A lot of women ask, or wonder, “how soon can I get a massage after I give birth?“
A postpartum massage is a massage that occurs within the first 12 weeks after you've given birth.
Now, if you've had a C-section, or a complicated delivery, check with your doctor first, as some massage techniques may not be right for your specific recovery.
Some of the benefits of a postpartum massage include:
-reduced swelling. Massage can help encourage draining and circulation of excess fluid
-improved milk production. Researchers have found massage can help increase circulation and the necessary hormones to make this happen
-reduce anxiety and depression, massage can help to decrease stress which leads to these feelings or emotions
-better sleep, massage can help to encourage a deeper, restful sleep
Some new moms will find laying on their stomach to still be difficult, for some it will feel totally fine. Some will want to talk through the massage, some will crave quite. It really is up to you and your comfort level, so let us know, and we will make sure that you are comfortable and able to relax.
So, the good news is, you can start massage therapy as soon as you feel ready!
And whenever you are, call 289-668-5433 to book your postnatal massage appointment with Suzanne Hamm, RMT (with a special interest in prenatal and postnatal massage therapy).
We look forward to seeing you at Dalhousie Health & Wellness and helping in your postpartum recovery.
Lots of people get pain around the shoulder and one thing that we need to decipher is whether it is ‘true’ shoulder pain or if the pain is coming from else where and being felt in the shoulder?!
The most common ailment giving pain in the shoulder is irritation of the small joints in the neck. The small joints of the neck/cervical spine are called the ‘Facet Joints’ and we name/number them as they descend through the neck C1 to C7, when these joints become irritated then can give a sensation of pain in different areas as you can see from the image. The joints even though small are very pain sensitive and this is what can trick the body into feeling the pain around the shoulder and shoulder blade.
So how do we differentiate the origin of the pain?
Well here at the clinic we take a detailed case history and finding the answers to some questions begins to give us an idea and then we perform a some tests on and around the shoulder and the neck, and we can see which one reproduces symptoms.
So what next?
After figuring out where the pain is coming from we can produce a treatment plan to work improve the functioning of the ‘facet joints’ and in turn reduce the shoulder pain!
When clients share their issues, by far, the most common problem for them is their anxiety and they say it just like that…”MY anxiety”. These two words speak volumes. They own the problem as something that is as much a part of themselves as their right hand. The difficulty with this kind of attachment is the subconscious identification that takes root. Anxiety and anxiousness have been accepted and reinforced as a central part of their identity. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of a long co-dependent relationship between an individual and an emotion. To be sure, one would call it dysfunctional.
But what if we could heal the relationship. What if we could befriend the beast? Like many difficult emotions, anxiety is uncomfortable and stressful. Why on earth would I want to befriend it? Well maybe the first step to releasing anxiety from the body is to bring it up in the light of awareness. Most often, we internally look at it out of the corner of our eyes, making sure it’s still there, and then averting our gaze elsewhere, seeking distraction and unhealthy habits. It is time to sit and invite the beast for tea. Eye to eye and with an open heart.
Choosing a safe space, an experienced healer, and committing to the process are all the prerequisites necessary to dive into the journey of healing anxiety. Working with energy medicine and mindfulness training will help shift the body and mind into a parasympathetic state, also known as ‘rest and digest’. This is definitely the missing link when looking at individuals who succeed with anxiety release vs those who struggle to feel free from the emotion. Allowing the body to feel safe, grounded and calm is like laying the foundations for a successful and committed journey. Often, in the beginning of our work together, clients prefer to book a combined session of reiki (or EFT) and mindfulness training for this very reason. The energy shift that takes place is exactly what is necessary to feel inspired and committed to the journey of emotional freedom.
At this point, we are able to befriend the beast. Anxiety becomes much smaller in our mind and our compassionate energy can see this difficult emotion with both warmth and forgiveness. We ,in essence, become stronger in our heart energy as the fear is minimized. This is a recipe for success freedom and empowerment.
Are you ready to befriend the beast? Are you ready to shift gears energetically and find both peace and a sense of empowerment? If so, you may find the world of energy medicine and mindfulness coaching a great opportunity. You can book an Energy Shift by calling Dalhousie Health and Wellness at 289 668-5433.
