Our running expert, Physiotherapist Tania Mannella, shares more evidence to support the health benefits of running.Read More
Free Webinar by Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
The Health Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a world full of unknowns to most people. It's a world full of muscles, nerves, ligaments, connective tissue and blood supply that people don't even realize they have!
The pelvic floor is one of the most important sets of muscle systems in the body. This system quietly does significant work each day that allows us to preform functional movements that we often take for granted like urinating, bowel movements and sex!
As one of the few physiotherapists in Ontario, and the only one in Niagara Falls, who has received a specialization in this area through extensive study and certification, I understand these muscle systems, their importance and the possible dysfunction associated with them.
So why? Why would I want to learn about people's pelvic floor pain, incontinence, sexual dysfunction? Because I know so many people feel uneasy about discussing these health concerns, which can have a major impact on quality of life. I welcome the opportunity to improve their lives and offer effective health solutions that they didn't know they had.
Many people don't feel comfortable discussing their pelvic health issues. I offer secure and comfortable support, a listening ear, understanding and empathy to help others attain their health goals. I work with my patients so they may feel empowered to overcome the embarrassment associated with pain in this area of the body.
For this reason I put together this webinar so you can learn what to expect with pelvic floor physical therapy. I welcome you to have a listen, find out more about the benefit of pelvic floor physical therapy assessment and treatment, and be informed so you can take the necessary steps to find your truest expression of health.
Special Pelvic Floor Initiative...If you are Pregnant, Postpartum or Planning a Family get a head start on optimizing your health...
By WIN Contributor: Dr. Nicholas Slowinski, Chiropractor
We all feel some version of the holiday rush, whether it be the hustle and bustle of the shopping malls, last minute gift buying, late nights, early mornings... and don’t forget about that midnight wrapping you’ve procrastinated about. Lets face it; the holidays can be stressful times!
Good stress is stress that motivates, or provides incentive to get the job done! This is something that you often enjoy, makes us feel happy, motivated, and productive such as regular exercise. Bad stress is what results when we don't tolerate a stressor.
This is when we feel the tension, the pressure is on and we can’t seem to get away from it! It's when this happens that we can feel much more complicated feelings of anxiety due to holiday stress. Here are some strategies to keep stress levels in check this holiday season.
Now it is no secret that exercise is good for us. Physical activity causes a release in our body’s natural feel good hormones, neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Often referred to as the runners high this feeling can be brought on by a number of physical activities.
When we're focused on an exercise regime the day’s irritations are often forgotten while focused in the moment. This helps us be more focused when we switch to a specific task.
Exercise improves our mood as well. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help boost self-confidence and lower symptoms of stress and anxiety. Most people feel more relaxed post workout, which can help improve sleep and ease those feelings of stress and anxiety even further (stay tuned for future blogs on sleep).
Although exercise is well known by all to help, it can be tough to get to the gym this time of year. Keep reading for more stress neutralizing options if this is the case...
Now for those who are too busy to get to the gym, meditation might be a very helpful alternative. Meditation can help reduce stress levels by allowing us to take charge of our thoughts, mitigate emotions and allow us to experience the present moment. People who mediate often report having increased levels of concentration, increased self-awareness, and are generally happier.
Recent studies show that regular meditation has beneficial effects of the cardiovascular and immune systems, meaning people are physically healthier as well. Meditation is arguably as good for you as regular exercise, however you’re just using a different set of muscles. Mediation can be done anywhere at any time and requires no equipment…
...but how does one begin a meditation practice? The best answer to this is to find a method that works for you! With today’s technology, beginning a meditation practice is easier then ever! There are plenty of downloadable aps that you can find to help you along your path. Some suggested favourites are the following:
· Stop, think and breath
Each of these apps offer guidance through a series of meditative exercises to help participants achieve the beneficial effects of meditation at their own pace. The best part is they are free! If you want to learn more about the benefits of meditation or where to start check out the following links.
