We’re all back to the swing of things this month with work, school, sports, events, you name it! Dr. Laura offers her top stress management lifestyle strategies to help you navigate life with a level head.Read More
Ready to live a healthier life? Working on your health one step at a time? What are the words that help motivate you or get you through when times are tough? Dr. Laura shares the words that have helped her in her personal journey in health.Read More
By WIN Contributor: Shauna Pierrynowski, PTA, RNCP
As Dr. Nick wrote in his last blog post that most people give up on their healthy new year resolutions within the first fifteen days of making them… Being that it’s January 17th…I’m here to check in to see how your doing with sticking to your goals. Are you making them Stick or have they taken a Slide?
If you are starting to feel that Sticking to your big health goals is starting to Slide… I propose this…
How about setting tiny monthly goals so you can achieve them?
As I sit here to write this blog post for WIN Health Solutions I myself find that I also get stuck thinking about healthy changes. My mind wonders on the endless possibility of what I can change positively in my personal and professional life.
Should it be a goal about health (physical, mental, the whole package)? What about finances? Maybe I should give back to the community? Or maybe just take care of my wellbeing?
Whatever the resolution or goals are, here are some helpful tips on how to keep it small, keep it smart and actually achieve these goals.
SMART Goal Setting 101
S – SPECIFIC these goals address the what, why and how.
M – MEASURABLE this is the part where your goal is concrete and observable.
A – ATTAINABLE this is made up of small goals or changes that are under your control – example you want to lose 20lbs let’s start with eating less CRAP (Carbs, Refined sugar, Artificial, Processed foods) and eat more FOOD (fruits/veggies, organic lean protein, omega 3s, drink water)
R – REWARDING don’t go and set a goal that will make you angry, try small steps like instead of eating chips every night while watching t.v switch it to 5 nights of popcorn rather than the chips and keep going from there replacing the last item with something healthier.
T – TIME BOUND putting an end date or point on a goal will give you’re a clear and concrete target to achieve.
I hope you find these simple goal setting ideas helpful in whatever it is that you choose to change in your life. If you need more guidance, a specific plan and individualized support, visit with one of our team members at WIN Health Solutions Niagara and they can help you Stick to your health goals so that this year brings you more health and happiness!
By WIN Contributor: Nancy H, Reception Team Member
On the First Day Of Christmas, my Chiro gave to me, shockwave therapy.
On the Second Day Of Christmas, my ND gave to me, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Third Day Of Christmas, Physio gave to me, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Fourth Day Of Christmas, Massage gave to me, four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my ND gave to me, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Sixth Day Of Christmas, my Chiro gave to me, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy. (Whew!!!)
On the Seventh Day Of Christmas, my Trainer gave to me, seven abs a squeezing, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Eighth Day Of Christmas, Physio gave to me, eight core strength exercises, seven abs a squeezing, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Ninth Day Of Christmas, Massage gave to me, nine hot stones (cause I need them now!!), eight core strength exercises, seven abs a squeezing, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Tenth Day Of Christmas, my Chiro gave to me ten acupuncture needles, nine hot stones, eight core strength exercises, seven abs a squeezing, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy.
On the Eleventh Day Of Christmas, my Trainer gave to me, eleven burpees jumping, ten acupuncture needles, nine hot stones, eight core strength exercises, seven abs a squeezing, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters and shockwave therapy. (Am I done yet??)
On the Twelfth Day Of Christmas, my ND gave to me twelve Relaxation Strategies!! ('cause now I really need it!!), eleven burpees jumping, ten acupuncture needles, nine hot stones, eight core strength exercises, seven abs a squeezing, six laser treatments, 5 REM-E-DIES!!! Four “cupping” treatments, three ultrasound, two immune boosters AN-ND SHO-OCKWAVE THERAPYYYY!!
(Disclaimer: No patients were harmed in any way in the creation of this song!! LOL ;)
We, at WIN Health Solutions Niagara, would like you to know all of these services and many more are offered at our one stop, full service alternative healthcare clinic Niagara Falls.
