Gabriella Tozser, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist & Reiki Practitioner

Gabriella Tozser RMTReiki as a healing touch can help reduce your stress and promote healing to your body and mind. I came across this healing method many years ago, but was skeptical about the way it was explained as a magical pill that cures all. My goal in life is to be and stay open minded, so I explored the wonders of Reiki to satisfy my curiosity. Before taking the level 1 and 2 courses at Holy Fire Reiki, I visited a Reiki Master for a session with her in order to form my own opinions. I secretly hoped this session would break down my old outdated beliefs about energy healing, and it did! Because I was open minded and receptive, Reiki healing had a profound effect on me.

I had stress in my life and I wanted to feel better – I knew I had to try Reiki. The Reiki Master I went to is also a massage therapist, so I was naturally comfortable with her. The length of a Reiki session can be as long as needed (usually one hour), but this Reiki session was incorporated into a massage treatment for about 20 minutes. During the session, the Reiki Master gently put her hands on my shoulders, then right above my chest, and then held my cranium while I relaxed. My mind drifted into a very calm and relaxed state as I experienced flashbacks to my past, travelling through them like a movie. In a Reiki session, every person has a different experience or ‘ vision’; it is never the same for everybody, but it can be similar.

reiki healingDuring the treatment, I sensed her palms were warmer than usual, which I thought was a natural physical occurrence. Later, I learned that her warmer hands were a sign of the intense energy flow from the universal healing energy moving through her body into mine. This experience was very calming for me as it allowed me to let go of grievances that were causing me stress. It was as if the grievances melted off and away from me. Because one’s mind and body are interrelated, the massage treatment combined with the Reiki created a fuller experience. My muscles were less tense and I was mentally and spiritually revived; I felt uplifted and more balanced. Healing results may vary as it may depend on the patient’s receptiveness and the Reiki giver’s certification or ‘attunement’ level. And sometimes you will need multiple visits.

You might think Reiki simply has a placebo effect because there is no scientific way to prove the results, but I believe we should rely on the patient’s positive outcomes as their own individual proof. I believe that we should rely on the patient’s positive outcomes as their own individual proof. After my positive Reiki experience, I became a Reiki believer and then pursued certification as a practitioner. I encourage you to stay open minded and try a Reiki healing session in combination with a massage therapy treatment. If you have a medical health condition and intend to use Reiki as part of your treatment, please do so under the supervision of an enlightened Medical Doctor or other health care professional.

Dr. Caren Fortin, BHK, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic

Dr Caren Fortin DCChiropractic excites me and I love sharing it with others. If you have never seen a chiropractor and are perhaps contemplating booking an appointment, here are some quick points that explain a bit about who I am and what I do (keep in mind that not all chiropractors treat the same).

  • I am a hands-on chiropractor
  • I will do my best to communicate clearly and answer any questions you may have
  • I look at how the body moves and why it’s causing pain
  • I am a holistic practitioner. I believe that a treatment consists of more than the physical aspect
  • I treat children to elderly, athletes to office workers
  • My visits are usually about 15 minutes in duration
  • I give you undivided attention and only treat one client at a time
  • I work on the muscles and joints, from jaws to toes, and everything in between
  • If there is another type of treatment that is better suited for your complaint, I will recommend it
  • Soft tissue/muscle work is a therapy that I include in my treatments
  • I use activator, mobilizations, manual adjustments, drop pieces, and/or stretches in my treatments
  • I will likely give you some “homework” to do on your own between visits

I tell you these things because I don’t want you to be concerned about making an appointment with me or any other chiropractor for that matter. Ask questions! Feel comfortable with who is treating you and enjoy your journey to feeling better! I look forward to meeting you.

Aundrea Da Rocha, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist & Certified Foot Reflexologist

Aundrea Da Rocha RMTComplementary therapies, such as Reflexology, are becoming more popular as people discover the wonderful benefits! Reflexology is a great therapeutic tool that can help people of all ages, including children. As a non-invasive form of treatment, reflexology can benefit a child’s body in a safe and natural way. Reflexology is administered on the feet using a pressure focused technique, stimulating different zones and reflexes that correspond to certain glands, organs, and other body areas.

What Concerns Can Reflexology Help Treat in Children?

This therapy can help children control anxiety, depression, or stress by stimulating certain organs and glands, such as the kidneys and adrenals – two major body components that control stress levels. Sleep is very essential for a growing child, and reflexology is a great way to help children feel relaxed and get a good night’s rest by stimulating the nervous system. Other areas in which reflexology can benefit children is in the digestive and circulatory systems. It is important to keep all systems flowing and working together to promote a healthy balance and help strengthen the immune system.

