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What is Osteopathy and what do Osteopaths do? By Fergus O'Connor

Posted on February 23, 2017 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (18)

What is Osteopathy and what do Osteopaths do?

As a Licensed Manual Osteopath based in Toronto I’m always having to explain what Osteopathy is and what Osteopaths do. Many people don’t know who Osteopaths are and its surprising that the profession is still relatively unknown to the general public compared with Physiotherapy or Chiropractic approaches. Having worked in Physiotherapy and Sports Injury clinics, I myself misunderstood the Osteopathic approach and what the difference and similarities were between Osteopaths and similar professions. I went on to train in Toronto within Osteopathic Manual Treatment and now working as a Osteopath I figured it would be useful to sum up the approach.

Here are 7 interesting facts you may not have known about the Osteopathic approach that help explain the approach and clarify what makes Osteopathy unique:

1.Osteopathy was invented by Andrew Taylor Still, a physician and surgeon. Still developed Osteopathy as an alternative means of treatment to the common use of prescribing drugs and antidotes at the time. He believed that using hands on manipulation of the musculoskeletal system Osteopaths could offer just as effective treatments for many health conditions.


2.The term Osteopathy can be a bit deceptive. Therefore many people assume that because of the word “Osteo” that Osteopaths work specifically with bones. This is not at all the case however and Stills theory was that disease and dysfunction could be traced to disorders in structure and function of the musculoskeletal system (Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, fascia, etc.). Osteopaths work with a variety of systems and techniques to alter and improve the functioning and structure of the musculoskeletal system.

3.Still was also one of the first physicians to promote the idea of preventive medicine. Consequently he followed the philosophy that physicians should focus on treating the disease rather than just the symptoms. As a result Osteopaths apply the same principles. We don’t treat just the symptoms but rather look for the cause of the illness.


“Let the foundation be level, and all will be well”

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still

4.In the United States, Osteopathic Medicine is a branch of the medical profession. Students in Medical school can choose to study traditional Medicine or Osteopathic Medicine. Physicians are fully licensed doctors and can practice Medicine and Surgery throughout the United States. This is also the case in all Canadian provinces, including Toronto and over 65 other countries worldwide. Manual Osteopaths are not physicians. Manual Osteopaths use hands on treatments to treat disease but do not prescribe medication or perform surgeries.

5.Manual Osteopaths assess, and treat injury and disease in the body using the same principles of Osteopathic medicine. The 4 principles of Osteopathy and the Osteopathic approach are:

• The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.

• The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.

• Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

• Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.


6.In Osteopathic practice there is no single protocol applied across the board to all patients or conditions. This is where Osteopathy differs from say Physiotherapy, where there are treatment protocols for specific conditions. Another key difference is Manual Osteopaths only use their hands for treatments. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists often use tools such as ultrasound or instruments to aid adjustments which differs from Osteopaths.

7.Osteopaths utilize a “whole body” approach. Manual Osteopaths focus on the whole body. If you arrive with shoulder pain we will assess your shoulder, and your spine, and continue throughout the whole body to ensure there are not some restrictions elsewhere which may be causing the dysfunction. We don’t limit our view of dysfunction to just the spine or just the area that presents with pain. Structure and function of the whole body and how it all works in unison is important to us and our approach to treatment reflects this.

Osteopathy has a lot of similarities with other professions and involves similar techniques such as soft tissue mobilization, therapeutic stretching and releasing of dysfunctional muscles and fascia. However, the unique approach of treating the whole body and treating the individual patient not the symptom are some of the defining qualities of Osteopaths and their approach.

Sessions with our Toronto Manual Osteopaths are generally about an hour-long and are very hands on. We focus only on one patient at a time and do not leave the room during the treatment. If you haven’t experienced an Osteopathic treatment before you will be surprised at the level of attention you receive and the multiple areas of tension that a good therapist can identify and release within a single session.

At Osteofitrehabwe offer Manual Osteopathic treatments in our Toronto location for a variety of conditions. Although we specialize in working with sports injuries and all forms of Arthritis, our treatments are applicable to any type of pain or dysfunction. If you would like to experience a treatment contact us today!


Fergus O' ConnorFergus is a Manual Osteopath and Certified Personal Trainer with over 16 years of experience in Osteopathy, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, personal training and exercise rehabilitation. He is the owner of Osteofitrehab in Toronto.



Back pain: Have you suffered? by Fergus O'Connor

Posted on February 23, 2017 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Do you know about low back pain? If not you may find out about it at some stage: The facts are pretty grim:Up to 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain during their lifetime. To put that in context that’s more than 8 out of 10 of us will experience low back pain.

The low back pain epidemic has been constantly increasing over the past few years and working as an Osteopath in Torontoover 70% of the cases I see are back pain related. Increased body weight, increased sitting, and less mobility and activity in our daily lives have all contributed. Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950; physically active jobs now make up less than 20% of our workforce.

