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Articles & Workshops

Reducing the Symptoms of Allergies Through the Food You Eat

Allergy and asthma sufferers everywhere are ever looking for relief from their annoying symptoms of runny nose, watery eyes, allergy related asthma, nasal congestion, and itchy throat especially during this time of the year as we enter Spring and allergy season. Some of us have had allergies for as long as we can remember while others have developed it gradually over time.

Seasonal Allergies – A Gut Problem

As you bundle up in your parka and head out to warm up the car I know the last thing you are thinking about is spring allergies, but I want to talk about why maybe you should be. More than 1 out of every 6 Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies[i]. Symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, fatigue and trouble breathing are just some of the more common symptoms. The majority of the treatment strategies that conventional medicine offers are focused on symptom management (e.g. antihistamines).  What if we could address the root cause of seasonal allergies?

Are Local Organic Veggies Healthier?

Have you heard of the “Dirty Dozen”? It’s a shopping list of the fruits and vegetables most exposed to high concentrations of pesticides and it can help you decide how to most effectively spend your fresh produce budget. The list is prepared by the American-based Environmental Working Group whose agenda includes educating people about the toxic state of our environment so that subsequent political pressure might have a real impact on environmental policy. Your decision to eat organic and support a local CSA contributes to the big picture of encouraging much-needed changes to these policies. It also benefits you directly by reducing your exposure…

How to Live Heart Healthy

Your heart is a muscle and needs to be worked, just like your other muscles, to make it stronger. When it comes to heart health, prevention is key. 8 out of 10 cases of premature heart disease can be prevented through lifestyle behaviours. Exercise is one of the key factors of heart health, and as a physiotherapist this discussion comes up daily in my practice. We all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that it can:

Love Hormone (and Heart Rate Variability)

Have you heard about the love hormone? It’s called oxytocin, and research correlates high levels with being in-love, mother-infant bonding, trust, and empathy. Most research focuses on your brain as the production site of this hormone, but your heart actually produces and stores a significant amount of it. Your heart also produces other critical hormones, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and Atrial Naturietic Peptide. The old idea that the heart is just a “pump”, has not served us well in medicine.

The heart has a direct connection to the brain via the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which some people refer to as the “Rest and Digest” state of the body. In fact, there are more nerves carrying heart signals to the brain than vice versa. What kinds of signals do you think it’s sending, and how much are these affecting your health? Your behavior? Your thoughts?

Your Limitless Living Community

Here’s the online community you’ve been searching for to support and encourage you to be the best you can be. Annual membership includes weekly coaching videos (intuitive eating, movement, motivation, strength training that makes sense), all designed to help women feel stronger, happier, and healthier. Their tool kit includes dozens of perks and offers from local businesses with mandates that align with these ideals. Limitless Living has only recently launched in Kingston and we’re so happy to be a part of this passionate, inspiring, and genuine community. Please check out their website or Facebook page.

Why Not to Make New Year’s Resolutions. And, what to try instead.

I don’t like to sound like a downer, but only about a quarter of Canadians who set new year’s resolutions will actually keep them in the long-run, according to a recent Ipsos poll. That means that if you’re one of 77% of people who make a resolution come the new year, then statistically, you’re more likely than not to keep it.

I’m personally not a fan of new year’s resolutions.

Unlikely Inspiration For Meaningful Change

In a few weeks I’ll be speaking at the South Eastern region Hospice Palliative Care conference about the value of integrative medicine for people who are dying. To help me prepare, I’ve been reading Die Wise by Stephen Jenkins, a philosophical and critical exploration of the phobia our culture has about death. This manifesto (as he calls it), would seem the least likely place for inspiration for New Year’s resolutions! In fact, of all the happiness and change-your-life books I’ve come across, this one offered me the deepest motivation and inspiration for making meaningful change in my life.

Get More this Christmas by Giving Less

The holiday season is officially upon us. We can’t deny it any longer.

For some people, this stirs up feelings of stress and anxiety.

The pressure is on to get the shopping done, put up the tree, hang the lights, decorate the house, prepare baking, wrap the presents, send out cards, attend work parties, visit the in-laws, keep the kids entertained, shovel the driveway, make the perfect dinner, travel, and, oh yes, if there’s any time left over, actually enjoy the season!