Making Changes – Strategy Hack #1

Hey Folks!

It's been a long time since I've written anything in here - though if you've been keeping your eyes peeled, our Physiotherapists have been putting out some awesome videos going over important topics like shoulder issues and core strengthening.  Head over here to check them out, if you'd lke.

We're already 23 days into January and I've been meaning to write more about making sustainable changes since the new year, so we're going to just stop "planning" to do it and do it.  Today we're going to talk about the first and easiest "hack" to create change.  

Add first.

Seems simple enough, but a large majority of people think first about something they want to STOP doing or REMOVE from their lives when we speak about change. 

I just want to lose 15 pounds
I need to stop drinking during the week
I want to stop arguing with my spouse

You get the picture.  Always based on removing things.  The problem, is that these things are providing us pleasure, whether obvious (cracking into a cold beer) or not so obvious (raised adrenalin levels during a fight with a spouse, the instant pleasure of giving in to treats - a desire of the fat, not you).  

In comes ADDING an activity.  And this is where some eloquence and precision comes in.  

I'm going to add a 30 minute walk in each morning!

Ugh... 30 minutes is a long time and it's cold.  Plus, I need to get ready for that thing soon, and I need to answer Blah Blah on facebook before I forget.  That's a subtle exaggeration, but probably not too far off from some of the defeating mental chatter that goes on in some of our heads, right?  Well then for this person, They need a smaller goal that is still adding.  We're going to ask them to strap on their boots, get bundled up, and just open the door and stand on the otherside of it, looking out into the driveway/street.  Just stand there for 1-5 minutes, and then go back inside.  The mental relaxation alone is going to make huge changes in that persons life.  That's a success.  And success is easy to build on.  Seth Godin has a rule where he does 1 push up, every night.  Just 1.  Unless, of course, he feels like doing a few more that night.  But the threshold for success is set at 1. 

Maybe I'll do one of those cleanses - I heard you can lose 10 pounds in a week!

You can force yourself to do just about anything for a week, maybe even longer, but it's only a matter of time before the old habits start creeping back in.  Because you've been denying ALL those sources of pleasure in your life, and no cleanse that I know of is going to fix that.  

Or maybe there is a way to get us to do things we don't currently enjoy, and to receive pleasure from it... more on this idea in a future blog post 🙂

In the meantime.  Try adding in 1 of the following in your life (whichever seems easiest!):

  • ​a 30 minute walk, every day
  • Start taking Omega 3 fats (we have the best there is at the clinic)
  • Get 10 minutes of solid mobility work/stretching in, every day
  • Try to include a veggie or fruit with each meal
  • Take 3, deep, mindful breaths, every day.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball​

     
     
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    The Sleeper Stretch with Sarah Tessier PT Res

    Sarah Tessier goes over the Sleeper Stretch to help with Internal Rotation and tight posterior shoulders.

    Only when you know the question, will you know what the answer means

    42.

    The answer to life, the universe, and everything.

    I’ve used this joke a lot, but I’m about to be a Dad, so get used to me re-using jokes.  I think that’s part of becoming a Dad.  That, and I can rarely think of a better way to exemplify what I’m trying to say when I come across broad, over-arching answers.

    This topic tends to come up with me one of two ways:

    • I’m making fun of something that is being touted as the new answer to everything (or is being advertised that way to do one thing… get you to buy and consume whatever it is).
      • My call for this year is tea.  No one particular tea, but ones with cool names in general, not the “normal” teas we’re used to seeing (like orange pekoe, earl grey or english breakfast), but the exotic sounding ones, like matcha, yerba maté, and other crazy stuff that might not even be tea but is being sold that way because we don’t know how else to conceptualize it otherwise.
    • I’m trying to explain the “Wellness and Lifestyle” model of healthcare.  Which, if we’re watching the slow decline of society into chronic illness, and chronic illness management, we desperately need.