Tight muscles, poor muscles tone, muscles imbalance and incorrect posture develop as a result of our lack of activity and sitting habits. This can further contribute to and lead to more complications and probability of low back issues.

Am I at risk for low back pain?

As I mentioned working as a Manual Osteopath in Toronto, I see a lot of low back pain cases. A lot of patients I see have similar behaviors and risk factors which are adding to their issue. There are specific risk factors which make you more susceptible to suffering from low back pain. These include:

Age: The disks between the vertebrae wear away and shrink as we grow older. This can cause pain and stiffness as the bones start to rub against each other. Space around the spinal cord can also narrow as we age (Spinal Stenosis).

Fitness level: Regular exercise targeting the abdominal and back muscles can help in supporting correct posture and reducing the risk of suffering from low back pain. If you don’t exercise regularly then you are at an increased risk to suffer from back problems. The muscles supporting the spine are important in ensuring correct posture and alignment.

Weight: Being overweight or Obese increases the risk of low back pain. Added weight puts strain on the postural muscles and the supporting vertebrae.

Pregnancy: is also a risk factor, the combination of weight change, posture changes and stress increase a pregnant woman’s risk.

Occupational risk factors: Jobs involving pulling, pushing and manual labor have an increased risk of back injury. Also jobs involving a lot of sitting (unfortunately 80% of jobs today) can increase risk.

Psychological factors: It’s important to mention psychological factors as many people don’t consider this when thinking about low back pain. Attitude towards injury and recovery has been shown to have an effect on healing time.

How you can I prevent low back pain?

Prevention is better than cure as the old saying goes. There are many things you could be doing which can help ensure your risk of low back pain is reduced. Increasing your daily activity and losing some weight are 2 positive changes that can help.

Of course trying to reduce your stress and eat right will also help. Learn to relax better through some form of mediation such as mindfulness: Mindfulness mediation has been shown to reduce stress levels when used consistently. If you smoke consider quitting as smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs. Also sleeping position can be important if you suffer from low back pain. Observe your go to sleeping position each night and consider if it may be adding to your pain.

• Exercise: Still one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of low back pain

• Diet: Ensure you are eating a balanced diet

• Reduce stress… try meditating

• Reduce weight: Start small and focus on the long term goal. If you need advice on how seek out a registered exercise professional.

• Quit smoking. The single best thing you can do for your health.

• Sleeping/sitting position. Consider making changes to either/or if needed.




Treatments for low back pain: Osteopathy and Exercise

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat”.

There are 100s of protocols, treatments, ointments, “cures” and techniques available that say they can heal your pain. However below is a selection of techniques that I have personally found to be most effective in my practice and experience:


Manual Osteopathic treatments are effective for low back painand one of the more successful manual therapies that can offer relief. We offer Osteopathic treatments in Toronto, contact us for an appointment todayif you are in pain.


Physical activity is one of the ways to prevent osteoporosis which is often cause in low back issues. Also rehab and therapeutic exercise protocols to develop and strengthen the core muscles have been shown to be effective.


Sometimes just becoming aware of the position you are seated in for most the day or your sleeping position can make a big difference. Are you mistreating your spine by holding it in these extended uncomfortable positions throughout the day? Minor changes can over time lead to major improvements.

Do what works for you

There are specific muscles which support the low back and there are many specific back treatment protocols. There also exists a huge variety of exercises which target low back pain. But there is no one fits all treatment when it comes to managing and recovering from low back pain. I’ve worked in a variety of practice settings and seen many causes and types of low back pain, some which have responded well and others which have not. Look for an approach that is individualized to you and your situation, not a standard protocol that is applied across the board.


 Fergus is a Manual Osteopath and Certified Personal Trainer with over 16 years of experience in Osteopathy, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, personal training and exercise rehabilitation. He is the owner of Osteofitrehab in Toronto.


Homeopathic Arnica!

