Aug 24

“I’ll wear boots instead of high heels” – Heel Pain

“I’ll wear boots instead of high heels”

“I’ll wear boots instead of high heels” – Heel Pain
Song Lyrics Courtesy of Tom Waits “Pay Me”
By; Dr. Jen Newell.

 

This morning I woke up with excruciating heel pain and realized how common this is in my practice. I regularly see people complaining of heel pain and wanted to share a few tips about what causes it and how to avoid it.

What causes heel pain?

There are 2 major causes of heel pain – plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. These are pretty easy to differentiate based on the location of the pain. If the pain is under your heel bone on the bottom of your foot, you likely have plantar fasciitis. If the pain if at the back of the heel, you probably have achilles tendonitis.

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the thick tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. Stresses and strains cause microtears in the fascia, which become larger with continual loading. Walking and standing interfere with the rest needed for healing.

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes sharp pain directly under the heel, which is often worse first thing in the morning and after long periods of sitting. I often see symptoms persisting in patients for months to years if they continue vigorous activity that strains the fascia.

Methods of treating plantar fasciitis:

I encourage patients to ice the bottoms of their feet both before and after activity to help calm the inflammation. A frozen water bottle rolled under the arch of the foot and heel works really well.

In addition to ice, I stress the importance of altering training/exercise methods. Swapping walking, running and plyometrics with swimming or cycling can help reduce the stress put onto the fascia.

Another strategy to support healing (or heeling if you enjoy a good pun!) is to ensure you are stretching your calf muscles daily. Regular massages can help too!

In those with severe or persistent plantar fasciitis, I recommend regular acupuncture and supplementation of nutraceutical anti-inflammatories. These treatments can be individualized based on the needs of each patient and their specific concerns and health history.

 

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury affecting the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It is most common in runners after they increase the intensity or duration of their runs or in weekend warriors.

Methods of treating achilles tendonitis:

Over the counter analgesics (pain relievers) like Advil or Aleve often help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with achilles tendonitis; however, I discourage regular or frequent use of these products. There are a number of natural anti-inflammatory supplements available that can help to reduce the pain and effectively address the inflammation. Reducing your activity is key to promoting healing/heeling J.

Eccentric strengthening can be particularly helpful in healing tendonitis and gentle stretching is recommended. I would encourage working up to the eccentric strengthening with gentle stretching activities first.

Another strategy to both treat and prevent achilles tendonitis is to avoid shoes with excessive heel cushioning. Air-filled, extra cushioned heels in running shoes now more resistant to deformation and leaks which is not good for a sore achilles tendon. The reason for this is quite simple; if you are wearing a shoe that is designed to give great heel shock absorption what frequently happens is that after heel contact, the heel continues to sink lower while the shoe is absorbing the shock. This further stretches the achilles tendon, at a time when the leg and body are moving forward over the foot.

Much like with plantar fasciitis, acupuncture and nutraceutical supplementation can be helpful in reducing the pain and supporting healing so chat with your Naturopathic Doctor to find out the best course of action for you.

Take care of your feet! I am off to ice and acupuncture mine to help heal the plantar fasciitis.

Have an awesome day!

Dr. Jen Newell, ND

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

 

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/achilles-tendinitis/basics/definition/con-20024518

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/basics/definition/con-20025664

 

 

 

 

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Aug 18

I Do Not Love Yoga – A Poem by Meghan Walsh

beginagain-yoga

I DO NOT LOVE YOGA ~ A poem by Meghan Walsh, Yoga Therapist

I do not ‘Love’ yoga the way I Love a friend or a painting or a pet
Yoga is how I choose to heal and learn and grow and surrender and let go
I respect yoga, it’s tradition and philosophy
I honor yoga on my mat daily, when I want to or not
I study and practice asana, pranayama, meditation, yamas and niyamas (ethical offerings) and the sutras
I humble myself to yoga
I kneel in gratitude.