    Todays post is the latter of those two options.  Reading through research lately has been fun/tedious, but every once in a while you come across something seriously awesome.  I’m embarrassed I haven’t come across this sooner, to be honest.  but here it is:

    Is it possible to have TOO much Nrf2? Stay Tuned... (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman/Released)

    Is it possible to have TOO much Nrf2? Stay Tuned… (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman/Released)

    Nrf2, a master regulator of detoxification and also antioxidant, antiinflammatory and other cytoprotective mechanisms, is raised by health promoting factors

    This article is simply awesome.  Here is laypersons summary of their abstract:

    • Nrf2 is short for nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (yeah… Nerf 2 is a little easier to say/reference)
    • It’s a “transcription factor”, meaning it leads cells to “read” certain parts of our DNA and causes certain physiological cascades afterwards.
      • And this one activates the transcription of over 500 genes!
    • Things that it does:
      • detoxifies the body of molecules that can be toxic when accumulated to unhealthy levels as well as toxic metals
      • Anti-oxidant activities (reduces “bad” oxidation of molecules that can lead to mutations, aging, or unnecessary waste)
      • Produces anti-inflammatory changes (think, Advil, or fish oil)
      • Stimulates the creation of new mitochondria, and improves the function of already existing mitochondria (think, more energy, easier)
      • Stimulates autophagy – a cleaner for your cells, that gets rid of “trash” that can be problematic if not kept under control
    • Things that increase our amount of Nrf2:
      • Phenolic antioxidants, like plants, herbs and (wait for it…) tea
      • gamma and delta-tocopherols, tocotrienols.  Vitamin E – healthy fats, olive oil, avocado, etc.
      • Long chain Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA – from fish, krill, squid, grass-fed meats, etc.
      • Carotenoids like lycopene (in tomatoes and grapes)
      • isothiacynates from cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
      • Sulphur compounds from allium vegetables (garlic, onions, shallots, etc.)
      • Terpenoids (herbs like cinnamon and ginger)
      • Low level oxidative stress (low intensity exercise, like walking)
      • More intense exercise
      • Fasting/Caloric restriction
    • Chronic Inflammatory Diseases that are prevented/treated by increasing Nrf2?
      • cardiovascular diseases
      • kidney diseases
      • lung diseases
      • Diseases of toxic liver damage
      • Cancer [prevention]
      • Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome/Obesity
      • Sepsis
      • Autoimmune diseases
      • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
      • HIV/AIDS
      • Epilepsy
      • lesser evidence also points to the improvement of 16 other diseases

    Sounds pretty impressive eh?  I like part of the conclusion, “Nrf2 is argued to be both lifespan and health span extending.” [emphasis mine]  FINALLY a focus on not just increasing the length of our lives, but also the quality of those years.

    Get out for a hike for some low intensity restorative exercise!

    Get out for a hike for some low intensity restorative exercise!

    The authors also speak to the potential of having TOO much Nrf2 (which is smart to hopefully nip the “if some is good, let’s crank the knob up to 11!” bud), as it can cause a type of acne in certain cases, and more life-threatening risks in very extreme situations (in mice with a gene removed from their body that would regulate Nrf2, so it just continues to accumulate).  So it DOES NOT follow a, “if some is good, more is better” model either.  Very interesting… Almost like all those things that improve it should be employed, but not to excess.

    News Flash – Being reasonable is healthy.

    So if we want to improve our bodies detoxification pathways (which are a real thing, that your liver and kidneys help with), tidy up our cells, improve our mitochondrial health and generally improve our lives doing the things that help improve this particular transcription factor is not a bad idea.  What are those things?

    • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit (of various colours and textures) and quality meats and fats
    • Use some herbs and spices to make your food a bit more interesting
    • Consider supplementing with a modest amount of Omega 3 fats from high quality sources
    • Move your body at a low, steady pace, most of the time.  Then at a hard pace every once in a while.
    • Avoid overeating, and maybe consider fasting or taking on the mindset from Okinawa of “Hara Hachi Bu” – meaning to eat only until you’re 80% full

    Stay Healthy Friends!

    Dr. Adam Ball

    What You Need to Know to Get and Stay Healthy

    Hey Folks!

