January 7, 2020

This experience was amazing!! If you ever have the opportunity to be in the presence of Jen Wright, it is a blessing. Not only is Jen a colleague, she is also my boss and what a warrior of a person she is! In our treatment today, I got to experience craniosacral therapy for the first time and she also included some energy and neuromuscular work in the treatment and…wow! I am completely grounded and at peace as I write this now. I am not one to flaunt my knowledge of energy work, I’m not a practiced energy worker myself nor I’ll admit, do I understand all the wonderful benefits of how it can be integrated into a therapeutic treatment, but my goodness has Jen ever mastered it! She explained that everyone experiences these types of treatments differently and I was fortunate enough to have the most blissful treatment EVER!

Raise your hand (go on, I’l be able to tell!) if you’ve said or heard someone say “If I’m not in tears by the end of this treatment then the massage is unless” – WRONG! The body doesn’t need to feel pain to relieve pain. Massage therapy is a delicate balance between challenging tissue in a therapeutic way and then integrating healing techniques to relax and release the targeted tissue. Jen IS that balance, and she throws in an added bonus of working through the emotional walls that our bodies put up consciously or even unconsciously. She is not fluffy or voodooey at all, she explains the process through scientific facts, anatomical physiology and how it all ties together with massage and craniosacral work. Whether you are a spiritual butterfly or a science forward person, she allows you to see things through your own beliefs and interpretations and I believe that’s what sets her apart from the rest.

For myself, I had a very empowering treatment that allowed me to see where my strengths and weaknesses are. We worked through muscle trigger points in my back to grounding my feet and protecting my inner healer. We also worked on the skull to see where things are moving with ease or are slightly “stickier”. I was able to leave this treatment feeling rejuvenated and at peace. I believe everyone should feel this way, rejuvenated and at one with oneself. Life can be extremely overwhelming at times and there are moments when we need to look inward to heal to move forward. 

Jen is the founder and creator of Whole Therapy. She understood that it was not about the money but how we as practitioners can help heal others as a team, as a whole. I would highly recommend, if you can find a spot in her busy schedule, that you experience a treatment with her healing hands. They are completely magical!



Stephanie Lanthier
RMT

November 6, 2019

Massage Therapy OttawaAre you feeling sluggish, perhaps run down? Is that seasonal slump hitting you? Yep, you guessed it.

Winter Is Coming

Self care is KEY during the winter season! Longer nights and shorter days means less vitamin D and sun rays.  At this time of year, it is crucial to step up our self care game, and I am here to help you take a step in the right direction!

One option for combating the SAD’s  (seasonal affective disorder) is meditation. 

We have 2 systems in our body: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is our “flight or fight” system where we are constantly stimulated and always go go go. Where as our PNS is our “rest and digest”. When we find ourselves “stuck” in  fight or flight mode, this can put our systems in to a state overdrive or even burn out!  A lot of this can be attributed to SADS and seasonal stress!!  Meditation can certainly help calm an overly stimulated SNS system and with the longer nights and shorter days ahead, what better time than to take advantage of the darkness and meditate?! 

During the winter season things can get stressful!! Christmas is right around the corner and everyone is trying to meet deadlines for the new year. I also definitely don’t see anyone outside in the snow “catching rays”.

Start by taking 20 minutes out of your daily routine and try out some belly breathing exercises. TRY taking nice big deep belly breaths and focusing on inhaling for 3 seconds and exhaling for 3 seconds.

It doesn’t need to be fancy. Have a seat in a favorite chair, sit on the ground with your legs crossed or even lay down flat on a yoga mat. The idea is that you take time to relax and think inwards, focusing on what is going on in your body. Can you feel where you hold all your stress? Are you allowing your jaw to un-clench and eyebrows to relax? 

** Keep in mind – if you are resting your eyes, trying to meditate and all you can think of is the work that you haven’t finished, maybe meditation is not for you. 

