There Is A Hole In My Sidewalk

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There Is a Hole in My Sidewalk
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…it’s a habit…but,
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault.
I get out immediately,

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Brain Fit For Life

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In Brain Fit for Life, Dr. Simon Evans, PhD and Dr. Paul Burghardt, PhD tackle a very contemporary and timely issue. Is it possible to achieve lifelong brain health and fitness? Is there anything we can do to prevent the inevitable decline of cognitive function? The answer to both questions is a resounding yes!

The coauthors are research scientists from the University of Michigan with a wealth of public speaking experience. The strength of their book is that they break down a highly complex subject matter into an easy to read and entertaining format.

According to the authors, “your brain responds and adapts to the environment you live in and the experiences you have. … Just like the rest of your body, your brain can be fit or in shape or unfit and out of shape.” The authors state that the brain fitness industry is feverishly producing intellectually challenging software games in an attempt to keep the mind young. However, they are adamant that their book is about boosting total brain fitness. It is definitely possible to exercise your brain to improve your level of brain fitness. However it takes a variety of exercise routines to really get your brain “in shape.”

The foundation of the book is laid down very strategically in the first chapter. Total brain fitness is broken down into three main cognitive systems: 1) Emotional Intelligence (EQ); 2) Physical Intelligence (PQ); and 3) Intellectual Cognition (IQ).

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Evans and Burghardt present the four cornerstones of brain fitness as quality nutrition, physical activity, mental activity and sleep. If only one of these cornerstones is weak, your brain health can be drastically compromised. The reader will discover what nutrients are the best raw materials to boost brain power and how to utilize exercise and physical activity to improve learning and memory. The reader will also learn what mental activities and exercise will help sharpen his mind and cognitive function. “Most researchers believe there is no harm in using the cognitive training games but realize that it’s only a small piece of the overall puzzle.”

And finally the reader will learn why sleep is so important for learning. One fascinating concept describes plasticity and the brain’s ability to rewire itself. “You’ll need it to continue to learn, adapt to and successfully conquer the challenges that life throws at you.” Sleep deprivation decreases the brain’s ability to strengthen connection between brain cells and consolidate what one has just learned. In particular it gives great insight into the reason why some sleep deprived students have difficulty passing some of their exams!

If you are looking for an excellent guide to lifelong brain health and fitness, Brain Fit for Life is for you. Through their insightful analysis, practical illustrations, and amusing cartoons, the authors absolutely inspire you to improve your level of brain fitness. Brain fitness is a lifelong journey. However, if you follow the directions, integrate the four cornerstones and take action, you are going to enjoy the ride.

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Sleeping Posture Tips for 2017

Many thanks to my colleague Dr. Chris Enns from Winnipeg for his article about the importance  of sleeping posture. Let me know if you have any questions.

As a chiropractor, I often discuss with my patients the importance of good sleeping posture.  When we think about posture, we usually think of how we hold our bodies while standing, lifting or sitting and not necessarily our posture at rest. After all, it is a body position that occupies the greatest proportion of our time.  Normally it should be a time for rest and recuperation. It should be when our body renews energy, replenishes cells, and recovers from the normal stresses and strains of life.  Unfortunately, your sleeping position can not only result in sleep deprivation, but it can be a cause for shoulder, neck and back pain .  It is well known that when we don’t sleep well, it can contribute to a variety of health conditions, some of which pose significant risk to both quality of life and longevity.  In this article, I will discuss some general guidelines.  Every individual presents unique challenges with finding the right position, so this discussion will not apply to everyone.  The best sleeping position is a balance between the ideal posture and the most comfortable position.

1. Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach.

It is tough to control what your body does when you are sleeping, but avoid sleeping on your front.  Sleeping face down always forces your neck into extension with significant rotation.  This position places significant loading to your spinal joints.  Typically, stomach sleepers don’t alternate which side they rotate their head, so it becomes an asymmetrical strain to their neck, upper back, and even low back.

2. If You Sleep On Your Back, Don’t Use Two Pillows.

Sleeping on your back can be an excellent way to ensure a neutral posture.  When you lay flat without a pillow, on a firm mattress, most people are in an almost perfect posture.  This may not be comfortable, however.  Regardless of how ideal the posture, your sleeping position must be comfortable or you’ll end up falling asleep in a poor sleeping posture.  If you are a back sleeper, try using only one comfortable pillow at the head to reduce the forward head posture and perhaps a pillow or two under the knees to reduce strain to your low back.  Contoured pillows may help preserve the normal curve in your neck and keep your head from flexing forward and causing excess strain.