    It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted!  Apologies for that.  So I’ve been thinking about what sets Chiropractic apart from other professions, and why we’re crucial when we DO share so much of our scope and skills with many other professionals (physics, massage therapists, osteos, athletic therapists, etc.) and it ultimately comes down to our philosophy.

    But I’ve spoken about that numerous times before.  So while I may hint at it throughout the rest of my life (and this post), I’ll attempt to tackle a different topic today.

    Today I’d like to speak about how the truth isn’t sexy.  The true, and ultimate answers with regards to health (and fitness, really) isn’t particularly sexy.  I’ve mentioned that there are no shortcuts before, but that truth continues to shine through time after time throughout the years.

    Chiro’s are different because we’re the only profession that is based on the idea that there’s nothing wrong with you.  Intrinsically, you likely have the genetic blueprint to live a long, healthy, happy life.  Some folks (a small percentage… though it seems to be growing) have gene-based alterations in their set point, but, luckily for us, the overarching treatment plan is largely the same.  Assuming you’re physiology is good, and providing the necessary ingredients to provide health to your body isn’t nearly as sexy as rushing you into an Operating Room to cut you open and pull out your ruptured appendix, preventing the immediate risk to your life.

    Medical doctors do AMAZING things.  They literally SAVE peoples lives and prevent deaths that would be imminent without them.  We should be grateful for it (and in those situations, people typically are).  The problem, is that nowadays lifestyle illnesses are responsible for most deaths.  So while Emergency interventions with Medicine can save your life (in the right situation, unfortunately not everyone lives) in the event of a heart attack or stroke, the cause of those issues didn’t happen suddenly.

    I’m totally borrowing this analogy from James Chestnut, but you can think of the Medical Community as the “fire department”.  In this analogy your body is your house.  When your house is on FIRE, you call the fire department.  Given good timing and adequate staffing, the fire department saves your house from burning to the ground, but there is likely damage that will need to be repaired to make it “new” again.  When that time comes, does it make sense to call the fire department to come fix your house up?  Would the fire department become frustrated with your calls to them to help fix your house?  Absolutely.

    This is where we are right now.  The medical community is overwhelmed and frustrated with the number of people who are “pre-diabetic”, “at risk” for heart attack and stroke or cancer, but don’t actually HAVE those problems.  Makes sense, right?  You have the tool that helps when that situation arises, but it isn’t quite there yet, and you can tell that by the way the person is headed, that they’ll likely get there over time.  If only there was a way to help turn those people around.

    Well there is.  The PROBLEM, is that it isn’t very sexy – so it doesn’t appear like it could be the answer.

    And thennnnn…

    You want to get fit.  You want to pack on some muscle, but you enjoy being able to go for a run, play volleyball on the beach and you don’t want to put on any fat while you get stronger.  Welcome to the goal of everyone.  Some people get past this issue and reorient their goals.  That’s what leads to elite performances in sport.  Strongmen, Throwers and Powerlifters don’t CARE how fast they can run 800m, unless it makes them better at their sport/tasks at hand, which it doesn’t.  Sprinters don’t care if their shoulders lack range of motion and that gymnastics would help make their shoulders stronger and healthier… because it doesn’t help them sprint faster.  One goal – be the best in the world at ONE thing.  For most of us, this isn’t the goal.  And to be honest, it isn’t particularly healthy – but when the stakes are olympic gold, or high salary contracts, I can understand when it’d be worth it.

    To prepare for true fitness, you’ll get a million different opinions.  it is likely impossible to be the best at absolutely everything.  Who knows, maybe that will be proven wrong one day, but until then it seems like it’d be true.  So to improve your level of fitness, you need to lift heavy things, move your body in progressively more complex ways, sprint every so often and otherwise move about with a good amount of frequency.  You need to eat well, too, but we’ll cover that next.  There’s no “This ONE move you AREN’T doing and your trainer WON’T tell you about!”  It doesn’t exist.  There’s hard work at intelligent tasks and that’s it.  Work the short time domain and the long one.  Work the heavy stuff, the fast stuff AND the slow stuff.  Use gymnastics, kettlebells, medicine balls, barbells, rings,  and as many other implements as you can.  Give EVERYTHING you have sometimes.  Other times focus on quality and perfection in movement (though that should be the goal for ALL movement).  Work on moving hard and fast when you’re moving, and resting when you need to.  THAT, creates fitness.  No BS, no secrets.

