Immune Support Helpers!

Seasonal changes, cold weather, and less outdoor time often make us more susceptible to catching pesky colds and flus. Here are some of my top tips for staying healthy and happy this (and every) season.

  1. Stress management. Cortisol, our stress hormone, down-regulates our immune system and makes us more susceptible to even minor bugs that we’re exposed to. Keep your stress in-check with gentle exercise, a good sleep routine, and designated time for self-care.
  2. Eat warm, nourishing foods – like veggie soups! Cooked veggies in soup is easier to digest, and keeps you hydrated and nourished. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the warmth of food nourishes the Spleen, which plays a key role in your immune health. A TCM botanical soup – called Change of Season Soup – is one of my favourites. Garlic & mushrooms also contain antimicrobial properties that may help fight off viruses and bacteria. Try adding these to your soups and other dishes for extra benefit!
  3. Nutrient support. Some key players in out immune system include vitamin D, vitamin C & zinc. Many Canadians have insufficient levels of vitamin D (the sunshine hormone) in the winter months, making us more susceptible to getting sick! Vitamin C & Zinc are also great immune supporting nutrients that can be taken at the onset of cold/flu symptoms.
  4. Probiotics. These friendly bacteria help reduce colonization of the bad microbes that cause colds, flus, and other infections. Good quality probiotics can help reduce frequency, duration, and severity of seasonal illnesses. They can also help with digestion, metabolism, and overall immune health. Choose a good quality multi-strain probiotic to keep you and your family feeling great this winter.
  5. Hygiene is the key to prevention. Make sure to wash your hands regularly, especially at work and in public spaces, and avoid touching your face. Disinfect work and home areas as needed. My favourite products to use are natural disinfectants with thieve’s oil, eucalyptus, or tea tree essential oils.

These are all general recommendations that may not be right for everyone. Speak with your naturopathic doctor to decide if these are the best options for you and your family.

In health & happiness,
Dr.Nicole, ND

 

Our Gift to You: simple strategies to reduce stress this holiday season

With the holidays swiftly approaching we often find our stress levels rising. At Danforth East Wellness we all came together to come up with some concrete ideas to help you enjoy the holidays without as much fuss! Here are the results of our brainstorming!

    1. Get to bed at a regular hour. Turn off devices half an hour before bed to let your mind decompress. At least 7 hours of sleep helps keep our stress hormone in check, and even one night of reduced sleep can significantly increase stress.
    2. Drink enough water. Make sure to intersperse holiday merriment with hydration! Reduce sugary drinks by cutting them down or choosing sparkling water in between other drinks. Limiting your coffee or black tea intake is also important for maintaining a low stress state, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
    3. Get outside for a walk. Sunshine is incredibly important if you can get out during the day. Being in nature has been proven to lower stress, regardless of time of day. At night, the lights out on houses are also a wonderful inspiration.
    4. Have meaningful conversations. Small talk can be stressful. Find a topic that is important to share with loved ones & think about a few things that make you smile. Spread your message this holiday season and be true to how you actually feel.
    5. Know your limits and maintain your boundaries. Take some time to consider what the holidays mean to you and create it. Sometimes that means saying ‘no’. Whether it’s spending time socializing, expressing your creativity in the kitchen, or doing activities with your kids, make sure your decisions are aligned with your needs and desires.
    6. Most of us don’t really need more things. Spend time together, exchange cookies or other edible items, or donate to a cause you believe in. To avoid over-spending – stick to your budget, and communicate with friends when gift exchanges are unnecessary.
    7. Don’t try to squeeze it all in! If time is a crunch, then suggest get togethers in the New Year. Yule actually extends for twelve days after Christmas!
    8. Make a list to help focus and plan. This reduces the anxiety of feeling disorganized. Journaling and writing can shift your mind away from the ‘to-do’s’ and help relieve some emotional burden.
    9. Simple stretches and yoga can help with breathing, and general anxiety. Exercise is great but don’t pressure yourself or overdo things. If feeling acutely stressed, do a brief body scan from head to toes and ask yourself “what do I need in this moment?” It could be any of the above things, so listen to your body and put yourself first.
    10. Enjoy indulging yourself. Food and festivities are meant to be enjoyed. Try not to feel guilty for participating. Be kind to yourself.

We’re also here to support you with your health needs above and beyond this list, as you require!

We hope you and your friends and families have warm wonderful holidays, and see you in the New Year.

