Physiomed https://www.physiomed.ca Healthier Starts Here Mon, 13 Jul 2020 23:55:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.physiomed.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cropped-blog-single-dummy-3-32x32.jpg Physiomed https://www.physiomed.ca 32 32 Food for Thought: How the Foods You Eat Can Affect Your Brain https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/food-for-thought-how-the-foods-you-eat-can-affect-your-brain/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 19:43:29 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=10501 Despite Canada’s cautious economic restart, it’s clear that our country still remains in a pandemic. COVID-19 has not only threatened our health, but it has made a tremendous impact on the way we interact with others. It will certainly be quite some time before things return (if ever) to the way we once knew. There’s no …

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Despite Canada’s cautious economic restart, it’s clear that our country still remains in a pandemic. COVID-19 has not only threatened our health, but it has made a tremendous impact on the way we interact with others. It will certainly be quite some time before things return (if ever) to the way we once knew. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has left many of us feeling anxious, isolated and uncertain about the future. Aside from getting some fresh air and exercise though, one of the best ways to care for our emotional health is through the foods we eat.

We all know eating whole foods packed with vitamins is key to a healthy lifestyle. But did you know what you put in your mouth can also affect your brain? Let’s explore this correlation.

 

Understanding the digestive system

Our gastrointestinal tract does a lot more than just break down what we eat. There’s a direct link between its overall efficiency and the way we feel. Our bodies produce an important hormone known as serotonin. This chemical helps regulate sleep and appetite — it’s also an important contributor to feelings of happiness. 95% of serotonin is actually produced in our gastrointestinal tract, which explains why it’s incredibly important to keep this part of our body in good shape. 

One of the best ways to maintain a strong digestive system is by nourishing it with wholesome foods. Greasy meals and sugary treats can cause inflammation and affect the way our bodies absorb nutrients. When you feel sluggish and unenergized, your gastrointestinal tracts can’t produce the serotonin you need.

 

The importance of a high-quality diet

Nutritious foods can certainly improve your overall quality of life. Our brains function best when we eat foods that are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. That’s because they protect the brain from oxidative stress — the waste that’s produced when the body uses oxygen. Too much oxygen can actually damage brain cells.

This is why processed and refined foods are always bad news, even in small doses. Because they’re usually low in fibre, these foods are digested very quickly — causing major upswings in blood sugar levels. The body is then forced to work harder to regulate itself, making it difficult to fight off diabetes, high blood pressure and blood disease.

 

Brain foods

Cooking with a high-quality olive oil is a good way to get the fatty acids you need. And if you’re looking for a healthy snack, consider dark chocolate. Cacao contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that’s good for memory and learning. 

Here are some other foods that can improve your overall emotional state:

  • Fatty fish, including salmon, trout and sardines
  • Blueberries
  • Kale, broccoli, and garlic
  • Almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds
  • Whole-grains, including brown rice, barley and bulgur wheat

 

Making the transition to healthier eating

When you cut out the processed foods — you’ll quickly notice an improvement in not just your physical health, but also your mood. It’s never too late to identify the foods that make you feel down. It will usually take a few weeks using a process of elimination.  

Start with a ‘clean’ diet

Cut out processed and sugary foods for 2 weeks. You may also go dairy-free or nut-free to pinpoint food sensitivities. 

Reintroduce foods

Slowly bring back the foods you love into your diet. Keep a food journal to take note of any changes in your mood. When reintroducing more nutritious options, pay close attention to any emotional improvements. You may see some patterns emerge.

Keep your goals realistic

Cutting out fast food entirely for the next year may not be realistic. Despite our best intentions, we all have slip-ups once in a while. Instead of beating yourself up, keep your goals realistic from the outset. By taking this approach, you’ll be much more successful in maintaining success long-term. 

Physiomed: Healthier starts here

Everyone could use a bit of motivation and guidance on their quest to emotional well-being. At Physiomed, we can help you get off on the right foot. Nutritional counselling is just one of the many services we offer. Our healthcare practitioners can introduce you to a nutritious diet that addresses your unique concerns. We can also help you with:

During these uncertain times, it’s important to take care of your emotional health. 

Let Physiomed help you navigate this COVID-19 pandemic with our knowledgeable, friendly advice. So connect with us in-person or anytime through our virtual care services

For more information on healthy eating or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Top 5 Things to Expect as Healthcare Clinics Reopen https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/virtual-care/top-5-things-to-expect-as-healthcare-clinics-reopen/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/virtual-care/top-5-things-to-expect-as-healthcare-clinics-reopen/#respond Sat, 30 May 2020 12:00:48 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=10468 As Ontario continues with its cautious economic reboot, healthcare providers across the province are excited to be back in business. The Ford government has announced that dozens of practitioners, including physiotherapists and chiropractors, are now allowed to reopen. As healthcare workers reconnect with their patients, physical distancing will be top priority. Here are some of …

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As Ontario continues with its cautious economic reboot, healthcare providers across the province are excited to be back in business. The Ford government has announced that dozens of practitioners, including physiotherapists and chiropractors, are now allowed to reopen.