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)
Arnica has to be the most popular homeopathic remedy in the world! Even doctors know about it. It is a great remedy to have at home or in the car, in fact I highly recommend you add it to your First Aid Kit. Arnica is prescribed homeopathically in a wide range of conditions, including bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, rheumatic pain, inflammation from insect bites, swelling due to fractures and other conditions caused by overexertion or trauma. This remedy stimulates healing of the circulatory system, muscles, tendons, as well as the surrounding tissues. In such cases, it is most effective as an orally ingested remedy. However, Arnica can also be applied locally on an injured part in the form of an ointment where it can also be quite successful in treating bruises and scrapes. While Arnica is certainly the top homeopathic remedy for injuries, it also has huge effectiveness on the mental plane. It is successfully used in the treatment of excessive irritability, indifference to everything, hopelessness, hypochondriac anxiety, frightfulness, and confusion of the mind. Arnica is also useful in treating people who are often exposed to copious amounts of pressure. They are more likely to have tense nerves and muscles, meaning that the body is under intense physical strain. An overworked individual normally develops a weakened immune system, and subsequently becomes prone to contracting diseases more frequently. While this seems to be a more indirect form of trauma, it is still important to recognize the physical manifestations that mental stress can create. In such cases, Arnica would do well to treat these manifestations, as well as the overall mental congestion that excessive mental strain can produce. Stress and prolonged anxiety can also be responsible for the eventual development of exhaustion. These days, more people are suffering from a general lack of energy and we now see a higher incidence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Think of Arnica: when in a car accident, to treat a concussion, after any injury or workout, with bruising, when physically overworked or experiencing muscle fatigue and for sensations of painful bruise-like soreness anywhere in your body whether experienced internally or externally. How to take it: You can take Arnica dry, one dose of 200 ch (depending on the severity of the injury) or dissolve one pellet (200 ch) in a glass or bottle of filtered water, shake it 10 times and take one sip or one teaspoon. If you feel at least 50% better then do NOT repeat. If there is a relapse or if there is no improvement then repeat again until there is one. Remember to stir or shake the remedy 10 times before each repetition.

Qi Gong by Ted Martins

Posted on April 26, 2016 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (25)

Qi Gong (CHEE KUNG) is a set of exercises that dates back thousands of years, to the origins of Taoisim. It consists of literally thousands of techniques, and is part of the overall Traditional Chinese Medicine system. Much like acupuncture and herbal treatments, Qi Gong addresses the natural radiant energy inside of all of us. We are surrounded and permeated by electromagnetic fields, that tie us to the earth's gravitational pull. When our emotions or lifestyle conflict with the natural harmony in our environment, it results in this energy stagnating, much the same way blood pools when you have a bruise. We all know of someone whose stress or anxiety has resulted in chronic digestive issues, as an example.

Amongst the litany of exercises, there is the base 200+ Taoist poses, from which all Qi Gong and Martial Arts were formed. Deceptively simple and easier to learn than more advanced techniques, standing poses help you use gravity to drive through blockages, like a plumber's tool through a drain. The below picture represents the most basic posture. Correctly performed, it has the same effect of going from a 40 watt bulb, to a 100 watt bulb in your living room.

Standing comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart, keep everything relaxed, but straight. Tucking your chin in slightly will align your head with all your vertebrae, into a straight line. You can also tuck in your pelvis slightly, but that can come with time. Maintaining a relaxed and natural flex in your knees, feel all your weight sink into your feet (don't let your knees bend past your toes). At the same time, create the sensation that you are pushing downward with your hands, as if pushing an object. The intent is to push with your hands and feet, while remaining straight and balanced. The picture shows fingers down, but you can also push down with your palms instead. For those of you that have ever performed planks or wall sits, this combines both into a remarkably intense exercise. You will feel noticeably warmer in seconds, and will sweat within minutes. Best of all, it helps clear out latent emotions, and you will sleep better.

Keep the Hamster on the Wheel everyone!

3 - Day Grape Fast by Anna Sienicka

Posted on September 29, 2015 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


3 - Day Gentle Grape Fast

Next Full Moon is tomorrow and this special lunar phase is the best time to start the cleanse. Why start on a Full Moon? During this phase our body is at its peak of fullness, when we have the most energy and strength, our weight is up so we look fuller and our emotions are intensified. The full moon is a time to be aware of negative attitudes so that, instead of adding to problems, your energy can intensify your artistry. Full moons are Nature's time of cleansing and purifying. Most births occur during this phase, women tend to menstruate during full moons, and there is an increase in accidents around this time (due to release of intense emotions). The Full Moon is a good time to cleanse your body.

The next Full Moon is tomorrow, on September 27th, and I will be doing a 3 day Gentle Grape Fast. Thank you again for joining me!


It is important to give yourself at least one day and not eat any meat nor dairy the day before and mostly ingesting whole foods (avoid anything processed).


During the cleanse you can drink water, lemon water, herbal teas but only eat grapes. Not just any grapes, Ontario grapes with seeds. If you don't live in Canada and Ontario grapes are not an option, get local grapes with seeds, preferably organic. Make sure to chew the grapes when you eat them and crush the seeds with your teeth. Grape seeds are very powerful when it comes to clearing the gut, but also are high in antioxidants which nourish and regenerate the cells. During the 3 day cleanse, you can eat as much grapes as you like. On the second and third day of this cleanse, you may do colonics (either at home or at a colonic clinic) or you may skip this part if you don't feel comfortable. After you finish the cleanse, you start eating whole natural foods, try eating other fruits, steamed veggies and allow yourself a slow return to a normal eating.

This cleanse will give your body a well needed break and will eliminate toxins that your body has been holding on for a long time. From then on, make sure to eat what grows naturally, and the less processed food the better for you. You will feel the difference and your skin will show it too.