3. Side sleepers Need To Find Neutral.

A common sleeping position is laying on your side.  This may be comfortable, but there is plenty of room for error when trying to find a neutral posture.  Remember, the goal is a neutral posture that is comfortable for restful sleep.  The head should be in between the shoulders and not bent towards or away from the pillow.  You should avoid twisting into various body contortions or this will cause rotational strain to the spinal discs.  A body pillow, or using multiple pillows, for supporting the body can be a solution to this problem.  Placing a pillow between the knees and the elbows is an effective way to find a neutral body position.  For the head, there is no rule that is applicable to everyone.  Because of varying shoulder width, some will only need one pillow to keep their head level.  Others will require two pillows if they have large shoulders.  Or, a contoured pillow that has multiple depths can help with finding the right pillow height.  Another suggestion, if these are uncomfortable, would be to pull your pillow down towards the shoulder and prop up to support the neck.

4. Choose A Mattress That Is Firm And Comfortable

Choosing a mattress can be very difficult.  There is so much variety with the materials used and how soft or hard the mattress can be. There are plenty of claims by manufacturers and retailers that may not have any scientific validation.  The best recommendation that I can make is to choose a mattress that is firm enough to keep you in a neutral sleeping posture but without compromising on comfort.  Sleeping face up on the floor will accomplish neutral, but few will wake up re-energized. Too hard and you will develop pain from the pressure points on your hips or shoulders.  Too soft, and your hips will depress further into the bed than your head and will take your body far from neutral.  So, choose a mattress that you feel will offer enough support for your body and sleep-position, but is going to be as comfortable as possible.

Remember, these are only general recommendations.  We are all individuals and need to find what works right for us!

Dr. Chris Enns, B.Sc., D.C. has been a Winnipeg chiropractor since 2005.  He is the owner of Balance Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, located at 121 St. Anne’s Rd in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Services include: chiropractic, massage therapy, athletic therapy, orthotics, spinal decompression therapy, laser therapy,  x-ray services, and health and fitness consulting.

WHY I AM A DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC

Why I am

Why I am a Doctor of Chiropractic:
Because I honor the inborn potential of everyone to be truly healthy.
Because I desire to help the newborn, the aged, and those without hope.
Because I choose to care for the patient with the dis-ease, not the disease.
Because I wish to assist rather than intrude; to free rather than control.
Because I seek to correct the cause, not its effect.
Because I know doctors do not heal, only the body can heal itself.
Because I have been called to serve others.
Because I want to make a difference.
Because everyday I get to witness miracles……….
Because I know it is right!

Wilma Rudolph: An Inspirational Story:

AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY

“My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother.”
Wilma Rudolph

When Wilma Rudolph was four years old, she had a disease called polio which causes people to be crippled and often unable to walk. To make matters worse, her family was poor and could not afford good medical care. She was from a large family – she was the 20th of 22 children! Her father was a railroad porter and her mother was a maid.

Her mother decided she would do everything she could to help Wilma walk again.

The doctors had said that she would not be able to walk… but every week she took her daughter on a long bus trip to a hospital to receive therapy. It didn’t help, but the doctors said she should massage Wilma’s legs every day. She taught the brothers and sisters how to do it, and they also rubbed their sister’s legs four times a day.

By the time she was eight, she could walk with a leg brace. After that, she used a high-topped shoe to support her foot. She played basketball with her brothers every day.

Three years later, her mother came home one day to find Wilma playing basketball by herself — barefooted. She didn’t even have to use the special shoe.

A track coach encouraged her to start running. She ran so well that during her senior year in high school, she qualified for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. She won a bronze medal in the women’s 400 meter relay.

In 1959, she qualified for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome by setting a world’s record in the 200 meter race. At the Olympics that year, she won two gold medals; one for the 100 meter race and one for the 200 meter race.

Then she sprained her ankle, but she ignored the pain and helped her team to win another gold medal for the 400 meter relay! She retired from running when she was 22 years old, but she went on to coach women’s track teams and encourage young people.

Wilma thought that God had a greater purpose for her than to win three gold medals. She started the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to help children learn about discipline and hard work.

She died of brain cancer in 1994. Even though she is no longer alive, her influence still lives on in the lives of many young people who look up to her.

