What Are Custom Made Orthotics for your Feet About?

By Dr. Chelsea Berry DC

Your feet are incredible structures, which contain 25 percent of all the bones in your body. During an average day of walking, the amount of force going through you feet can equal the weight of a fully loaded cement truck.

If you fit into the categories of either having low arches or “flat feet” or high arches you may be interested in learning more. Did you know that ankle, knee, hip or low back pain could be due to poor positioning of the joints your feet? Custom made orthotics, are inserts for your shoes that are designed to optimize the stability and mobility in your feet by correcting your unique imbalances.

Custom-made orthotics help you stand, walk and run with greater comfort by:

  • Altering the angles in which your feet strike the ground
  • Correcting biomechanical imbalances in the joints of your feet
  • Changing the patterns of muscle firing in your feet, legs, hips and back
  • Reducing pain, fatigue and tender spots in your feet
  • Available for running shoes, walking shoes and dress shoes

Conditions relieved by custom made foot orthotics: 

Foot arch and heel pain Runner’s knee
Bunions and Hammer toes IT band syndrome
Plantar fasciitis Sacroiliac syndrome
Achilles tendonosis Shin splints
Knee osteoarthritis Ankle sprains

Orthotics are an excellent ground up treatment for many conditions; however, Dr. Berry will also work with your existing health care providers at Qi to correct the top down issues contributing to your discomfort.

Book an initial 45-minute appointment today! Dr Berry will assess your feet and posture and determine whether orthotics are suitable for you.

Stand More, Sit Less


If you work 5 days a week, for 8 hours a day, that adds up to 1920 hours of sitting in a year.  Studies show that:

  • 30 minutes of sitting causes compression and fatigue in your spinal muscles, discs and ligaments.

  • Excessive sitting contributes to a decline in heart health and an increase in risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.

  • Key fat burning chemicals in the body turn off after 1 minute of sitting

  • 2 hours of sitting reduces blood flow, results in a blood sugar drop and a decline in “good” HDL cholesterol by 20%

And that is just at the office! The average person may also spend 1.5 hours sitting to watch TV, 1.5 on their lap top, 1 hour sitting to eat and depending on your commute to work, even more sitting. That is a lot of time on your backside, most of which is likely with unconscious posture.

Unfortunately, your well-intentioned time at the gym can’t reverse postural stress that accumulates during the day.  A 2014 study followed more than 82, 000 men for 10 years and showed that a regular fitness routine did NOT counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. Individuals who sat 5+ hours a day were still likely to have heart disease no matter how much they exercised in their free time.

The key to success is finding more ways to move during your workday and leisure time. This means convert sitting to standing time.  Did you know that replacing 3 hours of day of sitting with standing can make a huge difference in your overall health? In fact switching just 3 hours a day of sitting to standing time is the caloric and activity equivalent of running 10 marathons a year!

Here are some suggestions on how to do that:

  • Stand when taking on the phone

  • Eat snacks/lunch or drink coffee/tea standing up

  • Walk over to a colleague instead of emailing them with a question

  • Make your day harder by taking the stairs

  • Plan a walking/standing meeting to replace a sitting one

  • Actually schedule breaks during your day to move, stretch and breathe

  • Divide your lunch break in half with time to eat and time to take a quick walk

  • Pick a co-worker to be accountable to increase your chance of success

Even small breaks add up to 3 hours if done regularly. Why not start right now?  You can do it.

Questions about this article? Contact Dr. Berry at [email protected]

Cold Laser Therapy in Vancouver

What can it do for you?

Cold laser therapy speeds up the body’s natural healing process. It is a safe and effective treatment for many injuries and conditions. How can a laser help heal damaged tissue? How does it work?