In Healing and Service,

Anna Sienicka


Beat the Yeast! How To Deal With Candida by Tamarack Man

Posted on July 17, 2015 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (7)

The term ‘Candida’ refers to a collective group of yeast-like fungi that are naturally present in the human intestines, mouth, throat, skin and urinary system. Generally it is Candida Albicans that is implicated in states of chronic yeast infections.


Candida is normally present in the colon and is kept in check – along with other ‘bad bacteria’ – by the probiotics or, ‘good bacteria’. The over-consumption of sugars, breads, alcohol and yeast products – candida feeds on these – results in the bad guys getting all the food they need while the good guys become outnumbered. This is further exacerbated by the use of antibiotics and birth control pills, antibiotics in animal feed, environmental pollution and steroid drugs. When Candida is left unchecked it multiplies out of control. Once overgrown in the intestines, Candida forms spike-like structures called myceles or rhizoids. This enables the candida to burrow through the intestinal lining and enter the blood stream. This is commonly referred to as leaky gut or malabsorption syndrome.


Leaky gut cartoon


These holes now pave the way for other organisms to enter the blood stream as well as partly or undigested food particles which are a causative factor in food and environmental allergies. Allergies produce symptoms such as fatigue, depression, chronic dermatological infections, skin rashes, acne, abdominal bloating and gas, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, chemical and food sensitivities, hypoglycemia, premenstrual tension, endometriosis, prostatitis, vaginitis, poor concentration, memory problems, mood swings, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have any of these conditions it would be a good idea to get Candida testing done.


Once in the blood the candida can mutate into a form that is able to hide from the normal immune system. At this point the scenario develops into a low-grade (not easily detectable) infection that causes inflammation and immune system irregularities. Eventually it is able to pervade all tissues and organs. Disease will manifest at the weakest link along with associated symptoms. Once systemic it requires strict adherence to dietary measures and supplementation (discussed below). It is possible to have lifelong systemic Candidiasis without proper treatment.


Candidiasis will cause cravings for breads, yeast, sugars, wheat and starches. In a sense it is not you that is craving the food but the Candida. In addition, when a particular food stimulates an allergic response (inflammatory reaction) a certain amount of pain is produced. The brain detects this pain and produces endorphins which eliminate the pain. These are the bodies “painkillers”. If the food is consumed regularly the body will crave that food because it leads to the production of endorphins. As you can see, this creates a vicious cycle that feeds back into itself; seemingly with no resolution. Chronic Candidiasis can be extremely stubborn to treatment, especially if it has been around for along time. Dietary and supplemental measures need to be strictly adhered to if lasting results are desired.


Depending on the severity, a typical Candida program can be anywhere from 12 weeks to 9 months. Using supplements is essential on this program. I’ve met people who have been on Candida diets (ie. no supplements) for almost 10 years with some improvement. As soon as they go off the diet, the symptoms return. If you plan to go food-only, pack some lunch – you’re going to be doing it for a while. Let’s discuss food first and look at supplements after.

Key foods to avoid include the following:


Wheat-containing foods such as breads, pasta and bagels. Interestingly, wheat has a similar antigen marking to Candida. Some other names that wheat goes by include: wheat_allergy_basket

Bulgur (bulghar)

Durum, durum flour, durum wheat



Enriched, white and whole-wheat flour


Flour (all-purpose, cake, enriched, graham, high protein or high gluten, pastry)

All dairy products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter).

Most grains but especially gluten and starchy grains (barley, rye, kamut, spelt, rice, wild rice, oats). NOTE: some highly sensitive individuals might want to omit ALL grains. I find this is ok for meat-eaters but very challenging for vegetarians.

Sugar: I usually recommend ALL forms of sugar although some resources class fruits as allowable. Err on the side of caution and if you’re going to go with fruits make sure they’re not high sugar or high Glycemic Index. Berries are your best bet here.sugar

Starchy vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, beets, turnips and yams.

All alcoholic beverages, coffee, caffeine, tea and carbonated drinks. These are acidic which is what yeast prefers.

All fermented and fungal type foods (vinegar’s – use lemon juice instead, soy sauce – Bragg’s amino’s instead, ciders, pickles, mushrooms)

Peanuts, pistachios, cashews, bean sprouts and popcorn.


Yikes! That’s alot of stuff to cut out! Let’s take a look at what you CAN eat. The simpler the better.

Allowed Foods: meat and veg


Fresh non-starchy vegetables: (asparagus , avocado, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, parsley, pumpkin, spinach, squash, string beans, tomato, watercress, wax beans). A wide variety and organic, if possible. Raw, juiced, steamed, make soups & salads.

Protein: good quality meat is best. Ideal is grass-fed beef, fish, chicken, eggs and wild meats. Try your best to go for organic. Beans are a little too starchy but you can include some in the diet, especially if you’re vegetarian. Avoid processed meats like hot dogs, pre-made hamburger patties and dried/cured meats.