 

What is pain? Why does it hurt so much?

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I am often asked by patients: How can I be getting better when I still have pain? Pain is a sign that the body is healing. It is normal to feel pain while you are recovering. Did you ever wonder why things sometimes hurt more before they get better? Why do we have to feel it to heal it? Why “No Pain, No Gain”? We have all been brainwashed from day-one by the pharmaceutical companies to believe that pain in any shape or form is unacceptable.

Do you remember these television commercials?

 

  • “How do YOU spell relief?”
  • “Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is!”
  • “PAIN! HEADACHE! PAIN! HEADACHE!”

    Then you are given the easy solution. By taking this pill or potion your pain will be taken away instantly and you will live happily ever after.

    Aside: Along with, “Your cheque is in the mail,” another one of the biggest lies in history would have to be; “These new pills have no major side effects.” Remember the famous line from movie producer Michael Moore, “Give a lie a 24-hour head start and the truth will never catch up with it.”

    What Is Pain?
    According to chiropractor, Dr. Barry Weinberg, pain is nothing more than the experience of separation. If you cut your finger with a knife, the separation of the skin causes pain. If you break a bone, the separation of the bone tissue causes pain. If you break up a relationship or a loved one dies, the separation from that person causes emotional pain. All pain is separation.

    If the separation continues and becomes great enough, the pain begins to diminish until it is no longer felt. In these circumstances we may feel as if the injury or trauma is “healing” because the pain is going away. In fact, the pain is diminishing because the separation is becoming so great that it grows beyond our level of awareness. Rather than healing (becoming whole) we are merely becoming numb.

    We may think, “I’m better! The pain is gone!” Only to find a few weeks, months, or years later, that we re-experience the same pain…only stronger. We take a few aspirin or go for a cortisone injection…enhancing our separation. Once again, the pain is gone…for a while. It is like the gas light in the car. Have you ever been driving when suddenly the gas light comes on? You keep driving and the gas light goes off. A few minutes later it comes on a little longer…and again it turns off. Even quicker, the light comes on again — and stays on. If you don’t get gas now, you’ll probably come to a sudden halt. Our bodies, and our pain, function in a similar way. Eventually, if we don’t listen to the signal, all will come to a stop.

    When we understand that pain is not the problem, but the signal of a problem, we are more equipped and more responsible to take action and find a solution to the problem rather than just attacking the signal through a pain reliever, muscle relaxant, anti-depressant or anti-inflammatory drug. If the fire alarm went off in your house, would you not be annoyed if the fire department came and merely removed the alarm? What about the fire?

    So why do things begin to hurt more when you begin to heal?

    There are two reasons. One, as you heal, or become more whole, you become more aware of your body and yourself. With this increased awareness, the pain signals are experienced more. It is not that the pain is getting “worse”… you are feeling more. Healing is not about feeling better; it is about being better able to feel.

    The more aware we are of the subtle signals of our bodies, minds and spirits, the more able we are to adapt to the changes in our environment. Would you rather hear the lion’s roar miles away…or feel its breath on your neck? When we are more aware of the subtle, we have more room to make decisions. Our bodies give us such signals, but often they are ignored. Over time, the body must get our attention or more severe circumstances will ensue.

    We begin to experience pain…if we don’t listen to this more advanced signal, the pain will increase to a point, but then suddenly stop. We have become numb. This part of us will surely die, unless immediate and critical action is taken. As the part, which has become so separate that it is unfelt, begins to become more whole with the body, the pain will return. Often it will be very intense, but as the healing continues it reduces and we begin to enjoy a finer quality of life. In order to heal, that part must be felt. We must be aware of it.

    When Dr. Barry first began Chiropractic College, he met a woman who was paralyzed from the waist down, with no feeling or movement in the legs. She told him that a heavy box fell on her when she was five years old, and she had been crippled ever since. Four years later, he ran into her again…literally. She was walking. He was astounded and asked what had happened. She explained that she was under intensive treatment and that over the course of four years; she got her legs back. He asked her what that was like. She said that it was the most painful experience of her life. First her legs began to tingle for about three months…then they began to throb for about six months…for almost ten months after that, she felt constant excruciating pain. Finally, the pain began to subside and she was able to feel her legs pleasantly and walk. He asked her if it was worth all that to get her legs back. She said she would have experienced it twice over to get her legs back.

    What are you willing to feel in order to heal?