As healthcare workers reconnect with their patients, physical distancing will be top priority. Here are some of the safety measures you can expect as clinics open their doors for in-person services. 

1) Stop-and-wait policy

Gone are the days when you could just breeze through the front doors, at least for now. Most clinics are implementing a ‘stop-and-wait’ policy to ensure distancing requirements are met. This likely means you’ll have to walk inside cautiously, and wait for a staff member to greet you.

Patients can also expect:

  • Circles on the floor indicating where to stand
  • Plexiglas shields installed at reception desks
  • Waiting room seats spaced out
  • Lineups to restrict the number of patients inside

Many grocery stores and retail shops have been operating under these same guidelines. When visiting a healthcare setting, the key is to wait your turn and keep interactions to a minimum. 

2) Mandatory questionnaire

If you want service, you’ll have to fill out a survey. Most practitioners will want to know whether you’ve travelled out of the country or have flu-like symptoms. It’s important to be honest as we all have a responsibility to protect our fellow citizens. 

Community transmission is a serious concern. Ontario, for example, is pushing back its date to expand social gatherings as the province sees a spike in cases of COVID-19. The Premier has said reopening initiatives will be scaled back if the province continues on this path. The best way to ensure your physiotherapist or massage therapist continues to  operate is by doing your part. 

3) Masks

There are mixed reviews on the effectiveness of masks. But Canada’s top doctor says non-surgical masks can help stop the spread of COVID-19. That’s why more people are wearing them while out for walks, visiting the grocery store, and taking public transit. 

Many clinics are making masks mandatory for staff and patients. Before heading to your appointment, purchase a pack of disposables online or try out a DIY version instead. Just make sure your hands are clean before putting it on. For extra protection, wear gloves to avoid bacterial transfer. 

4) No wandering allowed

Pre-pandemic, your massage therapist may have let you relax in the clinic lounge. Or maybe your chiropractor let you use the bathroom in the back. That kind of access and flexibility will be rare going forward. 

As more businesses reopen, employees will try to stay diligent about disinfecting. That’s why practitioners will try to limit access to certain areas, and keep track of clinic activity. Under new safety protocols, patients will be asked to stay with a staff member at all times. And only with permission will you be allowed to wander out of sight. 

5) Physical contact only when necessary

Some healthcare providers may not be comfortable with physical contact during patient sessions. So unless you’re booked for hands-on services like a massage, expect a lot less contact. Although masks and gloves can greatly reduce the chance of infection, COVID-19 can still spread through droplets elsewhere. 

If you are in physical contact with your practitioner, keep your hands away from your face. Bacteria from dirty surfaces can transfer to your hands, then enter your body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Public health officials say the best way to avoid COVID-19 is to stop face-touching altogether.

Healthier Starts Here

At Physiomed, we’re relying on the advice of regulatory colleges to guide our safety protocols. Because the country remains in a state of pandemic, our clinics won’t be ‘business as usual’ for quite some time. But, patients can still expect the high level of service Physiomed has come to represent. 

And of course — if you still prefer virtual visits, we continue to offer online care. Simply book an appointment on our website, and have confidence knowing our practitioners are still just a click away. 

For more information or to schedule an in-person session, please contact us here

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Healthcare from a Distance: 7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Virtual Care Visits https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/healthcare-from-a-distance-7-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-virtual-care-visits/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/healthcare-from-a-distance-7-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-virtual-care-visits/#respond Wed, 15 Apr 2020 17:10:33 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=10242 Connecting with healthcare professionals can be a rewarding experience. If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy the valuable insight and look forward to finding solutions to your unique health problems.  In this era of COVID-19, there’s an overwhelming demand from Canadians to connect with their healthcare providers. And that’s understandable, given the complex nature …

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Connecting with healthcare professionals can be a rewarding experience. If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy the valuable insight and look forward to finding solutions to your unique health problems. 

In this era of COVID-19, there’s an overwhelming demand from Canadians to connect with their healthcare providers. And that’s understandable, given the complex nature of this infectious disease. To meet this need, many clinics are offering Virtual Care — a safe way to deliver services while maintaining physical distancing requirements. 

Although online sessions lack physical interaction, they can still be very effective in addressing patient needs. So here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your online visit.

Before the Appointment

Think about your talking points

Coming up with a short list of issues to discuss is helpful for in-person visits. But for online sessions, it can be even more important. When appointments are conducted through phone or video-chat, it’s easy to lose your train of thought. Before your Virtual Care visit, ask yourself the following:

  • What is my reason for being seen?
  • What are my symptoms?
  • In which areas do I feel pain?
  • What is it that I want to accomplish in the upcoming session?

In the days leading up to your appointment, take note of when your symptoms started or if they’ve changed. Keep a record in your smartphone or notepad of what triggers those symptoms, as well as what aggravates and relieves them. 