Nuts & Seeds: raw not roasted

Grains: quinoa, millet, amaranth. Keep grains to a minimum and focus more on eating vegetables and protein.

Beans and legumes: red & green lentils, mung beans and adzuki beans in moderation

Coconut oil has many health benefits and mild anti-fungal properties.




Supplements are an essential component to this program. It will be a long and challenging journey without them. I am all about effective supplementation and, when it comes to Candida, go big or go home is the motto of the day. Let’s check them out.


Digestive enzymes: one of the most critical supplements to include. They help break down food and some also break down the wall of the Candida itself! Essential!

Anti-fungals: oregano oil, berberine, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract and pau d’Arco (taheebo). Look for a formula or use them as individual items. These guys wipe out the Candida

Binders: Bentonite and activated charcoal bind what’s called Candida die-off (think “clay mask” and you get the picture). When you start killing Candida they release aldehydes which are a type of alcohol. This is the stuff that really makes you feel sick on the cleanse. By adding these binders, you minimize the die-off reaction and thing tend to run a little smoother.

Fiber: Fiber ensures that the bowels keep moving and that the Candida actually gets out of the body. Meat-eaters who are on a meat/veg program might want to increase the amount of fiber as a supplement as meat has no fiber at all.

Probiotics: These are the ‘good bacteria’ and they help crowd out the bad guys (Candida). A key component to this (and almost any other!) program. Look for high potency and high organisms (how many billions).

A high-potency multi-vitamin. Look for one that supports the liver and the adrenal glands.

There are some good homeopathics that are specifically formulated for Candida. A favourite trade-secret of mine that many practitioners do not include. Directs things and helps re-train the immune system.

Vegetarians might want to consider a protein shake 1-2 a day. We are trying to starve the Candida, not the person.


A Little Goes a Long Way


While this might seem very overwhelming, remember this: in the grand scheme of things, a small time investment pays off in the long run. Candida is an underlying issue for many disease states and heavily under-diagnosed, so a little ground work goes a long way. The supplements here are exactly that, a “supplement” to a good diet. Meat and veg works great but really focus on the veg part. Meats are acidifying so ratio’s are important. Shoot for 75% vegetables and 25% protein. You want to get as alkaline as possible (Candida do not like this!) so vegetable juices, salads, etc are the order of the day here.


This is one of the most complete programs I know of and works well. The trick is to stick with it. If you fall off the wagon don’t throw in the towel. Take it for what it is, get back on the horse and keep moving forward. Good luck!


NOTE: This is not intended to diagnose any disease. This is also not intended to replace the services of a competent and licensed health practitioner – it is intended as a guide to get you going in the right direction.

Nutrition + PIlates for A Flat Belly

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

By: Karolina Boryca, CNP & Brittany Coughlan, Certified Pilates Instructor

Do you ever wonder why you can’t achieve the flat belly that you desire?  Karolina Boryca and Brittany Coughlan have written this article just for you, including:  3 nutritional tips and 3 pilates moves to give you a natural tummy tuck just in time for bikini season.




While Probiotics are becoming more and more popular, scientists have known for decades that they can boost your health. Probiotics can be found in many foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and miso, I’m a firm believer that you can never have enough Probiotics (good bacteria) in your diet. Since our diets are usually lacking in foods containing good bacteria, I would suggest taking a Probiotic supplement to achieve that flat tummy that you desire.

Other things that could potentially lower your good bacteria and increase your bad bacteria: chlorine from non-filtered water, stress, sugar, coffee and refined carbohydrates.


Are you having tummy troubles like diarrhea, bloating or indigestion –Watch this very informative video on 3 Natural Methods To Get Rid Indigestion:

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Your diet is an important aspect of achieving the flat belly that you desire. You are what you eat – am I right? Most nutritionists would tell you that you need to remove gluten, sugar and dairy in order to achieve better digestion and in turn a super sexy flat belly. Unfortunately it’s true; all these foods are very acidic and they cause havoc in your digestive tract, so it would be in your favor to remove all three in order to reach your goals.


The secret here is to eat a diet full of complex carbohydrates, good proteins and drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. This is a lifestyle change more so then a temporary diet.  It’s become my passion to run Cooking Classes and Healthy Living Workshops in order to provide guidance to those of you choosing to live a healthier lifestyle (Check out for more information).




While this seems like a simple tip, lemon water really does a tummy good! Since constipation and bloating are the most common digestive issues, my last tip is to start your day off with a glass of warm lemon water. This prevents digestive discomforts by promoting an alkaline environment in your belly – get ready to feel amazing!


