Stand More, Sit Less

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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]
Posted in chiropractic, exercise, posture

Tennis Elbow – Vancouver

By Lindsay Farr, Physiotherapist

Lateral epicondylalgia (LE), more commonly referred to as tennis elbow, refers to pain on the outer side of your elbow.

This pain is usually worsened with gripping and repetitive activities such as typing, mousing, lifting objects with an outstretched arm, and opening doors. It is typically considered a tendinopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle, however evidence shows a relationship between the neck, the radial nerve, and LE. Historically this condition was treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), ice, and rest.

Current evidence suggests there may not actually be an inflammatory component to this condition and studies have shown that physiotherapy combined with a home exercise program is more effective than ice or NSAIDs.

Studies have started to investigate the role of posture and the nervous system in the development of LE and have shown positive correlations. There is a greater prevalence of neck pain in patients with LE versus age matched controls (Berglund, Persson & Denison, 2013) and individuals suffering lateral elbow pain are more likely to test positive for radial nerve sensitivity (Coombes et al., 2013). Sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time can lead to a chronic “head forward posture,” as pictured below.

Tennis Elbow 1

This position compresses the joints in our neck and narrows the space through which our nerves pass. Chronic poor postures can lead to compression of nerves, such as the radial nerve, which supplies muscles in our lateral elbow. When our nerves are compressed information moving through those nerves is restricted and slowed and this puts structures innervated by those nerves at risk for injury. Where our muscles would normally be able to withstand the repetitive daily tasks such as gripping and opening doors, nerve compression and irritation has limited their tolerance and so they breakdown sooner and start emitting pain signals. This is when we feel “tennis elbow.”

Here are some helpful tips for those of you who are “9-5 desk sitters,” or anybody struggling with lateral elbow pain:
Adjust your desk station: try to attain posture as shown in this image. If you are unable to adjust your station yourself, speak with your manager and ask to have an ergonomic assessment of your desk station

Tennis Elbow 2

Move: set a timer for 45 minutes. Whenever that timer goes off adjust your position. Lean back over your chair to stretch your chest muscles, stand up and walk to the printer/cooler, twist left and right in your chair.

Tennis Elbow 3

Stretch: use these basic neck and arm stretches daily to avoid tight muscles and relieve pressure on the nerves

Tennis Elbow 4

Posture: try to maintain a posture where your head rests over your body. Shoulders should be slightly back, lengthen the back of your neck and gently nod your chin “yes”. Your ears should nearly align with your shoulders when viewed from the side.

Tennis Elbow 5
See a Physiotherapist: if your symptoms persist and are becoming limiting to simple daily activities you should seek medical advice from a physiotherapist who can instruct you on more specific treatment methods and exercises.

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

 

 

Study: Is Barefoot-Style Running Best?

Barefoot-running enthusiasts long have believed that running without shoes or in minimalist footwear makes running easier, speedier and less injurious. But a surprisingly large number of new studies examining just how the body actually responds when we run in our birthday shoes or skimpy footwear suggest that for many people, those expectations are not being met.

 

Read the article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/is-barefoot-style-running-best-new-studies-cast-doubt/?ref=health

Two Yoga Poses to Help Recover From Injury & Pain

Recovering From Pain and Injury with Yoga

Yoga has received a lot of attention as a popular mind body fitness trend and it is now becoming the next trend in complementary medicine.

Indian culture has long recognized the value of yoga postures, breathing, and meditation to prevent, manage, and overcome injury and disease.

Now Western medicine is beginning to study yoga for specific conditions and has found it helpful for such conditions as low back pain, depression and anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, and high blood pressure just to name a few.

Yoga Therapy refers to the adaptation and application of yoga techniques and practices to help individuals facing health challenges at any level manage their condition, reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality, and improve attitude.
For musculoskeletal conditions such as back, neck, shoulder, knee or hip pain, the goal is to recognize patterns or weakness that lead to the injury and start to adapt and change for the better.

In my  chiropractic practice I also work one on one with individuals using yoga to overcome various conditions.

Here are two of my favorite poses to help maintain or achieve a healthy spine:

Cat – Cow

This pose uses movement to flush out stagnant fluid around the joints of the spine, and bring in new synovial fluid to nourish and support.  This is an excellent pose to begin or end your day with if you suffer from a stiff or sore back.

