2….Nerve Flossing or Nerve Gliding
3….How to Do Sciatic Nerve Flossing Exercise for Sciatic Pain Relief
4.…Why Nutritional Cleansing?
5….Spring Cleansing – Begins May 22
6.…Benefits of Daily Meditation
9.…One Practice Member’s Experience
9….Clinic Hours and Services
CHIROPRACTIC 101: – by Dr. Rick Lee
Happy Spring Everyone! Crazy fluctuations of weather patterns over this early Spring season, but it’s Toronto and hope that you are now enjoying the warm, sunny days!
I want to talk about your spine and more importantly the nervous system that it houses. One thing that we do not “see” is our spine and all of the vertebra. I know you have heard me say this before about “if you could see your spine like your teeth, you would probably take better care of it”. Many people come into our clinic in acute pain and are surprised to see the amount of degeneration that has gone on in their spine, while only experiencing the “pain” very recently. Let me make this very clear, there is no direct correlation to the amount of pain that you experience to the degeneration or lack thereof in your spine. People are surprised to hear this and just as surprised to see the lack of correlation to some of the results of their x-rays, so let me shed some light on this.
First the process of spinal degeneration is not an overnight process, it can take months to years for it to accumulate and become visible on x-rays depending upon many factors that include genetics, postures, lifestyle, exercise, physical and emotional stress, nutrition, etc. On the other hand, we do know from our research that early signs (cartilage matrix changes) of the degenerative process can begin as early as 30 minutes within an immobilized joint. The saving grace is that as long as that joint has restored its motion within 2 weeks, those changes are reversible. This is why you will see therapists begin mobilizing a patient’s joints within hours of their operation if it is possible, even if the patient themselves cannot move their joints. *(1)
This degeneration impacts the surrounding nerves and there are three different types of nerves that can be affected: sensory nerves, motor nerves and autonomic nerves (think organs and glands) and depending upon which nerve they impact you may or may not even “feel” it. Just like the imminent heart attack, it builds up and the first sign of a problem, may be the last sign as it reaches its tipping point and now becomes a chronic problem. It is the nerves that dictate the symptoms or physiological dysfunction aspect and as Chiropractors, this is our focus, not bones, but the nervous system. The nerves surround the various tissues of a joint, in this case vertebral joints and they give feedback to your central nervous system, which can create “noise” within the main circuitry if they are not moving properly and therefore interfere with the normal flow of information to everything else.
From a Chiropractic perspective, understand that your joints are constantly trying to realign themselves and it is the 10-15% that do not, which we are helping people with. There are also other underlying signals, such as tight muscles or tender trigger points. We also check for joint motion and determine where these spinal joint dysfunctions that are also known as subluxations in the Chiropractic vernacular. Another reference we use is nerve interference patterns that can affect your spinal and nerve pathways causing noise or static in the lines of communication between the brain, nervous system and the physical body with its muscles, organs and glands. This is why we use the Nerve Scan Test to check how much stress you are holding within your body, along with a Chiropractic evaluation to check for potential trouble areas. This is why we want to be proactive with our health and lifestyle.
My oldest son, Eric is finally graduating from Chiropractic College (CMCC in Toronto) this Spring and has decided that he wants to join me at Bridlewood! I will be giving him his hood and colours at his graduation ceremony in June. Look for changes in our hours and availability (for the better, LOL) come the Fall season. I can still remember attending my brother, Dr. Raymond’s ceremony at Convocation Hall. That was a very proud moment to have him join me in this profession, as I know this will be as well!
And speaking of joining the profession, one of our Practice Members, Alex H. just got accepted into CMCC for the Class of 2022 this September! Congratulations Alex!!! He was so excited about his acceptance when he left the voicemail and again when I was finally able to catch up with him. We are just as excited for you and know that you have the “right stuff” to become a great Chiropractor.
On a sunny Monday in April, there was a horrific incident along the Yonge St. corridor from Finch Ave. that took the lives of many innocent people who were just outside going about their business. Many lives were affected and impacted that day with many acts of courage and bravery by people who didn’t know each other. These acts and displays of compassion is how I choose to remember that day and know that there is good in everyone. I believe that we should not live fearful lives, rather embrace this opportunity that we have each day to experience the good that does surround us. Remember that your subconscious mind doesn’t care what you feed it, but it does shape your perspective in what you choose to see throughout your life. Emotional health is just as important as physical health, so be careful of the steady diet that you feed your mind.