Although meditation and exercise are extremely beneficial they still may not fit into your lifestyle, especially at this time of year. When things are hectic we might not have the ability to stop and meditate quietly for 10 minutes, and if that’s the case we certainly can’t afford the time to get exercise in. However all hope is not lost, as "grounding" is a highly effective technique that can be done on the fly requiring only seconds of time!
Similar to meditation grounding allows us to redirect those overwhelming feelings and center ourselves on the task at hand. Although the concept of grounding is somewhat difficult to grasp, a simple analogy that can be used is a tree. Just as a tree roots itself deeply into the ground during good weather, these roots (grounding techniques) make it difficult for any storm (stress/anxiety) to blow the tree over. For more information on how to use grounding techniques in your day-to-day life check out the following article.
Although the holidays may be a stressful time, we are not without any tools to handle these situations. Hopefully if your feeling some added seasonal pressure these strategies will help you enjoy your holiday to the fullest. On behalf or myself and WIN Health, I wish you a Happy Holidays!
By WIN Contributor: Scott Paul, BSM, MSc (Candidate), Personal Trainer
I titled this “Anatomy of a Workout”, but it should be titled “Anatomy of YOUR Workout”. I get asked certain questions about my approach quite a bit…even as early as just last week. The question is: how do you think of all the exercises and do you have a plan or program to follow?
First, every client is different, has different needs and is capable of different things. I can’t follow the same approach for a 65 year old person suffering chronic shoulder pain as I do for a 19 year old hockey player looking for foot speed and core strength. And second, there are many things that contribute to what you can do (or can’t do) that day. That is why, yes, I do have certain guidelines that I follow, but no, I don’t’ have specific exercises to do that day. My work with each client is truly individualized.
The Bones Of A Workout
Here is the usual order I go by, whether it is a stability day, a strength/endurance day or a power day. Sets and reps can change and the exercises can be interchanged. This is the general guideline:
- Warm-up (general/dynamic)
- Core (anterior, posterior, transverse)
- Lower body
- Upper body
The Arms, Legs & Heart Of The Workout
My clients at WIN often see me bring out the agility ladder to start. It’s one of my favourite exercises to bring into a workout. It gets their co-ordination going and their heart rate up. Then, we shift to dynamic stretching. Walking lunges, twisting lunges, side lunges, Frankenstein walks, etc. These are great exercises to prepare the body for what’s in store.
The Core Of The Workout
Next, we move onto the core. I find this, sometimes, to be an extension of the warm-up. I try to hit the three main areas: the anterior (front), the posterior (back) and the transverse (rotational). Some clients need more attention and focus toward one area more than others, but in general, hitting all three planes is a great way to improve core strength.
The Muscle of the Workout
And lastly I hit them with the upper and lower body exercises. This is where they can see push-ups, squats, rows or any variation of them…plus a multitude of other exercises. I often like to work unilateral (one side at a time) to alleviate single side dominance, but that is another topic of discussion.
Workout Anatomy Leads To Fun Always
See, there is a method to my madness. Exercises change, intensity can change, weight can change and the rest period can also change. This provides a dynamic and effective whole body approach to fitness. No matter what your fitness background, when I use this format, and draw from my exercise knowledge base, I provide guidance that is effective and increases the fun factor.
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.
Movember is a fun and playful initiative to help raise awareness and charitable funds for the most prominant health issues faced by men, most notably prostate cancer, and also testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. The Movember Foundation has so many projects that are geared toward supporting these health concerns. It started in 2003, in Australia, with 30 people and we are glad to be joining the five million Mo Bros and Mo Sisters as of 2016.
Check back soon as we will be posting more information about this great cause, and we'll be sure to share updates about how the Mo Grow is going for the men of WIN. Check out our Week One pic below! Fresh!
By WIN Contributor: Nancy V, Reception Team Member
Where do you start when you want to blog about a fellow co-worker?
I know exactly where .... WIN Physiotherapist, Jennifer Lepere, DPT.
Jenn inspires you to be your best, and if you are not quite at your best she will get you there.
She graduated from D'Youville College in 2008 with her Masters in Physical Therapy and again in 2010 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She joined Tania Mannella's physiotherapy team at WIN in 2014 and has since been such a valuable team member.
