We are once again striving to win the Best Of Halifax in our categories but we can’t do it without your help.
Here are the details:
Voting is done in TWO stages:
Tara Patriquin has been voted in the top 3 for 6 years in a row for Best Massage Therapist
Best Massage Therapist category can be found in the “health” section of the voting, here:
This year they are asking “why do you think they’re the best”… so you can include some suggested buzz words like “science based”, “effective”, “compassionate care” and other words that you think best describe me/my massages, and the One to One Wellness team and their services.
Voters have to enter their email address and full name on their FIRST nomination in order to register. After that they can continue through the categories to nominate as many other people as they want in other sections.
Bottom line is we want to encourage you to have your say and help promote/boast our awesome team!
As we age we have muscle loss, a process called sarcopenia. If we have a chronic illness or disease such as cardiac disease, COPD, or cancer, this muscle loss is accelerated, a process called cachexia. Although, we cannot slow down our chronological age, we can certainly slow down our physiological age and improve our muscle mass through strength training. Listed below are a few benefits of having more muscle mass:
Every system in our body plays an important role in our health. When coming up with a healthy living plan that works for you, please do not skip over resistance training. The benefits will completely outweigh the time/energy you put in, I promise you that.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. You can build muscle in 1-2 workouts/week in 30 minutes or less.
A Registered Massage Therapist can be a beneficial addition to your complementary healthcare team. Massage Therapy can prepare tissues to respond better to your physiotherapy treatment by increasing circulation to damaged tissues and improving the capacity for muscle tissue to heal. Musculoskeletal pain is often caused by neurological patterning resulting in chronically contracted muscles, inflammation, and adhesions. Your One to One Physiotherapist will help your body to learn new patterns and your Massage Therapist will help soothe the nervous system, relax the muscles and set you up for success as you begin your journey towards pain-free movement.
Massage Therapy can further enhance the beneficial effects of physiotherapy by helping patients to relax mentally. We understand that physical limitations in your life can cause stress and anxiety. Decreasing the stress-related chemicals, and increasing mood-elevating chemicals, can help you feel more positive about your ability to heal, and therefore respond more completely to the rehabilitation process.
At One to One Wellness, our Registered Massage Therapists are particularly skilled at working with chronic pain and acute conditions. We know that each client is unique and therefore their journey to healing is unique. If you are currently in treatment with one of our physiotherapists, we will consult with your physiotherapist to ensure consistency and continuity of care. At One to One, we work as a team – your team.
According to a European study, cancer patients felt their pain was viewed as secondary to the cancer treatment itself, and they wish more time was spent consulting on the pain they were experiencing .1 These results are important because it demonstrates the need for Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) in treating these patients from the beginning stages of treatment and beyond. When treating cancer, it can be lost that this biological process is connected to a human being. The resulting pain can slowly strip away the interdependent, complex components that make us human.
PNE is a foundational pain management tool that helps form a greater understanding of how the biological, psychological, and sociological components of our being are important and play a role in managing and changing the pain experience.2 PNE helps accomplish this by eliminating some fear, worry, and stress through increasing knowledge, and awareness. This can lead to greater empowerment and sense of control for the patient.
PNE can be thought of as a knowledge translation process that helps patients better understand their pain experience in hopes of changing their interpretation of it. One of the main metaphors that we use for mechanical persistent pain conditions (Pain lasting more than 3 months) is this idea of hurt vs harm. This teaches that instead of pain representing damage to the tissues, that there is something wrong with the area, and that you are broken or debilitated, it can be thought of as an area that has heightened awareness or sensitivity due to multiple biopsychosocial factors.2 A common emerging theme viewing pain as a protector (Tame the Beast Video). Our brain does not want us to do a certain task because it perceived it as dangerous before and does not want us to experience that again.
PNE has been proven to be effective in reducing pain for many chronic musculoskeletal disorders,3 but what role does it have in helping active cancer patients and survivors where these biological processes are life-threatening, or in other words where hurt can equal harm?
A possible role of PNE during active cancer treatments is to help the individual learn to distinguish between active cancer pain and pain as a result of active cancer treatments.4 Helping them understand that pain is a primitive protective mechanism that can be exacerbated by context and fear can provide relief.3 The context here is cancer in our society, and the fear can be loss of life, the unknown, and the billion other worries and stress that can coincide with it. So, when going through active cancer treatments it is beneficial to know that tissue injuries are going to result, and this is going to take the natural healing process that involves pain. The difference here can be knowing that this pain is a result of a life saving treatments, not the cancer itself. A mindset that changes the perspective of the experience and can change the interpretation from life-threatening to life-saving.
