oakville massage newsletter

 
 

In This Issue:

Reducing Upper Back Pain
Problems with Wheat and Gluten Fact or Fad?
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Now Available - Organic Hypoallergenic Pillows

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February 2015

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Reducing Upper Back Pain

Dr. Tara Brown, (Hon) BA Kin, DC, ART®, D.Ac
Doctor of Chiropractic
Active Release Techniques, Acupuncture & Graston Technique Provider

dr tara brownIt is very common for patients to present with thoracic spine (upper to mid-back) pain. Most describe this pain as stiff, tense, sharp or achy. It is not surprising that the majority of patients are suffering from this type of discomfort as many of their jobs require them to sit at a desk for long hours. At the beginning of the day it may be easy to sit with proper posture, but as the day goes on and as muscles fatigue, it becomes more difficult to sit up straight. This leads to poor posture, stressing the upper and mid back, as well as the shoulders and neck.

What can be done to help relieve some of this discomfort after a long day at work? I am going to describe two different exercises that can easily be done at home to help relieve tension in this area of the spine. Both of these exercises are best done with a foam roller, but if you do not have one handy, than it is also effective to use a thick rolled up towel.

Exercise 1: Thoracic Spine and Pectoralis Stretch

For this exercise you are going to place the foam roller on the ground. You then lay on the foam roller face up, so that your spine is in line with the foam roller (see picture below). Make sure the foam roller supports both your head and buttock. Once comfortably positioned, spread your arms out to your side with palms facing upward. You may either extend your legs or keep them bent. You should feel a nice stretch across your chest and should be pain free. While taking nice deep breaths in and out, hold this stretch for 60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

spine extension

Exercise 2:  Thoracic Spine Extension 

For this exercise, position the foam roller at the middle of your back and perpendicular to your spine (see picture below). Position your hands behind your head. Take a deep breath in, then while exhaling, lean back slowly over the foam roller. Do not force yourself to go further than your body naturally allows you to go. With practice, this exercise will eventually help you gain mobility in your back allowing you to go further. Continue this exercise 2-3 times with the roller in the same position. Then slowly move the foam roller up your back to mobilize the different sections of your spine.

spine extension

There are also some helpful videos on YouTube demonstrating these exercises. See the links below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfvV1R6bZBU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9IEmOldQOs

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding these exercises feel free to consult with either of our Chiropractors.

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

Problems with Wheat and Gluten Fact or Fad?

Dr. Samantha Ristimaki, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine

dr ristimakiWhy only pick on wheat? Think of the grocery store for a moment. Can you think of any other single substance that occupies more shelf space? Breads, cakes and cookies in the bakery, the entire isle devoted to breakfast cereals, snack foods like crackers and granola bars, pasta and noodles alone or in canned soups, frozen pizza or anything breaded. It’s everywhere!

Wheat has changed dramatically in the past 50 years to increase production. Strains of wheat were purposefully bred at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre to have higher yields. These strains were adopted worldwide in the 1980s. Now, small dwarf wheat plants are the norm and comprise 99% of the wheat grown worldwide.

The Mayo clinic did a study using frozen blood samples taken from Air Force recruits 50 years ago and found that the intolerance of wheat gluten is four times more common today than it was in the 1950s. The reality now is that 1 in 133 test positive for gluten intolerance, which is higher than it’s ever been.

Gluten is found in grains like rye, barley, spelt and kamut, but the consumption of gluten in the North American diet is 99% wheat products. Researchers have learned that the main problem in celiac disease and gluten-intolerance is a specific protein or peptide strand in the gluten molecule, not the gluten itself. It is theorized that this peptide strand wasn’t present in ancestral varieties of wheat. Modern wheat varieties are wildly different than more traditional varieties. In short, modern wheat is simply not the same plant that it used to be.

There are likely many other factors involved, but the reality is that wheat is rampant in the North American diet. If you suspect that you are intolerant to gluten, it’s valuable to get tested and find out. Even if you are not intolerant, consider that it may be a healthier choice to not rely on wheat alone and to strive for a diet that contains a variety of grains and starchy vegetables as a source of energy and dietary fibre.

Try these Gluten-free grains and starches instead:

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Squash
  • Millet
  • Oats

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Andrea Nederveen, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist

Andrea Nederveen RMTThis syndrome is named for the area of the body that stems from the base of the neck to the armpit, a passageway called the Thoracic Outlet. From the cervical spine there is a set of nerves called the brachial plexus. This set of nerves travel through the neck, axilla region (armpit), and down into the arm, forearm and hands.

The brachial plexus has different trunks, cords and branches that run between the muscles and bones of the upper neck and shoulders. It is very easy for this nerve to be compressed. I will use the analogy of a vacuum hose. If the hose is kinked, then the suction is reduced, which inhibits the ability of an object to move through it. Similarly, a nerve requires a clear path in order to send its information along and, in turn, to move an arm. When the nerve is compressed or damaged, the needed information is blocked. This may result in symptoms such as weakness in the arm, numbness, tingling and sometimes pain.

