Articles & Resources

Baby is not walking yet!

Baby not walking yet? Not to worry, there is a broad spectrum of the developmental period that they could fall into! The first information you need to know is how your baby learns to walk. Newborns don’t have nearly enough strength to support their growing body, they use reflexive techniques (such as stretching out like a scarecrow!) against hard surfaces. But this is a development phase and they will only do it for a couple of months. As your baby grows, they reach an age (typically around the six month period) where they LOVE to bounce. Bouncing stimulates the muscles that are continuing to develop while s/he is mastering other skills like rolling over, sitting up and crawling. At the age of 9 months (approx.) your baby will probably start skills that play with your heart strings like pulling himself up on anything and everything he can, this will likely end in a few crashes, lots of tears and even more ‘get better’ kisses. Next, comes bending their knees and learning to sit after standing (tougher than you would think!). Around 12 months of age is when furniture “surfing” begins, walking along anything that can assist with stability (it’s a plus if it tastes good too, mmmm couch!) maybe even a few unassisted...

Back to school – How much should I pack my backpack

BACKPACK 101 It’s your favourite time of year; back to school season! The kids have got all their new pens, pencils, notebooks and art supplies in their new backpack and soon it’ll be filled with new course. Did you know that the average 6th grader’s backpack weighs 18 ½ pounds?! Anyone, young or old, should not regularly carry a backpack that is more than 10%-20% their body weight. Do the math and you might see that your kids are carrying a really heavy load. It is important to be aware of how much they’re carrying and how they’re wearing their backpacks.  Chiropractor Calgary, suggest that improper backpack weight and carry can lead to number of concerns, including postural issues, muscle strain, back & neck pain, headaches Here are a few great tips for finding the right backpack: – Make sure weight is evenly distributed when loading stuff in there – ALWAYS use both shoulder straps – Shoulder straps should fit snugly; you should still be able to slip a hand between the back – Top of the backpack shouldn’t be above the shoulder line – Bottom of the backpack shouldn’t hang below the hips If you’re just super keen and you simply must carry a heavy course load regularly, buy a backpack that has hip supports. By using a hip strap you can lessen the amount of weight strain on your back & shoulders by 50%-70. For those who carry purses, handbags and shoulder bags to work or the office we also suggest you limit the amount of weight you’re carrying. Only carry essentials because carrying a weighty bag on...

Walk Into a Better You

Walk Into a Better You The average adult is sedentary for 69% of their waking day. Being sedentary and inactive is the second leading preventable cause of death in North America. Knowing these facts, don’t you want to do something to take control of your life? It can really be as simple as walking. We all know that exercise is the key to many of the benefits of good health, but sometimes the task of joining a gym or finding the motivation to get into high intensity training is all too daunting. We see our neighbours out there running and we know we should be too but it seems too hard! Here’s the simple answer: just walk. If you start walking every day you will be able to start reaping some of the exercise benefits. We’ve outlined here some of the big changes you’ll experience.   Walking is excellent for the brain. Studies have shown that walking increases the area of brain activity which can positively affect memory, attention and decision-making skills. Walking is an excellent mood booster and it gives us time to think. People who walk regularly reported 47% reduction in depression symptoms; they felt they had gained more control over their lives. There’s also an added bonus to walking in wooded areas and natural pathways. Walking out amongst nature has been clinically proven to reduce stress, it also alleviates symptoms of ADD and has even been shown to increase the levels of anti-cancer protein cells! Walking just 1km a day can lower your chance of Alzheimer’s by 35%. Get those feet moving for your brain’s sake!...

2015 Resolutions

2015 Resolutions: Tips On Sticking To Your Guns It’s that time of year again… and no, not the cookie-baking-present-wrapping,-family-get-together time of year. We mean the result of all that pastry indulgence, turkey basting, and routine slipping – resolutions time. We all look to the 2015 year with good intentions and optimism for our New Year’s Resolutions, but how often do we actually stick to them? Less often than you’d like? That’s what we thought. So to help you (and us!) be better prepared for the temptation of resolution abandonment, the Chiropractic Health Tips Team has put together a formula with will help you to stay happy, healthy and committed in the new year. 1. FIND SOMEONE TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE The reason so many of our New Year’s Resolutions get abandoned in the early stages is that we aren’t putting them down on paper, and we aren’t sharing them with anyone –we’re just not accountable! Share your resolutions with a couple trusted companions who aren’t afraid to be honest with you, and call you out when you’re slacking! Be careful to not tell too many people though – doing so can risk impacting the pleasure centers in your brain, making you feel like you’ve already accomplished your goals! And that wouldn’t be very motivating – now would it? 2. S.M.A.R.T. GOALS Creating S.M.A.R.T goals is the secret to the success of any goal, but often we don’t take the time to establish them. There’s no point in saying you want to lose 10 pounds, or spend more time with your family, if you don’t establish goals that are: specific, measurable,...