Begin on your hands and knees. Find a neutral spine.  As you exhale, draw your bellybutton towards your spine and begin to round your back – slowly – letting your head hang. Pause. Inhale and reverse the motion, allowing your belly to drop towards the earth and your gaze to turn upwards.

Repeat this motion, trying to imagine it flowing from your tail to your head, one bone to the next, as you move with your breath.

Seated Twist

Many of us spend part if not most of our day sitting which tightens the rotators of our hips, in turn pulling on our low back.  In addition, the fatigue of extended hours of sitting leads to sagging posture and a weak core, just asking for trouble in the lumbar spine.

This pose not only provides a delicious stretch to the tight muscles of our low back, it opens the hips and when practiced with intention can activate the core.

Sit on the ground with the left leg extended and the right knee bent with foot flat on the floor. Notice your low back.  If it is rounding behind you sit up on a yoga block, cushion, or other height until you are able to keep the natural curve – spine towards your navel.

For a deeper stretch in the hips, cross your right foot over your left thigh and place your foot on the ground on the outside of your left leg.  Place your right finger tips gently on the ground beside your right hip.  Inhaling, raise your left arm overhead, sitting taller.

Using your oblique muscles of your core to create the movement, exhale and twist to the right, bringing your arm to the outside of your right thigh.

Gaze over your right shoulder if comfortable.  Keep the spine tall and draw in your low belly to keep the weight out of your support hand on the floor.  Hold for 5 breaths and switch sides.

– Article Prepared By Dr. Robin Armstrong  BA, DC,

Demystifying and Explaining CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) originates from a concept explored in the 1900’s by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland that the bones of the cranium move amongst each other and can create pressure on the brain. With his research, he developed Cranial Osteopathy. In the 1970’s, American Dr. John Upledger noticed the craniosacral rhythm while assisting in a spinal surgery.

This observation piqued his interest and led to his study of Cranial Osteopathy and further research into the relationship of the structures between the cranium and sacrum. Dr. Upledger coined the term CranioSacral Therapy and developed the CST curriculum, which is currently taught internationally.

CranioSacral Therapy can be difficult to explain so I will break it down into several elements:
Cranio refers to the cranium, which houses the brain. Sacral refers to the sacrum, which is your tailbone and marks the end of your spinal column. CranioSacral therapy involves the evaluation and treatment of the physiological forces and structures between these two points.

The CranioSacral (CS) rhythm is essentially the pulse of the brain and spinal cord and is created by the movement of cerebrospinal fluid between the two structures. Like the rhythm of the breath or the pulse of blood from and to the heart, the CS rhythm can be felt throughout the body by anyone taught to tap into the frequency. By evaluating this rhythm, a CST practitioner can identify restrictions in the body.

The body loves to be in motion.

Every cell, tissue, and organ needs to be able to move freely in order to function correctly. With physical or emotional trauma and injury, adhesions and structural deformities can develop which lead to restricted motion of the tissues involved. Over the years, this increasingly puts stress on the adjacent structures to the restriction and ultimately affects the entire body.

The role of a CST practitioner is not to forcibly correct the body, but rather to encourage the body to correct itself, which leads to a more fundamental change and often disappearance of chronic symptoms. The idea is that if the systems of the body are balanced, then it has the ability to heal itself.
Because of the direct connection with the brain and spinal cord, CST also has an effect on the Autonomic Nervous System, often causing a feeling of deep calm or groundedness during and after the treatment. Treatment of this system enables the body to respond to stress and challenges better which can help improve a patient’s energy level.

A CST treatment can be considered effective if releases are present during or after treatment. A release can be expressed as a physical release of adhered structures or an emotional release involving thoughts and feelings surrounding an event of trauma or injury. Releases may be experienced in many different ways are often very individual.

Conditions treated by CST include, but are not limited to:

Migraine or chronic headaches, chronic neck and back pain, motor-coordination impairments, colic, autism, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, scoliosis, infantile disorders, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue, emotional difficulties, stress and tension-related problems, fibromyalgia, connective-tissue disorders, jaw dysfunction, immune disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-surgical dysfunction, digestive disorders and fertility impairments.

What to expect during treatment:

CST can be combined with other modalities (massage, chiropractic, acupuncture etc.) Therefore there may be requirements for positioning or undress related to those practices. If CST is the sole modality then it is performed with the patient lying, fully clothed, on their back on a massage table.

