Complete Pediatric, Family, and Athletic Health Centre

Sleep Awareness Week- Tips to Improve Sleep Patterns

Sleep is so important for many reasons, including functioning at our best everyday. The first week of March is known as National Sleep Awareness Week. To help celebrate and support this month we want to share some tips and tricks to help improve sleep patterns!

Sometimes sleep can be hard to come by. We may not feel tired enough, or our thoughts won’t slow down enough to truly fall asleep. There are some things we can do to help with our sleep patters, to provide a more consistent and well rested sleep.

  1. Allow your sleep environment to be conducive to sleeping- Make it your sleep sanctuary. Keep artificial light out and natural light in. Ensure there are no distractions to really allow you to relax into slumber. Stop watching television or looking at  your phone at least 30 minutes before your decide to sleep. Try a more relaxing activity before bed such as reading or journaling, which will help you unwind. You can also try listening to relaxing music or white noise to lull you into sleep.
  2. Deep breathing or meditation- Deep breathing and meditation are one in the same. Find a comfortable position and allow your mind to focus on your breath. If you are unsure of how to start something like this, try a meditation app  which will lead you in a guided meditation specific to sleep. This can also calm your mind down, so instead of focusing on the one million things running through your head you focus on one intention, which is relaxing and preparing for sleep.
  3. Keeping hydrated- I feel like we have mentioned this so often. Water is so important! You want to make sure that you are keeping hydrated in the day so you can allow yourself to stop taking in any liquids too close to bed time. This will help prevent a midnight trip to the washroom but will allow you to stay hydrated for the morning ahead.
  4. Essential oils- They really help with anything and everything! Find a scent that can calm and relax your body. Scents like lavender and eucalyptus work great in situations like these! You can even try using these essential oils in a nice warm bath before bed which will also allow your body to unwind and prepare for sleep.
  5. Try and create a routine- This will allow your body to create a sleep schedule. Wake up and head to bed at the same time each day. Engage in your nightly routine before bed to allow you body to relax and engage in an uplifting morning routine to help prepare for the day. By doing this, your body will recognize when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up and get started with your day.
  6. If you nap, nap early- Napping is amazing, no doubt. However, napping may confuse your body, keeping you up later at night. A suggestion would be to try and avoid napping. However, if you really need to nap do it earlier in the day. This will give your body enough time to reenergize itself but be ready for sleep at bed time.
  7. Exercise and eat well!- This really is key. If we take care of our bodies, feed it the right nutrition and keep it active, sleep will come easier at the end of the day!

There you have it- seven tips to help improve your sleep patterns!

Hydration!- The Importance of Keeping Hydrated, Especially After Therapy.

Everyone knows how important hydration is. We’re always told that water is the best medicine and that our bodies need it to function properly. Truth is, dehydration can have negative effects on our body. When dehydrated you may feel things such as fatigue, light-headedness, confusion, thirst. You may also have body pains including headaches. To most of us, this information is old news. But did you know how important it is to hydrate following a manual therapy treatment such as massage?

A lot of the time you will hear your therapist say, “Make sure you drink lots of water following your treatment”. With their treatment they are also working with your blood flow and circulatory system. When you have muscle tightness you most likely have reduced circulation going to those areas. This is why after working with specific muscles or areas the therapist will flush out that area. This is done to encourage proper blood flow and circulation. This can be dehydrating- which is why it is so important to drink water following treatments. Drinking water following a treatment not only keeps you hydrated, but can help prevent muscle soreness and pain following a treatment. Drinking water following a treatment can also flush out any waste and toxins from your body.

Next time your therapist suggests this as homecare, listen! Provide your body with the hydration it needs all the time (before and after treatment, and days you don’t have treatment) and help prevent those muscle aches and pains caused by not enough water. Your body will thank you!

Couples Massage for Valentines Day! How It Works and the Benefits it Holds.

Couples Massages are something very common for holidays such as anniversary’s, birthdays and Valentine’s Day. As you already know, DHT is offering an amazing Massage Pampering Package. This gives you the opportunity to book a couples massage for you and your significant other.

How it works: Here at DHT you would book a massage time for both you and your partner, either at the same time or back to back times. Your therapists will escort you and your partner into two of our massage rooms. DHT designed each room to be similar to one another and created to promote relaxation. Your therapist will go over what you hope to gain from your massage and explain and outline what the massage will be like. From there, your massage will begin.

Although your massages will happen in different rooms, they will be occurring simultaneously. You both will be able to experience relaxation at the same time and achieve goals of relaxation together.