Thank you to all of our clients for your valued patronage in the past, present and future! To all of you, your families and prospective patients, we would like to extend our warmest wishes for a very happy holiday season and a healthy New Year!!
By WIN Contributor: Dr. Matthew Bird, Chiropractor
In a previous post, I discussed the two fundamental approaches to treatment, Duct Tape and WD 40, which people require when dealing with nagging musculoskeletal ailments.
At WIN Health Solutions Niagara, these two approaches for treating commonly observed ailments are easily assessed by one of our manual therapists. These particular complaints refer to structural properties of the body, which I will refer to as the hardware systems of health.
The hardware items include your...
- Joint capsules
These items can be easily understood when discussing where the pain is coming from when there is an injury.
What if there wasn’t a single event that caused pain? What if the pain suddenly appeared for no apparent reason?
These pain syndromes tend to be very frustrating for the patient and generally lead to significant worry regarding how to deal with the pain.
Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say we have a runner who has been running on a “good” training program revolving around duration, intensity, and frequency. The training program has been going well for about two months but, suddenly, the runner has knee pain.
First, we check in with a WIN Niagara Falls Chiropractic Doctor for an evaluation. :)
The runner seems to have all the “hardware” in place with no signs of true weakness or inflammation. Overall, isolated mobility of the ankle, the knee and the hip seem to be good, indicating that the hardware appears to be intact.
So why is the runner in pain?
An assessment of the site shows some deficits in squat mechanics and lunge patterns. However, the runner has no pain during testing.
In this example, the runner’s hardware systems have adapted to a glitch in the software system designed to control their very function.
Sure, individual components work but, as a whole, there is a problem.
The software system I am speaking of is the motor pattern control unit of mobility and there is definitely a “bug” in the system.
Because of this “bug”, the hardware is insufficient at coordinating movement patterns from segment to segment resulting in pain perceived to be strictly a hardware issue.
Thus, the hardware is insufficient to take the loads of training either in duration, intensity, or frequency. This is called maladaptation and has probably been going on for years prior to the injury or before the runner even became a runner.
We are all aware that general pain onset when starting a new program is normal as the hardware adapts, but the question then arises:
Have you properly addressed movement issues before starting your program?
Have you optimally developed a motor planning skill set to allow the hardware system to truly gain strength and endurance?
Your hardware training of tissue development requires software updating to truly define and maintain hardware integrity.
Software development (changing your motor skills) does not require heavy weight training or long endurance bouts of exercise. It requires a commitment to truly understanding how your muscles move your joints in a defined movement sequence. Not in isolation, but in multi-segmental movement patterns ie: multiple body parts at the same time.
A WIN Health Niagara Falls Chiropractic Doctor can help you identify these faulty patterns of movement, help move those “stuck” spots and show you how to stabilize those “loose” spots. It all begins with the housing of the nervous system, your spine, and how well you control its postural demands. It will ultimately come down to how committed you are at recognizing and addressing your own limitations to prevent hardware failures. To create a smoothly functioning system for your musculoskeletal health visit, visit us at WIN Health Solutions Niagara.
By WIN Contributor; Dr. Laura Imola, Naturopathic Doctor
I was recently asked* by "Rewire Me" to write an article for their readers that focused on personal transformation which drew from my years of work and life experience. I wrote on a topic that was near and dear to me: how the path toward optimal health, including my own, is not linear.
What does this all mean...not linear? It's really quite simple... think of a zig zag... think... two steps forward, one step back... think the winding path to the top of a mountain.
My hope in sharing my story is that more people are inspired to keep working on getting to their truest and best expression of health. When the going gets tough, to remember to not give up.
If you want to hear my own zig zaggy, back and forth, fall down nine times stand up ten, story about the journey of health... keep reading...
The Winding Path for the Naturopath
For those who know me, many would find it hard to believe that at one time in my life I hated vegetables. It would be especially surprising to know that I had an equally strong aversion to exercise of any kind. It is true that into my early adulthood, I seldom ate my greens, I cursed the thought of physical activity and my passion was sugar. This would be hard to imagine now, since my passion in life is to not only educate others about how to be proactively healthy and prevent illness, but to also live this way.