Sometimes I wake up full of vitality and the first thing to do is get on my mat
Other days, I resist and struggle and I do not want to look at what needs to be seen
I do not want to acknowledge or admit or own
Sometimes it is really hard
Sometimes I drag myself to my mat and move my body, or sit on my cushion and I listen to my thoughts
When I’m done I get up and I continue my life

And the yoga doesn’t stop when I step off the mat, or get up off of the cushion
I do things and talk to people and live my life and can’t help but notice my words, my tone, my body language, my breath
Because my practice opens my eyes and my ears
And I learn something every time

I do not practice yoga because I love it
I practice yoga because I choose to keep looking
I practice yoga to manage my pain, my stress
I practice yoga to open my heart and look at all beings as brothers and sisters
I practice yoga because it is empowering and healing
I practice because when I study the sutras I realize it is a practical manual that teaches how to recognize suffering and ignite contentment, joy, compassion
How to quiet the mind and walk with grounded feet
To use my words kindly and Lovingly
To keep my actions compassionate
To cut the bull shit and live open heartedly, courageously, and vulnerably.

I never know what or who I will find on the mat
I’m comforted by this not knowing.
I practice and begin again.

 

Meghan Walsh, BFA, Yoga Therapist

Meghan Walsh Headsot

Certified Yoga Therapist & Ayurvedic Practitioner

I began my journey with yoga as a teen, practicing classic hatha at a studio in downtown Toronto. I continued my practice recreationally, leading to my exploratory thesis in bio-ethics in my final year at OCAD University. I came to notice the strain and tension this work created on my body, as well as my emotions and mental faculties. Gradually I began to regard my practice as a form of self-therapy, a practice that truly got me through these challenges.

Follow Meg on Instagram
‘Like’ Yoga Is My Therapy on Facebook
Check out Meg’s website

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Aug 10

Physical Restoration Through Breathing and Mindful Movement

stretching

By: Odette Oliver, RMT

In our fast paced world the ‘energy’, the ‘buzz’ our cities create have led us to set our goals very high for everything; but the stress of our work, and our play, is slowly taking its toll.

We rush around with heads down, eat while on the move, constantly check or are on an electronic devise, sit for hours at poor ergonomic work stations. Then we push our bodies to exhaustion with exercise, and play hard in an attempt to de-stress.

Stress triggers the release of chemicals such as steroids and adrenalin into our body, preparing our body and psyche to tackle a threat. Today that threat could be a business deadline, an argument with a boss, being stuck in traffic, family obligations, illness, money. How do we get everything done? If these triggers are ongoing those chemicals don’t ‘switch off’. Our nervous system is then kept in a hyper active state, and the ‘switch off’ process that would return our body to normal is compromised, and balance is lost. Sometimes the process is slow and we don’t realize that stress has become the ‘new normal’. This loss of balance can lead to both physical and psychological damage.

The body will respond to stress in the same physiological way, whether we perceive the activity as fun, or as danger. Some of the short term activities we use to deal with our stress can seem like fun for a while: a drink after work, run for the burn, rewarding comfort food, but when these become long term behaviors our immune system can be compromised leaving us open for illness.

In work or play we are not giving ourselves enough time to restore the balance. Stress management techniques can help. We have to re-learn to relax our nervous system without over exciting it.

At the Integrative Health Institute, I will be running a series of 6 evenings exploring relaxation techniques for stress management. Coming this fall.

Through mindful movement and breathing the only goal is to be there, exploring at your own pace.

Starting very simply with breathing, imagery, ‘body scanning’ and undemanding stretching I hope to explore ‘physical restoration’ so we can normalize our stress responses while negotiating our stressful environment.

 

Odette Oliver, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist


DSC00351Odette graduated from Sutherland and Chan School and Teaching Clinic in 1997. Since that time she has been practicing and teaching massage therapy in Ontario and Nova Scotia. In Halifax she was the School Director of ICT Northumberland College School of Massage Therapy,  where her teaching focused on communication. Throughout her teaching career, Odette has stressed the importance of good body mechanics, physical awareness and relaxation techniques.

 

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Aug 4

Are These 3 Myths About Relaxation Preventing You From Living Your Best Life?

relaxation


By Dr. Erin Wiley

Myth #1: Relaxation is unproductive.

