The Baby Boom

Whenever I see a newborn – they poop.

Weird opening statement, eh? Please let me explain.

I have had the wonderful privilege of seeing many newborn babies. Some with obvious issues, and some just to have their spine checked.

Why would you want your child’s spine checked?

Research has demonstrated that a newborn can have issues in the top bones of the neck that can effect the infants’ nervous system; which can be directly related to the birthing process.

What seems as common medical assistance procedures, vacuum extraction and forceps, can exacerbate these issues. The way a baby has positioned itself in the womb also can have an effect on the spine.

Signs to look for are:

  • Difficulty for babies latching onto the breast to feed if breastfeeding
  • Baby turning their head to one side over another
  • Cranial or ‘head’ asymmetries
  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Visible uncomfortableness turning or placing babies head to one side
  • Even breathing arrhythmias

Checking and adjusting an infant is a very gentle process. Often times a baby poops afterwards because it relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxation commonly causes them to pass gas, or poop. This is quite a common experience here at AVANT!

My question is, “Do you have a chiropractor as part of your baby’s wellness team?” Combined with other health care professionals, chiropractic care can make early parenting a most wonderful time!

– Dr. Payne, D.C.

My role, as a patient.

 

Every so often, I write to our patients about my experiences working behind the front desk of AVANT. I too, get adjusted by Dr. Payne and have been on a chiropractic journey for almost three years now.

One of the biggest things I have taken away from this adventure, is taking responsibility for my body, movements, and stress.

BODY

I overheard Dr. Payne saying to a patient, “You can’t exercise yourself out of a poor diet,” and it is so true.

Ever since getting a dog, I barely exercise vigorously. I go on one long dog walk a day, and every so often I’ll do a fun activity like Archery Tag or sign up for a yoga class. I am slowly teaching my dog to run beside me for max. 5 kms though!

Why aren’t I concerned about getting in tons of exercise? When I was completely sugar, dairy, and gluten free – I had lost 18 lbs., and saw huge health benefits (less inflammation, no high or low energy, healthy nails, and no more teeth pain). Now, I’m trying to find my balance in the kitchen without it being un-healthy for my mind.

All of this to say, great health begins with what you put into your body (your fuel) – and exercise is a daily component that keeps you moving forward!

MOVEMENTS

A single adjustment helps facilitate my week; but it is my responsibility to move properly, listen to how I feel, and report these things back to Dr. Payne.

  • Did I get out of bed properly?
  • Did I text and slouch too much today? 
  • Did I sit more than I stood at work? 
  • Did I take breaks to drink water? 
  • Did I spent too much time looking at a screen? 
  • Did I wear the right shoes in volleyball?

Only I can make these decisions and they are the real reasons that my pain/discomfort exists (or doesn’t).

STRESS

Every time I am stressed, I pull muscles that run all along the back of my neck into my shoulders. This has been ongoing for years and one day I asked Dr. Payne if it meant I had some kind of a neurological problem. His reply was, “Kate, you’re just an intense person.” He called me out on something I already knew, but just didn’t realize it had that much of an impact on my body.

Once I decided to take ownership over this stress, it all became – less stressful. I started to actually evaluate it. Why does my right knee hurt? Ahh, that’s because I lean to the right when I stand and cross that same knee while sitting for multiple hours each day. See? It’s so liberating. 

CONCLUSION

I used to be the person who wasted OHIP dollars. I’d get bloated, march to my doctor and insist on all of the blood work, ultrasounds, and tests to figure out why. All along, it was poutine (eh?) and poor lifestyle choices.

Our lives are cycling through stressful events, most of them we can control and others we can simply manage. Your chiropractic adjustments run parallel beside you, to make sure you are on the best track possible.

Stay honest with yourself,
Kate

Are you under-eating?

If I’m doing everything right, why aren’t I achieving my fitness goals or weight loss goals?

I have had many clients over the years mention that they’ve been doing everything right with eating well and working hard. They still can’t meet their fitness goals, such as losing a few finals pounds or making gains.

The first thing I usually talk to clients about is nutrition and I ask them to track their food (calories) and have a look at how they’re fueling themselves. Once we gather the data, 4 out of 5 clients are kept from accomplishing their goals due to under-eating and over-restricting their diets.

When we over-restrict our calories, we deny our bodies the energy they need to function properly. This impacts our goals and it can really mess up our metabolism, mood, sleep, recovery, and more. On top of all that, it can force our bodies into conservation mode where we start to hold onto as much energy as possible by storing it as body fat. By over-restricting, we’re actually moving further from our goals.

It’s simply not a sustainable way to create a healthy life. Working out 3-4 times a week and eating less then 1200 calories per day leaves us hungry, unhappy and unable to reach our goals.

I work with my clients to create a small caloric deficit (or surplus, depending on their goals) which is sustainable long-term. Once we move closer to their goals, we make small adjustments to keep the momentum going.

– Jonathon

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