Body Talk Blog

Here for you. Resources & Telehealth Update

Dear Danforth East Wellness Community,

 

There have been lots of questions and information circulating about how COVID-19 may impact your family, your business, and your healthcare.  I am reaching out to ask:

 

How are you?

 

How can I help?

 

Although the physical clinic is closed, I’m still offering consults by Telehealth, including free 15-minute discovery calls.  I have increased my availability so I can be of service to you, when it is convenient for you.  My new hours are listed below.

 

I also want to provide you with some additional information and resources to help support your awareness of the situation and how it may affect you.  The two factors for contracting any infectious illness are based on susceptibility and exposure:

 

Exposure is a huge focus, and the evidence shows that COVID-19 transmits via Droplets & Contact, including surfaces. Droplet/Surface precautions are what you have to focus on.  This includes cleaning surfaces, practicing hand hygiene, avoid touching your face, and physical distancing. Please continue to do your part to help flatten the curve.

Here are some great resources to check out for more information.

Proper Hand Washing Technique

What to do if you are sick

What it means to self-monitor vs. self-isolate vs. quarantine

 

Susceptibility involves a more complex array of factors. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

 

There is no better time than now to focus on your health.  My priority is ensuring you get the support you need, and invest in your health in a productive way – so you can be the best version of you. 

      

Above all else, I hope you are keeping safe, remaining calm and focusing on the important things – family, love, kindness, and gratitude. 

 

I am here for you.  Please do not hesitate to reach out.  

 

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Nicole, ND

Tuesdays 12:00pm – 8:00pm

Thursdays 9:30am – 5:30pm

Saturdays 9:30am – 2:30pm

BOOK HERE or send an email to drnicole@danfortheastwellness.ca with your questions or to let me know how you’re feeling.

  
As a reminder, please continue to practice social distancing and other public health recommendations.  If you have any of the symptoms and/or risk factors associated with COVID-19, please remain at home, and contact your local public health unit (found HERE) or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) for more information. 

A message to our dear patients and community members

We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time. Given the magnitude of the current situation, Danforth East Wellness is restricting care to only those patients with acute or emergency needs. Dr. Nicole De Yonge, our Naturopath, will be providing virtual consultations at this time. You are able to book an appointment with her via our website (book here).

As your health care providers, your health and well-being is our top priority. As we continue to navigate these circumstances, we wanted to provide you with a few tips on how you can focus your efforts over the next while to optimize your health and well-being.

Daily Physical Activity – Think of simple ways to achieve 30 minutes of exercise like 10,000 steps outside. Stretching, or quality time with the foam roller is also a wonderful way to help your body move and can provide well-needed stress relief.

Good sleeps – We can’t “catch up” on lost sleep, but this may be the best opportunity we’ve had in a long time to kick start better sleep hygiene! Sometimes turning the temperature down a few degrees to reinforce the body’s natural instinct to sleep helps, as does applying a few drops of lavender essential oil on the pillow before bed to help calm your mind. For more sleep hygiene information please read Dr. DeYonge’s earlier excellent blog post Rise & Shine.

Healthy food choices – Try to limit the amount of refined sugars consumed and make the conscious decision to eat foods that we know will help support our bodies and our immune systems, like vegetables and fruits. Also strive to drink water to help hydrate.

Mindfulness – Think of doing a daily meditation or mindfulness practice. This can include using easy-to-follow meditation apps such as Headspace or Calm, starting or ending your day journaling (a great outlet to let go of things and make peace with your emotions), or, maybe even a daily yoga practice. These are great ways to help balance our nervous system and take us out of the sympathetic fight or flight state. For yoga you can look at yogaghar.ca, YogaTree’s Instagram, Boho Beautiful and Cosmic Yoga (for kids!) on YouTube.

Let’s support each other through this and keep ourselves as healthy as we can.

