All posts by Thrive Health

A Chiropractic Pregnancy!

A Chiropractic Pregnancy!
Comments Off
By Dr. Elisa Petricca

A healthy mom translates into a healthy baby. So why not do everything you can to have a safe, healthy and natural pregnancy!?

This post focuses on educating pregnant mum’s on how to prepare for the birthing process and the value of chiropractic care during pregnancy. A pregnant woman who trusts her body to do what it is naturally designed to do is much more likely to experience a healthy, natural birth than someone who is stressed and fearful. The brain responds to fearful emotions negatively during pregnancy, releasing hormones that can slow labour and dilation.

How to Prepare for Birth

Scientific research strongly suggests the following principles for a natural and healthy pregnancy and birth:

  • A fully functional nervous system: This is essential to assist the body in adapting to stressors associated with pregnancy and support development to the baby.
  • Proper dietary intake: This is required for optimal fetal development.
  • Movement and exercise: This will encourage optimal brain and cell function, hormonal balance, strength and mobility.
  • Positive thoughts and emotions.
  • A nurturing environment: It is important to be surrounded by loving and supportive relationships to help minimize stress and create an optimal environment fir a relaxed birth.
  • A birth support team: Comprised of loved ones and health professionals to assist in a natural birth.

The Value of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care during pregnancy is vital in supporting normal and physiological function of mom and baby. Chiropractic care can help with pregnancy and birth by:

  • Reducing interference to the mother’s nervous system, allowing for optimal function.
  • Helping to create balance in the pelvis, allowing for an easier birth.
  • Removing tension on the ligaments that support the uterus.
  • Decreasing the potential for interventions and increasing the potential for a natural birth.

How does chiropractic care support the developing infant?

  • Encourages optimal infant development by removing interference from the mother’s nervous system.
  • Helps to create more room in the uterus, allowing baby to move and develop without restriction. This allows the baby to move into the best possible position for birth.
  • Regular adjustments greatly reduce the possibility of dystocia (delayed birth) as well as birth trauma that can be caused by intervention.

What are the main things you should take away from this whole article?

  1. Chiropractic provides structural balance and stability (specifically in the pelvis) for the mother, resulting in a more comfortable pregnancy.
  2. Research has shown that pregnant mothers who receive regular chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy generally have a shorter labour with less medical intervention.
  3. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can help to create a healthier and more comfortable in-utero environment for the infant.
More

Natural Pest Control Options for Your Summer Garden

By Dr. Kristin Heins

 

Heather Rhodes wrote a useful article on her website “Gardening Know How” that I thought would be worth sharing. It contained a few great recipes to allow you to make natural pesticides for plants that may be under attack by bugs this summer. Organic garden pest control is a popular topic since as consumers we are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of exposing ourselves and the earth to the least toxic materials possible. Natural home pesticides are not only easy to make, they are cheaper and safer than many products you can buy on store shelves. Remember that there are benefits to many of the little critters in your garden and you always want to be sure the damage a bug may be causing is worth using the pesticide for.

Rhoades points out in her article that garden pests are repelled or killed by a surprising number of safe and natural products. Here are a few natural insect repellent recipes she includes on her site:

Garden Pest Control Recipe #1

1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon dish soap (Note: do not use a dish soap that contains bleach)

2 tablespoons mineral or vegetable oil 
2 cups water 

  • Peel the garlic cloves and puree the cloves along with the oil and water. Allow to sit over night and then strain the mixture. Add the soap and mix thoroughly. Pour into a spray bottle and use on pest infected plants.

Organic Garden Pest Control Recipe #2 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon dish soap or Murphy Oil (Note: do not use a dish soap that contains bleach)

2 quart of water

  • Combine ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Use this organic bug spray on your affected plants.

BEFORE USING ANY HOMEMADE MIX: It should be noted that anytime you use a home mix, you should always test it out on a small portion of the plant first to make sure that it will not harm the plant. Also, avoid using any bleach-based soaps or detergents on plants since this can be harmful to them. In addition, it is important that a home mixture never be applied to any plant on a hot or bright sunny day, as this will quickly lead to burning of the plant.

