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Okanagan Health & OHW Magazine


Meditation, Healing, and the Pursuit of a Personal Practice P. 21

When Driving Is No Longer an Option P. 27

Whole Body Vibration P. 13

The Carbohydrate Debate and What’s Best for You

Vol. 4 Issue 3

P. 28

It’s All about Music:

Be the Composer and the Conductor of Your Life P. 16

Chronic Pain: More than Just Being Sore P. 8


empowering readers to be the best they can be




wellness Fall 2015

Okanagan Health & OHW Magazine


The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth P. 29

5 Signs You Need a Mental Health Day P. 21

Herbal Supplements and Surgery P. 10

The Good Old Root Cellar


P. 28


What You Should Know about Sleep Disorders P. 18


An Ancient Practice for Modern Times

P. 8


Spring 2016

Okanagan Health & OHW Magazine


From Field to Table: Sustainable Food and a Small Footprint Fieldstone Organics and True Grain Bread P. 26

Reducing the Trauma of Separation

Diabetes and Hearing Loss: Is There a Link? P. 21

P. 22

Low Back Pain

9 Overlooked Causes of Weight Loss Resistance

and Sciatica – A Surprisingly Obvious Solution P. 8


P. 10

The “Dirt” on Compost P. 29

Okanagan Pet Health Magazine Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Okanagan Seniors



Embracing the Positive Realities of Aging P. 26


A Place to Call Home P. 24


Okanagan Seniors Health Magazine

Healthy Hydration for Seniors P. 28

Dizziness and Vertigo: Is There Help? P. 9

contents Volume 4 Issue 3

NATURAL HEALTH 8 Chronic Pain: More than Just Being Sore This condition affects one in five Canadians and can have deleterious effects on families and the economy. 10 A Movement Approach for Scoliosis You’ve been told you have scoliosis. Now what? 12 EMF Biohacking: An Effective New Strategy for Improved Health and Longevity Electromagnetic field radiation is a concerning side effect of our wireless world. 13 Whole Body Vibration When you feel the symptoms of a cold or flu, exercising on this lowimpact, oscillating platform can prompt lymphatic drainage and the movement of fluids throughout the body. 14 Demystifying Multiple Chemical Sensitivity While victims of MCS may be told it’s all in their heads, research indicates that this is a very real condition. 16 It’s All about Music: Be the Composer and the Conductor of Your Life Much more than mindfulness and consciousness, awareness is a balanced combination of mind and heart, a seamless integration of doing and being. 18 Probiotics … for My Shoes? Starve out odour-causing bacteria with probiotic cleaning products.

The Humble Joy of Walking Page 20

FITNESS 20 The Humble Joy of Walking Don’t be fooled by its simplicity— walking is the perfect exercise and one of the best ways to reach and maintain good health.

WELLNESS 21 Meditation, Healing, and the Pursuit of a Personal Practice With stress levels on the rise, learning how to meditate is the most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves. 23 Every Adult Needs a Will Without a will, it is left to the courts to decide on the distribution of your estate, and this may not be reflective of your wishes. 24 Safe Home: Why Do We Build Homes with Toxic Materials? What if we renovated and built houses with tomorrow and our health in mind?

25 More than Missing the Punch Line Studies are starting to reveal that hearing loss has a profound effect on our overall health. 27 When Driving Is No Longer an Option Help for seniors who fear the loss of freedom and independence.

NUTRITION 28 The Carbohydrate Debate and What’s Best for You Low carb, high carb, or something in the middle? Let’s take a look at the scientific evidence. 29 Overweight with 30+ Pounds to Lose? If you simply cannot drop the weight even with regular exercise, you may be leptin resistant. Interested in contributing an article?

Do you have an idea for a story? Are you a health professional who’s interested in contributing to Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine, Okanagan Seniors Health Magazine or Okanagan Pet Health Magazine? If so contact us at info@ohwmagazine. com or call 250-503-7472.

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


From the OHW Team

OHW Magazine

Okanagan’s Own Health & Wellness Magazine

PUBLISHER LMR PUBLISHING Leanne Christie EDITOR Dianne Steinley ADVERTISING SALES Leanne Christie 250.503.7472 Dianne Steinley 250.503.7723 Georgia Wilson 250.938.2314 DISTRIBUTION & SOCIAL MEDIA Georgia Wilson 250.938.2314 Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine published four times a year Okanagan Seniors Health Magazine published twice a year Okanagan Pet Health Magazine published twice a year All rights reserved. No part of OHW Magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising material. The views expressed in OHW Magazine are those of the respective contributors and not necessarily those of the publisher or staff. Although all reasonable attempts are made to ensure accuracy, the publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions anywhere in the publication or on the website. OHW Magazine reserves the rights to ads produced for advertisers. Publication Agreement #42490022 Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine is owned and operated by LMR Publishing. Return undeliverable to LMR Publishing, 5816 Tern Place, Vernon, BC V1H 1R2. Phone: 250.503.7472 Email: Website: Subscription: For your free copy send your mailing address to or visit the website at Cover: The “mudra” hand position unblocks energy and helps maintain position and focus during meditation.


Leanne Christie Owner/Publisher Advertising Sales

Dianne Steinley Editor Advertising Sales

Georgia Wilson Distribution Social Media/Sales

elcome to our latest issue of OHW Magazine! As always, we’re bringing you articles addressing a wide array of health and wellness topics: From physical to mental and emotional wellness, from external influences to internal harmony, from the benefits of walking to the benefits of probiotics for smelly shoes, you’ll find something of interest here. And again, as always, we thank our wonderful contributors and advertisers for helping us bring this magazine to you. Statistics show that chronic pain affects approximately 20 percent of Canadians today, impacting not only quality of life but also the economy. Learn how to manage and potentially eliminate the discomfort in “Chronic Pain: More than Just Being Sore.” Our modern world continues to develop useful communication tools, especially in the field of wireless technology. But, as noted in “EMF Biohacking,” such progress can pose dangers to our health. Check out this intriguing article to see what you can do to mitigate harmful side effects. Imagine not being able to leave your home or walk outdoors because chemicals from many and varied sources would bring on dangerous—even life-threating—symptoms. While this scenario may sound like something straight out of science fiction, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is an actual, debilitating condition affecting a growing number of individuals. See the informative article “Demystifying Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.” Are you looking ahead to when you may have to reluctantly give up your driver’s licence, or do you know someone who is already facing that prospect? “When Driving Is No Longer an Option” explains how a professional driving service can alleviate the fear of lost independence and can help clients to adapt to this changed lifestyle. How do you cope when you’re feeling under stress? Perhaps “Meditation, Healing, and the Pursuit of a Personal Practice” will resonate with you. Similarly, few of us would deny the need for increased inner serenity. “It’s All about Music: Be the Composer and the Conductor of Your Life” examines the role of awareness, a balanced combination of mind and heart, a seamless integration of doing and being. This article is the first in a series submitted by pianist, composer, and author Serge Mazerand. His recently published book 7 Keys to Serenity: Creating Harmony Within is now available in print and eBook versions. You may order online ( or through LMR Publishing (parent company of OHW Magazine) for $19.95 + GST. Please email for further information. You can also meet Serge at the upcoming Penticton Wellness Fair October 29–30 at the Penticton Community Centre as well as the Kelowna Wellness Fair November 5–6 at the Parkinson Recreation Centre. We will also be in attendance at both these events and we hope you will come and meet us! n Look for the winner of the 2016 Okanagan Pet Health Magazine Photo Contest on the front cover of our upcoming Fall/Winter issue. For info on editorial or advertising contact or

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Celebrating with One of Our Supporters Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine would like to recognize Tosha Hodgson of Rockwell Audiology Inc. as she celebrates five years of helping people with hearing loss in the Vernon area. Please read on for Tosha’s summary of her experiences as well as advances she has seen in hearing science and technology. Congratulations, Tosha! Five years ago on October 3rd, 2011, I quietly opened the doors of Rockwell Audiology Inc. This was no small task. I am a veteran audiologist, but I was brand new to the province, unknown in Vernon’s medical community, and attempting to launch a completely independent audiology and hearing aid services clinic from scratch amid a collection of chain hearing clinics. Rockwell Audiology Inc. has never been owned or financed by any hearing aid manufacturer or third party. Flying solo, there have been many challenges and lessons. I am grateful that I am still standing, still growing, and still learning. I have met fabulous clients, professionals, and community members here. It has been a pleasure working with NexusBC to create the Rockwell Audiology Instrument Loaner (RAIL) Program for low income seniors. The support from family doctors, ear, nose, throat specialists, and the Health Unit has been fantastic, humbling, and sincerely appreciated. It has also been a pleasure collaborating with Auris Hearing Loop Systems. Hearing aid wearers often struggle to hear in public venues and places of worship. Together, we have donated hearing loop system equipment and installation labour to NexusBC, the People Place, and Vernon Restholm. This year also marks my twentieth year as an audiologist. Audiology is a great profession. The advances in hearing science and technology evolve often. We used to adjust hearing aids using tiny screwdrivers to turn trim pots. Now everything is adjusted by computers, and Bluetooth connectivity between hearing aids and wireless devices is the new norm. I can remember the first commercially available all-digital hearing aid being introduced in 1996 during my final post-graduate year in Western University’s audiology program in London, Ontario. This year the first hearing aid capable of connecting to the Internet using a free web-based service called IFTTT (“if this then that”) has opened up a new world where it is now possible to turn on your lights, start your coffee pot, and get a weather report in your ears just by turning on your hearing aids in the morning. Yes, really. Tosha R. Hodgson, BA, MClSc, Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner Owner & Director, Rockwell Audiology Inc. 204 – 3334 30th Avenue, Vernon 250-545-2226

Ross Andersen, DC, ND, DO (MP) practised chiropractic and naturopathic medicine in Ontario for 30 years. In the late 1980s he developed a keen interest in electromagnetic pollution and the effect it was having on his patients. He now operates SafeZone EMF Consulting in Kelowna. He lectures on and works with all aspects of electromagnetic pollution including radiofrequency, magnetic fields, electric fields, dirty electricity, body voltage, and light smog. Connect Ross at or Andy Aussem holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and has held a number of professional positions requiring ongoing knowledge of a range of medical conditions. A personal change in lifestyle six years ago led Andy to pursue his Master of Science in holistic nutrition. With one year remaining in his nutrition program, he looks forward to starting his own practice. Andy also operates the wellness blog where he combines many of his passions in articles covering everything from ancestral nutrition to exercise to golf. Chris Carter, BSc, DC, GradCertPainMgt, is dedicated to helping those with pain and stiffness getting back to doing the things they love to do as quickly as possible. With 10 years of extensive experience in the management of numerous conditions, Chris provides care at Active Living Chiropractic & Massage in Kelowna. He has post-graduate training in chronic pain management and is a diplomate of the Canadian Academy of Pain Management. Visit http:// and Joyce Chen, AuD, Registered Audiologist and Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner, has more than 24 years of clinical, educational and dispensing experience. Dr. Chen has worked with children and adults in both public audiology clinics and private practices in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. She moved to Kelowna in 2000 and worked for the Audiology Clinic of Interior Health and Expert Hearing Solutions before opening her own audiology clinic Okanagan Hearing Centre in 2012. Okanagan Hearing Centre is independent of any manufacturers. Visit Ria Falkner is a professional musician and vocalist, a music therapist, teacher, and writer. She studied music and creative writing at Miami-Dade College and The University of Miami. In her private studio, Ria teaches voice, piano, guitar, theory, and songwriting to people of all ages. She has taught choir, creative writing, music theory, art, and more at summer camps and children’s centres in Florida and Kelowna. Happy to be close to children and grandchildren, Ria and her husband, Peter, are thrilled to be back in BC, in the beautiful city of Kelowna.