Send a photo if possible

If you’re suffering from discomfort that’s actually visible, send a picture to your practitioner. Bruises, rashes and swelling are especially well-suited to telehealth services. 

Whether your virtual visit is with a physiotherapist or fitness expert, a clear photo will help them understand the severity of your problem or challenge. And don’t forget to describe any sensations associated with your symptoms, such as tingling, numbness or sharp pain. 

Address routine issues

Too often, time is wasted taking care of administrative details. Ask your practitioner if there’s anything that can be discussed beforehand. Doctor’s notes, insurance paperwork and billing inquiries can usually be addressed outside of the Virtual Care session. Send a quick email a few days prior to sort out these details, so you’re not wasting valuable treatment time on the day of. 

During the Session

Be ready on time

Chances are your healthcare professional has other Virtual Care visits lined up for the day. Be on time to ensure your window doesn’t get cut short. If you’re scheduled for a video-chat, make sure the conferencing link works by logging in 10 minutes early. This will give you time to troubleshoot. 

Make sure you’re in a quiet place

Because this pandemic means everyone stays indoors — your spouse is likely working from home or your children are participating in online classrooms. Be sure to conduct this virtual visit from a quiet space that’s free of distractions. Your room should have a solid Internet connection, too. 

Have your gear close by

If you’ve been using a Thera-Band or small dumbbells for exercises with your physiotherapist, have them nearby for your online appointment. If you need to ask your practitioner the correct way to use a blood pressure monitor or glucometer, have this equipment on standby as well.

After Your Appointment

Reassess, make adjustments if needed

After each Virtual Care session, it’s helpful to play back how it went and re-jig for next time if necessary. Ask yourself the following:

  • Did Virtual Care meet my short-term needs?
  • What can my practitioner and I do differently to make our next session even better?
  • What am I looking to accomplish in the long-term? 

Until we meet again…

Technological advances have allowed for seamless Virtual Care sessions. And that’s fortunate considering the uncertainty as to how long this pandemic will last — especially in Ontario where a reopening plan has been unveiled, but no hard dates have been set. Although telehealth services are effective, returning to regular in-clinic visits is necessary to receive optimal care. 

Physiomed strives to offer the same level of care our patients came to expect before COVID-19. The only difference now is that we’re armed with new tools to continue delivering service amid this new pandemic reality. Virtual Care is just one way to stay connected, until we meet again in-person.
For more information or to book an appointment for Virtual Care, please visit us here.

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Virtual Care 101: 5 Things to Know About Online Visits https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/virtual-care-101-5-things-to-know-about-online-visits/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/virtual-care-101-5-things-to-know-about-online-visits/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:46:19 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=10235 The COVID-19 pandemic means many patients aren’t able to receive care in ways they normally would. Physical distancing measures are keeping people from walking into clinics and meeting with healthcare professionals face-to-face. But at Physiomed, that hasn’t stopped us from putting your needs first.  New advances in technology are allowing us to look after patients …

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The COVID-19 pandemic means many patients aren’t able to receive care in ways they normally would. Physical distancing measures are keeping people from walking into clinics and meeting with healthcare professionals face-to-face. But at Physiomed, that hasn’t stopped us from putting your needs first. 

New advances in technology are allowing us to look after patients through Virtual Care. This means we’re using secure video conferencing software to connect remotely, so you can receive individualized treatment in the comfort of your own home.

Because no one is certain how long this pandemic will last, deferring health treatments indefinitely is not only inconvenient — but could also be dangerous. Virtual Care allows you to get the attention you need while still respecting federal guidelines on physical distancing.  

So if you’re wondering exactly what Virtual Care looks like, this helpful guide has everything you need to know about online visits. 

1) What you’ll need to get started

Connecting to one of our practitioners is easy: All you need is a laptop or PC. A smartphone or tablet is perfectly fine, too. As long as the device has a camera and microphone, Virtual Care is an option for you. You’ll also need a strong Internet connection, whether it be through wifi or landline. The best part is no software installation is required, nor will you need to configure any accounts. 

2) How you’ll connect

Once you book an appointment for Virtual Care, our team will assess your needs and make sure we can deliver the service you require effectively. We’ll then email you a weblink to your video conferencing session. 

There may be instances where a phone consultation would be equally effective. Or, some patients may have concerns about being on video. If this is the case, one of our practitioners will set up a time for a telephone appointment instead. 

3) How the session will play out

After receiving your consent to participate through a digital platform, you can expect the appointment to continue the same way as an in-person visit. Although there will be some key differences, your practitioner will still have the ability to:

  • Assess your condition and underlying symptoms
  • Offer a diagnosis; make treatment recommendations
  • Conduct exercises and monitor your form and balance
  • Monitor your progress and update your treatment plan as needed
  • Provide on-going guidance & support until we can return to in-person care

Despite the lack of hands-on treatment, there are still many ways to improve your condition. Your clinician should be able to provide ongoing guidance during each Virtual Care appointment, until you can return to regular in-person visits. 