More

Thrive is FIVE!

This month marks the five year anniversary of our opening of Thrive.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Thrive family, which includes the inspiring patients we have met over the years, the amazing practitioners that we have been so fortunate to work with and our own families for the support they have shown us through this journey! We are thrilled to say that Thrive is “thriving” and continues to grow and evolve as we hoped it would.

To celebrate our “birthday”, we are having a Google review contest! If you think Thrive is a great place to get healthy and want to help other families get healthy too, please leave us a google review and WIN FREE PRIZES!  All you have to do is show your support for Thrive by leaving a comment or star review telling Google what you think about our office. At the end of the month, we will enter you into a draw to WIN 2 movie passes or a gift card at Body Blitz.

Thank you to all of you for your dedication to thrive and to your own health goals.  We look very forward to many more years serving you!

In health,

The Thrive Health Team

More

Surviving the Dark Canadian Winter

By Dr. Kristin Heins
 

I read an interesting article recently about beating the winter blues. I was then reminded the next day, when a boost of sunshine elevated my spirits in a noticeable way, that “winter blues” is a catch phrase for a spectrum of mood related changes that affect many of us in winter months. As a naturopath, I work with patients to physiologically support their neuroendocrine (the complex interplay between our brain and hormones) system. Now as a psychotherapy student under supervision, I look at the social and psychological implications of these mood changes. Both these options would be ideal for someone who is feeling that the quality of their life is being notably impacted by the change of season.

For others who may feel “winter blues” to a lesser extent – I have listed a few lifestyle ideas to help increase the pep in your step until our longer days and warmer temperatures fill our spirits once again.

  1. Brighten your environment: using a light box / SAD lamp for 30 minutes a day has shown to be highly affected in some studies on SAD ( a clinical diagnosis of seasonally related depressive symptoms).  Sit close to Windows and draw open curtains when possible.
  2. Eat for Mood: speaking to a naturopath or nutritionist to help support mood through diet can be a great support. Simple carbohydrates like sugar can provide short term boosts but longer term patterns of mood instability. Alternatively increasing proteins and in particular tryptophan and tyrosine containing foods can help boost mood.
  3. Exercise: A 2005 study by Harvard university suggests fast walking 35 minutes daily 5 days a week to improve mild to moderate depressive symptoms. Exercising under brighter light may also improve general mental health and social functioning according to a preliminary study on exercise and mental health.
  4.  Get Outside: Being outside and in nature when possible can help improve focus and lower stress levels. So add a layer and bundle up!
  5. Get Involved: Social isolation in cold winter months can add to poor sense of wellbeing. Make social arrangements or find volunteer or charity groups to be involved with as a way to boost spirits and outlook.

If you would like individualized support please email drheinsnd@thrivehealth.ca or online at www.thrivehealth.ca

 

More

What is Contemporary Medical Acupuncture?

By Dr. Elisa Petricca
 

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is a nerve stimulation technique, which involves the painless insertion of extra fine needles into specific areas of the body in order to regulate abnormal activity of the nervous system and to release certain substances in the brain, altering the body’s pain pathways.

Medical Acupuncture is a very low risk treatment intervention. However, as with any conservative approach to care, potential side effects and/or risks should be discussed with the patient prior to treatment.

How Does Medical Acupuncture Work?

  • Normalizes the nervous system and alters pain sensation via stimulation of the central nervous system.
  • Improves blood flow to local areas of pain as well as the rest of the body resulting in tissue repair and facilitation of the healing process.
  • Reduce tension in the body by helping with the breakdown of excess fascia and tissue.
  • Helps to calm the body and mind, assisting in overall well-being.

Acupuncture Treatments  

The duration of acupuncture treatments can vary from several seconds to 30 minutes. Acupuncture treatments involve the insertion of acupuncture needles into appropriate areas of the body. Once the needles are inserted and secure in the body, they may be stimulated manually or with electricity to enhance nerve stimulation.

