Enabling you and your family to heal in mind, body & spirit

Natural IBS Treatment Options in Ottawa: The Complete Guide

Natural IBS Treatment Options in Ottawa: The Complete Guide

This article is the most comprehensive guide to natural IBS treatment options in Ottawa…ever!

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the natural IBS therapies that are available in Ottawa.

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a growing concern among thousands of people in Ottawa. Treatment options offered by family doctors are limited to medications which are ineffective and have adverse side effects.

The question is: are there any safe and natural IBS treatment options in Ottawa? Well, that’s where this ultimate guide comes in.

Chapter 1. Acupuncture


What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that involves inserting thin needles through a person’s skin at specific points on the body.

How does Acupuncture work?

The needles are thought to affect the energy in the body and influence the body’s different systems, including the digestive system.

Does Acupuncture help IBS?

Research suggests that Acupuncture can help digestive function, including IBS.

How do you find a practitioner who does Acupuncture in Ottawa?

There are several types of practitioner that practice acupuncture in Ottawa.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, especially those trained in China, tend to have a greater depth of training.

Licensed Acupuncturists working in Ottawa have similar training to TCM practitioners but have completed their studies in Canada.

Naturopathic doctors are taught Acupuncture as part of their course, but not as extensively as TCM practitioners.

Some chiropractors and physiotherapists also practice Acupuncture, who usually learn through short post-graduate courses.

Our initial recommendation is that you look for a TCM practitioner and if not a licenced acupuncturist.

Chapter 2. Food Allergy Testing

IgG Food Allergy Testing

What is food allergy testing?

Food allergy testing looks at which foods your body reacts to negatively.

There are three main types of food allergy testing:

  1. IgG Blood Food Allergy Testing
  2. Muscle Response Food Allergy Testing

How does food allergy testing work?

IgG food allergy testing works by measuring the level of antibodies to a particular food are in the blood.

With muscle response testing, practitioners test muscles in the presence of different foods.

Does allergy testing work for IBS?

Research has shown a link between IBS and different foods, including wheat and dairy.

IgG blood testing has been shown through research to be an effective way to identify food allergens.

At present, there is no scientific only anecdotal clinical evidence that muscle testing is an effective method for testing food allergens.

Where can you find allergy testing in Ottawa?

You can get IgG food allergy testing through your family physician, nurse practitioner or naturopathic doctor.

You can find food allergy testing with muscle testing by searching for a natural allergy practitioner.

Chapter 3: Chiropractic


What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a type of alternative medicine chiefly concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractic treatment mainly involves adjustment of the spine.

How does Chiropractic work?

Chiropractic works by improving spinal motion and spinal nerve supply to the muscles, joints and organ systems, including the gastrointestinal system.

Does Chiropractic help IBS?

Research into the effects of Chiropractic on IBS is limited. However, a 2015 review or summary of research suggested that chiropractic care could be considered as adjunctive therapy for patients with various digestive symptoms, including IBS.

How Do You Find Chiropractor in Ottawa?

Chiropractic is a regulated profession in Ontario. As such, all chiropractors working in Ontario are registered with the College of Chiropractors. You can find a chiropractor in Ottawa by COC’s searchable online public register. Remember, you may also want to consider seeing a chiropractor who also uses Acupuncture as part of their practice.

Chapter 4: Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine, and how does it work?

Functional medicine is a branch of western medicine that looks to identify and treat the underlying causes of symptoms.

Does Functional medicine help IBS?

Because of the multifactorial approach of Functional medicine to the treatment of IBS, research is difficult and so limited.

That said, when diagnosing, functional medicine practitioners use the latest scientifically validated diagnostic tools to identify the causes of IBS. When treating practitioners use, when possible, only use drugless therapies that have been shown to help IBS.

How to Find a Functional medicine practitioner in Ottawa?

There is no centralised organisation for Functional medicine practitioners in Canada. As such, finding and choosing a practitioner is usually done by researching the internet. Most Functional medicine practitioners have completed some training through the Institute of Functional Medicine in the United States.

Chapter 5: Energy Medicine

Energy Healing

What is Energy medicine?