4) Types of services available

Naturally, some treatments lend themselves better to Virtual Care than others. For example, physiotherapy, chiropractic and clinical conditioning can be delivered effectively in a remote setting. Consultative services, such as naturopathy and nutritional counselling can also be provided through Virtual Care.

Ask your healthcare expert beforehand if online visits are an option for your condition. You may be surprised as to how much can be achieved remotely. 

5) Helpful tips

Although a reliable device and strong Internet connection are key, you may still run into a few hiccups along the way. To make your Virtual Care session as smooth as possible, here are some pro tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that allows for flexibility and movement
  • If you have injuries or swelling, be sure these areas can be easily visible to your practitioner
  • Consider having a family member nearby, in case you need help holding the camera for visual examinations

The Physiomed Difference

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Physiomed continues to offer the same level of care you’ve come to expect from our team. As we began to realize the full scope of this pandemic, our company took immediate action to ensure we were there for our patients. We believe it’s important, now more than ever, to take care of your physical and emotional well-being. 

You can expect our practitioners to offer the same quality services and professionalism you’d find at an in-person visit. Aside from the absence of physical interaction, nothing else changes. 

During Virtual Care, our Physiomed staff will continue to:

  • Meet the same regulatory requirements for healthcare professionals
  • Adhere to the company’s Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct
  • Offer a safe space where patients can feel comfortable and encouraged to meet their long-term goals

We look forward to serving you during this difficult time. Virtual Care is just one way for us to stay connected, until we can meet in-person once again.

For more information or to book an appointment for Virtual Care, please visit us here.

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Social Distancing & Your Health: How to Stay Active While Still Following the Rules https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/daily-exercises/social-distancing-your-health-how-to-stay-active-while-still-following-the-rules/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/daily-exercises/social-distancing-your-health-how-to-stay-active-while-still-following-the-rules/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 04:00:24 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9932 In recent weeks, millions of Canadians have been forced into a life that goes against our relatively social nature. With schools closed, restaurants shuttered and all gatherings banned — so many of us are wondering ‘what’s next’ in this coronavirus pandemic.  The WHO stresses that social distancing is the key to stemming COVID-19. That means …

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In recent weeks, millions of Canadians have been forced into a life that goes against our relatively social nature. With schools closed, restaurants shuttered and all gatherings banned — so many of us are wondering ‘what’s next’ in this coronavirus pandemic. 

The WHO stresses that social distancing is the key to stemming COVID-19. That means staying at least three feet away from anyone who’s coughing or sneezing. But other health officials, including the CDC, say best practice requires maintaining at least six feet between you and others at all times. So that would explain why this critically important health intervention has so many of us staying indoors altogether. 

So how do you find ways to stay active as we isolate ourselves for the good of the country? It’s especially difficult if you’re relatively healthy and enjoy being outdoors no matter the weather. Take a look at our tips on how to keep your body moving, while still following social distancing guidelines. 

Step outside

One thing to understand is that social distancing is very different from being in quarantine. Although provinces like Ontario and Alberta have declared states of emergency, you don’t have to be in a full lockdown indoors. This doesn’t mean hit up the malls and host playdates for your son’s friends. But it does mean you can still step outside, as long as contact with others is limited. 

If working from home, take scheduled breaks from your laptop to get some fresh air. A simple walk around the block or an hour of yard work can have tremendous benefits, both physically and emotionally. 

Go for long walks

According to infectious disease experts, you can still keep up your workout routine as long as you maintain some distance. A stroll through the park or long hikes on a nature trail are certainly allowed, since these activities usually take place in wide open spaces. Walking is perfect because you can scale up or down depending on your fitness level. If for whatever reason you can’t get outside, indoor walking is just as effective, especially if you have stairs. 

Tune in to an online fitness class

Many yoga teachers, aerobics instructors and other fitness professionals are still holding classes. But now they’re doing it on social media platforms like Facebook Live. A popular gym in Australia, for example, has been hosting virtual workouts multiple times a day amid the coronavirus outbreak. If you have a fitness class you regularly attend, ask your instructor if they have sessions online.

An alternative to live classes are YouTube workouts. The Fitness Marshall and Pop Sugar Fitness are popular channels that merge physical activity with music and dance. Tuning in for a quick workout will not only tone your muscles, but give you something to look forward to during the day. 

Play tennis

Because participants are already spaced out, tennis is the perfect social distancing sport. Although some parks remain closed, there are outdoor courts still available for public use. If you want to play doubles but don’t feel you can adhere to social distancing rules, then play in the singles format instead. Avoid shaking hands or giving high-fives during games, and remember to sit far apart when resting.

Spend time with your pets

Dogs and cats crave physical activity, too. Whether they need a walk or a few moments of playtime, spending time with your pets will keep you stimulated. You can also stay social when walking your dog by inviting a neighbour to come along. Just be sure to keep yourself and all animals at least two metres apart. 