Acupuncture has been shown as an effective treatment for many conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of neurological and muscular disorders including:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sports injuries (sprains, strains)
  • Sciatica
  • Neuritis (inflammation of nerves)
  • Facial pain
For more information or if you have any questions, feel free to contact the office and we will be happy to help you!

References:
1. Canadian Contemporary Acupuncture Association, 2010-2016.
2. McMaster University Medical Contemporary Acupuncture Program, 2016.
More

Managing Stress this Holiday Season!

Managing Stress this Holiday Season!
Comments Off
My formula:
  1. Acceptance
  2. Self-care
  3. Social engagement
  4. Assertiveness

Accept there are things that you can’t change or control. Focus on the positives, consider forgiveness.

Self-care: Don’t postpone exercise, pleasurable activities, good sleep, or healthy eating because “you are too busy”; you are only giving away your anti-stress “free medication”.

Be social: time to follow the plan and not the mood! Stressful times are the right time to say “yes” to that coffee, that drink, that dinner with friends/family etc..

Be assertive: say what you need and want respectfully, don’t hold back. Also learn to say “no” to unnecessary commitments.

Take pauses, get into mindfulness practice! Meditation is the “new thing” for a reason. Download a meditation app to your smartphone. 5 minutes a day can make a big difference.

Warmly,
Dr. Maria Chaparro, Registered Psychologist in Supervised
Practice

More

Understanding More About Gestalt Psychotherapy

By Dr. Kristin Heins, ND
 

Working as a Naturopathic Doctor, I view mental health as a natural and necessary part of holistic health care. With this philosophy I began, almost ten years ago, seeking to obtain a skill set to speak with patients about their emotions and mental health.

Now, many years later and in my fourth year of the full five year programme, I am able to see clients as part of the supervised practice portion of my training as a psychotherapist. Here is a little taste of the Gestalt approach to give a clearer understanding of what it is and how it may be helpful for you.

  • What is The Gestalt Approach to Psychotherapy?

Gestalt focuses on meeting clients where they are at in the moment and providing support to their experience. At our core, humans are dynamic and adaptive beings always attempting survival. Gestalt refers to this as “creative adaptation”. Sometimes, however, the way we adapt isn’t helpful in all circumstances. We may experience feeling “stuck” or at an impasse. The therapy session is intended as a safe place to both identify these patterns of adjustment and explore alternate ways of adapting.  This is an experiential form of psychotherapy, which may include using exercises to help foster new awareness, understanding and techniques for self support.

Please contact the clinic if you would like to learn more or determine if working together is the right fit for you.

More

Suffer from Headaches?

Did you know that there are many different types of headaches? The most common types of headaches include:

  1. Migraines
  2. Tension-type headaches
  3. Cluster headaches
  4. Cervicogenic headaches

This post will focus on tension-type headaches, as they are one of the most common types of headaches suffered by adults. These headaches are often described as “band-like pressure” or “tightness around the head”.

Some common signs and symptoms associated with tension-type headaches include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Mild sensitivity to light or sound
  • General muscle aches and pain

What Causes Tension-type Headaches?

There are many factors that may contribute to the onset of tension-type headaches. How many of the following factors apply to you?

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Eye strain
  • Overexertion
  • Hunger
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cold/sinus infection
  • Muscle tension around the head and neck

Most of these triggers are lifestyle factors, which we are able to modify on our own. However, chiropractic care has also been shown to be an effective approach to help battle these nasty headaches!

Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments are effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of tension-type headaches, as well as reducing the usage of over-the-counter medication.

If you are suffering from tension-type headaches, the following 5 steps can help:

  1. Manage your stress: One way to manage your stress is to plan ahead and organize your day.
  2. Relaxation Techniques: This may include deep breathing exercises, listening to music, or yoga.
  3. Diet and Exercise: Eating healthy and exercising often. Quitting smoking is also very important to help reduce the onset of headaches.
  4. Heat or Cold: The application of a heat or cold pack around the head may provide some relief.
  5. Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic treatment can assist with muscle tension and postural correction to help re-align the body for optimal functioning!