Jenn's Physio Focus
Jenn will help and guide you to your full mobility potential with her manual manipulation of the muscles. She also incorporates acupuncture, TENS machine, ultrasound, class 4 Laser Therapy, Shockwave Therapy, and most important of all, supervised stretches and exercise programs. This eclectic mix of therapeutic options are blended to best suit you and will all be available to get you to your best.
Out To Stop Spinning: Vestibular Rehab
She is our specialist in vestibular rehab, which means if you are suffering from a case of vertigo or dizziness she will put her expertise to work. Jenn is one of few physiotherapists in Ontario with specialized training in vestibular rehabilitation. She is focused on offering effective solutions for this very debilitating health concern, and through her diligence, she has helped many patients find their balance once again.
Jenn's In It To WIN It: Fun Facts
Jenn's love of sports inspires the passion for her work as a Physiotherapist and shows in her daily routine and treatment of patients. She is an avid baseball, volleyball, and lawn bowler to name just a few. On a personal note Jenn recently got married to a wonderful man named John Lapierre. Lepere... Lapierre... Thankfully her new last name pronunciation will not to difficult for the front staff to handle. :)
Where do you end a blog about a fellow co-worker.
I know exactly where ... my friend ... WIN Physiotherapist, Jennifer Lepere!
By WIN Contributor: Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
Painful sex, known as dyspareunia, has been found by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to affect up to 75% of women at some point in their lives. Nine out of ten women will experience postpartum dyspareunia.
This can be result of various issues involving the pelvic floor area and musculature. Some women are too shy or embarrassed to talk about it or seek help. Many women and their doctors don’t know that Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy (PFP) is the most effective way to resolve pain during sex.
In my practice, this is not a taboo topic and through offering Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy I am helping women in our community find solutions and optimize their sexual health.
Origins of Vaginal Pain
Pain can be experienced with intercourse, sexual contact, tampon use or even wearing tight pants. Women may be told the problem is "psychological" however most often, there is an anatomical and physiological source.
Possible medical causes of painful intercourse are vulvar vestibulitis, vulvodynia, and interstitial cystitis. Other causes can be painful healing after childbirth, pressure on spinal/pelvic nerves, hormonal changes and narrowing of the vaginal entrance. Tight muscles of the pelvic floor, which include the muscles inside the vagina that are normally active during sexual excitement, may be a source of pain as well.
What Pelvic Floor Physiology Offers
The pelvic floor evaluation involves taking your history and a pelvic floor muscle assessment that checks for muscle tension, tightness, tone, range of motion and muscle strength. This internal exam also provides important information about internal muscle trigger points, the integrity of the pelvic organs and the presence of a prolapse.
PFP treatment empowers you as the patient because you learn to play an active role in controlling your pain. You will learn how to to sufficiently relax muscles related to your concern, which helps decrease anxiety and further decreases pain. This breaks the pain cycle.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy will help you experience sexual intercourse for the passionate, enjoyable and intimate act it is meant to be with your partner. Rekindle the flame……with less pain!!
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.
Here's What You'll Get In 7 Sessions...
- Using a walk-to-run approach your guidance and tips will come from our very own WIN Running Expert, Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
- Run once a week for approximately 30 minutes each session for 7 weeks
- Effective strategies to learn to run
- Motivation to maintain regular fitness that will support your health goals
- An awesome WIN Graphic T-shirt for your run while you're with us...and maybe even to wear outside of running (It's really cool)
- Work towards a goal distance of 5K
- A group running experience which is open to EVERYONE!
WIN Beginner's Running Clinic
Our running clinic is not only going to help you learn to run, or build on your running skills as you go, but also will help you stay fit and active into the Fall season. Tania welcomes everyone to this group.
If you're a novice runner, or enjoy running and want to develop/maintain your running abilities, this clinic is perfect for you.
We get the work-home-life balance for parents... So we also welcome moms and dads who'd like to get our for a jog with tot and stroller in tow, or run with their older children, so to enjoy active quality time together.