Reframe your perspective

Instead of focusing on what you can’t do during this pandemic, ask yourself what you can do to stay active. Explore a new hiking trail with your kids, get started on your garden bed or simply practice some self-care. Use this downtime as an opportunity to focus on your physical and mental well-being, and get back to what really matters. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Physiomed community for guidance, motivation or general support. As always, we’re committed to keeping our patients healthy during this difficult time.

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Coronavirus & Mental Health: Easing the Distress of a Global Pandemic https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/coronavirus-mental-health-easing-the-distress-of-a-global-pandemic/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/coronavirus-mental-health-easing-the-distress-of-a-global-pandemic/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2020 04:00:40 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9928 The WHO has described the coronavirus pandemic as the defining health crisis of our time. Despite the serious risks of COVID-19 to our physical health, the emotional toll of this deadly outbreak is just as hard. With Canada’s Prime Minister speculating that social distancing measures could go on for months, mental health professionals across the …

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The WHO has described the coronavirus pandemic as the defining health crisis of our time. Despite the serious risks of COVID-19 to our physical health, the emotional toll of this deadly outbreak is just as hard. With Canada’s Prime Minister speculating that social distancing measures could go on for months, mental health professionals across the country are preparing for a spike in demand

As schools remain closed and more businesses shut down, the resulting isolation can be overwhelming. The goal of social distancing is to reduce physical opportunities for the virus to spread throughout our communities. Unfortunately, this critical health intervention can make people feel lonely and emotionally isolated. 

If the global pandemic has you feeling anxious, you’re not alone. Everyone reacts differently to various stresses, but there are coping strategies to help mitigate the effects on your mental health. 

Establish control over your schedule

There’s often a misconception that staying home means ditching routines. But one of the best ways to stay productive is to maintain as much of your normal schedule as possible. Get dressed for the day, even if your only outing is to the gas station. If you normally jump on your treadmill before heading to the office, squeeze in a home workout before opening your laptop. 

We thrive in a routine-oriented environment where we know what’s coming up next. But in these unprecedented times, it’s important to remain extra conscious of how you’ll spend your days. Periodically ask yourself: What are some things I can do to feel a sense of control? Whether that means cleaning the bedsheets or playing the guitar, anchor your day with tasks and activities that give you a sense of accomplishment. 

Use distractions to combat anxiety

The COVID-19 crisis has many Canadians not only worried about their own health, but the well-being of others. If you live with aging parents or loved ones who are immuno-compromised, it can be stressful always wondering if they’ll get sick. Small distractions can help you, and they don’t have to be grand. Create a group chat with your weekly book club, or go for a walk in an open space. A few engaging activities will give you opportunities to break negative thought cycles and reframe your perspective, even if it’s just for a moment.  

Create a space you want to be in

With so many of us working from home and avoiding all social scenarios, we’re certainly spending a ton of time indoors. That’s why it’s important to be in a space that makes you feel secure and comfortable. As they say, one’s physical surroundings is often a reflection of the mind. You don’t need to mobilize a home reno though to create rooms you enjoy. Sometimes just clearing out the clutter or re-arranging the furniture is enough to rejuvenate any space. 

Understand the mind-body connection

Research has shown that taking care of your physical well-being can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Your physical body reacts to the way you feel, and vice versa. So it only makes sense that key changes in your exercise and dietary habits can impact your mental health. 

Although it may be difficult to get a massage or go to the pool, look for ways to stay active in this time of social distancing. Use your exercise bike, go for long hikes or see if your yoga instructor is holding virtual sessions. Also, make each trip to the grocery store count. Avoid stocking up on sweets and empty calories. Instead, look for mood-elevating foods such as salmon, nuts and leafy greens. The mind-body connection is a concept that especially deserves attention now more than ever. 

Stronger together

There’s no doubt Canadians are finally realizing the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic. And as we make day-to-day decisions about the safety of our families, many of us will continue to struggle with the anxiety of the unknown. But the Physiomed community is here to help you. Our online blog strives to be a resource of information for yourself and loved ones and we also have a virtual care program available for patients who need to continue care or who need guidance on staying active.

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Weight of the Nation: Understanding Canada’s Obesity Epidemic https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/weight-of-the-nation-understanding-canadas-obesity-epidemic/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/weight-of-the-nation-understanding-canadas-obesity-epidemic/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2020 04:00:54 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9887 It seems Canadian adults are getting fatter, according to numbers from Statistics Canada. More than one in three adults (30%) has obesity, and may require medical intervention to help manage their disease. Although the United States has the most grim prognosis, Canada is not far behind — with health experts calling the prevalence of being …

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It seems Canadian adults are getting fatter, according to numbers from Statistics Canada. More than one in three adults (30%) has obesity, and may require medical intervention to help manage their disease. Although the United States has the most grim prognosis, Canada is not far behind — with health experts calling the prevalence of being overweight an ‘epidemic’. 