Survivorship can come with its own challenges as there are often side-effects that result from these life-saving procedures. This can include increased risk of future cancers, joint and muscle pain, peripheral neuropathies,5 and central sensitization. 6 This is where the hurt vs harm analogy becomes very relevant as pain remains despite the elimination of the biological threat, and beyond the normal tissue healing time. This brings up past experiences, fears, and emotions, which all without proper knowledge and interpretation behind it, can lead to behaviours such as remaining sedentary (See Flow Model7).
Some education points through this stage:
In my opinion, PNE’s role in cancer rehabilitation should be immediate and ongoing as the European study demonstrated its importance to patients. Pain, a biopsychosocial phenomenon can take less priority to cancer, a biological entity. Although pain is a symptom of this baffling physiological process, it is the aspect that can lead us to seek help, it takes away our ability to move, it can increase fear/worry/stress and can hurt our relationships. We need to let individuals with cancer know that we are listening, that we can help them understand the what and why surrounding their pain, and that we can help them gain some control over something that is trying to take that control from them.
As an individual journey’s through their cancer diagnosis, the value of exercise cannot be overstated. It has benefits throughout all stages of treatment from pre-diagnosis for prevention, to all stages post diagnosis. It helps prepare your body and mind for treatments, recovery, pain management, coping skills and recurrence depending on what stage you are in (See Picture Below). 1,2
Another important health outcome post-cancer diagnosis is sedentary behaviour. This is concerning for the cancer population because 75% of their time is spent sedentary.1 Furthermore it has been shown that breast cancer survivors spend more time engaged in moderate to vigorous exercise, but spend more time sedentary than their healthy counterparts.,3 Additionally, engaging in this type of behaviour is being associated with cardiovascular risks, diabetes, and increased cancer risk. 4,5 So how do we reduce time spent not moving in a population that can struggle with pain, fatigue, and nausea just to name a few?7
First thing may be to start looking at activity as a continuum,1. When this is done, activity levels progress from doing nothing (.e.g., Watching TV) to activities such as sprinting. Both extremes are recommended occasionally, but not how we want to spend most of our day. In fact, the far right would be impossible to achieve. Now, depending on where an individual is at in their cancer recovery determines their starting point along the continuum. Some people may only be able to perform postural shifts to maintain comfort, and some may be able to do bouts of moderate exercise. Ideally, we want to spend most of our day in the middle of this continuum, with the goal of increasing the amount of time doing activities of daily living and light to moderate exercise.
From a rehabilitation standpoint, it would not be expected for someone to jump from sedentary to moderate exercise if they are physically and mentally unable to tolerate it. Understanding that discomfort and fatigue are two barriers to reducing sedentary behaviour in cancer populations6 is essential to this process. This makes us aware that we need to take more of a stepwise approach of building up tolerance by slowly pushing the limits of where your current level is to try and achieve the next activity goal (See Below). This is where professionals can help you gain a new perspective of why you are experiencing pain and fatigue, and give you strategies to better approach your activity transitions such as edgework and pacing. This may start with gentle postural shifts or mobility exercises to prep the musculature and nervous system to allow you to spend more time toward the middle of the continuum. It can also include multiple light walks or strengthening exercises, it all depends on your tolerance level.
Ultimately, the goal is to be as active as you possibly can throughout the day, and to understand that consistent movement within your limits has the potential to reduce various health risks. Although there is not a specific formula, what we know is that pain and cancer education, movement, exercise, and nutrition will put you in the best position to manage or overcome this cancer diagnosis, meanwhile reducing your future risk of side effects, recurrences, and other health issues.