Dr. Katie Pepper, Chiropractor with a special interest in paediatric care
Recently, we at Dalhousie Health & Wellness have been receiving lots of requests for baby and child chiropractic visits. Dr. Katie has a special interest in the care of infants and children, with experience in paediatric birth and sport injuries and a focus in paediatric concussion management. Some of our most recent requests for paediatric visits include: torticollis, tongue tie, sports injuries, and wellness. Although it may seem unusual these are all conditions we can assist with! We work closely with a network of midwives, paediatricians and paediatric dentists to ensure the best possible care for your little ones.
We use a number of different techniques which are either adapted or completely unique to paediatric care. These techniques are gentler and less intense than those we may use for adult patients. For babies we use gentle pressure- about the amount you would use to check ripe fruit. Most babies can be treated while still on their parent’s lap or chest, some are even happy to lay in a specialized pillow for treatment. Older children may benefit from the use of drop pieces or a gentle adjusting instrument called an Activator.
Chiropractic care is a safe and gentle way to address your infant or child’s injuries or as a preventative wellness practice. Dalhousie Health & Wellness chiropractors are ready to help your baby or child with their specific needs!
Dr. Noelle DeVos, Naturopath- Special Interests in Mental Health, Hormones and Chronic Pain & Fatigue
DR. NOELLE DEVOS, ND, BScFN
Dr. Noelle (ND) is a licensed naturopathic doctor at Dalhousie Health & Wellness. She is dedicated to providing you with excellent care and natural solutions for vibrant health and a thriving mind. Noelle treats a wide variety of health conditions and takes a personalized, functional approach to treatment. She looks at the “bigger picture” of health and helps patients create an internal environment for physical healing and mental wellness. She believes a healthy mind facilitates physical healing and wants to help her patients thrive in life – mentally, emotionally and physically.
Noelle integrates standard medical diagnostics with evidence-based naturopathic therapies to provide patients with excellent care. She enjoys collaborating with other health care professionals and strives to work with your family doctor to ensure patients have the best care possible. She has a huge heart for her patients and wants to help you start your journey towards becoming your true vibrant self.
Dr. Noelle (ND) is licensed with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). She has also successfully completed the Ontario Prescribing and Therapeutics Examination which allows her to prescribe certain restricted drugs and herbs including injectable B12, desiccated thyroid gland and bio-identical hormones.
Dr. Noelle’s (ND) Background
Noelle was raised by Dutch parents outside of London, Ontario. Noelle grew up in the country helping her parents both in the pig barn and in the vegetable fields. She joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in high school and worked in communications for 7 years. Through her work in the Naval Reserves, she participated in mentoring aboriginal students looking to join the Canadian Forces, assisting with search-and-rescue operations off the coast of BC, and training new recruits in ship-board communications. Growing up, Noelle really had a heart for people and knew she wanted to become a doctor already as a child.
Noelle obtained an Honours Specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics from Western University in order to learn more about healthy eating. She then studied at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine for 4 years in North York, Ontario and completed over 3,000 hours of in-class training and 1,200 hours in clinical training in Naturopathic Medicine. At the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC) in Toronto, Noelle was 1 of 7 interns privileged to receive additional specialized training on the “Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MyalgicEncephalopathy)” Specialty Shift.
Noelle has received additional education in Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard University as well as advanced training in homeopathy at The International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy in India. Noelle has interned at the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (BNTC) in the William Osler Brampton Civic Hospital, where she saw many patients including patients with mental health concerns. Through her time seeing patients, she has discovered her passion for treating patients with chronic pain, chronic fatigue and mental health concerns.
Dr. Noelle (ND) has many interests which she has cultivated over the years. She loves to garden and grow her own fresh, great-tasting vegetables in the summers. Her love for food goes beyond simply growing it though, she also loves to cook delicious, healthy recipes for her family and friends. She likes to stay active by playing on a recreational volleyball team, swimming at the YMCA and going for walks
on trails in the local areas. In her off time, she enjoys learning about biological, sustainable agriculture from her parents on their vegetable farm outside of Ingersoll.
Noelle is a naturopathic doctor dedicated to providing patients with excellent care and natural solutions for vibrant health and a thriving mind.
Noelle offers evidence-based naturopathic treatments which takes into account your unique biochemistry and complete health picture. During your visits, Noelle will teach you how to build a foundation for health and provide you with more targeted naturopathic solutions so you can stop surviving and start thriving in life!