It wasn’t always like this, and I had a moment in my early adulthood when I realized that my self care had to change. Back then, I felt like an old lady trapped in a young person’s body.
Though I struggled with constant fatigue, I couldn’t fall asleep at night. I was plagued with frequent infections, regular headaches, felt rusty in the mornings and my hair was falling out. I felt unwell, but I just accepted this was normal for me. Deep down inside, I knew my body was breaking down, and I needed to make a change.
There is a tremendous amount of health research linking poor nutrition and lifestyle habits to the rampant chronic illness rates in North America. In addition, over recent years we are seeing more studies, such as the one published in the journal Circulation in 2013, that links sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition in teens to an increased risk of developing heart disease in their forties.
Some people may think I just jumped right into a healthy lifestyle and kept on going. I wish that was the way it happened but for me, like most people, I found that the journey of health was not linear. I see many people stuck in a state of mediocre health who start out with great energy to revolutionize their lives. But as they face challenges or are put outside their comfort zone, their enthusiasm can fizzle out.
"When we are not aware of the fact that the gift of health is earned over time, it is easy to become discouraged and discontinue our efforts."
The path towards our best expression of health is a zig-zaggy, up and down, steps forward and steps back kind of path. When we are not aware of the fact that the gift of health is earned over time, it is easy to become discouraged and discontinue our efforts. It is important to remember that there is substantial growth, self-awareness, realizations and time required to transform our health.
"Starting out by making small changes counts just as much as the big jumps into a health kick."
Wading through the healthy options, trying them on, failing sometimes, making mistakes and experiencing the big wins are all rolled into this journey. Some things we may enjoy, and other things we may not.
This is completely normal.
It’s part of the process.
In today’s age of perfectionism and instant gratification, this can be incredibly challenging to accept at times. Sadly, these two factors often hold people back from making progress and reaching their goals. However, letting go of expectations while walking this uneven road frees the way to higher ground.
Starting out by making small changes counts just as much as the big jumps into a health kick. When we take these steps to do good things for our mind, body and soul, the net result is always positive. It may at times be a climb but the view from the top is worth it.
*Acknowledgment: Many thanks to Kaitlin Vogel and the team at Rewire Me for the opportunity to contribute to their great site! You can see the published article for Rewire Me here.
Did you notice the photos of Michael Phelps' during the Men's 4x100 freestyle relay swim which won him a gold. It's always riveting watching an Olympic swimming competition, but what's got just as much media buzz is the purple marks along his upper body.
Phelps' large purple dots are the result of a super old Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy known as "Cupping." Many athletes, celebrities, and yes, even many of us regular folks, have taken to Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies like acupuncture and cupping to address concerns and optimize health.
What Is Cupping?
Cupping involves applying a glass or plastic open ended globes to skin at different sites on the body. Classical methods involve heating the glass globes with a small flame to create a vacuum so it sticks to the skin. However, plastic options can be applied which do not require heat but use tiny levers to create suction.
The purpose of the suction is to lift of the soft tissue beneath the area it's on. Cups can be left in place or moved around a site of concern. This increases blood flow, kneads out tension and breaks up scar tissue.
Discolouration is due to the suction breaking superficial capillaries in the skin, however, this is temporary and usually fades within a week's time.
What Does It Feel Like?
You may associate this type of bruising with pain, but when cupping is done correctly *by a trained professional* it's not uncomfortable and can be relaxing. The sensation that people can expect when having cupping done properly is pressure, warmth and some tightness where the cup is placed but there shouldn't be intense discomfort. Think of it like a deep tissue massage.
What Are The Benefits of Cupping?
Can you believe that cupping is a 3,000 year old practice? People find that cupping helps to reduce muscle soreness, increase range of motion, speed healing and improve mobility. Many providers of this therapy have also used it to help with other things such as poor circulation, immune health and anxiety.