Well you have to go back to grade nine science class and remember that light makes particles called photons. Photons from the laser light penetrate injured cells and result in a cascade of physiological responses that ultimately repair damaged tissue. Cold laser therapy can:

– Increase cellular energy production to support improved cell metabolism
– Enhance the function of the circulatory system
– Regenerate nerves
– Heal tissues, especially collagen, cartilage and bone
– Reduce swelling and bruising
– Release endorphins to reduce pain

Over 3000 research papers have been published on the positive benefits of cold laser therapy. Are you interested in finding out how it can help you? Chat with Dr. Foot or Dr. Berry, who have special training with the Bioflex Laser system.

What is Chiropractic today?

with Dr. Nina Foot,
and Dr. Chelsea Berry

Chiropractic medicine has a rich history and many incarnations. New school chiropractic care involves not only adjustments but also:

  • Soft Tissue Therapy
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Nutritional Advice
  • A.R.T – Active Release Therapy
  • Modalities such as Cold Laser Therapy.

Our chiropractors follow up to date research guidelines and current scientific evidence to provide the best possible care.

Have you ever wondered what chiropractic care is all about? Whether you’ve heard information from friends or online, initially, chiropractic can be a bit mystifying.

  • What do Doctors of Chirporactic do?
  • What conditions do they treat?
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it safe?

Our chiropractors at Qi have special training in the sought-after soft tissue therapy known as Active Release Technique (ART ®) and are trained to treat musculoskeletal conditions and injuries throughout the whole body, not just the back. They also incorporate:

  • Personalized exercises
  • Stretches
  • Postural advice to get you back to feeling your best as quickly as possible.

In truth, there are many types of chiropractic care to choose from. Most chiropractors use adjustments to mobilize the joints of the body and restore full movement and function.

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to show that chiropractic adjustments are safer and more effective than medication or general medical care for managing low back pain.

Dr.Nina Foot is inspired to treat children, pregnancy, and any other client who would benefit from Chiropractic.
Dr.Nina Foot is inspired to treat children, pregnancy, and any other client who would benefit from Chiropractic.







Today, thousands of chiropractic studies have been published on various conditions, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Disc herniation
  • Scoliosis
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder injuries

just to name a few.

If you are suffering from sports injuries or joint pain, or if you are interested in learning about ways to improve your spinal health, book a free 15 minute consultation with Dr. Berry or Dr. Foot today.

We warmly invite you to join our free seminar, How to Heal Naturally, to learn more about how we practice and what we offer: Wednesday March 4th 12:00pm-1:00pm or Thursday March 5th 6:00-7:00. Call and speak to our front desk team to reserve your spot.

Manga, Pran; Angus, Doug; Papadopoulos, Costa; Swan, William. “The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low- Back Pain.” Richmond Hill, Ontario: Kenilworth Publishing, 1993

Haldeman, Scott, et al. “The bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders.” European Spine Journal 17 (2008): 5-7.

Healing Injuries with Adhesion Breakers

Adhesion BreakersI am introducing Adhesion Breakers to my practice this week. Adhesion breakers are stainless steel tools used for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (You may have heard of similar tools, such as Graston Technique, gua sha and FAKTR tools). This system of healing has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to reduce pain, remove scar tissue and improve healing in muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. The practitioner uses Adhesion Breakers to create localized pressure and friction where adhesions and scar tissue have formed. This is one of many myofascial release techniques that guides the inflammatory process of healing so that damaged tissue can be replaced with organized healthy tissue.

Tissue scarring occurs for many reasons. A single traumatic event such as a whiplash injury or sports injury creates tissue tearing and subsequent scar tissue formation during recovery. A repetitive stress injury results in scar tissue caused by improper tissue tension over many repetitions, for example running, typing or golf. Desk workers often experience chronic tension injuries and scar tissue formation in the back and neck, which occur when tissues are put under long-term low-grade stress. Regardless of how scar tissue is formed, it cannot be resorbed by the body without treatment. Scar tissue results in diminished blood flow, stress and pain within the tissue.

If you have any nagging aches and pains, Adhesion Breakers may be helpful to allow your body to break down scar tissue, restart the healing process, and redirect your tissues to form in proper alignment. All soft tissues have the ability regain their full elasticity, strength and endurance, which means you can get back to feeling your best. Book an appointment today and see what Adhesion Breakers can do for you.