Since children have smaller feet, each reflexology session should take about thirty minutes. This form of alternative medicine is becoming very popular as a way to promote wellness and relaxation, even for young children. I encourage you to explore reflexology as an alternative treatment to promote good physical and mental health in children of all ages.

Dr. John MacIntosh, ND, RMT
Naturopathic Doctor, Registered Massage & Suikodo™ Therapist

Dr. John MacIntosh, NDIs eating wheat harmful? Some authors want you to believe this, but does the evidence back up their claim? Who can eat wheat and who shouldn’t? And why do so many people who stop eating wheat feel better?

The central issue revolves around a protein found in some grains, called gluten (see Table 1 for a list of gluten-containing foods). Some people lack the ability to digest this protein, and if they eat it, they will get sick and may experience symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and skin rashes, but also persistent nutrient deficiencies, anemia, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease or Type I diabetes, even infertility. This is called celiac disease, and is a life-long, genetic inability to digest gluten, typically found in about 1% of the population (but up to 5% of Africans or African-Americans). Some people test positive for celiac disease, yet exhibit no symptoms – this is called silent celiac disease.

The only way to know whether or not you have celiac disease is through blood tests, plus a confirmatory tissue biopsy of the intestinal lining. Your medical doctor or naturopath can order the tests, however, OHIP will only pay for the tests if ordered by an M.D. If you are currently undergoing testing, do not stop eating gluten – it may result in a misdiagnosis. Once you’ve been diagnosed, however, you must avoid gluten like the plague … forever.

Immediate relatives (parents, siblings, children) of a person with celiac disease should be tested too, as there is a 10% chance that they also have the condition. Similarly, persons with autoimmune thyroid disease, Type I diabetes, and Down’s or Turner’s Syndromes are at higher risk of having celiac disease, and should also be tested.

gluten freePeople with celiac disease can eat grains that do not contain gluten (see Table 2 for a list of safe grains).

Should people who don’t have celiac disease also avoid gluten? Contrary to what some would have you believe, there is no objective reason to avoid eating gluten-containing foods if you do not have celiac disease. There is nothing inherently harmful about gluten – it’s just protein – and people without celiac disease can digest gluten normally in most cases.

One problem that may arise, however, is when a person’s intestinal lining becomes injured or inflamed, either from medications, infections or disease processes, leading them to develop a type of allergy to gluten (gluten sensitivity). This is not the same as celiac disease, but may cause similar symptoms (though celiac tests will all come back negative). In fact, this is a far more common occurrence than celiac disease, and is the reason why so many people actually do feel better avoiding gluten.

Avoidance, however, is only part of the solution, and a temporary one at that. Avoiding gluten will not repair your intestinal wall, so it is an incomplete solution. There are many strategies for assisting in the repair of the gut lining: the main one involves taking something called ‘probiotics’.

Probiotics are the helpful bacteria that completely coat our body surfaces, inside and out. Of course, bacterial cells are very small, making them effectively invisible, so you can be excused for never having noticed them, but they are very important to your health. Without them, harmful bacteria can take root and injure the gut lining, leading to the development of food sensitivities and allergies.

Supplementing with a good quality probiotic is one method of repairing this effective barrier layer, but the process takes a great deal of time to work, i.e., months to years. Still, it is the most effective option we have, and the best thing is, once you’ve recovered, you’ll be able to eat gluten-containing foods again. Your naturopath can give you guidance on what a “good quality” probiotic means.

Of course, if you have become allergically sensitive to gluten, the chances are very high that you’re also sensitive to other foods, so avoiding gluten will only be partially helpful. Elimination-Challenge testing and blood testing can both be used to identify food sensitivities. Your naturopath can order blood tests to check for food sensitivities, unfortunately these are not covered by OHIP and are not inexpensive ($300-400), but they can be invaluable to a person with multiple allergic sensitivities.

Table 1: Gluten-Containing Foods

  • Wheat and its varieties, such as bulgur, durum, semolina, farro, kamut, spelt, and wheat berries
  • Barley (including malt extract, flour, syrup or vinegar, but not maltodextrin)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between rye and wheat)
  • Soba (buckwheat) noodles are fine if they are 100% buckwheat (which is actually not a type of wheat, in spite of the name) but they often have regular wheat added in
  • Ingredients like seitan, soy sauce, or teriyaki (unless specifically made gluten-free)
  • Brewer’s yeast from beer contains gluten from the malted barley (but brewer’s yeast prepared from sugar does not)
  • Oats do not contain gluten but are sometimes contaminated by wheat in processing plants (there are companies making certified gluten-free oat products, these are safe in moderate amounts)

Table 2: Gluten-Free Grains

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat (not a true wheat)
  • Corn
  • Hato mugi or Job’s tears
  • Millet
  • Indian rice grass (Montina)
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum or milo
  • Teff
  • Wild rice
  • Certified gluten-free oats

Dr. Tara Brown, (Hon) BA Kin, DC, ART®, D.Ac
Doctor of Chiropractic

dr tara brownVertigo is a type of dizziness that may cause you to feel as though you or your environment are spinning, when in fact, there is no movement occurring at all. There are a variety of causes for vertigo, but most commonly it is due to conditions that affect the inner ear.

