Tag: Ottawa

May 24, 2018

Empathy.  The common assumption is that the more we have, the better a person we are.  As with so many things in life, an “element of truth” is a very different thing than ‘the whole truth.  As an Integrative Therapist I get to see the results of this unexamined belief.  There’s a common theme I see in clients from care giving roles; including those caring for high needs family members, therapists, social workers and counselors. They’ve never been taught the difference between empathy and compassion.

Empathy is “entering” the person’s pain with them. Compassion is caring about the person and their pain.  The outcomes of these two perspectives are drastically different when it comes to caregiver stress, burnout and long-term effectiveness.  Someone once said “it’s hard to be objective if you’re up to your ass in alligators”.  When we allow ourselves to get sucked into the emotional pool with dependants or clients, we’re no longer seeing them through clear eyes.  We become far less capable caregivers or practitioners; as well as setting ourselves up for burnout.  A touch of empathy helps inform compassion.  Too much empathy becomes toxic to ourselves and degrades our ability to effectively function in our roles.

integrative therapy

Too much empathy makes the non-swimmer jump in to save the drowning person; forgetting they can’t swim.  Compassion leads them without panic, to quickly look for safe effective ways to help; without “tunnel vision”.

Intellectually understanding these critical differences may not change the underlying programming in the subconscious. We can intellectualize all we want, but the subconscious has tremendous influence. It will repeatedly take us back to our default assumptions; particularly when stressed. For most of us, these assumptions have been laid down from very early ages.   Long before we had the ability to question what we took in as truths about how we should be and function in the world.

This is where EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and related modalities shine. Over 400 published studies including brain imaging studies have shown the power of these tools. By using these techniques, we allow the conscious and subconscious minds to safely and effectively collaborate in bringing subconscious programming into the light of day, one piece at a time. Re-examining in the here and now, the whole truth, then reconsolidating these new perceptions and understandings.

Yours in good emotional health.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma 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
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.

 

April 19, 2018

Somewhere in this world might be a child who had perfect parents and unbelievably good luck.  Always nurtured, never feeling insecure or threatened.  The other 99.9999% of us haven’t been so lucky.  The degree to which we are unlucky can have profound effects and cause a constant cycle of failed relationships and self-sabotage. But there is hope for those who’ve been trapped in these patterns.

Young children react to perceived threats to relationship security in one of two ways.  Of course, the degree of intensity to these reactions varies hugely from person to person and environment to environment.  For some, the subconscious assumes it needs to hang on for dear life lest they be abandoned.  As adults, the attachment style when they fall for someone is rapid bonding, becoming clingy, insecure and needy. Making the other person feel responsible for their security and happiness. This is hugely destructive and tends to drive our partner away.

The scent of desperation is not an aphrodisiac. In some cases, it’s even worse.  We become co-dependent.  This is a dead-end trap because but no one else can make us feel secure when it doesn’t match our subconscious programming.

For those with the opposite attachment style, the subconscious says “I’m not getting my emotional security needs met so I’m on my own”.  As adults, when the inevitable relationship challenges or misunderstandings occur, their tendency is to shut down or cut and run.

Most of us will have some degree of one or the other tendencies but when they’re deeply rooted and powerful we can find relationship after relationship following the same sad and frustrating patterns.

This is where energy psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT) come in.  An experienced and skilled EFT therapist will create a safe place and set of tools to allow the subconscious and conscious minds to collaborate.  Piece by piece bringing underlying thoughts and feeling feelings into the light of day.  There to be re-examined in that safe environment.

Allowing clients to quite painlessly and typically surprisingly quickly, remove the emotional power from each of the negative memories or maladaptive beliefs causing such havoc in their lives.

The following is a graphic example.  A woman was referred to me because all her life she’d felt physically and emotionally disconnected; as though she was living behind a thick glass wall.  We started with the feelings she was experiencing right that moment before beginning our 1 st session.  We then followed the trail of thoughts and feelings her subconscious felt safe revealing.

