Summer IN THE VALLEY 2014
Yoga as Therapy
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Table of Contents Joint Pain Relief with Laser Therapy . . . . . . . . 4 by Dr. Deidre Macdonald
Summer - Grilling is the way to go . . . . . . . . . . 6 by Christina Willard-Stepan
Good for Body & Soul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 by Monica Hofer
Wholehearted Listening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 by Cheryl Levine
Pack it Light, Wear it Right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 by Dr. Debbie Wright
Yoga as Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 by Jennifer Naples
The Art of Wandering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 by Wes Gietz
Add 7 Years to Your Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 9 basic tips
Saying “Goodbye” Before a Death . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 by Wendy Johnstone
Publisher’s Note Hello to all my readers, and thanks again for your support in reading this magazine.
I have at different times received wonderful feedback from readers. I think many people are looking forward to all the summer activities, and many festivals and events held in the Valley. I hope you can get out and enjoy this summer and all that it offers. I truly believe that we live in a place that has so much to offer. One just has to get involved. I hope, at times, articles from this magazine will inspire you.
Life has many challenges and joys. It’s amazing how it changes as we move through life. Each stage has its blessing and pain. I hope through these pages we are able to navigate the blessing and the pain, hopefully to find a gentle path or whichever path you choose to help you through life.
I hope to explore the islands and northern B.C., and do some local camping this summer. I have lots of favourite Missing a Parachute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 spots like Air Force Beach and Kitty Coleman. I also hope by Comox Valley Hospice Society to do plenty of biking and attend a few festivals. Hopefully Senior’s are Living Well in Black Creek . . . . . . 19 see a few of you in passing and say hi. by Black Creek Community Centre
A Mystery No More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 by Jan Shields
Removing Pesky Ticks from Pets . . . . . . . . . . . 22
I hope that you enjoy the following articles such as Cheryl Levine’s take on listening, Dr. Debbie Wright’s advice about wearing backpacks and a whimsical piece about wandering penned by Wes Gietz.
by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital
The Fox That Policed Itself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 by Carol Lewis
Choose Wisely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
by Dr. Dawn Armstrong
Life with an Addict . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 by Gail Kettles
Hamstring Flexibility for Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 by Patti Doyle
Front Cover: This composite [2 photos] image by local photographer Ed Brooks (Backdoor Gallery) was made within a minute of each other. The first photo is of Dave Ingram, moving towards the camera and the second, an unidentified skateboarder.
~ 2014 Autumn ISSUE ~
Article submissions on health & recreation in the Comox Valley are required by August 1st, 2014 and ad submissions are required by August 15 th, 2014. Submission Guidelines can be found on our web site. www.comoxhealthandrecguide.com
PUBLISHER : Allan Gear PHONE : 250.339.0252 FAX : 250.339.2210 EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR : Scott Stanfield LAYOUT : Lenore Lowe Comox Valley Health & Recreation Guide is published 4 times a year. All rights are reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for, and does not endorse, the contents of any advertisement herein, and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. The publisher is not liable to any advertiser for any misprint(s) in or about the advertisement that is not the direct fault of the publisher. And, in such an event, the limit of the liability shall not exceed the amount of the publishers charges for such advertising. Articles published in Comox Valley Health & Recreation Guide are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher.
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Joint Pain Relief with Laser Therapy by Dr. Deidre Macdonald, ND
Joint pain slowing you down? There may be more options for treatment available than you know. There is a relatively new physical therapy modality called laser therapy that can create rapid healing of joint problems. It is a painless, effective therapy for treatment of a wide array of muscle, joint, back and skin issues. In my practice, it has been an invaluable tool for helping patients. Most who have utilized laser therapy for joint problems have had relief from pain, increased range of motion, and are able to return to exercise and work. In my experience, laser therapy is the only therapy that shows consistent benefit for arthritis sufferers. This technology uses superluminous and laser
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laser therapy was shown to significantly reduce pain, increase range of motion and decrease tender points in patients with MRI confirmed temporo-mandibular joint pathology.
Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow: These conditions are medically called epicondylitis, inflammation of the
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The Meditech laser device I selected for my naturopathic medical clinic is a top-of-the-line, Health Canada-approved unit used in hospital physiotherapy clinics and burn units around the world. The Toronto Raptors have their own Meditech laser for treating injured basketball players. Let’s look at a number of common joint problems and how they can be addressed with laser therapy:
Shoulders: Shoulder pain can be caused by tendonitis (biceps tendonitis for example), rotator cuff injuries (often a torn supraspinatus muscle), bursitis or deep joint problems. Often several of these mechanisms can co-exist. Laser therapy can effectively address each of these mechanisms and result in improved range of motion and decreased pain. Many patients have said they sleep better since their shoulders don’t hurt at night.
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diodes to bathe abnormal tissue with photons — particles of energy absorbed by the cell. Once inside the cells, light energy can be converted into biochemical energy to accelerate cell function. The therapeutic light beam permits penetration of deep tissues without adversely affecting normal cells and the body’s natural tissue healing processes are enhanced. The therapy doesn’t just mask symptoms. It is curative and as logic dictates, symptoms resolve.
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tendon that attaches to the medial and lateral bumps of the elbow. A placebo-controlled study in Switzerland found that total relief of the pain and improved function was achieved in 82% of acute cases.
results are sustained. I have seen the long-term effects myself and in my patients. Arthritis patients return for more treatments, but usually it is for a different joint.
laser therapy has been extensively studied. In a review of five significant studies, it was found that the average success rate was 84%. Patients had pain for an average of two years prior to entering the studies. I have had several patients able to cancel surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome after about nine treatments with laser therapy.
Research shows that patients report significantly less pain after a series of laser treatments. A placebocontrolled study found the thickness of the plantar fascia was reduced. Another study showed that 90% of patients experienced relief: 64% of patients had no pain and 26% were significantly improved. Unlike other treatments for plantar fasciitis, laser therapy is a painless process.
Plantar fasciitis: This painful condition affects
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (hand and wrist the bottom of the foot. I usually recommend stretches, pain/numbness): Treatment of this condition with exercises and massage, along with laser therapy.
Bursitis of the hip: This condition causes pain So why suffer? Laser therapy is a safe and effective when sleeping on the affected side and with activity. It is the condition that I have found responds most tool that can help you get back to the life you desire. For consistently to laser therapy. Every patient we have more information, visit www.getwellhere.com. Click on treated for this condition has improved. I, too, have used laser therapy. To book a free, 15-minute consultation to PLEASE, CAREFULLY OVER THIS seeCHECK if laser therapy is the right treatment for you, call it successfully for the same issue. (250) 897-0235. Knee Pain: Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common
cause of disability for seniors. Who wants to wait until Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician the condition is so bad that surgery is the only option? with a medical practice in downtown Courtenay. In fact, studies have shown that with laser therapy, NOW INaOUR SIXTH YEAR! surgery can be avoided in many cases. In humans, meta-analysis of 36 randomized placebo-controlled COMOX VALLEY trials found that two to four weeks of laser therapy offered significant pain relief compared to placebo controls. Trials showed significant YOUR decrease in pain, Sheila Cameron, RN APPROVAL IS REQUESTED reduction of swelling, increased range of motion THANK YOU! and “specializing in Signature circulation. Animal studies show that laser regenerates Your changes or approval to FAX 339-2210 or worn cartilage, increasing the thickness of cartilage. diabetic and phone 339-0252 - ALLAN GEAR will stoptherapy, by and see you the personally if you wish to discuss your advertisement.” Since real healing is what occurs with“Ilaser elder foot care!”