TIP: If you’re suffering from constipation - I suggest a day of fasting with at least 3-4 glasses of warm (half cold filtered water and half boiled water) lemon water on the day of to get things moving. If you get hungry, drink fresh squeezed juices from a juicer. If you aren’t sure about the difference between a juicer and a blender, watch this video for more information: 

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Click the lnk below to see my delicious Recipe -  "Blueberry & Lemon Detox Water" for a flatter belly!

Karolina Boryca, CNP


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The key to a flat belly is not hours of ab curls and crunches. The core is made up

of many layers of muscle, with fibres that run in all different directions and weave

around each other. The more dynamic the exercise — twisting, rounding,

arching, bending, and lengthening through the torso — the more challenging it is for

the core. That means, if you only round forward, like in an ab curl, you’re really

only strengthening part of your core. Ab curling alone will not help you achieve that flat belly!


Here are a few great dynamic exercises you can do at home to challenge your

core strength, and tighten up your mid-section!




Kneel with your shoulders and hips stacked in a straight line. Place hands on

top of your head and grow tall through your spine, imagine reaching up into

your hands. Turn your chest and ribs to the right and then the left, keeping your

pelvis as still as possible. Rotation is one way to work oblique muscles or side core.

Tip: pull your low abdominals in while you rotate, as if you’re pulling a belt tight

across your hip bones.


If you don’t have a Pilates mini ball, seen here, you can use a kid’s dodge ball or

anything similar. The ball will help the spine to move smoother, and encourages

a more dynamic range of motion. Lying on your back with your feet bent, position

the ball beneath your shoulder blades. Arch back over the ball and extend your spine,

nod your chin and curl forward like an ab curl. This is a great exercise for the

rectis abdominis, or “six pack” muscles. Tip: leave a little space under the

small of your back as you curl forward so that your low back stays neutral and




This exercise really gets all of the fibres of the core muscles working together. It’s

a really great exercise! Start on all fours, and grow tall through the arms. Press

into opposite hand to knee, and lift the other limbs reaching them long, repeat on

the other side. Hold your belly tight the whole time! Tip: keep both of your

hip bones pointed down to the ground as you reach the arm and leg, envision

you’ve got headlights on your hip bones and you want them to shine straight


Brittany Coughlan, Certified Pilates Instructor

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10 Homeopathic Treatments for the Common Cold

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)


By:  Maeghan Laws, Registered Homeopath

Homeopathy for Colds and Influenza


As we are well into cold and flu season this year, many people are seeking homeopathic remedies for treatment. Let’s start by examining what a “cold” actually is and how to differentiate symptoms from the “flu.” I will review some general tips for avoiding colds and flu, as well as some natural ways to treat both illnesses. Lastly, I will discuss common homeopathic remedies for adults and children.


The Common Cold

Colds can occur all year, but especially during the autumn and winter months. Often, a virus will enter the body through the mucus membranes of the eyes or nose and symptoms will appear 2-3 days after exposure. At this time, the person is infectious and can spread the cold to others. While often shrugged off as more of a nuisance, colds can develop into sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. Typical cold symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and coughing. Colds generally last from 3 to 7 days unless a bacterial infection sets in while the person has a weakened immune system from the cold.

Seasonal Influenza


Seasonal Influenza (or the Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a strain of the influenza virus. Often, the flu virus is spread through droplets when infected people cough, sneeze or talk and can infect someone up to 6 feet away. These droplets can land on the mouth or nose and can be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person can contract the flu by touching an infected surface and then touching his/her own mouth or nose. Common Flu symptoms include fever, chills, sweats, aches, fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat and diarrhea. People can infect others starting from one day before the onset of symptoms and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body, which means that it is easy to infect others before the person is even aware that he/she is sick. The Flu generally lasts from a few days to less than two weeks. Complications can include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections or the worsening of chronic health problems, such as asthma or congestive heart failure.

General Tips for Avoiding the Common Cold


It is a common misconception that coughing and sneezing are the main ways to spread a cold. In fact, it is usually through skin to skin contact, such as shaking hands or touching a surface that a sick person has touched. You can reduce your risk of a catching a cold simply by washing your hands. As the virus enters through your eyes or nose, try your best to avoid rubbing or touching your eyes or nose particularly if your hands are not washed. Vitamin D, either through supplementation or through sun exposure, is a great way to boost your immune system to help fight viruses and bacteria. Additionally, healthy lifestyle choices will help your body to build up resistance to colds and flus. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. Lastly, stress reduction and maintaining a positive outlook on life strengthens immunity.


General Tips for Avoiding Influenza


As with the common cold, washing your hands with soap and water helps to reduce your risk of infection. Avoiding sick people or staying home if you are sick helps to reduce your risk. Linens, eating utensils and dishes should not be shared and should be washed thoroughly. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned ad disinfected at home, work and school.


Natural Ways to Treat the Common Cold


Generally speaking, everyone should be drinking 8 to 10 gasses of fluids each day, particularly water with lemon or herbal tea. This will thin the mucus within the body and make it easier for the body to expel it. Additionally, reducing or eliminating dairy products will stop related mucus production. It goes without saying that rest is one of the most important steps to preventing or recovering from any illness.


