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October 16th is World Spine Day!

Posted: 2017-10-09 18:36 Permanent Link

World Spine Day will take place on October 16, 2017 and the selected theme is “Your Back in Action”. The focus this year will be on the importance of body awareness and activities that promote a healthy spine.
Did you know….
• 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work.
• According to the National Health Services, it is recommended to exercise for 150 minutes a week.
• Older adults, with poor mobility, should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on three or more days per week.
• 86% of Canadians agree that children and youth do not get enough physical activity.
• Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least a 10 minute duration.
• More than 50% of people regularly eat lunch at their desk.
Here are some excellent links to read more about your spinal health:
• Pain changes everything. Chiropractic care changes pain. #chirochangespain
• This October 16 is World Spine Day! Read how chiropractors are changing the lives of Canadians
• Read the stories about how pain changes the lives of Canadians and how chiropractic care changes that pain.
• Straighten Up and Move this year for #worldspineday
• Visit and learn more about how you can #straightenupandmove

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Chinese Medicine Tips on How To Stay Healthy this Fall

Posted: 2017-10-09 16:07 Permanent Link

By Carolyn Dew, Registered Acupuncturist

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the autumn season is linked with the Metal element, the Lung organ system and the emotion of Grief. Here are some tips to encourage your health this Fall:

-Make a list of priorities for you and your family, as fall heightens our innate ability to get stuff done.
-Wear a scarf in order to protect the neck at this time of year.
-As the weather turns cold and the wind picks up, the Lung organ is extra vulnerable to viruses and pathogens.
-Stay hydrated as dryness is common in fall including dry skin, rashes, and constipation.  Drink lots of water and keep your skin moisturized and protected.
-The emotion associated with fall is grief. It’s a good time of year to reflect on unresolved sadness and grief, and try to let it go. 
-Eat warm, cooked food. Trade the salads in for oven-roasted veggies over brown rice. When cooking, add onions, ginger, garlic or mustard—these pungent foods are known to benefit the Lung organ.
-Get Acupuncture if you are susceptible to colds, flus, Lung conditions, or struggle with depression at this time of year.
-Chinese Herbal Medicine can help boost the immune system as well as treat and help prevent respiratory illnesses when acupuncture alone isn’t enough.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Autumn.

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Is Kefir Healthier Than Yogurt?

Posted: 2017-10-09 13:06 Permanent Link

Julia Fountain ND

Both yogurt and kefir are fermented milk products, however their distinct microbial profiles impact their taste, texture and health benefits. While yogurt is made by fermenting milk with primarily Lactobacillus bacteria, kefir is cultured using a mixture of symbiotic yeast and bacteria called kefir ‘grains’ (though this mixture does not contain ‘grains’ per se). There are estimates that a serving of kefir contains three times the microbial activity compared to yogurt and the species in kefir are believed to be more durable in the gut and colonize more reliably than those in yogurt. This diversity in microbes in kefir lends a slightly sour flavour, a liquid consistency and a slight effervescent ‘fizz’. In fact, most kefir is consumed as a fermented dairy drink. The health benefits associated with kefir may be attributed to its complex microflora mix, as well as the microbial metabolites that are released during fermentation. These metabolites, lactic and acetic acids, are known to be effective against intestinal pathogens such as E coli and Salmonella. Other bioactive compounds in kefir such as polysaccharides and peptides have shown great potential for immune balance, blood pressure regulation, anti-allergy/ anti-inflammatory actions and inhibition of tumor cells.
*Some considerations: *
-Both yogurt and kefir are known as probiotic foods. Kefir has more diversity in microflora but whether this translates to a proportional increase in health benefit is yet to be seen. No one knows what the perfect gut microbiome should look like – though the American Gut Project is attempting to inventory it – but one thing is clear: diversity in gut microbes is key. And in North America we’re losing it.
-Whether you choose yogurt or kefir, choose plain. The flavoured varieties of both yogurt and kefir are high sugar foods with 4-5 tsp of added sugar per ¾ cup serving compared to plain.
-For those who are dairy intolerant, yogurt and kefir can be equally problematic, even plain varieties will contain 4-5 grams of lactose per serving. In this case consider alternatives – both kefir and yogurt can be made from plant-based milks (coconut, almond, rice, soy) and kefir can be cultured with water, fruit juices and coconut water.
- If you’ve never tried kefir before, start with an organic brand from the store (Liberte, for example). Add it to smoothies, enjoy with oats or granola, add to homemade soups for a creamy consistency, or puree with fruit and freeze as an alternative to frozen yogurt ‘pops’.
-If you enjoy kefir, consider the next step – start making it at home. It’s easy to do once you’ve obtained “starter” cultured kefir grains (these can be ordered online). Fermentation takes less than 24 hours at room temperature with no special equipment required. The research showing health benefits of kefir use small batch kefir prepared in traditional ways, not store-bought brands.

Further reading:
The Microbiota and Health Promoting Characteristics of the Fermented Beverage Kefir. Frontiers of Microbiology.2016; 7: 647. Published online 2016 May 4. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00647
Kefir: a powerful probiotics with anticancer properties. Medical Oncol. 2017 Sep 27;34(11):183
DOI: 10.1007/s12032-017-1044-9

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