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Summer - Grilling is the way to go by Christina Willard-Stepan, BEd., Certified Personal and Small Business Coach
The season has shifted, the sun is shining and grilling is the way to go for cooking this time of year. It is a healthy way to prepare meat, tofu or vegetables, and cleanup is easier than cooking indoors. Working with an open flame can intimidate some, but it is simple. Here is a grilled corn on the cob recipe. If you have never had corn cooked this way, you are in for a treat. Start by peeling off the first couple of layers of husk from each cob, leaving a few layers for protection. DO NOT remove all layers. Soak whole cobs in a pot of cold water for 20 minutes. (This provides extra moisture for cooking and steams the corn inside the husks.)
After soaking, pull the husks of the corn back (do not
completely remove them). Remove and discard the silk only. Brush the kernels with herb butter (recipe below). Replace husks back over the kernels and tie each ear with a piece of loose husk or twine. Place prepared ears of corn over medium heat on your grill, rotating the corn to keep it from getting charred too much on one side. After a couple of turns, place the husk on an indirect heat (moved to the side or top shelf of the grill) and close the cover. Allow the corn to slowly continue cooking for about 15 minutes. As soon as the husk picks up the dark silhouette of the kernels the corn is ready to come off the grill. Grasping one end with an oven mitt or dish towel, peel the husks like a banana. Serve with extra herb butter and enjoy!
1 cup butter, melted
Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tbsp. minced parsley 1 tbsp. minced basil
1 tbsp. minced chives
4 garlic cloves, crushed Mix ingredients together for brushing onto corn cobs, closer relationships to parents and siblings, ability to resist negative peer pressure, resilience in the face of challenges — all this from simply sharing your dinner together as a family.
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Good for Body & Soul by Monica Hofer
I These days, the ancient sound of African djembe drums can be heard anywhere from outside office buildings to parks to school gymnasiums. People have discovered the healing powers of drumming and are reaping the benefits of “getting into the groove.” Proponents of drumming in community are no longer shamans but more likely drum circle facilitators, music teachers, fitness instructors, psychotherapists and counselors, to name a few. Indigenous peoples have incorporated drumming into celebrations, rituals and healing; now this ancient wisdom is being cultivated and used to spread joy, create community, relieve stress, enhance spiritual, emotional and physical well-being, and to treat illnesses. It may seem unusual to think that one of the best antidotes to pressures of the modern world comes in the form of a drum. However, scientific studies — by renowned psychoneuroimmunologist Barry Bittmann, for example — have proven that aside from the spiritual and social benefits of rhythmic activity, drumming in a safe, encouraging circle enhances the immune system and increases the effectiveness of killer-T cells in the body, literally protecting us from many forms of cancer and other debilitating illnesses. Drumming has a marked effect on brain wave patterns. When people with irregular or weak brain rhythms — such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s — or who are stressed and consistently in their “left brain,” participate in drumming activities, left-right brain integration is stronger and brainwaves become more organized while changing in frequency to a level where one feels more in tune, balanced and meditative. Drumming as therapy can also be used in couple’s counseling, prisons, seniors centres and schools. It has been especially effective on children with learning challenges. But drumming is not only for specialized areas – it is for everyone. The simple act of coming to a drumming class, participating in a drum circle or exercising to the beat of a Drums Alive event gives a person the opportunity to relieve stress, experience joy and communicate with others in stress-free, non-verbal, positive and healing way. When drumming is combined with exercise as in a Drums Alive session, where participants combine beating on fitness balls with dance and movement, it is a powerful tool. Drumming on its own is a workout, but when combined with dance/movement, it enhances the physical and emotional effects of physical exercise. Integrating drumming into a fitness class is a total body, mind and spiritual approach to wellness.
Photo submitted by Monica Hofer
We are born in rhythm, listening to our mother’s heartbeat in the womb. Our bodies are rhythmic – our blood flows, heart beats and lungs breathe in patterns. We change and move with the seasons – in short, we are surrounded by rhythms. It is no surprise our bodies innately respond to the rhythms of drumming. So if you are feeling out of sync or stressed, or looking for a way to joyfully connect with the primal energies of the world and with other like-minded folk, consider fitting drumming into your lifestyle and start moving to a new beat. There are only positive side-effects. In the Comox Valley and Campbell River, there are many opportunities to get into the groove. Monica Hofer, local drumming, Drums Alive and HealthRhythms instructor/drum circle facilitator, offers African Drumming and Drums Alive classes, beginners through advanced, through Courtenay Recreation. She also hosts classes in Royston and Campbell River. Contact Hofer at 250-338-1444 or drumdeva@gmail. com. Her blog is http://rhythm-spirit.blogspot.com.
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Wholehearted Listening by Cheryl Levine
Years ago, while working in the public sector, I was confronted with the reality that my staff and peers did not feel heard by me. This took me totally by surprise. I thought of myself as a good listener. It was this realization that inspired me to become a coach and that ultimately began a life long journey of learning to listen well. That journey led to the recognition that listening is not simply an act of hearing well. The practice of listening includes how well you hear others, how well you hear yourself and your ability to notice inherent wisdom of life. Listening is perhaps the most powerful act of loving kindness and likely, the most difficult. How often do you feel heard by the people in your life? Most of us, if we are honest, would say not often. This is because typically, we listen and think at the same time. We respond to what we hear, not with openness, but with analysis, judgment and a defining of our personal perspective. We are figuring out what to say when it is our turn to speak. The act of listening with openness, with a pure and intentional focus on what is being said, allows us to discover that no response is required, or that it is ok to take a moment of inner reflection to determine the appropriate response. Something magical happens in these moments. There is a deep connection that occurs between self and other. It is a connection that is defined by compassion, understanding and the realization that we are in fact hearing ourselves. There is no experience,
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emotion, concept or idea that can be shared where we do not find some place where we connect.
The other side of the coin is, when we are deeply heard by another we experience the miracle of hearing ourselves. In the absence of the listener’s desire to fix or respond, we can acknowledge the deeper meaning of what is being said. This is wholehearted listening. Holding the space of acceptance, as the listener and the one who is heard, allows the wisdom that is at the heart of life itself to surface.
Wholehearted listening begins with noticing what is happening inside of you. Are you thinking? Are you planning what to say next? Are you coming up with the appropriate advice? Focus your attention on what is being said, whether it is you or someone else saying it. Allow a few seconds of silence when it appears the speaker is finished. This allows the listener to determine if a response is required and what the appropriate, compassionate response should be. It also allows the speaker to process what they said, add to it or notice what is at the core of their sharing. Finally, if you notice yourself judging, analyzing or advising, that’s ok. Hold that with compassion too, and let it be a reminder for the next time to be the one who holds the space.
One of my favourite writers, Mark Nepo, sums up wholehearted listening perfectly in his book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. “When we listen with our mind, we understand more of life. When we listen with our heart, we feel more of life. When we listen with our entire being and spirit, we are transformed and joined with life itself.” So listen well, and let life live you!
