What is NADA Protocol?

What is NADA protocol? This month instead of one singular point we are highlighting a group of 5 ear acupoints.  This particular protocol is referred to as NADA, which stands for National Acupuncture Detox Association, named for the group that created it.

What is NADA used for?

NADA protocol is a group of 5 small needles placed in the ear which are excellent for treating stress, insomnia, depression, PTSD and can even be used for smoking cessation.

What points are stimulated?

The five points utilized are Shenmen, Sympathetic, Kidney, Liver and Lung.  The purpose of this point protocol is to down regulate the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for your fight or flight response.  When your nervous system is stuck in a chronic state of flight or flight, your mood, sleep and digestion can be negatively impacted.  NADA protocol point are essentially forcing the body out of the “fight or flight” phase and into the “rest/digest” phase.

Benefit of NADA Protocol

Shifting your nervous system from chronic sympathertic stress has its benefits.  NADA protocol helps to support increasing calmness, promotes better sleep, reduces agitation, relieves stress, and reduces cravings for nicotine as well as any other symptoms associated with these conditions.  If you would like to talk more about how acupuncture can help you with these or similar concerns contact us at info@ocwc.ca or 780-455-2112. To learn more about our office, check out our website @ ocwc.ca.
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How the Armed Forces Benefit From Chiropractic

Members of the military put their bodies through tremendous stress every day, both physical and emotional. Add to that injuries that gamut from minor to serious trauma and you have a strong case for chronic pain. Often, this pain affects our veterans and soldiers on a daily basis, interfering with their normal activities and impacting their ability to perform their regular daily tasks. All too often, doctors will dismiss the pain as “something you just have to live with” and write prescriptions for narcotics that impair and incapacitate the patient. There are better ways to manage a good bit of the chronic pain that members of the military live with each day. We’ll explore one way, mainly chiropractic, in today’s article.

Chronic pain and members of the military

The regular demands of being a soldier, coupled with the stress that is prevalent, particularly among active duty military personnel, can create a perfect storm of sorts for chronic pain. When they are advised to tough it out or arrive at that option on their own, they usually do not get the medical attention they need. This can lead to exacerbation of the issue, compelling the soldier to seek treatment only when the pain is severe, or the condition is serious.

Single event trauma is all too common in this arena and plays a large part in the pain they experience, as does surgeries to correct injuries or trauma. However, the cumulative stress can have a detrimental effect on not just the condition and the pain, but the patient’s perception of the pain. In other words, it can cause them to experience the pain more acutely and have greater difficulty in managing it.

These issues are a part of the military and they aren’t likely to change. A chiropractor can help military personnel manage their pain, prevent injury, and regain flexibility and range of motion. It can be the solution that makes all the difference.

Using alternative treatments to combat an epidemic

Right now, opioid abuse has become an epidemic, yet doctors can rarely find viable alternatives that don’t have the dangerous and uncomfortable side effects – and that are not addictive. In truth, painkiller use is a growing problem with veterans and active military alike, mainly due to issues with substance abuse.

While their medications do relieve pain, the cost is just too great in many cases. Many people who take these pain pills report that they would live from pill to pill, their lives revolving around their next dose. That is why chiropractic is such an attractive option.

Chiropractic care for chronic pain

Chiropractic care is a highly effective way to manage chronic pain and help speed healing from injuries. It is safe, non-invasive, and does not require any medication.

The chiropractor will use specific spinal adjustments and other techniques to bring the body back into alignment. A balanced body heals faster and experiences less pain.

The patient may also receive recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and dietary advice from their chiropractor which can help speed up the results and bring them to a place of less pain or no pain much faster.

To learn more about our office, check out ocwc.ca.
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Improve Digestion with Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine benefits can be  far reaching. Improving digestive disorders in order to improve digestion is one of acupuncture and TCM’s many benfits. But how? How can your acupunturist improve digestion? Your acupuncturist understands your bodies many meridian points. Today we are going to focus on just one of those points, ST36 – Stomach 36.