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues There’s a lot that can challenge us during the winter. We go to – and leave – work in the dark. We have to deal with ice on our windshields. Putting twenty layers just to go outside is annoying. So how can you stay inspired and motivated throughout the cold, dark months? Here are 4 ways to beat the winter blues. 1. Find something to be inspired about, and make time to do it! When you’re inspired by something, you’re brimming with energy and life. Suddenly you don’t need an alarm clock to wake up, no matter how dark it is outside. When you’re inspired, you don’t need to be told what to do at work; you’re already thinking of ways to make your work even better. Or maybe you’re inspired when you’re learning something new. Whatever it happens to be, make the time to do it and you’ll beat the winter blues. 2. Don’t ignore your health. Fight to stay balanced. Winter makes it easy to ignore your health. You want to stay inside. Maybe you’ll have a little more to drink or eat. Maybe you find yourself tucking away to read a book, go online, play video games or watch movies. Maybe you order in more. These are all fine in moderation. But poor hydration, lack of exercise, and large amounts of insulin in the body (primarily from over-consumption of carbohydrates) will  leave you riding the motivation roller coaster – where the ups and downs can kill self-esteem, lead to depression, and create a whole new vicious cycle of negative thoughts and...

Kids & Sports – and the Importance of Stretching for Children

Is there anything that beats a child’s passion to learn a new sport? It’s a thrill! But sports have an impact on their growing bodies, and the importance of stretching for children shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s important to teach them how and why to care for their bodies while having fun. This allows them to develop good habits they can take into their active adult lives, be more flexible and avoid injuries. Warm Ups The first thing kids should be taught is that before any sort of physical activity, they need to prepare their body and mind. Body: Their little bodies need the chance to literally “warm up” their muscles before exercising. The best kind way to warm up is known as dynamic stretching – which are active movements of muscle that bring forth a stretch but are not held in the end position. This will increase their heart and respiratory rate, which will boost the amount of nutrients and oxygen being delivered to their muscles. This means the muscles are ready to work – which helps prevent injuries. Dynamic stretches are also very easy to turn into a game – either with a challenge, a slow race, etc. Just remember to put emphasis on the form they keep, and reel them in if they start to go too fast from excitement. Mind: We are always preparing ourselves for specific activities. Think about your routine before heading to work and how important certain aspects of it are in order for you to feel ready to face the day. Or think about how there is a specific routine you follow...

Patient Story: Lower Back Pain Almost Cost Me My Passion

I’ve been playing floor hockey in Calgary at least once a week for the last 6 years. I thought I knew a lot about taking care of my body for that level of activity, but I started experiencing severe lower back pain.  My ignorance almost cost me my passion… I considered myself an healthy 30-year-old. I was always very conscientious of what I ate and how much exercise I was getting, but after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 28, my routine took an even stronger turn towards balanced health. I worked with a nutritionist to tailor my diet to my new blood sugar requirements – and to make sure I was intaking enough calories to support my level of activity. I made sure I was getting enough sleep at night. I made some changes to my work schedule so that I could manage my time without stress. When I started to experience a dull, throbbing lower back pain, I didn’t think much of it. Maybe it was a tweaked muscle; I treated myself with hot/cold therapy. As the weeks went on, however, the pain got worse. The simple act of walking became a chore that had me gritting my teeth. I went to see my doctor, who prescribed me anti-inflammatory medication and a follow up in a week…except I didn’t want to take more pills. As I pulled back into my driveway and realized getting out of the car was going to hurt, I wondered if maybe, despite all of my best efforts, 30 was my breaking point. After all, the diabetes thing was...