Cupping At WIN
Our Registered Massage Therapist, Amanda Cajucom, utilizes cupping. It is another example of how our providers maintain an eclectic approach in their health care so they can better help the patients they are working with.
If you want to try cupping for your sore muscles or to see what all the fuss is about, contact us to arrange a time to meet and discuss this therapy with Amanda at WIN Health Solutions Niagara.
Or... If you want to use acupuncture in your care, visit one of our physiotherapists, chiropractors or our naturopathic doctor as all the WIN providers have extensive experience using acupuncture to help people address their health concerns.
I am excited to be part of a new service coming to WIN Health Solutions Niagara Falls! Patients will be able to obtain extra guidance and support by a Registered Kinesiologist on each visit. In case I have not had the opportunity to meet you, my name is Karen Evers and I am a Registered Kinesiologist.
I have been working the last two years with the Niagara Falls Physiotherapy team at WIN Health Solutions as a Physiotherapy Assistant. I am also a Registered Kinesiologist. To be a Kinesiologist in Ontario, I had to earn a University degree, and then complete and pass the Provincial Exam to work as a Kinesiologist in the province.
You may be wondering what Kinesiology can offer a patient in the clinical setting. We are human movement professionals. We assess patients to rehabilitate and/or enhance human performance. My goal at WIN Health Solutions is to work with our team of professionals to provide care to those who suffer from musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, individuals injured at work or people who have had motor vehicle accidents.
WIN Health Solutions is unique because it offers a wide range of health care services to the community under one roof. This is of great benefit for patients because with a team approach the WIN Health Solutions Practitioners can collaborate to ensure you get the best and most comprehensive care possible.
My vision as a Kinesiologist at WIN is to provide patients with injuries or conditions extra health strategies and support to round out what they will receive from the clinician they are working with at WIN. I will also offer guidance with regard to specific exercises that will help relieve pain, increase range of motion and gain back strength so they can take control of their own health.
My approach is always individualized and will complement the treatment your Chiropractor or Physiotherapist has given you. Another added benefit is that some insurance companies offer coverage for Kinesiologist visits.
I look forward to working with the WIN Practitioners to help our patients achieve their optimal health goals!
With the beautiful summer weather and residing in the lively Niagara region it's easy to be active and enjoy the scenery that our city has to offer.
The providers at WIN Health Solutions Niagara are enjoying the summertime for some of their most favourite activities. They share how they stay and have fun during the summer months and we look at the proven health benefits behind their most favourite forms of exercise.
Life's A Climb, But The View Is Great
Chiropractor, Dr. Ernie Says:
“There's nothing better in the summertime than getting out on the open road on my bike. Whether with my riding group or on my own, it is a fast and fun experience that keeps me strong and clears my mind.”
Dr. Ernie enjoys the endurance sport of road biking. Going long distances on a light weight bike, whether independently or with a group, is liberating and invigorating. In addition to the whole body exercise and calming effects cycling provides, there are many other positive benefits for riders. Stanford University found that cyclists sleep better. They also found that the increased circulation experienced by cyclists expedites the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells and removal of toxins out of them. The result? Less wrinkles and a more youthful appearance! ;)
Mix It Up: Team Sports, Independent Exercise and Family Time
Chiropractor, Dr. Matt Says:
"I play beach volleyball and baseball for social and physical activity. I also combine yoga and Pilates for mobility and control, and add some weight training for strength. Oh... and I can¹t forget about walking with the family and the family dog. :) "
Dr. Matt knows the secret to staying fit... variety! While enjoying different forms of exercise, from team sports, to his own strength training and stretching and even walking his dog with the family, Dr. Matt maintains a variety of regular activity. Mixing up exercise, along with finding ways to be active during everyday life, is a great way to keep activity fresh and motivating rather than repetitive and boring. Having a consistent amount of diverse good quality exercise can help solidify exercise as a healthy part of everyone's lifestyle.
Cruising The Parkway
Physiotherapy Assistant and Kinesiologist, Karen Says:
"I enjoy bike riding along the Niagara parkway to keep active. I love the scenery! There is so much beauty."