If meditation is really not your cup of tea, booking  a massage is really the next best thing (who am I kidding… it’s definitely the best thing ever!)  Massage Therapy brings a multitude of benefits to your systems, but 3 key points that are crucial during this seasonal slump.

  • Massage increases your PNS, which is the “rest and digest” system. Aka the belly gurgles or falling asleep during your treatment. It allows you to feel more rested and turns off your sympathetic system that may always seem to be firing on all cylinders.  
  • Massage decreases levels of cortisol in the body. Bye bye stress! 
  • Massage increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These neurotransmitters in the brain help balance your mood. OH HAPPY DAYS!!

Whether its at home or in a treatment room at Whole Therapy, these are all things our systems need during this gloomy time of the year. Self care allows us to stabilize, take a much needed deep breath, and balance our bodies to prevent imbalances such as burn out or seasonal slumps. Try it out at home with some meditation or stretching and if it’s not cutting it, come on in and book a massage. It’s time to take care of our bodies, as we only have one to live in.


Stephanie Lanthier
RMT

 

November 6, 2019

 

One day a client came to see me with severe anxiety and dread about an upcoming hospital procedure. Ninety minutes later, he reported the anxiety and dread were totally gone. It just wasn’t an issue anymore. So what happened? EFT allows the conscious and subconscious mind to collaborate in re-examining our sense of safety or lack of same.

Every fear is rooted in subconscious programming. The subconscious mind processes 1,000,000 times as much data every second as the conscious mind; and it’s been doing this since birth. Every word, body language, tone of voice, sound, light, touch,  goes into creating our assumptions about the world; our core beliefs. These are primarily laid down by the age of six and from that point on, every life event is viewed though those sets of lenses. Medicine now understands that “ACE’s or Adverse Childhood Events have a tremendous influence over both physical and emotional health for our entire lives; unless we change the programming.

 

Emotional Freedom Technique

 

Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping/Energy Psychology), Picture Tapping Techniques and Energy Medicine are all tools which allow the adult conscious mind to safely collaborate with the subconscious mind to determine the “whole story” at that present point in time. It’s a collaboration, not a fight. It’s estimated 95% of all thoughts, beliefs and assumptions are heavily influenced by the subconscious and its programming. When it comes to a fight, the subconscious always gets its way sooner or later.

So what about this particular client? What caused this degree of change?

After using effective techniques to bring body and mind come to a calmer and safer feeling state, we started breaking the fear and dread down into smaller pieces. No matter how huge or impossible an issue “feels”, it’s always made up of smaller manageable pieces.  At the start, the smallest piece he could identify was “feeling uncomfortable at the thought of this upcoming surgery” with a stated distress level of 8 out of 10 (8/10). After a couple of rounds of EFT, a more specific piece of the issue appeared at (9/10). Specifically, a nauseating anxiety in the stomach about waiting in the hall before going in for surgery.

Since memories and beliefs are stored in the body as well as the mind, including the physical sensations added a great deal of power to the following EFT round. On questioning, the distress level had dropped to 3/10 and was now about the anticipation about “going under” With one more round of Emotional Freedom Techniques, the distress level dropped to “0”. At this point he tried his best to bring back the anxiety, but still he felt fine.

As a final test to ensure all the roots of his anxiety had been addressed, he began describing a forward looking movie about the upcoming medical procedure to see if there were any points not yet fully addressed. Even then, no anxiety re-appeared. He’d set himself free.

If you or someone you care about is feeling stuck, or can’t get past a hurtful experience, book an initial interview with David Gilbert, our Integrative Therapist @ 613-747-5458 to explore opening the door to “emotional freedom.”


Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist particularly focused on anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma or PTSD, Post Concussion Syndrome and self-sabotage.  Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across the world. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed. 

 

November 30, 2018

Trying to motivate yourself to run throughout the winter months can be a struggle, but trying to stay injury free while you run throughout the winter months can be even more of a challenge! Check out these winter running tips that should help keep you running consistently all year long without pesky injuries slowing you down!