ST36 – Stomach 36 (Zusanli) is one of the most multi-faceted points in the body and can be used in almost all point prescriptions! Its most foundational function is to promote overall health and longevity. It is very commonly used in patients who need to improve digestion or suffer from digestive disorders (IBS, Crohn’s disease, etc), nausea, vomiting, and GI discomfort. ST-36 S is also incredibly effective in boosting energy levels and reducing symptoms of fatigue, so it is very helpful when treating immune compromised patients.

Where is ST36 – Stomach 36 on your body? This point is located one hand breadth below the knee cap, on the lateral side of the leg, on finger breadth away from the shin bone. Since ST36 is located just below the knee, it is also a key point used in treating any sort of knee injury or pain.

If you would like to talk more about how acupuncture can help you improve digestion or digestive disoreder concerns contact us at info@ocwc.ca or 780-455-2112. We are always acception new patients! Visit our website @ www.ocwc.ca for more information.

How Safe Is Bottled Water?

Drink more water. Stay hydrated. Water is good for you. These are the messages that we hear over and over as we pursue a healthy lifestyle, strive to lose weight, or overcome many chronic conditions. It seems that water is a vital part of life – and it’s accurate. The problem is, it seems every “expert” has a different opinion of just what is the best way to get this life sustaining substance. There are many different messages out there about what is the best water, the best source – what’s healthy and what isn’t. How do you cut through all the hype and get to the truth? The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.

The importance of staying well hydrated.

Water is essential for our very survival. It keeps our organs functions properly, is a vital component of digestion, and it even helps us have a healthy spine. It helps to regulate body temperature and lubricates the joints. In fact, you may not realize it, but most of your body is composed of water:

  • Lungs – 83%
  • Kidneys and muscles – 79%
  • Heart and brain – 73%
  • Skin – 64%
  • Bones – 31%

The average adult female requires around 2.2 liters of water per day, while the average adult make requires around 3 liters. Most of this comes from drinking fluids, but some comes from food that is consumed. Dehydration is a serious condition and can cause serious damage to the body. Severe and prolonged (about 3 days) dehydration can be deadly.

The truth about bottled water.

There has been a lot of debate about bottled water in the past few years. At the center of the controversy are two main issues: much of the bottled water is said to be nothing more than tap water, and in the US alone, more than 60 million water bottles find their way to landfills every single day. Those are some pretty serious issues.

The truth is, studies show that almost half (around 40%) of bottled water is just tap water. So, what’s the big deal about tap water? It is largely known to contain chemicals that are not only toxic to humans, but many are also linked to certain cancers. Chlorine, arsenic, and fluoride are some of the more common chemicals found in tap water. Things aren’t looking good for tap water, but if so much bottled water is tap, then what can you do?

And then there’s those plastic bottles.

Before we explore the safer water options, it is worth taking a look at the plastic bottles that are used. The materials used to make water bottles are widely known to contain deadly, cancer causing carcinogens like Bisphenol A (BPA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and phthalates. Each of these pose significant risks to your health.

Even if you choose a bottle that is BPA free (like PET bottles) you could be exposing yourself to other hazardous substances. For instance, PET bottles are made of a soft plastic that is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to clean. This can leave some unsavory residue like food, saliva, and even fecal matter to contaminate your water. The more the bottles are reused, the greater the risk of these and other contaminants making their way into your water.

What is a safer, healthier alternative to bottled water?

Actually, tap water is the safer, healthier alternative to bottled water – but not straight out of the tap. All tap water should be run through a high-quality water filtration system before you use it. Without the filtration, you run the risk of consuming contaminants like harmful chemicals, bacteria, and even heavy metals. So, what should you do?

Ditch the plastic bottles and choose glass or stainless steel instead. Next, filter your tap water using a high-quality carbon filter. Store your water in a ceramic or glass container. Do not heat or cook food or water in anything made of plastic or Styrofoam. In fact, avoid drinking or eating from plastic altogether. If you must though, do not cut into the plastic while you are eating or drinking and do not expose the food or water to a microwave, high heat, or the sun.