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Contributors Olav Felgendreher is a certified master carpenter and the owner of Pacific Timberworks Eco Active House™. Born in Canada, he grew up in Germany and Norway, and developed his skills in the trade at a time when sustainable, green building practices were emerging, and where they’ve become the norm. Since bringing to Canada his passion for the craft and positive change to the construction industry, Olav has become an outspoken advocate for true ecofriendly building in the Pacific Northwest. He is proud to have designed and built North America’s first prefabricated structural solid wood panel home in Revelstoke. Michale Hartte, BASc (Nutr), NNCP, CH, a Kelowna resident, spends her time raising her incredibly healthy young sons, while she runs a private nutritional practice and offers online, in-person and by-phone appointments. Michale is a registered nutritional therapist, chartered herbalist and a registered Biotherapeutic DrainageTM practitioner. To find out more about how you can get Fit n Healthy, please visit www. Mary Kozicki, BScN, has been in the nursing and business world for many years. Before moving to Penticton in 2011, Mary owned and operated a home support business. She witnessed many aspects of poor nutrition while visiting her many clients. Mary was introduced to the importance of whole food nutrition by her daughter, a medical doctor who saw firsthand, through her practice, the benefits of good nutrition. Mary enjoys knitting, reading, and cheering on the Penticton Vees. Phone 778476-2469 or email Serge Mazerand is an improvisational pianist and composer and records healing music under the private label “Keys to Serenity.” Born in France, he established very early a profound kinship with nature and music. After a lengthy “distraction” pursuing a corporate career, Serge chose to embrace a radical lifestyle change and immigrated to Canada to build and operate a floating salmon fishing resort on BC’s North Coast. Serge now lives on the banks of a river, composing, writing, and fly-fishing. Visit www. Laura Pelletier is owner of kwikfit4u Canada Ltd., a supplier of whole body vibration equipment. As a certified natural health consultant and whole body vibration specialist, she believes in disease prevention and having the best quality of life through vibration. Having experienced relief of her own health issues, Laura is passionate about helping others successfully manage and treat their chronic conditions. Contact Laura at 1-877348-5945, 778-754-7400, or visit

Stay Connected

Jody Pihl, BComm, LLB, is a lawyer at Pihl Law Corporation who offers a full range of legal services in the area of wills, estates and succession planning, including the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, powers of attorney, representation agreements, and planned giving. Her relaxed and considerate approach helps her understand each client’s unique circumstance and specific planning needs. For more information, contact Jody at 250-762-5434,, or find her online at Lisa Santos, BA, owns and operates Driving Miss Daisy of the Central Okanagan, Kelowna. With her designation as a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging and a BA in sociology, she is passionate about improving the quality of life for seniors, special needs, and those with limited mobility. Lisa and her team are experienced in dementia care and her mandate is to provide unlimited opportunity to clients to preserve their independence and prevent social isolation when driving is no longer an option. She is grateful to be doing work that she enjoys while accompanying her clients to a fuller life. Visit or call 250-860-3272. Marcela A. Toro Garland, BA, MA, CBT, has over 20 years’ experience in the social services field and as a community development specialist. A yoga practitioner and teacher, she is also a certified cross-cultural communications specialist and has completed courses on Buddhist cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Marcela recently moved to Penticton, where she teaches an art class to people suffering from severe mental health issues. Visit www. or email torogarland@hotmail. com. Tahn Towns owned and operated a small holistic clinic 20 years ago where she learned from the naturopath and TCMD the importance of supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms. While working in the animal health field with digestive probiotics, she learned about Chrisal, a Belgian company that had developed specialized cleaners containing probiotic bacteria. Tahn has experienced firsthand the effectiveness of Chrisal products in removing odours and airborne allergens. In addition, extensive research showed that hospital acquired infections could also be significantly reduced. Visit www. or email townst@ Cathy Watson, BSc Physiotherapy, is a registered physiotherapist and Stott certified Pilates instructor. Since moving to Vernon in 2014, Cathy has pursued further education in the field of pelvic floor physiotherapy, and has found the blending of this with Pilates beneficial for many of her clients. In addition to offering workshops, Cathy is re-establishing her Pilatesbased physiotherapy business. In her spare time, she enjoys Silver Star Mountain in the winter and Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes in the summer. Call 250-540-0203 or email cathy_

6 Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Your Questions Answered

Local experts answer our readers’ questions...

Question: Why Should I Choose a Registered Acupuncturist?

Answer: By Marcel Mallette, R.Ac.


cupuncture has been used in China for over 2,500 years and is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theory. Today, as acupuncture continues to become popular, more medical practitioners (medical doctors, physiotherapists, naturopaths, and the like) are studying acupuncture and employing it in their practices, including other types of treatment such as “dry needling,” intra-muscular stimulation (IMS), and laser and auricular acupuncture, which are all originally based on TCM acupuncture. Unfortunately, the amount of training in both theory and practice can vary. Often, only a very few number of acupuncture points are actually learned and used, and knowledge of both acupuncture diagnosis and treatment protocols can be limited. In some cases, the governing bodies of some of these other medical practitioners do not allow them to use or treat people with TCM diagnosis and/or acupuncture treatments. The word acupuncture appears to be used by a large group of people. Don’t be fooled by it. They might use a needle for some type of treatment, but it is not TCM. If they are not a Registered Acupuncturist or a naturopath (and in some cases a medical doctor), it can be dangerous if the treatment is not done right and a misdiagnosis is made. After all, this is a medical treatment. In British Columbia, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA) regulates the practice of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. The CTCMA is a self-regulatory body that operates under the Health Professions Act and the TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulation and Bylaws. A valid registration (professional licence) issued by the CTCMA is required in order to practise TCM and acupuncture in BC, and professional acupuncturists are designated by the title Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.). Acupuncture is a very safe procedure when performed by a Registered Acupuncturist, as they have received mandatory acupuncture safety training in addition to over 450 hours of supervised clinical experience. A Registered Acupuncturist has three years of in-depth training in TCM medical theory and diagnosis, acupuncture point location, and needling techniques, and will be able to offer you an effective treatment plan for acupuncture. Attaining the R.Ac designation involves at least 1900 hours of training. By making sure that your medical practitioner is a Registered Acupuncturist, you can be assured that they have received the most comprehensive acupuncture training of any medical

profession and will provide you with the best benefits of acupuncture. BC is the only province that covers a portion of acupuncture treatments under MSP for people who qualify for low premium rates, but only if these treatments are administered by Registered Acupuncturists. If you are considering going for acupuncture treatments, either for pain relief or other health issues, keep in mind that proper training is important for you to receive the best treatment with good results. Too often I have heard that acupuncture didn’t work when it wasn’t done by a Registered Acupuncturist. After all, it is your body. Why not get the best treatments by properly trained people? What do all the letters mean? •

R.Ac. - Registered Acupuncturist

R.TCM.P. - Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Dr.TCM - Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.n Marcel Mallette, R.Ac., is a Registered Acupuncturist who studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Vancouver then moved to Vernon to eventually open Mountain Acupuncture & Laser Therapy on Silver Star Road. In this quiet, beautiful setting he uses TCM along with lasers to help with other ailments. The combination of both modalities has proven successful. Treating people is Marcel’s first passion as his goal is to help his patients with the least number of treatments and send them on their way to a better, healthier life. Visit www.

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Natural Health

Chronic Pain: More than Just Being Sore This troubling condition causes physical and emotional stress and can hamper enjoyment of life. What are the underlying factors and how can sufferers find relief or even recover? By Chris Carter, BSc, DC, GradCertPainMgt


ou may already have recognized that chronic pain awareness has become a hot health topic over the last several years. Deservedly so, as this condition affects one in five Canadians and can have deleterious effects on families and the economy. Although good information is widely available regarding chronic pain, there is also, unfortunately, incorrect information that may mislead those who suffer. I hope I can clear up a few things. What is chronic pain and how does it develop? Chronic pain can be felt in one area of the body, such as low back pain, or in multiple areas at the same time that surprisingly can change locations and intensity from day to day. If someone feels pain in their body most days of the week for a period of three months or longer, they are likely suffering from chronic pain. However, another way of defining chronic pain is the continued suffering from pain even though the tissues that were originally irritated have

Active Living



already healed! You may be wondering how this could happen. We now know that chronic pain is not just an initial tissue irritation or injury that continues to be upset. It is a condition in which many parts of our body become affected, particularly our central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of billions of individual nerves that encompass our brain and spinal cord, and these nerves communicate information between our tissues and our mind. In some people, when they initially develop pain in areas such as their lower back or neck, ongoing or improperly controlled pain signals from these irritated tissues can cause maladaptive changes in the spinal cord and brain nerves. These changes result in a “rewiring� of nerves involved in the perception of pain by the brain. A sensitivity of the nervous system subsequently develops, resulting in pain being more easily felt. When touched lightly, the area of pain can be abnormally sore, and activities that we used to be able to do pain free are now hard to do because of pain being so easily felt. Work, family, and social life are also commonly affected from decreased ability to concentrate, socialize, exercise, or even complete chores around the house. But does chronic pain develop in such a straightforward manner? Is it really just a bunch of nerves involved in pain signalling that have gone a bit haywire on us? Why do some people develop it while others do not? The reality is that the development of chronic pain is complex. Research is showing that some chronic pain sufferers are genetically predisposed, while others are at higher risk of development due to poor sleep or being from an underprivileged background. What is certain about chronic pain is the role the brain plays in both the development and sustained suffering of pain.