Tania is offering two times in the week for this running clinic to make it easily accessible... Thursday nights and Saturday mornings!
You will feel better, run stronger and have a great time with a supportive leader and group.
Clinic Dates & Times
Group 1 - Thursday Evenings at 6:00pm - From Thursday September 15th - Thursday October 27th
Group 2 - Saturday Mornings at 6:30am - From Saturday September 17th - Saturday October 29th
Feeling fleet of foot? Run with us this Fall! Register by clicking below...
Questions or need more info? Click here --> WIN Fall Running Clinic to email us and we'd be happy to assist you. But just remember... you can do anything, so go for it! ;)
By WIN contributor: Nancy H, Reception Team Member
There is so much that has changed about chiropractic treatment. Are you up to speed? Get a fresh view about chiropractic care from our newest team member, Dr. Nicholas Slowinski. Dr. Nick is a licensed chiropractor, is accepting new patients and is available to also assist our existing patients.
Why did you decide to become a chiropractor?
I decided to become a chiropractor at a young age. Growing up, I was very involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and saw a chiropractor often. My time with the chiropractor was an integral part of my training and allowed me to recover from injury and remain injury free while participating in several different sports.
I felt the value that regular chiropractic care had on a person’s overall health and well-being. I also realized the health care system was under significant strain and pharmaceutical interventions as a front line treatment for muscle and joint conditions was not a solution. I decided chiropractic was what I wanted to do and a degree in Kinesiology would best prepare me for this path. I wanted to genuinely help people achieve a state of optimal health and wellness and needed to learn more about human function.
Since you are recent graduate, can refresh us regarding required schooling for a chiropractor?
A chiropractic degree program is a post graduate, professional degree program that requires approximately 3.5-4 years to complete depending on the institution one decides to attend. An individual who enters such a program has already obtained a University degree in a related field such as health sciences or kinesiology for example. A basic understanding of anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics and musculoskeletal injury is developed through university courses. Once accepted into a chiropractic degree program, students build upon this basic understanding and learn the intricate details of how these subjects pertain to the development and manifestation of musculoskeletal pain and injury. Simultaneously, students learn to develop their ability to diagnose such conditions, as well as the therapeutic touch necessary to best treat patients who may present in this manner.
In your opinion, why should a person see a chiropractor at WIN Health Solutions?
I would suggest seeing a chiropractor at WIN Health Solutions to anyone who is looking for help in the treatment of muscle and joint pain as well as improve their overall health. As a society, we are all living longer, people are becoming more health conscience, and we are only just beginning to understand the extraordinary value staying active and mobile can have on our mental and physical well-being. The chiropractors working at WIN Health Solutions are highly trained individuals who work closely with patients to develop individualized treatment plans based off the most up to date research to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic care is completely safe for the majority of individuals. It is our job as the health care practitioner to guarantee any intervention provided is in the best interest of each and every individual patient. Chiropractic is a safe and effective form of health care, especially as it pertains to musculoskeletal concerns, but as with any form of health care, there are always risks and these are always discussed prior to any treatment.
What advice would you have for people who are afraid of seeing a chiropractor?
My best advice for anyone who is either afraid or hesitant to see a chiropractor is to speak with one of us. Patient education is something we pride ourselves on, and is something that has not been emphasized enough in health care today. We can clear up any chiropractic myths and there is certainly no risk in a conversation! With regard to therapy, I can only emphasize we are all highly trained professionals who have undergone rigorous training to be both proficient and efficient in what we do. Chiropractic therapy today is much different than it was years ago and as evidence based practitioners, we have much more to offer patients than just an adjustment.
What do you think are the most important qualities in a good chiropractor?
There is no short answer to this question, however, it is without a doubt that the phenomenal chiropractors who are my mentors all have the following qualities which I have tried to embody in my own practice:
- They always place the needs and interests of their patients above their own
- They are personable, well-mannered and caring
- They all have a thirst for knowledge and are continually working on their craft
- They work hard at remaining current with the most up to date research in our field in order to best serve their patients
- They are ambassadors for mental and physical health and wellbeing
Why did you want to work at WIN Health Solutions?
I wanted to be a part of the team at WIN Health Solutions for a number of reasons; the clinic is an excellent space filled with a vibrant, positive energy that begins the healing process for patients the second they walk in the door. Most importantly I am able to join the team of chiropractors who are challenging the status quo of chiropractic in the Niagara region. Unlike the traditional chiropractic model, treatment at WIN Health Solutions encompasses an evidence based approach, where patients are treated from a neuro-functional model with a variety of techniques and tools. The chiropractors at WIN develop treatment plans that work for the patient rooted in the most current research and have helped eliminate much of the stigma that may exist with this sort of treatment. Something which cannot be overemphasized is the fact I am able to refer patients to one of our many skilled professionals, whether it is physiotherapy, massage, and even naturopathic medicine. WIN Health Solutions has a phenomenal in-house network of practitioners to ensure patients receive the proper attention they need and I am excited to be a part of the team.
What are some of your favourite interests?
Most of my favourite interests revolve around fitness, health and self-development. I mostly enjoy weight lifting but more recently have focused my training around mobility, stability and conditioning through martial arts and yoga. I’m fascinated by the idea of total body optimization and a lot of my personal interest reading has been focused on this in the last year or so.
I’ve also been more recently interested in the idea of neuroplasticity and how the nervous system can be retrained or tuned! It’s a fascinating subject!
I’m a huge sports fan, mostly football, hockey, and baseball and love to catch a game even if it is just on the television with friends. I have always enjoyed live music and try to make it to as many concerts as I can from a variety of genres. I consider myself an outdoors enthusiast and love to be outside at all times of the year hiking, fishing, and camping just to name a few. I also enjoy wine and craft beers and am glad to have moved back to Niagara where this industry has thrived for many years.
Thanks so much, Dr. Nick for enlightening us today with your very informative interview. Appointments can be made for anyone who would like to see Dr. Nick by calling WIN Health Solutions.
Dr. Nick (as we affectionately now call him) grew up in St. Catharine's and attended university right here at Brock, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours. He went on to study chiropractic at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto and graduated Cum Laude with Clinic Honours. To enhance his clinical skills, he completed the contemporary medical acupuncture course through McMaster University and also became certified in Active Release Technique (ART).
Dr. Nick fits right in with our team of super smart docs and we are learning about his really neat interests in addition to seeing him in action as a doctor. The WIN Team will be sure to find out about Dr. Nick's secret ninja skills soon enough. He has been practicing martial arts since he was three years old! He is a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan and also enjoys all kinds of music, from country to blues and jazz to heavy metal. And we can’t help but wonder… who's his favourite character in Stand By Me, his favourite movie. I mean, who doesn’t love Stand By Me?
With his extensive education, dedication to helping people and enthusiasm in his work as a doctor of chiropractic, we know Dr. Nick is going to offer exceptional health care at WIN. And we think it's great that Dr. Nick maintains a good balance of professionalism and fun through his diverse interests, love of adventure and warm personality. Welcome, Dr. Nick! We’re so happy to welcome you to the team.
Stop in to meet Dr. Nick, or arrange a time to discuss your health concern and treatment options. Call us at 905-354-0267 to get working on your health with Dr. Nicholas Slowinski.
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: Shauna Pierrynowski PTA, RNCP
As I took a good look at the calendar this past weekend I realized that it’s going to be mid-July soon and almost every weekend is full! My work week is always busy with responsibilities each day. I had a moment of exhaustion just thinking about this! How am I going to schedule another get-together, family time, clients, weeding the garden, laundry, outdoor work, and the many other day-to-day things to do?!
I found myself almost in a panic then I thought to myself …. Shauna, you need to load the kayak up into the truck grab your paddle and lifejacket and have some ME time to energize myself!
I know I am not alone on this topic. Many of us lead super busy lives and a common challenge is creating time for ourselves. Finding 10-20 min a day for “me” time can sometimes feel impossible and also makes us feel guilty. What we don’t realize is how VERY important this time is even if it is only 10 min in your day.