Our culture is driven by results. There is a constant sense that we need to produce more, grow more, and achieve more. If we are not getting the results we want there is a sense that we should be doing more, or learning more, or taking on more to be competitive. Adding more and more to the demands on our time and energy can make relaxation feel impossible or simply counter to our beliefs about progress.

This misguided belief could not be further from reality. When we relax, our body repairs, our body gets stronger, and there is tremendous value in this process. When we relax we assimilate our memory, our focus gets sharper, we can process information better and we become more decisive. When we relax we connect with ourselves, this leads us to connect better with others, we become more affectionate, we restore our libido, we feel more passionate, we become more motivated, we develop more empathy. These qualities are very valuable because they allow us to communicate better and, when we get back to work, ultimately we perform better.

Relaxation is essential to optimal productivity, not to mention that it helps us to prevent chronic disease like heart disease, cancer, anxiety and depression. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to relax.

 

Myth #2: Watching TV or trolling the internet or social media is relaxing.

There is an important difference between distraction and relaxation. TV, social media and the internet are designed to captivate our attention. They provide entertainment value and can be a pleasant distraction from our stress. However, the health benefits of distraction are not the same as true relaxation. If your brain is not at rest, your body is not at rest and you will miss out on all the benefits of recovery and repair. If you are looking for more energy, better mood, focus and concentration you are not going to find these feelings on the couch. You need to find an activity that is truly relaxing to your mind and body. Our nervous system is calmed when we engage in the present moment, like walking in nature, meeting up with a good friend, strolling an art gallery or new neighbourhood, or taking a dance, cooking or painting class. The difference is that relaxation engages our senses, it connects our mind and body, and it allows the mind to wander, connect and create. With access to the internet at our fingertips it is very difficult to avoid getting sucked into the most popular distraction. So put down your phone, get outside and open your heart.

 

Myth #3: Once I get this [inset: project, promotion, education, the kids grow up] done then I’ll have time to relax.

This is perhaps the biggest lie we can tell ourselves. The truth is that the “to-do” is never ending, there is always another project, another promotion, more dirty laundry or another form of self improvement we need to take on. If we do not make relaxation part of our regular routine we will miss out on the beautiful life we are trying to create. We need to learn to enjoy the process as much as we expect to enjoy the results.

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Owner and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

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Jul 27

Getting Mindful: Taking The Time To Just Breathe

corinne

By: Corinne K.

We live in a world of instant gratification. With the world at our fingertips, it’s easy to assume that we can have everything yesterday and now. Along with that comes the tendency to rush through things. “I don’t have time for that.” “Hurry up, I don’t have all day.” “Time is money.” “Can we get this done any quicker?”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for efficiency. There’s no point in wasting time on things that you know deep down will get you nowhere but what about slowing down in general?

On Thursday afternoon, we’re counting down to Friday night. When Friday night gets here, we laugh when we can’t even remember what we ate for breakfast that morning. We wonder, “where did the time go?”

Sometimes we can live in a blur, with moments passing us by as we routinely make it through our day and onto the next. The sun rises and sets without embracing the fact that another precious day has passed.

People on their death beds often look back and reflect on life and comment that they wish they spent more time doing the things they loved, spent more time with the people who meant the most to them. Do we really need to be on the brink of death to realize that life is fleeting? That a life lived doing the stuff we don’t want to do is just as bad as living for someone else? That the people who mean the most to us fill us up and we need each other to keep moving in the right direction?

When we slow down, we’re present to the moment. When we own the space we’re in, we’re living and not just going through the motions.

When we’re rushing to get through the day’s events, we’re often also stuck in our heads. It goes something like this: “Oh wow. I have so much to do today. How am I going to get all of this done? This is impossible. There’s no way this is going to happen.” So we cut corners, often the corners of the things that will help us cope with a piling to-do list. Like that breakfast we skipped this morning to make it out the door in time? That led to our sugar crash around 10am and made us pretty useless in the meeting we were rushing to get to. Oops. That backfired, huh?

We get stuck in our heads and pile anxious thought atop anxious thought. We see the world through the eyes of anxiety, pressure and time constraints. And guess what we get in return? Anxiety. Pressure. Time constraints. Like attracts like. It’s basic science.