You can stimulate your immune system through the consumption of oregano (herb). I highly recommend using Oil of Oregano to stop a cold before it starts. Oregano is an excellent anti-inflammatory and one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics. It contains phenolic acids, flavonoids and carvacol, which boosts immunity, increases resistance and kills bacteria. Additionally, lemon can be squeezed into a cup of water or tea every few hours to alkalinize the body. Garlic is an excellent remedy for sore throats and infections, cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and turmeric contains curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.


For fever reduction, the Wet Sock technique is quite successful, as it triggers a reflex response from your body to relieve nasal congestion and reduce fever. At bedtime, place your feet in a tub of hot water until they are hot and pink. Soak a pair of cotton socks in ice water and wring them out. Immediately put the cold socks over your hot feet, cover with a thick pair of socks and climb into bed.

10 Potential Cold/Flu Homeopathic Remedies for Adults:

Homeopathic remedies can provide safe and effective treatment for all types of colds or flus. You may wish to follow these recommendations or visit a homeopath for a proper prescription. All homeopathic remedies are safe for use from babies to the elderly when following the instructions. To treat your cold, review the remedies below to see which one best matches your symptoms and follow the instructions on the remedy vial. If there is no improvement by 3-4 doses, you will need to reassess your symptoms and move on to another remedy.


1. Aconite Napellus – Indications for this remedy include colds which come on very quickly, especially after exposure to cold where the person is very feverish, achy and does not want to move. The flu would come on suddenly and intensely accompanied by fever, anxiety, constricted pupils and strong thirst. The person may feel fearful or agitated, and the fever can alternate with chills. Symptoms are often worst around midnight. Exposure to cold wind or a shock of some kind often precedes the illness. Aconite is also a useful remedy for the beginning stages of an acute illness, such an earache, sore throat, urinary tract infection, fever or any other illness that comes on suddenly with great intensity.


2. Apis Mellifica – Indications for this remedy include having a dry fever that alternates with sweating, facial flushing and a very sore throat with swollen tonsils. Pain may extend to the ears and the eyelids may be swollen. Exposure to cool air and cold applications may bring relief. Despite the fever, thirst usually is low. The person can be very irritable, disliking interference. Other indications include thirstlessness, better with cold application and open air, worse with heat, touch and pressure.


3. Arsenicum Album – Indications for the remedy include feeling chilly, restless and weak diarrhea, especially from food poisoning and flu. The person feels chilly and exhausted, with anxious restlessness. He/she may be thirsty, but often only takes small sips. The person may experience nausea with burning pain, or vomiting and acrid diarrhea. If the flu is respiratory, a watery, runny nose with sneezing paroxysms and a dry or wheezing cough are often seen. The person’s head usually feels hot, while the rest of the body is chilly. Symptoms include burning sensations associated with the watery, foul stools. Arsenicum Album is also a useful remedy for fevers where there is a lot of restlessness or anxiety, or for colds with a burning nasal discharge, restlessness and fearfulness.


4. Belladonna - This remedy is indicated when there are sudden, intense symptoms including fever, red face, hot skin, and extreme sensitivity to light and jarring. Other symptoms include a very red sore throat, a pounding headache, a nagging cough, or other throbbing and inflammatory symptoms. The person’s hands and feet may feel cold despite high fever. Chills and heat may alternate.



5. Bryonia – This remedy is indicated if symptoms include a headache, cough, constipation, thirst and irritability. This remedy is often prescribed when a person feels very hot and dry, is thirsty for cold drinks and experience aching all over. With the flu, the person would feel grumpy and miserable with the desire to only to lie still and be left alone. Flu symptoms may be accompanied by headache, muscle aches, stomach pain or cough and everything feels worse from even the slightest motion. The person may also have a dry mouth, with a thirst for long cold drinks.


6. Eupatorium Perfoliatum - Indications for this remedy are flu/colds that cause aches and chills in your back and bones, fatigue, thirst and bad headaches. It is helpful for severe aching deep in the bones with soreness everywhere. Generally, there will be a great thirst for cold drinks. Specifically, there will be deep aches in the bones and muscles, eyeball pain, yellow tongue and a painful cough. The person will be exhausted with a desire for cold food and drinks, which are vomited as soon as they warm in the stomach. The fever would be preceded by chills, especially from 7:00 to 9:00 A.M.


7. Gelsemium - Indications for this remedy are flu/colds with feelings of dizziness, drowsiness and weakness but momentarily better after urinating. Other indications include heavy, droopy eyes, feeling weak and tired with aches and chills up and down the back and a desire to be alone. Symptoms can include a hot head and face (with chills that go up and down the back) and a burning headache (beginning at the back of the neck and skull), without any real sense of thirst. The onset of flu would be gradual with fatigue and achiness increasing over several days. This may be accompanied by anxiety, dizziness, moderate fever, trembling and perspiration.