Common conditions successfully treated with adhesion breakers include: ankle sprains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, IT band syndrome, tendonitis, medial/lateral epicondylitis (tennis/golfer’s elbow), carpal tunnel syndrome, and back and neck pain.

Article prepared by Dr. Nina Foot, BSc, DC

Back To School – 5 Ideas for a Happy Spine

Fall is in the air, and school is already back in full swing. At any age, wearing heavy backpacks or sitting for extended periods of time can affect spinal health. 

Here are 5 simple ideas for the classroom or office, which will improve posture and reduce tension and pain throughout the spine:

  1. Carry heavy backpacks using both shoulder straps, adjusted so that the pack fits snugly against the body. If possible, use the waist strap when carrying heavy loads. Try to avoid using single strap book bags, and if you use one, frequently switch the strap to the opposite shoulder.   
  2. Carry only what’s needed for the day. The total weight of the filled pack should be no more than 10-15 percent of your body weight. Pack heavy objects close to the spine, and lighter or odd-shaped ones on the outside of the pack.   
  3. If you are spending many hours reading, use a portable lightweight bookstand (available at some university book stores or online). This will reduce neck pain and headaches.   
  4. If you use a laptop, prop it on top of a book or two so that the screen is closer to eye level.  
  5. When sitting for more than an hour at a time, take a 30 second break to stand up and stretch. When you feel tension developing in your upper back, sit up straight and try to align neck so that your ears are over your shoulders, as if trying to make a double chin. Hold for 10 seconds. (Try this in front of a mirror if you can’t get the hang of it). Roll your shoulders in big circles, first forwards, then backwards. 

The spine loves motion. When we remain in static postures for long periods of time, tension and dysfunction naturally develop within the vertebral column. Regular chiropractic adjustments, specifically prescribed stretches/exercises and physical activity will all help to keep your spine happy and pain free. 


 –Article prepared by Dr. Nina Foot, BSc, DC

Vancouver Wants to Know, What is Osteopathy?

One of the questions I get asked most is: Cody Cummings, what is Osteopathy?

…this is not an easy question to answer. The most recent explanation I like to use is- Osteopathy is the study of the interrelation between structures and functions in the body. We manipulate or mobilize structures to effect function. We also listen to our patients history and reports of how systems are functioning to help determine what structures need normalizing. 

I love that osteopathy really looks at the entire person, every treatment takes into account the entire body, not just the small region causing grief. I personally have never experienced another therapy that is so all encompassing and dynamic. If it’s out there, I haven’t found it yet!

Having recently completed the educational components for the osteopathic program here in Vancouver (offered through the CEO Quebec), this training has left me feeling very passionate about the effectiveness and benefits available through osteopathic care. The only step remaining for me to obtain designation as a DO(MP), Diploma of Osteopathic Manual Practice, is to complete my thesis. I’m now able to offer an osteopathic approach under the scope of practice of a BC Registered Massage Therapist.

The CEO curriculum provides a solid foundation of osteopathic manual therapy techniques and theory. The CEO is unique within osteopathic schools because of the methodology created by the colleges founder Philippe Druelle DO. This methodology is a way of evaluating the entire person, in an attempt to find the root causes of symptoms and how symptoms are related to other disharmony in the body. The CEO methodology is a very scientific approach strongly rooted in anatomy and physiology, respecting all the rules of science and physics, yet still honouring nature. Osteopathic Manual Therapy is a form of communication with the entire individual, a never ending dialogue of testing, treating, then retesting to determine the effects of treatment and direction of the treatment plan.

If your really curious about osteopathy, the best way to know is to try. I encourage everyone of any age to seek osteopathic care, even those in good health. If your not around Vancouver, seek out an osteopath near you. If your able to be in Kitsilano, I’m here at Qi Integrated Health every Tuesday and Saturday, and would be honored to share osteopathy with you.