CHIRO FOR BABIES 101

Dr. Elisa Petricca recently joined Oaks ’n Acorns as a guest speaker for a special edition workshop on Infant Chiropractic! She discussed some common concerns that parents may notice in their little ones and how Chiropractic care can help!

Here is a summary of the workshop if you missed it 🙂

Why bring your baby to a Chiropractor?
Being born is a big job! During the birth process and delivery, a baby’s body and nervous system undergoes stress and trauma. A baby goes through much exertion when travelling through the birth canal. With C-section deliveries, there may be other issues due to the time spent upside down in the uterus (for example, hip or shoulder problems).

What are the most common paediatric conditions treated by Chiropractors?

  • Difficulty Breastfeeding: Issues with latching or maintaining a latch could be a results of baby feeling pain or discomfort with the feeding position. This may be a result of jaw or neck tension, which Chiropractic care can help to alleviate.
  • Head Tilt (Torticollis): Many patients report noticing that their baby tends to look more to one side than the other. Or tends to prefer feeding more on one side. This preference typically indicates that baby has tight neck muscles or restricted joints in their neck. In this situation, Chiropractic care can help to loosen any neck tension and help encourage proper range of motion in the neck.
  • Sleeping issues: Many times pain or discomfort in the spine can cause babies to be quite uncomfortable and sleep can become interrupted. Chiropractic care can help to find these areas of restriction and help ease this discomfort.

Other common paediatric symptoms or conditions include:

  • Colic (which is defined at crying for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks). It typically starts between the 3rd and 6th week after birth and ends by the time baby is 3 or 4 months.
  • Digestive issues
  • Gassy babies
  • Constipation
  • Crawling and walking issues

If babe is doing great, check ups at developmental milestones are encouraged!

Is Chiropractic care safe for infants and children?
Chiropractic care/adjustments for infants are very gentle and safe. Assessing and treating an infant is very different from assessing and treating an adult. There is no audible sound required to adjust an infant. For babes, a gentle pressure hold is used (the amount of pressure you would put on a ripe tomato or the amount of pressure you would place on your eyelid). Maintaining this gentle pressure for several seconds helps to facilitate proper alignment and remove any restrictions found in the joints.

What can I expect during a paediatric Chiropractic visit?
During the first visit we will go through a detailed health history and physical exam to get a detailed picture of the type of pregnancy, birth and delivery you and baby have undergone. We will then follow up with a physical assessment, which may include checking baby’s primitive reflexes, movement of their spine and limbs, and observing any asymmetries or other notable findings such as extreme fussiness, head rotations, etc. We will discuss how Chiropractic care can help to restore proper function of the nervous system by alleviating any restrictions in the spine and allowing the body to work and function at its best. Home care recommendations may also be given as well. During the infant assessment and treatment, we may have baby lying on their backs or bellies to assess different areas of the body. If it works better for you and babe, we can also assess and treat with baby in mum’s arms or on mum’s belly.

At what age can I bring my child in to get checked by a Chiropractor?
Your child is never to young to have their spine assessed. As mentioned before, even a natural, intervention-free vaginal birth places stress on an infant’s body. Follow up visits during major millstones – like starting to sit, crawl and walk are recommended to ensure there is nothing hindering baby from achieving their full potential.

 

Dr. Elisa Petricca would be very pleased to answer any questions you have and welcomes consultations!

drelisa@danfortheastwellness.ca

 

Welcome to our Naturopathic Doctor Nicole DeYonge!

Dr. Nicole DeYonge, who is a Naturopathic Doctor, will be joining the Danforth East Wellness Team as of November 5. She has a passion for supporting digestive, hormone, brain, and immune health to help you live your best life! Naturopathic doctors are licensed to diagnose and treat patients in many areas of health concerns, and utilize a thorough medical intake with laboratory & functional testing to find and address the root cause. Treatment plans are tailored to individual needs and preferences with a focus on diet, lifestyle, and a variety of natural therapies. To explore your path to whole health and happiness, or to learn more about Dr. Nicole, visit www.nicoledeyongend.com.

WE’VE MOVED!!!!

We have moved our clinic and are now located at 1776 Danforth Avenue – don’t worry – it’s still a basement so it’s not TOO much change!  It’s not far from the home clinic – only a five minute walk – and it’s still the same subway stop (Coxwell).  At the building be sure to use the RIGHT side door and press the lit up square on the intercom.  Enter the door, then turn left into the green door.  Take your shoes off at the end of the hall before going downstairs.  The waiting room is at the end of the downstairs hallway.

