chiropractor

Fall prevention

Fall Stats

  • 1 in 3 seniors will experience a fall each year and half of those people will fall more than once.

  • Falls are the cause of 85% of seniors injury-related hospitalizations

  • Falls are the cause of 95% of all hip fractures

  • 50% of falls happen at home

Why are people falling?

The majority of falls are experienced by seniors. 

Two factors will increase the risk of falling

1. Environmental factors or the unsafe conditions around the person

2. Physical factors - poor/decreased balance, decreased muscle/bone strength and reduced vision/hearing 

What can be done to reduce the risk?

1. Around the home:

  • Install non slip surfaces

  • Install grab bars or rails in the rest room, at the entrances and on the stairs

  • Wipe up any spills immediately

  • Declutter the house

  • Make sure cords are not in walking paths

  • Get rid of rugs or mats

  • If you are using a step stool, find one with a safety rail

  • Store heavy items in a lower shelf or drawer

  • ** Slow down!** rushing a is a  major cause of falling

  • Use the handrail on the stairs and don’t have a full arm load when travelling on the stairs

2. Physically:

- Avoid situations that may make you feel dizzy - like skipping meals or doing activity after taking medications that are known to cause dizziness or drowsiness

- Wear your glasses or hearing aids

- Use an assistive device (cane, walker etc)

- Keep fit - cardiovascular exercise - walking at least 30 minutes a day

                  - strength and resistance training to help build bone and muscle mass

Balance is comprised of 3 major systems that communicate information to the cerebellum, located at the back of the brain

  • The vestibular system in the ear and the visual system tell the cerebellum where the head is in relation to the horizon.

  • In the rest of the body, proprioceptive cells that are found in muscles and joints communicate information about joint angles, muscle length and muscle tension.

If any of those systems are not working correctly or have not properly healed after injury than a person may be at greater risk for a fall. Concentrating on exercises that focus on making those three systems work together can improve reaction time and decrease the chance of a slip

 Is there any way to see if my Balance systems are all working together? 

There are a number of physical tests and neurological tests that a chiropractor will perform to assess your risk for a fall. Based on your test findings, you would then be prescribed a specific list of exercises to help improve the areas where you are deficient. New research from neuroscientist Dr. Heidi Haavik found cerebellar changes with movement related tasks after 12 weeks of regular chiropractic adjustments. 

 What about fall risk in Winter?

  • Keeping walkways clean and free of ice

  • Keep steps and rails in good repair and well lit

  • Wear slip resistant shoes

  • WEAR GLOVES!  hand should be out of pockets ready to help you brace against a fall -

- If you do feel unsteady WALK LIKE A PENGUIN

  •          Keep centre of gravity over your feet

  •          Take shorter/shuffling steps

  •          Keep your arms at your sides and wear your gloves

  •          Go Slowly and concentrate 

For a complete list of strategies to help minimize the risk of falls please follow this link to the fall prevention handout from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

What's more important:

Weight loss or muscle gain?

Muscle mass is directly correlated with longevity and excellent health. Rather than trying to “lose weight”, people are better striving to improve body composition.  This means losing fat and building or maintaining muscle. The lean (non-fat) components of the body are denser than body fat. Therefore, the number on the scale isn’t always to best outcome measure, especially when it comes to health. A better predictor of health is body composition. A method to track your body composition at home (other than looking in the mirror) is measuring your waist-to-hip ratio (waist measurement divided by your hip measurement). As this ratio decreases, your abdominal (visceral) fat decreases, and so does your risk of all cause mortality.  So, it is actually possible for the scale weight to increase and your waist to hip ratio to decrease – and at the end of the day you will be healthier. 

Dr. Gabrielle Lyon calls muscle the organ of longevity.  “The stronger and healthier your muscle is, the more carbohydrates and fat your body burns”.  Healthy muscle mass improves metabolism and decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Muscle mass is also a reliable protein reserve that is protective for people after prolonged illness (i.e. cancer)

There are numerous methods to lose fat – some more healthy than others.  There are only two basic ways to increase and maintain muscle mass: resistance exercise, and consuming protein. 

