D3– as many of my patients know, the importance of vitamin D3 is extensive and we stop making it as soon as the cool weather hits. Keeping your levels up is essential for immune health, bone strength and mood during the long winter months. Daily low dose of 2000IU for adults and 1000IU for kids keeps everyone feeling their best!

ND Tip: I highly recommend the liquid forms of vitamin D3: 1 drop is 1000IU and it’s tasteless which makes for easy and convenient dosing for both you and your kids!

  1. Probiotics– did you know majority of our immune cells are found in our gut? This is why it is so important to keep our digestive tracks happy and regularly replenish the healthy bacteria probiotics provide. 1 probiotic capsule daily for both adults and kids is enough to keep your gut and immune system strong!
  1. Deep Immune by St Francis – this herbal combination is my go to for many teachers, parents and kids who typically come down with a cold as soon as school starts! Not only does it keep your immune system boosted to prevent opportunistic bacteria but it also helps with our stress response. It comes in a children and adult formula and can be started the last week of summer.

Note: this formula is NOT to be used during colds and flus, it is an immune boosting formula and only for prevention.

  1. Echinacea– this is the best choice DURING colds and flus and is safe and effective for the whole family and even during pregnancy! At the first sign of a sore throat, sinus congestion or cough start fighting it off before it gets worse. There are a number of Echinacea products that come in different forms and doses. Echinaseal by St Francis has herbal liquid formulas for both adults and kids while Mediherb Echinacea is a tablet form for adults.

Finding the right natural treatment for you and your kids based on individual specific needs is what naturopathic doctors do best! If you find you suffer from chronic infections (eg. sinusitis, strep throat or bronchitis) and are constantly taking antibiotics, ask me about the safe, effective and natural solutions that can work for you. In the meantime, keep these 5 essential items handy and part of your regular immune boosting routine to help prevent and fight off Fall infections.

5-cold-and-flu-essentials

Pain-Proof Your Commute – 6 Practical Tips to Reduce Driving Stress

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

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Being on Centre Street allows me to see the morning rush up the hill, as commuters leave town for work. Mount Albert (and surrounding areas) is most certainly a commuter town, and lamented by our clients the average commute for us East Gwillers tend to range anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half, one-way. Stats Canada reveals that the average one-way commute time for Torontonians is 30-45 minutes, so we are clocking in more time in our cars. That can have a damaging effect on the spine, as being immobilized puts a lot of pressure in through the muscles and back and on the spine.

Did you know that truck drivers have the highest case of low back disc herniations? Disc herniation is a type of spinal problem that can lead to pain that starts in the back and can radiate down the legs, sometimes all the way to the feet.  I see these types of aches all the time in my practice: People who commute a lot come in with shoulder ache and tension, back pain, numbness and/or tingling into their legs or arms, and headaches. Recently I was on a local television show talking about how to prevent these driving-related pains. Here are my top tips:

Tilt your mirror up. Moving your mirror slightly upwards forces you to look up and sit straighter. Imagine a straight line going down your ear, shoulder and hips – that’s good seated posture!

Raise your seat up. If it is too far back, you are holding your body up as opposed to using the backrest to support you. Raise it to a point where you can roll your back into it so your shoulder blades are actually touching your seat. Not only is this a better position for your posture, it’s safer: if you get into an accident there’s less chance for your head to snap back, causing whip lash.

Adjust your hands on the steering wheel. Most people have their hands locked in an 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock position. Better bet: move your hands down to 10 and 2 o’clock with elbows pointing downwards. In this position, you’re not holding your shoulders up and fatiguing all the muscles in the shoulders and upper back.

Pack a pool noodle. Summer may be over but you can still use those pool noodles year round in your car, here’s how: cut one in half and place it across the small of your back just above your belt line to create a lumbar support. This will create a small arch on your back, taking the pressure off the discs while also engaging different muscles. However don’t leave the noodle there for too long because the body is not used to being in that position; Every 15 minutes, put it in for 2 minutes max.

 No noodle? Use a tennis ball. If you have a have burning ache in the shoulders or low back, place the ball on the sore spot and gentle roll back and forth across the muscles. This will loosen up the muscle and increase circulation there. It’s not a cure but will help alleviate some of the stress.

Sniff your armpits at red lights. It sounds silly but there’s nothing funny about it. Move your nose towards your underarm and hold it there for at least 10 seconds each armpit. This stretches out the muscles, which anchor your head to your shoulders.