8. Nux Vomica – Indications for this remedy are for a flu associated with thoroughly chilled feelings, such as the inability to get warm with aching limbs/back and upset stomach upset. Other indications include high fever, violent chills, strong nausea, cramping in the digestive tract (or a painful cough and constricted breathing if the flu is respiratory) and headache. There may be an oversensitivity to sound, bright light and odors, with feelings of irritability. The person would feel worse from exertion and from being cold in any way.


9. Phosphorus – Indications for this remedy include a flu that is accompanied by fever with an easily-flushing face with headache, sore throat, cough, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting and hoarseness of the voice. The person would feel very weak and dizzy with strong anxiety. He/She would want others to be around to offer company and reassurance. There would also be a strong thirst, with a tendency to vomit when liquids warm up in the stomach.


10. Sulphur - Indications for this remedy include a flu that is very long-lasting or has some lingering symptoms, such as the case when people have neglected to take good care of themselves. The person may feel hot and sweaty, with low fever and reddish mucous membranes. Symptoms, either digestive or respiratory, will often have a hot or burning quality. Heat aggravates the symptoms, and the person often feels worse after bathing.







Benefits of Bach Flower Remedies

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

By: Maeghan Laws, Registered Homeopath


Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) discovered the Original 38 Bach Flower Remedies that correct emotional imbalances by replacing negative emotions with positive ones. These remedies have been divided into seven groups, which are categorized by fear, uncertainty, insufficient interest in present circumstances, loneliness, oversensitivity to influences and ideas, despondency or despair and being over-caring for the welfare of others. These remedies can be used in combination with homeopathy, herbal medicine and medications and can be safely used by everyone.

Dr. Bach was born near Birmingham, England and studied medicine at the University College Hospital in London. He practised for over twenty years as a bacteriologist and conducted research in immunology and homeopathy. In the course of his research, Dr. Bach developed seven bacterial (Bach) nosodes. He surmised that illness originates from disharmony between the body and mind, with symptoms being an external expression of negative emotional states. Leaving London in 1930, Dr. Bach devoted the rest of his life to developing a new system of healing using plant remedies from the English countryside.

By 1932, Dr. Bach had discovered 12 remedies, to be followed by 7 additional “helpers” in 1933. From 1934 until his death in 1936, he discovered the remaining 19 remedies in Oxfordshire. Using himself for testing, Dr. Bach would excite a particular emotional state and test various plants until determining one that could help him. When treating patients, he discovered that by treating their unhappiness, their physical ailments would be alleviated as the body’s own natural ability to heal was stimulated through the remedies. “It is not the disease that is of importance, it is the patient, the way in which he or she is affected, which is our true guide to healing” (Bach, 1936). Today, this system of medicine is used by many throughout the world.

The Bach Flower remedies can be administered in one of three different ways. Firstly, the remedies can be taken directly from the concentrate bottle using two drops of each single remedy and taken four times per day (morning, noon, evening and before bed). This method is not recommended for children or for those who are sensitive to alcohol. Secondly, the remedies can be taken in liquids, such as water, juice or milk. Two drops of each remedy should be put into a few ounces of the desired liquid and taken four times per day. Lastly, the remedies can be taken using a personal formula bottle. Begin by nearly filling a 25mL or 1oz amber bottle with glass dropper with spring water. Add two drops of each single remedy and take four times per day. If desired, add a teaspoon of brandy or cider vinegar as a preservative.


Flat Belly Blueberry Lemon Detox Water Recipe

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (1)

By: Karolina Boryca, Certified Nutritional Practitioner


½ cup organic blueberries

2 cups (64 ounces) spring or filtered water

1/2 large organic lemon—cut into ½- inch slices

1 dried Medjool date (optional but adds nice sweetness to the water)

1-2 drops lemon essential oil

1-liter clean glass jar with lid


1. Place blueberrie into the bottom of your jar. Add the dates if using then layer the lemon slices on top. Pour water into jar and place lid on top.


2. Place water into the refrigerator and let infuse for 1 hour. Remove the lemon slices and squeeze their juice into the infused blueberry lemon water. Removing the slices after an hour will help to prevent the water from becoming bitter from the rinds.


3. Add the lemon essential oil drops into the jar. Stir the water with a spoon, cover with a lid and put water back into the refrigerator overnight for the best flavor.


You can leave the blueberries and dates in the infused water for up to 2 days before you need to strain them out of the water.


TIP: Rather then composting the blueberries and dates, I suggest adding them to your morning smoothie. They will be less sweet but the fiber will still be there – add a little honey, maple syrup or Stevia to your smoothie for extra sweetness.


**Replace blueberries with strawberries or raspberries for variety.

Karolina Boryca, CNP

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