Cheryl Levine is a certified coach. She and her partner Lucas Stiefvater own and operate Ocean Resort, Vancouver Island’s Wellness Centre and Spa in Oyster Bay. For more info call 250-923-4281. Wholesome, affordable food in the heart of historic Cumberland.
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Pack it Light, Wear it Right by Dr. Debbie Wright
Strapping on that backpack and running out the door is a daily occurrence for most students. There is often little thought of the weight put into a backpack – books, binders, school supplies, lunch and even sporting gear. These are all the necessities of a typical day at school. But what if all this gear amounts to too much weight for the child? Research shows there are long-term health consequences associated with students who wear poorlydesigned backpacks, or consistently carry backpacks containing too much weight. It is a fact that over 50% of Canadian children will experience at least one bout of acute back pain during their school career. As chiropractors, we see this every day. Besides being painful and debilitating, these injuries can significantly affect their participation in sports and other hobbies. You don’t need to break the bank when looking for a good backpack for your child. These tips can help with your next purchase: • • • • • •
Choose a backpack that is made from light material such as vinyl or canvas, as opposed to something heavier like leather. Backpacks that have two substantial straps are better at distribut- ing weight than messenger-type bags slung over one shoulder. The top edge of the backpack should not be higher than the top of the child’s shoulder, and the bottom should not drop below the top of the hipbone. Good shoulder straps are at least two inches wide, and should be loose enough to not compress around the armpits. A backpack equipped with a waist-strap can reduce the weight on the shoulders by 50-70%, and equalize strain on the body. A chest strap also serves a similar purpose. The more pockets the better – distributing weight around the backpack is better.
So how much weight is too much? Elementary students should not carry more than 10% of their body weight and secondary students should avoid exceeding 15% of their weight. So, if your child is 80 pounds, he shouldn’t carry more than eight pounds — or the equivalent of a pair of shoes, a snack, drink and two or three textbooks. This table lays out some specific limits for different body weights:
If you weigh…
50 lbs................. 5 lbs 70 lbs................. 7 lbs 90 lbs................14 lbs 110 lbs...............16 lbs
130 lbs.............. 19 lbs 150 lbs...............22 lbs 170 lbs...............25 lbs 190 lbs...............28 lbs
A well-designed, minimally-loaded backpack still needs to be worn properly. Ensure you position larger and heavier items closer to your body. Adjust tightness of shoulder and waist straps to secure the load. For heavier backpacks, place it on a table or counter and then apply shoulder straps. This will ease back strain. While chiropractors treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, we specialize in the spine and its surrounding muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves. We consider it critical that we protect children’s spines as they grow and mature. Anyone with a back or neck injury will attest to the importance of having a healthy spine for future quality of life. At Bayview Chiropractic we hold our annual Kids Month each October where we offer spinal screenings and backpack fittings by donation to the Child Development Centre. We urge you to discuss the contents of this article with your children, and help them learn ways to avoid back injuries. Prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to these types of injuries. We hope these tips will give you and your children the ability to carry your daily load safely and comfortably. Dr. Debbie Wright is a chiropractor at Bayview Chiropractic in Courtenay: www.bayviewchiro.ca.
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Yoga as Therapy... How it Don McRae, M.L.A. (Comox Valley)
437 Fifth Street Courtenay, B.C. V9N 1J7
Phone: 250-703-2422 Fax: 250-703-2425
Meet with Don McRae at his Courtenay Office! Call or email for an appointment.
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by Jennifer Naples
I’d like to begin by expressing my gratitude to the Comox Valley and the community I find my life blossoming in. The opportunity to share my passion for Yoga Therapy and Thai Massage with people who are experiencing great benefit in their own lives as a result is the biggest gift and honour one could receive...I think anyway. Thanks to all of you who are allowing me to offer my knowledge and experience, and who have the courage to try something new and make some amazing life changes. These words touch on the personal side, yet they tie into the essence of Yoga Therapy perfectly. For the past eight months, I’ve been teaching a transitioning group of people at the Joint Physio Clinic, and one-on-one in my private practice using yoga as a therapeutic tool for injury, cancer and chronic pain. Some students have been consistent from the start, others float in and out. Watching the progress of those who’ve stuck with it has been impressive, especially since they are getting more than they initially came in for, which is truly the gift to me. One of the things students and clients work on is the
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can help with chronic pain, scoliosis, stress & cancer breath. Sounds simple, yet it is quite profound. When the nervous system is stressed, the flight or flight response is activated and all of our energy goes into surviving the situation and basic body function. The breath becomes shallow, oxygen levels in the blood lower, indicating to the brain our safety has been compromised. During times of stress, which can become ongoing, our brain begins to program our “reaction patters” as normal. Basically, there is almost zero energy being directed towards healing from injury, recovering from a chemotherapy treatment or reducing stress, for instance. Because the body’s only care is to survive. Life can be way better than that! Let me give you something experiential so you get what I’m talking about. Ask yourself how you are feeling right now. Sit down. For the next 30 breaths, breathe long deep breaths deep into your belly like you are inflating a balloon. Focus your attention on the breath moving in and out through your nose. When a thought arises, put it in a little box for later, return to your breath. Try it, 30 breaths. Now, how do you feel? Any difference? The focus of Yoga Therapy is to help you become more in tune with your body and its habitual movement patterns, which create or relieve pain. Skeletal influences such as scoliosis play a major role in muscle balance, but utilizing yoga in specific ways can help. My friend and fellow yoga therapist focusing on scoliosis, Kathryn Kusyszyn, shares her expertise. Yoga is a powerful tool which can be helpful when used correctly, and it can reinforce an existing pattern when used unmindfully. Spine, hip and shoulder imbalances can be evened out with attention to modifying the practice. Sometimes
Jennifer Naples one side of the body needs a different approach than the other. One of Kathryn’s students used these practices to reduce her curvature by 11 degrees. Kat will be presenting two workshops on Aligning the Spine at the Joint Physiotherapy in Courtenay June 8. Space is limited to 12. Call 250-218-9809 or visit NurtureTherapies.ca. See you on the mat.
Jennifer Naples is the owner of Nurture Therapies offering Thai Massage, Ayurveda, and Yoga Therapy.