Give these easy tips a go next time you’re behind the wheel. But how do you know if your aches and pains are attributed to your commute? Well, if you find that you have to turn your whole body to check your blind spot, it’s probably time to see your chiropractor.

 

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Looking for ways to fight Colds and Flu symptoms in the Fall? The 5 essentials everyone should have in their natural medicine cabinet!

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

5-cold-and-flu-essentials-drchad-blog-website-banner-template-banner-600x250

Looking for ways to fight Colds and Flu symptoms in the Fall?

Here are 5 essentials everyone should have in their natural medicine cabinet!

Here are!

It’s that time of year where the leaves are changing colour, nights are getting colder and parents and kids are back to school… and we all know what that means: colds and flu season!!

Keep you and your family’s immune system boosted and effectively fight those pesky infections with these 5 must haves in the house:

  1. Vitamin C– start taking these antioxidants as soon as September hits! A daily dose of 1000mg for adults and 500mg for kids can go a long way in helping to prevent illness and keep your immune system strong.
  1. Vitamin D3– as many of my patients know, the importance of vitamin D3 is extensive and we stop making it as soon as the cool weather hits. Keeping your levels up is essential for immune health, bone strength and mood during the long winter months. Daily low dose of 2000IU for adults and 1000IU for kids keeps everyone feeling their best!

ND Tip: I highly recommend the liquid forms of vitamin D3: 1 drop is 1000IU and it’s tasteless which makes for easy and convenient dosing for both you and your kids!

  1. Probiotics– did you know majority of our immune cells are found in our gut? This is why it is so important to keep our digestive tracks happy and regularly replenish the healthy bacteria probiotics provide. 1 probiotic capsule daily for both adults and kids is enough to keep your gut and immune system strong!
  1. Deep Immune by St Francis – this herbal combination is my go to for many teachers, parents and kids who typically come down with a cold as soon as school starts! Not only does it keep your immune system boosted to prevent opportunistic bacteria but it also helps with our stress response. It comes in a children and adult formula and can be started the last week of summer.

Note: this formula is NOT to be used during colds and flus, it is an immune boosting formula and only for prevention.

  1. Echinacea– this is the best choice DURING colds and flus and is safe and effective for the whole family and even during pregnancy! At the first sign of a sore throat, sinus congestion or cough start fighting it off before it gets worse. There are a number of Echinacea products that come in different forms and doses. Echinaseal by St Francis has herbal liquid formulas for both adults and kids while Mediherb Echinacea is a tablet form for adults.

Finding the right natural treatment for you and your kids based on individual specific needs is what naturopathic doctors do best! If you find you suffer from chronic infections (eg. sinusitis, strep throat or bronchitis) and are constantly taking antibiotics, ask me about the safe, effective and natural solutions that can work for you. In the meantime, keep these 5 essential items handy and part of your regular immune boosting routine to help prevent and fight off Fall infections.

5-cold-and-flu-essentials

Essentials of Running; A Naturopathic Approach

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

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I’m very exciting to be participating in the Mount Albert Sports Day 5Km Run this year and in anticipation I wanted to share some valuable information on the important components involved in long distance running.  When you break it down it’s simple: how we treat and feed our bodies is what determines how well it will perform and recover after exercise.

Stretch

During activity our muscles are constantly contracting and shortening in order to perform the movements we desire.  Without regular stretching, these muscles continue to shorten and tighten which often leads to pain, restricted movement and hinders posture.  Taking the time to stretch before and after activity can help prevent injury, improve flexibility and benefit our muscles and joints.

Hydration & Electrolytes

As we all know, proper hydration is essential in the maintenance of good health.  For a long distance runner, a minimum of 2L of pure filtered water is necessary every day.  A trick is to drink water throughout the day.

Long distance runners lose considerable minerals and important electrolytes through sweat while running making it important to replenish them. Deficiency of minerals can lead to muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness and joint issues.

ND Tip: Replenish your electrolytes DURING your run… Try my awesome Homemade Powerade recipe below!

Nutrition

  • Never run on an empty stomach!
  • Eat breakfast first thing in the morning or a minimum 1 hour before a run.
  • Focus on eating complex carbohydrates and proteins in order to provide the instant fuel your body needs before a run.
  • Within 2 hour window of exercise eat a high protein meal.
  • Choose live whole foods to get the most vitamins and nutrients out of your diet. Eg. raw or lightly steamed dark leafy greens at every meal gets you the most essential vitamins and minerals.