    And thennnn…

    You want to know what to eat.  We were told fat was bad, and then that maybe it isn’t.  But what about vegetable oils, omega 3 oils, saturated fat and so on?  We are CONSTANTLY barraged with recommendations for supplements to take.  Whether it’s a commercial, a multi-level marketing friend/acquaintance, or Dr. Oz, we never know what to take seriously and what not to.  There is SO much information and contradictory claims out there with regard to nutrition that it has been the topic of hundreds of books.  And it will continue to be.

    BUT, this is where that Chirpractic view of HEALTH comes in.  This is where we develop our BS filter.

    Most Chiropractors are of the opinion that we don’t need more people trying to put out fires on their own with a garden hose and store-bought fire extinguisher (still speaking in metaphor here… those are actually good things to have around in the event of a real fire).  We don’t want to be responsible for putting out uncomplicated low back pain fires.  We want to increase your health.

    Improve movement, mobility and stability in the spine and extremities, and you get healthier people.  Fine tune peoples nutrition to help them provide their body with what it NEEDS, and you get healthier people.  Teach people about the value of friendship, family values, being grateful, and positive thinking and you get healthier people.  THAT is what chiropractors like myself specialize in.  Your back/neck/shoulder/hip/knee/whatever pain will “magically” go away when you cover all these bases most of the time.

    Devote yourself to getting HEALTHY, not just avoiding disease.  Be the healthiest, happiest person you know.

    Stay Healthy friends,

    Dr. Adam Ball

    Whole Life Challenge – January 2016

    Hey Friends!

    So the gym/clinic has signed up for the “Whole Life Challenge”.  It’s a lifestyle challenge/game that is meant to help catalyze some changes to lifestyle habits through Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility work, Hydration, Sleep, Lifestyle (changes weekly), and Reflection/Journaling.  It’s something I toyed with created WAY back when I was still in Chiro school, but it’s a LOT of work – and I like that Andy (the creator of the whole life challenge) has made it into a bit of game.  The ultimate goal is to install some new habits and hopefully live life a little healthier afterwards from then on until FOREVER 🙂

    I’m going to dig a little deeper into each facet of the game to hopefully give some context and background info for everyone.  SO, that being said… let’s tackle “nutrition” – Click here to see the chart of the various levels of the challenge.

    Kickstart:

    • If you’re pretty new to the whole health & wellness game, then this is a great place to start.  For people who constantly eat out, or eat a lot of what our parents would call, “junk”, switching to cooking your own meals is a big (and VERY effective) way to install positive changes in your life and on your health.  Seeing these small, but very important positive steps successfully, is more important than worrying you might have eaten too many bananas.

    Lifestyle:

    • Not quite the strict-ness of the “Performance” level, and as such, is more inclined to develop lifelong lifestyle changes.  Knowing you will occasionally kick your heels up, or that your time is limited for adding in new activities/practices.  This is good if you’ve been contemplating tidying up your diet, and eliminating many less nutritious choices (grains, sugar, dairy, bad beverage choices, and artificial ingredients), in addition to dialling in your other lifestyle habits.

    Performance:

    • If you are a, “ALL OR NONE” kind of person, if you’re helping to make some more profound changes with regards to your health or performance, than this is where you want to be.  That makes it sound somewhat attractive, but it means less room for error, and in some ways this is where there is more risk of “failing”.  Many of us fall into the “darn it, I messed up and had oatmeal for my breakfast…. I guess I’ll have pizza for lunch!” – Queue complete tailspin into crushing snickers bars and rockstar drinks.  So this is like a big risk/big gain situation.  If you feel ready, or you’re that all or none person, then this might be the challenge you need to bump you up a bit.  Keep in mind, this isn’t meant to be a permanent change (unless you just really love it), it’s meant to be a “reset” or a “boost”, so you can push into those edges and develop some healthy, long-term habits.
    • I would suggest keeping legumes out of your diet for this level, and consider adding in Potatoes if that is a deal breaker (with an upper carbs/day limit of 150g).