She was progressing quite rapidly then during one session she suddenly experienced an intense body memory.  She could feel her hands holding bars. Of course, scientists now know memories are stored in the body as well as the brain.  Once again we used EFT to remove the uncomfortable power of her body memory.  She then had a mental picture of standing in her crib as a little child looking at her parents sleeping in the dark. When asked what she was feeling, the answer was “unnoticed and unimportant”.  This felt painfully intense but we continued to use the EFT acupressure points while staying focused.

Step by step, the feeling faded away until there was nothing left of it.  At that point, for the first time in her living memory, she felt free to connect with the world and people around her.  Her subconscious mind now understood it was safe to do so.  These techniques hadn’t papered over her feelings.  The brain had actually re consolidated new understanding and perception.  The initial subconscious programming associated with that emotionally traumatic experience had been entirely re-written; not over-written.

Clients tend to say “that darned subconscious mind” but the subconscious mind’s just trying to keep us safe the best way it thinks it knows how; given the programming it’s received since birth.  It’s always doing its best to be your best friend and helper. EFT and PTT provide safe, simple tools to help it do a better job.

Yours in good emotional health.

March 15, 2018

Did you know that you CAN exercise while pregnant, even if you haven’t really been that active prior to pregnancy? We just have to ADJUST what you will be doing.

Important factors to keep in mind while exercising:
✔️ check your intensity – target heart rate zones should be on your radar
✔️ your intensity should be somewhat hard
✔️ you should be able to carry on a conversation throughout your workout.

FYI: Target Heart Rate Zones based on your pre-pregnancy fitness level:
❤️ low or active- target 130-145 BPM
❤️ fit – target 140-160
❤️ obese – target 100-120

💡Remember: do NOT do Valsalva manoeuvre (holding your breath while you are exerting yourself ie, lifting a box off the floor) as it can increase your blood pressure and increase your chances of non-functional diastasis recti. Instead, exhale on exertion and inhale on relaxation.

‼️Important! You are not training for a competition, YOU ARE WORKING OUT TO MAINTAIN YOUR FITNESS LEVEL.

Working out during pregnancy will help you during your labour and delivery, but it has also been shown to have positive effects on your baby and their APGAR scores!

📣Disclaimer!! STOP if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, painful uterine contractions, vaginal bleeding, gush of fluid, dizziness or faintness.

Click Here for more practical tips and helpful info on your pregnancy!

October 31, 2017

Getting a massage can be both therapeutic and relaxing. Massage allows for time to unplug, tune in, take some time for yourself. And if you’re lucky enough to have a therapist that knows their stuff, you have the added bonus of fixing stuff while you’re there.

That being said, there are things you can do to make the massage experience better. Ready?

  1. Breathe

After the therapist has left the room and you are comfortable on the table, take the time to breathe. Not just normal breathing, but the deep belly-breathing kind. Focus on expanding your belly and filling your lungs. This will help calm you down, reduce your heart rate, and tune you in to what your body is saying.

Once the massage is in session, breathe if things get painful; this helps to release tight muscles and sore spots. Holding your breath will actually make the pain worse. Think of a labouring woman – she needs to breathe through painful contractions, and so should you.

  1. Communicate

You need to tell your therapist if the pressure is too much…or too little. As aware as therapists are to client’s bodies, we can’t always tell if you are in pain. Some people are great at showing it, some aren’t. But it may not even be pain that you are in, it could be as simple as you just like lighter pressure than what we are currently giving. Remember that they can’t feel what you are feeling. Communicating what you enjoy allows the RMT to treat you more confidently and lets you leave feeling your best.

  1. Tell us to SHUT UP

Therapists often get in a mode of talking with certain clients because that’s what we have always done with said client. So when you say “I just want to relax today,” we don’t necessarily think you mean your brain as well. So tell us to shut up! We are ok with it, I promise.

 

  1. Unplug

Ever notice how your fingers itch to check your phone if you hear a beep? Distracting. Turn off your phone so you don’t hear when a message comes in; this will help keep you in the space where your body needs you to be at that moment.