Poor posture, which creates rounded shoulders, is the most common way to compress a nerve. This position puts strain on the rhomboid muscles by pulling your shoulder blades away from the spine, which makes it difficult to put them back in the natural position. Also, with rounded shoulders, your pectoral muscles become tight and gradually shorten. Forward head positon is often associated with poor posture and contributes to a hunched sitting position. This position causes strain on the muscles in the front of your neck (as they need to lengthen) and tightening of the muscles in the back of your neck (by shortening them).

When your body is perfectly aligned, the brachial plexus can send information perfectly. When muscles tighten, the position of your posture changes and makes it difficult to send the information smoothly, which may cause further symptoms such as neck, shoulder and armpit pain. Symptoms may also include numbness or tingling down the arm and into the forearm, hand and finger, as well as decreased circulation in the arm, hand and fingers.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, here are a few exercises to help resolve them:

  • Start by rolling your shoulders back so your shoulder blades are in the correct anatomical position, and fold your hands behind you keeping your elbows as straight as possible. This position anchors your shoulder blades and puts you in a good position to stretch out your neck.
  • Next, stretch your neck by bringing your right ear down to your right shoulder. You will feel a stretch on the opposite side of your neck. While holding this position, tilt your chin upward and you will feel a stretch in the front of your neck. Repeat on the left side.
  • The next step is to stretch your pectoral muscles. Stand in front of a doorway and hold your arms straight out to your sides at a 90 degree angle. Bend your elbows so your hands are in the air. Rest your forearms against the frame as you push your body into the doorway.

These are a few basic stretches to get you on your way. It is also important to see your massage therapist who will treat any muscle tightness or strains that you may have, which helps to decrease compression on the nerve and opens up the thoracic outlet.

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

Now Available - Organic Hypoallergenic Pillows

Sleeping takes up a large majority of your life. And while you are sleeping, there are chemicals present. A simple way to avoid these chemicals is by replacing your pillow with an organic one. Wellness for the Body is proud to now offer you two Canadian-made pillows. Certified Organic rubber latex is the best core material, resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites. Organic wool is also resistant to dust mites, can lower your heart rate, and control uncomfortable humidity. Whether you are interested in a cleaner environment or improved health for you and your family, an organic pillow is essential to a good night’s sleep. 

dream mate pillowDream Mate Contour Pillow - Certified Organic Shredded Latex

The Dream Mate Contour Pillow is not only hypoallergenic, it is also ergonomic. A side zipper allows for a customized fill (to adjust your pillow's firmness and support) and centre baffles create a contour ergonomic shape for optimal neck and spinal support. Certified Organic latex is a renewable resource with many benefits:

  • Stays naturally clean, fresh and dry for its entire life.
  • Non-allergenic, anti-bacterial, fungus free and a natural dust mite repellent.
  • Conforms to your body’s contours, thus eliminating pressure points while promoting normal blood circulation.
  • Resilient, cuddly and totally mouldable.
  • Covered in 100% organic cotton and filled with organic rubber, these pillows will maintain their shape for a very long time. 

epic pillowEpic Regular Loft Pillow - Certified Organic Wool and Alpaca

The Epic Pillow wicks away moisture to maintain a fresh, dry sleep environment that naturally eliminates the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and other allergens. The Epic pillow also has many benefits:

  • Provides amazing support and the best moisture control available for warm sleepers.
  • The fill is a combination of Organic Wool and Alpaca (50/50 blend).
  • No chemicals, dyes or bleaches are used when the fibre is processed.
  • The 100% cotton cover is breathable and soft to the touch.

 

The Dream Mate and Epic Pillow are both on sale now. For pricing and more information, click here.

 


 

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Health & Wellness: Shop In-Store or Online!

Gift Certificates
Now purchasing the gift of health couldn't be any easier! Gift certificates may be purchased over the phone or online for any dollar amount, and can be sent to you by regular mail or email within 2 business days. Click Here!
gift certificates
Dream Mate Contour Pillow - Certified Organic Shredded Latex
The Dream Mate Contour Pillow is not only hypoallergenic, it is also ergonomic. A side zipper allows for a customized fill (to adjust your pillow's firmness and support) and centre baffles create a contour ergonomic shape for optimal neck and spinal support. Click Here!
organic latex pillow

Epic Regular Loft Pillow - Certified Organic Wool and Alpaca
The Epic Pillow wicks away moisture to maintain a fresh, dry sleep environment that naturally eliminates the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and other allergens. The Epic pillow provides amazing support and the best moisture control available for warm sleepers. Click Here!

wool alpaca pillow
 
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