Resistance exercise is lifting heavy things a few times a week.  You could try body weight exercises like squats, push-ups and pull ups. I like a single set to failure using the rest – pause technique for bodyweight exercises.  You could lift weights in the gym or rocks in your yard. Compound movements are typically safest and the most effective for your effort.  My favorites are deadlifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press and a bent over row.  For these I prefer hierarchical sets i.e. 3 sets of 15, 8, and 4 reps – increasing the weight with each set.   

Protein is an essential macronutrient, necessary for all the cells of the body. It is needed for the structure, function, and regulation of all tissues and organs - especially for building and repairing muscle. Once consumed protein is broken down to amino acids.  Humans must obtain some essential amino acids from protein in their diet. Proteins also have a key role in immune function, building enzymes for metabolism and DNA repair, and building hormones and neurotransmitters.  High protein diets (45% of total calorie intake) have been shown to decreases blood pressure and increase HDL cholesterol. 

There is no conclusive evidence that a high protein diet can cause chronic kidney disease. Protein may be used as fuel in the absence of carbs and fat, however, excess protein is not stored as body fat and is excreted as urea via the kidneys. 

Protein should be prioritized.  It is nutrient dense and very satiating. Consuming a minimum 30 grams of protein per meal is needed to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It is actually more important for sedentary people as they are not stimulating muscle growth with exercise and older individuals because muscle mass gets harder to maintain as we age.  Generally speaking, 30 grams of protein at each meal (3 meals a day) should be a minimum target. That’s 90 grams of protein per day. Up to 1 gram of protein per pound of desired body weight may be recommended for active people who want to maximize muscle mass.  

This is what 30 g of protein looks like:

•      7 thick slices of bacon

•      5 large eggs

•      4 ounces of ground beef

•      6 ounces of tempeh

•      1 scoop of whey protein

•      3/4 block of tofu

•       4 ounces chicken breast

 

References: 

1.    Srikanthan, Preethi et al. Muscle Mass Index As a Predictor of Longevity in Older Adults The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 127, Issue 6, 547 – 553.

2.    Srikanthan P, Seeman TE, Karlamangla AS. Waist-hip-ratio as a predictor of all-cause mortality in high-functioning older adults. Ann Epidemiol. 2009;19:724-731.

3.    https://drgabriellelyon.com

4.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waist–hip_ratio

5.    https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/measuring-your-macros-what-30-grams-protein-looks-like.html

New Year's Resolution Reset

Health Goals

Dr. Jen was featured on CBC’s Mainstreet with Wendy Bergfeldt a couple weeks ago and they spoke about keeping New Year’s Resolutions.

Where are you with your resolution? If it’s time for a tune up, have a listen to this segment.

Womens' Wellness Expo

Live a healthier life!
Learn about what types of support exists in our community. 
This is an event mothers can attend with their daughters or grandchildren, sisters can attend with each other and entire families are welcome. 

Saturday, April 7th
Trade Show 9:30-3:00pm
Speaker "Woman's pelvic floor health" with Alana Coady Physiotherapist 10:00 - 10:30am
Cooking Demo #1 with Thyme Savour Take Away 10:30 - 11:00am
Yoga with Kim Lewis 11:00 - 11:45am
Cooking Demo #2 with Ann Marion Willis dietician from Superstore 11:45 - 12:15 pm
Speaker "Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy" 12:15 - 1:00pm
Meditation with Maritime Meditation 1:00 - 1:45 pm
Speaker "Foot issues" with Dr. Amy Welsh - podiatrist 2:00 - 2:30pm
Prize Draw 2:30

Confirmed trade-show attendees include:

  • Ashlee White TCM acupuncture,
  • Enso Float wellness,
  • Dr. Amy Welsh podiatrist,
  • Cabot physiotherapy,
  • Feit physiotherapy,
  • Thyme Savour take away food shop,
  • Ann Marion Willis dietician from Superstore,
  • Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness,
  • Deborah Monaghan RRT & Ayurvedic Reflexologist,
  • Maritime Meditation,
  • Kim Lewis, Yoga instructor
  • Thyme for Ewe Farm
  • CBRM recreation department,
  • CB YMCA,
  • Cape Breastoners dragon boat team
  • Baby Box Canada
  • Cape Breton Family Resource Centre

Volunteers from Our Lady of Fatima Parish will be offering soup and biscuits.  The first 25 people in attendance will receive a complimentary 8x10 portrait from Creative Isle Graphic Design and Photo.  There will also be a prize draw at 2:30 pm that participants do not need to be present for.  Admission is by donation.