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The Art of Wandering by Wes Gietz
I was following a yellow-striped garter snake. It was gliding over and sometimes under dry maple leaves in an open forest. From 20 feet away I could clearly hear the rustle of the leaves. Earlier that day, in a grassy field on the property, I had helped pick dandelion flowers and buds and then had taken a small group of students to gather wild garlic greens to chop and add to freshly made batter for garlicand-dandelion fritters. We fried them in hot oil over a fire, in a dish that might once have been a disk on a farm implement, and smothered them in maple syrup (we were in the eastern townships of Québec – what else would we smother them with?). A delicious feast! Later in the afternoon — my work with the students done — I gave myself permission to leave the group and wander for a time. The weather was comfortable and I was dressed for the coolness of a day in late spring. I walked away from the buildings, up a hill, into the maple forest. No destination, no hurry, no need to “get it done”. For a time I simply walked gently, taking in what was happening around me with all my senses, stopping to feel or smell the bark of a tree or lift a handful of leaves to my nose and cheek, listening to robins and something else I couldn’t name, noticing the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair, and looking up, down, behind and ahead. If I felt drawn to go up the hill, I went up. If something caught my attention over there, I went over there. That’s what you do when you’re wandering. If I feel an impulse to climb a hill, or look under a bush,
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or turn left, I do it. I’ve been guided by that impulse to places where I found antlers, skeletons, nests, berries, hibernation dens, mossy beds that invited me to lie down, and one time an almost-fresh deer kill. On that day, I had stopped to observe when I saw the snake move. This was one of the few times I’ve seen a snake before it was aware of me, and I decided to follow it. It was moving casually, going in no particular direction, following some inner guidance or whim. The snake was wandering too. So we wandered together, snake and I. I discovered that if I got too close, its body language and behaviour changed. Its head came up, and it moved faster. So I let it get about 20 feet ahead, where I was outside its trepidation bubble, and walked with the gentle steps of a fox, letting the snake be my guide. I don’t know how long we travelled together – half an hour or more. Then it was time to let the snake go on its way and make my way back to the camp. I had been careful to keep some awareness of where I was in relation to the buildings as I wandered, because this was not familiar territory to me. That’s important. It’s fine to get lost if you can get unlost easily, and that requires some knowledge of the area. I don’t usually use a compass, but I’m not too proud or cocky to take one. I’m also not smart enough to consult my compass regularly, especially if I am in territory I think I know. I’ve walked in a circle more than once – a humbling experience. When you wander, give yourself time for only that. You can give yourself 15 minutes or 15 hours. What matters is that you wander. Not having a destination/purpose/agenda may be the most important aspect of a genuine wander. Second, perhaps, is letting go of time for whatever duration you decide on for your wander. Make sure you are appropriately dressed so discomfort doesn’t impose an agenda on you. Keep track of where you are in general terms; if you’re in an area you know, you can wander freely. I used to wander in an area of several hundred acres where I had gotten to know the many trails that crossed the rocks and cut around the swamps and heavy brush. I got lost in there many times, but I knew how to find my way out too, walking in a straight-ish line until I found a trail or recognized the terrain. One of the best aspects of those wanders was that I was always finding new bits of the
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landscape, and eventually I felt thoroughly at home there, even knowing that there were still new places to discover. You can wander in your own yard, a golf course, even a city park. Go along the edges of lawns and look for little critters or their tracks and sign. Pay attention to the birds and their language. Try different ways of wandering: go barefoot, walk backwards, only look upwards or only to your left, wear a blindfold, or anything else that will make for a different way of being in nature for you. Be casual, and greet people you meet. You don’t want to set off anyone’s creep alarm – it could ruin your wander if you have to explain your wandering to the law. When you’re done wandering, give yourself time to get back to your usual routine and speed. Wandering is like sit spot. You have to do it to know how it feels and how it affects you. You’ve got my permission; give yourself your own permission too. If you enjoyed this article, check www. wearewildness.com for a program that will help you connect with the natural world. Also have a look at Wes Gietz’s website, www.windwalker.ca.
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Want to add seven years to your life? A study by a team of experts, including researchers at Harvard University, concludes you can do just that by eliminating well-known risk factors. Here are some of the steps you can take to live longer.
1. Lose excess weight. Obesity is a risk factor
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traceynoseworthy.com healing as we discover the link between brain function and optimal health.blood For pressure. If you are unable 2. Control Raw Food Immersion with RawRose, June 27 30 ~ Enjoy ease visit www.dnrsystem.com. to control blood pressure (hypertension) hands-on preparation of raw food & informative discussions. www.rawrose.com through decreasing dietary fat and sodium, a newSatsang Conversation: May 31st to June 1, 2013 with Pamela Wilson, July 6 - 12 ~ A gathering and increasing physical activity, talk to your friends, where the sage in each of us is honoured: www. e withof Sebastian doctor about the available medication. pamelasatsang.com e circle, open your palms and receive. Allow the energy to flood your system and Neale Donald Walsch, Thursday July 17, 7Pm Evening Talk e of well-being harmony. ~ What God and Said: vibrational The Core Messages of “Conversations with 3. Reduce high cholesterol. If the level of God” and how they have changed millions of lives n see www.divinegrace.com. cholesterol in your bloodstream is putting Neale Donald Walsch, JULY 18 - 20 ~ A Different Snowball: A you at an increased risk of developing heart New Approach to Life Renewal ry arts Program June 14th to disease, 22nd, 2013 you need to do something about it. The Daring Way™ Three-Day Intensive Retreat, Thursday, hef and Author of the Canadian Bestseller “Uncooking With RawRose – cutting Your transfats (still found in some August 7 - 10 Start by ”, is offering herSoul-Guided popular RawRose Culinary Arts Program. Igniting Your Life with Laurel Geise, August 8baked goods) from your diet, and limiting 9 ~ A Different Snowball: A New Approach to Life Renewal saturated fats (found in some meats and n > 3:00 pm Friday, June 14th – 1:30 pm Monday, June 17th Dynamic Neural Training with Annie Hopper, August 10 - 14 CatIOn > 11:00 amSignature: Tuesday,A Journey June 18th – 1:30Passion, pm Saturday, Junecheese) 22nd that raise levels of the “bad” LDL Owning Your Soul of Purpose, cholesterol. and Joy with Panache Desai, August 15 - 22 ~ An 8-day n go to www.rawrose.com Transformational Exploration, A weekend of awakening and a 6-day immersion. www.panachedesai.com 4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Mounting PaintingWilson Experience with Annie Rousseau, August 23rdJuly 13th to 18th, 2013 with The Pamela evidence points to the ability of these foods – 28th ~ Journey into the wild territory of painting from intuition: is a gathering of friends where everything and everyone is indeed welcome www.processarts.com to lower and the risk of colon cancer and heart us is honoured. For more information see www.pamelasatsang.com. Yoga and Journal Writing Retreat with Angela Wiens, disease, among other disorders. Try to get October 3 - 5 ~ Combine yoga and journal writing to embrace at least 600 grams every day (that’s at least your deepest truth. www.yogainnerspirit.com victoria Boutenko august 4th to 10th, 2013 3 cups) by adding a salad to your evening ce to rejuvenate your health while embracing the opportunity for self-realization. meal, serving bite-sized veggies for snacks n visit www.rawfamily.com/events or www.rawfamily.com. Ongoing Events and adding more of them to your soups and Drop In Meditation with Lucas Stiefvater, Tuesdays, august 7pm 16th tostews. 23rd, 2013 ~ one hour meditation. For more information, contact: info@
oceanresort.ca > August 16th, 2-hour Evening Introductory 7:00 - 9:00 pm 5. Be more active. You should be physically Kripalu Yoga with Nancy Moelart, Thursdays, 9am to you to10:30am the vibrational field of potential and ignites the spark of awakening you two to five hours a week. The active at least ~ Basic Kripalu Yoga • Thursdays, 6:15pm to 7:45pm All Western levelsKripalu Yoga ~and www.shoresofserendipityyoga.com he Best Hotel Convention Centre, Courtenay. experts call for “moderate” exercise so you Spa – Enjoy the Ocean Resort Spa experience ~ Contact: don’t have to become a mountain climber or EIvInG: taPPInG IntO tHE InFInItE FlOW OF lIFE > spa@oceanresort or call 250-204-2421 a marathon runner. m - 4:00 pm onal capacity to receive, break Campbell through the density imprinted within your 4384 South Islandand Highway, River 6. Quit smoking. No doubt you’ve tried many he Best Western Hotel and Convention Centre, Courtenay. times before, but it’s worth another shot for Call for reservations: tIOn: a nEW dIMEnSIOn OF tranSFOrMatIOn > August 18th 23rd of your health. Have you given theto sake 1-877-561-3425 or remembering 250-923-4281 is your personal invitation into a greater dimensionthe of gum, who you the patch or other cessation aids a www.oceanresort.ca state of awesomeness. At Ocean Resort, Oyster Bay.