At Physiomed, our goal is to promote weight control through exercise and smart dietary habits. However, a greater understanding of Canada’s obesity epidemic is necessary in motivating our patients to be active and make better lifestyle choices. That’s why we’re dedicating this blog to exploring how excess weight is affecting the average Canadian, and the impact obesity is having across the country. 

Report: If not dealt with, obesity will cost us billions

Obesity is defined as the condition of being grossly overweight. Health professionals officially diagnose someone as ‘obese’ if they’re more than 20% above their ideal weight. Based on that criteria, the World Obesity Foundation took an in-depth look at what obesity rates will look like globally in the coming years.

By the year 2025, 34% of Canadians will be obese. By that same year, the organization estimates that, globally, there will be 2.7 billion people overweight or obese. To put that into perspective — that’s a third of the Earth’s population. 

When you carry excess weight, you’re putting yourself at risk for many serious health conditions. They include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis and even cancer. A UK study shows severely obese people in middle age are 50% more likely to die early. With obesity rates almost tripling in the past 30 years worldwide, researchers say that finding has serious implications on public health. 

The WOF report suggests governments need to act if they’re to reduce this burden on the overall economy. If Canada, for example, invests $4.2 billion to treat obesity — there could be a reduction of Canadians dealing with this problem by nearly 30%. Researchers say health officials must also focus more on offering treatment services to those already living with obesity, as well as prevention and intervention measures. 

Treating Obesity: How is Canada doing?

In 2017, Obesity Canada released a high-profile report card on how well our healthcare system is delivering treatment to obese Canadians. One of its key criticisms was that adults were often expected to pay out-of-pocket for key treatments, such as medically-supervised weight management programs and anti-obesity medications.

For example, patients could be expected to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for the meal-replacement portion of the OPTIFASTⓇ initiative. And when it comes to the most popular medications, the report card says less than 20% of Canadians with drug benefit plans have access to them through their coverage. For that, the report card gave an F-grading across all provinces and territories.

Canadian health advocates believe obesity treatment should be covered by public health care or private insurance. They also say there should be more straight-forward ways of seeking help, including easier access to hospital staff, medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs. 

Fighting Obesity with Physiomed

If you’re worried about excess weight, Physiomed can help you tackle obesity and pursue a healthier life. Instead of relying on crash diets and workout fads, our interdisciplinary approach is what makes the difference. From clinical conditioning to nutritional counselling, our healthcare professionals have the expertise to get those pounds under control. And if you have a child struggling with weight, our proactive approach to health education can help children feel better and form the correct life-long habits.

For more information on weight loss and obesity or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Clinical Conditioning: Training for Spring Sports After Winter Hibernation https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/clinical-conditioning-training-for-spring-sports-after-winter-hibernation/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/clinical-conditioning-training-for-spring-sports-after-winter-hibernation/#respond Sun, 01 Mar 2020 04:00:53 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9880 If you’re still slogging through the post-holiday hangovers and nasty winter weather, it’s hard to pull yourself out of hibernation. But with spring just around the corner, now’s the time for getting right back into your fitness routine.  Whether you’re training for a marathon or want to start cycling into work, easing your way back …

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If you’re still slogging through the post-holiday hangovers and nasty winter weather, it’s hard to pull yourself out of hibernation. But with spring just around the corner, now’s the time for getting right back into your fitness routine. 

Whether you’re training for a marathon or want to start cycling into work, easing your way back into exercise slowly is key. If you’ve been relatively inactive for several months, your body won’t perform the way it did last summer. This means you could experience muscle strain, which could lead to long-term injury. 

The good news is that you can minimize discomfort with a little planning and preparation. Take a look at our tips on how you can train for spring sports and other activities pain-free.

Take stock of your fitness level

Assess your current physical abilities before jumping back into your regular exercise routine. This will keep you from hurting yourself after pushing too hard, too soon.

One of the best ways to take stock of your fitness level is by performing a series of quick and easy tests, like:

  • Measuring your waist circumference
  • Measuring your Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Sitting on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you, and seeing how far forward you can reach 
  • Timing how long it takes for you to walk one kilometre

Also, see how many sit-ups and push-ups you can do to help determine where you are on the fitness spectrum. This assessment should dictate your pace going forward. If you’re starting out with the treadmill, for example, set it at the rate it took you to walk one kilometre. Then spend the next several weeks working up from that number. But keep your expectations realistic — don’t expect to double that rate in a matter of days. 

Create a clear (and manageable) schedule

Prioritizing your time is key to developing a successful spring training routine. Many of us will make mental notes of when it’s time to hit the gym. But actually scheduling that workout into your smartphone or daybook will help you stay focused. The same way you’d book a dentist appointment or dinner out with friends — block out chunks of time throughout the week dedicated to exercise. By committing yourself in this way, you’ll feel more accountable to incorporate physical activity into your busy schedule.

Mix things up

After hibernating all winter, the best fitness routine is a well-rounded one. Cross-training is a type of approach that blends together several different types of exercise. The result is a total-body workout that promotes overall good health, as opposed to honing in on one muscle group. 