Drink your water, but make sure you are doing it in the healthiest way possible – on tap and filtered!

Our office offers nutritional consulting services to help create better food and drink habits. Check us out @ www.ocwc.ca to learm more about our office!

Pericardium 7

How does acupuncture work? It’s really quite fascinating.

Point Feature: PC7- Pericardium 7 (Daling)

This point is a dual action point in that it’s great for treating both mental and physical concerns. Firstly, it is the key point to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The location of the needle is on the palmar side of the wrist directly at the wrist crease. When needling for carpal tunnel issues, you needle directly into the carpal sheath (towards the palm of the hand) which is the source of pain and inflammation in carpal tunnel syndrome. The relief with carpal tunnel is so significant that many patients who had previously been scheduled for surgery to cut the sheath have fully recovered after a series of acupuncture treatments! In terms of addressing mental health concerns with PC7, this point is used in combination with other points to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. It is especially helpful if you have palpitations and tightness in the chest triggered by stress/anxiety.

If you would like to talk more about how acupuncture can help you with these or similar concerns contact us at info@ocwc.ca or 780-455-2112

How Sugar Is Detrimental To Your Health

Most people now acknowledge just how bad sugar is. The problem is, many are not willing to give it up. The evidence is clear though, over the last three decades chronic disease like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease have grown exponentially in occurrences that correlate strongly with Americans’ ever-increasing intake of sugar. But while this may not be new information, people are still unwilling to make the changes necessary – even with the threat of poor or worsening health (and even death) hanging over their heads.

One of the problems is that it is very difficult to get away from. Pick up almost any product on your grocery store shelves and read the ingredients. Sugar is there most of the time.

It is found in most processed foods including spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, dried fruit, fruit juices, even so-called “healthy” foods like frozen quinoa blends and “diet” frozen dinners. Sugar is everywhere and people are consuming it without even realizing that they are doing so.

Sugar is Addictive

Again, this is not new information, but many people don’t realize just how addictive sugar really is. One research article compared sugar addiction to drug addiction. The authors even went so far as to say sugar is as addictive as cocaine (or more so).

There is strong evidence to support this; sugar does affect a person at the neurobiological level. It activates the brain’s reward center, similar to what drugs do. Regular exposure provokes cravings similar to drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped.

The real problem here is that it is 1) legal, and 2) available for anyone to purchase- even children. In fact, there is a huge push to market sugar to children through heavily sugared cereals, drinks, and snack foods.

The children want it because they saw it on TV, the parents buy it, and the children end up cognitively impaired, obese, and chronically ill. It’s time to start connecting the dots and making significant changes in not only what we eat, but what we feed our children.

But Why is Sugar so Bad?

In its pure form, right out of the sugar cane, the juice has nutritional properties. However, all of that nutrition is destroyed when it is processed and refined as sugar (even “raw,” turbinado, and other forms – it’s still sugar). It becomes something that may be edible, but isn’t really food. It is just a substance with absolutely no nutritional value – but lots of potential for damage.

The moment sugar enters your bloodstream your body begins secreting insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and its function is to regulate sugar in the blood, to keep it balanced. When you overwhelm your body with sugar it keeps producing more and more insulin. A diet that is high in sugar can result in insulin resistance which can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other dangerous conditions.

The more sugar you consume, the harder your body has to work to process it. It gets stored in the liver, leading to a fatty, enlarged liver, high glucose levels, and even affect the function of your organs including your kidneys. If you have conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, the risk of damage to your organs is increased even more.

High glucose levels have also been linked to impaired cognitive function, loss of memory, depression, and anxiety as well as an increased risk of dementia. It can cause difficulty in concentration and the inability to focus or stay on task.

The solution here is to avoid sugar or make low sugar choices. Read labels! Take the time to think about what you are putting into your body and how it will affect you. If you make a conscious effort to reduce your sugar intake, over time your body will stop craving it.