“It is important to move and to move often, no matter how simple or limited the movement may be.1 ”1. Lucas AR, Klepin HD, Porges SW, Rejeski JW. Mindfulness-based movement: a polyvagal perspective. Int Can Ther. 2016. https://doi.org/10.1177/15347354166820872. Segal R, Zwaal C, Green E, Tomasone J, Loblaw A, Ptrella T, et al. Exercise for people with cancer. Toronto (ON): Cancer Care Ontario; 2015 Jun 30. Program in Evidence-based Care Guideline No.: 19-53. Phillips SM, Dodd KW, Steeves J, McClain J, Alfano CM, McAuley E. Physical activity and sedentary beavhiour in breast cancer survivors: new insight in to activity patterns and potential intervention targets. Gynecol Oncol.2015;138:398-4044. Wilmot EG, Edwardson CL, Achana FA, Davies MJ, Gorely T, Gray LJ, Khunti K, Yates T, Biddle SJH. Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabet. 2012;55(11);2895-29055. Lynch BM. Sedentary behaviour and cancer: a systematic review of the literature and proposed biological mechanisms. Can Epid Bio Prev.2010. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-08156. Courneya KS, McKenzie DC, Reid RD, Mackey JR, Gelmon K, Friedenreich CM, et al. Barriers to supervised exercise training in randomized controlled trial of breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Ann Behav Med. 2008: 35;116-122.
What is Osteoarthritis?
In general, osteoarthritis (aka arthritis) is the gradual breakdown of the cushion on the end of our bones called cartilage. It is typically diagnosed using imaging techniques such as X-Rays and MRIs and is mostly seen in knees, hands, hips and spine joints. Among other things, cartilage acts as a cushion to absorb forces that are put on the joints of the body.
With the degeneration of the cartilage, in combination with other factors such as age, diet, stress, sleep, and activity levels, the body may respond in a way to protect the area via pain and inflammation. This can lead to regular activities such as walking and stairs to become painful and you may notice swelling around the joint.
So what can you do?
There are many people living with osteoarthritis who are pain free (>43% of people over 40 years of age in this study https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/53/20/1268). So although there is some degeneration of the cartilage, it does not mean pain is inevitable. When trying to understand where your experience fits in with facts like these, it is really valuable to have a better understanding of how pain works and how many areas of our lives can influence it. To learn more about pain click here: What is pain
What we know for certain is that each individual experiences osteoarthritis in different ways, and unfortunately it isn’t as black and white as saying osteoarthritis is causing your pain. Following some of the tips below can be a great place to start.
Move More Throughout the Day
Keeping our bodies moving helps reduce inflammation, helps maintain lubrication of our joints and can reduce pain and stiffness. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, as additional movement throughout the day is beneficial. Starting 5-10 minute walks or general body movements every hour is helpful.
Add Resistance Exercises
Strength training is a scientifically proven management strategy for osteoarthritis. Among many other roles, stronger muscles help provide additional support by absorbing more load and building confidence in our bodies.
Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep:
When we are feeling stressed and tired we have less motivation and less ability to cope and manage our current pain. Having a stress management plan and a consistent bedtime routine can be a good start.
Set Goals and Keep Doing the Things You Enjoy
Becoming fearful and avoiding activities are two major factors in any persistent pain issues such as osteoarthritis. Coming up with goals to help maintain or return to activities we enjoy keeps us motivated and moving toward a better quality of life with osteoarthritis.
What can we do?
Knowing where to start can be the biggest challenge, especially when everything seems to be painful. Your health care team is here to educate you on the processes of osteoarthritis and the best starting points for you to best manage it. We help you come up with a plan to attain your goals in a way that best fits into your current lifestyle.
It is important to understand that despite an osteoarthritis diagnosis, there are many aspects within your control to keep doing things you enjoy. Starting with the few steps mentioned above can help you start moving forward as you live with osteoarthritis.
With regards to the brain: “All it has at its disposal is your past experience, the past experience it has wired into itself” A great quote from Lisa Feldman Barrett on how the brain works to make decisions throughout our day to day life (Interview here!)
But what does this mean for people where pain persists past normal healing time and is becoming chronic? How do your past experiences shape your current pain experience?
What Happened Before?
The brain is a phenomenal structure that drives everything we do. It receives an outstanding amount of information from your entire body in a fraction of a second, analyzes it at a ridiculous speed, tells us what action to do or not to do, and then briefly stores everything that just happened for possible future use. Beyond the fact that this happens without us even knowing, the fascinating thing is that if it keeps receiving the same information over and over, it becomes so fast and so great at analyzing the sequence, it typically has pinpoint accuracy in predicting what to do next. This is great when we are taking our next step while walking, or go to fall and are able to catch ourselves, but not so much when we are talking about pain sensitivity. So if you have been experiencing pain for a significant period of time, a major component can be that your brain is predicting things to be painful based on what’s happened previously (The Predictive Brain article here!).
