One of the most common questions I get is “why are tongue ties and lip ties such a hot topic these days?”
They are not a new diagnosis but they have become more common since people started calling them a “fad” in 2017. It’s very important to recognize ties and treat them for the well being of infants. So let’s talk about why ties are very important in the world today.
Recently more studies have been completed and it is now known that oral ties have significant impacts on our little ones. Symptoms of ties are not the same for everyone. We are used to looking for a set of signs and symptoms to diagnose a specific problem. This is not the case here because oral ties can produce some obvious symptoms for mom and baby and some not so obvious symptoms. Some ties can produce; acid reflux, colic, difficulty latching, gumming or chewing when nursing, gasping for air or clicking while nursing or excessive drooling.
Many infants get releases for their ties but the truth is a release alone does not fix most oral ties. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is mandatory for success and this is where body work, specifically chiropractic comes into play.
You may be wondering “what is body work?”
This term is all encompassing for different types of gentle therapeutic touch or manipulation of the body, including chiropractic. The goal of body work is to help the body function by increasing range of motion, improving body control, relieving tension in muscles, joints, the central nervous system and fascia. Accompanied with an oral tie release, baby can start to learn new motor patterns they lacked pre-release.
Supporting babies and families through oral ties and releases is something I’m passionate about, let me know if you have any questions. See you at Dalhousie Health & Wellness and your next appointment!
- Dr. Stav
What do low back pain, hernias, incontinence, sciatica, pelvic pain and hip pain all have in common? CORE DYSFUNCTION!!!!
Would it surprise you if I told you a 60 year old female with incontinence, a 40 year old male with sciatica and a postpartum mom with a diastasis recti all suffer from the same root problem? Although they all present with a seemingly different case, the underlying issues are all the same- core dysfunction. Fix the core, fix the urinary leakage. Fix the core, fix the low back pain/ sciatica. Fix the core, fix the diastasis recti.
The deep core automatically functions to stabilize the spine, hold your pelvic and abdominal organs in place and keep you upright. Automatic being the key word here! The deep core is a group of deep abdominal muscles, deep back muscles, your pelvic floor and your diaphragm. In order for the deep core to function properly, all these muscles have to work together. If one group of muscles doesn’t work, another area in the body has to compensate. When we get multiple breaks in the system, your body can no longer compensate and we end up with pain, incontinence, hernias and dysfunction.
The good news is that all of this can be fixed with some dedicated effort. Your chiropractor can assess the function of your deep core. Determine if and where there is a break in the system and then help you to fix the root problem- core dysfunction.
If you are experiencing low back pain, sciatica, incontinence, hernias or diastasis recti it’s likely that you are suffering from a deep core dysfunction. Chiropractors at Dalhousie Health and Wellness are trained to asses your core dysfunction and discuss treatment options for getting your core back on track!
See you at your next visit,
Try these 3 Techniques to Manage the Stress Response!
Maybe hosting events and dealing with crowds while shopping just leads to you feeling overwhelmed? Perhaps you’ve had a recent traumatic event, family conflict, or loss of a loved one and the holidays cause you to feel especially sad or lonely? Rest assured there are coping skills and techniques to help manage stress and get through the holiday season.
Try these easy techniques:
4-7-8 Breath – Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique is based in the yogic traditions and widely used to help fall asleep faster and can activate the parasympathetic nervous system or the relaxation response in the body. This response helps you to shift back towards a state of tranquility. Practice inhaling through the nose for 4 seconds, holding the breath in for 7 seconds and then exhaling through the mouth for a count of 8 seconds. Practicing this twice a day for a few rounds is ideal.
5,4,3,2,1 Grounding – This grounding technique is an excellent way to bring you back to the present moment when your mind is racing. Focus on 5 things you can see around you, 4 things you feel in your body, 3 things you hear in your environment, 2 things that you can smell and then 1 thing you can taste. Allow yourself to focus on each of these things for 10-15 seconds and gently guide your mind back if it wanders.
E.F.T. Tapping – Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a psychological form of acupressure that involves tapping on 14 acupressure points on the face/hands and engaging in some eye movements for bilateral stimulation of the brain. EFT is known to reduce cortisol levels in the body, shift negative emotions and turn on the relaxation response as well. To learn the basics of EFT you can follow along in these videos: https://carolcowan.ca/videos-%26-blog or book an appointment with Carol Cowan at Dalhousie Health and Wellness today to learn more!
Curious to see what a “naturopathic neonatal nutrition plan” includes?
There are 2 things that all babies need to be supplemented with from birth:
Though breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for an infant, there are a few key things that neonates need in addition to their standard diet. Breastmilk alone does not provide infants with an adequate amount of vitamin D, even if the mother has sufficient blood levels. In fact, Health Canada recommends all babies receive vitamin D from birth.
Probiotics are also important to help with the development of baby’s gut and in order for them to digest milk properly. As many mamas are given antibiotics during a c-section or a vaginal birth, it is important to help introduce healthy bacteria back for optimal intestinal health! This can help to prevent thrush and bad bacteria from causing issues later on.