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14 CV Health & Recreation Guide
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go? Turn to your family, friends and family doctor for support.
7. Ease up on drinking.
In small doses, alcohol may be beneficial to your health, but more than one or two drinks a day can increase your risk to heart disease and cancer. Try to eliminate or at least cut down on your consumption.
8. Don’t do drugs.
Using illicit drugs significantly increases your risk of dying young. If you have a problem, tell your doctor who can point you in the right direction to start on a new, healthier path.
9. Practice safe sex. With any new relationship, be sure to use a condom and get a test for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
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CV Health & Recreation Guide
Matters of Aging Saying “goodbye” before a death by Wendy Johnstone, Gerontologist When I was 34, my Nana Cumming died after a slow death from Alzheimer’s disease. I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time and unable to travel back to Ontario. In many ways, I said my “goodbye” many years before her death. I remember grieving most when her dementia was progressing and she was having difficulty remembering who we were. Her death was a mix of emotions — sadness, relief and the finality of life. She was my last grandparent to die. Caregivers and families don’t always give themselves permission to grieve the loss of an aging loved one while they are still alive. It’s common for family members and the person affected by dementia to experience grief and fear when a diagnosis is made. Families are faced with the gradual loss of their aging loved one, and the person affected by dementia is often fear-
ful of loss of self, memory, independence and relationships with loved ones. As the dementia progresses, feelings of loss and fear might intensify. We all handle grief differently. Some are in denial and have difficulty accepting the diagnosis. Others are physically impacted and the loss manifests itself by loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping or lack of concentration. Many caregivers say to me: “I am so angry. Why did this happen to my mom? Why am I having to care give when I should be enjoying my retirement?” Most caregivers experience guilt: feelings of not doing enough or guilt in enjoying personal pleasures when they know their aging loved one is no longer able to do so. Learn as much as you can: The best place to start is with the Alzheimer’s Society of BC website at www. alzheimerbc.org or call the Dementia Hotline at 1-800936-6033. Both offer good information, resources and events around Vancouver Island. The First Link program service connects people affected by dementia with services and support. Accept your feelings: They are normal for anyone faced with such a situation. Healing comes with acceptance. Find a trusted confidante or join a support group: Sharing experiences can combat feelings of loss. For local caregiver support groups, call 250-871-5940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delaney Relocation Services Anne Delaney
The Gentle Art Of C: 250-338-3359 Relocating Seniors www.delaneyrelocation.com Find out how you can move for FREE 16 CV Health & Recreation Guide
Take Care of Yourself: If you read any of my previous columns, you know my mantra: “Provide care when you are caregiving, work when you work and play when you play.” Don’t cross the line if you can. Live it Up: Just because an aging loved one has dementia doesn’t mean end of living. Focus on the abilities that remain rather than dwell on the losses. The last time I saw my Nana Cumming I was shocked by her appearance and demeanour. She smiled when she saw me and I could see her trying to place me within her memories. As I held back my tears, I reminded myself that I was bringing her joy in that moment, even if she wasn’t going to remember. Today, I continue to celebrate her by cherishing memories of her mouth-watering trifles, her love of quotations, her beautiful penmanship and her fondness for us, her grandchildren. I’m going to hold onto those memories for years to come. Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and owner of Keystone Eldercare Solutions and can be reached at 250-650-2359 or visit www.keystoneeldercare.com.
FUNERAL PLANNING Introducing Rosemarie Clark Certified Pre-arrangement Counselor
Rosemarie’s passionate, resultsdriven service attitude has been key in developing relationships with integrity and respect. With 10 years experience with First Memorial Funeral Services in Victoria, Rosemarie invites you to call her for your complimentary “Personal Planning Guide” and if you are a member of a group or service organization and are searching for a dynamic speaker for a 15-minute presentation on “Dying to know before you go” please call Rosemarie. A door prize and cake will be offered for participants.
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CV Health & Recreation Guide
Matters of Aging Cont...
Missing a Parachute? by Comox Valley Hospice Society Would you go through life without planning ahead? Have you planned for what would be important if you aren’t able to make decisions about your care and finances? Who would you want to do this on your behalf? Do they know you well? Will they know what to do? Not all of us parachute but we will all die someday. So what’s the use of avoiding the topic?
In September 2011, advance care planning legislation was passed in B.C. allowing you to choose the kind of care you would like to have if you can’t speak for yourself. It also allows you to appoint someone to speak on your behalf. In essence, your advance care plan allows you to make sure that your voice is heard when you cannot speak for yourself by respecting your beliefs and values.
Contrary to some who think advance care planning is only for seniors, it is for young and old alike. Accidents, the unexpected and serious illness can happen to any of us. Did you know that 50% of Canadians have never talked to family and friends about what they’d want if they were ill and couldn’t speak for themselves?
Nothing’s more uncomfortable than a conversation about dying. When it comes to talking about dying, most of us run for the hills — but everyone of legal age should have an advance care plan. Remember, if you completed a plan before September 2011 or did so in another province, it may no longer be valid in B.C.
Many people consider an advance care plan as a gift to their loved ones — helping to guide them and your health care providers when you need it most. These plans are meant to be ‘living documents’ enabling you to regularly review and make changes when necessary. Now is the time to have the talk to your loved ones about your wishes and values and create a plan that works for you. You may never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad it is there and that you have had these conversations.
Visit www.AdvanceCarePlanningCV.ca or call the Comox Valley Hospice Society at 250.339.5533 for more information. Remember, it is never too early but it can be too late. Photo submitted by Comox Valley Hospice Society
18 CV Health & Recreation Guide
Swimming, skating, fitness, wellness
Something for everyone! at the CVRD’s sports and aquatic centres For schedules visit: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/rec or call 250-334-9622
Senior’s are Living Well in Black Creek by Black Creek Community Centre
“I should have done it years ago, instead of waiting till I was 81. Get off your couch and come to Halbe Hall!” says Leone Roboch. Roboch is an active member of Black Creek’s Living Well Program, run by the Black Creek Community Association and based at historical Halbe Hall on the Island Highway in Black Creek. The program costs just five dollars for an exercise class, followed by an inspired, homemade lunch. Living Well runs every Monday at 10:30 a.m. It’s all about socializing and getting active. “Everybody has fun, fun, fun,” says Roboch. “And the lunch is always delightful.”