Let’s explore the three main initiatives to keep in mind when cross-training:

Conditioning

Many sports and daily activities require being quick on your feet. That’s why it’s good to incorporate some running and other high-utility movements into your fitness routine. Cross-training allows you to build on these skills by constantly switching up what you’re doing. 

Focus on conquering a series of small goals each day. A clinical conditioning expert can help you develop a fitness routine that incorporates losing weight, building muscle mass and being more nimble on your feet. This variation will be much more valuable than your standard ‘leg day’ or ‘back day’ at the gym. 

Injury Prevention

If you’re constantly getting injured, you may be focusing too much on a single activity. Many people think this type of focus will help them excel in a certain physical area. But in fact, it will put a lot of pressure on a few muscles and joints — without giving these areas enough time to recover. 

Cross-training can prevent injury by allowing certain muscles to heal after a strenuous routine. Build in ‘rest days’ for specific areas while you concentrate on others. This rotation will not only lead to less aches, but also help to increase strength throughout the entire body.  

Active Recovery

Building on those earlier points: An active recovery schedule will allow you to get a good workout — even though certain muscle groups are taking a break. If you’re training for a rugby league, for example, consider swimming once a week to give your upper legs and hips a rest. The water’s resistance will still give you a good workout while relaxing the muscles that are still recovering.    

Incorporate things you already do

Do you enjoy reading a good novel after dinner? Or maybe you like to listen to the radio before heading into work. Make exercise more enjoyable by merging your fitness routine with other activities you like to do. For example, read your favourite book as you sweat it out on the treadmill. Or check in on your favourite podcast during a brisk morning walk to the office. Getting ready for spring sports or activities doesn’t have to involve epic workouts. Make every bit count by looking for opportunities to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. 

Don’t be shy to ask for help

Despite your best intentions, many of us will falter from time to time. Whether you need dietary advice or a little extra motivation — don’t hesitate to ask an expert for help along the way. 

At Physiomed, we want to be your partner in your journey to optimal health. Acupuncture, physiotherapy and chiropractic care can complement any spring training routine. With Physiomed’s interdisciplinary approach — our clinical conditioning experts can deliver customized plans that’ll get you strong and healthy for the spring season! 
For more information on clinical conditioning or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Why Back and Neck Pain is Common After Car Accidents https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/why-back-and-neck-pain-is-common-after-car-accidents/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/why-back-and-neck-pain-is-common-after-car-accidents/#respond Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:25:18 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9865 According to the latest stats from Canada’s Ministry of Transportation, more than 150,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2017 alone. A collision is a very traumatic event that not only affects the body, but also the mind. The emotional consequences can certainly be devastating. But once the initial shock has been addressed, it’s …

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According to the latest stats from Canada’s Ministry of Transportation, more than 150,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2017 alone. A collision is a very traumatic event that not only affects the body, but also the mind. The emotional consequences can certainly be devastating. But once the initial shock has been addressed, it’s important to turn your attention to physical recovery. 

Some of the most common injuries following a collision include chronic back and neck pain. Sometimes the pain is felt immediately upon impact. Other times, it may take days or weeks for the discomfort to set in. Whether you’re a driver or passenger, the severity of injuries will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Were you wearing a seatbelt? 
  • Was your car hit from the side, front or rear?
  • At what speed was the vehicle moving when impact occurred?

Understanding Whiplash

Back and neck injuries are particularly common after car accidents because the body will often hit some part of the vehicle’s interior. When a car makes impact, the force is usually so strong that it’ll cause everything (including your body) to move in that direction. But because a vehicle’s interior is so small, the dashboard, car door or steering wheel is going to stop that forward momentum. The sudden jerk you feel in your head and neck when this happens is known as whiplash. But that seemingly quick motion can actually put tremendous pressure on your spine. 

Common Injuries After a Collision

If left untreated, whiplash can lead to a series of other problems, particularly in the spine. The spine is divided into three distinct areas: 

  • Cervical vertebrae (neck)
  • Thoracic vertebrae (upper back)
  • Lumbar vertebrae (lower back)

Generally, injuries of the thoracic vertebrae are most serious. Sprains and fractures in this region are very common in high-speed car accidents. That’s because the thoracic spine connects to the chest and rib areas. Without proper attention, this type of injury can lead to permanent nerve damage. 

Lumbar spine injuries are less serious, but can still be very painful. Symptoms may include swelling and bruising — as well as a significant impact on your ability to perform daily activities. Motor vehicle accident victims can also suffer from herniated discs or problems with the spinal cord.

One thing to note is that back pain is not necessarily acute, meaning the discomfort will not always be intense. The endorphins your body produces after an accident can often mask pain. This natural chemical is the brain’s coping mechanism when experiencing severe trauma. That’s why it’s especially important to watch for unusual sensations, no matter how minor they may be. 