Remember, only pediatric “baby doses” of these nutrients are needed, and it is important that you are using high quality brands.
It’s best to get help from a professional. Talk to your naturopath at Dalhousie Health and Wellness to ensure your little ones are getting all the nutrition that they need!
When is comes to Pregnancy and Chiropractic care prevention is key. Over 80% of women experience back pain during pregnancy. If the chance of you experiencing low back pain during your pregnancy is so high, then why wait until you are in pain to address the problem? Why not get ahead of your prenatal low back pain?
Prehabilitation is a term used to describe prevention. With prehabilitation we are addressing weakness in the body, and correcting it before it leads to a problem. In most cases pregnant mom’s seek help once the problem or pain has already started. With a prevention or prehabilitation mindset, we are getting ahead of a problem before it begins.
A chiropractor with special training in prenatal care can asses the spine, pelvis and core to see if you need help. A chiropractor can see problems developing in the body before mom-to-be experiences pain.
At Dalhousie Health and Wellness Dr. Hodges, (chiropractor with special training in prenatal and postpartum care) will asses the spine and joints of the pelvis. She will test to see if the core and pelvic floor are functioning to support the body and help prevent pain. If a problem exists, Dr. Meredith Hodges will discuss treatment options, prescribe exercises and help fix the problem before pain starts.
If you are pregnant and want to prevent low back pain during your pregnancy call Dalhousie Health and Wellness to get on the prevention path towards a happy, healthy pregnancy.
See you at your next visit,
Emotional Freedom Technique – A Tool of Transformation
Everyone experiences stress sometimes, especially this time of year with loved ones getting sick, plans changing or starting toget ready for the holidays. Sometimes that stress turns into anxiety or feelings of overwhelm and then we find ourselves reaching for some sort of unhealthy coping skill that is sabotaging our personal goals. So what’s the solution?
Emotional Freedom Technique or E.F.T. is a tool of transformation, based in Chinese medicine, which can transformour energy, our mind and our emotions. E.F.T. is a psychological form of acupuncture or acupressure that can facilitate the process of rewiring your emotional response to a thought about the past, present or future. This is typically a two-step process in E.F.T. therapy where we first unhook the emotional response (such as fear, anxiety, sadness or anger) to the thought and then re-hook a new, more helpful emotional response instead.
E.F.T. has been shown to reduce activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala which is typically activated in situations of fear or threat. This allows E.F.T. to produce a sense of calm, safety and being at peace. Furthermore, E.F.T. can reducefeelings of anxiety and calm the nervous system. With its calming effect, E.F.T has also been used for managing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as processing traumatic memories.
The research being done on E.F.T. also indicates that it can reduce cortisol levels in the body. In a randomized controlled trial of E.F.T., the results showed that cortisol levels in the EFT group declined 24% with an hour of E.F.T. tapping while the other group, who received rest, declined by an average of 14%(Church, Yount, & Brooks, 2012). Other research indicates that using E.F.T. can significantly decrease pain, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. Furthermore, the use of E.F.T. showed an increase in happiness levels and immune system function (Bachet al.,2019).
If you would like to know more about E.F.T. and how to use this tool of transformation effectively for yourself or others please join the E.F.T. Weekend Workshop on Jan. 7th and 8th, 2023, from 9am-5pm at Dalhousie Health & Wellness. More information about the workshop can be found here.
Church, D., Yount, G., & Brooks, A. J. (2012). The effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 200(10), 891–896. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826b9fc1
Bach, D., Groesbeck, G., Stapleton, P., Sims, R., Blickheuser, K., & Church, D. (2019). Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health. Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine, 24, 2515690X18823691. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515690X18823691
We can all get stuck in a pattern of negative thinking sometimes that can impact how we’re feeling about ourselves andcontribute to depression and anxiety. There are some common patterns of negative thinking, also known as cognitive distortions, that you can become more aware of. Once you notice these cognitive distortions you can challenge them and replace them with an alternative thought with the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). See how many of these cognitive distortions that you’ve been caught in before…
1. All-or-Nothing Thinking
Also known as black and white thinking or polarized thinking,where we see things as either all good or all bad. It’s important to pause and find the grey area or middle ground in those scenarios instead.
This happens when you make a general conclusion after a single event and might use the words "always" or "never" to then describe that situation or person. There is value in recognizing that it is possible a future event will have a different outcome.
3. Mental Filters
This is when the mind focuses only on the negative outcomes and filters out anything positive about an event or themselves. Filtering back in the positives will require you to redirect yourfocus.
4. Jumping to Conclusions
There are two ways of jumping to conclusions including Mind Reading, which is when you make assumptions that someone is thinking a certain way, or Fortune Telling, which is when you make a prediction that things will turn out a certain way. Notice when your mind is doing this and challenge yourself to examine other possibilities.