Benefits: If you or your partner have never gotten a massage before, this is a great time to do it. Having a massage together may increase their comfort level and may allow them to enjoy the therapeutic time more. Couples massage holds all the benefits of massage therapy: reduced pain, muscle tension and stiffness, increased relaxation, etc… except you get to experience it all with your partner. Why do it apart when you can do it together?

 

Call today to book a massage for both you and your significant other!

 

Tools That Will Help Increase and Maintain Posture

DHT likes to use a variety of different tools and modalities to help with treatment. DHT recommends a variety of tools to be used in homecare to help correct and maintain proper posture. Let us tell you a little bit about our favorite ones!

  1. Posture Medic- This tool acts as a harness to help correct your spine from curving and your shoulders from moving forward. It is a fantastic tool that helps correct and encourage proper posture. With two arm looped bands on either side of a supportive fabric block it pulls your body into its correct and natural posture. Its design is simple and effective. Wear the posture medic on top of your clothing! It is also light enough to be worn underneath sweaters and jackets. And, it doesn’t stop there! Use the Posture Medic as a lengthening and strengthening tool. The looped are bands also act as resistance for strengthening exercises. They can also help as a support for when entering into challenging stretches. Expect immediate results with this cost effective product!
  2. The 10 Minute Cushion- This cushion is a take anywhere tool used to help you sit more upright. The curve shape of the cushion naturally fits to the spine to help proper spinal curvature and encourage proper posture. This product has a lightweight and flexible design that makes it easy to take anywhere! A great tool to use at work, school, home or during your commute. Its uses have no limits! Patients can try out this product while waiting for their appointment as we have two ready to use cushions on our waiting room chairs.
  3. AcuBall- DHT currently features a small and large AcuBall as well as the AcuBack. Use this tool as a self massager or postural support. The AcuBall is a round support structure that comes in two different sizes- one large and one small. Place this product at different points on your body to help provide support or self massage. The AcuBack is a fantastic and versatile tool. It has two of the AcuBall’s on either side of a cylindrical support. On the support there are small divots, known as the spine align belt. These divots surround the spine when the tool moves. It can be placed on the back when you are sitting upright or laying down to help provide spinal support. Additionally, use this tool anywhere your body feels tight, its not just limited to the back!

Check on these products when you’re in for your next appointment! One of these tools may be great for you!

DHT Owner and Osteopath Sean’s 5 Tips to Stay Pain Free in 2018!

In DHT’s most recent newsletter, Sean talks about his five tips to stay pain free in 2018!

Tip #1 Stop. Take a breath and stretch
If your feeling stressed in the day, take a moment for a few deep breaths. Belly breathing can help relieve stress and relax tense muscles. A lot of the time we hold our breath and rely on our upper chest to breathe which causes neck and shoulder pain.
Stretch – daily. Ten minutes in the morning when you first wake up, and ten minutes before bed at night to get the most benefit. Doing gentle stretches just before bed can help you get a much better night’s sleep. No equipment needed, just you in the comfort of your own home (and some good music if you like).
 
Tip #2 Tend to any aches or pains
Remove any potential obstacles and finally get that nagging knee pain, or tight shoulder looked at. See a physiotherapist and work with them to understand exactly what’s going on in your body so you can move with the assurance that you’re doing so safely and within your limits. Expect nothing less than a detailed treatment plan and time frame that will get you back to your baseline and ready to build as soon as possible. This is our approach to care at DHT and we know that’s how you get the best outcomes.
Take a warm bath with Epsom salt or baking soda. The heat in combination with Epsom salt or baking soda will ease your muscles almost immediately and will calm your mind. The perfect way to end your day and unwind before getting a good nights sleep.
 
Tip #3 Get your fitness assessed and get moving
Movement is the best form of medicine – especially when it comes to managing a musculoskeletal condition or injury. You don’t have to hit the gym to benefit from exercise. Simply walking for at least ten to twenty minutes a day will give your body results. Next time you need to make a long phone call, why not do it on your mobile and walk at the same time?
 
Tip #4 Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can be a cause of muscle pain. A lot of time when we wake up in the morning we feel achy and stiff and it’s because at that time of day fluid hasn’t had the time to get to the discs in the spine or joints. This is because we don’t have enough fluid in our systems while we’re sleeping. Working out and breaking a sweat is one of the best ways to keep fit, for obvious reasons, but regular exercise may also make you lose a lot of water and you need to stay hydrated if you are to stick to your health goals. Sometimes you might need water with electrolytes to keep your body hydrated. Keep sipping as you go along with your workout. Muscles are active tissues, which means they’re the kind of tissue that requires the most water in the body.
Drink plenty of water -Seventy percent of your muscles are water. So it makes sense that you need to drink plenty of water to support your body and keep it hydrated. My tip – have a glass of water by your bed ready for when you wake up in the morning, that way the first thing you do is drink a glass as soon as you wake to kick-start your day.
 