So what can we do instead? It’s quite simple actually.

Just breeeeathe sloooowly. Try it now. Take a deep breath in. And exhale slowly. Be conscious of the fact that you’re a living being, breathing and alive.

Feel the air fill your lungs and slowly release it. And as you release the air, release the tension in your body. Do this a couple of times.

When those thoughts of your to-do list try to creep in as you concentrate on your breath, instead focus on your belly rising and falling with every breath. Try this whenever you feel the stress begin to creep in because you have too much to do. Try this when you feel like there’s not enough time in the day. Try this in bed before you even step foot to start your day.

The more often you take the time to just breathe, the more you’ll feel settled, grounded and relaxed. And just slow down. The world won’t fall apart if you take a little time to breathe. Promise.

Corinne K.

Bio PicCorinne K. works with stressed, busy and driven women. Through energy healing and soulful coaching, she helps them slow down and feel better physically and emotionally. She helps them get real about what they need to feel more free, inspired and empowered in life.

When she’s not working she’s probably sitting on a patio somewhere with a glass of wine or a London Fog, traveling or wandering the city. For more about what she does, check out corinnek.ca.

 

 

 

 

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Jul 20

Drink Your Stress Away – A Relaxation Smoothie

 

drinkyourstressaway

Dr. Shannon Vander Doelen, ND

“You are what you eat” is how the saying goes – and while it may not be true in the literal sense, it should come as no surprise that what we eat can influence how we feel. In fact, our food choices can contribute to how stressed and anxious or how calm and relaxed we feel. This is largely related to our blood sugar levels. When we eat foods that are carbohydrate rich, processed, or lacking in protein or fibre, our blood sugar levels spike and then drop quickly, resulting in hypoglycaemia – a state that causes us to feel tired, irritable, shaky, and hungry (Hanger anyone?) In honour of #Relaxation Month at IHI, I wanted to share with you a smoothie recipe that is chalked full of ingredients that will help you to drink that stress away (in a good way!) It makes an awesome breakfast or snack since it’s rich in protein, fibre and healthy fats to help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Recipe (Makes 1 large smoothie)

Ingredients

¼ cup frozen blueberries
¼ cup frozen mango
2 handfuls spinach
½ avocado
¼ cup steel cut oats
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 scoop brown rice protein powder
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup water

Instructions

Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth! Add more liquid or ice as needed to get your desired consistency. Relax, and enjoy!

How These Foods Calm You Down

Blueberries – contain fibre to balance blood sugar levels, contain vitamin C and the B vitamins to help reduce the impact of the stress hormone, cortisol, or our body and mind.

Mango – rich in vitamins C and B6, important for stress reduction and increased energy.

Spinach – contains fibre to balance blood sugar levels, rich in magnesium to promote a feeling of calm and help with muscle tension, contains B vitamins to help support adrenal gland function (the glands that release cortisol).

Avocado – contain fibre and monounsaturated fats to balance blood sugar levels, rich in folic acid and pantothenic acid (vitamins B9 and B5) that are important for cortisol regulation by the adrenal glands.

Oats – rich in fibre that stabilize blood sugar levels, B vitamins required for production of calming brain chemicals, and magnesium which helps promote physical and mental relaxation.

Yogurt – contains the good bacteria called probiotics, which have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression by balancing chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.

Brown Rice – rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that increases serotonin and melatonin in the body resulting in a feeling of well-being and more restful sleep.

Almonds – rich in B vitamins and magnesium, which are two nutrients that are vital to our bodies ability to cope with stress.

Enjoy!

 

IMG_2905_2

Shannon will work with you to help you live your healthiest and happiest life. Since this means something different to everyone, she is excited about exploring your individual needs and working with you to create a treatment plan that is unique and sustainable for you and your busy lifestyle. Shannon is passionate about health and happiness and believes that the two go hand-in-hand.

Clinically, Shannon practices functional medicine. She maintains a general family practice, with a special interest in managing fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression; digestive health; skin health; irregular or painful menstruation; and endocrine/hormonal disorders.