Cultivating and awareness of our thoughts, feelings and we physically feel can help us feel refreshed and more productive. Once we realize that the dusting can really wait, and take time for self care, we can better manage stress and be more resilient and focused as we tackle our everyday lives.
Here are some suggestions on how to create me time:
1. Create a Daily Ritual – Ideas: go for a walk, read on your lunch, meditate, 15 minutes of yoga, wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit outside before the day starts
2. Ask for Help – when it comes to the little things ask your spouse or kids to pitch in!
3. Learn to say NO – if you just can’t make it work its ok to just say no!
4. Evaluate the things you are wasting time on – stop checking emails every 5 min, turn your phone off, meal plan and grocery shop in advance to create more time.
5. Decide on how you will spend ME time – Ideas: bike rides, reading, yoga, kayaking, sitting at the park, laying in the hammock, listening to music!
6. Make a wish list – Ideas: a place to go, things you want to try, a new craft etc…
7. Let Go of the guilt – Just remember Rome was not built in a day J
8. Write it down – plan your me time by putting it into your calendar.
However we decide to use our “me” time is totally up to us. We cannot put a price on the overall health benefits that are developed by creating this time. So in closing the WIN Health Solutions Niagara team hopes you have an enjoyable summer filled with fun, laughter, family and friends, vacation, BBQ’s, outdoor house projects and most important we hope you find some time for YOU!
By WIN Contributor: Jennifer Lepere, Physiotherapist
The other day I was out for a run, and Bamm! All of a sudden my calf became very hard, tight, and really painful! I was experiencing a muscle cramp! Working as a physiotherapist at WIN Health Solutions, I get asked a lot what is a muscle cramp and how can I stop it from happening??
Muscle cramps happen because of involuntary contractions, or muscle spasms in one or more muscles. They can happen at any time, such as when being active, or even when you’re not, like when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Why does it happen and what can you do about it?
1. Dehydration. You have to make sure you are drinking enough water daily. The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups for males and 9 cups for women.
2. Muscle fatigue. You have to make sure you are properly warming up and stretching before and after activity. Taking regular Epsom salt baths will also help.
3. Not enough magnesium or potassium in your diet. You can start eating more food rich in magnesium and potassium. You could also consult your doctor or naturopathic doctor for help in this area.
These are the most common reason why I would see muscle cramping as a physiotherapist at WIN Health Solutions. If you are experiencing muscle cramping please contact the office for a WIN Physiotherapy Niagara Falls treatment and our physiotherapist and physio team members would be happy to offer you health solutions.
By WIN Contributor: Dr. Laura Imola, Naturopathic Doctor Niagara Falls
I have an eclectic approach and use a variety of therapeutics in my Niagara Falls Naturopathic practice to help optimize the health of my patients. However, I have been committed to a journey in nutrition both personally and professionally. Dating back to my early days as a student of Naturopathic Medicine I realized that people had many questions around eating health. This led me to study, test, research and observe the nutritional concepts, strategies, fads, belief systems, you name it, all to get to the kernel of truth when it comes to food. Most importantly, to truly understand individualized nutrition because we are, after all, each incredibly unique with our own health histories, biochemical make up and lifestyles.
Over the years I have been a contributing writer for WO Magazine. For their recent edition I was asked to write on a great Nutrition topic: Which is better... Three Meals A Day or Frequent Small Meals (also known as "Grazing"). It one of many nutrition topics that I discuss during patient visits.
Does eating frequently through the day speed up metabolism? Is three meals better than grazing? Is eating three meals a day enough food for my body? Which is better for my health?
I'd like to share my original article here in full. Learn more about this topic and discover which approach to meal planning is the best fit for you. To view the edited WO Article click here.
With the abundance of differing information and philosophies out there about how to eat, it can lead to much disenchantment. My mission is to shine a light on the path and encourage others to simply get back to eating fresh food. If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food For Thought: Three Squares vs Grazing
Most people have experienced a time when they feel like their appetite had a mind of its own. The work day, stress levels, hormone balance and energy reserves can be strong influences on appetite and food choices. Because of this, many people try different meal frequencies to support them through the day. Meal frequency has been the subject of ongoing debate for a couple of decades. More specifically, which is best: three main meals or small frequent meals?