    You can also always dig into some of my older posts for more info:

    Navigating the Paleo World

    Ok… So I’m ready to start eating paleo

    Alright – That’s it for this post – on to the next piece!  Stay Healthy Friends!
    Dr. Adam Ball

    OK… So, I’m ready to start eating Paleo…

    Awesome! I’m glad you’re willing to make the changes necessary to improve your health and prevent (or help heal from) a myriad of chronic diseases. Depending on where you’re coming from, you will face some cravings, some questioning, and possibly even some detox style symptoms (headache, constipation/diarrhea, etc.) Take that as the disclaimer it is. You may also experience even-keeled energy levels all day long, better sleep, less sinus congestion, less headaches, loss of fat and water weight, less bloating and gas, and the list goes on.

    So… here are the steps you need to take.

    1. Empty out your fridge, freezer and pantry of all the items that are not fit for human consumption.
    a. This includes: Bread, pasta, rice, beans, milk, cheese, candy, chocolate bars, quinoa, cous cous, and pretty much anything that involves a package, or a list of ingredients.

    2. Find some recipes you already know/want to try that happen to be Paleo:
    a. These meals will consist of Meat, Vegetables, Fruit, nuts and seeds.
    b. Add some spices for flavour.

    3. Write down what you need in a list and head to the grocery store:
    a. You’ll generally stay along the periphery of the store to pick up your produce and meat. Some of the items (spices, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.) will be in the middle aisles.
    b. Avoid the aisles with the junk previously considered, “food”.
    c. Make sure you bring a list and eat before you go – don’t buy anything not on the list!

    Tips:

    • Buy meat in bulk – Buying directly from a farm is ideal (Eat Local Sudbury has some great resources) but when that isn’t realistic for you, Costco has pretty good quality meat and it can be more economical – and then portion the meat into 1 pound increments, put them in ziplocks and freeze them

    • Wash and chop your veggies that need it when you get home. Ziplocks/tupperwares are good for storage for these as well.

    • Make what you can ahead of time; breakfasts are nice to have ahead of time for a quick warm up in the morning – the slow cooker will become a good friend.

    The variety of meals you can make is mind-boggling. You’ll find a few you love and generally stick with them, maybe even a dozen different meals. Making changes and tinkering with meals is easy once you get the hang of it as it’s fairly simple to cook up some meat and veggies at each meal. You’ll find the list of ingredients you need is fewer (depending on how complex you get with the spices).

    If you can follow the above guidelines, a majority of you will be set for a life of health and happiness.
    But what if, despite the simple guidelines, you still don’t know where to start? I understand completely; It’s nice to have someone tell you what to eat and when to eat it. It takes the guesswork out of it, and it makes adhering to the diet and lifestyle just a little easier, which is important when making these changes as they can be challenging.

    Do you have an auto-immune disease? Are you still experiencing odd symptoms that won’t seem to go away? Are you pre-diabetic, completely diabetic, or “at risk” for diabetes? Are you concerned with preventing cancer or getting ready for a surgery? Do you want to improve your athletic performances? We can fine tune and personalize the paleo diet to your specific needs and situation. It can be for an acute situation (like an upcoming surgery or race day) or for the rest of your life (like preventing cancer or supporting high activity levels). I can work with your specific needs and wants to help build your specific plan, if you’d like.

    There can be a lot of questions to consider, are you an athlete or are you gearing up for a surgery (or both)? Do you need to eat high/low carb, moderate or lower protein? Which are the healthy fats? Do you play with fasting? When would be appropriate to do that?  Let me know if you want to dig in deeper, and we’ll work on a plan for you.  Click “Book appointment” at the top of the page – or click here

    Stay Healthy Friends!
    Dr. Adam Ball

     

    Building a BS filter – “Expert” opinions

    Hey Folks!