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SMT

Chiropractic Adjustments and Neck Pain

A recent study released in 2017 had some very interesting results.  Inami et al looked at the brain and the neck (via PET scans) before and after a cervical (neck) adjustment. While, unfortunately it was a small sample size (21 males) the results do show there is definitely an influence on the brain in regards to outcomes after an adjustment. 

Significant findings of this study include:

  • Decrease in Muscle Tension in the neck 
  • Increase of neck range of motion
  • Changes in the Cerebellum - where affective processing (sensory), pain modulation and sensorimotor processing occurs - possibly explaining a decrease of pain sensation
  • Changes to the prefrontal cortex - possibly explaining an increase in relaxation

Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy: A [18F]FDG PET Study.  Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. 2017. 4345703. Akie Inami, 1 Takeshi Ogura, 1 , 2 Shoichi Watanuki, 1 Md. Mehedi Masud, 1 , 3 Katsuhiko Shibuya, 4 Masayasu Miyake, 1 Rin Matsuda, 1 Kotaro Hiraoka, 1 Masatoshi Itoh, 4 Arlan W. Fuhr, 5 Kazuhiko Yanai, 1 , 6 and  Manabu Tashiro 1 , 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5267084/

Mindful Breathing and Meditation

Mindfullness and Meditation

This is a how to post.  The brief why to is that these simple mindful breathing techniques can reduce pain, anxiety and depression, improve posture, improve cognitive function, increase gray matter in your brain.  This stuff sounds pretty good to me. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Practice laying on back or seated with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.  Inhale deeply through your nose*.  As you inhale the belly expands and chest does not move.  Exhale through pursed lips, squeezing you core, bringing your belly button towards your spine.

Tactical Breathing

This is a great way to stay cool in a stressful situation.  Using diaphragmatic breathing inhale for 4 count; Exhale for 6 count; as soon as exhale is complete begin inhale.

Box Breathing

This is a great way to learn to control your breath.  This is best practiced in a calm environment and allows you to more easily drop into tactical breathing in stressful situations.  Using diaphragmatic breathing inhale for 4 count; hold breath for 4 count; exhale for 6 count; hold breath for 4 count; and repeat.

Vipassana Meditation

Mindful breathing is focusing on your breathing in order to be present and interrupt the flow of random thoughts in the brain. Observe the breath. Notice if the breath is long or short.  When your mind wanders, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.  As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc.  Simply notice this, and then return to the sensation of breathing.  The point is not to be good at it.  The point is to do it.  Through observing the breath, mind, and body, you can gain insight into the true nature of the reality and impermanence.  Like box breathing, this sets us up to be able to interrupt negative thought patterns throughout our day.  Start with 5 minutes in the morning upon waking or in the evening before bed.

Mindfulness

Single task, focus on what you are doing presently.  When you eat, just eat.  Don’t read or watch TV.  Pay attention and take your time.  When you exercise focus on your breathing and your body.  Daily routines like washing the dishes, taking a shower, and mowing the lawn can become calming.

*Breathing in through your nose calms your brain and activates your parasympathetic nervous system aka "rest-and-digest" pathway.

 

Lobster Coconut Noodle Soup

Lobster Coconut Noodle Soup

With Lobster season in full swing, here's a good way to use up your leftover lobsters (if there are any!).  It's a nice, quick and healthy option for those who always feel a little guilty with the full cream in traditional lobster chowder. Give this recipe a try, it might just become your new go to for lobster the next day!

Cooking time - about 20 minutes if you lobsters are cooked and shelled in advance.

  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • lobster Shells
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400ml full fat coconut milk (1 can)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1+1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 stalks lemon grass chopped (use the lower 1/3)
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 5 quarterted mushrooms
  • 1 small handful of rice noodles - I used thick ones, but vermicelli type noodles would probably work well too
  • cooked lobster meat - I used 4 tails and 8 claws, in bite sized pieces 
  • cilantro 
  1. Bring the stock, garlic and shells to a boil. Reduce heat to min. Remove the shells and garlic
  2. Add 1 can of coconut milk, fish sauce and thai red curry paste, whisk for 1 minute.
  3. Add carrots and lemongrass.
  4. While that is cooking, in a shallow pan, boil water for noodles.  Once water is boiling, add noodles and let them boil only for a very short time (like less than a minute). Dump hot water and let noodles sit in cold water. 
  5. Add lime and mushrooms.  Increase heat to medium (not quite boiling)
  6. Add lobster and noodles.
  7. Serve with cilantro garnish.