As you know, health is NOT a destination, but a journey. Your continual decisions to choose actions toward health or away from it, will determine your path.
Please join us for our monthly Health Care Workshop. It is a 60-minute discussion of our lifestyle stressors and how you can help yourself. Please RSVP with Larissa.
*(1) Videman,T. (1982) Experimental Osteoarthritis in the Rabbit: Comparison of Different Periods of Repeated Immobilization, Journal Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica Volume 53, 1982 – Issue 3, published online: 08 Jul 2009
NERVE FLOSSING OR NERVE GLIDING – by Dr. Brian Abelson, DC
Nerve flossing is done to stretch and release a specific nerve that is compressed, entrapped or develops surrounding scar tissue, presenting as a condition known as peripheral nerve entrapment.
Nerve flossing exercises can be done at home, but if your condition is extreme or persistent, you should have a qualified manual therapist who is certified in Active Release Technique perform a functional examination for neural tension.
The purpose of nerve flossing is to pull from one end of a nerve, while keeping the other end of the nerve relaxed. Nerve flossing pulls the nerve free from any entrapments or adhesions along its path. Nerve flossing can be performed for both the upper and lower extremity nerves.
The idea behind nerve flossing is to release for example, the sciatic nerve by stretching the tissues surrounding it and breaking down any build-up of fibrotic scar tissue, which prevents the nerve from gliding smoothly with leg movement. Flossing is required to break down the scar tissue — just as flossing your teeth chips away at plaque buildup.
HOW TO DO SCIATIC NERVE FLOSSING EXERCISE FOR SCIATIC PAIN RELIEF by Sophie Xie, DPT (Sept/2016)
Have you flossed your nerves lately? And now you are looking horrified.
In fact, nerve gliding exercises, or nerve flossing exercises, are gentle exercises. These exercises target mobility of the nerve tissues to treat nerve pain conditions like the “Sciatica”.
How does nerve gliding work?
The truth is that our body tissues are constantly moving, stretching, gliding inside of our body as we move about every day.
Nerve tissues, in particular, do not like to be stretched. Due to their lack of elasticity, nerves commonly glide up and down in our body in its entire length (from head to toe). They like it that way.
When we have injuries and pains that irritate the surrounding nerve tissues, the inflammatory process and scar tissues may result in adhesion of local nerve segments. When nerves cannot move freely up and down in our body, they are likely to be tucked up, damaged, irritated and painful.
After all, the infamous “Sciatica” pain is caused by unhappy nerves. In some cases, helping the nerves to regain mobility and normal gliding will calm them down significantly.
Here’s some proof that I am not crazy. A study in 2015 measured the amount of sciatic nerve movement during these nerve gliding exercises using high-resolution ultrasound imaging. They found that the gliding technique with neck and knee movements result in the largest magnitude of sciatic nerve mobility (mean 17.0 ± 5.2 mm). That’s around 2/3 of an inch, and that’s cool.
Nerve gliding/flossing basics:
When you first start to do nerve gliding/flossing exercises, you need a little coordination and imagination.
Imagine yourself as a puppet, and the sciatic nerve is a large rope connection the back of your head and the heel of your toe. Since the rope is not elastic, pulling one end will result in giving in on the opposite end.
Feeling something is too much
Unlike normal exercise where you may feel muscle burning or fatigue, you should have no increase in symptoms when you glide your sciatic nerve.
Some people may have some baseline, or resting, sciatica symptoms. However, if you experience increasing leg pain, tingling, or numbness, you should tune down the magnitude of the neck and knee movement.
If you are moving through the exercise and feeling silly because you don’t feel any different, you are doing it right!
The Sciatic Nerve Gliding/Flossing Exercise:
- Start by sitting on a high surface so that your feet are hanging (my personal preference). If you have no high surface to sit on nearby, a regular chair will do as well (like in the picture).
