Wherever you go, there you are.

It’s a little unusual for me to tell stories, but this thought came up and I wanted to share it. Hear me out on this, I promise there’s a good ending.

A Canadian couple goes on vacation to a beautiful island; it’s like paradise for them. They have done well in life, and are considering a change. The thought of moving to this island would be amazing.

One morning while they were walking along the beach they ran into a local, older gentleman. They asked him, “We are thinking of moving to this island from Canada because it’s so beautiful. Have you loved living here?”

The older gentleman replied back with a question, “Tell me what your community is like where you’re from in Canada?”

The couple answered, “OH, we have wonderful neighbours. The community is kind, and we really enjoyed raising our kids there!”

The older gentleman remarked, “Well, I am sure you will find the same thing here then.” And smiled.

The couple, elated with the response from the gentleman, skipped away contemplating the potential move – full of joy.

A few days later the older gentleman was faced by the same question from another couple. The older man responded the same way, “What is the community like where you are from?”

The second couple frowned, “Well honestly – we can’t wait to move. People are edgy, almost unkind. Neighbours yell at each other, it is at the point we don’t want to walk in the neighbourhood anymore.”

The older gentleman paused, “Hmmm, I am sorry to say that you will likely find the same thing here.”

The couple looked downcast, and walked away disappointed. 

Why did the older gentleman give two different answers to the same question? What did he know?

Wherever you go,  there you are. What you bring to your surroundings will make (or break) any experience.

I have reflected on this story in my own life, mostly pertaining to where I want to live. I enjoy cycling, back country skiing, and being outdoors in general. My family loves our home, but I had a feeling of dissatisfaction because I perceived the inability to engage in activities that give me joy. I thought, maybe we should move to BC, another part of town, or some kind of change in general.

On one of my dog walks with my wife, Heike, I was trying to explain these feelings. Heike was more silent, just listening to what I had to say. Then I had a moment of grace, a revelation really.

I said to her, “Actually, you have never stopped me from doing anything I had wanted to do; whether it be to ski, bike, compete in Ironman races, any of it.”

She said, “Nope.”

It was all my perception and conceived notions that were creating most of my internal conflict. Change is hard and unsettling. It is very worthwhile if it’s FOR something, and not just change for change sake.

The moral of the story is that wherever you go, you’re always bringing yourself! Until you work on the inside, the outside will never change. 

Dr. Payne

14 Hydration Benefits

Drinking water has its perks! Here are 14 reasons why you should keep hydrated during any season:

  1. Forms saliva (digestion)
  2. Keeps mucosal membranes moist
  3. Allows body’s cell to grow, reproduce and survive
  4. Flushes body waste, mainly in urine
  5. Lubricates joints
  6. Major component of most body parts
  7. Needed by the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters
  8. Regulates body temperature (sweating and respiration)
  9. Acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord
  10. Helps deliver oxygen all over the body
  11. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water
  12. The heart and brain are composed of 73% water, the skin 64%, muscles and kidneys
  13. 79% and the bones 31%
  14. Generally an adult male needs 3 litres per day, and an adult female 2.2 litres
  15. Babies and kids have more water as a percentage than adults (78%)

– AVANT Chiropractic

Bricks and Mortar Spine

I am sitting behind our building at 164 Metcalfe Street, watching masons build a stone column (pictured above). A beam will then support a second and third story above us. It is a beautiful piece of work that demonstrates patience, meticulous detail, and tremendous skill.

It will all be covered in dirt. All of that work and no one will be able to physically see it. 

Much like a support column – you can’t actually see your spine.

You can feel the effects of its structural function though.

Unless you know what your spinal problems are, you may never uncover the source of your health problems. Foundational structural problems show up as symptoms elsewhere. Here’s a building example: water in the basement causes cracks in the walls, or doors that don’t close properly anymore. These are symptomatic effects of something you can’t see. A body example would be: a concussion that you can’t visibly see the effects of, yet it can lead to chronic headaches, brain fog, and/or dizziness. The health of your nervous system relies on the structural integrity of your spine. 

If this seems confusing, let’s jump ship for a moment. Remember the story of the Titanic? It sunk because it hit an iceberg. Did you know? The majority of an iceberg is below the surface of the water. The minority (or tip) is what you see above water. Often times health problems are the tip of the iceberg; they are symptomatic from a causative issue underneath the surface, like the stone mason’s support column, or your spine.