We are looking forward to showing you the new space!

Keep an eye out for information for our open house later in the fall!!!

Take care until we see you next!!

Telephone Difficulties

We are currently experiencing difficulties with our (gasp) landline. Our apologies for the interruption. Please continue to contact us through email as we thankfully have intact internet (phew!).

Looking forward to connecting with you soon!

 

Katarina

Massage Therapy at Danforth East Wellness!

As of November 1st, Massage Therapy with Susan Tomkins at Danforth East Wellness will have extended hours!  The end of the year is fast approaching and some extended health benefits run out at the end of the calendar year.  Massage therapy will also help you deal with any stress and tension heading into the holiday season.  Call us or email to book an appointment and help us to help you!!!

 

Mondays    9:30am-5pm

Thursdays  noon-8pm

Changes: Welcome Dr. Elisa Petricca!

Changes are coming to the clinic. Dr. Michelle MacDonald is embarking on an incredible journey, and moving to Nova Scotia to be closer to her family. She is a truly gifted chiropractor, who will be greatly missed for her talents. She is also a generous and lovely person, who has been a joy to work with for these numerous years. We wish her all the best with future successes back home, and have no doubt about her shining there as well as she has done here.

Dr. Elisa Petricca will be joining the clinic beginning July 10th. She is a fantastic chiropractor and will be collaborating with me in ensuring your patient needs are taken care of. I am very pleased to have her work with me. I have included a brief biography below to let you know a little more about her.

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Air Travel Tips

 

Air travel is definitely not what it used to be! It often involves a lot of emotional and physical stress. Here are some ideas on how to make things easier for you as you embark on your journey!

Before the trip:

  • Back in the day I used to photocopy pretty much anything of value I was taking (e.g. passport, driver’s license, credit cards) and would leave one copy at home and one in my suitcase. In this digital era I think this translates into taking pics, putting those on a flashdrive, and leaving it accessible to a trusted person if something unforseen happens.
  • Check your flight times and pre-book your seats when you are able. This could make the difference on an over-booked flight!
  • Confirm your arrangements to the airport.
  • Inform your credit card companies about your departure. Now some allow this online!

Things to think of packing, and the day of the flight:

  • Make sure you’ve got your passport (if needed), driver’s license, and any other important documentation.
  • If applicable, ensure you have a few days worth of prescription medication in your carry-on. Sometimes it helps to have a copy of the prescription.
  • Additional medication could also be quite useful: pain medication (i.e. Advil, Robaxacet platinum, Tylenol), aspirin, a decongestant, allergy medication. One never knows what might be needed!
  • Have an empty water bottle in your carry-on. I fill this up with water once I pass security. It takes a while for the water to be offered on the flight, and then I find one glass is often not enough.
  • Have some pre-packaged, nut-free (good to be considerate to others) healthy snacks in your carry-on.  Think about items such as protein bars, granola bars, dark chocolate (you gotta live a little!) and crackers.
  • Think about wearing loose, unrestrictive clothing, and, shoes that are easy to put on and off. Bring a wrap or scarf for drafts and for general coziness.
  • Definitely bring ear plugs.
  • Think about packing travel-sized mouthwash, wet naps and travel deodorant to help feel refreshed.
  • Bring or buy travel neck pillows.
  • Compression socks. Not just for old people any longer! Keeps blood from pooling and helps keep feet from swelling.

 On the flight:

  • Stand up at least every half hour. This gets circulation back into your legs. A stroll is ideal, but hey, if nothing else, just stand up.
  • Once an hour try some very small, basic stretches and mobilizations. I recommend the following basic series: pointing and flexing your feet; stretching out your legs (if you can!); stretching your arms out in front of you; gentle head circles (not all the way around – stop before full extension); range of motion for your neck (look side to side, look up and down, touch ear to shoulder then other side); twist in your seat gently one way and then the other to stretch your lower back.
  • If you have had recent body aches or strains I might recommend using ThermaCare (or similar brands) after going through security. They are heat packs that are activated by air and either stick to your body part or are affixed around your torso with velcro. Sometimes having this on before, during and after the flight can keep your muscles loose and can prevent them from seizing and contracting. Contact your health care provider before utilizing this method to ensure it is appropriate for your case.

Lastly:

Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can skew your body and exacerbate any jet lag….I said ‘try’…..

Hope these tips help to make the journey much smoother!