    I’ve had one hell of a hiatus from writing, but have been meaning to get back at it for the last few weeks.  I’ve really been enjoying reading more research lately and creating the little sound bites of info from them (see them on my twitter feed here).  But I have missed the larger pieces of synthesis that come from reading all those bits of info and putting them into a longer, coherent and more contextual “article”.  Before I get into any particular topic I want to address something that I’ve had an issue with for as long as I can remember.  I think we all have issue with this in general (as we all tend to have some sort of BS filter), but either way, here goes.

    Being extremely educated in one area and/or being considered an “expert” in that area does NOT make you an expert at everything.

     photo rocket_surgeon_500px_zps668d1dfb.jpg

    photo from: http://s1182.photobucket.com/user/WeeWeed1/media/rocket_surgeon_500px_zps668d1dfb.jpg.html

    I can appreciate that people seeking you out, sharing your info, telling you you’re great and so on would blow your head up, but that doesn’t make it “ok” for you to start spreading misinformation.  I get that you understand research, and you might have knowledge on a related subject, but you’re only making yourself look ridiculous when you don’t acknowledge information that is above your pay-grade.

    For example, at this point, when someone asks me about “Dry needling”, I let them know my level of understanding for it, then tell them that they’re best to speak with someone who does it regularly to get a more full understanding.  I may have a great knowledge of anatomy, physiology, neurology and even a decent steeping in traditional acupuncture, but I don’t have experience performing dry-needling, so I refer to people who do.

    I’m not interested in debating people either, as I’ve made that mistake far too often.  If you are not an intelligent enough human being to recognize that most  things are not absolute, then you are wasting your time and more importantly you’re wasting my time by speaking on whichever subject you are completely closed to having an informed opinion on.

    Then there is the questionable quality of journal articles (that is not limited to shoddy journals, even the NEJM or JAMA have had issues with quality) (link here).  Or good articles, that are written on bad, or even made up data that was never bothered to have been removed from the database it was created in (link here).  There is also the funny coincidence that research funded by either a pharmaceutical company or association that would benefit from a positive outcome, is more likely to find that positive outcome – but when the same study is conducted by independent researchers, the outcomes aren’t quite so rosy (link here).  And it isn’t stuff that “just happens in the states” (link here).

    Now then…

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t respect and value the opinions of people who have spent their lives devoted to absorbing, deciphering, and relaying information to those interested in hearing about it (I do it every day in trying to educate my patients!), but when that knowledge is based on research that could possibly be from untrustworthy sources, and those sources are more or less impossible to know, we need a new way to know when to trust that info and when not to.  Here are some ways to figure it out:

    • If it backs up a status quo that hasn’t been helping you, it’s questionable (i.e. If your calories in is greater than your calories out, you gain weight!)
    • If it’s got any “extreme” words – i.e. “always”, “never”, “certain”, or whatever else that suggests there is only one answer, it’s likely wrong
    • If you get sucked in, and ask a question that might be contrary to the “knowledge” being doled out, and you’re attacked or personally insulted, the person is upset because they’ve been caught.
    • If it’s a topic that is “in vogue”, and commenting on it would make that person more popular or highlight them in the media, and they haven’t spoken about it before, they likely don’t know much about it (i.e. “Neurosurgeon speaks out about Chiropractic care!”, is about the same as, “Fast food restaurant manager speaks out about Farming!”… what does a restaurant manager have in common with farming other than, maybe food?)
    • Anything that sets off your BS detector in general – i.e. “gluten sensitivity doesn’t exist!”, “Exercise is the answer to all your diet problems!”, “Stop working hard!  Do this one trick and make millions!” – you get the picture.  These are more obvious and more or less relate to the “extreme” words rule.

    Good.  Hopefully that helps you guys navigate the %#@storm that is the state of “expert” opinions that seems so pervasive on the internet these days.

    Back to improving peoples health through Chiropractic care, Nutritional consulting and Movement and exercise prescription (my areas of expertise, of which I’m constantly trying to improve upon).

    Stay Healthy, Friends!

    Dr. Adam Ball

    Massage Therapy @ Real Life Health!