Tip #5 Charge your calm side
Balance your movement in 2018 with activities that help to calm your nervous system. Think regular massages or yoga that focus on restoration and rejuvenation. At DHT, we offer remedial and relaxation styles of massage and deep tissue massages. These are great treatments that rest the body but engage the mind. It is in the non-doing that the magic happens. So, try it for yourself and strike that much needed balance in your movement diet.
 
So there you have it, five things you can very easily put into action in your day starting now to reduce stiffness and prevent it from making daily activities difficult. Don’t accept pain as part of life! If you do and you don’t do anything about it, it will likely worsen and affect your ability to move freely. Whether you’re reading this from your home, from holiday or work…I hope these tips have inspired you to get moving – safely.
Remember, movement is key to living a happy and healthy life. We want you to move in the best way possible so that you have every chance to maintain your optimum health.

Stretches While You’re at Work! Get Up and Moving!

So many days consist of driving to work, sitting at work, driving home from work and sitting at home. Our muscles will become tight and shortened which will alter our posture and cause pain. DHT wanted to share some stretches that you can do at work. You can aid in correcting any muscle pain that is caused by constantly sitting by performing these stretches.

  1. Lunges- Being in a seated position can shorten our hip flexors, because we are essentially sitting in a flexed position. A great way to open up your hips and stretch those hip flexors is by doing a deep lunge.
  2. Cat and Cow- Our shoulders will begin to roll forward the longer we sit. A great way to put some mobility back into our shoulder and spine is by doing a cat-cow pose. Additionally, you don’t have to do this stretch in a table top position, you can also do it when seated or standing.
  3. Pec Stretch- With our shoulders rolling forward we may also be experiencing tight pecs. A great stretch for tight pecs is a simple wall stretch. In addition, by adjusting the height of your arms, you will target the different fibers of the pectoralis muscle.
  4. Deep Neck Flexor Exercise- Consequently with our heads rolling forward from staring at the computer, our deep neck flexors will be weaker and lengthened. There are a few exercises that work great, almost all of them involve bringing your chin tight to your chest to engage these deep muscles.
  5. Quadriceps Stretch- Our quads are another hip flexor so, by doing a quadriceps stretch you can open up your hips a little bit more.

 

Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch
Cat-Cow Pose
Cat-Cow Pose
Pec Wall Stretch
Pec Wall Stretch
Deep Neck Flexor Stretch
Deep Neck Flexor Stretch
Quadricep Stretch
Quadriceps Stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Ways to Ease Muscle Tension and Stress

This weather is all over the place and that means more stress being put on our bodies. Between shoveling, scraping the ice off our cars, gripping the steering wheel during one of those snow storms, our body builds up with stress and tension. Relieving aches and pains can be tough with our busy schedules. Here are some tips to help to reduce aches and pains at home!

  1. Use deep diaphragmatic breathing- A lot of the time we breathe through our chest. We use our accessory breathing muscles instead of our diaphragm. This can increase tension in our body as we are over breathing, taking more rapid and shallow breaths. It is natural for our bodies to breathe using our bellies, but as we have adapted to stress, it has altered our breathing patterns. The best way to reverse this habit is to breathe with more intention. Take 5-10 minutes a day and find a comfortable position laying on your back. Once there, place your hands on your abdomen. Start by taking an large inhale, for a count of six, feeling your belly lift your hands. Take a pause once you’ve reached your full inhale and exhale for a count of six. Repeat this for the full 5-10 minutes. You can also alter the time for the inhalation and exhalation, lengthening or decreasing the time for either one.
  2. Progressive relaxation- This is a great tool to use to release the built up tension from the day. The technique is simple. Find a comfortable position this can be laying on your back, on your side, or reclined- whatever feels best for you. . This techniques works by contracting your muscles and joints and holding this for 15-30 seconds. From there you release the contraction and introduce movement back into the muscles and joints. You can start this relaxation technique wherever, for instruction purposes lets begin at your feet. Curl your toes into the soles of your feet, point your feet up or down, and hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Release your feet by making circles at your ankles, wiggling your toes, stretching them open and then closed. Repeat this working your way up your body, from your calves to your thighs and glutes, to your abdominal muscles, your arms and shoulders, finishing with your neck and face.
  3. Essential Oils- Panaway is a great essential oil to help with relieving stress and tension as well as reducing inflammation and muscles aches and pains. Lavender is another great oil to encourage relaxation and reduce muscle tension, headaches and improve sleep patterns.
  4. Stretching- Stretch out your tense and tight muscles, and introduce movement back into your joints. You can do this using active range of motion, which is essentially you moving your joints through specific movements. For example, moving your head and neck from side to side, rotating it and bending and extending it.
  5. Manual Therapy- Make sure you attend regular appointments with your therapist to maintain your wellbeing. At home you can also use tools like the AcuBall to massage out your aches and pains. This is a great tool sold by DHT that works as a self massaging tool. A great feature of the AcuBall is that you can heat it up. Pop it in the microwave according to instructions and then use it to massage out muscles that are tight. The heat of the tool will also aid in loosening tight muscles.