The prediction of danger is a genius protective mechanism during the initial stages of healing when things need to be protected, but not so much when things are healed and life needs to return to normal. So once the danger is no longer present (i.e.,muscle/ligament is healed, cast is off etc…), thank your brain for trying to protect you, but start letting it know that it’s no longer necessary. The major question is how do you go about that? Here are a few tips: 1) Know that movement is safe and needed for healing. 2 )Pain is not a direct measure of tissue damage. 3) Keep moving within your limits. Somatic exercises can be a great place to start (Youtube One to One Wellness). Finding your limits can be difficult so seeking professional help is strongly encouraged. 4) Start loading. Our brain needs to understand that this area is capable of going under stress, and that it is safe to do so. Star with low intensity and go slowly to build up tolerance and confidence. 5)Have recovery time and sleep. Your brain and body need time to adapt to these increases in demand and it can only do so if you are getting adequate breaks and a good night’s sleep. 6) Take a look at what you are eating. There is truth to the old saying “you are what you eat”.
The changes will not happen overnight but when you provide new, SAFE experiences to help re-wire the predictive nature from danger to safety, we can change for the better.
Lisa Feldman Barrett is a neuroscientist, psychologist and author who researches how the brain constructs emotion.
We all know the urban legend that bad luck or death comes in threes. But have you heard the axiom that death comes by threes? Three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without air. While this satisfies my theatrical brain, and the rule of three in drama and story telling, it might not actually be precisely accurate.
True, the body can survive, on average, 3 weeks without food (Ghandi lasted exactly 21 days on his famous hunger strike). But, we can survive a little longer than 3 days without water. Perhaps even up to a week.
As for how long we can survive without oxygen, to be honest, there isn’t an exact number, but there is a pretty basic timeline of what happens to your body and brain without oxygen:
Given that the brain governs our entire body, it goes without saying that keeping it oxygenated is integral to our overall health and wellness. There is a ton of research devoted to oxygen’s role in exercise and post-exercise, everything from VO2max, to anaerobic threshold, to EPOC. High performance athletes benefit a great deal from understanding and enhancing their body’s ability to deliver oxygen throughout their body. But what about the rest of us? Athlete or not, we would all be wise to better understand oxygen’s role in wound healing and recovery.
The body’s ability to thrive, or heal from illness or trauma, is greatly influenced by factors such as nutritional state, immune function, blood flow and volume, hormonal mediators, sleep, etc… but some research suggests that oxygen may, in fact, be a critical rate limiting factor in early stages of repair.
Injury poses two conflicting complications, as the tissue has an increased need for oxygen and metabolic energy, but injury disrupts the normal capillary network, which is responsible for oxygen delivery to the tissue. So, it stands to reason that if you are further depriving your body of oxygen, your body may never meet the demands required for adequate repair and recovery. Let’s look, with very simplified explanations, at some of oxygen’s main roles in wound healing:
There are several metabolic and chemical variables we can manipulate to improve ones oxygen intake, transport, and delivery through the system. There are exercises we can do to improve our respiratory activity, our lung capacity, and even the oxygen transport. In fact, any exercise that challenges your body’s need for oxygen can, over time, improve your body’s uptake and delivery of oxygen. And there are even various oxygen supplementation products on the market. But one free and incredibly easy thing to do is to BREATHE better. I’ve written about this in a previous blog (Just Breathe), and we’ve posted a video on Alternate Nostril Breathing (https://youtu.be/-P6cnNZpdGU), which is a very easy breathing exercise that will help increase the amount of oxygen you are taking in and improve your exhalation, helping you to release carbon dioxide.
In so much as we can improve our oxygen levels, we can also severely hinder it. While there are some conditions that might prevent a person from maximizing their oxygen potential, the single most damaging choice you can make for your overall health is… you guessed it: smoking. Chronic inhalation of tobacco smoke causes irritation, inflammation, and scarring of the lungs tissue. With compromised lung tissue, you can’t get maximal oxygen intake or carbon dioxide output. Further, smoking increases blood levels of carbon monoxide. Yup! The stuff from car exhaust is also found in cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide has the ability to attach itself to hemoglobin where oxygen otherwise would attach. This further decreases the oxygen delivered to the muscles (and the rest of the body, including the brain). The body tries to compensate for the lack of oxygen by creating more red blood cells. This sounds like a good idea, but more is not always better. In this case, the extra red blood cells can thicken the blood and actually further slow down circulation. It’s a veritable vicious cycle!