- Relax your legs, slouch your back, and lower your chin/head by looking down.
- Slowly, smoothly and gently straighten your sciatica side knee and lift your head up (looking forward) at the same time. Then return to starting position with the same gentle manner.
- Repeat movement for 1 min on each leg, 3-5 times a day, for 1-2 weeks.
Who is this for?
The sciatic nerve glide/flossing exercise is great for those experiencing an acute flare up sciatica pain such as herniated disc, piriformis syndrome, or spinal stenosis. But do remember that all “Sciatica” are not the same.
Nerve gliding/flossing exercises are less effective for those experiencing persistent chronic sciatica symptoms from previous experience. There might still be some benefits, just not very obvious.
Most benefits and symptom relief from nerve gliding/flossing exercises will plateau after the first week or two. If you do not feel better in any sense after two weeks of this gentle treatment, you should consider moving on to some core strengthening exercises.
WHY NUTRITIONAL CLEANSING? by Dr. Rick Lee
I shared this in a private FB group but think many of my friends and clients can also benefit from this information: I was recently asked in a podcast about “Why Isagenix?”. As a Health Care Practitioner, Recreational Athlete and Dad, I can give you several perspectives on why I choose this program over others.
First, this is a “Health Program” backed by science. It lays the foundation for great nutrition that we just cannot get from eating whole foods anymore, especially in North America.
Weight loss is a great side effect and when given the proper nutrients for our physiological functions, the body responds likewise and all of these things that people call “a miracle”, is in fact rooted in basic body physiology. Look for the studies in www.isagenixhealth.net.
This program does NOT remove any of the basic macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats or protein) because the body needs all three. It also does NOT starve people or restrict calories. The problem with most calorie restriction diets is that you are also losing lean muscle, which we want to maintain. Then when people put the weight on again, they in fact put on more fat than before, so even though they now weigh the same, this bounce back effect has them have more fat and less lean muscle at the same weight as before. Not a healthy proposition.
We will cover more in the upcoming weeks, just know that you are with the right program to achieve your health goals. I have used this regularly in my own nutrition and for my family for the last 12 years and will continue to do so to make sure that I am getting a great foundation of macro & micronutrients.
I will be starting a Nutritional Cleansing Group right after the Victoria Day Holiday Weekend, if you want to join us let us know and we can get you ready for the May 22nd start date.
SPRING CLEANSING BEGINS MAY 22ND
The warm weather is upon us and we have stored the scarves, hats and gloves for the season. As we get rid of the coats, we find that not everything has left us and that we may have stored a little more onto our sides or bodies over the cooler months. As much as we lament on the little bit that we are “collecting”, the real danger is that over the years this accumulates and what use to be 5 pounds over since we graduated from school is now, 20, 30 even 50 pounds more than we started out with.
If you have watched any of Dr. Oz’s programs, you’ll understand the inherent risks that are involved with carrying this fat. Much of the danger lies in the visceral fat, or the fat that lies around your life-giving organs. Yes, it’s important to keep the nerve flow to the organs clear for proper energy and function, but you also need to create a healthy environment for the organs to thrive. This fat hangs off the omentum, which is a like a drape that covers and surrounds the organs.
What if we could show you a way to make dramatically change your health in only 5 minutes per day?
We have been using the Isagenix products with our Practice Members and seeing wonderful results.
Isagenix is a healthy nutritional cleanse, which gently removes impurities from the body while simultaneously replenishing nutrients. It is NOT a diet. The program is easy to follow and we will outline how it can be combined with protein pacing and intermittent fasting to help release weight and toxins.
Beginning May 22nd, I will be starting our 30-Day ISAGENIX cleanse program with my Spring Cleanse group and athletes. I invite you along for the support and coaching that I’ll be giving over that time. If you are worried about your social events, we have a strategy for working around those also.
Please contact us via e-mail or phone by May 16th to enroll for this health changing system. The program will vary for each individual depending upon the goals and present health of the participant and we will customize it according to those parameters.
For those of you unfamiliar with this program, it begins with a pre-cleanse. This will allow you to start moving your blood pH balance from an acidic level to a healthier alkaline level, by eliminating some acidifying foods. Depending upon your level of health challenges, we will adjust the program accordingly before you start the cleanse.