With no Thai restaurants in Sydney, I modified a Tom Kai Gai recipe just a little, the results were fantastic!  You can opt for no noodles in this dish. When I make this the next time, I think I will add some celery and maybe some bamboo shoots.

There is quite a bit of salt in the stock, so you probably won't need to add any into the soup.  We were serving this to our little office manager, so it was less spicy than we would normally serve. You can add a small dash of scriacha if you want to liven things up - but give this a go first, it is a very flavourful soup as is.

You can opt to go with "lite" coconut milk, but I find "lite" to be very watered down and less flavourful. Live a little, go with the full fat coconut milk....

It's kinda sad that we needed a nice hot soup on such a cold day in July.  Oh summer, I feel like you are just playing games with us.... will you ever really show your face?

JMM

Healthy Soup for Dinner!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Here's an easy and healthy option for dinner tonight!

  • 2 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (fresh if you have them)
  • 1 small onion
  • 6-10 roasted garlic cloves
  • Bone broth (homemade if you can...) - amount depends on how thick you like your soup
  • Coconut oil or olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Dried basil
  1. Slice the squash and remove the seeds and place onto a baking pan
  2. Dice the onion and place into the hollowed squash, leave the garlic wrapped and place onto the baking pan with the squash and onions
  3. Using olive oil or coconut oil - coat the squash with oil and mix a touch of oil in with the onion
  4. Bake the squash, onion and garlic at 350-400 for around an hour (squash will be soft to pierce with fork)
  5. Remove the skins of the squash
  6. In a pan warm the coconut oil and sauté the tomato for 20 minutes then let cool
  7. Let the vegetables cool so that you can work with them without burning yourself. Mix all the vegetables in a blender and blend until smooth.  You may have to add 1/4-1/2 cup of bone broth  into the blender to help liquify the vegetables.
  8. In a large pot add the vegetable mixture and bone broth.  We added about 2.5 cups of broth, which gave us a soup with a consistency thicker than broth but thinner than baby food. 
  9. Bring pot to a gentle bubble, adding salt, pepper and basil to taste
  10. Enjoy!

This soup had a nice blend of sweet and savoury!

** A pinch of dried chillies might compliment this soup nicely.  We did not add any chillies as our little office manager will be eating this soup for the rest of the week!

The soup is pictured with a small glass of fresh-squeezed non-pasturized  orange/pineapple/raspberry juice and two small pieces of fresh baked olive loaf (both from Superstore... I wish I was that kind of supermom!!)

Do not use another lemon scented candle or cleaning product until you read this!

 

 

Chemical Pollution inside the home

A recent study looked at the air quality of houses using products such as cleaning agents and candles with the lemon scent, limonene.  The levels of VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) found within 6 houses in the U.K were examined.  As expected, in houses where lemon scented products and candles were found, the limonene chemical levels were exponentially higher than other chemicals. 

The problem occurs when limonene hits the air and mixes with other VOCs.  For every two molecules of limonene released into the air, one molecule of formaldehyde is formed.  Gaseous Formaldehyde levels as low as 0.1 ppm (parts per million) can cause some individuals to experience burning eyes, nose or throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.  The international agency for research on cancer has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen.

Besides avoiding lemon scented candles and cleaning products in the home, you can get some plants that help clean the air of all VOCS.  

Some of the best plants to use in the home to clean the air include: spider ferns, lavender, guava, grub ferns, squirrel's foot ferns, Japenese royal ferns, snake plant, spider plant,  money plant/devil's ivy, big leaf hydrangea and sword fern. 

 

References:
Liu Y, My Y, Zhu Y, Ding H, Arens N. Which ornamental plant species effectively removes benzene from indoor air? Atmosphere Environment, Vol 41, Issue 3 2007. 
Papinchak H, Holcomb E, Best T, Decoteau D, Effectiveness of houseplants in reducing the indoor air pollutant ozone. HortTechnology 2009. 
Kruza M, Carslaw N, Lewis A. Investigating surface production reaction indoors using a detailed chemical model. Air pollution XXIII, 2015. WIT Press. 
http://www.cancer.gov
http://www.medicaldaily.com/chemicals-citrus-scented-candles-cleaning-products-cancer-risk-370736?rel=most_shared5

 

Should you supplement with fish oil?