Cody Cummings RMT



Orthotics for relief of foot, knee, hip and back pain.

Did you know that your knee, hip or low back pain could be due to the improper biomechanics of your feet? The average person takes 8,000-10,000 steps per day. Slight changes in the stability and function of the joints within our feet directly effect how our knees, hips and pelvis move. Over time this can cause stress throughout our lower extremities and spine and can cause conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, sacroiliac syndrome and shin splints.  Custom made orthotics can correct our biomechanics from the ground up.

 Dr. Foot is offering custom orthotic consultations, gait analysis, biomechanical assessment, and orthotic fittings. The orthotics are handmade locally by Prodigy Orthotics. Book a free consultation to see if orthotics might be the answer for you.


Qi Welcomes New Chiropractor Dr. Nina Foot

Dr. Robin and the entire Qi team are pleased to welcome Dr. Nina Foot, BSc, DC. Dr. Foot will be filling in for Dr. Robin while she is off on maternity leave with her second child and will be staying on to join the Qi team.

Dr. Foot competed on the McGill Figure Skating Team while she completed her Bachelor of Physiology degree at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She then moved to Portland, Oregon to complete her chiropractic studies at the University of Western States. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude honours as valedictorian of her class.

Dr. Foot designs individualized treatment plans to meet the goals of her patients and combines diversified chiropractic care with ART ® (Active Release Technique), exercise prescription and postural/ergonomic advice. Dr. Foot believes that having well-informed patients creates the best treatment outcomes and she encourages patients to actively participate in their own care.

Dr. Foot will be around the clinic in March meeting patients and starting in April will be working Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday 2:30-6:30pm.

Low Back Pain and Your Breath: There is a connection

People who suffer from low back pain are familiar with the effects – stiffness, shooting pain, weak core, difficulty sitting or standing for long periods, figuring out how to tie your own shoes etc.

Recently another side effect has come to light – the inability to take a full and healthy breath. I was inspired to write this by a question from an active, healthy 75 year old man who runs regularly and does yoga. He for the longest time has felt he cannot get a deep breath in. “Oh, and I have chronic low back pain,” he tells me. Aha!

A number of recent studies have found that those with a history of low back pain breathe more shallowly, hold their breath, or have dysfunctional breathing patterns when challenged to a physical task.

A healthy breath begins with the diaphragm falling, changing the volume of our chest cavity and squeezing our abdominal organs so that the abdomen naturally pushes out.

The intercostal muscles between the ribs allow the rib cage to expand like the handle of a bucket lifting up and out. Air fills our lungs (which you may be surprised to find out end above our collarbones) changing the pressure once again so that the diaphragm relaxes, abdomen relaxes, ribs fall and air is exhaled.

We don’t know exactly why a dysfunctional pattern of breathing is demonstrated by low back pain sufferers but there are a few hypotheses. Neurological control to the core musculature in people with low back pain is altered, delaying the activation of the core.

Holding the breath acts as a coping mechanism to increase trunk stability. In addition those with low back pain originating in the sacroiliac joint have been found to have impaired function of the diaphragm and the muscles of the pelvic floor, thought to be neurologically connected.

To feel the pattern of breath in your own body, take a seat and allow your breath to settle.  Place your hands on either side of your rib cage, wrapping around, below your chest. As you inhale imagine the ribs expanding 360 degrees and rising and falling in that bucket handle pattern.  Observe this for a while.

Next, place your hand on your abdomen. As you inhale allow the belly to expand, and as you exhale allow it to gently contract. In our society we don’t often allow ourselves the freedom to let our tummy hang out so this may be a foreign feeling. Observe this for a while. If you find you are struggling for breath in either of these poses you may be exhibiting altered breathing patterns – low back pain or not. To be certain, ask your healthcare provider at Qi Integrated Health Clinic to observe your breath. Breathing plays such an important role in our physical, mental, and emotional health that we want to get it right!

 Article prepared by: Dr. Robin Armstrong, Chiropractor, ART provider, Yoga Therapy