Why Active Isolated Stretching is Good for Everyone

A Detailed Look at Active Isolated Stretching Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) trains your body and mind to accept a greater range of motion and flexibility in a safe and controlled manner. It’s often associated to athletes and active people, but AIS has been proven to help inactive people maintain healthy movement too. Unlike traditional stretching where you hold a stretch from anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds, AIS has you going into a stretch that is slightly deeper than what you might feel is comfortable – and holding it for 2 seconds only. This reprograms your body and mind to remember new ranges of motion, while improving your muscle flexibility and strength. Beyond this, AIS techniques are designed to support and work through the whole spectrum of muscles in a particular area – including those responsible for rotating, bending, extending and flexing – so that you don’t focus only on those that are most frequently used. How Active Isolated Stretching Works Your muscles have two basic actions: they can either contract or relax. When your body feels as though a particular movement is going to hurt it, a protective mechanism called the stretch (mytatic) reflex kicks in. This stretch reflex is normally triggered in the muscle at about 3 seconds. It makes sense that only relaxed muscle tissue can stretch to its maximum length, so by holding stretches for under 3 seconds, the muscle’s protective reflex to contract isn’t triggered and it has the chance to stretch to its full length. Repetition of the movement trains the body and mind to accept this new range of motion without signaling...

Winter Running in Calgary

There are two kinds of winter runners: the kind who is not intimidated by chilly conditions, and the kind whose attempts to go running are headed off by more important matters, like watching paint dry. Well, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re one or the other because these tips we’ve put together will benefit you regardless. Here’s how to make Winter Running in Calgary a little easier: Know that winter running in Calgary is about maintenance – not speed. Don’t set unreasonable expectations. If you’re dealing with a really cold day, break your usual 6 mile run into two short 3 mile runs so you can avoid getting cold. Really consider what’s on your feet. You want to really invest in a running shoe that has all-weather protection. We suggest a running shoe with a Gore-Tex membrane so that you can enjoy a waterproof yet breathable shoe that keeps your feet dry. You’ll also want something that has a rugged outsole that is equally efficient on the road and trail. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm. You may also want an over-the-ankle cut to bridge any gap between your pant leg and shoe. Think about layers and vents when you’re getting dressed for a cold weather run. The rule of thumb for winter running in Calgary is to dress as if it is 15 degrees warmer. You want be warm, but you don’t want to sweat too much as that may lead to getting the chills. Think layers of technical fabrics to wick sweat – with zippers at the neck and underarm area so...

Think Differently About 2014

THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT 2014 Did you make any resolutions for 2014? Many of us sit down at some point in January and draft up a list of things we’d like to accomplish for the year; things like “Work out,” and “Get out of debt,” and “Quit smoking.” We mean well, start strong, yet we eventually veer off course after these goals fade into the scenery of our day to day routines. I want to challenge you to think about 2014 differently. What if we give up the concept of “resolutions” entirely and instead decide on 10 simple things we can do daily that will have the biggest impact on our day to day? I’m not talking about BIG changes…I mean little changes that add up throughout the year and leave you feeling like you’ve had a successful, awesome 2014. Here is my list of 10 things I’ve committed to doing every day…and it’s been glorious. 1. Morning Coffee and 5 Minutes of Peace I live on a 41 ft sailboat with my husband, his teenage son and a 4 month old kitten; mornings are hectic and crowded. So I’ve set my alarm a half hour earlier, and have been getting up to enjoy a cup of coffee before anyone else wakes up. This has given me the time to sit with nothing but my thoughts for company, and I’ve been finding that it’s given me the chance to really visualize the goals I want to accomplish for the day. This, in turn, has really put my productivity in high gear. 2. Local First, Organic Whenever Possible, with Aloha Always...

Arthritis and Cold Weather

Most patients have admitted to believing that cold and/or damp days are the days when the stiffness and pain in their joints act up the most. So what are the cold, hard facts (pun intended) about arthritis and cold weather? What can you do to ease the discomfort you may feel? Does cold weather affect joint pain and arthritis? I wish there was an easy answer to this question, but the truth is that there is reasonable debate as to whether the cold winter months directly affect joint pain and arthritis. Some studies have supported the theory that the barometric pressure changes from weather affect the pressure within the joint capsule; it’s similar to the pressure you might feel in your ears when you fly or dive. Other studies support the theory that cold temperatures have a direct effect on the synovial fluid within the joint capsule – which would affect the inflammatory mediators the same way cold temperatures can affect the oil in your car. Still, other studies have found little to no link to cold weather and joint pains like arthritis. For the sake of this article, let’s just focus on the FACT whether there’s a viable link or not, you feel pain when it’s cold out. Things you can do to minimize joint pain and arthritis Eat these: Fruits, wild seafood, nuts and deeply-pigmented vegetables like spinach, kale and cabbage. This will help put more Omega-3 fatty acid into your diet, as well as some fiber and natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Herbs and foods such as turmeric, oregano, garlic, green tea, blueberries, and ginger contain bioflavonoids and...