 

  1. See us regularly

Funny how your body hurts less when you see someone to treat all your finicky stuff regularly, eh? Seeing a RMT on a maintenance schedule can actually decrease your chance of injury and help prevent flare ups of pain.

BONUS!

  1. Be on time

Seems like a no-brainer, but being on time is a big deal. If you are on time to your appointment, we have ample time to treat what you need done and don’t have to rush through it. This will also help you feeling better longer. Plus there is nothing worse than being frazzled because you are late. As we said, massage is therapeutic, but if done right, it should also be a relatively relaxing experience.

 

Ready to book your massage at Whole Therapy? Give us a call!

Melissa Beals is an RMT with Whole Therapy. Melissa works extensively with athletes of all levels with a goal in mind to increase their athletic performance through education and understanding of their bodies. See more about Melissa here.

 

March 8, 2016

Today is international women’s day, and we wanted to ask our own Tara Hagan-Fields, RMT a few questions about what it means to be a Women’s Health focused practitioner.

Why did you decide to focus your practice on Women’s Health?

I chose to focus my practice on Women’s Health because at the time I truly felt that there were too many therapists that were focusing in on general health and wellness.  There weren’t enough therapists with a voice and a specialization in anything specific, especially not in the women’s health field.

I was a new grad in a world of many RMT’s.  I graduated with 30+ fellow colleagues in 2006, we all had the same level of training and the same knowledge base that we had learned while in school.  I immediately needed to separate myself from the group as an individual who understood something more then the rest.  I had developed a passion for the treating of pregnant women while in school, so after graduation, I immediately went after more courses! I felt I needed to learn more!.  Along the way I grew as a therapist and as a woman.  I recognized my passion was more then just treating pregnant women;  It actually was more about treating all women, and women’s health related issues.

Today I am completely centered on Women’s Health.  I am different than most Massage Therapists in that I specialize in Myofascial Release and use those protocols to help every single woman who enters my treatment room.

Why does women’s health need a category of its own?

For years, there have been “fringe” conversations about women’s health related issues, but it has always been a very whispered conversation.  The topic seemingly taboo.  NO MORE! We as women have very specific health issues and they should never have to be whispered about.  Incontinence, painful intercourse, mastitis, endometriosis,  and infertility just to name a few. The list is long!  Women should continue to demand better advocacy and better research on these and other important areas of Women’s health.

More practitioners are starting to dive in to niches and truly specialize in specific fields like Women’s Health, but more are needed.  I look forward to the day when no woman needs to medicate because of conditions they are experiencing, where they can self treat and or go see their RMT to help rid of the source of pain.

What kinds of treatment do you provide specifically for women?

I do treat women of all ages, from babies to geriatric.  Most of the women I see are looking for another kind of care.  Something that will help them with conditions that they are currently experiencing, or ones they have had and suffered for years with: Chronic pelvic pain, jaw pain, headaches, endometriosis, infertility, breast pain, chronic back pain, scar work (laparoscopic, c-seciton, mastectomy, augmentation), pre- surgical care, fibromyalgia, incontinence, painful intercourse, post partum care, latching problems.  My approach to massage therapy through myofascial release will help!

February 25, 2016

Q:  How do you feel about massaging women?IMG_3313

A:  Most of my clients are women. I feel that I’m able to give a good, therapeutic, intuitive massage. I’m not judgmental of women’s bodies; I treat all of my clients with the respect they deserve.

Q:  And how about massaging men?

A:  In my experience, men who ask for a male therapist usually want deeper tissue massage, which is great for me because that’s what I like to do! Deep tissue focuses on the therapeutic aspect of massage. It’s a major part of what I do.

Q:  What are your feelings about being a gender minority in the massage world?

A:  I look at my job from the perspective of a massage therapist, not from that of a man. Unfortunately, massage therapy is still confused with intimacy, which it is not. It’s assessment, it’s treatment of soft tissue injuries. It’s an hour on the table working on your muscles. It’s therapy. Your therapists sex has nothing to do with it.

Q:  What would you say you focus on during treatments?