Treating Back and Neck Pain at Physiomed

At Physiomed, our interdisciplinary team of health professionals have the expertise to address a number of car accident-related injuries. Whether you’re suffering from a stiff shoulder or spinal fracture, we can efficiently guide you through the recovery process.

Aside from conducting a basic assessment, we also enhance the patient experience by doing the following: 

  • Looking beyond the immediate trauma and considering any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Restoring mental well-being by acknowledging the emotional consequences of your accident
  • Providing a well-rounded approach to recovery by incorporating other treatments, such as physiotherapy, massage therapy and spinal decompression therapy

Meanwhile, navigating the insurance paperwork after an accident can be particularly overwhelming — especially when trying to reclaim your physical health. Physiomed can help you coordinate benefits with your insurance provider, so you can focus on recovery instead.
For more information on treating injuries after a car accident or to book an assessment, contact us here.

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Natural Healing: Alleviating Joint Pain Without Prescription Meds https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/natural-healing-alleviating-joint-pain-without-prescription-meds/ https://www.physiomed.ca/blog/general-category/natural-healing-alleviating-joint-pain-without-prescription-meds/#respond Sat, 01 Feb 2020 09:59:24 +0000 https://www.physiomed.ca/?p=9862 If you’re suffering from joint pain, you’re definitely not alone. According to the Arthritis Society, about 6 million Canadians have arthritis — which is about 1 in every 5 people. Although there’s no official cure for this chronic health condition, many sufferers will take pain medications to relieve inflammation in the joints.  While some over-the-counter …

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If you’re suffering from joint pain, you’re definitely not alone. According to the Arthritis Society, about 6 million Canadians have arthritis — which is about 1 in every 5 people. Although there’s no official cure for this chronic health condition, many sufferers will take pain medications to relieve inflammation in the joints. 

While some over-the-counter medications might help, there are other ways to alleviate stiffness. Because many pills can cause uncomfortable side effects, people are turning to a more natural approach instead. 

Read on to discover some of the best ways to relieve joint pain, without painkillers and prescription meds. 

Try Hot & Cold Therapy

Did you know a warm shower can help loosen stiff joints? Common problem areas include the hands, wrists, ankles and feet. Spend a few extra moments in the morning taking a long, warm shower. At night, soak your entire body in a relaxing bath. Then use a heating pad or electric blanket to keep your joints loose while you sleep. 

Meanwhile, cold therapy can be just as helpful. Also known as cryotherapy, it can significantly reduce inflammation by reducing blood flow to specific areas. Cold therapy can also ease pain by slowing down nerve activity. Next time you’re tempted to reach for painkillers, try using a frozen gel pack or coolant spray instead. 

Use Epsom salts

Epsom salts, which can be found at most drugstores, are very effective in relaxing the muscles. Simply add a cup to your bath water and mix it in. This process will break down the salt into magnesium and sulfate. When you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these compounds have an opportunity to seep into your body through the skin. You’ll find your joints and muscles will become much more relaxed. For best results, make sure you sit in the bath for at least 12 minutes. 

Book an acupuncture session

Based on an ancient philosophy, acupuncture is used to restore and rebalance damaged neuromuscular structures. Not only is this popular therapy used to treat headaches and insomnia, it can also provide relief for many joint tension disorders. 

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific pressure points using very fine needles. This kickstarts the body’s own ‘healing mechanism’, releasing a flood of pain-releasing chemicals. It also releases endorphins, which are natural hormones that reduce the overall feeling of pain. 

When performed by a certified professional, acupuncture is very effective in relaxing the body, reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow. If you’re interested in exploring acupuncture for joint discomfort, get in touch with an acupuncturist at a Physiomed near you. 

Lose Weight

There’s a very big connection between joint pain and weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on the joints, especially in the hips, knees and feet. One of the best ways to reduce this stress is to lose weight. Not only will this relieve pain, but it will also improve your mobility and prevent further joint damage. 

At Physiomed, we offer a number of treatments for body weight management. Our trained kinesiologists can provide clinical conditioning exercise programs that deliver long-term results. Also ask about our nutritional counselling services that involve customized menu planning and sound dietary advice. 

Try Massage Therapy

Credited with promoting relaxation and rehabilitation of the muscles, massage therapy is an excellent way to treat a variety of joint disorders. To soften your tendons and muscle tissue, a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) will use a combination of manual techniques. These strategic moves will involve rolling, kneading and stretching along the problem areas. 

If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, massage can improve circulation through the affected joints. This effective therapy can decrease tension and improve overall mobility. The RMTs at Physiomed are highly-qualified to treat a number of joint disorders, including osteoarthritis and gout. Often times, massage therapy will be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as physiotherapy and chiropractic care.  

Physiomed for Joint Disorders

Physiomed takes a whole-body approach to joint pain management. Our team of healthcare professionals can create a customized plan to help you deal with symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. If joint pain is affecting your family commitments and other daily activities, get in touch to discover how our natural treatments can help.

For more information on treating joint pain or to book an assessment, contact us here

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