Community News
Resolving Constipation for Full Body Wellness

Although researchers are just beginning to understand the connection between our gut and full body health, we know definitively that one of the most important aspects of digestive health is bowel regularity. Our stools are a vital sign that indicates balance (or imbalance) within our bodies. The frequency is important, but the colour, texture, smell and buoyancy are all good indicators from within. I know, I know – you don’t want to look… But you really should! Ideally, everybody needs to have regular bowel movements between 1 and 3 times per day, and the stool should be well formed and smooth, with a total length of about 12 inches. Anything less than this is diagnosed clinically as constipation – and chronic constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints, especially in aging populations. Chronic constipation can lead to build up of toxins in the body, sluggish liver function, abdominal discomfort, cramping, gas, nausea, poor appetite, and brain fog and fatigue.

Addressing the root cause of constipation is key – stimulant laxatives (think: senna leaf or cascara sagrada) may work short term, but are habit forming and can cause damage to the muscular function of the colon. Proper bowel function relies on a number of variables, including adequate hydration, physical activity, nutrient intake, gut bacteria, and stress management. Starting with a foundation of drinking 2-3 litres (that’s 8-12 cups) of water, incorporating at least 30 minutes of daily movement, and ensuring the diet is balanced with a variety of vegetables, seasonal fruits, fermented foods, and other fibrous foods is a non-negotiable starting point.

Next, forming a regular morning routine can help establish regular elimination – even setting aside 15 minutes for yourself each morning can greatly lower stress, which ultimately relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, improving their ability to efficiently contract and release. This improves the mechanical function of the digestive system and can contribute to more effective and regular bowel movements.

Optimizing micronutrient status is another important step. In particular, electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium play an important role in hydrating the stool, as well as regulating muscle relaxing and contracting within in the digestive tract. Women, individuals with high blood pressure, and those eating a diet low in carbohydrates are especially susceptible to deficiency in these nutrients. These minerals are highest in plant based foods, so eat your vegetables! Leafy greens, avocados, and potatoes are particularly dense in magnesium and potassium. If supplementing with these minerals, note that magnesium should be in the bisglycinate form rather than a citrate or oxide, which can further disrupt mineral imbalance. Potassium should be taken in split doses throughout the day. Note that supplemental calcium and iron can both contribute to constipation.

Those who have been on antibiotics, or individuals who consume diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, or alcohol may want to support their gut bacteria with extra fermented foods such as kombucha, traditionally made pickled vegetables and sauerkraut, and kefir; fibrous vegetables such as leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and summer squash; and foods high in resistant starches (prebiotics) such as asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, and white rice. Supplemental probiotics may be beneficial to some individuals, as can supplemental fibre.

After the basic principles are satisfied with hydration, regular movement, stress management, and optimizing nutrient intake and gut bacteria, downstream interventions for symptom management may be appropriate. Adding supplemental fibre, probiotics, or specific minerals may help regulate bowel function, depending on the root cause of the constipation in the individual.

 

Reflexology – More Than a Foot Rub!

Reflexology is an all-natural therapy that reduces pain, stress & tension in the body and can improve both circulation (cardiovascular & lymphatic) and elimination as well as promote homeostasis (balance and harmony) within all systems.
There are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears which are connected to every part, organ and gland through a subtle energy that flows through channels in the body. When there is discomfort from stress, trauma, injury or illness, blockages develop in these channels and the flow of energy becomes disrupted. By applying alternating pressure and rotation techniques to these reflexes, signals are sent via the nervous system that help to release these blockages, relax the body and balance the natural functioning of the related parts elsewhere in the body. It is a total ‘reboot and rebalance’!
Your Foot Reflexology session:
• You will be asked to fill out a simple health intake form that will determine if there is anything that may impact your session.
• Length of session is 45 to 60 minutes.
• You are in a relaxed, semi-reclined position in a zero-gravity chair or on a massage table.
• Only your socks and shoes are removed.
• Only the feet and lower legs are touched.
• Firm, gentle pressure is used on each reflex and on both feet to elicit a response within each system, however, pressure can be adjusted if there are any areas of tenderness.
• Water is offered at the end of your session as well as helpful techniques to use at home.
Treat your feet to a relaxing session soon and discover why people love this therapy!