Pericardium 6 and Acupuncture for Fertility/Pregnancy

Pericardium 6 (PC-6) is an incredibly useful point on the inside of the wrist and is known as the anti-nausea point. Whether the nausea is caused by morning sickness, indigestion or motion sickness, PC-6 is your point! This point is also a command point of the chest, which means it is great at treating palpitations, chest tightness and acid reflux. It is also used in combination with other points in most anxiety treatments. This acu point is found on the inside of the wrist, two thumb breadths below the wrist line and between the two tendons. Many people may have seen “anti-nausea” wristbands which actually just use acupressure on PC-6 to resolve symptoms!

How can acupuncture help with fertility?

Acupuncture is an excellent tool for couples who are trying to conceive (TTC). Whether you are actively TTC or are just starting the journey and want to learn more about your cycle, your acupuncturist can help. Acupuncture improves fertility by regulating the menstrual cycle/hormones, increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, promoting ovulation, and supporting a healthy luteal phase for successful implantation. It also works to increase libido, reduce stress and anxiety surrounding the TTC process, and can increase sperm count and motility.

Acupuncture can support patients who are trying to conceive naturally, as well as those going through the IUI or IVF process. A recent study found that when used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26% (Tel Aviv University, 2016).

Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

The short answer is YES! Acupuncture is completely safe for the entire duration of pregnancy. However it is important you inform your practitioner if you are pregnant as they will need to tailor the treatment to suit your needs. Acupuncture is extremely beneficial in treating any symptoms you may experience during pregnancy. Most women find it especially helpful during the first trimester when symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting tend to be most severe. This is where the point Pericardium 6 is most useful.

As pregnancy progresses, your acupuncturist will be able to address any symptoms that may arise such as insomnia, body pain, and acid reflux. If the baby is breech presentation, your acupuncturist can utilize a technique called moxabustion to turn the baby. At around 36 weeks, you can begin having labour prep treatments which aim to ripen the uterus and prepare the body for delivery. At 38 weeks gestation you can start doing labour induction treatments which promote a downward movement in the body and can help induce labour. Even after delivery acupuncture can help the body to recover more quickly, and can increase milk supply or resolve mastitis.

Whatever stage of conception or pregnancy you are at, your acupuncturist will be able to create a customized plan to support your needs.

For more information on how acupuncture can help you or to schedule an initial consult contact us at info@ocwc.ca or 780-455-2112

3 Tips Chiropractic Patients Can Use To Increase Flexibility

Flexibility is something that many people would like more of, but few know how to achieve it. If they do, they don’t do anything about it. This is because flexibility training is often seen as difficult, painful, and time consuming. It is also significantly underestimated. Why bother getting flexible if you aren’t an athlete or dancer? Why do regular people need to improve their flexibility? The answers to these questions may surprise you. You also might find that improving your flexibility is easier than you think.

Why is flexibility important?

Flexibility is a key component of keeping your body fit and healthy. Research shows that people who are more flexible are better able to reach their optimum fitness level.

It can also help to prevent injury and reduce your risk of conditions like arthritis and other chronic diseases. They also have a better range of motion and mobility as they age.

Muscles that are flexible have the potential to become stronger. This can help increase metabolism and improve fitness level.

A body that is more flexible can also carry out day to day activities easier and have less chance of injury. Blood flow is increased and circulation is improved which also helps to prevent chronic conditions like kidney disease and diabetes as well as heart disease.

Stretch for upper body flexibility

This upper body stretch also helps improve your posture. It is also great if you are largely sedentary throughout the day, such as sitting at a desk for extended periods.