A:  Pain is often what brings clients in.  I always address pain first – it’s a symptom that shouldn’t be ignored. Once the pain goes away, I focus on function.  If the body isn’t functioning well, pain is always around the corner.

September 4, 2015

Dictionary.com defines change as the following:

CHANGE
verb (used with object), changed, changing.

To make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something)
different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone:
To change one’s name; to change one’s opinion;

To change the course of history. 

trapped

Not sure if this office setup has the lumbar support I need..

What a simple, easy to understand, straight to the point definition.  And yet, as simple as it is to understand, why then do we humans have so much trouble implementing change into our own lives?
I’m not talking about changing the tires on your car, or, the vacuum bag, or your little human’s diapers; although some of these things are dull, taxing, or unpleasant.  I’m talking about real change.  Meaningful life-altering change.

Four years ago I found myself in a terrible position.  I was stuck in a dead end job with no further room for growth.  I wasn’t learning any new skills or even really developing my current skill set.  The monetary compensation was less than adequate, and I was oh, so very bored.  I can look at that time now and easily identify these symptoms for what they were:  I was stuck.  I needed a career transplant.

I was trapped in this Grand Canyon-sized rut where it became easier to do nothing than to fix my situation. I had absolutely no idea how to get out of it.  I was walled in and (thought) I didn’t have the tools to get myself out.

But everyone has a boiling point, don’t they?  Everyone will eventually find themselves in a position where change becomes inevitable.  And sometimes, all it takes to initiate that change is a little luck, a little timing, and a little pro-activity.   Jamie, a co-worker of mine at the time, knew of my struggles with the daily grind and had often been a sounding board for me when I had to let off steam.  Jamie turned out to be the husband of my current employer, the incomparable Jen Wright.

Taking action, finally

Combine the fact I had recently returned to high school to obtain my diploma after a 17 year hiatus (that’s a change story for another time) with an increasing difference of opinion on certain matters with some of my co-workers led to me investigate a suggested employment agency here in the city. I set up the appointment to meet with someone in a fancy downtown office; I took their online office skills test, and went for the follow up meeting on a Friday after work.  I was told that they would be in touch with me and that was that.

It was the following Monday when Jamie stepped into my office and said to me.  “Jenny is looking to hire an office manager, are you interested?”  Boom.  All of a sudden, I had a lifeline.  It was like Regis had just given me an extra phone a friend and I was about to become a millionaire.

The next week when the employment agency called, I happily told them I had found what I was looking for and that their services would not be needed.

I don’t normally put a lot of stock in Karma or that kind of thing, but I can honestly tell you that I believe the only reason that the offer came my way was because I had taken the first step and had unknowingly asked the universe to give me the change I needed.

sea creature

“Try the Human, it’s delicious”

The reason people have trouble with change is because, not surprisingly, it’s really hard.

It’s like jumping into a lake you’ve never swam in before.

You know that moment when you’re standing on the dock, imagining all the hideous and murderous monsters that are right now swimming just below the surface?  That’s how change can feel.  Scary.  Scary, slimy and covered  in murder-y scales.

Change is difficult for me because I like things to be consistent.

Everything in their place and all that. The big win for me was learning to realize that things were broken and out of place.  It took me a long time, but I did it.

When I finally realized that I couldn’t keep doing things the way I’d been doing them, the universe responded with a giant “Well it’s about time.  Here, take this happiness and meaning.  Have a good day” and vaporized all the sea mutants waiting below the surface.

So yes, change is difficult.  But is it essential to survival?  Yes.  Is it one of the keys to happiness?  Probably.  Have and will I continue to look for opportunities to evolve?  Certainly.

 

We at Whole Therapy want to hear from YOU! Take a picture or write a post about your #ChangeOneThing experience. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WholeTherapy as well. We’ve got some great prizes to give away!

 

Pat Moore is the office manager at Whole Therapy.  Pat works alongside a team of dedicated professionals and is here to help ensure that your visit at Whole Therapy is as pleasant as possible.  For more about Pat, click here!

Pat