 

Temporarily reduce your weekly mileage with the first snowfall.

When you are running on snow as opposed to a hard, slip free surface you are using stabilizing muscles you haven’t used in a long time. This places you at increased risk of injury. Week 1 run 50% of your normal weekly mileage. Week 2 increase to 75%. By week 3 you should be able to return to your normal weekly mileage.

Avoid switching to the treadmill for 100% of your winter running.

First of all running on a flat uniform surface involves repeating the exact same movement over and over again which increases your risk of repetitive strain injuries like achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Second of all when the snow melts and you switch back to running outdoors you will have to drastically decrease your mileage or you’ll risk injury. Running on the treadmill does not mimic running outside! The impact force from running outside is much greater than on the treadmill. Also on the treadmill you are trying to keep up with the track as it glides under your feet, whereas outside you actually have to propel yourself forward. It’s very different therefore your body needs to be allowed the time to adjust!

Make sure your important stabilizing muscles are strong!

Running on the snow and ice demands more muscle effort than running on the treadmill or outdoors on dry pavement. Especially from the glutes and core. (See previous glute strengthening blog!)

Wear the proper footwear!

Yaktrax

Either wear sneakers that are meant for winter running and have soles with studs or spikes, or purchase an ice traction device such as Yaktrax that fit over your sneakers.

Warm up!

Warming up is more important during the cold winter months. If you are standing in a parking lot waiting for others in your group to show and you are shivering and chilly, your muscles are tight and cold as you start to run which can put you at increased risk of injury. Jog on the spot, do high knees or bum kicks, or wait in your car with your heat blasting!

Ignore the pace on your watch!

Focus on effort level as opposed to pace if you are used to running with a running watch. You will run slower in the winter months. If you try to maintain the same pace you did on the clear dry pavement you could end up with an injury. Use the rate of perceived exertion scale. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working. These feelings are not objective like monitoring your heart rate, but they can give an estimate of your heart rate and your exercise intensity zone.

 

 

 

Try snowshoe running!

It’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the snow covered trails. You have to make some small technique adjustments such as running with a slightly wider stance and lifting your feet higher. This will challenge your hip abductors such as your glute med and min and your hip flexors so make sure you ease into snowshoe running gradually. It is much slower than road/trail running so don’t focus on pace. Again use the rate of perceived exertion scale above! Also, purchasing snowshoes that are designed for running such as the Atlas snowshoes shown below can definitely improve your comfort level and speed while snowshoe running.

 

November 12, 2018

 

The main goal of an initial assessment is to determine possible causes of your injury or impairment. We also ask: What can we do to remove or alleviate the pain?

One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, you may be a bit sore after an assessment.  This is largely due to the fact that we’ve probably just moved your body in ways you’ve been avoiding due to discomfort or pain.  In order to determine a course of action, we as therapists trust in functional movement assessment techniques to help us get you back to the best version of yourselves as quickly as possible!

Physiotherapy Assessment

 

What to Expect

  • Our initial assessments typically consist of a 1 hour one-on-one session with a therapist, and 99 percent of the time, treatment will be provided on the first visit as well.

 

  • The therapist will review your health history as well as pose a series of helpful “red flag” questions with the purpose of eliminating any sinister causes as the root of your injury/impairment.

 

  • Expect to move!  Our bodies were designed to do so and chances are, you’re here to figure out what is keeping you from pain free movement.

 

  • It’s always a good idea to come dressed in non-restrictive clothing so that when a therapist is assessing your squat for example, you’re not going to be doing so in a suit or skirt.

 

  • If you have any diagnostic imaging available to you (x-ray, MRI), we will be happy to have a look at that with you.

 

  • Homework is probably going to be assigned.  Getting you back to feeling great will require your active participation and expectations will be set out for you by your therapist.  We are always available by phone or email if you ever have any questions or need clarification on what your homework is.