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Natural Health Why is the brain so important? Our brain is the reason we are able to perceive our surroundings. It holds our thoughts, beliefs, moods, and feelings. Some individuals are particularly at risk of developing chronic pain because they have pre-existing distresses in their lives. These distresses may include feeling down, anxious, or stressed due to life circumstances that many of us suffer at some point. Additionally, our brain holds our memories and expectations that are shaped from our past. Some individuals have incorrect beliefs about pain due to previous injuries or incorrect information received from other people. Other individuals may have been unnecessarily fearful about their pain when they were initially suffering from it. They may have tried to avoid pain in every possible way, such as decreasing activity levels and missing work, fearing that their tissues would be further injured. The end result is not only persistent pain, but also reduced ability to work, exercise, and socialize. Depression, anxiety, and stress can develop or worsen, making recovery more tiresome and difficult. What can be done to help or recover from chronic pain? The process of obtaining relief typically requires asking for help from qualified health care practitioners and learning important skills to self-manage. It is recommended that you first have a thorough assessment by a health care practitioner who is knowledgeable and qualified in assessing your chronic pain story. Many types of practitioners are involved in caring for chronic pain, including family physicians, medical specialists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, and massage

therapists. Ask your health care provider of choice if they are comfortable with assessing your ongoing pain. Frequently, those suffering chronic pain may require collaborative care from a combination of the above practitioners, who will use their different skill sets to help provide relief, identify the cause of the chronic pain, and suggest ways to bring about improvement. A thorough evaluation of chronic pain can determine not only the type of chronic pain that is being suffered, but also the effects that mood (good and bad), thoughts, and social situations may have on the overall picture of one’s health. Once the chronic pain contributors are determined, a plan of management can be formulated that is specific for the sufferer. This plan will usually include developing an understanding of what has happened to the nervous system, accepting what has happened, setting goals, and performing exercise that is appropriate for each situation. Self-help is an important part of healing from chronic pain. This can be very difficult for some to initially cope with, as dealing with symptoms of chronic pain such as fatigue, foggy brain, and low mood can be a burden. However, relief is always more successful when an individual develops the self-determination and confidence to want to become better. You should not undertake this journey alone. Not only should you have practitioners guiding you, but you should also take advantage of the wonderful resources available in the community and online. To begin your selfhelp journey, I recommend you access the Pain BC website This is an excellent source of information to get you started. n

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Natural Health

A Movement Approach for Scoliosis Whether this condition is structural or functional, awareness and correct movement should always be considered in the treatment plan.

By Cathy Watson, BSc, PT


ou’ve been told you have scoliosis. Now what? You vividly recall any pictures you may have seen in the past of twisted spines and imagine how uncomfortable that must have been! Is that what’s in store for you? Luckily, in addition to bracing and surgery, there is a conservative approach that can lessen your discomfort while increasing your awareness. It has to do with movement! Let’s start at the beginning: What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that can happen in one or more areas. You may have either structural or functional scoliosis. Structural scoliosis can happen before birth or be the result of a neuromuscular disease. Functional scoliosis may happen due to muscle imbalances (one-sided sports or job functions).

Cathy Watson Physiotherapy Pilates based physiotherapy allows for a movement based approach to help lessen the pain and stiffness felt by people who have Scoliosis.

For appointments: • 250-540-0203

3704 - 32 Street, Vernon, BC

How will you know if you have a scoliosis? You might notice one pant leg drags more on the ground, one shoulder appears higher or one sleeve appears shorter or longer. One simple test is called the Adam’s forward bend test. Have someone look at you from behind and notice if it looks like you have a scapula (shoulder blade) sticking out a bit more towards the back of your body. If so, have them watch from behind as you bend forward. When you bend forward, if that shoulder blade no longer looks like it’s sticking out, you more likely have a functional scoliosis. If your shoulder blade is still sticking out as you hang in a forward bend, you more likely have a structural scoliosis. This protruding shoulder blade is known as a “rib hump” and it’s what your doctor and health care practitioners will be looking for when they perform this same test. What does this test tell you? This just gives you some information about whether or not you were born with a scoliosis or you acquired one along the way. Girls more commonly present with scoliosis and it becomes more easily apparent during adolescence, especially during growth spurts. Schools used to routinely check for this, but it may not be the case any longer. So, for those of you with children, it’s an easy and simple test to do right at home. How much of a curve do you have to have in order to be concerned? The curves are graded by how many degrees they measure. • Less than 20 degrees is considered mild • Between 20 and 45 degrees is considered moderate • Greater than 45–50 degrees is considered severe

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Natural Health The age of the person and the size of the curve will help decide the course of treatment. Sometimes a wait and watch strategy is utilized, sometimes bracing is indicated, and with more severe curves, surgery is often the first option. No matter the size of the curve, awareness and proper movement should always be considered in the treatment plan. With both structural and functional scoliosis, the curve can be lessened because it’s not only the bones and joints that are changing in shape. The muscles and soft tissues that cross these joints and move these bones are also changing. Some of them are being pulled too tight and others pulled too long. This is where you can make some change. Two important things to do once you suspect you have a scoliosis are 1) Find out what type of curve you have and 2) Learn how to move within and around your curve. A visit to your doctor will be the first step. An x-ray will give you the current degree of your curve. This can be useful information because once you begin your proper exercise for scoliosis program, you will know whether your curve amount has decreased when you have another x-ray. Most important, though, is to find out where in your spine your curve is. Oftentimes people are told they have a scoliosis but they don’t know where. Having this information will dictate HOW you move. Though scoliosis can happen in all parts of the spine, it is commonly seen and is more predominant in the thoracic and lumbar areas. The curve is named from the area of the spine that has the largest curve. Let’s deal with the right thoracic pattern as an example. This means that the largest amount of curve lies in the thoracic area. It points convex to the right (like looking at the right side profile of someone’s nose, or a sideways letter U with the bottom of the U pointing to the right). What will this mean as far as the muscles and joints go? In this example of a right thoracic curve, the spine is side bending to the left and rotating towards the right in the midback area. The right side of this curve in the thoracic area is called the convex

side and the left side is called the concave side. The ribs on the left side (concave side) of the thoracic area will be pushed forward, the vertebrae will be compressed, and the muscles will become tight. The right side of the thoracic area (convex side) will have the ribs pulled backwards, the vertebrae separated, and the muscles elongated. How can movement help? Movement can help create space in the compressed areas, lengthen the spine, and strengthen the muscles. It is important to address proper movement

in a particular order. You always want to lengthen the spine first to help come out of the compression. Follow this with aligning the body parts to where they should be and then move within this newfound posture. It’s the same as performing other exercises except a little bit more realigning is necessary. Think about when you perform a squat. Would the movement be better with the knees buckling in towards each other and the back rounding or with a neutral spine and the feet, knees and hips all in line with each other? So, before movement begins, keep these three things in mind: • Lengthen • Align • Move How is this different than just going to the gym and strengthening and

stretching? It’s important to understand that how you move one side of your body will be different from how you move the other side. So, performing the exact same movement on both sides of your body will not work for you anymore. This is why it is crucial to know what type of curve you have. Once you know that, you can apply it to whatever type of exercise you enjoy doing. Let’s use the example of the right thoracic curve and show how a simple position would need to be tweaked. First of all, what would this curve look like? In the thoracic area, this person might have: • a scapula that protrudes more to the back on the right side • a shoulder dumped forward on the right side Position yourself so you are on your hands and knees; hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips and hip distance apart. Lengthen your body as if you are trying to resist the effects of gravity and are becoming longer through your body. Because your ribs are too far back on the right hand side, you need to wrap these ribs forward and bring your scapula back on top of them evenly. This wrapping is like rolling your hand from palm down to palm up, but initiating this movement at your midback. You may need to push away from the ground more firmly with your left hand to help with this de-rotation. Sometimes angling your right hand out to the side helps facilitate this tucking in of the ribs. This is a new position for your body and you may find it fatiguing to maintain it at first. Stay here for shorter periods of time when first moving into it to give your body time to adjust. Breathe into your left, concave side, where the muscles will be tighter. There is a lot going on when realigning a spine with scoliosis, but the changes seen from a committed exercise program are profound. Learning how to position your body properly for sitting, lying down, and for exercising will decrease pain, help with breathing and digestion, and strengthen your body. For more information, please visit or n

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Natural Health

EMF Biohacking: An Effective New Strategy for Improved Health and Longevity Learn about this radical new approach that is rapidly gaining popularity in our modern world. By Ross Andersen, DC, ND, DO (MP) f you truly wish to have better health and live longer, EMF biohacking is a strategy you might want to take a serious look at. In order to understand what EMF biohacking is, we first need to know what biohacking is. Wikipedia defines biohacking as a social movement in which individuals and organizations pursue biology and life science with tools equivalent to those of professional labs. The tools in this case consist of precise measurement meters for determining exposure levels to different forms of EMF (electromagnetic field) and the knowledge about different devices that are producing the EMF radiation that is causing so much disease, disability, and death. Electromagnetic field radiation comes in many forms, all wireless. Wireless simply means that it travels through the air without wires. These


forms include the radio frequency fields that we know are emitting from our phones and the towers that they communicate with. New cell towers are going up in urban centres every month, and new emitters are being added to existing towers. Electrical fields emanating from the wiring and devices in our homes are another form of wireless radiation that is causing significant health challenges. These electrical fields can be composed of frequencies that are simply not supposed to be there. All of our devices these days need power supplies in order to run. Power supplies create toxic frequencies which emanate in the electric fields and expose us to frequencies that can be debilitating and disabling. This is the concept of dirty electricity, which in the world of EMF consulting is also known as EMI (electromagnetic interference).

