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Issue: August 2012


In This Issue:
Ontario Summer Games
After an Injury, don't ALWAYS do what you're told in the gym
Taking a Healthy Breath of Fresh Air
Health & Wellness: Shop In-Store or Online!


Ontario Summer Games

dr shima shahidyDr. Shima Shahidy, (Hon) B.Sc., DC
Chiropractor, Acupuncture & Graston Technique Provider

This August, from the 16th – 19th, I will be volunteering at the Ontario Summer Games, hosted by the City of Toronto with venues in the surrounding area. For athletes as young as age 11, these games are a stepping stone to national and international competitions.

2500 athletes, 28 sports and over 1000 volunteers will be part of this unique competition. I encourage you to purchase a commemorative pin for $25 from http://ontariosummergames.ca/sales.html. Not only will this help support the costs involved with running such an event, but the pin will allow you admission to all the sporting events as well as the opening ceremonies.

After an Injury, don't ALWAYS do what you're told in the gym

Group exercise is an excellent way to get in shape and a great social activity. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or rebounding from an injury, it's important to be able to tell the difference between the burn that comes with challenging yourself or the pain of injury. For example, if you're doing a plank, you may feel burning in your abs but if you feel back pain, you need to stop. You may be doing the exercise incorrectly. 

If you have had a recent injury or are recovering from a back injury, it is important to remember that any exercise or movement that reproduces your pain is not right for you at this time. Speaking with a health care provider who understands body mechanics and exercise will help you realize which exercises and stretches to start with and how to build endurance for challenging new activities. 

There are also exercises that are historically done to strengthen the abs or the back but research has found them to do more harm than good. The prime example is sit-ups. Doing a sit up compresses the spine, especially in the lower back and puts a great deal of pressure on your discs. Done repetitively this type of movement can result in back pain, disc herniations and sciatica. Alternatives that will strengthen your core without bending the spine are planks, side bridges, and leg extensions.

Sometimes when participating in a group exercise class we feel pressured to push ourselves further or the instructor may ask us to push through. While this is fantastic for motivation, remember that you know your body best and if you feel you need a rest or that you're not ready to do an exercise, it's important to listen to your body. In a famous fable attributed to Aesop, the slow moving tortoise eventually wins the race. Sometimes it's better to be the tortoise, slowly and steadily working your way up to more challenging exercise. 

Remember that every person is different and just because an exercise exists or a machine is in the gym, does not mean it's the right one for you. It's important to get proper instruction on how to perform an exercise. It is better to do fewer repetitions correctly than many repetitions incorrectly as this can also increase your risk of injury.  

If you are unsure about an exercise, ask me at your next appointment and we will analyze it to see if it's right for you.


Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information
and to book your appointment with Dr. Shima Shahidy.

For pricing information please click here.


Taking a Healthy Breath of Fresh Air

Andrea Antaya, RMT, Dipl. S.T.
Registered Massage Therapist, Shiatsu Therapist & Reiki Practitioner

andrea antaya RMTIn my years of practice I have often told clients to start practicing breathing exercises as part of their healthcare routine. Besides lowering stress levels, what can just 5 minutes of breathing exercises a day do for you? Here are some of the benefits of taking that ‘breather’ for yourself each day:

· Improved posture
· Better awareness of your body and how you use it [are you starting to slouch at your desk around 3pm?]
· Centers the mind and helps with concentration
· Brings more oxygen to the body
· Strengthens muscle tone

With that being said, I know it’s easier said than done! Below is a breathing exercise with some visualization. It is hard to turn off our busy minds and think of our breath so hopefully this exercise will give you some guidance. It is from one of my favorite Shiatsu reference books called “Shiatsu Theory and Practice” by Carola Beresford-Cooke. Enjoy!

Sit comfortably with your back straight but relaxed. Close your eyes and gently draw your attention to your breathing. Observe your breathing pattern just as it is, without judging or trying to change it. Let it be slow/fast, shallow/deep, smooth/uneven, just let it be. Just observe and bring your attention back if it starts to wander.

Gradually, as you calmly observe your breathing and allow it to be just the way it is, it will begin to slow down and deepen. This may take time, stay calm and patient. As it begins to slow down, encourage your breath to move down into your abdomen by expanding your abdomen slightly as you breathe in and contracting it slightly as you breathe out. If you place your hands on your abdomen, just below the navel, it may help to feel the movement.

As your breathing moves down into your abdomen, add the power of visualization to encourage it. Imagine that the lower part of your body and your pelvis are a bowl; make the bowl a beautiful one, golden, marble, porcelain, however you would like it. As you breathe steadily into your abdomen, imagine the breath as water pouring straight down the inside of your body and arriving in the bottom of the bowl; let the breath follow this image. See the bowl slowly begin to fill and imagine light illuminating both the bowl and the water pouring into it. As the bowl fills with water, watch it become more and more full of the radiant light.

Now let the image of the bowl gradually fade and concentrate on the sphere of light in your abdomen. As you breath in, imagine that the sphere of light becomes brighter and slightly smaller. Maintain this image through the out breath and again imagine the sphere of light becoming brighter and smaller with the in breath. Each time you breathe in, the sphere of light becomes brighter, smaller and more concentrated and stays that way through the out breath. Continue until you have a tiny point of blazing white light in the centre of your lower abdomen and keep on making it smaller and brighter for several breaths. Then relax your attention, let go of the visualization but remain aware of your breathing and of the place in your centre where the point of light last was.

Remain in this state of awareness for a few more breaths, and then gradually bring your attention back to the present moment. Be aware of the sounds in your environment. When you are ready, open your eyes and take in the sight around you. Remain quiet for a few minutes before stretching your body and resuming activity.

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information
and to book your appointment with Jenny.

For pricing information please click here.


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