Benefits of Omega 3 fatty acid

Do you have enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet?

The evolutionary human diet had 1:1 omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids ratio.  Today most modern diets have a 10:1 to 30:1 omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids ratio.  So what?  Both fatty acids are essential to our diet and help regulate your body’s metabolic and inflammatory state.  Omega 6 fatty acids are much more inflammatory than omega 3 fatty acids and if the ratio is altered, the body’s homeostatic state is altered. 

Our ancestors ate real food like game meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.  They ate a variety of seasonal foods and had healthy habits around food.   Today we eat more processed foods, such as, grains, sugars, and unhealthy fats/oils.  Even the animals we raise are no longer fed their evolutionary diet.  Cows are meant to graze on grass but are fed grains, which increase their omega 6 fatty acids.  We also eat too much.  We snack all day and use food as a coping mechanism for psychological stress.

How you can get enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet?

There are marine sources of omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  α-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant oils, most commonly flax oil.  While ALA is great the more benefical source is EPA/DHA.

The best source of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) is oily fish like anchovies, sardines, herring mackerel, and wild caught salmon.  We need about 2-3 servings a week.  Avoiding processed foods in our diet will decrease our omega 6 fatty acids.  If you do not eat this much fish you should consider a quality fish oil supplement. 

Effects of fish oil on your health and longevity

Acute stress and inflammation is an important function of the immune system and the healing process.  However, chronic inflammation caused by poor diet, physical inactivity, psychological stress, and genetic function contributes to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and more.  Omega 3 fatty acids have a role in combating these chronic diseases.

Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for proper functioning of the cell membranes of all the cells in your body.  The health of your cells determines the health of your brain and body.  Thus, omega 3 fatty acids play a role in all functions of your body including growth and development, brain and nerve function, digestion, immune function, hormone regulation, skin and bone health, regulation of inflammation and healing, blood triglyceride levels, cardiovascular function, vision, and emotions and behavior.

Canadians do not consume enough omega 3 fatty acids in their diet and supplementing may help prevent and treat disease.  It can be a simple step toward living your life!   

 

 

 

You've lost that sunshine feeling.....

Importance of Vitamin D

With fall in full swing, and winter just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about vitamin D supplements.  Usually we get our vitamin D from the sun (hence the name "the sunshine vitamin"), but as days get shorter we get less vitamin D (actually it has been found that Canadians in general do not get enough vitamin D).  

The new daily supplement guidelines published in July by the Canadian Medical Association Journal include supplements of 400 to 1000 IU for adults under the age of 50 without osteoporosis or conditions affecting vitamin D absorption.  For adults over 50 supplementation between 800 and 2000 IU is recommended.  

So why is Vitamin D important? Vitamin D plays many roles in the body some of them include:

  • Maintaining health bones and teeth
  • Supporting the immune system, brain and nervous system
  • Regulating insulin levels and assistance with diabetes management
  • Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health
  • Influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development

When it comes to choosing supplements, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for evidence about how well the product works in scientific studies from credible publications. Search for such studies in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. You can also call the manufacturer and ask what published studies they have to back up their claims. It’s also a good idea to find out how they ensure the ingredients listed on the supplement label are actually in the bottle.
  • If a product claims it will “cure” a disease, is “all-natural,” or has a “money-back guarantee,” be on guard. Any supplement that sounds too good to be true likely is.
  • Choose brands labeled with the NSF International, US Pharmacopeia, or Consumer Lab seal. These verify that the product actually contains the ingredients that the label says it does, and that the product doesn’t have any potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Be wary of supplements made outside the United States or Canada. Many aren’t regulated, and some may have toxic ingredients.

We will be carrying the Ascenta professional line in our clinic. A product that we have been taking for years.  We strongly believe in vitamin D supplementation, so much that we started giving it to our son when he was days old and even give it to our dog Winston!  Come check out Ascenta the next time you are in the clinic!

Disclaimer
None of the information provided on this website should be substituted for medical evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment from a licensed healthcare practitioner. This blog is simply an extension of ourselves where we may express educated, opinions, values, thoughts and concerns.