Take advantage of Dr. Noelle DeVos’ free 15-min consults! Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness to book your complimentary consult.
For those who are new to pregnancy/prenatal massage, you might have questions about how it all works, what is safe or unsafe? So today we are going to look at massage positioning. Whether you're in the first trimester, or well into the third, how you lay, or are positioned on the massage table matters.
In the first trimester nothing has really changed in terms of how you receive a massage. However, some women can have their nausea increase when lying in certain positions, so make sure to tell your therapist if you are uncomfortable and need to move or change positions.
Once you're into the second and third trimesters there are techniques a therapist can use to make you more comfortable as your body changes.
Side-lying massage is exactly how it sounds. You lay on your side, and the therapist will position pillows under your head, between your legs to support your knees, and a pillow for you to hug so your arms are supported. It is the safest, most posturally neutral, and comfortable position for massage. From here you therapist is able to massage you comfortably and safely, and still able to perform full body treatments.
Cozy, relaxed, comfy. Isn't that how we like our massages?
Come and give it a try at Dalhousie Health & Wellness
Do you experience: sciatica? pinched nerves? arthritis in your spine? cramping? or fatigue with walking? you may be talking about spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is an arthritic spinal condition which most often affects the low back, but can occur in any part of your spine. Although, it can happen in younger persons, patients with stenosis are typically aged 60 or older.
Our patients most frequently report: hand or leg numbness/tingling, weakness or fatigue with walking, relief of symptoms when bent forward (we call this shopping cart sign) and leg, calf or buttocks pain. Usually these symptoms are brought on by walking or prolonged standing.
Your chiropractor can assist you by performing a history and physical exam to determine the cause of these symptoms as several conditions, such as peripheral vascular disease and disc herniations, can masquerade as stenosis.
Treatment may include: exercise therapy, acupuncture, adjustments/mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, ergonomic advice and lifestyle changes. We determine how well your treatment is working by your walking/standing ability, quality of life and pain levels.
Although stenosis cannot be cured, the team at Dalhousie Health & Wellness can greatly improve your symptoms and help you get back to the things you love.
Hello all, it is Osteopath John here with todays blog which is going to be on Low Back Pain, an extremely common complaint we see here at Dalhousie Health & Wellness.
There are many misconceptions associated with Low Back Pain and over the last 20+ years there’s been huge advancements in the research for Low Back Pain, however not all of the informations has trickled down to patients.
So let us have a look at a few concepts and ideas, primarily mechanical loading can lead to ‘failure’ of the disc, muscles, ligaments or small joints of the spine. We can use the idea lifting of a box as an example to how the back can be become painful. You could lift one box which is extremely heavy and this could apply an excessive load which the back is unable to handle and this in turn will lead to injury and pain. To try and limit this occurrence health and safety execs, etc set limits on maximum safe lifting loads. However we are all individual and our tissues/discs/joints can all become strained at different levels of ‘load’. So what might be safe for some may be too much weight for others. Repetitive lifting of light boxes, well within lifting limits could actually cause more damage then lifting just one heavy box that is over the recommended limit, continuously carrying a light box could also stress the discs, muscles and joints of the spine. Does this mean that no lifting at all should be carried out? A short answer is no. As with most things in life it is all about finding the right balance for your body. ‘Loading’ our spines can ensure good bone density, muscle growth, and encourage blood flow. Although for anyone that does put mechanical loads through their backs it is important for them to understand the importance of rest. The same idea as when you go to the gym, it is not beneficial, but actually detrimental to work the same muscle groups day in and day out. Allowing periods of rest between lifting/loading of the spine will help to minimize the risk of injuries, there is also research demonstrating even the time of day can have an effect on the pressures put on our disks, it states that earlier in the day the higher the risk of injury. So how come it seems that some people are able to lift heavy objects with poor form every day and seem to be completely pain free? Well these are the lucky ones which have a good balance and endurance of all the muscles of the back/core, as each muscle group will engage in the right order and stabilizes the whole back. This prevents excesive strain through one part of the spine and this ensures that the load is distributed evenly through the back. Think of the muscles as the Guy Wires that all have to have the correct level of tension to keep the spine in its optimal position. Others unfortunately can lift the lightest load just slightly awkwardly and it leads to immense pain. This is indicative of poor posture, muscle imbalance, and can be predisposed by genetics and a history of spinal injuries.