The initial assessment is the first step in getting you back in action.  Just remember, we want to see you as little as possible, but as much as necessary to get and keep you pain-free and functioning well.

July 10, 2018

Lower back pain. Every branch of medicine seems to have a different take on what to recommend. A new study published in the May 18th edition of JAMA Network Open sheds light on the subject with a direct comparison between usual non-chiropractic care, and usual care with chiropractic.

Dr Christine Guertz DC, PhD and colleagues enrolled 750 American active duty military service members with lower back pain from three different military bases. 375 members receive medical care as usual from their physicians. The remaining 375, received up to 12 chiropractic treatments of the lower back and surrounding areas along with usual care. Chiropractic care sometimes involved the use of the additional tools and techniques often utilized by chiropractors in their practice.

Analysis of the data showed that the addition of chiropractic lead to significantly greater benefit than standard medical care alone. This new data reinforces the recent recommendations put forth by the American College of Physicians. They now recommend inclusion of spinal manipulation along with other non-drug treatments often used by chiropractors as first-line therapy for both acute and chronic lower back pain.

If still considering whether to try chiropractic, Dr Rory Turner, Dr Damien Marion, and Dr George Surko of Whole Therapy are all highly skilled and experienced chiropractors who would be happy to answer your questions.

Yours in good health
David Gilbert – Integrative Therapist.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, Post Concussion Syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed
June 19, 2018

Molly helped me run the hills today (in her snowflake jammies)

I’m training for a spartan race in July. It’s a bigger one than I’ve done in the past – 15 kms instead of 5. The race takes the participants up and down Calabogie Peaks, winding through 25 strategically placed obstacles along the way.

I will have to scale walls, crawl through mud, carry sandbags, throw spears, and climb ropes in my quest for the finish line.

This race will mark my return back into the realm of Being Strong, as it’s the first true test of my endurance and overall fitness since having my daughter, Finley last year. I was sedentary most of the pregnancy due to an SI joint injury, and my postpartum recovery was long and tedious as a result. There were many times over the last year when I worried I’d never be able to feel strong again. I heard a lot of “Well, you HAVE had a baby…” and “Your body really isn’t ever the same”, and “You ARE 36 now, that’s quite a few years since the last baby…”

Despite the naysaying (from others AND from myself) I pushed on with my training, stubborn in my resolve to feel capable like I once did. I looked to Trainer Jamie for help with strategic strengthening. I relied on my workout partners Bailey, Ana, and Yvette to set the bar high and motivate me with their own fitness levels. And I used my colleagues at Whole Therapy and their various chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage skills along the way when I inevitably needed my joints and muscles worked on.

And here I am, at 7am on a Saturday, 6 weeks from Race Day, with my running shoes on and my water pack on my back, looking up Mooney’s Bay hill. I’m “sprinting” (read: sloooowly running) up the hill ten times, which will likely make me want to barf. But I’ll do it anyway. Because so far, even with the obstacles of having a baby, being injured and out of shape, and being older, being strong is so much more important than giving up.

Most journeys feel metaphorically like they’re an uphill battle. This one literally is. But with a lot of training, and a little luck, I can use my success with this upcoming race to prove to myself that not only am I physically Strong Again, but I’m also mentally able to bounce back from a weak mental state to a strong, confident one.

Wish me luck.

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

May 17, 2018

Stay energized throughout the day by feeding your ‘fire’.

Ever go camping and wait until the fire is nearly out before putting on another log? Ridiculous. It just smolders and smokes a whole lot, but doesn’t catch fire. You sit there, frustrated, wishing you had not waited so long. Your body is the same: waiting until you’re really hungry and going hours without food, will cause your metabolism to extinguish rather than keep your fire burning with a constant glow. Instead, keep your flame burning bright with healthy snacks! You will avoid the lows and curb the temptation to binge on those irresistible, high-sugar, high-fat holiday treats.