 

Regenerate Your Back

Ozone therapy in combination with injection therapy results in about 75% of chronic pain sufferers to become permanently pain free. Chronic pain occurs in areas of the body that contain ligaments, cartilage or articular surfaces which typically have only 1/10th the circulation that is seen in other connective tissues. This makes them especially vulnerable to the effects of decreased oxygen utilization and aging, which further compromises circulation. When these areas become traumatized a significant amount of edema and inflammation only serve to further decrease circulation. Prolozone therapy with natural anti-inflammatory medications, vitamins & minerals gives the tissues what they need to heal.

Your Health Through Participation

Health and wellness are by-products of a life focused and ripe with meaning, and full of engagement with others in the creation of a beautiful world. Wise individuals have demonstrated an elegant unconcern for their own problems (physical or circumstantial) combined with a commitment to the wellbeing of others. This results in an observable radiance, strength of character, wisdom and, a remarkable ability for compassion. Focusing on self-health is fascinating, but also isolating, expensive, and time consuming. Overconcern for one’s personal health imprisons, limits possibilities, creative expression and loving relationships. The equation is basic: in serving others, we serve ourselves.

What Causes Flat Feet?

Flat feet or “fallen arches” are caused chiefly by weak flexor muscles. The major flexor muscles of the foot are meant to propel you forward by pushing against the earth behind you as you walk or run barefoot. However, lifelong use of shoes allows these muscles to atrophy and become weak. As these muscles weaken, they stretch out, allowing the ball of the foot to creep forward, resulting in the eventual collapse of the underside of the foot. Custom orthotics or dynamic rehabilitative orthotics are designed to recruit and strengthen the flexor muscles while you stand, walk, or run.

Seasonal Allergies on the Rise

Do you suffer from a stuffy or runny nose? What about itchy, watery eyes? Do you want to avoid daily use of over-the-counter drugs? It could be time to give acupuncture a try. Allergies occur when the body’s protective Qi (pronounced “chee”) becomes weakened. When this protective Qi is not functioning optimally, harmful environmental influences such as wind are able to invade the body, giving rise to allergies and illness. Acupuncture is a highly effective, natural alternative to strengthen and support the body’s immune system. Consider trying acupuncture to alleviate and eventually prevent your seasonal allergies and hay fever. You will be overjoyed with the relief you experience!

Reflexology – More Than a Foot Rub!

Reflexology is a natural therapy that reduces pain, stress & tension in the body and improves circulation (cardiovascular & lymphatic) and elimination.
There are reflexes in the feet which are connected to every part, organ and gland through a subtle energy that flows through channels in the body. When there is discomfort like stress, trauma, injury or illness, blockages develop in these channels and the flow of energy becomes disrupted. By applying pressure to these reflexes, signals are sent via the nervous system that release these blockages, relax the body and balance the natural functioning elsewhere in the body. It is a total ‘reboot and rebalance’!

Ask The Expert

Q: I tried watching the lunar eclipse recently but I had a hard time with it. I had to close one eye or the other because it appeared doubled. Why would that happen?

A: It sounds like you probably have a slight misalignment of your eyes. Sometimes this only shows up in certain circumstances. Looking at the moon is a unique situation because it is so far away, and the surroundings are dark. Get your eyes checked to see if it’s a problem with your eyes, or your general health.

Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in Canada, and at least 1 in 10 Canadians are currently taking cholesterol lowering drugs (Statins). Here’s the thing: Statins lower cholesterol, but often cause Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) depletion. CoQ10 protects the cardiovascular system and heart cells. It also helps produce cellular energy, meaning depletion can lead to chronic fatigue, brain fog, erectile dysfunction, and poor muscle function and recovery. A supplement of at least 100mg of the active form of CoQ10 is a great way to support the cardiovascular system and overall health.

Tendon Injuries

Tendinopathies are one of the most common injuries individuals seek treatment for (i.e. tennis elbow, achilles tendinopathy). They can be debilitating and ongoing as they tend not to improve with time and rest. Research is mixed on the best treatment for tendinopathies, however, one trend emerging is the that rehab programs should be focused on improving the capacity of the muscle and tendon to manage load. This means, in addition to hands-on therapy, a progressive tendon loading exercise program is key to full recovery. Physiotherapy can help break the negative cycle of these overuse injuries and prevent recurrence.

Communicating with Trees

Research shows that on a conventional and scientific level that we can communicate with trees. To communicate with a tree, using your hands, connect with its energy field. With your heart ask permission to spend time with it. Place your hands on the tree, smell, feel and touch it’s leaves. Stand and hug or sit with your back against it’s trunk. Sit quiet and connect with the spirit within you. Ask a question and breathe in your answer. Thank the tree before leaving. This takes practise but overtime your communication will intensify.