Using their hands, the practitioner will then connect with specific points on the body between the sacrum and cranium with very slight (roughly 5 grams, or the weight of a nickel) of pressure. The treatment and evaluation can be very much entwined, often involving the same or similar hand positioning.

The patient is encouraged to relax, breathe and connect with their body in order to facilitate the unwinding process. A belief in or understanding of CST is not required for benefits, but it can help to make the process more efficient. Your practitioner should guide you through the process, helping to give you a deeper understanding of what your body is trying to tell you.

What to look for in a CST practitioner:

While many may practice CST, it is not regulated by provincial or national guidelines, therefore it is important to look for a practitioner that is registered by another provincial or national College and has a background in anatomy, physiology and medical conditions. This may include a Registered Massage Therapist, Chiropractor, Naturopath, Physiotherapist, or Dentist just to name a few.

– Article Prepared by Lisa Schneider, RMT

*The information contained is intended for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent illness or disease.

Qi Gong – Body Mind Breath Meditation Exercise Overview and Research

By: Dr. Spence Pentland (Vancouver Fertility Acupuncturist)

Today Qigong is most often referred to as any set of breathing and Qi circulation techniques that are capable of improving health, preventing illness, and strengthening the body. Qigong is slow meditative exercise for the body, the breath, and the mind.

‘Qi’ is the vital force behind everything, everything is ‘Qi’ at differing densities; quoting Einstein, “matter = energy times the speed of light squared”. ‘Gong’ is cultivation, effect, attainment. Qigong can be translated as ‘cultivation of vital force’. It regulates the balance of Yin Yang energy returning the body to a balanced, normal physiological state.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the human body is treated as an integral system of interrelated networks with different physiological functions. This integral system uses the energy pathways to link the organs and other human systems into a unified whole, making the communication and interaction between parts of the body possible. The energy that flows in the energy pathways is called Qi. It extends internally to the organs and externally throughout the body, completing and interrelated system of networks.

Traditional Chinese Medical Qigong is a compilation of effective preventative, healing, and strengthening exercises derived from a long history of the Chinese peoples experience with nature and living in harmony with it.

Qigong is studied not merely for the health and strength of the body, but as an attempt to understand human nature and its interactions with the environment and the universe as a whole. Realizing that humans are part of nature, any attempt to understand human physiology inevitably involves the study of wholism.

From commoners to scientists, martial artists to government officials. Qigong studies span the masses of the Chinese population.

Supporting Research into the Health Benefits of Qigong

Qi Gong is a practice which combines relaxing movement, breathing and visualization. It is a tool to make Qi circulate in order to preserve one’s health, cure diseases and prolong life. The consistent practice has been shown to foster development of a profound inner calmness and non-reactivity of the mind, allowing individuals to face, and even embrace, all aspects of daily life, regardless of circumstances.

Science has proven the complementary healing effects of Qigong in medical science. Qigong can relieve chronic pain (including low back), reduce tension, increase activities of our immune system (even at the genetic level), improve heart health, mediates neuroendocrine responses, improve eyesight, and influence blood flow & biochemistry. There is also proof of its positive effects on depression, and stabilization of the autonomic nervous system and the emotional state. It induces a state of relaxation via the induction of alpha brain waves and the release of serotonin. Jang & Lee randomized study put forth Qigong as an effective complementary therapy for managing the symptoms of PMS. It has also been concluded that visualization was an effective intervention for long-term smoking cessation and abstinence in adult smokers. The Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Harvard Medical School, study of the ‘Use of mind-body medical therapies’ stated that ‘much opportunity exists to increase use of mind-body therapies for indications with demonstrated efficacy’.

The cultivation or preservation of ones health through the complimentary practice of Qigong plays an integral part in any persons path to wellness and the accomplishment of their goals. Join a class, read a book, buy a video.

——————
Dr. Spence Pentland is a board licensed Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and certified Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Since 2004 Spence has focused exclusively on the treatment of reproductive disorders in both men and women in Vancouver Canada. To book an appointment or for a free 15 minute phone consultation visit DrSpencePentland.com (Vancouver fertility acupuncture). He and his wife are also ‘bringing sexy back to baby-making’ with their new line of ‘fertility friendly’ men’s underwear!