Living Well fulfils the association’s desire to keep the aging population in our community. With 100 per cent funding from United Way, Living Well started as a pilot project last winter. It offers people over 50 the opportunity to eat together and to stay fit. So far, it has been a success. The BCCA plans to keep it running through the summer, and beyond.
This is something Janine Calder is happy about. Calder has become affectionately known as “the Senior Instructor.” A certified fitness instructor since 1987, Calder specializes in supporting mature individuals, both at Black Creek Community Centre and at Halbe Hall.
“They don’t always feel comfortable going to regular classes; but you can still be active at any age - you just have to modify it,” says Calder. “I even teach Zumba classes using a chair for support, if you need it.”
There’s also lots of talk about eating healthy,
Elders enjoying lunch, Living Well program, Historic Halbe Hall
and lots of options for people with restricted diets, says Calder.
Part of Living Well’s success is due to the vibrant lunch served by Margaret Larsen from the community centre. Everything is from scratch, often locally-sourced from her own garden. The lunches have included pulled pork buns with coleslaw, gluten-free zucchini corn bread, Italian vegetable soup, spiced rhubarb cake with warm lemon sauce, and Mexican chocolate cake. Where else can you get a lunch like this, close to home with good friends? Call 250-337-5190 for more details. Follow us online at bccaonline.ca, or on Facebook at www.facebook/ blackcreekcommunitycentre.
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A Mystery No More by Jan Shields, Registered Massage Therapist The summer season can get so busy that our self care routines go out the window. Taking time for ourselves can be challenging amongst all the fun. Finding safe, natural solutions to health and home issues can be a relief. I will share some information to help you have a happy, healthier summer season. This article is about essential oils. Though interesting, I will not go into the history of essential oils, nor the safety considerations. When used as directed, the oils are safe for everyone to use. This article is about why now, as well as a quick how, so you can get started. Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils for improving or maintaining health and beauty. Research confirms what aromatherapists have known for years: aromatherapy using 100% certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils provide powerful uses including stress relief, pain reduction, and increased physical, mental and emotional balance.
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250.338.5557 • email@example.com 20 CV Health & Recreation Guide
Essential oils are volatile, non-oily aromatic liquids housed in tiny glands of plants, herbs, flowers, woods, and spices. They comprise only 1-2% of a plant’s make-up but are known to contain between 100 and 600 naturallyoccurring chemical compounds. Each essential oil is chemically different but all are highly concentrated, antiseptic and antibacterial. So essential oils are powerful, minute chemical compounds derived from plant material that when ethically and properly grown, harvested and distilled provide us with safe, natural solutions that help with a multitude of health conditions. Did I mention they can enter a cell to kill a virus, and some cross our bloodbrain barrier? Something pharmaceutical drugs can’t easily do. So why now? We all know essential oils have been around a long time, but to many they have remained mysterious little bottles at the back of a health food store. The only oils I use, trust and cook with are doTerra Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils (CPTG). When you open a bottle of doTerra pure Lavender essential oil grown and harvested in the high altitudes in France you release among other benefits, analgesic, antidepressant, anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory properties. You have in your hand soothing relief for burns, bug bites, allergic responses and mental stress. The first time your child stops crying from pain as you apply lavender to their cut, scrape or burn, you may find yourself thinking these mysterious little oils are quite wonderful. The next time lavender soothes you to sleep, eases an allergic reaction or calms anxiety, you’ll be asking yourself: How have I managed without these essential oils for so long? doTerra essential oils can also be used to bake lavender shortbread. The scent of doTerra 100% pure peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) is invigorating and stimulating. The anti-viral, analgesic, anti-bacterial and antiinflammatory effects are waiting to escape. It is cooling to the body on hot days or during a fever. Applying a drop or two to the back of your neck, bottom of your feet or to a bath helps open airways, ease digestive complaints and soothe achy, tired muscles. For headaches, apply peppermint essential oil to your temples and base of your neck. Breathe in, exhale and feel the relief. You may
feel so refreshed and alert that you bake some chocolate peppermint brownies. Who isn’t lured in on a hot summer day by a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade? The fresh citrus scent is uplifting to our mood. The essential oil when diffused in a room has the ability to kill airborne bacteria like meningococcus in 15 minutes, and germs causing pneumonia within three hours. It’s perfect to destroy airborne germs. It’s a great cleaner for cars, barbecues and boats. Enjoy the cold pressed oil of 40 organic Italian lemon rinds in every bottle of doTerra lemon oil. Needing only a drop in your cleaning bucket, or cooking pan, doTerra citrus oils add a tangy zip to main dishes, desserts, drinks and more. With so many wonderful uses for doTerra essential oils, this short read has just skimmed the surface and has probably left you with more questions. I welcome them and I have a team of people committed to helping others discover essential oils for themselves. We offer free presentations about essential oil weekly. When you learn about something of value you are empowered to help yourself and others. I believe the path to wellness is among other things paved in common scents. I look forward to sharing the benefits of doTerra essential oils with you. They’re new, they’re here, and they can change your life. I’m Jan Shields. Contact me at janshieldsrmt@ gmail.com. My website is www.mydoterra.com/ janshields. Text 250-218-1897.
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Removing Pesky Ticks from Pets by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital disease, an infectious disease caused by bacteria. This is transmitted during the feeding or taking of a blood meal. The longer a tick feeds the greater chance of transmitting disease. It is especially important to be aware of ticks and the diseases they carry when travelling to more prevalent areas. Always consult your veterinarian if you find a tick on your pet after traveling to a high-risk area.
This is an exciting time of year for pet owners to finally get out and enjoy the weather. We have our pick of walking trails, parks and countless green spaces, but what they offer isn’t always what we search for. Spring is the start of tick season. In fact, here at Van Isle Veterinary we’ve already seen pets this season with those pesky parasites. The most common question this time of year: “How do I remove a tick from my pet?” A common place for ticks to hide is tall grasses, trees and thick brush. Ticks don’t jump. Instead, they wait patiently and, sensing body heat, drop onto their victim or grab the fur of an animal passing by. Ticks will look for the easiest place to attach and take a blood meal. Usually this is an area with the least amount of fur. A common location is around the face, ears and muzzle. This is especially common for cats who are low to the ground and use their faces to push through tall grasses. While rare in our area, ticks can carry Lyme
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Serving the Comox Valley
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778-992-2394 22 CV Health & Recreation Guide
There are common misconceptions about ticks and their removal. One is to use a recently extinguished or lit match. Holding it to the body of the tick will not cause it to back out or fall off; in fact, it can be dangerous and singe the fur or burn your pet. Once the mouthpiece is attached, ticks can only let go after they are fully engorged. Applying fingernail polish or Vaseline is also commonly recommended. This can be helpful in that it will suffocate the tick and may make removal easier, but it will not cause the tick to fall off. Another misconception is that the head of the tick will continue to burrow into your pet if separated from the body during a botched removal. This is not true. However, leaving the head behind can cause irritation and infection of the skin, and should be treated. The best way to remove a tick is to use tweezers or a commercial tick remover also known as a tick twister. These are handy tools that resemble a miniature crowbar and work in the same way. Grasp the tick as close to the head as possible and with constant, gentle
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pressure twist the tick free. If all or some of the head remains, remove remaining pieces and clean the area with an antibacterial soap and warm water. You may also apply antibiotic ointment to the area. Sometimes the skin will react to the bite forming a hard lump. This usually clears up within a few days but should be watched for signs of infection. If in doubt or if there is a concern about infection or the species of tick found, consult your veterinarian. The vet will remove any remaining pieces, clean and disinfect the area, and might prescribe oral antibiotics depending on the bite wound and risk of disease. He or she might send the tick for analysis if there is a concern about disease. As always, prevention can be the best medicine. Monthly, topical parasite medications help control tick and flea infestations. Another way to keep on top of ticks is to perform nightly, fullbody grooming rituals with your pet. Your canine companion loves nothing more than a massage after a walk in the woods. This is a great way to detect any ticks picked up on a walk, or in the case of cats, while out on a hunt.