Three common causes of vertigo include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a benign condition that affects the inner ear. Within the ear there are tiny calcium “crystals” that move within the inner ear to help you to keep your balance. If these crystals become dislodged or stop moving, it can create false messages to your brain that you are moving. Trauma and age are both factors, but the main cause of BPPV is unknown.
  • Meniere’s disease is caused by changing pressure in the ear or a buildup of fluid in the ear. This pressure can cause vertigo and possible hearing loss.
  • Vestibular neuronitis is most commonly caused by an ear infection. The nerves of the inner ear become inflamed, giving reason to the cause of the vertigo symptoms.

vertigoThe symptoms associated with vertigo can vary from one person to the next, but some of the most common may include:

  • Headache
  • Feeling off balance/swaying
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in ears or tinnitus
  • Loss of hearing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Spinning

Chiropractic care and vertigo

Choosing to see a chiropractor may be an option to help with vertigo after more serious causes have been ruled out, or when other treatment options have not worked. After a thorough history and physical examination, a chiropractor may suggest a manual treatment to improve symptoms. There are two main forms of treatment a chiropractor may use to help relieve vertigo symptoms:

  • Manipulation works to target the joints in the spine, particularly in the upper neck, which is associated with proprioceptive feedback.
  • Epley Maneuver is used to relocate crystals of the inner ear (associated with BPPV) to their proper position. Chiropractors have been properly trained to perform this maneuver and it can easily be done in their office.

Andrea Nederveen, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist

Andrea Nederveen RMTInflammation is a natural, and sometimes necessary, response in the body. It can be beneficial, for example, when the body is injured. After an injury, inflammation helps remove harmful stimuli, pathogens, damaged cells, and irritants in order to begin the natural healing process. Unfortunately, there are many other times when inflammation is problematic and negatively affects overall health. For example, inflammation has been associated with health problems such as stress, chronic disease, heart disease, and liver disease. It can also show up and cause pain because of bacteria or a virus in the body.

How to fight inflammation:

  • Exercise is the number one natural thing to prevent and reduce inflammation in the body. It promotes lower levels of the C-reactive protein, which is an inflammation marker.
  • You can also take vitamins such as Vitamin A, B6, C, D, E, and K, whether you get that through diet, or in the form of a supplement. Check in with our Naturopath, Dr. John, for help getting all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
  • Try to add spices like ginger and turmeric to your meals or tea as they contain anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Get a massage! Massage therapy reduces inflammation on a cellular level as it promotes growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of the cell since they take in nutrients, break them down, and create energy rich molecules.

As we start a new year, be mindful of your body and how it feels. Pay attention to what you do daily that affects your body, and start with a few modifications like the ones listed above. In no time, inflammation will decrease in your body, and you will be on your way to a healthier you.

Dr. Caren Fortin, BHK, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic

Dr Caren Fortin DCMake 2017 a year that you try something new. Maybe cold weather activities are not something that you gravitate to (I can relate); however, if you dress for the cold, being outdoors in this weather can be just as fun as the warmer months!

Here are some ideas to keep active during the winter season:

  • Offer to shovel a neighbour’s driveway. Shoveling is a great way to work up a sweat. Just be sure to shovel safely and lift with your knees – your back and your chiropractor thank you!
  • Bundle up and head for the hiking trails. We are blessed in the Halton region with many trail options and beautiful landscapes. Be sure to wear boots with good grips and take some walking poles with you to sturdy yourself on possible icy areas.
  • Head to the hills and downhill ski – a great way to have fun and get your heart pumping.
  • Stay on flat ground and get a great workout in by x-country skiing or snowshoeing. If you’re a beginner, try searching online to find an outdoor enthusiast group/club that can help you get started. There are also places where you can take lessons and rent equipment.
  • Look up the community centres in your area. Get a group of friends together and enjoy an afternoon of recreational skating. There are also a few outdoor rinks that are around the Oakville area.
  • Put on your snowpants and boots and head outside to build a snowman with your kids!

Besides an amazing invigorating feeling, the best part of these activities is the hot cocoa or drink of choice afterwards! Have fun!

If you need some guidance choosing an activity that is best suited for your body’s specific needs, consult with one of our Chiropractors, Dr. Caren or Dr. Tara. They can also help you plan and prepare to prevent injury when trying a new activity.