5. "Should" Statements
This is when you are focusing on thinking you should do something or someone else should act a certain way. This can lead you to feel more anxious so there is value in replacing this word with a more supportive and encouraging statement.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT involves the process of developing the awareness of thesecommon negative thought patterns, noticing how you feel when you think those thoughts and then challenging that thought and replacing it with a more helpful or accurate thought. This process of CBT can involve keep track of thought patterns with a Thought Record Sheet which is provides deeper insights as well. Contact Carol Cowan, Registered Social Worker, to book your first appointment and get started with CBT.
Carol Cowan, Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic approach that involves 8 phases which can alter maladaptive responses to traumatic memories. EMDR Therapy was developed in the late eighties by a woman named Francine Shapiro and it addresses symptoms associated with stress and trauma including flashbacks, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and phobias, as well as depression, over-reactive anger, worrying, disturbed sleep and so on.
When we experience a traumatic event the brain goes into either the “fight, flight, freeze or fawn” response. If we freeze in response to trauma, then memories can get ‘stuck’ in the information-processing system of the brain, along with the emotions and the physical sensations that occurred during the original experience. During the processing phase of EMDR, you focus your attention on a traumatic memory and engage in either bilateral eye movements or listen to a headset with alternating beeps or use alternating taps with the hands. The eye movements, beeps or taps facilitate a ‘back and forth’ or bilateral stimulation of the brain. The bilateral stimulation of EMDR allows you to ‘reprocess’ the stuck emotions and physical sensations of the traumatic event. EMDR therapy “desensitizes and reprocesses” the difficult memory or issue so that you can be at peace with it.
EMDR Therapy has been studied by neuroscientists and it has been shown to significantly decrease activity in the hippocampus and amygdala which are the parts of the brain responsible for the processing of emotionand declarative or episodic memory. EMDR essentially quiets down the stress response in the brain and body that can be “stuck on” due to the experience of a traumatic event. EMDR has also been shown toresolve earlier life memories since the brain typically stores memories along associative networks (Shapiro, 2018).
Your EMDR Therapist, Carol Cowan, would complete EMDR therapy by guiding you to desensitize your emotional reaction to the memory and then affirm a more positive belief about yourself, your safety, and your ability to move forward with your life with a new found perspective. After EMDR treatment many clients report feelings of relief, a renewed sense of control and hope. They also describe a decrease in the intensity of traumatic memory, a decrease in maladaptive emotional responses to those memories, and greater feelings of self-worth. If you are experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or you are bothered by certain memories, please reach out to book your first appointment with Carol Cowan MSW, RSW.
Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
So often we are taught that our health is in silos - meaning, only one organ does one thing, and it’s not an integrative system.
What if I told you that our stress hormones affect the gallbladder? And what the heck is the gallbladder anyway?
The gallbladder helps us to emulsify fat and produce bile salts. Anything that has fat that needs to be digested into a more water-soluble form, basically. Why should you care about it?
Well, all of our hormones are made from fat. So if we’re stressed, it stands to reason that we will also be needing more fat to make more stress hormones.
That means our little gallbladder has to work overtime. And for some people that doesn’t always equal good things.
It can highlight where it is more difficult for our gallbladder to actually do that work entirely - that our body might not like doing fat digestion at that rate. The bile salts can become sludge-like, crystallise (form into solids) and form stones. Those stones can get stuck in a duct that moves bile into the small intestine. That means pain for you, infection, and inflammation. So you’re not only stressed but you are feeling bloated, short of breath, a sore upper back, heartburn and heart palpitations.
It doesn’t mean we can necessarily avoid the stress that our body is interpreting and making all of that hormone. We can however help our body manage that more easily with a few simple actions:
Question: My digestion has changed a lot since the pandemic. Can you tell me about it?
Answer: Okay, this is a great question. I like to call this the Time Warp.
Stress affects our gut. Sometimes it isn’t direct, and I have seen a delay of 6 months to a year until things change. How is this happening?
When we have elevated stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, they increase the activity of parts of our system responsible for inflammation (which in the short term, actually help with stress). They also suppress our immune system functioning temporarily so we can handle what is most important.
Over a longer period of time, suppressed immunity makes us more susceptible to infection, more sensitive to inflammation, and more unable to manage what we normally can (crappy food, detoxification through the kidneys and liver, lowered vitamins, poor sleep etc). Our digestive tract then has more to handle and manage with less resources to do so.
So, if we can’t completely eliminate the message of stress, where do we begin?
Normally we begin in 2 places at once: 1. Support fatigued immunity
2. Reduce inflammatory triggers
There are herbal supports that help to boost a very fatigued immune system (like medicinal mushrooms, or certain cortisol-managing herbs that help to calm down the stress response). However, because it takes awhile to give the body the message that it will be okay, we also have to take away things that might be temporarily difficult to digest. These include things like high fat foods, processed foods, gluten, dairy, soy, or any food that is high in the potential to release histamine (which increases inflammation). Getting to sleep, drinking lots of water, and minimising things that fatigue you mentally or emotionally are also included in this process, which is unique for everyone.
So the next time you think your gut is all to blame, think again! It’s just trying to help, and the sooner we create safety in the body and self, the happier it will become.
Our team of Naturopaths at Dalhousie Heath and Wellness are ready to help you with your Covid-related time warp fatigue!