 

 

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Jul 13

How Can a Naturopathic Doctor Help with Infertility?

pregnant-bellyBy Dr. Jen Newell

I regularly see patients in my clinic seeking support for fertility challenges. This can be a frustrating, emotional and stressful process and it can be hard to ask for support. I have seen many women make incredible changes in their health and achieve a healthy, vibrant pregnancy. There are a number of ways in which a Naturopathic Doctor can support fertility and increase chances of natural conception and success with assisted reproductive technologies. Below are ways in which a I can help:

Time
Naturopathic Doctors have the privilege of having time to get to know their patients’ and their unique needs. With an initial visit of an hour and half, a Naturopath has the opportunity to understand the patient’s individual concerns and with appropriate follow-ups can devise a personalized treatment plan. Patient’s report feeling supported, understood and listened to, which can help to alleviate the stress often associated with trying to conceive.

Counseling
With the time given to understanding patients unique needs, Naturopathic Doctors are able to learn more about the emotional impact of trying to conceive and can address both physical and emotional concerns.

Holistic Practices
Naturopathic Doctors consider the whole body and lifestyle of a patient when creating an integrative treatment plan. Not only is fertility improved, but overall health is supported so often patients report more restorative sleep, improved digestive function and increased energy as a result of treatment.

Stress and Anxiety Management
Research into Naturopathic Medicine has found that seeing a Naturopath reduces stress for patients by 15-20%. Patients feel listened to and are able to discuss aspects of their care and lives to reduce perceived stress. Managing stress increases chances of successful conception. Naturopathic care is also helpful at reducing anxiety associated with fertility treatments.

Diet Counseling
Counseling patients to adopt a healthier diet improves overall health and supports fertility. Naturopathic Doctors are able to support patients in this transition and provide support for eliminating dependency on certain foods such as coffee and sugar. They are also able to identify and address nutrient deficiencies through diet and appropriate supplements.

What would you like to know next about fertility support?

Have an awesome day!

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

 

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Jul 6

Does Effort = Results? (In The Gym)

gymfailBy Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS

A common scenario I see with clients is that when they achieve poor results in the gym, they assume they are not training ‘hard enough’. They always think ‘lack of effort’ is the underlying cause of their training plateau, inability to lose weight, or failure to add lean muscle and size.

Does effort in the gym really translate into results?

I would say that most people in the gym, no matter what their level, are determined to get fitter, leaner, and healthier. You could even argue that the less fit you are, the more effort you often put in. I am not a skilled swimmer… I know I put forth a lot more effort into a 30 minute swim than my friends who used to swim in university. More effort, less results. What is going on here?

There are two general tendencies at play; genetics and a properly developed plan. Your genetics play a large role in your ability to lift heavy weights, perform in certain sports, and even lose weight. A recent article in Men’s Health highlights this point to a tee, some people are just born ‘bigger, stronger, faster!’

So, should you be taking advice from people – trainers, strength coaches, friends – whose genetic and hormonal profile predispose them to success? If you look at the hormonal profiles of top athletes, they all tend to fall into a certain category, a level above the rest of us.

The answer is no, you shouldn’t follow a personal trainer’s advice just because they are big or strong. But, if they have experience and expertise in their field and can outline  a safe and effective plan for you (with short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals) to help you achieve your goals… absolutely!

Effort only gets you so far. Most people don’t need to train more, they need to train smarter. Your training intensity (how hard you are working) as well as your training density (how much work you can do in a specific amount of time) are two critical factors for helping you achieve your goals of a better body and better performance.

You don’t need more hours in the gym… find the right plan and you can get better results in less time. For most people, this is the ultimate goal!

Have a great week,


Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS,
  is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS

 

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Jun 29

New Regulations for Naturopathic Doctors, and What That Means For You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ministry of health and long term care has made the official announcement, on July 1, 2015 the Naturopathic profession will move from operating under the Drugless Practitioners Act to the regulatory umbrella of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Naturopathy Act, 2007. As well, the College of Naturopaths of Ontario will now be in place to regulate the profession in the public interest.

This is an exciting advancement for our profession. With proclamation, Naturopathic Doctors are joining a community of nearly 300,000 health care professionals in Ontario who fall under the RHPA. Being an official part of this community will provide the opportunity for more integration and improved interdisciplinary care.