Getting out into the beautiful green space of Niagara on a bike is a great way to obtain cardiovascular benefits. In addition, the University of Washington found there are more than 100 studies that have shown that relaxation and stress reduction are also significant benefits associated with spending time in green space.
Get Out For A Swing
Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura Says:
"I am hooked on Kettlebells with Tina at Kettlebells Niagara. In the summer I really enjoy her outdoor classes. This low impact, high intensity workout has helped me feel stronger in my yoga classes and keep up with my bustling little boys!"
The American Council on Exercise found a twenty minute Kettlebells class can lead to the same, and often greater, amounts of calorie expenditure experienced in a regular cardio class. Plus, a kettlebell class simultaneously provides cardiovascular and strength training. It's a great option for people who are short on time and are looking for a complete work out.
Run, Run, Run And Have Fun
Personal Trainer, Scott Says:
"Running down Clifton Hill and by the falls, dodging all the tourists and then running up the big hill and around the casino is always an adventure. It's nice to listen to some good tunes while running through the crowd...especially when it's hot!!"
Scott finds ways to switch up his exercise and infuses fun into what ever he does. Studies have found that running helps to reduce stress and many runners have their own personal stories about the stress busting powers of their regular jog.
Making exercise a regular part of our lifestyle is essential for physical health, stress management and emotional wellbeing. Take advantage of this beautiful area we live in to explore and enjoy a new physical activity this summer. It's all right outside your door!
By WIN Contributor: Scott Paul, Personal Trainer
A hockey player skates down the ice, a sprinter runs the 100m, an older adult stands on their toes reaching for something up high and another person tries to keep control after stepping off the side of the curb. What do all these things have in common? They all require a degree of balance.
Balance is important in our everyday lives and the balance we have deceases as we age. That is one reason why we need to work on it. It is trainable. You can become better at it. Gymnasts who hop and jump on one leg onto a narrow beam do so with practice. You can get better, just as they do. I start to do a balance drill and have heard almost every time “oh, my balance isn’t very good”. I think “well, you’re in luck, that’s why we’re going to work on it." And that’s the thing; even those with the best of balance need to work on it.
I was at a conference years ago and the instructor leading the presentation said something that has stuck with me ever since. “To train balance, you need to put the body OUT OF BALANCE.”
It is like the Principle of Overload, where you must lift heavier and heavier, to get stronger. As you stand there, doing dishes, with two feet on the ground and about shoulder width apart, you’re not really working on balance are you? Just as you’re not working on strength by lifting your cell phone off the table.
There are many exercises we can do to work on balance, which for some might be just standing on a single foot, while others may need an unstable surface.
There’s the reaching drill, I often do with my clients at our wellness clinic niagara falls, where you reach to the front, to the side and to the back with one foot while standing on the other.
Also, try doing the dishes standing on one foot. That makes dishwashing a bit more challenging. Then try balancing with your eyes closed, or balancing while playing catch. There are tons of ways to keep it challenging and interesting.
Everyone needs to work on balance. For some it may be to help them with everyday tasks and for others it may be to help them with a particular sport. Balance is something that diminishes with age, but something we can train and get better at.
By WIN Contributor: Dr. Matthew Bird, Chiropractor
Since 2010 there has been a dramatic increase in the awareness of concussions associated with sports and within the workplace. This awareness has sparked a significant increase in research on the diagnosis and management of concussions.
Clinically, concussions are termed mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), but to compound the problem of understanding what these injuries are, not all mTIB’s are concussions. Wait, what?
Lets define what a concussion is; a brain injury with a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces. This means that a concussion is a result of a direct blow to the head/face/neck or body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head. This force will then lead to a rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, symptoms and signs may evolve over a number of minutes to hours. Due to the fact that acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a “functional” disturbance rather than a “structural” disturbance (neuropathological) there is no abnormality seen on routine neuroimaging studies (ie: MRI).