Be well until we see you next,

The Danforth East Wellness Team

(Dr. Katarina Bulat, Dr. Elisa Petricca, Dr. Nicole DeYonge, Susan Tomkins RMT)

Rise & Shine – Optimizing your sleep & energy

       Sleep helps regulate our circadian rhythm – a dynamic flow of hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters that alternate activity levels between day and night. During sleep, we heal and grow as our body processes what we eat, think, and do each day. During the day, we supply our body with the signals it needs to function and accomplish tasks, but this can be impaired if we haven’t yet processed the day(s) before.  With inadequate sleep, your body tries to catch up with day to day functioning, and your healing and growth gets left behind.

 

         Sleep hygiene refers to various aspects of daily habits relating to a good quality nights’ sleep. The quality of your sleep can be reflected in different patterns of insomnia, such as:

  • difficulty falling asleep

  • waking through the night

  • early waking

 

But sleep dysfunction (which may not look like one of the above) can also present as:

  • feeling unrefreshed in the morning

  • low energy levels throughout the day

  • reduced cognitive function

  • mood changes and higher stress

  • downstream effects on hormones, stress, digestion, and metabolic functioning

 

These are my top tips for improving your sleep to feel great!


1.
Regular Sleep timing – Establish a regular bed time and wake time, and routines to go along with them.  Your body will naturally adjust to and benefit from sleeping at a consistent time.  We get the best quality sleep between the hours of 9pm and 6am – aim for the bulk of your sleep to happen during these hours.  Try to avoid weekend late nights and long sleep-ins as this will disrupt your routine.  Also don’t go to bed wide awake OR completely exhausted – these reflect your cortisol levels which can impact sleep quality if too high or too low.  Aim for a time when your body is naturally ready to sleep but before you crash.

 

2. Sleep rituals – Doing things to remind your body that it is almost bedtime will help improve sleep onset.  This can include relaxing stretches, yin yoga, meditation, guided imagery, breathing exercises, reading a book, taking a warm bath, or drinking herbal (non-caffeinated) tea. Avoid doing anything stimulating.  Check out apps like insight timer, Calm, or Headspace for guided meditations.  Journalling can also be great for getting your thoughts or next-day tasks out on paper so you’re not thinking (or dreaming) about them while trying to sleep.

 

4. Light exposure – Screens, street lights, night lights, all the lights affect your brains ability to recognize when it’s night time.  This impacts the production of our master sleep hormone, melatonin, and the circadian rhythm.  Avoid evening light exposure by reducing screen time from computer, tv, phone, tablet, etc. after 8-9pm and/or wear blue-light blocking glasses.  You can get them from most companies that sell eye  glasses these days, or even on Amazon!  At night time, wear an eye mask or get blackout curtains to reduce indirect light exposure from street lights, night lights, etc.  Each morning, natural sunlight exposure – walk outside, work near a bright window, or try a SAD/happy lamp; a minimum of 30 minutes each morning can improve mood and energy through the day!

5. Eat well – It seems obvious to avoid sugary foods before bed, but you may not realize that other carbohydrates like bread, pasta, cereals, and even milk contain sugars.  This can be stimulating as the body breaks them down and increases your blood sugar and insulin to spike. This can cause reactive hypoglycemia – a quick drop in blood sugar – within a few hours after you have gone to sleep and can stimulate a waking response often associated with feelings of anxiousness.  Ultimately, it’s best to avoid having late dinners, aiming for at least 3 hours before bedtime, and make sure it’s rich in veggies, protein, and healthy fats to provide your mind and body with the building blocks for healing.  If in need of a snack before bedtime, make sure it’s also high in protein and healthy fat.

 

There are many factors that can both lead to and be a result of poor sleep.  My best advice is to speak with your naturopathic doctor about how your sleep may be affecting you, and possible sleep aide options.  Natural health products like botanical and nutraceutical supplements can help assist the body in regulating sleep onset, depth, duration, and circadian rhythm, but may not be right for everyone.  There may be other physiological causes of your sleep dysfunction that can be investigated with the right practitioner. 

In health & happiness,

Dr.Nicole, ND

Dr. Nicole DeYonge, Naturopathy

Learn more about Dr.Nicole at www.nicoledeyongend.com

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