Resolution to Health: 5 Easy Ways to Be Healthy

What if we told you that there are 5 things you could start doing today that would have a huge impact on your every day routines — for the better? These 5 easy ways to be healthy are SO easy, you don’t need to buy anything or do anything out of the ordinary. You just need to commit to doing it, and it’ll instantly you kick-start your health and KEEP you feeling amazing. Drink more water Sounds easy, but people underestimate the amount of good drinking more water can do for your body. Not only does it help your kidneys a heck of a lot, but it keeps your skin looking fresh, it helps maintain a healthy bowel function, and it help curbs hunger. It will also help improve your mood; in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, mildly dehydrated individuals experienced headaches, fatigue, worsened mood and difficulty concentrating. Eat breakfast Kick-start your metabolism for the day by eating a balanced breakfast that includes high-fiber grains, fruit and protein as soon as you get up. This gives your body the boost it needs to function at a higher pace, and it will also mean you’ll be less likely to overeat at other meals. Check in with your body throughout the day As I write this, I’m pulling my shoulders back and down. I’m lifting my chin up. I’m making sure I’m sitting on my sit bone and not slouching forward. I’ll even take a break in a moment to do some light stretching. It feels strange at first, but as you keep checking in with your posture...

Exercise and my Health

Benefits of exercise We all know exercise is good. But is it just because it makes me look good? The answer is No, exercise increases circulation too many areas including muscles, bones and yes even the brain (see below)!! Here is a short list of the benefits: Decrease in the incidence of degenerative brain diseases. Increase in self esteem Can help manage depression Decrease in incidence of heart disease, cancers, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Improves flexibility Increases stamina Strengthens and tones Maintains/Controls weight, improves digestion. Improves quality of sleep Increases bone density. The Active Brain! Many recent studies have found the cardio vascular activity, increases cognitive function thereby increase quality of life. Studies predict that by 2050 the number of people with Alzheimer’s (Currently the 5th leading cause of death in the United States) could TRIPLE!!! People who are physically active (cardio vascular) are 38% less likely to develop degenerative brain disease than their non-physically active counter parts. Activity slows down the progression of degenerative brain disease (Dementia, Alzheimer’s). Fitness and self esteem! Intuitively we all know, exercise makes us feel good.– Just watch a season of “The Biggest Loser” and watch to see how the participants become more positive and confident as the season progresses. Studies show exercise elevate endorphins (mood elevator hormone) and alter cortisol (stress related hormone)-chemicals that effect mood and stress levels. Exercise can also improve our physical appearance (by controlling our weight, developing and toning muscles) which can directly improve how we perceive ourselves. So, armed with all this knowledge…, How do I get off the couch? Grab a friend and walk with...

4 Myths about Chiropractic Care

We’ve heard these sayings before – but did you know that some of them are myths about Chiropractic Care? 1. Once you get a chiropractic treatment, you always have to go back When Consumers’ Report reviewed the top treatments for back and neck pain in September of 2011, chiropractic outperformed all other treatments: it is no secret that it’s an excellent means of pain relief. Does this mean that you have to always go back once you start? The simple, quick answer: no. Recommending that patients return for periodic visits is no different than dentists recommending monthly to yearly visits to help prevent cavities and gum disease. After resolving your pain issues, most chiropractors will give you the option to receive periodic chiropractic care to minimize the likelihood of future recurrences or development of new problems. But it’s still just an option which you can choose to take advantage of, or not! 2. Chiropractors CRACK bones Chiropractors do not crack bones, they don’t crack joints: in fact, no joints in the body touch each other. What actually happens is this: between the bones that make up a joint, you will find an envelope with fluid in it. When a chiropractor gently shifts a joint back to where it’s supposed to be, the envelope releases gas that’s in the joint fluid, and that creates the sound you hear. 3. Chiropractors don’t work on soft tissue – only joints While chiropractors are definitely known for manual manipulations/adjustments, they can also receive training in treating soft tissue problems, and can also attain special certificates/training to provide very effective treatment for a huge...

