Think Well Archives - Synergy Chiropractic

“No I am not pregnant”

“Are you pregnant?” No. “Really because at this angle it looks like a bump.” I promise you, I am NOT pregnant, just fat.

I shared the below post on my personal Facebook page yesterday, and what I received back was an outpouring of love, support and encouragement, but also commiseration from women who have been or are there and are struggling. We’ve all been there in one way or another, and we all need to help each other out. Today is a day to reflect on mental health and the grip it can have on so many.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

This is going to be a bit long and a lot personal. I feel the need to reiterate a few of the MANY reasons to not EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

  1. She may well be pregnant, but is not ready to tell anyone and now she feels awkward.
  2. She may not be, despite desperately trying to no avail for who knows how long, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  3. She may have recently suffered a miscarriage, is still trying to process it, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  4. She may not want kids at all but faces the constant pressure of everyone asking WHEN she’s going to have them instead of IF, and now she feels self-conscious about her choice.
  5. She may not be able to have kids, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  6. And last but certainly not least, she’s just overweight and now she feels awkward, self-conscious and wants to go cry in a corner.

This last one is my experience and although I am strong enough to resist crying in a corner, I struggle every day to fight with the girl in my head that says I’m too big and I’m not doing enough. 18 months ago I gave birth by emergency C-section, and spent the better part of the next month attempting to navigate this completely uncharted territory of motherhood, all while trying to recover from my body being cut open and put back together, and the debilitating headache caused by CSF escaping the hole in my spine. I struggled from the beginning to produce enough milk and that proved even harder when my 2 month old ended up in hospital for 3 weeks. One of the best things for milk production you ask? Calories in. So I ate because I wanted to provide the best for my baby and I ate because I didn’t truly enjoy the first six months of her life. Around month 6, I started to love being a mother and spent all my time with her, especially the most peaceful time of the day, nap time. This left no time for myself, let alone exercise. This past fall I fell into a slump. A slump I consulted my medical doctor about. When I wasn’t working and had time to myself I spent it sitting, eating and struggling to motivate myself to move. Though I have embraced therapy many times for myself, this time I forced myself to take care of me. For the past 2 months I’ve worked out half an hour every day and I’ve made a conscious choice for the past 3 months to eat better, with occasional slips. But, I am still the heaviest I have ever been. This week I was asked if I was pregnant and when I said no, they persisted by pointing out how the shape of my body would have led them to believe that. No. No baby. Just fat and unused muscle.

Loving One’s Self

I have gotten to a point where I still love myself despite my new size, and I’m ok with doing the best I can. I have the most beautiful little girl who lights up my entire life and I would do it all over again for her. Preparing and trying to conceive, carrying and delivering a baby, raising your first, second or fifth baby, or supporting your partner in any of these ventures, deserves effing SUPER HERO status. This job is THE hardest and what makes it even more difficult is what your mind and body go through as a result. As baby carriers, our bodies change drastically. And sometimes…most times…it is a colossal sized struggle to get back to “the way we were”, and the pressure to do so is undeniable.

A New Vision

I believe we live in a world that is making it increasingly difficult to say with 100% conviction that “I am beautiful”, “I am strong”, “I believe in myself”, and “I am a good person.” I am eternally grateful that I was raised with a basic foundation of self-worth, and I have only built on that over 3 decades to be able to hear words like the above question and know that I am still more than good enough. There are women and men who are not this strong. There are teenagers struggling to get through the throes of high school. There are adults taking it day by day at the workplace or within their families. My daughter may or may not grow up having a certain level of strength to take on what’s out there, but I will fight every day to show her how beautiful she is no matter her size, looks or what anyone else says about her.

I didn’t write any of this to garner sympathy but to remind us all to be CONSCIOUS of our words and our actions. You have NO idea what anyone’s story is, but we all have one. Share your story, it might entice someone to share theirs. And they may need a little of your support to get through the day. But they will be better off for it, as will you.

Chiropractic and a wellness lifestyle changed her life.  She had such an incredible experience and change in her health, that she decided she help change people’s lives.  In addition to being the Director of First Impressions at Synergy, she is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach. When she’s not at the office, you will find her either at the gym kickboxing, or with my husband, Mike, and their 3 dogs.  She is a philanthropist and founded a non-profit charity, Families First Community Cancer Support, which supports and provides financial relief to cancer-burdened families in the community. 

How to Reduce Stress in the New Year

holiday stress

Holiday stress can carry over well into the new year.

Are you overwhelmed by stress?   Got the Holiday Hangover from the recent holiday season?

Well, you’re not alone. Studies show over 54% of people are concerned with the amount of stress in their daily life. Many of us carry this stress in our shoulders and neck. Muscle tension in our shoulders can contribute to headaches, neck and back pain.  Chronic stress can lower your energy levels resulting in irritability, illness, and even depression. But, there is good news! A few simple changes to your daily routine can help you dramatically decrease your stress level, boost your energy, and ultimately live a healthier and happier life. Keep reading to learn how.