Check out the variety of tools we sell here in the clinic, including the AcuBall and Panaway and Lavender essential oils! Stop your tension aches and pains!!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Massage Pamper Package!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. If you’re looking for a gift for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, well then look no further! DHT has the answer!

Pamper yourself or your loved ones with DHT’s Massage Pamper Package!

Here’s how it works: Purchase two one hour massage gift certificates at $100.00 each, HST included, and receive a complimentary 30 minute massage and a delicious box of Lindt chocolates.

Sounds SWEET, right?

Swing by the clinic as soon as you can to make your purchase! There are only 30 of these packages available. Additionally, only one package per person.

 

CHECK OUT DHT’s YouTube page to see the full promotional video: 

While you’re there, click SUBSCRIBE! Don’t miss a minute of the action here at Dynamic Health Therapy!

Valentine's Day

 

Heart Conditions- How Therapy Can Be Modified for A Beneficial Treatment

February is known as the American Heart Month. CV disease is a rising concern in our society today. Especially with poor eating habits and inactive lifestyles. Heart conditions range from high and low blood pressure, to angina, heart attacks and CHF. Many people with these kinds of conditions may be hesitant to receive any type of manual therapy. However, treatment can be done with some simple modifications to positioning and pressure to ensure a safe AND beneficial treatment.

Before treatment consult your family doctor. They will be able to tell you if manual therapy is right for you and your condition. Once your doctor has given you the green light, book an appointment for the therapy you are wanting to try. Your therapist will then ask you to complete a health history form. The most important thing to remember is to be as honest and open as possible. Include as many details as you can about your health to give the therapist information relating to your treatment.

Make sure to have an open conversation with your therapist. Keep those lines of communication open during the length of your treatment and following. Here are some things your therapist may do as modifications for your treatment:

  1. Take your blood pressure before and after treatment- This will give the therapist an idea of what your blood pressure normally sits at. From there the therapist can modify your treatment accordingly. Following the treatment they will take it to ensure that the treatment was safe and did not cause any altering effects.
  2. Position you semi-reclined or right side lying- These positions will take the pressure off of the heart. They will usually be more comfortable for the patient.
  3. Shorter, segmental strokes- A lot of the time a therapist will use shorter, segmental strokes opposed to long, full limb effleurage .
  4. The use of relaxed breathing- Deep belly breathing is a great tool to use. It helps to increase relaxation and keep BP from rising.
  5. Using sedative techniques rather than exciting ones- The therapist will use more relaxing strokes rather than exciting ones. They may also avoid using any deep, painful pressure to keep BP from rising.
  6. Remove heat therapy applications.
  7. Checking in regarding pain scale, pressure and comfort levels- The patient is the main priority.

With these changes, treatment can be possible, safe and can be very helpful for the patient. Most importantly, work within your comfort level. Ask as many questions as you can. Be willing to share with your therapist and your doctor regarding any concerns you may have. Your therapist and doctor can work together to ensure a safe treatment that will benefit you, your body and your health.

Relax Using Essential Oils- What Oils Can Help You Unwind

Relax! How many times have you been told to relax? As Valentines Day approaches it may be hard for us to make time to unwind with those important to us. Use essential oils to help achieve a state of relaxation and make time for self love and partner love.

Below are some of the essential oils that DHT loves to use to help us relax:

  1. Lavender- Lavender is an essential oil that has great relaxation properties. With its soothing, natural ingredients it can create a sense of calming and put the mind at ease. In addition, this oil is also great for relieving headaches and improve sleep quality.
  2. Frankincense- This oil is great for enhancing spiritual strength and calm. It helps relax the nerves and the body when it may be feeling tense.
  3. Bergamot- This oil comes from the citrus fruit the Citrus Bergamia and has uplifting properties. This oil allows energy within the body flow freely in a relaxed state. Furthermore, it can also help with conditions such as depression and anxiety.

These oils work great from a diffuser, mixed with a carrier oil or diluted in a bath. As a result, you will be able to kick back and relax! Here at DHT we love using essential oils as a natural remedy for many things, especially relaxing. Lastly, take a peak in our display case the next time you visit the clinic to see what essential oils we have in stock.