  • Stand or sit in a chair, back straight, chin level, feel slightly apart and knees soft.
  • Put your hands behind your head, elbows out, chin tucked.
  • Gently press your head forward to feel the stretch through your neck, shoulders, and upper back; hold for five seconds.
  • Tilt your head back so that your chin is pointing toward the ceiling. Place the heels of your hands on your forehead and gently press to get a stretch through the front of the neck and the arms; hold for five seconds.
  • Bring your head to the start position, chin parallel to the floor, neck straight.
  • Put your right hand on the top of your head and gently press as if you are trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder and feel the stretch along the left side of the neck and shoulder; hold for five seconds.
  • Put your left hand on the top of your head and gently press as if you are trying to touch your left ear to your left shoulder and feel the stretch along the right side of the neck and shoulder; hold for five seconds.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your hands. Stretch and lift your body, lengthening your spine.
  • Release your hands and bend to the right, using your right hand to grasp your left elbow and gently pull it to the right. Hold for five seconds.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your hands. Stretch and lift your body, lengthening your spine.
  • Release your hands and bend to the left, using your left hand to grasp your right elbow and gently pull it to the left. Hold for five seconds.

Stretch for lower body flexibility

This is a great stretch for women who wear high heels or for cyclists and people who walk, run, or use an elliptical machine.

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, feet together, knees soft, and back straight.
  • Slowly bend your right knee and lean back if necessary, using your right arm as a support behind you. Place your left hand under your left knee and flex your toes toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch through your calf. Hold for five seconds.
  • Stretch both legs out straight in front of you.
  • Slowly bend your left knee and lean back if necessary, using your left arm as a support behind you. Place your right hand under your right knee and flex your toes toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch through your calf. Hold for five seconds.
  • Roll onto your back with your knees bent toward the ceiling and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently bring your right knee to your chest, holding it with your hands to get a nice stretch. Hold for five minutes.
  • Return to the start position, on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently bring your left knee to your chest, holding it with your hands to get a nice stretch. Hold for five minutes.
  • Return to the start position, on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Stretch for flexibility in the back

This stretch is very good for low back pain.

  • Lie on your stomach keeping your legs straight, knees soft, and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, palms down on the floor and push your upper body up so that your back is curved with your lower body still on the floor. Tilt your head back for more stretch. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Lower your upper body back to the mat and slowly roll over to your hands and knees.
  • Keep your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.
  • While on your hands and knees, tuck your chin and round out your back, pushing it towards the ceiling, feel the stretch through your entire back. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the start position with your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.
  • While on your hands and knees, lift your chin, stretching it upwards and drop your back so that your spine curves toward the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the start position with your knees shoulder width apart and your back straight.

If pain or disconfort is preventing you from progressing with your stretch program, consider visiting a chiropractor in our office. Check out our website @ www.ocwc.ca or give is a call @ 780-455-2112.

Why This 7-Minute Workout Is So Beneficial

Doctors are always telling us to exercise, exercise, exercise but they don’t really give us many realistic options. Going to the gym is a pain, especially if you are short on time. Exercising at home can be a real pain too. You might be limited for space or tripping over kids – and although no one really talks about it, do you really want your significant other watching you sweat and gasp for air as you struggle through one of those insane workout DVDs? They say walking is good, but if you are in a neighborhood that doesn’t have sidewalks or it is hot as blue blazes outside just how likely are you to get up and do it (not to mention safety can be an issue)? Now suppose you could get all your exercising done in a 7-minute span. Would you do it? Is it even possible?

The answer is most definitely!

7 minutes 12 moves

An article published in the Health & Fitness Journal for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) takes everything we’ve learned about exercise and turns it upside down. Just 12 exercises in 7 minutes is all it takes to get fit, according to these fitness experts.

Nowhere are there heavy weights or fancy equipment, just a wall, a chair, and the person’s own body weight. Say hello to high intensity interval training- it’s about to change your world!

This 7-minute workout is the equivalent of a serious weight training session and long run, but without the weights or the running. That isn’t to say it is easy though. It requires a great deal of effort.

There’s a lot packed into those 7 minutes. It provides many of the benefits that are achieved by disciplined, long term endurance training, it just skips over the long-term part.

Make no mistake though, short does not mean it is easy – or pleasant. In fact, it may be one of the longer 7 minutes of your life.