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CV Health & Recreation Guide
The Fox That Policed Itself by Carol Lewis At a farmer’s market one sunny summer afternoon, I overheard one person congratulating another for wearing fragrance.
“It takes courage to wear scent nowadays,” she says. What’s the big deal about scented products anyway? Some people get sick from them but they don’t affect everybody that way, do they? Why should everyone have to change? But then, roughly 33 per cent of Canadians have health issues with scented products. And, did you know that after World War II, the rapidly expanding chemical industry began supplying petroleum products and even pesticides for use in scented products to make them last longer, be more potent and travel greater distances? A quick perusal of what the Canadian and BC Lung Associations report about respiratory irritants and hazardous volatile organic
For expert travel advice call Susan, Linda, Donna or Willy
compounds in scented products ought to make anyone think twice. As for cancer-causing chemicals in fragrance formulas, well, everything seems to cause cancer nowadays, right? Except that many substances that cause cancer are not in and on us 24/7, are they? Scent chemicals invade our bodies through respiration, skin absorption and ingestion of tainted foods, crossing easily into the brain and internal organs. Right about now you may be wondering about Health Canada’s role. Surely it would do something if these products were so harmful? Health Canada’s non-regulatory, voluntary compliance approach with the multi-billion dollar fragrance industry is akin to throwing a fox into a chicken coop, instructing it to ‘Control thyself.’ For example, for many years the fragrance industry denied using phthalates. Phthalates — sometimes referred to as gender benders — are
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24 CV Health & Recreation Guide
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Researchers were mystified as to the source. Guess who the culprit was? You got it: the fragrance industry. The cunning fox discovered that phthalates stabilize scent and young women tend to use the greatest variety of scented products.
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2145 CLIFFE AVENUE COURTENAY, BC firstname.lastname@example.org // www.brianmclean.ca CV Health & Recreation Guide
Choose Wisely by Dr. Dawn Armstrong, B.Sc.,D.C
Are you feeling old? Do you wake up every morning with a stiff and painful hip or knee? Is your low back complaining when you sit too long? Maybe you’ve been told it’s arthritis and there’s nothing you can do but take anti-inflammatories and painkillers. If so, you have lots of company.
Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a common complaint. An estimated 80% of adults in Canada take analgesics, many on a daily basis or several times a month to relieve joint pain, back pain and sore muscles. Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, whether prescribed or available over the counter, are widely used but many people are unaware of the risks and don’t realize they have alternatives. Anti-inflammatories can cause ulcers and bleeding in your upper digestive tract, even when taken at recommended doses. They may also increase the risk of
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26 CV Health & Recreation Guide
stroke, heart disease and kidney damage.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is now the leading cause of liver failure. Taken over several days, as little as 25% above the maximum daily dose (just two additional extrastrength pills a day) has been reported to cause serious liver damage. The fact is, all these drugs can do is make you feel better temporarily — until the next dose. Pain and stiffness or liver damage and ulcers — it’s a tough choice. But there are safer options available. If you developed a fever and started to take medications to bring it down but as the drugs wore off the fever returned, would you continue to take the drugs day after day to keep it down? Or would you want to investigate what’s causing the fever in the first place?
You may believe that we don’t know what causes arthritis, but we do. All joints are designed to function in specific ways. The underlying cause of joint inflammation is faulty loading — subjecting a joint to forces it wasn’t designed for — due to an imbalance of muscle activity. For example, a situation often seen is when someone is sitting too much, often with one leg crossed over the other. The muscles at the front of the hip joint shorten habitually and when they stand up their low back is stiff and it is tough to straighten up. When they walk their hip is contracted at the front and the muscles at the back of the hip are weakened. Their hip joint is now loading in a distorted fashion and pain and stiffness set in. If they choose to medicate, they may get temporary relief but the underlying problem remains unresolved and will steadily worsen. Eventually, with long-term faulty functioning, the shock absorbing cartilage surfaces will wear out. Degeneration is an ongoing process and once it becomes extensive, they will be put on a waiting list for joint replacement surgery.
If stuck in an unending cycle of pain and stiffness and drugs, make an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic. They specialize in musculoskeletal problems and, with a thorough history and physical examination, can help determine the nature of the dysfunction. They can identify the cause of pain and stiffness, and assist with restoring proper function of the painful joint and related areas. That sore knee may be secondary to faulty mechanics in your pelvis, hip or foot. You may benefit greatly from specific adjustments or exercises. Your chiropractor may also recommend the use of other approaches such as massage therapy or acupuncture. There are safe and effective alternatives to drugs for your back pain or arthritis. Respect for the human body is not available by prescription or over the counter. Dr. Dawn Armstrong can be reached at (250) 465-8482.
Carol Lewis’s article continued from pg 24... The Canadian Environmental Law Association suggests phthalates in personal care products are “classified by European and California authorities as developmental and reproductive toxins.” Some were banned years ago in Europe. Endocrine disruptors are implicated in childhood cancers, in addition to prostate, testicular, breast and ovarian cancers. Though we are exposed to phthalates from other sources such as vinyl and food wrap, scented products are a primary route of exposure. Phthalates pose a risk to us all but children are particularly vulnerable because their multiple developmental changes are controlled by hormones. Going back to our misguided farmer’s market shopper who suggests it takes courage to wear scent, I suggest it takes courage to change. It’s not easy to let go of scented hair and body products, a favourite perfume, laundry and cleaning products habitually used, scented candles and potpourris. Folks get attached to them and can get bent out of shape when someone gets in their face about it. But, let’s not beat around the bush. The fox led us, like Health Canada, on a merry chase, lulling us with clever half-truths, while dangerous fragrance chemicals crept their way into every nook and cranny in our homes and every indoor environment in the community. Now what are we to do about it? If you’d like to ease the transition toward healthier alternatives, check out The Guide to Less
Dr. Dawn Armstrong, B.Sc., D.C.
CHIROPRACTOR • 25 Years of Experience • Evening and Weekend Appointments Available • Conveniently Located in Downtown Comox Helping You Take Better Care of Yourself
Toxic Products http://www.lesstoxicguide.ca and the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database http://www. cosmeticsdatabase.com, two user-friendly, nonprofit websites. Read labels carefully avoiding products which list fragrance, perfume or parfum on the label. This ‘disclosure’ cloaks the inclusion of potentially hundreds of chemicals not listed because of trade secret laws. Be careful choosing ‘naturally scented’ products since many contain a minimal amount of essential oil blended with a lot of synthetic chemicals. Consider asking for scent-free policies to be put in place at work, school, church and any place you and your family routinely go. After all, fragrance chemicals are not a personal or private concern because they affect everyone’s health and wellbeing. Carol Lewis is interested in raising awareness about the health risks of scented products. For a handout, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Life with an Addict by Gail Kettles
In this article I refer to alcoholism, but the principles are the same for drug addiction. Also, I refer to the alcoholic as he, but it could just as well be she. Alcoholism is a vicious cycle: it starts with one person’s excessive drinking, then is worsened by family and friends, who, in an attempt to be loving and kind, remove or lessen the consequences of drinking. But we learn by experiencing the consequences of our actions, so when those consequences are removed, there is no learning. Think of a child touching a hot stove: if he is unable to feel heat, he won’t learn not to touch it. Let’s look at a typical situation. The alcoholic starts to drink in order to reduce his psychological pain. He drinks to excess, and then denies he has a drinking problem. He also denies that drinking has caused him or his family any problems. Whenever there are difficulties, he blames them on other people. Mostly he blames his wife: everything that goes wrong at home and in the marriage is her fault. She, in turn, tries to do everything possible to make the marriage work, and prove she’s not at fault. She tries to hold the family together despite the problems, but winds up feeding back into the marriage her bitterness, resentment, fear and hurt. This increases tension at home, which impels the alcoholic to drink even more. The wife is constantly trying to rescue the family from the crises and trouble caused by drinking. For example, to help her husband keep his job, she
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28 CV Health & Recreation Guide
will make excuses to his boss if he is too drunk or hungover to work. She will make excuses for him in social situations. If there are financial problems because he is spending too much on booze, she will get a job or work longer hours to make up for it. On the job, co-workers who have become friends over the years will cover for him if he is tipsy or hungover. They’ll do extra work so his lack of production isn’t noticed. The wife may seek help from professionals such as a minister, doctor, social worker or counsellor. But if they haven’t had education about addiction, they will only help find new ways to remove the consequences and make life more bearable for the family in the short-term. Everyone involved is trying to rescue the alcoholic and the family from the consequences of his drinking. To the extent they succeed, the alcoholic learns he does not need to take responsibility for his actions: someone will always rescue him. To make things worse, each rescuer is, in effect, saying to him, ‘You cannot make it without my help.’ Believing himself to be weak, he finds it harder to muster the strength to make a change. As time goes by, the consequences of drinking worsen: financial problems pile up, the family loses their home, and the children live with two sick parents and have problems at home and school. Fortunately, this downward spiral can be reversed. Of course, the earlier the intervention, the easier it is to reverse. Intervention can come whenever there is new trouble or crisis.
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Intervention may not be the right word. What is needed is a change in behaviour by the family and friends. Instead of a rescue, the family would have to do nothing, and allow things to take their course. For example, suppose the wife stops making excuses to her husband’s boss and he loses his job. The alcoholic is now faced with a serious consequence he can’t ignore. He may start to realize he needs help. The family may have to rely on social assistance during this time, and although that is another form of rescue, it is not complete, since trying to live on that assistance is a challenge. It isn’t easy for family and friends to do nothing in the face of a crisis: it goes against society’s expectations. These expectations are even greater for a woman in a marriage, so the wife will need extensive support to change her behaviour. Support can come from addiction professionals and/or from Al-Anon, a self-help group for families of alcoholics. Depending how long the problem has gone on, it Continued on Page 31...
CV Health & Recreation Guide
Hamstring Flexibility for Life by Patti Doyle, BScPT BSc P.Ed OCS
Whether you are an elite runner or a recreational exercise enthusiast you may have experienced tight hamstrings or a stiff low back and tightness in the front of your hips. If any of these scenarios sound familiar then stretching the deepest hip ﬂexor called the psoas is indicated.
Many people have tried stretching this muscle and maybe even had some physio or massage to help get it released and more pliable. If you are one of those people and the low back still aches after prolonged standing, and your hamstrings remain tight even after years of faithful daily stretching, then you may have something else limiting the psoas from its full range of motion. Anatomically, the psoas originates off the transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae 1-4 and inserts on the inside of the pelvic bone and lesser trochanter of the hip with some variation from person to person.
In simpler terms — this muscle comes off the side arms of the low back and inserts onto the inside of the hip socket. If it is tight when a person is standing and the leg is planted the pull on the low back is forward causing an arch. When sitting, the low back is not able to straighten to neutral or a slight backward bend preventing the pelvis to tilt posteriorly. This in turn prevents full motion at the hip so hamstrings remain tight. The kidneys sit on top of these muscles and may become stuck to them, limiting their ability to elongate and fully contract for maximal strength and ROM. Life happenstances such as falls, car accidents and kidney infections are some of
Patti Whacker’s Physiotherapy A private hands on approach to musculoskeletal disorders. Structural integration focuses on chronic tissue problems that limit flexibility and strength. If you have pain & dysfunction of a chronic or reoccurring nature... ...Patti Whacker is worth a try.
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250.650.1350 30 CV Health & Recreation Guide
the precursors to why a kidney can become adhered to the psoas muscle.
Visceral manipulation techniques to separate the kidney fascia (connective tissue covering) from the psoas fascia have been effective for many of my clients who have chronic stiff back and tight hamstrings. If daily stretching of a muscle does not maintain its functional length and appropriate strength then something else is contributing to its limited function.
Looking at the body as a whole and discovering which parts are stuck and causing other parts to work out of position and incorrectly is what Visceral Manipulation and Neural Manipulation Therapy are all about. If you have a musculoskeletal issue that has been treated and not resolved, consider having some of the other tissues (next door neighbours ) evaluated as to their role in your dysfunction.
Visceral (organ), neural (nerves) and vascular (blood vessels) adhesions are present in 100% of musculoskeletal dysfunctions that have been around for more than six months. Chronic conditions are chronic usually because the tissue layer at fault is not being addressed first. Rehabilitating people is about treating smarter, not harder. Utilizing these techniques to address the deeper tissue has provided me the ability to get people better more efficiently and effectively (fewer visits). The results are long-lasting as you have addressed the cause rather than just treated the symptoms. If you struggle with chronic hamstring tightness and stiff low back you may want to have an evaluation of the deeper neighboring tissues to these areas to see if your flexiblity and overall function can significantly improve. Here’s to getting more active this spring.
For more information, visit pattiwhacker.com or call (250) 650-1350 to book an evaluation.
Tina Rader MSW RCSW
Nuyam Counselling “The story that travels with you...” T 250.338.6312 C 250.218.7113 firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual, couple, family therapy, consultation, supervision, workshops.
Gail Kettles ‘s article continued from pg 29... could take months or years of support to turn the situation around. To sum up, problems start with one person’s habit of using drink to deal with psychological pain. Excessive drinking creates problems for the family and at the workplace. Family and friends try to help by removing or lessening the problems. The alcoholic then realizes he doesn’t have to take responsibility, and the cycle starts again. It’s only the change of behaviour by family and friends, from rescue to doing nothing, which gives the alcoholic any chance to begin to realize he has a problem. Gail Kettles is a life coach and can be reached at AtmanLifeCoaching@shaw.ca or 250-898-8483.
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