Bottom line, if you improve your body’s oxygen levels, you’ll improve its healing potential!
By Andrea McCulloch, RMT
You may be familiar with the song which describes how the “toe bone is connected to the foot bone, the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone”. A beautifully simple and clear lesson in skeletal anatomy, but there is so much more going on!
We are born into gravity and for the rest of our lives we are in a constant relationship with it. It is sometimes a battle, and gravity very often wins! But our bodies are very specifically designed to engage in this relationship – we have bones that are shaped and placed to bear weight and/or transmit the forces associated with gravity. In theory, if we used our bodies as they are designed, we shouldn’t have a problem with gravity. And I’m not just talking about losing your balance and falling down, I’m talking about the slow deterioration of joints, the “falling” of the arch of your foot, the downward sloping of the shoulders. Of course, there is the natural ageing process, but most of us spend a lifetime developing postures and movement patterns that will potentially speed up that process. How do these dysfunctional patterns develop? Through compensations. These are the acquired patterns that we adopt to keep us moving upright through gravity when we’ve been injured – and it’s not always a traumatic injury. Sometimes the injury is the slow onset of dysfunction related to how we spend our lives – sitting 8hrs a day, for example!
How does this relate to the song? Well, as I said, there’s much more to it than one bone connected to the next – the position and function of one joint can affect joints all the way along the chain. Let’s consider a common area of injury which may result in compensations down the line. “The hip bone is connected to the back bone” – in proper anatomical terms this is the iliac bone connecting to the sacrum. Perhaps you’ve experienced some low back or hip/buttock pain and been told it is your “SI joint (sacroiliac joint)”? This is the joint between the “hip bone” and the “back bone”, and as such it is very important in translating forces between your lower body and your upper body. The sacrum is a wedge shaped bone at the base of your spine and is specifically designed to translate forces (not weight bear) from above, across the wide base at the top of the bone through to the hips. If, through trauma (a fall on the ice), or habitual positioning (seated with legs crossed), your sacrum is knocked (trauma) or pulled (muscles from habit) out of position, it will no longer transmit those gravitational forces evenly through the pelvis. Now, with a sacrum in a dysfunctional position, there is more weight being born on one side. Sacral dysfunction often does illicit local discomfort, and may prompt you to seek treatment.
But in some cases, it isn’t treated and a compensatory gait has already developed, altering the positioning of the hip, the knee, the ankle, and the bones of the foot, allowing them to bear that extra little bit of weight that is coming down the line, keeping you upright in gravity. And thank goodness those joints did compensate, otherwise a lifetime of sitting with your legs crossed would mean you would fall over every time you tried to stand up! But it also means that now these joints are doing more than their share, and here we have the accelerated ageing mentioned earlier. (And don’t even get me started on how altered movement of the sacrum can affect the contents of your pelvis (bladder, uterus, prostate, colon), and even the spine and head!)
And to be clear, it can work in both directions – maybe that old ankle injury has altered weight bearing at the foot, and years later your knee and hip are giving out. So don’t be surprised if after a thorough assessment your manual therapist tells you that even though your pain is always in your left hip, the problem is originating at your right ankle!
Now that you see how your body is a functional unit (not a bunch of pieces operating independently), what advice do I have? Treat it that way! Move! In every possible direction – let your muscles do all of the things they were designed for (how often do you use the full range of your shoulder?) When you move, move the whole thing! When you seek treatment for a specific pain, don’t forget to mention that you repeatedly sprained your ankle when you were younger. Don’t leave out that you have frequent headaches, or digestive issues. Your manual therapist may ask you a lot of questions that don’t seem to be related to your complaint, now you know why!
Maybe the song should be “the foot bone is connected to… everything”!
Bones and joints: bone broth provides the raw materials for building and reparation of lean tissues. There is even some evidence to support regular consumption reducing joint pain.
Check out physiotherapist Keltie Cheney’s quick tip on how to determine how you should approach loosening up tightness in your legs: