Jun 20

The Benefit of Empathy

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By Shannon Stoby

I think apathy is one of the greatest threats to our society and to our planet. We see large-scale examples of it at election time in voter turn-outs, smaller examples in our day-to-day life: litter on the sidewalk, neglect of the homeless person on the corner.

In general, I think we have become a society that feels too little. We value thoughts over feelings. We pride ourselves on being able to ‘keep it together’. We can get so caught up in the busy-ness that is expected of us that we become apathetic about our own lives. Even the medical model reflects an expected lack of feeling, as much of health care is based on numbing out. Take a pill for that. Get on with things. Feeling is inconvenient; it gets in the way of all the things we have to do. But, often as we tune out of our bodies, we also tune out of who we really are and our connection to one another.

Being one who feels a lot is not always an easy road. It can make life confusing, overwhelming, and downright frightening on any given day. This world can be a scary place in which to feel. There is a lot of chaos going on. There are so many places for the empathy to go that the thought of caring for everyone seems nearly impossible.

But it is when we feel that we are most united. In the face of disaster or tragedy, we come together. As we feel that empathy for one another, it brings out the best in us. As we are all moved, we each do our part, and are able to make a huge collective difference. The response to the fires in Fort McMurray is a recent example. As people from across the country and around the world express their love and offer what help they can, we see the best of humanity. As people escape the flames with their lives and their loved ones, expressing in the face of loss that they have all they need, we gain perspective.

I think we underestimate the power we have to affect change. In as much as it takes a large-scale problem to spur us into action, we seem to think that unless we have a large-scale solution it isn’t worth doing. Smile at the person on the corner asking for change; give if you can. Plant a tree. Recycle. Do what you are passionate about and bring that gift to the world, whatever it may be. Heal yourself.

I think we are slowly learning that, counter-intuitive though it may be, self-love is the key to caring for one another. Without the love of self, you can run that well dry and burn yourself out trying to care for others. The things we learn to feel for ourselves, we can then extend more easily to others: compassion, respect, love. If everyone saved themselves, we might just save the world.

By: Shannon Stoby, PT, MScPT
Physiotherapist
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Shannon is a Physical Therapist with an interest in helping her patients achieve holistic healing from whatever ails them and achieve optimum functioning in pursuing their passions.

Shannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education with distinction, and followed with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Shannon has trained extensively in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR), and this is the focus of her practice. She has worked with patients with mental illness, has trained in women’s health treatment, and is a sports enthusiast; MFR allows her a means to assist with all of these issues in a meaningful way. She has also worked across the lifespan, with experience addressing the health concerns of older adults. Through her experience in work and in life, she has come to understand that there is more to healing than just the body. While physical health is paramount, the roles of the mind and the soul in health and healing are of equal importance.

Shannon is excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at IHI, and looks forward to working with you, in wherever the journey may lead.

 

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Jun 13

Pre-birth Acupuncture: A Proactive Approach to a Happy and Healthy Labour!

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A Proactive Approach to a Happy and Healthy Labour!

By Jonathan Handel

Acupuncture is a great tool for many concerns that women have during their pregnancies. In recent years acupuncture has been gaining more and more recognition for its ability to help expectant mothers maintain optimal health and quality of life in a way that is both drug free and safe.

It is widely known that acupuncture can help deal with nausea, pain, breech presentation and the inducting of labour. But perhaps acupuncture’s best kept secret is that having regular treatments leading up to the birth, starting at week 36, can promote a safe, efficient and natural labour — including shorter time in labour.

In Chinese Medicine there are many sayings which promote prevention over intervention:

“Do not dig a well when you are already thirsty”

“Don’t start making weapons when the war has already begun”

This is true in terms of having a efficient and easy labour as well. The more work you do beforehand, the more prepared your body will be. In being more prepared the experience will be easier on you and the baby.

How does acupuncture make for an easier labour? A few ways. Through activating points on the arms and legs, acupuncture promotes blood flow to the pelvis, helps relax muscles (allowing for easier passage for the baby in labour), aids in cervical dilation, and helps keep the mother in a relaxed and energized state leading up to the labour.

Acupuncture has been shown in studies to to promote a natural birth and even reduce labour times. In 1974, a study by researchers Kubista and Kucera calculated that women who had acupuncture starting in the final weeks of pregnancy on average took 4 hours and 57 minutes between when they were 3-4 cm dilated to when they delivered. This is compared to 5 hours and 54 minutes in the control (non-acupuncture) group. They also measured the time between the onset of 10-15 minute contraction and delivery, and by that measure the acupuncture group averaged 6 hours 36 minutes, versus 8 hours and 2 minutes in the control group.

In 2004, acupuncturist Debra Betts and midwife Sue Lennox conducted an observations study of 169 women who received pre-birth acupuncture and compared their births statistics to those of the local population. They found that there was a 35% reduction in medical inductions (up to 44% for women having their first baby) for the women that received pre-birth acupuncture. Comparing to regular midwife care, they found a 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery and a 9 % increase in normal vaginal births.

These studies show how being proactive leading up to birthing, using acupuncture, can help reduce labour times and decrease the chances of needed medical interventions during labour.

Having regular acupuncture starting at week 36 at weekly intervals, also allows for regular visits to address any other concerns that may arise at the end of the pregnancy. At this stage, many women are dealing with discomfort from carrying extra weight. There might be fatigue, edema, poor sleep, heartburn, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, as well as stress leading up to the labour. Acupuncture can help address these concerns as well so that the final weeks of pregnancy can be more enjoyable and allow for a better quality of life.

As an acupuncturist who sees many pre-natal clients, I can attest to the how acupuncture facilitates an efficient birth. My clients enjoy taking charge of their health at a time when it might feel like things are out of their control. Many mothers have even told me that the time they set aside for acupuncture, a time to relax and do something for themselves, is in and of itself valuable.

If you would like to learn more about how acupuncture can help you during your pregnancy and the benefits of pre-birth acupuncture, come check out my seminar Acupuncture During Pregnancy: Why Acupuncture is a Mother’s Best Tool for Health and Happiness this Thursday July 21st at IHI.

 

Jonathan Handel, R.Ac R.TCMP

DSC01239Jonathan is a acupuncturist and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. He values a holistic approach, and seeks to treat the root causes of illness and provide symptomatic relief for people seeking to better their health and quality of life. As a practitioner, Jonathan seeks to create a positive healing environment, where patients can step away from their daily stresses. Through creating a safe and comfortable space, patients can look forward to coming in for treatment as an opportunity to seek relief and get the support they need.

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Jun 6

New Treatment: Collagen Induction Therapy

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I love helping my patients overcome acne. I love seeing how a person’s whole demeanor changes when their skin stops breaking out and how their confidence begins to shine. Unfortunately, for many of those patients the healing doesn’t end when the breakouts stop flaring up because past acne has left frustrating scars and areas of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This scarring can be devastating and debilitating. This led me to seek out the best treatments to heal those scars. The most natural and effective treatment I discovered is Collagen Induction Therapy (also known as CIT, microneedling or skin needling).

The basic idea of collagen induction therapy has been around for over a century but the technique has been modernized and integrated into aesthetic medicine and dermatological practices. In 1997, Canadian plastic surgeon Dr. Andre Camirand accidentally discovered that skin puncturing with tattoo needles resulted in improvement of facial scar texture. Fundamentally, the mechanism is simple – controlled delivery of damage to the skin stimulates collagen production through the body’s natural healing process. Over time, the skin is remodeled which results in smoother skin texture and improved strength and elasticity. Since then, many dermal rollers and needling devices have entered the market for both professional and personal use but Dermaroller® is the only brand approved by Health Canada.

Dermaroller® is clinically proven and is perhaps the most successful treatment available for the common signs and symptoms of aging such as wrinkles, loss of skin volume, and crepey skin. The Dermaroller® micro-needling treatment even targets the epidermis in such a way that it is clinically proven to minimize scars and stretch marks. The eDermastamp® is an advancement of the classic Dermaroller®, in which the microneedles are not applied manually to the skin but by motor power that moves a needle module up and down with a high frequency. The needle length is adjusted according to the indication and treatment area.

Benefits for Microneedling/CIT (Collagen Induction Therapy):

  • Soften and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Plump and thicken the skin for a more youthful experience
  • Reduce the appearance of acne scars and other scars on the body
  • Improved appearance of stretch marks and cellulite
  • Improved product penetration

What is a treatment like? Is it painful?

Collagen Induction Therapy treatments begin by thoroughly cleansing the face or treatment area, then a numbing cream is applied to minimize any discomfort from the treatment. Once the treatment area is sufficiently numb, hyaluronic acid is applied to the skin and a small pen-like device with tiny atraumatic needles is moved in small circles covering the treatment area. Once the needling is complete, a masque is applied to cool and soothe the skin as well as deliver more active ingredients that are selected based on the individual skin concerns.

What can I expect following treatment?

Immediately after CIT treatment your skin will be red, similar to a mild sunburn, and slightly puffy but this is only temporary and should dissipate after 24-48 hours (so don’t plan any big events in the days after your treatment). There may also be mild bruising for 3 days following the treatment. The first week after the treatment you may get some skin peeling which helps lighten pigmentation or scarring and the skin looks more hydrated. The results are gradual as collagen production takes time, most clients report a gradual improvement in their skin colour and texture over 6- 8 week period. That improvement is compounded as each consecutive treatment is performed. So it’s really important to apply creams at home and commit and rebook your treatments to see the best results.

Generally, a minimum of 3 treatments are required to achieve the optimum rejuvenation of an area. When treating scarring, at least 5-6 treatments would generally be required. The treatments are performed 5-6 weeks apart.

Book your visit today to get healthy, smooth, youthful skin!

Have a beautiful day!

Signature-Jen-Newell

 

Jen NewellDr. 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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Jun 1

Now Available: OxyGeneo – Exfoliate, Infuse, Oxygenate

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I am so excited to now be able to offer my patients the amazing Oxygeneo 3-in-1 Super Facial. Patented OxyGeneo™ technology provides unparalleled skin nourishment & oxygenation, revealing younger looking, more radiant skin after just one treatment. Immediate benefits are softer, smoother, and brighter skin. This is the perfect treatment before important events!

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When I had my first OxyGeneo™ facial, I knew immediately that it would be the perfect treatment to complement an integrative approach to skin health and beauty. During the treatment, a gel is applied all over your face, (either NeoBright, which lightens and brightens using azelaic acid, kojic acid and retinol or NeoRevive, which repairs and regenerates with hyaluronic acid, peptides and retinol) then a smooth capsule made of sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and magnesium is placed on the end of a vibrating handpiece. When it touches the active-ingredient rich gel formula it creates carbon dioxide bubbles on the skin’s surface, which draws oxygen-enriched blood to the surface. During the treatment, you feel a slightly gritty exfoliation as well as warmth and a slight tingle as the blood is drawn near the surface to distribute oxygen. After the exfoliation, the skin is massaged with the remainder of the gel containing the active ingredients to further enhance their penetration and benefits.

What makes OxyGeneo™ the new super-facial? The OxyGeneo™ provides the exfoliation benefits of microdermabrasion plus deep facial rejuvenation with the infusion of essential revitalizing nutrients and healing skin oxygenation from within. OxyGeneo™ treatments are suitable for all skin types – any ethnicity and pigmentation, sensitive skin, and even those who keloid (scar) and couldn’t otherwise have microdermabrasion treatments.

Breakthrough OxyGeneo™ Technology provides superior anti-aging results by treating the skin at a deeper level. Exfoliate, Infuse, and Oxygenate your way to glowing, youthful skin.

CONDITIONS TREATED: dull skin, mottled skin, blotchy skin, rough skin, pigmentation, brown spots, acne, enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and anti-aging.

For targeting specific concerns a series of 4 to 8 (1 treatment per month) is recommended.

Other reviews of OxyGeneo™:

Canadian Living

Beauty Editor

Byrdie

 

Have a beautiful day!

Signature-Jen-Newell

 

 

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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May 30

3 Simple Steps to Green Your Beauty Routine

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3 Simple Steps to Green your Beauty Routine & 1 Massive Mistake Women Make That Causes Them to Waste Money and Time Searching for the Perfect Products

By. Dr Jen Newell, Naturopathic Doctor/ Skin Doctor

Our skin is our largest organ and while its purpose is to protect us, it acts more like a filter than a solid wall. What this means is that some things are kept out and others pass through and into our blood stream. Unfortunately, our daily skincare, makeup and hygiene routines put this barrier function to the test and many synthetic ingredients used in common skincare brands pass through the skin and affect our hormonal balance, organ function and genetic expression. Luckily, more natural skincare and personal care brands are entering the market and people are making a more educated choice than ever before about what they put onto their skin (and ultimately, into their body). Before you go and throw out all your products here are 3 simple steps to green your beauty routine:

  1. Ingredient Intel

Reading the ingredient lists of your products with a critical eye is important. No longer can the consumer trust claims such as “natural” or “non-comedogenic” because there are no regulations around the use of these terms. Educate yourself about the commonly used ingredients that may be in your products and harming your health. Look for the Dirty Dozen skincare ingredients:

  • BHA and BHT
  • Coal tar dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a 5 digit number)
  • Diethanolamine/DEA ingredients
  • Bibutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and methenamine)
  • Parabens
  • Parfum/fragrance (hint – these will even show up in products marketed as “unscented”)
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds)
  • Petrolatum
  • Siloxanes (ingredients listed as –siloxane or –methicone)
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Triclosan
  1. Product Purge

If you are having trouble identifying which products you should replace with greener, more natural ones check out the Think Dirty App. It allows you to scan the bar code of your products as assesses whether or not they are safe for use. I recommend that my patients and clients avoid any products that come back as orange or red. Take time to replace your products and dispose of those you are getting rid of safely. Do not just wash them down the sink – many of the more controversial ingredients also impact the health of our environment. Start by replacing products that you use daily or those that get more access to your body (ie. lipstick and lipgloss, foundation, moisturizer, etc).

  1. Clean Routine

Once you know what you want to replace confusion is not uncommon because there are a number of green beauty options at various prices and fewer places to test them out that more conventional products. I recommend trying products before you buy them because it can be challenging to find ones that are comparable to what you have grown accustomed to. Luckily a number of online retailers offer sample programs so you can try things before committing to a full sized product and more storefront retailers are popping up where you can play with products.

I also recommend that in the process of finding new products that are both safe and effective that you look for specific ingredients that will naturally address any specific concerns you have with your skin.

  • Age spots and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation – liposomal glutathione
  • Clogged pores – jojoba oil and enzymes from papaya, pumpkin or pineapple
  • Dry skin and lines – hyaluronic acid and carrot seed oil
  • Acne – black cumin oil, bergamot and lemongrass

And finally, the #1 massive mistake women make that causes them to waste money and time searching for the perfect products is that they don’t seek professional advice. I often see women trolling the skincare aisles at the grocery store, pharmacy and Sephora hoping for divine intervention to shine a light on the perfect product for them. And while the sales people sometimes get great product knowledge they don’t know your skin goals or skin and health history. By relying on this method of selecting new skincare products you will spend more money on things that don’t work or give lackluster results and you will wind up frustrated. You need a reliable expert to provide guidance and a thorough skin assessment to select the best products for your skin. This expert could be a naturopath, holistic dermatologist, esthetician, or skin therapist. Do not do this alone, your skin will thank you.

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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May 24

Begin Again: Finding Renewal in Deterioration

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By Shannon Stoby, Physiotherapist

Sometimes deterioration seems inevitable. We get older. Things change. It seems that we just can’t do the things we used to do. Sometimes this process can be accelerated by illness or injury and we mourn the loss of who we used to be.

Often we miss our younger selves because of our physical bodies. We could move and bend in all kinds of ways; we felt good. The skin was firmer, there was no cellulite—those were the days.

But, what else did we do when we were young?

We played. We explored. We learned. We dreamed. We used our imaginations. We believed in ourselves. We were less afraid. It seemed there were so many rules, yet more freedom, too. Our hearts and minds were open to new possibilities. Imagine that curiosity, confidence, and fearlessness now—now that you make the rules.

‘Getting older’ is not a diagnosis—for anything. Nor is any diagnosis a sentence to a completely predictable outcome. We have this notion that after a certain age or with a certain label, it is all downhill; that we just can’t expect any better. I think that we always need to accept where we are in life; but, acceptance is not the same as settling or resigning yourself. Acceptance is finding peace and, eventually, embracing a new circumstance—that’s when growth and renewal can begin.

At any age, injured or not, you need to listen to your body. Just because it no longer wants to do the things you used to do, does not necessarily mean that it is less capable—it may just mean that it is tired of being pushed in the same direction in the same way. At some point you outgrow your old patterns, physical and otherwise, and you need to look at what you are doing. At some point, just because that is the way you’ve always done it is not a good enough reason to continue on that path. You need a new way.