    Real Life Health is proud to bring on board Crystal Critch, RMT as our go to massage therapist.  Crystal has been with us over a month now, and has helped numerous people perform and feel better.  A regular massage is a great part of a healthy lifestyle.  Paired with Chiropractic care, exercise and a great diet, massage has the ability to help improve everything from your flexibility to your performance in sport!

    What is Massage Therapy?

    Massage therapy is a hands on form of therapy that is recognized as a Regulated Health Profession.  This means therapists must uphold standards set out by a college, which makes them insurable and supported by their associations.  Registered Massage Therapist’s (RMTs) specialize in manipulating the soft tissues and joints of the body through a wide variety of techniques and are taught when and how to use them in order to help prevent, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function or relieve pain.  RMT’s also learn how to stretch and strengthen each muscle in the body and can teach you how to do these exercises, in order optimize your posture and reduce or prevent physical pain.

    Whether your goal is to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension, relieve chronic pain or injury, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being, as well as your quality of life.

    Why Massage Therapy?

    People often ask me “why did you choose to become a Massage Therapist?” It is an answer that has changed over the course of my schooling and career so far…

    Originally I chose to take the program because anatomy, biology and physical education were my favourite classes when I attended high school at Marymount Academy, here in Sudbury. I was interested in learning the skills needed in order to relieve and prevent pain without the use of medication. Also, I liked the idea of learning how to live a holistically healthy lifestyle, and be able to help others do the same.

    Throughout the Massage Therapy program at Georgian College, I fell in love with it more and more everyday. I had the opportunity to treat clients from the public in the student massage therapy clinic, including pregnant clients, their babies, and complex care cases (serious injuries or multi-faceted health issues). We also provided sports massage in the college gym. I was involved in various outreach programs, one working with the patients in a long-term care facility, and one at the hospital with the cancer/palliative care patients, and needless to say I enjoyed them all.

    After I graduated college and got my license, I was offered the opportunity to work with Dr. Adam Ball, at Real Life Health, a wellness clinic in Sudbury. I was thrilled to have the chance to work in a clinic that prides itself on helping clients achieve their personal wellness goals.

    Dr. Ball provides people with chiropractic care, and nutritional counseling. He is also the owner of CrossFit Sudbury, a gym where it’s fun to work towards and achieve your fitness goals.

    Offering massage therapy on top of all of this can give our clients the opportunity to relax, and release any built up tension in their muscles, decrease any pain and treat soft tissue injuries. Whatever your goals may be, I will help you achieve them. I have seen what massage can do for people, and I love how it makes people feel. Seeing each of my clients leave with a smile on their face is what reminds me everyday, why I chose to do what I do.

     

    Crystal Critch, RMT
    Registered Massage Therapist

    N.B. Crystal is available Monday through Thursday from 9am-7pm and Friday 9am-5pm.  Massage is a great way to get supple and improve the way we move.  Proper movement is crucial to giving us the opportunity to express our health the way it’s meant to be.  Getting into the habit of a regular massage address our aches, pains and tight spots, but you’ll also find therapists like Crystal will often reveal other, tight and tender areas that we should be working on as well to prevent future problems!  You can book online through the “Book an appointment” button at the top of the page here.  Stay Healthy Folks!

    3 Issues with Going the “One Way”

    “Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.

    After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.

    Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.”

    – Bruce Lee

     

    Hey Folks!

     

    Today we will address something that has been plaguing CrossFit, Chiro, and life in general since I learned of its’ existence.  That thing is that there is NO ONE WAY.  I know what you’re thinking – That’s not a new idea, Adam.  I know it isn’t, but it never takes long for us to convince ourselves that maybe… just maybe there IS ONE WAY.

    Oh I need to get my squat up, I have to do the Smolov method.  Oh, the warm up suggests jumping from 75% to 90% of our working weight, I’ll just slap these 45’s on then.  I’m not feeling great; it must be my serotonin levels.  I’d love to lose some weight, but you can only do it if you do the super mega cleanse, and I’m not ready for that.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

     

    Issue #1:   We want there to be only one way. 

