Category Archives: Self Care

Who takes care of MY back?

As I was adjusting a long time patient, she asked me who takes care of my back? I’m bent over taking care of others all day long, surely someone must take care of my back… what we often forget, is Chiropractic is not about your back.

Since I first started my education and career the research and our understanding of chiropractic has come SUCH a long way. In fact, I no longer think about my back at all. Or those of my patients even. Or my husband’s, or my dog’s, or my kids’… I’m focused on our brains.

Here is a quote from one of the top Chiropractors studying Neurology in the world, Dr. Heidi Haavik when she was speaking to Dr. Don MacDonald this summer for his podcast:

“We are not moving bones off squashed nerves as we once thought. It’s about improving the motion of the spine which in turn improves the ability of the brain to interpret its relationship to the body and to the external world. The science is very clear.” 

So I never take care of my back, or anyone else’s. I’m constantly focused on taking care of the movement of the spine, the impact of that on the brain, and then what else we can do to support healthy spinal movement and brain function.

SO… what DO I do? Well, the exact same things I recommend to my patients of course!!!

  • regular chiropractic adjustments (this doesn’t mean waiting until pain)
  • daily movement exercises (more on this in another post!)
  • belly sleeping (again, more to come!)
  • meditation, journalling, reading (mostly daily and mostly in the early morning)
  • being present with those I love and spending TIME in my relationships
  • healthy foods and supplements
  • exercise I enjoy, which for me is mostly walking, running, and yoga
  • FUN – taking moments to laugh with my kids, talk with friends, plan events I enjoy

So, what are you doing for your brain? And how can I help? An adjustment is a great place to start so you can make the most of life.

Cold Buster Tea

It might not be the drink you reach for daily, but MAN, when you need it, it sure works!!! This is a recipe from my friend Sara Bradford, who previously ran Nourish Real Food. Its a killer recipe for kicking a cold’s butt. This is my variation.

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 inches fresh ginger, sliced or grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric 
  • 10 whole cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 3 cups fresh water
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  1. Stick the ginger, spices, and fresh water in a pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer at least 15-20min. It’ll make almost a concentrate. I look for it to reduce by 1/2.  (Keep en eye on spillover, the turmeric does stain.)
  2. Strain out the spices while pouring into a cup.
  3. Add the lemon juice and raw honey.
  4. You may take this concentrate, place it in your fridge and simply re heat, add honey, and lemon as you need it. I find this recipe will do me for 1.5 mugs, so I often double it and just reheat the concentrate as I’m ready for it. Do be careful of spills as turmeric stains. I clean it all up with Norwex Cleaning Paste when I spill or if the pot is stained.  Its worth the work!

My first line of defence is prevention, including regular adjustments. Once I feel the cold coming on, I get adjusted, make this tea, up some immune boosting supplements, and rest up! This tea helps clear my cold, boost my energy, and feels oh so good on my throat. Have a go and let me know how it goes!!!

Are your Beliefs Fact or Limitation?

As a chiropractor, I work to shift your physiology by working with your spine. Through motion of the spine, I aim for your brain to start to function better, and for you to show up in your life better! As part of that process, I hear a lot of life histories. I work with people during their adjustment to take different action in their life to shift their outcomes. I often hear people’s beliefs of their limitations in life and health and what they are capable of, expressed as fact. 

The beliefs sound like…
  • “All the women in my family have depression like I do.” 
  • “I’m not a routine kinda person.”
  • “I have a bad back.” 
  • “I don’t stick to things.” 
  • “Its just my genetics.”
  • “I get every cold going around.” 
  • “Diets don’t work for me.”
  • “I don’t like exercise.” 
My own belief revealing moment

Statements that we take as truth, are often not facts, they are simply beliefs that we have never thought to question. The following is an exercise I have done repeatedly. For example, I have never been a routine kinda gal. My roommates in school laughed as I ran up and down the stairs, switching from dressing, to eating, to packing bags in no particular order. Fast forward to my busy mom and professional life, and I wanted a morning routine to set my day. Though the hugs and snuggles while my kids are small will always be priority, I somehow ALWAYS managed to drink coffee. And I mean ALWAYS. The kids know that while snuggling in the chair, I’d sip my coffee. Clearly there IS a morning routine. If I can make coffee happen each morning AND my snuggles, I could likely also make some other changes to supercharge my morning routine. It took that one tiny shift, and my entire morning routine shifted because I changed my belief about my routine.

Taking action

Here is an exercise from my mentors Brandi and Dr. Don MacDonald that you can use to help you examine whether what you think is actually a fact or if it’s really a belief that you could change to help you shift some aspect of your life.

  1. What is my current belief about my health (life, work etc)?
  2. Where and who does that belief come from?
  3. What has your experience told you about this?
  4. Does this belief align with the results you want in your life?
  5. What will it cost you to continue holding on to this belief?
  6. What actions are you taking as a result of these beliefs?
  7. Are there any exceptions to this belief? 
  8. Are the beliefs you wrote down facts or beliefs?
  9. This this belief come from another belief? And if it did, what belief created this belief?

Remember, do this as many times as you have something you want to explore. You may find you come back to it later when there is something else to examine. I have used it for both my professional life and my personal life. Sometimes it’s been mildly interesting to see the answer, and others times, I have had tears rolling down my cheeks from the freedom of seeing the truth of a belief. I encourage you to sit down with a pen and paper, and no judgement of yourself, and start to do the work to learn a little more about you. You’ll be surprised what ways you CAN make a change and a difference in your own life. See you at your next adjustment!

Dr. Pip Penrose