When it comes to the opinion of fitness experts, health care professionals and researchers there remains a divide of those in favour of one approach over another. Three balanced meals a day is ideal for many individuals. However, there are just as many individuals who feel better when replenishing every 2-3 hours. This is a good example biological uniqueness. Everyone has different needs that are rooted in their physiology, lifestyle and everyday practicality. However, there are many sides to this topic.
A commonality toted by both methods of meal planning involves eating at regular intervals and not skipping meals. There are countless health benefits associated with eating regularly.
Three Balanced Meals
Three meals a day was common practice up until a couple of decades ago. Our ancestors rarely had access to extra food, so they would eat what they had at two or three points in the day. Their food consisted of what they farmed and quantities changed given the season. Moving into the decades of modernization, the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, three meals where the mainstay and people where in better health then than they are today.
In 2007 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction improved body composition and cardiovascular health. In addition, the journal Metabolism published an article that same year that also looked at reduced meal frequency. They found that participants eating just three meals a day maintained optimal blood sugar levels.
Our history and research shows that three balanced meals a day offer adequate nourishment. In addition, three meals can keep us healthy.
Frequent Small Meals
Eating frequent small meals, also know as “grazing,” can be an ideal pick-me-up and appetite stabilizer. Proponents of grazing feel they achieve better blood sugar balance, energy levels and subsequently better moods. Eating frequent small meals can assist in portion control and prevent over eating or skipped meals. Furthermore, eating regularly can help curb food cravings.
A review of the research available on high frequency meals was published in a 2011 journal for the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Noteworthy benefits included improved insulin levels and appetite control.
By nature of physiology, some individuals exhaust faster than others. In these cases, refuelling more often may lead to better stamina, mental alertness and optimal mood.
Food Quality Can Make Or Break The Benefits of Both
The effectiveness of both strategies hinges on one major factor: food quality. Regardless of what meal pattern is chosen, if there are not enough nutrient dense foods included, such as vegetables, healthy oils and fats, lean or plant based protein and complex carbohydrates, then individuals are more apt to feel hungry and tired.
A clearer understanding of meal composition is required. People are not often choosing vegetables, real food or home-cooked food for their meal or snack options. Energy bars, protein powder mixes, crackers, sweetened yogurt, muffins and granola bars are popular choices. These foods may not have enough nutrient density to support optimal blood sugar balance, energy needs or satiety.
In fact, foods that break down easily to sugar such as bread, pasta, potatoes, grain based bars, crackers, cookies and sugar containing snack food stimulate hunger, cravings and fatigue because they are quickly metabolized and cause blood sugar to spike. When there is a consistent lack nutritious foods then all well meaning meal strategies can backfire.
Grazing Not Advantageous For Weight Loss
Much of the attention around high frequency meals came from fitness experts promoting this as a way to build lean muscle and lose fat. However, if weight management or weight loss is a health goal, studies have repeatedly shown that grazing is not any better at achieving this than a breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule.
Researchers from the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa set out to discover if participants eating frequent small meals a day would experience a metabolic acceleration when compared to those eating the same number of calories through less meals. The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, in 2010, concluded there was no boost in metabolism among the small frequent meal group of participants. Similarly, the literature review referenced earlier from the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that increasing meal frequency did not favourably change body composition, nor did in increase caloric expenditure or metabolic rate.
And while high frequency eating may control appetite and curb cravings it has also been associated with the overconsumption of the daily recommended calories, especially for those who are sedentary. Healthy weight management involves a number of factors, with the most basic one being the balance between calories in and calories out.
This is a hot topic in nutrition that boils down to individuality and health goals. Which ever option is favoured, good nutrition practices like eating regularly, choosing nutritious food and creating balanced meals, along with regular exercise, will positively impact health for the three squares and grazers alike.
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.