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A new disorder called EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity) has recently arisen in our society. Initially, about 5 percent of people were showing symptoms of EHS, but this has now grown to 30 percent. Many people do not know they are hypersensitive and simply endure the symptoms, wondering why they are not feeling well. Experts estimate that by 2017, approximately 50 percent of the North American population will be showing signs and symptoms of EHS. Body voltage is the measurement of the amount of electrical energy passing through a person as they sleep in their bed or sit at their computer workstation. Electrical potentials of up to 10 volts are seen in severe situations. People exposed to these electric fields in their sleeping space have major insomnia challenges and if the situation is not corrected, their immune system can be disabled on a permanent basis. This can lead to a whole array of health challenges. Magnetic fields are caused to a lesser extent with the electric fields but also by errors in home wiring and exist in homes and businesses that are close to electrical transmission wires. Epidemiological studies have linked magnetic fields to severe neurological problems and leukemia. It is well known that people who work for electrical power companies will not buy a home that is within a kilometre of high-tension power lines. Once magnetic fields have been found, they are generally easily corrected. Electricians who understand these concepts are employed to come in and correct the fault in the wiring that caused the problem in the first place. People living close to high-tension power lines or electrical transmission

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Natural Health facilities need to seriously consider whether they wish to continue being exposed to the electric and magnetic fields. What do power company workers know that we don’t? Another potentially toxic form of electromagnetic radiation is light. Visible light is electromagnetic radiation that we can see. There are two types of light. Natural light comes from the sun, candles, fires, and lamps that burn natural fuel. Once upon a time there was nothing but natural light. When homes were electrified we instantly got artificial light. Artificial simply means not produced by nature. Artificial light is pulsed. Light from the sun is not pulsed. Pulsed light is pulsed at frequencies which can be severely irritating to the nervous system in certain people. Various forms of light appliances produce different pulsations at different frequencies. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs have their own transformer in order to create the electrical characteristics needed, whether it be a long fluorescent or a short coiled fluorescent. Most people find fluorescent light very irritating as

there is an obvious flicker rate which is not comfortable to read or work in. LED light fixtures run on direct current. The electricity running in our walls is alternating current and must be transformed into direct current in order to operate the LED fixture. This transformation involves a transformer which creates its own frequencies that can be measured in the light. Some LED bulbs have a very clean light signature while others have highly irritating flicker rates that can cause anything from headaches to fatigue and even worse, neurological challenges. The first step in EMF biohacking is to find out exposure levels. You can wing it, assume that you are being exposed to numerous forms of EMF, and take measures to reduce exposures; however, getting a professional evaluation by an EMF consultant actually gives verifiable, measurable proof of exposure levels and biohacking solutions that make sense to reduce exposures and improve health. A good EMF consultant forms a team relationship with the client in order

to sort out the challenges involved in EMF exposures. This is not always a simple process. Sometimes it is a process of elimination, and cumulative measures are needed for best results. The EMF biohacking team can consist of the consultant, electricians, and contractors who do things like painting or window film. It may also include IT technicians who can eradicate wireless systems from homes and make sure all computer and electronic components are hardwired. Some homeowners are quite capable of doing all this, but many are not and need the assistance of a biohacking team. EMF biohacking is a radical new approach that is rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance by those who understand the dangers of our modern technological environment. Our current exposure levels are a mass experiment and we are the guinea pigs and lab rats. The hard science says that the results of this experiment will not end well. EMF biohacking is one way to make sure that we lab rats can live a long and healthy life and still use modern technology. n

Whole Body Vibration: A Low-Impact Ally in the Fight against Infection Colds make us miserable at any time of year, and this exercise option can help when our energy levels are low. By Laura Pelletier


here is no shortage of research studies showing that exercise helps to boost your immune system, which assists in fighting simple infections like colds and flu. Sufficient exercise also helps ward off bigger problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. When we have a cold or the flu, we’re usually a little too tired or our energy level is so low that we have no desire to exercise. However, if you’re feeling up to it, and you can muster the energy, it’s perfectly fine. It is important to remember to stay well hydrated and to make sure that you

don’t get overheated or tire yourself out to the point that you end up feeling terrible afterwards. Some physicians say there is a fairly simple way to decide if you should take it easy or not and it’s called the “neck up” or “neck down” rule. If your symptoms are mostly from the neck up, meaning you have sniffles, a runny nose, and headache and perhaps a mild cough, it’s probably okay to take advantage of a mild workout. On the other hand, if your symptoms are severe and primarily from the neck down (meaning you’ve got a deep chest cough or a high Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Natural Health fever), you should possibly consider holding off until you feel better. But in the end, the choice is yours! Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is a safe, efficient and effective type of exercise that can be very beneficial when you have a cold. Exercising on a Whole Body Vibration’s low-impact, oscillating platform really prompts lymphatic drainage and the movement of fluids throughout the body. Try standing on a WBV platform with your legs straight (knees not locked) and allow yourself to feel the vibrations in your head for a minute. Next, tilt your head back a little to stretch under the chin. This really helps to clear the lymph ducts of the throat of mucus and other toxic debris. These lymph ducts are responsible for draining the sinuses and nasal passages and generally clearing stuffiness from the head. You’ll feel your sinuses drain within minutes of standing on the vibrating WBV platform, indicating that the lymphatic drainage is occurring and pressure in the sinus cavities is being relieved. It really works that quickly! Remember that there can be too much of a good thing and when you exercise with a cold, it’s important to listen to your body and not over-exert yourself. Overdoing it could stress your immune system even more and prolong your illness. This is why low-impact Whole Body Vibration exercise is so important; you’ll be able to get the results of an hour’s worth of strenuous conventional exercise in just ten minutes, and do it without breaking a sweat. So, as soon as you begin to feel the symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, nip it in the bud and get that lymphatic drainage going with Whole Body Vibration exercise. n

Demystifying Multiple Chemical Sensitivity You may be forgiven for thinking it sounds like something straight out of science fiction, but MCS is a real, debilitating, and life-threatening condition. By Ria Falkner magine not being able to walk outside or leave your home for three years and possibly the rest of your life, because, if you did, the chemicals from wood smoke, pesticides, gasoline, cigarette smoke, and the pollution in the air itself would immediately bring on dangerous symptoms. Now imagine trying to live in a small house that you have spent months trying to make chemically free. No detergents, cleaners, soap, shampoos, hair dyes, sunscreen, perfumes, hairsprays, flea sprays. No rugs, varnish, adhesives, paint. No plastics (that means almost everything these days: some furniture, glasses, frames, toys, and so on). All of these items are filled with poisonous chemicals. And what if you couldn’t wear clothes and you couldn’t use blankets or lie on most mattresses or pillows, even if they are made from 100% organic cotton, or your skin would break out in a rash, followed by all your other symptoms? You can only eat food that is not full of toxins, preservatives, dyes, and food colouring. This chemicalfree food can be difficult to find and very expensive. What if you can only drink water that is not full of lead, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals? Good luck. And finally, electronics: Like many others, you may also be afflicted with EHS, an unhealthy sensitivity to a particular source of electricity, for example mobile phones, computers, power lines, and even minor electric equipment, thus limiting communication and causing incredible isolation. This is the life of a person with severe MCS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity! This is the life of my friend Susy, my best friend for over 40 years, who once played flute in jazz bands, danced like a Spanish Flamenco dancer, her long silver-black hair up in a bun, who picnicked in the forest, sat on the grass like the rest of us. Now she is so weakened by the attacks that happen daily, despite her intense attempts to avoid exposing herself to all these triggers (avoidance


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Natural Health being the only known remedy for MCS), that she may not live much longer. Or, as others suffering from MCS have done, she may just give up and commit suicide. What can you do? First, let’s look at of some of the facts about this condition. Awareness of MCS came into being shortly after the Industrial Revolution. The victims of the Gulf War, the Exxon spill and 9/11 all contributed to this attentiveness, and yet most of us know little about it. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity was identified in a 1989 multidisciplinary survey of 89 clinicians and researchers who define the condition by these criteria: • A chronic condition • Symptoms return reproducibly • Symptoms recur in response to low levels of chemical exposures • Symptoms occur when exposed to multiple unrelated chemicals • Symptoms improve when trigger chemicals are removed • Multiple organ systems are affected The chronic nature of MCS is caused by an earlier exposure to a toxic chemical, such as having been sprayed by a pesticide from farms or neighbours who use them in gardening, having spent time on grass (for example, a golf course or public open space, even wineries, that use pesticide), or from working in an environment full of fire retardants, adhesives, plywood, paint, vinyl, Styrofoam, Plexiglas, furniture, and cleansers filled with bleach and other poisons, even perfumes and personal products that co-workers wear, unaware of the effect they have on others. Also exposures in old buildings, mould, dust, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), or buildings that have just been renovated. This exposure can establish in the body a vicious cycle called NO/ONOO, so that when exposed to even a small amount of any toxin, the body reacts and many systems may be affected: the endocrine system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, pulmonary and neurological systems. The symptoms include headaches, nausea, rashes, fatigue, dizziness, itching, sneezing, sore throat, chest pain, changes in heart rhythms, muscle pains, diarrhea, bloating, confusion, tinnitus, trouble concentrating, memory problems, moods changes, insomnia, convulsions, paralysis, depression, and high levels of anxiety. Though many doctors will tell the victims of MCS that it’s all in their heads, thank goodness new and more informed physicians, like Dr. Martin Pall, PhD, Dr. L. Christine Oliver, Dr. Robert O. Becker, Dr. Brugger, and Dr. Molot from McGill University all lecture on this topic. And thanks to writers like Sherry A. Rogers, MD, McKay Jenkins, Garry Patera, and others, who have spent years researching because of their personal experiences with MCS, we have come to know not only that this condition is very real but, as reported by the California Department of Health Services, that America has a prevalence of 15.9 percent (and Canada’s number is even higher). Consider this: In the last 25 years, consumption of synthetic chemicals has increased 8,200 percent. All people tested have toxic poisoning to some degree. Dr. Philip Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, tells us, “Babies are exposed in

the womb or shortly after birth to chemicals that interfere with brain development, with consequences that last a lifetime.” Others state that toxins may be linked to the rise in autism in children, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer, all of which are on the rise. This article is not meant to frighten but to make us aware of these possibilities and that we do have the power to change our environment It is meant to give us both hope and knowledge to make choices about what we put on and in our bodies, our homes, and our yards. We can demand that the appropriate industries, organizations, and government departments take responsibility. We can demand better regulations and labelling on all products. Perhaps if we do, we can begin to save our children and grandchildren, if not my dear friend Susy. n

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Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Natural Health

It’s All about Music: Be the Composer and the Conductor of Your Life Learn to cultivate awareness—the master key that unlocks all doors. By Serge Mazerand


tend to hear, feel and even see music everywhere. Being a musician, I am admittedly a little biased, but, come to think of it, we all are––musicians, that is. We hum, we whistle, we sing and swing. Our everyday vocabulary is infused with musical terms: we resonate with people, things strike a chord, we feel upbeat or downbeat, we act in concert, and on and on it goes. More importantly, we have within us two immensely powerful instruments: the brain and the heart. The brain is the keyboard that plays the music our mind composes. The heart is the metronome that beats the rhythms of our emotions; the soundboard that amplifies the subtle music that plays within us. So, in effect, we have all we need to make beautiful music. Or do we? Are we really creating our music? And assuming we are, do we actually truly play it on the stage of everyday life? Hardly. The question, then, is: What does it take to become the

composers and the conductors of a harmonious life symphony? Today and in three sequential articles, I’ll share with you a musical perspective on creating harmony within, expanding on insights I have gathered in my new book 7 Keys to Serenity. In fact, I would like to begin by inviting you to imagine being the conductor of a huge orchestra, an ensemble that counts trillions of musicians who play the sacred music of your life: your cells. To be that conductor you’ll need to cultivate the art of listening, which is precisely what my first key, A, stands for: Awareness. It is the master key that unlocks all doors or, to stay in our musical analogy, the note that is sounded before the concert begins, bringing all instruments of the orchestra to play in complete connectedness around one common, standard frequency (in the Western music system, that is). But how exactly do we define

awareness? No doubt, we have all experienced the most basic symptoms of its deficiency, haven’t we: the eye glasses or the car keys we desperately look for, our vehicle itself we spend a frustrating amount of time locating in a busy parking lot; and so on and so on. We simply don’t pay attention. We often speak about mindfulness and consciousness. But awareness is much more. It involves intuition. Rather than a state of simple mental alertness, it is a balanced combination of mind and heart, a seamless integration of doing and being, of thinking and feeling our way through life. We might want to compare it to an embedded multidirectional antenna that allows us to naturally and effortlessly scan our inner and outer environment, detecting the subtle variations that take place beyond the denseness of our five senses. So how exactly is awareness going to help us create this harmonious life symphony?

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Natural Health First, rather ironically, we’ll be nudged to create silence. We do this through deep breathing and pausing. Pauses help us create a few “intermissions” in our daily routine, during which we disengage and become the observer, looking at and listening to ourselves from way above, like a disembodied entity, an angel of sorts––often shaking our heads in disbelief, to be sure. We’ll realize how caught up we have become in the autopilot mode, driving our lives mindlessly like we drive our cars. Awareness will help us align our thoughts, words and actions, creating in the process vibrations of similar frequencies and therefore overall coherence and clarity. Harmony is all about alignment and convergence in music; and so it is in life. And yet, how often do we think one thing and say something else entirely? How often do our actions contradict our values? Incoherence leads to conflict, subtle as it is. Unbeknownst, we deplete our reservoir of internal energy by allowing what is called “destructive interference” to take place. The result is dissonance and false notes. Awareness helps us to attune to our bodies and minds, to listen––like the conductor listens to his orchestra––to the subtle music they play, correcting and adjusting the volume and rhythms of our emotions. Our cells vibrate at different frequencies, according to the section (our organs) where they are located. Yet, by nature, they all play together, in holistic coherence and connectedness, executing a symphony called homeostasis, a wonderfully balanced piece of music that discreetly keeps us well and alive. At one point or another, however, some of these cells may begin to play out of tune. If you, the conductor, don’t notice this discordance in time, the sounds that were originally meant to unfold in harmony may very well degenerate into a cacophony. This happens progressively, in very subtle ways, and while being slightly out of tune may sound great, full discordance creates havoc and before you know it, degenerates into a cacophony, which is no less than disease, a lack of ease. Awareness empowers us to live in authenticity, to discover, accept and

be who we are, to sing our song. Life is an ongoing performance, yet how often do we play music that does not resonate with our hearts and souls? If we are not in accord with ourselves, if the music doesn’t resonate with us, how can we expect it to resonate with others? Awareness makes us realize the existence of the laws of attraction and resonance. Like attracts like. So, when we tune into a given thought frequency,

we attract similar frequencies. In other words, you get what you think about. Although this sounds a bit clichéd, it is a very powerful universal law that needs to be kept in mind at all times. What we think, how we think, creates our reality. In the next issue of this magazine, we’ll examine an arena where awareness plays perhaps the most important role yet: our beliefs, the matrix where our thoughts are created. Namaste. n

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Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Natural Health

Probiotics … for My Shoes? We have become familiar with digestive probiotics, but did you know that there are probiotic cleaners that can be very effective for eliminating unwanted odours? By Tahn Towns


dours are everywhere. The pleasant ones we look forward to—and the not so pleasant ones we try to make go away. Many products are used in an attempt to remove these malodours: natural and artificially scented cleaning products, disinfectants, perfumes or essential oils, air fresheners, additives that decrease your ability to smell, and sprays that encapsulate the smelly molecules and drop them onto the floor. The problem with these approaches is that they are mostly ineffective, and research has shown us that virtually all of these types of products are toxic. They usually do not resolve the actual cause of most malodour problems: odour-causing bacteria, certain types of proteins, and biofilms. Odour-causing bacteria are a

common cause of smelly shoes, sports bags, and sweaty clothing. Perspiration by itself is virtually odourless; however, the bacteria on our skin use the proteins (microscopic organic matter) in the perspiration as a food source. The actual “sweaty odour” is a by-product released by certain types of bacteria as they digest organic matter. When shoes (or sports equipment) are having odour issues, you know that there is most likely an overabundance of odour-causing bacteria living in that item. Certain types of proteins can give off strong smells; a familiar example is the protein found in skunk spray. Other “smelly” proteins are found in wines, strong cheeses, and urine—hence the lingering unpleasant smell of the “pet accident area.” Urine contains a

protein that may continue to give off odours no matter how hard you scrub, deodorize, or disinfect. While soap and water is a great way to remove the bulk of the offending organic debris, it isn’t always able to remove the microscopic proteins which become embedded into the pores of the flooring or the fibres of fabric. Biofilm is another reason malodours are not easily resolved. Biofilm is the tough organic coating that some types of microbes secrete around themselves as a protective layer. It is so tough that it is virtually impervious to mechanical removal and disinfectants. Biofilm is composed of multiple microscopic layers of organic material and can also trap odour-causing bacteria, viruses, dirt, and moulds within its layers. It builds up in fabric (such as hockey gear), on floors and walls (smelly bathrooms), even in the indentations on yoga mats and sports gear. After an area has been cleaned, if microscopic biofilm remains, so does the smell— and the risk of infection. Why don’t disinfectants remove the smell? Disinfectants don’t actually break down or remove proteins; they are designed to kill bacteria. In reality, they do kill some of the odour-causing bacteria; however some of the odourcausing bacteria will survive the disinfection treatment. These survivors immediately produce new generations

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of odour-causing bacteria—that are now chemically resistant. By using disinfectants in an effort to eliminate odours, you can actually be contributing to “super bugs” and still not have eliminated the malodour. Using disinfectants on biofilm causes the biofilm structure to develop its own chemical resistance, in addition to making the harmful microbes contained within it even more chemically resistant. Again, super bug potential has been increased and the smell remains. Researchers tell us that disinfectants, sanitizers (including bleach), and other antimicrobial chemicals are major contributing factors to antibiotic resistance and super bugs. Disinfectants and sanitizers are indiscriminate—they kill the beneficial microbes right along with the harmful and odour-causing ones. Enlightened scientists, doctors, health practitioners, parents, and even farmers now understand that the familiar concept of killing 99.9 percent of the germs has been a grave mistake. We now know that Mother Nature actually uses beneficial microbes to suppress the growth of harmful microbes, helping protect us from infections and disease. This works because probiotic bacteria do not secrete biofilms; instead, they consume organic material, which is what biofilms are primarily composed of. Probiotic bacteria are also used to control odours and have been used in Europe for the past decade. These nontoxic cleaning products contain strains of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria that remain on surfaces after the cleaner is applied. Probiotic cleaning products are highly effective in combating malodours for three reasons: 1. Probiotic bacteria are “microscopic eating machines” and when applied to a surface in large numbers, they quickly dominate the space and rapidly consume any organic matter that would normally feed odourcausing bacteria. The odour-causing bacteria are literally starved out and can no longer colonize and produce malodours. 2. The odour-releasing proteins are organic; therefore these proteins are deconstructed and consumed by the probiotic bacteria, removing this source of malodours. 3. Biofilm is composed of organic matter, which the probiotic bacteria consume, leaving the odour-causing bacteria and offensive-smelling proteins exposed. Steps 1 and 2 (above) come into play to deal with these. Now the biofilm malodour is also eliminated. Recent peer-reviewed studies have shown that continuous use of probiotic cleaning products reduces the levels of harmful bacteria 70 percent more effectively than the use of disinfectants. Since there isn’t a toxic component to this probiotic method, chemical resistance is not triggered and super bug growth is not fostered. In fact, recent research conducted in hospitals has shown that routine use of probiotic cleaners actually resulted in a decrease in the chemical resistance of many harmful bacteria. Isn’t that good news! Probiotic cleaners are a superior way to get rid of those unpleasant, persistent smells, in addition to providing a way to clean to the microscopic level, reduce the risk of infection and decrease super bug development. They allow you to address the actual cause of many malodours—and eliminate them—naturally, effectively, and safely for you, your children, and your pets. n

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Headaches and Neck Pain? Some headache sufferers experience headaches so frequently and for so long that they begin to think it must be normal for them. CAT scans on the head in search of the cause frequently come up negative. Treatment usually ends up being some form of pain-killing drug, which can lead to unwanted side effects and may not address the cause of the problem. The cause of these headaches is often overlooked because much of the pain can actually be referred from the neck. When I perform an examination, I often find that the patient may also suffer from neck pain, neck restriction, tight cervical muscles, muscular trigger points, postural imbalances, tingling in the hands, and sometimes arm pain. X-rays often reveal that the natural spinal curve and alignment of the vertebrae have been lost. When nerves in your spine get pinched, they alert you with pain. The relationship between such misalignments of the neck and headaches is so common that it is even given its own category: cervicogenic headaches. I am also alarmed at the number of children who suffer headaches that are told it is a normal part of growing. There is nothing “normal” about headaches or neck pain. The cause should always be sought. If these problems sound familiar to you or a child you know, one consultation with our office may change the rest of your/their life.

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Alpine Centre #7-100 Kal Lake Rd. Vernon, BC

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine



The Humble Joy of Walking Walk for solitude, walk for companionship, walk to be healthy, and walk to be happy.

By Mary Kozicki, BScN


esearchers have proven that going for a daily walk embraces so many more benefits than we have ever considered. Some have even claimed that it is the perfect exercise and one of the best ways to reach and maintain good health. Walking may be the simplest form of exercise, yet so overlooked as to how enriching and beneficial the walk can be. Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress found that those who engaged in daily moderate exercise, such as walking, added an additional three to seven years to their lives. Even the obese could expect a 16 percent reduced risk of dying early. Walking is not only a great exercise for the able bodied but it is recommended to all, rich or poor, the young, the old, boys and girls. Walking is inexpensive, requires no training, is the easiest of all exercises, and is even claimed to be the smartest exercise there is. It has been said by health professionals that walking can have a bigger impact on disease risk and various health conditions than just about any other remedy that’s readily available to you. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may slow the onset of dementia. There’s no easier way than walking to feel better, get in shape, slim down, and enjoy the outdoors. A morning walk is the best exercise for a number of reasons. It refreshes the mind and improves your health in many ways. It provides fresh air to the lungs. It purifies the blood. It improves digestion. Spending at least an hour or

Mary Kozicki 778-476-2469

Walk your way to great health!

two walking earlier in the day prompts us to enjoy the beauty of the sun rising in the east. These first rays impact us and influence us toward the goodness of being healthy. And if you can do so outdoors, in the sunshine, and barefoot for grounding, you’ll enjoy even greater benefits. A walk in the early morning can keep a person fit and fresh throughout the day. It has also been noted that a morning walk every day keeps the doctor away. The March 2011 issue of the Harvard Health Letter reported that researchers have found a remarkably consistent association between faster walking speed and longer life. Later in life, walking becomes as much an indicator of health as a promoter of it. After age 65, how fast you walk may predict how long you have to live. We may never completely avoid becoming old, but we may delay the time we become old. At your next medical check-up, don’t be surprised if your doctor hands you a prescription to walk. Yes, this simple activity that you’ve been doing since you were about a year old is now being touted (along with other forms of regular physical activity) as “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early in life, children struggle to learn to walk and as soon as they have mastered the art, it’s one of the easiest ways in the world to be physically active. Studies have also found that regular physical activity begun at an early age helps reduce the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, and stroke and has a surprising major impact on a child’s wellbeing. Many teachers report that children who walk or cycle to school or participate in daily physical activity show improved concentration, enhanced memory, learning, creativity, and an improved mood for up to two hours afterwards. What a fantastic activity for you and your children! It’s free, you can be spontaneous, and it’s a great way to spend quality time together. It is the cheapest and the best recipe for maintaining good health. You can do it virtually anywhere without special or expensive gear—just a comfortable pair of shoes. Early introduction to physical

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Wellness activity builds healthy habits that carry on through a lifetime Can walking really provide the health benefits normally associated with more challenging fitness programs? Exercise plans based on more demanding activities such as jogging or working out in the gym, far from achieving the health and fitness benefits they promise, oftentimes fail to deliver for those who need exercise the most by requiring far too much in terms of time and effort. Regular walking is easy to fit around normal everyday activities, is flexible, and, for those who really enjoy walking outdoors, can be expanded into general leisure activities like a walking holiday. Part of what makes walking so beneficial is that when you’re walking, you can’t be sitting. Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increases by an average of 60 percent when walking. Steve Jobs, the late cofounder of Apple, was known for his walking meetings. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has also been seen holding meetings on foot. Walking has it all. Simple and natural, it doesn’t require any instruction or skill. It can be a very modest form of exercise or it can demand enough skill and intensity to be an Olympic sport. You can walk alone for solitude or with friends for companionship. You can walk indoors on a treadmill or outside in the city or country, at home or away. You can get all the benefits of moderate exercise with a very low risk of injury. And to boot, walking is inexpensive. All things considered, Charles Dickens got it right: “Walk to be healthy, walk to be happy.” And more than 2,400 years ago Hippocrates said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” As two scientist confirmed in 18 different studies evaluating 460,000 participants from 1970 to 2007, Hippocrates knew very well what he was talking about. Walking daily is truly the best medicine for a healthier, longer, and happier life for you and your family. What’s more, it’s free and has practically no negative side effects. n

Meditation, Healing, and the Pursuit of a Personal Practice

In a stressful world, how can we break away from destructive patterns of behaviour? By Marcela A. Toro Garland, BA, MA, CBT earning how to meditate is the one singular and most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves. Although I began a yoga and meditation practice in the mid-1970s while attending university in Montreal, I did not undertake an in-depth routine until much later. This was due to often feeling conflicted by what I perceived as a dichotomy between the practice and the world around me. Eastern philosophies were, and remain, not something that mainstream society fully embraces. However, we are currently living in undeniably unique times when it comes to the subject of spirituality. In the midst of a technological revolution and in the face of a collapse of organized religions in the West, we see levels of stress on the increase. Stress is the cause of many of our society’s contemporary ailments and affects large sectors of the population. In addition, globalization, a concept too vast to fully comprehend, leaves us with many feelings of uncertainty about the future and alone looking for answers to pressing questions of livelihood. What helps me is to observe that we exist in a continuum of time and space and solutions are often hidden in the recognition that the world is in a constant state of flux—nothing ever stays the same. And that being the constant, we can remain optimistic that changes can indeed bring positive outcomes. In Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra states, “The old spacetime model was smashed, replaced by a timeless, flowing field of constant transformation. This quantum field isn’t separate from us—it is us. Where Nature goes to create stars, galaxies, quarks, and leptons, you and I go to create ourselves.” Just as we are often unwavering in our desire to learn what it takes to break away from dysfunctional family behavioural patterns, we can also learn how to break away from dysfunctional environments, societies, and historical patterns. It is not an easy task to understand all that is happening in our immediate reality or what might be affecting our singular generation. The continual repetition of these negative patterns often defines traps that do not allow for positive changes to take place for that much needed paradigm shift. The question that follows is: How do we stop? How do we break away from those destructive patterns characterized by actions and reactions to events or feelings? I believe that it begins when the individual consciously decides to embark on a new path, consequently changings habits and eventually his or her overall disposition.


Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Wellness Within this context, various forms of meditation techniques such as mindfulness, recitation of mantras, pranayama, or other types of yoga become tangible tools to aid in the path of health, recovery, and finding balance. Meditation, to be precise, is what allows us to slow down and observe— observe our own behaviour, our thoughts, and the world around us in a more detached manner. Yes, the goal is to eventually give up unnecessary brain activity, allowing the mind that much needed rest from thinking. But it’s a process and it takes time and discipline. It is also a good idea to explore techniques that are best suited to your character and to have the guidance from an experienced meditator so as not to have your practice deteriorate into something problematic. But before you begin contemplating meditation as a worthwhile pursuit, I would suggest that you examine your personal belief system—the reason why meditation appeals to you and what exactly it is that you are seeking. This will help you when attempting to focus your mind, set goals, and maintain your motivation in the face of difficulties with your practice. In the words of the Buddha, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.” In his article Buddhism and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dr. Paul Greene supports this position. “This is an idea that’s in line with current thinking in psychology. In fact, this simple philosophy—that changing the way we think can change the way we feel—underpins the very practice of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), an approach widely used in clinical psychology and counseling, as well

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as stress management programs. The radical and powerful notion that our thoughts make up our realities may seem silly at first, especially when we think of how important circumstances can be in our lives. The quote is a statement about something deeper than just mood or anxiety, it’s talking about reality. The idea that ‘we are what we think’ refers to the Buddhist notion of anatman, the idea that at the core of our beings, there is no individual self. Rather, what we mistakenly identify with as a ‘self’ is a combination of a physical body, sensations, emotions, and bundles of thoughts. The Buddha would suggest that if any of us were to closely inspect this ‘self’ through meditation, we would realize that it has no inherent nature or existence; that it is an illusion of sorts.” The difference between thoughts and beliefs is that thoughts are events in time lasting only for a moment, whereas beliefs are more stable and long-lasting. From the perspective of Buddhist psychology, these beliefs begin to comprise what we think of as the self. Hence the Buddhist statement “We are not our thoughts.” We would like to think that many things about us are not subject to change. One of the fundamental concepts of Buddhism is anicca (flux, or impermanence). This is the idea that everything that comes into existence will eventually cease to exist. The beauty of Buddhism, even though a religion, is that it is more of a philosophy than doctrine; thus, very much asserting humans’ free will. The fundamental lesson to learn from Buddhist teachings is that whatever our actions are in the present time, these resonate into the future and most certainly are the reflection of events that have taken place sometime in the past. One thing I learned through having worked with so many people has been that despite their tremendous suffering they are incredibly resilient. Suffering due to innumerable causes can be indeed a paralyzing force that ignites feelings of tremendous despair. Contemplating yoga, mindfulness, or other forms of alternate healing modalities is a path that requires determination, inspiration, adequate support, repetition, knowledge, and focused intention; and it’s by no means easy. Challenges in life are often connected to being able to learn how to restrain our desires and practise selfdiscipline and compassion for ourselves, others, and our beloved planet. Otherwise we consistently move toward a path of self-destruction. When it comes to dealing with our own health, my recommendation as an experienced meditator and healer is to know the importance of observing, researching, studying, and being discerning over alternate healing modalities at your disposal in your community. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. Take charge of your own body, health, and wellbeing while keeping an open mind. Practise critical thinking and mindfulness in all your activities. All of these actions combined will most certainly put you on the right path. And if truth be told, every little bit helps. Every modest action—building a garden, installing solar panels, promoting cooperative work environments, being a diligent parent, volunteering, nurturing, practising compassion or empathy—can contribute to a better future, a better life, and overall happiness. And we can most certainly include here the gains with your own personal meditation practice. n

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Every Adult Needs a Will A specifically tailored will provides peace of mind with clear instructions regarding your wishes and the needs of your heirs. By Jody Pihl, BComm, LLB


will is the best way to ensure that the people, charities, and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of your estate. Your will is also your last communication with your family and friends and your opportunity to leave clear instructions on how you want your assets to be handled and how you want your legacy and final wishes to be carried out. Without a will, the courts decide who gets what, without regard to your wishes or your heirs’ needs, and your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have wished. Having a will is also important to avoid the higher costs, avoidable delays, and even potential squabbling among family members as to who gets which parts of the estate. Making a will is especially important for people with young children, because wills are the best way to transfer guardianship of minors and to provide instructions on their care, as well as how and when the parents want the children to receive their inheritance. As each person has a unique family and asset picture, their wills should be specifically drafted for their needs. Beware of “one size fits all” will tools, which fail to address the unique family profile of each client. The resulting will may not meet your estate planning needs or may not accurately reflect your wishes. Notaries provide will services and may be a good option for individuals who require a very simple will. However, it must be understood that notaries are unable to provide the same depth of legal knowledge and advice that a lawyer can provide for more complex situations. A solid will and estate plan is a good investment. The cost to have a will written depends on the complexity of your situation. In the event that a dispute arises with respect to the validity of your will or your estate, litigation costs in BC Supreme Court often exceed $50,000. So it is prudent to ensure you invest in and receive quality advice at the time you make your will to avoid much more significant costs later. When you prepare your will, it is a very good time to consider some other key legal planning documents including a Power of Attorney, a Representation Agreement and/or an Advance Health Care Directive. These are documents that name another person to have authority to make financial, legal, personal care and/or health care related decisions for you while you are alive. It is also important to remember that once you make a will, it is advisable to review it regularly to make sure it reflects your circumstances.

The Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) came into force on March 31, 2014. WESA streamlines seven acts into one act, provides greater certainty for individuals who put their last wishes into writing, simplifies the process for those responsible for distributing an estate, and clarifies the process for distributing estates where there is no will. WESA does not invalidate wills written before March 31, 2014. However, some of the laws about interpreting wills have changed, so individuals may wish to review their existing will with a lawyer to make sure their wishes can be upheld. New probate rules also come into effect with the act. Government worked closely with the Supreme Court and the BC Law Institute to ensure British Columbia has a set of rules that work for both the public and the courts. These rules will ensure consistency for probate applicants and streamline court processes to provide more timely service for British Columbians. n

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Jody Pihl Jody and her kids

Wills & Estates Lawyer 300 - 1465 Ellis St. Kelowna | 250.762.5434

Business Law | Personal Injury | Real Estate Law | Wills & Estates Commercial Litigation | Construction Law | Employment Law | Mediation

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine



Safe Home: Why Do We Build Homes with Toxic Materials? The “eco house” movement began in Central Europe in the 1980s, yet here in Canada we are only just starting to hear whispers of this approach to sustainable building. By Olav Felgendreher hen it comes to the health of our bodies and our homes, these are the dichotomies: We read food labels to look for nutritious ingredients, but we have no idea what type of insulation is between our walls or in our roof. We choose locally raised organic lettuce, but don’t seem concerned about where our building materials are manufactured. We use petroleum-based sprayfoam insulation to reduce our home’s energy consumption each month, but we forget about the long-term impact these synthetic materials have on us and the environment—the emissions used during manufacturing, the off-gassing that affects our home’s air quality, and the fact these materials are hardly recyclable. Back in the 1980s, builders, manufacturers, and homeowners demanding changes in Central Europe began to experiment with what would become the “eco house” movement. Every stitch of a home’s materials would be chosen with several considerations in mind: origin, production, transport distance, longevity, efficiency, future


• • • • • • •

Timber Framing Staircases Sunrooms Millwork Renovations Design and build healthy homes Consultant for sustainable building materials

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recycling, and disposal. The approach would certainly be better for the earth and people, and it was the right thing to do. This kind of construction felt good. The main structure of a home would be built with a carbon-neutral and renewable raw material such as solid, untreated timber. Insulation was done with wood fibre, cork, straw, cellulose, wood chips, or flax and hemp. Material for interior finishing included clay wall panelling, hardwood or clay tile flooring, and oil or wax finishing. What started as a trend in Central Europe has become a way of building, and of life, not just there but also across Europe. Thirty years later, Canada is just starting to hear whispers of sustainable building, of “the healthy living environment.” You might know someone who knows someone who knows someone who is building an “eco house,” but certainly it would be the odd house on the block, even in that city. Certainly the expense is a factor. The sustainable materials in an eco house can cost up to 10 percent more (a small price, many would say, for the chance to enjoy better air quality and quality of life, never mind the chance to improve the long-term value of a home). But the biggest reason we don’t see more homeowners adopting a healthy living environment is because of a lack of awareness. Energy providers have gone to lengths to encourage us to buy energy-efficient appliances and seal drafty doors and windows, but we have yet to learn why and how we can build homes in the first place that address energy efficiency as well as air quality and environmental impact long-term. We don’t know that sustainable, climate-neutral, carbonplus homes are actually within reach. So, what is there to learn? Let’s start with the six interconnected concepts that drive the design and construction of an eco house: indoor

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Wellness environment (air quality), energy, building materials, building location, environmental impact, and water. The frame, ideally, uses locally harvested and milled lumber. Timber is renewable, local, and carbon neutral. The indoor climate in which the residents live and breathe each day is paramount. Materials that are friendly to human air quality and the environment are used along with natural ventilation methods to control humidity and air quality. Renewable energy sources— solar, wind, and hydro—are used along with energy efficient design and insulation materials to limit consumption and greenhouses gases. Where a top-rated energyefficient “passive house” might use fibreglass insulation (deemed harmful in Central Europe more than a decade ago and now sent to entirely separate landfills) an eco house uses natural products like wood fibre, hemp, cellulose, and clay, which can achieve the same energy efficiency as a passive house. Where conventional building uses poly-based vapour barriers (which you could liken to putting a plastic bag over your head), eco-friendly building calls for paper-based vapour retarders. When you’re a builder and you see entire attics and walls bursting with spray foam, you have to wonder, in a few decades, when this home reaches the end of its life, how will we take this apart? How do we separate one from another? Where will this dense yellow mass go? Eco building thinks about these things. In a true eco house, if a house reached the end of its life cycle, you could dismantle it and reuse about 85 percent of the materials. Perhaps because Canada itself is still so young and our buildings so new, we don’t build with the end of a home’s life in mind. What if we did? What if we renovated and built houses with tomorrow and our health in mind? n

More than Missing the Punch Line Don’t let hearing problems affect your health and quality of life. By Joyce Chen, AuD, Registered Audiologist


earing loss is the third most common chronic condition after heart disease and arthritis. As people age, they may begin to lose their hearing as a result of the natural aging process. The primary cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. There are also medical causes such as viruses, bacteria, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumours, and certain medicines. New studies have revealed some surprising links between hearing loss and medical conditions like diabetes, depression, and cognitive declines. Here is a summary of the recent studies. Tinnitus Ninety percent of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. Tinnitus affects around 17 percent of the general population. Tinnitus can be caused by hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder. Depression The impact of hearing loss is a lot deeper than not hearing certain

sounds. Uncorrected hearing loss gives rise to poorer quality of life, isolation, and reduced social activity, leading to depression. The impact depends on many variables such as the severity of the loss, age of onset, the communication needs and demands of the

person, and personality, among others. However, we know that hearing loss is linked to frustration, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and isolation. Communication, which is so important to social interactions, becomes a source of stress when someone has to strain to BEST HEARING CLINIC CENTRAL OKANAGAN



Okanagan Hearing Centre

• Independent & full-service hearing clinic • State-of-the-art hearing aid technology • Tinnitus assessment and management • Proud service provider for DVA, WCB, NIHB • Voted Best Hearing Clinic, Central Okanagan in 2014 & 2015 by Okanagan Life Readers’ Choice

Simply schedule your hearing evaluation and consultation today.

778.484.7237 115 - 2365 Gordon Dr. Kelowna, BC (Guisanchan Village Mall) Dr. Joyce Chen, Au.D., Registered Audiologist Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Wellness hear others speak, and frequent misunderstandings result in embarrassment. Hearing loss results in social isolation. Adults with untreated hearing loss tend to withdraw from engaging with family and friends. They are more likely to report depression, anxiety, anger and frustration, emotional instability and paranoia, and are less likely to participate in social activities than those who wear hearing aids. A 2014 study by the National Council on Aging indicates 36 percent of patients who began wearing hearing aids experienced improved overall mental health, while 34 percent increased their social engagement. Cognitive Decline Mounting evidence shows a relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline. According to a study by Dr. Lin at Johns Hopkins University, seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. The worse the initial hearing loss, the more likely the person is to develop dementia than adults whose hearing is normal. Degraded hearing may force the brain to devote too much of its energy to processing sound. Those with hearing loss experience a 30 percent to 40 percent greater decline in thinking abilities compared to those without hearing loss. A separate study shows that people with a hearing loss develop cognitive problems 3.2 years sooner than those of a similar age and lifestyle who have no hearing loss. In addition, hearingimpaired people tend to withdraw socially and the lack of regular interaction leads to mental stagnation.

Brain Shrinkage Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss, according to the results of a study by researchers from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging. The report revealed that those with impaired hearing lost more than an additional cubic centimetre of brain tissue each year compared to those with normal hearing. Use it or loss it. Heart Health The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Studies show that a healthy cardiovascular system—a person’s heart, arteries, and veins—has a positive effect on hearing. Inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss. Researchers concluded individuals with cardiovascular disorders may be more prone to hearing loss and therefore in need of hearing evaluations. They also found an association between low-frequency hearing loss and numerous cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders. Smoking Current smokers have a 70 percent higher risk of having hearing loss than non-smokers. Studies also found that smokers were 15.1 percent more likely to develop hearing loss, while passive smokers were 28 percent more likely to develop hearing loss than non-smokers. Diabetes Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without. Adults whose blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis have a 30 percent higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar. Ototoxicity More than 200 medications (prescription and over-thecounter) on the market today are known to be toxic to the ears. The list of known ototoxic drugs includes aspirin, quinin, loop diuretics or water pills, certain antibiotics, some anticancer drugs, some anesthetics, environmental chemicals like carbon monoxide, hexane, and mercury. Safety and Balance Hearing loss decreases awareness of the surrounding environment and increases cognitive load. In turn, this raises the potential for falls. Studies show that people with a hearing loss are three times more likely to fall for every 25 dB of hearing loss. Every additional 10 dB of hearing loss increases the chances of falling by 1.4 times the original risk. Large scale studies are underway to clarify the role of hearing aids in helping to maintain or slow the rate of cognitive decline. If you have any doubts about your hearing, get it tested. Better hearing usually associates with better health and quality of life. n

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When Driving Is No Longer an Option A caring, professional service can help seniors to adapt and thrive when faced with a loss of independence. By Lisa J. Santos, BA


orking with older adults continues to teach me just how amazing our senior citizens are. Many have dedicated their lives to raising families, building careers, and contributing to their communities either through work or by volunteering. In addition to living full lives, with much sacrifice along the way, our elders have mastered the art of adaptability. I’ve pondered this quite a bit as I’ve reflected on the many stories my clients have shared with me. Some grew up in homes with just a radio and, if lucky, a gramophone for entertainment. Going to the movies was a big deal and most relied on friends dropping by to play cards or board games. I remember my Nana telling me how friends would just drop in without calling and how she always had something baked and coffee or tea at the ready just in case. Days were less full and the passage of time seemed to be slower. Compare this with life today, where technology reigns and most of us struggle to find time for fun, friends, and family, let alone doing absolutely nothing. These days life is fast and somehow our seniors have managed to keep up. Many of the clients we serve use email and most have cell phones. These are people in their late seventies, eighties, and nineties. Imagine adapting from radios or the first televisions and the fortitude it would take to keep up with the pace of the post-modern world we now inhabit. Seniors are incredible people and their life stories are often fascinating. With aging, what lies ahead for many seniors after enjoying fulfilling lives is often a future accompanied by much loss. Losing the ability to drive can often be the most difficult to accept because it means the beginning of the loss of independence. Once this happens, seniors lose a tremendous amount of freedom as they are suddenly dependent on others. They can no longer just pick up and go. The spontaneous trip to the mall or visiting a friend is suddenly impossible. Family members often live far away and even if they are nearby, every outing has to be planned. With busy lives, adult children can find this situation very challenging. This new life circumstance can create stress for all parties. Having someone to alleviate that stress can be invaluable, as being able to get out into the community is crucial to prevent boredom and social isolation, which

can lead to depression. A professional service can provide meaningful companionship while keeping seniors safe. The benefits from a change of scene and a bit of fun can be long lasting, whether it’s a trip to the doctor’s office, church, shopping for groceries, or out for lunch and a drive. Going out with the same, caring companion who is knowledgeable in the challenges the elderly face, including dementia care, ensures a relaxed, friendly, and enjoyable experience. An additional benefit is the relationship that builds between us and the client. We become a trusted and reliable friend because we love what we do and the people we do it for. n

She Loves Me Personalized Through the Door Service and Accompaniment We take Taxi Saver Coupons!


Driving Miss Daisy j

Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine



The Carbohydrate Debate and What’s Best for You With no one-size-fits-all solution, how can you know what’s right for your body?

By Andy Aussem


arbs are evil ... but your brain needs them ... but they make you fat and sick ... but the Food Guide says to eat plenty of them! I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before. Funnily enough, one of the only things the conventional and holistic health communities can agree on is not having a consistent answer about carbohydrates. Is it low carb, high carb, or something in the middle? To answer these questions, let’s look at the scientific evidence and review the diets of populations free of modern diseases. Low Carbohydrate vs Ketogenic Diets Believe it or not, carbohydrates are not on the list of essential human nutrients, and in their absence our bodies create ketones from fat, which enter our energy pathways similar to glucose[1]. In fact, most of our brain can use ketones for energy, which are arguably more efficient than glucose, producing less oxidative stress and inflammation [2, 3] . Our brains do need about 50 grams per day of glucose to function optimally; however, that amount can be supplied through gluconeogenesis, creating glucose from fat and protein[2]. It’s important to understand that there is a scale of carbohydrate intake, from ketogenic to very high carbohydrate: • Ketogenic = 50 grams or less • Low carbohydrate = 50 to 100 grams • Moderate carbohydrate = 100 to 200 grams • High carbohydrate = 200 to 250 grams • Standard North American diet = 250 grams or more As you move up the carbohydrate intake scale your body will rely

meaning people are more satisfied, can maintain the diet, and have improved quality of life [11] .

increasingly less on ketones and gluconeogenesis. Benefits of Low Carbohydrate Diets There is no shortage of evidence for the benefits of lower carbohydrate diets. Compared to common low fat, high carbohydrate diets, ketogenic diets are effective interventions for weight loss, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and some cancers [3, 4, 5]. Furthermore, ketogenic diets reduce systemic inflammation, chronic pain, and can improve athletic performance [2, 6, 7]. Similar to ketogenic diets, lowcarbohydrate diets are also effective interventions for weight loss, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, subclinical inflammation, and improving athletic performance [7–10]. Additionally, these benefits are seen in the absence of caloric restriction

Drawbacks of Low Carbohydrate Diets Two common arguments against low carbohydrate diets are that they are high in fat and protein. Fortunately, a whole food, low carbohydrate diet would not include bad fats (trans and excess Omega 6), and reliable evidence indicates that saturated fat is good for us [13, 14]. A low carbohydrate diet does not need to contain excessive protein and even at the high end of protein intake (30 percent of calories) and in the absence of existing kidney problems, there is no evidence of negative impacts on kidney function [3]. In reality, there is little to no risk associated with low carbohydrate diets; however, the closer the diet becomes to ketogenic, some risk can occur. Endocrine Function Dietary carbohydrate content impacts the metabolism of thyroid hormones because insulin is required in this process [15]. Although there is no clear evidence that ketogenic diets negatively impact thyroid function, many practitioners indicate some patients experience reduced thyroid function with long-term ketogenic diets. Another concern is that ketogenic diets can increase the stress hormone cortisol, leading to a dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal system, otherwise known as adrenal fatigue [16]. Gut Bacteria Healthy gut bacteria live off the fibre we cannot digest and there is some evidence to suggest that very low

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Nutrition carbohydrate diets can have a negative impact on gut bacteria, reducing number and diversity [17]. These effects may be positive in the short term for pathogenic bacterial overgrowth, but could be detrimental over a longer period of time. Physical Performance Ketogenic diets can have a positive effect on endurance and short anaerobic (<10 seconds) performance. However, the evidence is mixed for longer anaerobic durations such as interval training, hockey, CrossFit, etc., because these activities rely more on muscle glycogen which is reduced in ketogenic diets [2, 18]. Nutritional Deficiencies Malnutrition is a viable concern depending on how a ketogenic diet is implemented. If vegetables and fruits are fully removed and the focus is on processed low carbohydrate foods (protein bars) versus whole foods (meat, fish) there will undoubtedly be a level of vitamin and mineral deficiency. However, aside from some risk associated with long-term ketogenic diets, the evidence is clear that a whole food diet with carbohydrate content between a Standard North American and ketogenic diet is beneficial [19–21]. Quality vs Quantity Regarding carbohydrate quality, one thing we know is low glycemic load diets are very beneficial for health and further clarity can be gained by reviewing the diets of populations who experience no modern disease [22]. Surprisingly, these groups experience robust health on a wide range of carbohydrate intakes. For instance, the Masai exclusively eat milk and meat while the Tokelu eat a high fat, moderate carbohydrate diet [23, 24] . On the other hand, the Kitava and Okinawa diets are 70 percent to 85 percent carbohydrate, all with the absence of modern disease [25, 26]. However, what differentiates these populations from modern diets is their carbohydrates come exclusively from whole foods, mainly fruits and tubers. Take Away Clearly, both carbohydrate quality and quantity are important factors and there is no one-size-fits-all for carbohydrate intake. Those who are overweight, have metabolic syndrome, diabetes, neurodegeneration, epilepsy, polycystic ovarian disease, or brain injury may consider ketogenic and low carbohydrate diets, while athletes and those who feel better eating more carbohydrates could fall anywhere from low to high carbohydrate intake. Some people even feel better with strategic carbohydrate timing or cyclic ketogenic diets, which may more closely match our ancestral eating patterns. Ultimately, the key is self-experimentation with one connecting factor: it must be a whole food diet with the majority of carbohydrates coming from fruit and starchy tubers. For references [1–26] supporting this article, please contact the writer. n

Overweight with 30+ Pounds to Lose?

Stop spinning your wheels and fix your master hormone. By Michale Hartte, BASc (Nutr), NNCP, CH


f you are someone who has packed on an extra 30 or more pounds, you are likely leptin resistant.

Leptin: your master metabolic hormone Your body composition is 100 percent tied to your hormones. Leptin is the master hormone that governs all the other hormones. If you are overweight, you are leptin resistant (LR). Those who are hypothyroid (or think they have thyroid issues) are also LR. Leptin resistance completely turns off your thyroid gland and does not allow you to burn fat in your muscles because it down regulates your basal metabolic rate. That is why some overweight people cannot burn fat with exercise! Your first priority to shedding your weight is to become leptin sensitive. Doing so will allow you to effortlessly burn body fat as you sleep. Are you leptin resistant? You know you are leptin resistant if: • you are more than 30 pounds overweight • you can’t feel when you are hungry or full • you crave carbohydrates (for example, bread, pasta, rice, sugar) • you have hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, insulin resistance, or adrenal fatigue • your lab results show an elevated reverse T3 and high HSCRP Become leptin sensitive and lose fat now It’s time to stop spinning your wheels, lose fat now, and regain leptin sensitivity. Get started now with these five tips: 1. Eat as soon as possible upon rising in the morning, ideally within 30 minutes of waking. This begins to get Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Nutrition your hormones in rhythm when they’re off. Make sure your breakfast has little to no carbohydrates and has a lot of protein and fat. Strive for a breakfast containing 50 grams of protein and one to two tablespoons of added fat. You know you’re on the right track when you can hold off until lunch (without snacking) and have a light dinner. If you remain ravenous throughout the day, that’s a sign you need more protein in the morning. Ideal protein sources are whole, pastured eggs with or without pasture-raised bacon or sausage, or left-over protein from dinner. Best fat-burning fats are coconut oil and butter from grass fed cows, or ghee. They also help heal the gut (another culprit to being overfat). 2. Limit carbohydrate intake to 25 grams per day if you are more than 30 pounds overweight. This can be easily done by choosing non starchy, fibrous carbs as your source. If you are fit and have less weight to lose, you can have a little more. You know you’re on the right track if your hunger and cravings go away. 3. Never snack at all. This is meant initially and forever. Snacking completely stresses the liver’s metabolism and pancreas to keep working. When you’re a snacker you’re a sugar burner. Sugar burners age faster, have chronic inflammation, and are usually overweight. Your goal is to train your body to use fat as a primary energy source (from your food and your own body fat)— important both from a healthy longevity and permanent fat loss standpoint. You can accomplish this by spacing your meals apart and have two to three meals per day. Snacking destroys the timing and circadian clocks (which women in particularly are tied to) that work in unison with leptin.

4. Do not eat after dinner and make sure you allow for four to five hours between dinner and bedtime. Around sunset, leptin is released from your white fat cell stores. When leptin is able to do its job, it can actually shift your body into fatty-acid utilization, suppress your appetite, and control any late-night food cravings. Setting up this natural circadian rhythm allows for hunger in the morning, productivity during the day, and fat loss as you sleep. 5. Within one hour of sunset, make your surroundings as dark as possible. Avoid artificial light (use candles or the fireplace instead), TV, computer screens, and cell phones to set the stage for melatonin secretion at around 10 p.m. To have fat loss success, it is essential that you get proper sleep for leptin and your other fat loss hormone, adiponectin, to be released at nighttime. How do you know when you are becoming leptin sensitive? • Your hunger and cravings will lessen and eventually disappear. • You are able to tell when you are actually hungry and when you are full. Drinking enough water is critical to fixing this problem too. • You clothes will fit looser and weight loss will occur if you continue the program. • Your sleep efficiency improves and you wake up refreshed. • You feel more calm. Dropping those extra pounds can be easy with the right plan. n

Savoury Beet Soup Provided by OHW Magazine Serves 8. Ingredients 1 tsp olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups water ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 3 medium beets, peeled and halved 1 medium potato, peeled and halved crosswise 1 bay leaf 1 tsp lemon juice 8 tsp reduced-fat sour cream

Preparation Heat the oil in a large pot over mediumhigh heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until beets and potato are tender. Discard bay leaf. Place one-third broth mixture in blender or food processor; process until smooth. Place puréed mixture in a large bowl. Repeat procedure twice with remaining broth mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Warm soup over low heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Combine ½ cup soup and the sour cream, stirring with a whisk. Divide soup evenly into bowls. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon sour cream mixture; swirl sour cream mixture using the tip of a knife. Garnish with a hard boiled egg.

30 Issue 3 2016 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

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Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine Issue #3 2016  

This issue is packed with awesome articles. Inspiring readers to look and feel their best!

Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine Issue #3 2016  

This issue is packed with awesome articles. Inspiring readers to look and feel their best!