There is a way to see the spine though. By taking appropriate x-rays, we can determine a cause for your back pain, or other health problems that could be associated. 

To re-cap then, the column is the structural work that supports a building, and the spine requires structural work to support your health. Sometimes the best and most important things are done sight unseen. 

Dr. Payne, D.C. 
Chiropractor, AVANT Chiropractic
drgreg@avantchiro.com 
613-801-2164

Security with Supplements

The colder weather is coming. I won’t say the “S” word just yet though. Maybe if we spell it backwards, it’ll hold off? WONS.

This time of year people have an introduction into the fall/winter season by presenting with a cold or flu. Research has shown that proper supplements this time of year can be as effective, and potentially less dangerous, than other more mainstream intervention methods. Supplements in conjunction with your chiropractic adjustment are very effective in not only strengthening, but counter-balancing stressors that suppress your immune system function.  When you do not receive proper nutrients, this makes you more susceptible to the cold and flu viruses being transmitted this time of year.

Multi: Supplies the nutrients you’re not getting in food
Omega 3’s: Reduces Inflammation
D3: 5000 IU Immune system, healthy bones, brain physiology
Magnesium: Protects nerves, heart, blood vessels, and brain
K: Proper blood clotting, strong bones/teeth

The list above is a group of essential vitamins we should be taking everyday. They work in conjunction with each other to provide optimal benefit to you, the host. There is variability in the amounts you should take if you are sick or you are preventing illness.

I will be covering each one of these supplements in the following days right here on this blog. Don’t worry, I’ll provide you with references to support the reasoning behind my recommendations.

Thanks for reading,
Dr. Greg Payne, D.C.

6 Tips: The right pack for your back.

Is your Facebook wall filled with photos of kids returning to school this week? It is just crazy how fast this summer flew by! There are certain things we can do to help our children (and ourselves) create healthy backpack habits that will stand for a lifetime.

Pressure status among kids is something we know is real. When dealing with backpack debacles – how we send our kids off to school at the start of the day, usually isn’t how they end up coming home.

Here are a few things that you can have some influence over though.

1. Purchasing the right backpack is important; the most properly fitting ones are usually smaller than you would think. The main problem here is the sheer volume of stuff your child is required to carry to-and-from school. Separating some items out of the backpack may be useful, like carrying a lunch box in your hands.

2. It is easier to buy a proper backpack when you bring your items into the store at the same time. For example, I would bring my: laptop, lunch bag, textbook and agenda, to see how it all fits. That Hershel backpack may be popular, but may not fit everything.

3. See pictures below for an example on size. The base of the backpack should not extend below the belt (normal belt placement) and the top of the shoulder strap should not gap above the shoulder when the base of the backpack is in the proper position.

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  • No gap between strap and shoulder – bottom of bag at the belt level
  • Chest and hip strap helps to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack
  • Heaviest and/or largest items should be closest to your back.
  • Smallest and/or lightest items can go furthest away from your back. If the backpack is filled with school supplies, you may want to carry the lunch bag separately to not overload it.

4. Reinforcing the proper carrying habits day in and day out helps; biomechanics are on your side. They’ll get used to it, and notice how much more comfortable it is.

5. You have some control in what goes into the pack to start each day. Buying a suitcase hanging scale will help you keep the proper bag-to-person ratio. The total weight should not be more than 20% of the student’s bodyweight!

6. Wide straps with chest and hip belts help distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly.

* Photos courtesy of my son Aaron. He’s modelling how to wear a backpack correctly (at least each morning when I’m around).

Bye for now,
Dr. Payne

It’s an adjustment, not a crack!

Words do matter. They help to define a culture. 

During every new patient orientation, I speak a little about how “it’s an adjustment, not a crack”. I think it helps people know that I’m not going to hurt any body parts. Absolutely nothing is being broken when you hear the crunching noise. I get it though – people are describing the sound they hear; one which Hollywood has always correlated with something bad happening. 

An adjustment is simply a fine-tuning of something towards its optimal function. The definition is: a small alteration or movement made to achieve a desired fit, appearance, or result. In the case of a spinal adjustment, we want the result to re-connect your brain-to-body function so all of your cells, organs, systems and tissues can operate to their highest potential.

I hope we can define a softer approach to chiropractic care here at AVANT. If you have any questions about chiropractic care, I’d be happy to chat more in depth anytime. Seriously! 

Stay awesome,

Dr. Payne, D.C.