    You have this infection, you need this anti-biotic, and you need to take it for this long.  You want to lose 10 pounds so you need to eat this magic-berry this many times per day before you have your water and air to eat.  We want it to be true.  The number of times I’ve heard, “well just tell me what stretch I need to do”, or, “how many treatments does it take to cure this???” is quite honestly, too many.

     

    Issue #2:  People don’t like for there to not be ONE WAY.

    People want there to be ONE fix.  ONE stretch they aren’t doing.  ONE piece of food they need to add or omit from their diet that will cure their IBS, add 200 pounds to their back squat and get them an A in their Nuclear Biophysics course at University.  They want that “AHA! THAT is what I’ve been doing wrong!” moment.  They WANT easy.  But easy doesn’t exist – simple does.

    Eating veggies, meats, tubers, fruits, and adding in some nuts and seeds is simple.  Coming to the gym and doing the work is simple.  Working on your mobility with a Lacrosse ball, foam roller and some stretches is simple.  Getting adjusted regularly to ensure a healthy nervous system is simple.  Unfortunately simple does not always or usually mean easy.  Endeavour for simplicity, it isn’t always easy, but there is a certain beauty in it.

     

    Issue #3:  Many a person has gotten rich off selling you the idea that there is only one way. 

    Want to know a surefire way to know when you’re hearing/reading good advice?  When the speaker/writer isn’t going to fight you on adhering to what they suggest.

    “I can’t eat ‘paleo’ because I have to have yogourt/milk/oatmeal/etc.”, is a common response I hear to my recommendation for most folks to start with a stripped down paleo approach to eating.  Do you know what an appropriate response to this comment is?  “Ok, then have it – and if or when you’re ready to try going without that item as well, you can”.  Many of the truly successful people are not shoving their rules down peoples’ throats.  Mark Rippetoe doesn’t care if you want to compare Starting Strength to Wendlers 5-3-1.  Robb Wolf doesn’t care if you want to go all primal and add some dairy and wine in with your paleo diet.  Most Chiropractors don’t care if you want to come in once a month instead of once every 2 weeks.  What we do know is that if you stray too far from a plan, it doesn’t work as well, and we know what we know because we do it every day.

     

    Notes to provoke your thoughts:

    Want to know when you’re being sold something that may be suspect (products, services or advice)?  When the person wants to convince you of its’ truth.

    I don’t want to pick on anyone as broad brush strokes are just that, broad, but two examples that come to mind are:

    Vegans.  You can’t be “kind of” vegan.  From my experiences they will do everything in their power to convince you of the evils of meat and the saintly power of juicing or kale or whatever.  You can see this in the paleo world too with the “is it paleo” debates, which in my opinion are largely a waste of time.

    “Evidence-based” healthcare practitioners.   They are typically extremely confident that their way is the only way.  That is until they learn more.  Until they learn about bias from researchers, from where funding comes from, from bias in statistical analysis (and it’s interpretation), and from poorly written conclusions, abtracts and introductions.  Until they learn about outliers, and paradoxical findings (and responders) and articles that conclude, “while this particular study does not support generally accepted findings, we still suggest that people follow XYZ” and wonder why doesn’t the study support it?

    Please keep in mind, these are generalizations, and by far not all vegans or “evidence-based” practitioners are like this, but they come to mind first.  How will you know if the person you’re speaking to is unworthy of your trust?  They don’t listen to your side of the conversation.  Not even a little.  They speak louder to get their point across.  It’s painful to speak and debate with these people and we all get sucked into it from time to time.  Don’t’ waste your time or energy here.

     

    Bruce Lee is still viewed with starry eyes.  He was a genius.  He knew that there was no one way, and that the more you learned, the more you realized you knew very little.  After understanding how little you know, you can fully acknowledge the breadth of the subject and how best to approach it.  The important thing to take into account is that we’re all trying to get on the highway to greater health and fitness, but few of us will be driving on the exact same onramp or will be driving the same speed.  Where you get on and how fast you go isn’t what matters, heading in the right direction is.  So when you begin to doubt yourself from time to time (and you will), remember, there is no one way, there is only the way you are going – just make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

    As always – stay healthy, Friends!

     

    Dr. Adam Ball