Change is inevitable and can sometimes seem devastating. Mourn your losses as you need to; be kind to yourself in the process. But know that you can find renewal in deterioration. Try new things. Learn new skills. Discover hidden talents. Explore new passions. Remember old, forgotten ones. And never assume that you’ve already been as good as you’re going to get. You have the capacity to heal if you have the willingness to grow.

By: Shannon Stoby, PT, MScPT
Physiotherapist
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Shannon is a Physical Therapist with an interest in helping her patients achieve holistic healing from whatever ails them and achieve optimum functioning in pursuing their passions.

Shannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education with distinction, and followed with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Shannon has trained extensively in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR), and this is the focus of her practice. She has worked with patients with mental illness, has trained in women’s health treatment, and is a sports enthusiast; MFR allows her a means to assist with all of these issues in a meaningful way. She has also worked across the lifespan, with experience addressing the health concerns of older adults. Through her experience in work and in life, she has come to understand that there is more to healing than just the body. While physical health is paramount, the roles of the mind and the soul in health and healing are of equal importance.

Shannon is excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at IHI, and looks forward to working with you, in wherever the journey may lead.

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May 16

Getting Clear: How to Make Decisions Mindfully

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By Natalie Marnica

We all make decisions daily. Ranging from little things like what to eat for breakfast, to which clothes to wear and to what you are going to post next on your face book page! But what do we do when we have to make bigger decisions? Like where to live, to get married or not, change careers, or whether to put your loved one into long-term care? Some stakes are higher than others. The more important the issue, the harder it is sometimes to make those tough choices. Especially if they have the power to alter other people’s lives and well-being.

It can feel overwhelming and cause confusion about making the “right” decision. Often times we are trying to make choices in our life when we are feeling stressed or emotional. When we are in a distressed state we are not always able to make the decisions that lead to the best possible outcome. It was Albert Einstein who said, “ No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.” So, if you are hitting a wall, try a different approach.

For me, practicing yoga regularly has been crucial to my mental health and stability. Yogic practices aim to bring one’s attention and focus into the present moment, by joining the mind, body and breath. Here are a few things that I have found greatly beneficial for my students and myself.

  • Get out of your head and into your body! Physical activities that involve focus and concentration like yoga, tai chi, martial arts, walking and running to name a few, can help to bring you into the present moment. When we get out of the “thinking” mind, we can create clarity and space, which allows for a fresh look at things.
  • Breathe, relax and focus; incorporating meditation into your life. A simple way to start is with mindfulness meditation.
    1. Find a comfortable seated position (with hips above the knees), in a place that is quiet and with minimal distractions. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes if you are new to meditation.
    2. Begin to focus on your natural breath rhythm, allowing any thoughts that come into your mind just to pass by like clouds moving in the sky. Anytime the mind starts to drift, gently return your focus back to the breath, without judgment.
    3. Continue this practice until you feel more focused and clear, or until your timer goes off! Then feel free to look at your decision-making possibilities.
  • Ask for advice! It can be very helpful to get an outside perspective, someone with whom you trust and that is willing to be a support. You are not obligated to take the advice but can benefit greatly from seeing another point of view.
  • Look at the bigger picture. What are the possible outcomes? Long-term vs short term? Listen to your gut. What feels right to you? Given the circumstances, what is the best possible decision you can make?

Ultimately, the goal is to find the answer that feels right to you. Right and wrong is a matter of opinion. Every action has a reaction and we have to be ready to face the consequences of that. Consider how it affects others and do your best. I’ll leave you with some lyrics that I find helpful from one of my favorite songs:

“You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will “ – Rush, Freewill

 

Namaste ,

Natalie MarnicaNatalie Marnica is a passionate advocate for holistic health. As a yoga therapist and teacher she believes that yoga practices should be accessible to everyone and, as such, offers many different therapeutic-based classes to allow all ages and fitness levels to participate and fully benefit from the healing practices of Yoga.