    In closing, I would like to share a technique I learned from Dr. Barry that I use with my clients when they are feeling pain. Rather than trying to make the pain go away (through drugs, therapies or any other means), I recommend feeling it completely. Not just the pain, but the part that is hurting. Sit in a chair or lie down, take nice deep breaths, and just allow yourself to feel the hurt part. Just be aware of it…no judgment…no complaints…no worries…just be aware. As you stay aware of it, realize that the pain is not you. The pain is a signal from you to you alerting you that something is separate. As you stay aware, the pain will become more separate from your experience, but the part of you that is separate will begin to re-unite with yourself and heal.

 

What my 100 year old patient taught me…

 

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Nel was in her 100th year of life when I last saw her. Although, she could barely see and hear, her energy was very dynamic. She told me that she wanted to work a bit in the garden after her treatment. She had seen chiropractors for more years than I had been alive! I believe I was her 5th chiropractor. As I was carefully doing some soft tissue work on her neck and upper back muscles, she exclaimed, “Ah, that feels good.” As she left with her 75 year old daughter, I reflected on what was to be her last visit. I recalled a quote I remember reading from Bernard Williams.

“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.”

R.I.P. Nel. You are a kindred spirit.

Graston Technique (R) for Golf Injuries

GOLFERS CAN GET BACK IN THE SWING SOONER

WITH THE GRASTON TECHNIQUE

Two Spokane specialists, a podiatrist and a chiropractor, who form a collaborative team in the treatment of amateur golfers, have concluded that The Graston Technique is more effective than massage at reducing fascial (ligament) restrictions and tendonitis of the foot — resulting in pain relief as well as improved range-of-motion in the foot.

They were quick to point out the importance of having the Graston Technique available for golf related injuries since musculoskeletal problems sustained on the links occur at a rate of approximately 1.25 times a year per golfer.

Other injuries golfers are prone to experience can also be treated successfully without drugs or surgery using the Graston Technique include: shoulder and/or elbow tendonitis (sometimes referred to as golfer’s elbow, or tennis elbow), knee problems, Achilles’ tendonitis and others.

For more information about the Graston Technique, please call our office.

How The Sun Salutation Helps You To Get Ready For Your Day

Seven Practical Ways the Sun Salutation Helps
You to Get Ready For Your Day

by: Ntathu Allen

Have you ever woken up stiff and tired and longed to spend a few extra minutes in bed? Would you like to feel energized, ready to start your day with vigor and ease?

Regular practice of the Sun Salutation is an ideal way to help kick-start your day. If you are not sure whether to invest your time and energy to practice the Sun Salutation take a look at these tips and see what you are missing.

1. As the name suggests The “Sun Salutation” is traditionally a salute to the sun. It’s your body’s opportunity to tune into the golden glow of warmth and light generating from the sun and get an internal sun-bath.

2. Do you remember the saying “you are as young as your spine?” – Well, regular practice of the Sun Salutation gives your spine an incredible multi-dimensional stretch.

3. Not only your spine but your whole body gets a good stretch when you practice the Sun Salutation. The 12 interlinking positions open your heart and gently bend your body forwards, backwards.

4. As you stretch and co-ordinate your breath to the positions, you bring greater harmony and a sense of ease and fluidity into your body. After only a few rounds of practice you feel whole and complete.

5. Ancient seers and yogis have been practicing the Sun Salutation since 5,000 BC. Wow -imagine that – every time you practice this sequence you re-align and tune into the energies of great Yoga Masters. Imagine all that knowledge and understanding flowing through your body.

6. As you breathe deeply throughout the sequence you give your body a mini detox. Your energy is stimulated and balanced as the increase flow of prana flows through your body.

7. Best of all, you get a chance to lie-down and get well-earned rest when you have finished!

Next time you wake up, feeling grumpy and tired, take your time, breathe and slowly stretch your body and feel that warm glow from the sun bathe your body.

Ntathu Allen, Yoga and Meditation Teacher works with women who want a richer, more fulfilling life for themselves and their families. She teaches you easy yoga postures, meditation practices and relaxation techniques to help you live a healthier, wealthier and happier stress-free life. To find out more go to: www.yogainspires.co.uk and sign up for your copy of Ntathu’s free monthly yoga Inspires newsletter. The newsletter contains a goldmine of tips, techniques and strategies you can use to become healthier, wealthier and happier.
Check out this beginners video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMV4Nq6jpu0