References

Boline PD, Kassak K, Bronfort G, Nelson C, Anderson AV. Spinal manipulation vs. amitriptyline for the treatment of chronic tension headache: a randomized clinical trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):148-54.

Fumal A, et al. Tension-type headache: Current research and clinical management. Lancet Neurology. 2008;7:70.

Pluta RM. JAMA patient page: Tension-type headache. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011;306:450.

 

article_headacheTo read more about tension headaches, click on the link below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7790794

 

 

More

Keeping Families Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

As school starts back up, many families start to anticipate, or fear, cold and flu season. Yikes! Naturopathic treatment for colds and the flu can help reduce symptoms and shorten illness time; but, an even better approach for the fall is prevention. Take active steps to boost your family’s immunity and reduce exposure to the germs that get you and your little one(s) sick in the first place.

The body’s immune system works to ward off and kill germs that we are exposed to. Children are more vulnerable to sickness because they are still ‘growing’ an immune system…and because they touch everything!! In order for an immune system to function optimally, it requires adequate nutrients, proper rest and balanced exercise. While these principles may seem basic, they can be tricky to implement regularly in a busy household. Below are some specific strategies to help you maximize your children’s health. Apply them to yourself and double the benefits.

  1. Keep a routine bedtime that ensures your child stays well rested through the winter. White blood cells (the guys that fight germs) multiply most while we sleep.
  2. Enroll children in lessons or make time as a family to engage in activities through the fall and winter – be it swimming, skating, skiing or sledding.
  3. Increase protein, vitamin C and zinc in your family’s diet as they are all required for optimal immune system function.
  4. Reduce germ exposure through regular hand washing and proper nasal rinsing. Sound strange? If we breathe in germs and they grow and multiply, in part, in our nasal passages, cleaning them out regularly also flushes out the germs. Infant and child nasal rinsing products are easily available through health and drug stores and are best used in the evening

 

More

Straighten Up!

We’ve all heard it since childhood- “straighten up!”, “stop slouching!”  When we’re kids, we think our parents and teachers are just picking on us, but as adults we start to see the effects of many years of slouching and the chronic issues that follow.  Although most people are concerned with the physical appearance of slouching, the consequences are much more profound than a rounded upper back.

If you sit at a computer all day, chances are that you already know that poor posture can cause pain in your joints and muscles.  Poor posture can also be responsible for numbness and tingling or weakness in the extremities and can certainly lead to body aches and headaches.  What most people don’t consider is what is going on in the inside.  Slouching and slumping can actually cause compression of organs, making it more difficult to breathe, digest our food, eliminate toxins from our bodies and can cause a number of symptoms including fatigue and digestive disorders.

Taking care of your spine today, means better health tomorrow.  Take the time and make the effort to care for your spine so that you will be strong, healthy and pain-free later on in life!  Follow these six steps to straighten up:

1. Get up:

Take breaks from your desk every 30 minutes.  Even if you just stand up and walk around for a minute or do some light stretching, this gives your body a chance to relieve the tired muscles that work so hard while you’re sedentary.

2. Invest in a good chair:

Because we all come in different shapes and sizes, an adjustable chair is a great investment to be sure that it will fit your body perfectly.  Get something with good lumbar support to be sure that your low back is protected.

3. Take a look at yourself:

When sitting in your chair, your hips, knees and elbows should be at least at 90 angles and your feet should be flat on the floor.

4. Practice awareness:

Making and breaking habits is a tough thing to do.  Place a post-it on your computer screen to remind you to straighten up (you don’t even have to write anything on it, you’ll know why it’s there).  You should be trying to keep your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips.

5. Get moving:

Joining a yoga or pilates class can be a great way to support your spine through both strengthening and stretching.

6. Get your spine checked:

After major traumas (car accidents, serious falls and sports injuries) and minor traumas (repetitive stress, prolonged improper sleeping, sitting or standing positions), spinal bones can become misaligned and stuck, which can also affect posture.  A chiropractic examination will allow your chiropractor to see if there is something biomechanical that may be interfering with your ability to achieve proper posture.

More