New regulation will also offer Naturopathic doctors the opportunity to obtain prescribing rights to a list of therapeutic substances including drugs like bio-identical hormones. Access to these substances is something our clients have been advocating for and will increase our ability to provide our clients with the best quality care. New regulations mean a new set of regulatory examinations. Our team is looking forward to the opportunity and will be working hard to complete all necessary examinations and so we can work with our clients to the full scope of our practice and their full health potential.

For our clients who receive Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy (IVMT), new regulation means that we will be working though some short term changes to our IV schedule. We will be working with our neighbours at Pace Pharmacy, who will be compounding our IV formulas. IV appointments will be available on Mondays from 2p-6p, Wednesdays from 10a-2p, and Fridays from 2p -6p. Our reception team will be contacting our IVMT clients with more information and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

We sincerely thank all of our clients and community members who advocated to their MPP’s and the Ministry of Health to expand and maintain the Naturopathic scope of practice. Your letters and contributions have gone a long way to expand the proposed access to lab testing and therapeutic substances for Naturopathic clients. For that we are sincerely grateful.  We will continue to help our clients make empowered choices that support their values, in the pursuit of living an authentic healthy life.

Sincerely,

The IHI Team

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Jun 22

Movility and Creativity

movilityblogpost

By Corinne K.

We’re often taught that having our nose to the grindstone is the best route to productivity. And while a strong work ethic is certainly an important factor in achieving success, sometimes the best thing we can do is move away from our work. New ideas and fresh perspectives will come easier when we can walk away and take a look at things from another angle.

Some of the world’s greatest minds understood the power of movement in getting their creative juices flowing. Rather than sit around, banging their heads against the wall when they got stuck on an idea, they knew that getting into their bodies was the best way to invoke their muse.

Steve Jobs was known for conducting his most important business meetings while walking with collaborators, crediting his greatest a-ha moments to these moving meetings. Darwin, Nietzsche, Dickens and Beethoven also found that their most creative moments came during their regular walks.

Getting into our bodies has been scientifically proven to increase creativity. A 2014 study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology explored the level of creative thinking sparked by participants observed while sitting versus walking on a treadmill. The study concluded that walking increased creativity for 81% of participants while also increasing their creative output by an average of 60%. They also found that the thoughts that were generated by walking weren’t far-fetched or random but instead, were innovative and practical.

So what is it about walking that triggers our creativity? It all begins with the change to our chemistry as we begin to move. As we walk, our heart rate increases, circulating more blood and oxygen to the muscles and organs including the brain. Many experiments have shown that during and after exercise (even mild exertion) people will perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking regularly also promotes new connections in the brain and helps slow the inevitable decline in brain tissue as we age.

When we’re stuck at our desks staring at a computer screen, hoping that inspiration strikes, we’re likely to find more of the same stagnation that we’re hoping to overcome.

Have you ever had the experience of desperately searching for something where you turn everything upside down? You search high and low only to find that what you’ve been looking for was right in front of you the whole time. It was staring right back at you but somehow you just didn’t see it. Typically we only see what we’re looking for right when we’re about to give up. When we’ve resigned ourselves that it’s lost forever – there it is. This is the point where we let go of the fixation of finding something.

This hindering fixation happens in other instances as well. It happens when we’re forcing an issue, trying desperately to fit it into a box of our understanding of something, even when it’s clear that we need to find another solution. This happens when we’re blocked creatively and stare at a blank page, canvas or computer screen and are trying to force a spark of inspiration.

The more we can get moving and walk away from these situations, the more we’ll find ease in our pursuits. So the next time you get stuck on something – stretch those legs and go for a walk instead! Allow the answers to come to you in a natural flow.

Corinne K.
Soul Healer. Change Catalyst.
Corinne works with stressed out, busy and driven women. She helps them slow down and feel better physically and emotionally. She guides them to get real about what they need to feel more free, inspired and empowered. Check out her website for more details and her June 2015 promotion.

w: www.corinnek.ca
e: hello@corinnek.ca
c: 416.844.0804

 

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