Now even without carrying a box or a load, we have gravity constantly putting forces through our backs, and poor posture, a weak core, and again a history of injuries can predispose us to low back pain without even any lifting involved. In these scenarios even a light strain can be enough to be the ‘straw that breaks the camels back’, and it can be what would seem to be a minimal load such as sleeping awkwardly, bending forward to tie your shoes, etc that lead to a pain that seems completely disproportionate to the movement that caused it. This is classic but demonstrates there was an underlying issue, as our spines should be able to easily deal with these movements/activities etc, without going into spasm.
Ok, let us say we’ve over exerted it and now the back has become painful what next? You book in to see an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, a Chiropractor or another type of Manual Therapist which is most likely be beneficial. Therapists’ can help to reduce the pressure placed on the spine, muscle, tendons, ligaments and discs. As well as encouraging healing of damaged tissues, here at the clinic we attempt to look further than just the site of pain, attempting to improve biomechanics all through the body so loads and strains are dissipated equally. Exercises maybe prescribed during sessions to help you recover faster, hopefully prevent future flair ups. Core strengthening is often a go to exercise but there are several studies that show core strength has little to do with future low back pain and it is instead endurance of the core muscles that are of more importance.
The time of day should also be considered in regard for exercises, this is due to our disks being more hydrated in the morning and this extra fluid increases the pressure within the disc and therefor stretching down to touch your toes could increase the risk of injury as the disc can be thought of as a “jelly filled donut” and there is more chance of the jelly being pushed out if we put to much strain on the disc too early in the morning. It is also important to re-educate the body on correct form and movement, to assess what is not moving but should be and whats is moving too much. Our body is very good at compensating, so you may have a very stiff spine but are able to bend down and touch your toes easily, all this movement could be coming from hamstrings and hips and it may be dysfunction in the spine might be missed as your visual range of movement appears to be above average. These are just some of the considerations that have to be taken into account for rehabilitation exercises and it shows that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is does not exist. If there is restricted/immobile areas of the spine then other areas have to take extra strain to accommodate them and if there is too much movement then instability can also cause problems.
It is also the same with strengthening, too much in the wrong area can be problematic and not enough strength/endurance can lead to future back complaints.
So it really comes down to in depth assessment, to understand what really is the cause of pain, and then producing a patient specific care plan to address all the issues to hopefully provide you long lasting and effective pain relief!
Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness today to book your individualized plan towards helping solve your low back pain for good!
The philosophy of Osteopathy is based on four basic principles:
• Each structure in the body supports the body’s functions.
• The natural flow of the body’s fluids – lymphatic, vascular and neurological
– must be preserved and maintained.
• The human body is the sum of its parts. Its physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive systems don’t work independently - they work in harmony.
• When the body has no restrictions, it has the inherent ability to heal itself.
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners recognize a person as an integrated whole. When all of the body’s components are in balance, a person is complete and in total health. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners work to maintain, improve and restore the normal physiological function of interrelated body structures and systems, enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Using various manual assessment and techniques and modalities, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners work to identify and ease restrictions, constrictions and pain; reduce swelling; improve tissue mobility; and promote proper function and healing in people of all ages.
~From the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Practitioners website
What do Osteopath’s Treat?
Having a keen sporting background and interest I am well aware of the strains and forces placed on the body during sports at any level and any age, and understand how Osteopathy can help. Regardless of the area of pain or the onset of the injury we can work through the issues and help your muscles recover faster, increase your flexibility and the range of motion through your joints. See how we can help you raise your game!!!
Even if you do not participate in sports, we can still unfortunately injure ourselves. Whether it be it from lifting something too heavy and hurting our backs, sleeping funny and waking up with a stiff neck to overusing our shoulders gardening. These can all result in pain and discomfort, which will benefit from Osteopathy. We can use a wide variety of techniques to free up our joints and improve tissue healing.
Low Back and Neck Pain
Low back pain and neck pain are probably the most common areas we treat here at the clinic, the spine is of extreme importance for the well being and functioning of the body. Unfortunately lots of things can go wrong with the spine, disk damage, degeneration, nerve irritation, muscle sprains to name a few. See how we can help keep you mobile and pain free!!