Natalie has a strong desire to teach individuals how to help themselves. She delivers simple breath-based yoga practices that supports and empowers the individual to improve their lives on all level physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As a person who has recovered from depression, trauma and chronic pain, Natalie believes that even in dark times there is still hope for a better future. Natalie teaches weekly yoga classes at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

www.smyoga.ca
twitter and ig @smyogini

Natalie Marnica is a Co-Author in the new book Empowering Women to Succeed: From Burnout to Victory. Click the link below to get your kindle copy for only $1.28 !
https://goo.gl/N2K2me

Immerse yourself in the most emotionally raw, powerfully compelling stories of those on the journey of women’s empowerment. These tenacious individuals have faced life-altering challenges and changes, and it’s all captured lyrically and beautifully in the pages within Empowering Women to Succeed.

Join Natalie and 15 other great authors LIVE on May 28th, 2016 as they share their stories! Click the link below to register!

https://qv200.isrefer.com/go/ewtslaunch2016/nataliem/

The pages in this book are so detailed and heartfelt, you will feel as though you have embarked on the authors’ journeys yourselves. These women’s—and one man’s—stories will motivate you, inspire you and uplift you on your path of empowerment, in elevating all women, and men, to succeed.

 

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May 4

Ditch the Disposable Project

 

ditch the disposable project

By: Yvette Marcek

When I see images of garbage floating around in our waters and piling up in landfills, I am moved to want to do something.  As part of a course that I’m taking, we are working on community projects.  I chose garbage.  My goal is to raise awareness about decreasing the amount of waste we produce.  Since that is such a huge topic, I have to start somewhere, and I was inspired by men’s disposable razors, because there is a great option.  GUYS (and their ladies) – if I told you that you could get a better shave, have a way cooler shaving ritual, save money AND reduce waste with one product, would you believe me?  Take it back to the old school and consider a double edge safety razor.  My guy switched last summer, and he couldn’t be happier.

If every man in the city of Toronto (about 1 million), throws 1 razor cartridge in the trash every month, that would make about 22 tons of waste (which almost fills up a 747) every year.  Our garbage from Toronto gets shipped out to London, and that landfill could be full by 2029.  Toronto’s waste management division manager, Jim Harnum reports that the city’s No. 1 waste-management priority is reducing overall garbage.  Switching from disposable razors will decrease plastic waste from the cartridges, razor handles and all the plastic packaging.  Sustainable solutions need action at every level, including with us consumers.

Ditch your disposable razor, reduce waste, and play a part in creating a healthy planet.  This is my intention, captured beautifully by Greenpeace:

ditch the

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested? Contact me at ymarcek@integrativehealthinstitute.ca

Integrative-017-199x300Yvette Marcek is a Registered Massage Therapist, Pilates Practitioner and Reiki Practitioner; she often incorporates each of these modalities with her clients. Recognizing that each person who comes in the treatment room has unique requirements and goals, her priority is to create a therapeutic environment that is safe, healing, and positive.

Despite viewing laughter as the best form of medicine, Yvette sees the healing of massage therapy and touch as an international language, spoken without barriers and greatly benefiting anyone. She is particularly passionate about increasing body awareness, believing that consciousness of our physical body and the world around us is an integral part of maintaining our health and happiness.

You can email Yvette for more info on her Pilates classes, Reiki or her RMT practice here

 

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May 2

Renewal vs. Deterioration: When it’s time to see your health care practitioner

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By Shannon Stoby, Physiotherapist

Usually you know when you’ve hit that wall. You have pain, you have an injury; it’s just not going away. Maybe it’s a recurring thing; maybe it’s been lingering a while, but you have reached the point where you can no longer ignore it. You don’t have time for this right now, but you make that appointment with your practitioner of choice to get it ‘fixed’.

There are numerous reasons why this scenario plays out so repeatedly. Life happens. There are other things to focus on. Work, play, family, friends—any number of other responsibilities and priorities. I get it.

But…

There are a couple of issues with this plan.

1. You aren’t saving yourself any time in the grand scheme of healing by waiting until whatever ‘it’ is feels so awful that you can no longer stand it before taking action.

2. You really don’t have to wait until it all falls apart to start taking care of your body. Body awareness, self-care, and making those appointments before you’re in a full-on state of disrepair can go a long way to maximizing your health and overall well-being. You don’t wait until you have to tow your car into the shop before you take it for a tune-up. Call it prevention, call it maintenance, call it ‘nipping it in the bud’–just do it. You’ll thank me later.