The program will help to eliminate the impurities and heavy metals that are caught in your fat stores and organs. This is a gentle full body cleanse that we have run successfully for the last twelve years and there have been many amazing results seen by myself and my staff, even by those who were very skeptical with the program about the type of results that they would receive.
The cost for the program is only the cost of the products. The cleanse coaching comes as part of the package and there is a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
Contact Larissa or myself and we will get you started on this program.
You are invited to our Sip & Sample Information Session on Saturday May 12th at 11:00 am. You are welcome to bring family and friends. Please RSVP at 416-756-3833 or email me at email@example.com.
BENEFITS OF DAILY MEDITATION – by Mackenzie Lu (2016) from Longevity.media online
The benefits of daily meditation can improve the health of the mind, body and soul.
When thinking of the practice of meditation and the benefits of daily meditation, some people may be put off by thinking it takes too much time or they can’t just sit still when there are 100 other things to get done. Statistically, even just 20 minutes of daily meditation can have benefits on physical, mental and spiritual health. They may also perceive meditation as being part of some sort of religion. Think of the act of meditating as a form of stress relief first and foremost for the average individual. Here, you’ll find out what meditation is really about and be exposed to a whole new world of the benefits of daily meditation.
Physical Benefits of Daily Meditation
Physically, meditation introduces more prone, or energy, into your body to improve your health. Additionally, daily meditation lowers high blood pressure, and the lives of blood lactate, which helps in reducing anxiety attacks. It can improve your immune system, increase you energy level, as well as serotonin production which can help improve your behavior and mood. Been suffering from headaches lately? A benefit of daily meditation is that it can decrease some tension related pain that is inflicted on your body, such as insomnia, ulcers, muscle and joint problems and reduces tension headaches.
Mental Benefits of Daily Meditation
Studies on the physical benefits of daily meditation have uncovered some remarkable findings around the effects mental benefits of daily meditation on the brain and mental health.
There is, among people who practice meditation of any type, a 75 percent drop in the occurrence of depression. There was a 30 percent drop in anxiety with a 65 percent rise in feelings of well-being. Each of these benefits spills over into some very crucial areas of importance. With anxiety disorders often comes impulsive behavior. This can cause addictions which is now at epidemic proportions around the world apart from the East. There is a reason for this. We have vastly different cultures and lifestyles that yield very different results. One of the most valuable and long-term benefits of daily meditation is we will no longer be subject to the ills that a spoiled Western culture delivers. We will reduce cravings for the fast food we eat. If we adopt mindfulness meditation, which we will get into in a bit, we will be far happier with less.
So, does this mean that we are going to want to sell our worldly possessions and climb the Himalayas? No. That, is yet another misconception. What will typically happen over time is the very mechanisms in the brain and body, as well as the emotional body will cease to be on overdrive. Your need to be turned on to every piece of technology for long periods of time or short bursts all day and night will disappear. Your brain is a very trainable and miraculous thing; however, it is also a creature of habit and likes it that way so much it will do all it can to keep it there.
Your brain works tirelessly to do two things. One, avoid pain and two, seek pleasure. So, in the case of the daily benefits of meditation on the mental and physical bodies, you can see it this way. You will become essentially addicted to the feeling and the freedom the meditation gives you. In essence, you will not just become a different person but a person that is attracted to vastly different things.
The next benefit is resilience. Life brings pain and adversity at times. Sometimes we can’t prevent or change that, so, how resilient we are becomes very important. Daily meditation builds our resiliency muscles.
This last benefit of daily meditation, at least on the most popular list, is it will help us live a lot longer and healthier and here’s why. If we were to ask the average person how they thought daily meditation could make you live longer and healthier, the typical answer would be heart attack and stroke prevention. While that may be true to an extent, the benefits of daily meditation on our longevity goes deeper than just a calm cardio vascular experience. What meditation does in this sense is cease the cravings to smoke or overeat due to emotions being on overdrive.