Why it Matters

One of the best ways you can increase your energy levels and reduce stress is with motion! Our bodies are built to move. Improving spinal motion, or segmental motion is one the ways that chiropractic adjustments help you move and feel better. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce muscle tension in the shoulders, helping reduce pain, improve range of motion, and decrease stress!

“…cervical muscle tension was significantly reduced bilaterally after (an adjustment).”

“…we observed metabolic changes in the brain and skeletal muscles, as well as reductions in subjective pain, muscle tension… (after a chiropractic adjustment)”

Next Steps: If you know someone who gets sick around the holidays it is likely due to stress. Show them you care and share this research with them. These simple tips for reducing stress will help them have a happier and healthier holiday season!

Science Source:
Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2017. Article ID 4345703
Central Motor Excitability Changes After Spinal Manipulation: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 25. Number 1. January 2002
Stress in America Survey. American Psychological Association. 2010
Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

How important is a good night’s sleep?

New research has shown that not only can a good night’s sleep keep you mentally sharp, but it can also help you stay healthy by strengthening your immune system. For years health practitioners have believed that sleep supports the healing process, and now new evidence has been discovered that indicates sleep also plays a role in regulating your immune function. Your immune system is the complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that protect your body from disease, so keeping that system functioning at its highest level is very important to your overall health and wellness.

While you’re asleep, your central nervous system is in constant communication with your immune system. Many immune system functions operate on a 24 hour cycle, just like your sleep schedule. In fact, your T-cells (you immune system’s “Navy Seals”), which are some of the most important immune cells, are very, very active while you’re asleep. Everyone may not require the same amount of sleep, but the research is clear: getting a good night’s sleep will help bolster your immune system.

– Your body uses sleep as its time to rest and recover.
– Sleep patterns are tightly linked to your immune function.
– Chronic sleep issues promote inflammation and pain.

Sleeping well has been proven to be an essential part of staying healthy. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can make it extremely difficult to get a good night’s sleep and leave you feeling tired and sleepy all day. If you have experienced difficulty sleeping, let us know. We have an upcoming workshop where we’ll be discussing not only the causes of many of these issues, but also the action steps you can take to FINALLY get a great night of sleep!

Sleep Disturbances

Neck and back pain are the most common reasons people experience sleep disturbances. Patients talk about sleeping on the floor, or sleeping in a lazy boy, or even sleeping bent over their bed attempting to get into a position that helps them get those few precious moments of rest and relief. Talk about a pain! All you want is the ability to get some rest, yet every position seems to make things feel worse. Well, don’t worry – you’re in the right place to get back on track!

Your body needs rest to heal. If you are in pain, it can be challenging to find a comfortable position to rest. As Chiropractors, we understand this better than anyone. Chiropractic care has been shown to increase your spinal range of motion, decrease inflammation, and even reduce the pressure on the delicate nerves exiting your spinal column – all of which will make it much easier to find a comfortable sleep position.

– Finding a comfortable position to sleep when you’re in pain can be difficult.
– Adjustments reduce the stress on your spine, helping you more easily find a comfortable position to sleep.
– Sleep is essential to healing because your body is better able to accelerate the healing process when properly rested.

If stress has kept you up at night, you’re not alone. However, you can rest easy knowing you’re in the right place! Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the stress in the muscles supporting your head and neck, allowing you to experience a more comfortable – and more restful – night of sleep.

Join us October 30th at 6:15pm for our “Sleep Better Tonight” Workshop!

Science Source:

Sleep and immune function. European Journal of Physiology. 2012

Neurophysiologic effects of spinal manipulation in patients with chronic low back pain. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2011

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

How to Reduce Stress in the New Year

Are you overwhelmed by stress?

Well, you’re not alone. Studies show over 54% of people are concerned with the amount of stress in their daily life. Many of us carry this stress in our shoulders and neck. Muscle tension in our shoulders can contribute to headaches, neck and back pain.  Chronic stress can lower your energy levels resulting in irritability, illness, and even depression. But, there is good news! A few simple changes to your daily routine can help you dramatically decrease your stress level, boost your energy, and ultimately live a healthier and happier life. Keep reading to learn how.

Why it Matters: One of the best ways you can increase your energy levels and reduce stress is with motion! Our bodies are built to move. Improving spinal motion, or segmental motion is one the ways that chiropractic adjustments help you move and feel better. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce muscle tension in the shoulders, helping reduce pain, improve range of motion, and decrease stress!

“…cervical muscle tension was significantly reduced bilaterally after (an adjustment).”

“…we observed metabolic changes in the brain and skeletal muscles, as well as reductions in subjective pain, muscle tension… (after a chiropractic adjustment)”

Next Steps: If you know someone who gets sick around the holidays it is likely due to stress. Show them you care and share this research with them. These simple tips for reducing stress will help them have a happier and healthier holiday season!

Science Source:
Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2017. Article ID 4345703
Central Motor Excitability Changes After Spinal Manipulation: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 25. Number 1. January 2002
Stress in America Survey. American Psychological Association. 2010
Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.