Questions To Ask a New Chiropractor

The first thing to consider when deciding what kind of chiropractic care you’re looking for is what kind of experience would best suit your availability and schedule, your expectations for what kind of relationship you’d like to build with your chiropractor, and what of treatment options you’d like to have readily available for you. To better understand what kind of practice it is, here are some questions to ask a new chiropractor: 1. How long are your appointments? Appointment lengths can vary from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the kind of practice it is: some have a simple ‘show up, get adjusted and leave’ set up that is perfect for people who know what they like to have done and can benefit for a quick visit. Others encourage much longer visits where follow-up and feedback are important, and a relationship can be fully developed, which are more appropriate for people who are looking to have a dedicated chiropractor know and follow their case. 2. What treatments do you provide on-site? Some practices focus only on manual manipulations and basic heat/ice therapy, while others can offer a wide variety of options, including: o Graston Technique ® o Active Release Techniques ® (ART) o Soft tissue treatment o Ultrasound Therapy o Massage Therapy 3. How do you determine how many visits I’ll need? You will always want to choose a chiropractor whose aim is to help relieve your pain in as few visits as possible, and who will continue to evaluate your progress at every visit so that you avoid going in more often than you need to....

4 Things to Expect from ANY Calgary Chiropractor You Choose to See

Whether it’s your first visit, or you’ve been seeing a chiropractor for years, you should expect the following 5 things with ANY Calgary chiropractor and at ANY time: 1. Your Calgary chiropractor should be documenting your visits very carefully: case history, physical exam findings, written diagnosis – etc. Everything from your concerns, visit findings, to goals you’ve established as part of your treatment plan should be documented without fail. You should always be able to access these records. 2. Constant dialogue: there should be open communication between yourself and your chiropractor before, during and after your visit. Any concerns should be given full attention if and when they are brought up. You should also be able to connect directly with your doctor – at your request – either by email, phone, etc. You should also always be given options for care, and the opportunity to be an active participant in the decisions regarding your chiropractic treatment plan. 3. Your sessions should always feel relevant to the problem that you’ve presented, as well as respectful and engaging. At no time during your visits should you feel pressured, rushed, or that the information given to you is misleading. You should also feel comfortable refusing consent to treatment at any time. 4. There should never be a suggestion that long-term care contracts are necessary and the only way to maintain proper health. Your chiropractor’s aim should be to help you achieve results in the shortest time frame possible, and always be comfortable referring you to other health care practitioners or another chiropractor when clinically...

All About Calgary Chiropractors and Chiropractic

What Do Calgary Chiropractors Do? Doctors of chiropractic are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions and disorders related to the spine, nervous system and musculoskeletal system; this includes the back, neck, head, pelvis, and extremity joints. These kinds of conditions and disorders can present themselves as: – Back pain – Neck pain – Headaches – Arthritis – Whiplash & auto accident injuries – Strains & Sprains – Repetitive Strain Injuries – Work or sports injuries – Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs These conditions and disorders often stem from sports injuries, work accidents, motor vehicle accidents, daily activities that put unconscious stress on the body, or even something as simple as a fall, or having slept in the wrong position. Chiropractors work with you to resolve pain, discomfort and restricted range of motion. They are trained to create rehabilitation plans and help you with injury prevention. Sometimes this includes referrals to other therapeutic options. You’ll often hear people refer to chiropractic as the ‘cracking of bones’ – but what it actually is, is a hands-on adjustment: a gentle, carefully directed movement. Other therapies chiropractors might use include: – Graston Technique ® – Active Release Techniques ® (ART) – Ice and Heat Therapy – Soft tissue work – Ultrasound Therapy Remember that not everyone is a candidate for chiropractic care. There are a number of tests done at the first assessment to be able to identify whether chiropractic would be beneficial and safe. What It Takes To Be a Chiropractor in Alberta In Canada, chiropractors must complete a minimum seven years of...

How to Maintain Healthy Wrists and Fingers

Perform the following exercises once every hour or two: 1. Stand perpendicular to a wall and extend your arm straight out from your side, placing the flat of your hand against the wall. Try your best to extend your fingers and touch your palm to the wall. This may be hard at first as you build the flexibility. Do not strain yourself; go as far as you can before it starts to feel too uncomfortable. Hold for 2 seconds, then switch to the other side, doing the same for 2 seconds. 2. Straighten both wrists and relax fingers. 3. Make a tight fist with both hands. 4. Then bend both wrists down while keeping the fist. Hold for a count of 5. 5. Straighten both wrists and relax fingers. 6. Repeat if desired. Then let hands hang loosely by your sides and shake them...