As you go along on your daily journey, to work or school or wherever your path leads you regularly, you’ll see that daily meditation is something that will improve your emotional intelligence. For people with a propensity to bouts of anger, or those who tend to become easily irritated, you’ll notice that you react less and less on this scale. Your social connections will be so much different and so much more meaningful.
With practice, you can look forward to a lot of super changes in your mind that will start to come naturally and effortlessly. Within six months of daily practice you will notice a marked increase in your ability to focus and in your mental strength when you really need it. This is why meditation is great for students. Study time can be cut by 50 percent or more. Cramming will no longer be the way you will pass your courses and that means more free time for you!
There are many benefits of daily meditation for those in the creative arts. Dancers, singers and painters, as well as anyone who has to think creatively and have that special energy flowing through them are blessed through meditation. This is because when you train your mind in any type of meditation, you naturally remove energetic blocks and mental blocks from your existence.
Spiritual Benefits of Daily Meditation
Here we look at the spiritual side of meditation. Many people are so put off by meditation simply because they are confused as to whether they can or should meditate. Spirituality is the concept that we are connected to something bigger than ourselves. Meditation can help center that concept and even allows you the time to explore it within your own mind. Or not. If you want, you can sit there and think about the laundry you have to get done.
One way to understand the benefits of meditation is to understand that yes, you are a spiritual being having a human experience. This means that the very act of being human, even being an atheist is still spiritual. It is who we are at our core. Who we are is not what we do or what we own. We are here to elevate ourselves through whatever belief system we have chosen. Meditation is simply another expression of who we are and a way to connect with our “source” whatever or whoever this may be to us.
Try Meditation for Yourself
There are too many types of meditation to mention here. But, there is one type of very powerful meditation you can learn now, today and we are going to give you that bonus and teach you. So, can this really give you all the benefits that we’ve covered here if it’s really that simple? Yes. Why? Because less is more, period. With meditation you must keep this in mind.
When you are doing an activity like washing dishes or vacuuming or even walking, engulf yourself in that process. Stay there in the now. If you have thoughts let them pass through without judgement. Repeat how good it feels or the fact you can hear the wind or birds. No matter how corny it seems, it’s a way to keep your mind in one place, (where you are and no where else). The benefits we described come about when you develop the skill of being in the moment. You can do this for three straight months only three to four days a week and you will see a marked difference in being able to stave off distraction!
The second phase you can take a Hatha yoga class. Yoga was simply a way to deal with advanced meditation poses without falling asleep and was later developed into a more complex activity for health. This is the perfect second phase so you can begin to really enjoy the benefits of daily meditation. If you physically can’t participate in yoga, you can research other more complex meditation phases and you are guaranteed to see how mindfulness has honed your ability straight away. Meditation is a life-enhancing activity you can enjoy for many years.
If you’re reading this newsletter online, then of course this is NOT news, however for those who want to find out more about our clinic and what we do, this is a great reference. It is also good for those who have family members or friends who want to learn more about what Chiropractic is and what it is not. Look us up on the web and our current newsletter along with future newsletters, all will be available online.
ONE PRACTICE MEMBER’S EXPERIENCE
The thing I most appreciated was that Dr. Lee took great pains to explain the effect of subluxation on the whole body and how that pain radiates out into one’s whole state of being. Dr. Lee does much more than to address symptoms; his consciousness of the extricable interconnection between body/mind/spirit results in a holistic healing process that opens the channels of the heart-mind as it relieves pressure on the afflicted areas. As this process of realignment and re-balancing takes place, the realignment of one’s inner spirit unfolds. I now enjoy greater energy, drive, and most importantly, enthusiasm. My physical strength and vitality, which I thought I had lost forever, a thought as debilitating as the condition itself, have returned, and the creative juices are flowing. Dr. Lee’s positive energy, outlook and dedicated skill resulted in nothing short of a miracle for me.
….Ann H., Toronto
Monday 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Desmond Fan, RMT & Congratulations!!!
Please call Larissa at 416-756-3833 to arrange an appointment. Des has varying hours; however these may change as he will be officially retiring as a Paramedic in late May! Congratulations Des and looking forward to your next phase of life.
Please note that we also offer customized orthotics, therapeutic massage, acupuncture, computerized nerve scans and health & wellness workshops