3. No one can fix you, except you.

4. Your health care practitioners are there to guide and advise, encourage and support; but, at the end of the day, the responsibility is yours. We have the tools and expertise to help you through, but the participation in the process and the work to implement the necessary changes are ultimately yours. And, really, that is a good thing. Why would you ever fully give that power over your well-being to anyone else? Be engaged in your own wellness. You’ll thank you later.

You have one body. You don’t have to justify looking after it; make it a priority. You don’t have to wait until the end of the benefit year to remember you are important. Make a commitment to renewal and you will be far less likely to have to face the deterioration.

By: Shannon Stoby, PT, MScPT
Physiotherapist
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Shannon is a Physical Therapist with an interest in helping her patients achieve holistic healing from whatever ails them and achieve optimum functioning in pursuing their passions.

Shannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education with distinction, and followed with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Shannon has trained extensively in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR), and this is the focus of her practice. She has worked with patients with mental illness, has trained in women’s health treatment, and is a sports enthusiast; MFR allows her a means to assist with all of these issues in a meaningful way. She has also worked across the lifespan, with experience addressing the health concerns of older adults. Through her experience in work and in life, she has come to understand that there is more to healing than just the body. While physical health is paramount, the roles of the mind and the soul in health and healing are of equal importance.

Shannon is excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at IHI, and looks forward to working with you, in wherever the journey may lead.

 

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Apr 25

Benefit From Your Benefits! 5 Ways to Maximize the Use of Your Benefits

image009By Melanie Gillians, RMT

1. Don’t wait till December to utilize ALL of your benefits. As much as we looove massage therapy, it is not beneficial to get massages back-to-back. In fact, this can be harmful to your tissues as you need to give your tissues time to heal. Try booking your regular maintenance appointments once a month. Also, December is the busiest time of year for massage therapists, so even if you wanted to use all of your benefits in the last month of the year, chances are, there may not be enough room in the appointment book.

2. Most people are unaware of what their coverage is. Talk to your insurance company prior to booking appointments to see what you are covered for. By checking prior to booking any appointments, you can get a better idea how much you have to spend, what health care modalities are covered, and what kind of treatment you can obtain. Here at the Integrative Health Institute, we like to refer clients to our co-workers when we feel that additional modalities would be beneficial to add to your treatment plan. We are looking out for your best interest and your overall health and wellness; wouldn’t it be nice to know if you have naturopathic medicine, chiropractic, osteopathic, and counselling coverage?

3. Talk to your massage therapist about the best way to book appointments throughout the year in order to get the best results from treatment. Sometimes, massage therapists recommend additional treatments. As much as we would like to believe we have magic hands, some things take time and patience, especially when it comes to addressing musculoskeletal issues. Your massage therapist can give you an estimate on how many treatments it can take to address a specific issue and they can also help you to space out your appointments throughout the year in order to get the maximum benefits of receiving regular massage therapy.

4. Remember what time of year is specifically stressful or hard on the body. Save some extra coverage for those times of year. If you are super stressed out around the holidays or suffer from seasonal depression, perhaps saving a couple extra massage therapy appointments for this time of year would benefit you. If you are a summer sports fanatic and enjoy participating in the occasional marathon, baseball game, or beach volleyball sessions, perhaps saving some extra treatments for those tired and overworked muscles would be beneficial for you.

5. Pre-book your appointments with reception. We will send you an email before each appointment to remind you of your upcoming treatment. If you need to change the date, just give us 24 hours notice, and we can move your appointment. Just think about it… you are having a particularly stressful week when you get an email from the Integrative Health Institute reminding you of an upcoming appointment. You probably wouldn’t have booked the appointment, but you say “why not! I’m feeling extra stressed out this week”. You come to the clinic and spend one hour lying comfortably on a massage table, enjoying pure relaxation and serenity. You leave feeling as though the stress has melted away.

Melanie Gillians is a Registered Massage Therapist who graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy. She is registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Registered Massage Therapist Association of Ontario. She has completed continuing education in pregnancy massage, infant massage, and sports massage.

For Melanie, massage therapy has proven to be extremely rewarding. We live in a stress filled society, so taking a moment for peace and serenity will help our bodies experience a heightened sense of health and well-being. For more information about Melanie or her massage therapy practice at the Integrative Health Institute, please contact mgillians@integrativehealthinstitute.ca

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