What do you do if you suspect you have a concussion? WIN Health Solutions Chiropractors and Physiotherapists can help you set up a plan for recovery as early management is key to reducing your symptoms and will prevent the trench effect of lingering symptoms. The good news is that 80-90% of individuals with mTBIs will recover fully with therapy!
Management of concussion symptoms is done on an individual basis by monitoring the individual’s biggest energy drain affecting their body/mood. Whether it is bodily pain (headaches, muscle/joint soreness), cognitive disturbances (reaction time, concentration), visual/vestibular disruptions (environment), sleep disruption or secondary anxiety/depression. The goal of therapy is always to get you back to where you want to be and that is back to your normal life.
For further info regarding the effects and management of concussions come speak to a WIN Health Solutions Niagara practitioner so you may keep your head in the game! Remember early intervention is the key to your recovery.
By WIN Contributor: Nancy V, Reception Team Member
Just as we cheer on and encourage our patients to reach their highest potential and go for their own personal gold, the WIN team raced for gold to support Project Share. Under the Friday night lights, the WIN team set out to show off our driving skills at the go kart track.
With twelve teams, and four racers per team, the challenge was on to show how well WIN Health Solutions could steer around the competition.
Our Physiotherapy team member, Karen raced first, giving the rest of the WIN team an insight on how the track felt and widening the first corner quite nicely for the other drivers. We were off to a good start!
Then it was Dr. Matt's turn to show us all how go karts are meant to be driven, coming in first in his heat. Dr. Matt's a natural when it comes to excelling in sports, even racing! Dr Matt was on to the semi finals.
As luck would have it, our WIN Physiotherapist, Tania Mannella decided to show off her driving skills and was first in her heat for a lap or two, but was then bumped into the guard rail. She recovered, just like her patients at WIN Health Solutions do, and proudly finished the race.
Finally the Pit Boss, Dr Ernie was up. Just like at work, he was determined to give it his all. Passing cars and ending up second in his heat Dr Ernie was also off to the semi finals.
With only a few competitors left to race against, the WIN team put their heads together.
Smiling and laughing while we pooled our knowledge and shared some tricks and insights to figure out a strategy to pull off the victory.
Dr Ernie, putting the petal to the metal, raced in the semi but got bumped out while Dr Matt bumped and drifted his way into the finals.
As the final race began Dr Matt was determined to come out on top. Unfortunately, we were not destined to be champions this night, but it was a wonderfully fun night of team cheering and racing as the WINcredibles in support of Project Share.
Congratulations to the Project Share Grand Prix champions! Coming in at 3rd place was Big Wheels, 2nd place Past & Present, and 1st place Chippawa Presbyterian Church!
And now the track is set for next year ...
By WIN Contributor: Dr. Ernie Bagnulo, Chiropractor
Here at WIN Health Solutions Niagara, we utilize Laser Therapy as method of helping pain and inflammation. This is not just ANY Laser Therapy device, we use a Class IV Laser machine made by LiteCure. This is the most powerful and advanced Laser Therapy machine on the market and is Health Canada approved to effectively treat pain as an alternative to drugs and surgery, in certain cases.
At WIN Health Solutions Niagara, our chiropractors, physiotherapists, naturopathic doctor and massage therapists have used Laser therapy consistently in our treatment plans for the last 9 years. Laser therapy treatments last between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the condition being treated.
The BEST part about Class IV Laser Therapy is that it works and it feels great. You will feel a soothing warmth as the therapy is administered. It must be administered directly to the skin via a contact or non-contact hand piece, as Laser Therapy cannot penetrate clothing.
The most common question we receive at WIN Health Solutions Niagara is, “How does Laser Therapy work?” This is not an easy question to answer without getting into the scientific theory of Laser therapy, but it simply helps to stimulate cellular metabolism by converting the light energy (Laser) to biochemical energy (cell metabolism).
Patients generally see results after 3 to 5 treatments. The usual dosage frequency is three times per week for three weeks, but this is highly variable depending on many factors.
Please call WIN Health Solutions Niagara for pricing and stay tuned for an upcoming promo regarding this safe and cutting edge treatment.