Complex Carbohydrates:

  • sweet potato & yams
  • brown and wild rice
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • beans
  • zucchini
  • lentils
  • whole grains

Fiber

Daily recommended amount:

  • 25g for women
  • 40g for men
  • Choosing complex carbohydrates and increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet will ensure you get adequate fiber. Supplementation may also be beneficial.

High Sources of Protein:

  • Chicken & turkey breast
  • fish (salmon, tuna, halibut)
  • lean beef, pork, veal
  • tofu, soybeans
  • eggs
  • dairy (Greek yogurt)
  • nuts and seeds

Proper Footwear

Picking the right shoes that work with your body movement and posture ensures you are properly supporting your knees, spine and neck during a run.  If you’re having pain in these areas, it may be time to look into new shoes.

ND Tip: have your gait and feet measured at a professional shoe store to find the right pair of shoes for you!

Recovery

Recovery is more than just stretching, it is about nourishing and healing your body after strenuous exercise in order to limit pain and avoid chronic injury.  Hydrotherapy, the therapeutic use of water, is a very effective way the help reduce inflammation and pain in the body, relax muscles and bring nutrients via blood to necessary areas.

ND Tip: Try an Epsom Salt Soak- 20-30 minute soak in a hot bath with 1 heaping cup of Epsom salts after your run.  Boost the relaxation effect by adding calming essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to your bath.

Electrolyte Drink- Your homemade Powerade

In 500ml water add:

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Toss in some ice cubes to keep it cold

It is essential to drink this during or after your run as you lose electrolytes!

Oh Baby! Chiropractic Benefits Babies

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

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Is there something in our town’s water? Because there seems to be a baby boom happening! In addition to my wife being pregnant with our first child, I am seeing pregnant bellies everywhere and a spike in mothers bringing in their newborns and babies into the clinic for holistic care for a gamut of baby-specific issues.

Surprised? Many people are when they find out that chiropractic can benefit babies as young as a few hours old. More typically in my practice, parents bring in babies who are a few weeks or months old. Recently Rebekah brought her 4-week old son to see me for reflux relief. Rebekah says, “After the first couple treatments we noticed a big difference in him. He wasn’t spitting up as much, sleeping better and overall happier. We would bring any of our children back in a heartbeat for the results and a happy baby!”

It’s very common to treat both mom and baby in one visit, since the mother (especially new moms during the very exhausting “fourth trimester”) often suffers from shoulder and hip pain from carrying the baby, breastfeeding, and sleeping in awkward positions. That was the case with Linda, a first time mother, who brought along her 10-month old son to her own appointment. According to her, “Jensen’s first chiropractic visit was great. He took a 3-hour nap and slept 7-hours straight that day. He is usually a terrible sleeper and napper.”

Now you’re probably wondering if chiropractors apply the same pressure as used on adults. The answer is no. Babies’ spines are obviously more delicate, so treatments (adjustments) are modified for babies and are much gentler. It’s important to note that the main purpose of chiropractic care is not the treatment of conditions or diseases, but rather, a restoration of normal spinal function that reduces stress on the body and enhances overall body function.

So why consider chiropractic care for your baby? The birthing process can cause trauma and strain that can go undetected which can lead to restrictions in the newborn’s spine and can be exacerbated while young babies are learning to navigate their new environment, from sleeping in a crib to holding the head up and being passed around. Babies will fall, tumble, and sit in prolonged postures in car seats and carriers. Although chiropractors are primarily trained to locate and treat misalignment in the spine, many chiropractors and parents have long noticed improvements in some of these common infant conditions.

Colic

According to the Mayo clinic, colic is a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of significant distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Babies with colic often cry more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer. Nothing you do to try to help your baby during these episodes seems to bring any relief. One chiropractic theory on the cause of colic is a strain in the neck vertebrae associated with the birthing process, particularly from the use of vacuum and forcep deliveries. When assessing a colicky baby, the vertebrae in the neck is the first place I check.

Constipation

As a general guideline, babies 0 to 4 months of age poop on average of three to four times a day, and after the introduction of solid foods, that reduces to approximately one bowel movement per day. Many times parents will comment that shortly after receiving a chiropractic adjustment, the child will have a bowel movement. Much to the delight of some parents, babies have pooped in their diapers on my table! I don’t mind at all.

Ear infections

One of the most common reasons why parents bring their children to see me is for ear infections, which are very common for children before age two. These infections are caused by fluid buildup behind the eardrum, leading to ear pain and fever. One way chiropractic care could help is by relaxing the muscles and tissues around the ear to allow them to drain naturally.

The next time you feel frazzled by a fussy baby, consider seeing your local family chiropractor.