The good news is, it’s over in 7 minutes. That’s a little more than 5 but less than 10.

It’s worth it though, when you look at the numerous health benefits that exercise provides. Plus, it’s great for people who are super busy and can’t seem to squeeze a workout into their schedules. Say hello to no more excuses!

The Science Behind the 7

These 12 exercises were not chosen at random. The reason it works is actually rooted in some pretty deep science. When you exercise for even a few minutes and are working at or near your maximum capacity (that means you are working very hard), it causes your muscles to experience molecular changes that are much like those that occur after several hours of riding a bike or running.

Interval training takes it a step farther. You engage in an activity that is extremely intense, then you have a brief recovery period, then back to a high intensity activity. That is the basis of this workout.

Each exercise should be done for about 30 seconds with a 10 second recovery period – but there’s a twist that ups the effectiveness even more. The exercises are arranged so that they engage the large muscles in the upper body, then in the lower body.

This alternating focus on muscle groups is important because while the lower body is working like crazy, the upper body can be catching its breath, so to speak. This makes for a much more efficient workout but it is also why the order of the exercises is critical.

The exercises are intense, but are movements that just about anyone can do. Many can also be adapted for people at different fitness levels. If you are looking for a great workout that will work for you but won’t eat up a lot of your time, you just might have found it.

Heavy Backpacks: Their Negative Effects & How Your Kids Can Avoid Them

Summer is ending and the school year is starting. Time for new shoes, haircuts, homework, and backpacks. As you do your back to school shopping, think about the backpack your child will be carrying. Sure, they load them up with books, but did you know that wearing a heavy backpack for a long time can actually hurt your child?

What are the health risks of a heavy backpack?

Wearing a heavy backpack can strain the shoulders, back, and neck. As the child’s body tries to compensate for the extra weight, such as leaning forward, it can adopt positions that put the spine out of alignment. It can also cause the muscles to fatigue and weaken. This results in poor posture and a misaligned spine.

The longer he or she carries the extra weight, the worse it gets. Over time, the child can experience pain, stiffness, and problems with flexibility and range of motion. This can significantly increase the child’s potential for injury. The effects may include back ache, sore or stiff neck, sore shoulders, and headaches.

How heavy is too heavy for a child’s backpack?

According to the AAP, a child’s backpack should weigh less than 10 to 20 percent of his or her body weight – and no more. However, a Consumer Reports survey showed that the lower end of the range, around 10 percent or less, is preferable. In short, the lighter the backpack, the healthier it is for your child. A good rule of thumb is to observe your child wearing the backpack. If they are stooped or leaning forward, it is too heavy.

Children who are shorter, as well as girls, may be more prone to back pain caused by carrying heavy backpacks. This means that for these children you need to aim for even lighter weights. Children who are overweight may also be at risk for injury. The excess weight already puts a strain on their joints and muscles; the heavy backpack exacerbates the situation.

Children who wear their backpack over one shoulder also increase their risk of injury. This puts all the weight on one side, causing the child to bend or lean in an effort to compensate for the off-kilter weight. This can strain the shoulder and back, eventually causing injury and pain.

Helping your child avoid carrying a heavy backpack.

If you notice that your child cannot stand up straight while wearing the backpack, then it is too heavy. You should inspect your child’s backpack on a regular basis to test the heaviness. When purchasing a backpack, aim for wide, padded straps that are adjustable. It should fit the child well and to be too big. The straps should not be too loose. You want it to fit close to your child’s body and should come to just below the waist – but not too far. Don’t allow your child to carry the backpack on one shoulder, encourage them to wear it on both shoulders. This distributes the weight more evenly.

If your child is carrying a heavy backpack, you may need to talk to their teacher to see what is necessary for him or her to carry daily, and what can be left at home or at school. Work together to find ways to lighten the load and avoid injury. Also keep in mind, your child may not bring your attention to the fact that their backpack is too heavy. It is up to you to observe and intervene for them. To learn more about our office check out www.ocwc.ca