 

Apple slices with almond butter? Yes please!

Here are some easy snack ideas to get you going:

  • Apple slices dipped in almond butter or sprinkled with cinnamon and chia seeds
  • Nut and seed mix (almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • Dates stuffed with crunchy raw almonds (take out each pit and replace with an almond or almond butter & cinnamon)
  • Hard-boiled egg with raw veggies
  • Avocado with sunflower seeds & sea salt (remove pit and replace with seeds & dash of sea salt)
  • Celery sticks with natural peanut butter

Happy snacking!

May 10, 2018

Hits to the head may seem like no big deal at the time. The problem is that the symptom(s) don’t always show their face right away. What happens is that any significant force to head or torso can cause:

  • Joint restrictions in the neckcranial adjustment
  • Blood and nerve supply problems to and from the brain.
  • Brain stem compression
  • Headaches
  • Cognitive changes in the brain

Cranial adjusting is the new method of treating head injuries and concussions. The approach focuses on the areas of the head and neck that have been knocked out of place. Research has shown that the plates of the skull are not fused and that a very small space exists to allow for slight movement of those plates. Therefore, when a high amplitude force hits the head, the placement of the bones can shift. This shifting can change the pressure within the skull affecting the function of different parts of the brain.

By applying a constant pressure on the areas of the skull with cranial adjusting, this can relieve the stress caused by hits to the head and restores the proper functioning of the brain.

Say “Goodbye” to headaches, brain fog, uncontrolled emotions, poor concentration and lack of energy.

April 19, 2018

With up to 70% of our bodies made up of water, it is a vitally important nutrient and one which many of us do not get enough of regularly. Water plays many important roles: It helps to remove toxins from the body; it nourishes our body’s cells and enables many chemical interactions to take place. Water also helps to regulate the body’s temperature. Efficient waste removal is essential for a healthy mind and body and will also help with weight loss and clearer complexion. Even if you do nothing except to increase your water intake, you will help your body remove excess toxins and waste.

On the contrary, if you do not drink sufficient water, you will become dehydrated and may feel more tired, lethargic and unmotivated. Many of us are dehydrated and don’t even realize it. The next time you have a headache and want to reach for the Tylenol, try drinking one to two glasses of water and waiting 30 minutes to see if your headache goes away. I bet you it will!

How much?

As you’ve probably heard before, you need between 8 and 12 glasses of water daily – even more if you exercise. To be more specific, take your body weight in pounds and divide by two – the result will be the minimum amount of water that your body needs (i.e. 120 Lbs ÷ 2 = 60 oz of water) daily. Of course if you exercise, you will need a bit more – approximately 500 ml per hour of exercise.

What type?

In addition to quantity, quality is also important.

Tap water purity can vary from location to location and many chemicals are added in order to render it fit for human consumption. Tap water is a source of chlorine, aluminum and in some areas, lead, radon and nitrates may also be a concern. To be on the safe side, you would do well to consider one of the following filtering options:

  • BRITA (or similar): Brita filters use tiny charcoal fragments to filter your water of many hazardous chemicals. Brita pitchers and filters are easily obtained at most stores. It is very important, however, to change your filter regularly as failure to do so can allow other harmful bacteria to proliferate in between all the tiny charcoal granules.
  • Bottled water: A popular option for many but the source of such water is sometimes questionable and it is also difficult to know how long the water has been sitting in the bottle and in which conditions. Many studies have shown that plastic can leach into the water over time and we also have to figure out how to dispose of the toxic plastic bottles.
  • Reverse Osmosis: Considered by many to be the best source of pure water but a drawback of this method is the amount of water that must be wasted during the filtering process.
  • Block carbon filters: My favourite. These are easy to install under your sink, water quality is good, there is minimal water wastage and they are more economical over the long-term than Brita filters. You can find a wide range of options at your local hardware store, e.g. Canadian Tire or Home Depot.