It is a fact that no one has perfect posture, but we can all try and aim to have our bodies functioning optimally to help reduce stress or ‘wear and tear’ on our joints. Having proper alignment of our spine, shoulders, hips and so on can all aid in creating a body with minimal imbalances and therefore more equal distribution of forces such as gravity that are constantly placed upon our bodies.
Degeneration and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis/Degeneration is just a fancy word for wear and tear, it is closely related to posture, past injuries and sports/occupation. It happens to us all to some degree but unfortunately when it becomes more severe it can cause pain and discomfort. Although no manual practitioner can reverse the changes on the bones, manual practitioners can help improve the range of motion, relax muscles and stretch the soft tissues to prevent the rubbing of ‘bone on bone’. Commonly affected areas include the Knees, the Hips, Low back and the Neck.
Nerve irritation or a ‘Pinched Nerve’ as it is often called, is a common occurrence, with symptoms including Pin and Needles, sharp shooting pain and even muscle weakness. There can be a multitude of factors that can cause compression of the nerve, for example it can be spinal disk related, pinched by bones or tight muscles that irritate the nerve as it passes through. Removing the forces that are causing the compression will result in a reduction in symptoms!
I like to consider myself a shoulder expert! It is a fascinating and extremely complex joint. It is amazing as it provides a huge range of motion, allows us to do some many movements, activities and so forth. However with all the complexity and range of motion it leads the shoulder prone to numerous injuries, commonly our ‘Rotator Cuff muscles’ can become torn, inflamed as well as poor biomechanics (hunched shoulders) and so forth can all result in pain, weakness and limited mobility.
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners can treat a variety of aches, pains and health concerns. If you think you could benefit from the help of an osteopath. Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness to book your Osteopathic visit today!
Pain and discomfort are sometimes difficult to recognize and therefore manage in infants, toddlers and children. You know its time to go to the chiropractor when your own aches and pains make their appearance, but how do you know when your baby or toddler may need a visit? How does your chiropractor recognize pain and discomfort in little ones?
In babies crying is used to communicate everything from pain to hunger to discontentment and a whole lot of other things! Therefore crying is not always a reliable signal on it’s own that your baby is in pain. However, if the sound of the cry seems different than usual, prolonged or cannot be consoled with a bottle, diaper change or physical comfort, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Excessive, intense crying- usually beginning around 2 weeks of age, may also be a sign of colic.
Other behaviours your chiropractor may observe or ask you about for infants 0-12 months:
- Disruption of sleeping patterns
- Withdrawing from touch or drawing knees into the chest
- Rigid or tense body positioning
- Avoidance of tummy time or certain positions
- Changes in appetite or feeding patterns
- Arching their body
- Different or unusual facial expressions
- Chronic pain can also drain a baby’s energy causing them to become lethargic and unusually
Fortunately, when it comes to toddlers and children they can often tell us or point to the area that hurts to demonstrate their discomfort. Another way to encourage children to express their pain is to supply a list of words, asking them to use the word that best describes what they feel, such as: “sharp,” “burning,” “aching” . Your chiropractor may use a pain scale with faces to have your child rate their pain, use a doll to point to areas that hurt, and observe their behaviour.
Behaviours your chiropractor will observe or ask about for toddlers & children 1-12 years
- Behaving younger than their age
- Intense crying or yelling
- Favouring a leg or arm, or guarding
- Decrease in activity levels
- Changes in sleep patterns & appetite
- Refusing favourite activities, foods or toy
- Being uncooperative
- Being physically resistive to touch or exam
- Body tension: clenching fists or jaw, stiffness, eye closing, brow wrinkling, frowning - Physical signs such as: dull eyes, flushed skin, fast/shallow breathing, or sweating - Being excessively clingy, asking for hugs and kisses
Untreated or unrelieved pain can take a toll on a baby or child causing issues with sleep, play, social bonding, appetite, sports, academic performance and can make them more vulnerable to pain later in life. Using the signs above as a starting point, your chiropractor can delve further into the cause of these symptoms to help get your little one out of pain. Chiropractic care for babies & children is gentle and effective. Children are also especially responsive to pain reducing techniques which capitalize on their sense of play and imagination- which means we try to keep treatment as fun as possible