Energy medicine is a branch of alternative medicine that includes therapies such as energy healingreiki and shamanic healing.

How does energy medicine work?

Scientists have not yet been able to identify the exact mechanism through which energy medicine works, although the explanation is thought to lie in the realm of quantum physics. Energy practitioners are believed to facilitate the release of blocked energy in the body.

Does Energy Medicine Work For IBS?

To date, there have been no clinical trials into the efficacy of energy medicine techniques for helping IBS symptoms. At present, we can only offer clinical anecdotal evidence that energy medicine helps IBS symptoms.

How to find an Energy Medicine Practitioner in Ottawa?

Like Functional medicine, there is currently no governing association for energy medicine. Therefore, we advise you to seek a personal recommendation from your friends or family.

Chapter 6: Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine

What is Naturopathic medicine, and how does it work?

Naturopathic medicine is a type of alternative health care. It focusses on prevention and the promotion of optimal health through the use of natural therapies that promote the body’s natural healing ability.

Does Naturopathic medicine work for IBS?

Like Functional medicine, naturopathic medicine practitioners try to use the most up to date scientifically validated therapeutic interventions for IBS

How to find a Naturopathic Doctor in Ottawa?

You can find a naturopathic doctor near you by searching through the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors website.

Chapter 7: Osteopathy


What is Osteopathy, and how does it work?

Osteopathy is a branch of alternative medicine that treats the body through gentle manipulation of the fascia, muscles, joints and viscera to help promote the body’s natural healing ability.

Does Osteopathy work for IBS?

Research looking at the effectiveness of Osteopathy in the treatment of IBS is limited, but results are encouraging. In a pilot study, published in 2012, researchers concluded that Osteopathy should be considered as an effective complementary alternative medicine in the management of IBS symptoms.

How to find an Osteopath in Ottawa?

You can find an osteopath near you by searching through the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners website.

Did I miss anything?

Now I would like to hear from you.

Which treatment from today’s post are you going to try first?

 Or maybe I did not mention one of your favourite natural IBS treatment option in Ottawa.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

7 Proven Natural Therapies To Treat Osteoarthritis in Ottawa

7 Proven Natural Therapies To Treat Osteoarthritis in Ottawa

I imagine you would agree with me when I say:

Choosing natural therapy to treat osteoarthritis can be confusing.

So, today, I am going to show you 7 natural therapies to treat osteoarthritis.

Moreover, all these treatments have been shown through scientific research to help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.


All approaches are available in Ottawa.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that stems from Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

TCM practitioners use needles to stimulate specific points on the body.

Scientific research offers limited but promising evidence that Acupuncture can help arthritis symptoms.

In a small 2017 pilot study published in the Journal of Pain Medicine, researchers concluded that Acupuncture offered in the group setting was effective in reducing pain severity, pain interference, and depression in patients with chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain or osteoarthritis.

In a 2009 randomised study, published in the Journal of Alternative Medicine, researchers found that Acupuncture improves symptoms of chronic shoulder pain diagnosed as osteoarthritis or rotator cuff tendonitis.

Acupuncture is widely available in Ottawa. In general, the best acupuncturists tend to be TCM practitioners.

2. Balneotherapy

Balneotherapy or spa‐therapy is an old and popular therapy.

Balneotherapy entails spending time in an indoor pool filled with mineral water at a temperature of between 31 to 34 degrees Celsius.

Research is limited but offers encouraging evidence that Balneotherapy can help osteoarthritis.

In a study published in 2007, researchers found that Balneotherapy was effective in treating people with knee osteoarthritis.

Balneotherapy is available at Spa Nordik in Chelsea, Quebec which is about 20 minutes north of Ottawa.

3. Chiropractic treatment

Chiropractic treatment is a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.

A small study of 10 people concluded that Chiropractic management of atlantoaxial or upper neck osteoarthritis yielded favourable outcomes.

Chiropractic treatment is widely available in Ottawa. All chiropractors in Ottawa should be a member of the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

4. Homeopathic Treatment

Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health.

Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like.”

That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person, a tiny amount of the same material, may cure the illness.

A relatively small but high-level scientific study found that homoeopathic gel was at least as effective and as well tolerated as the NSAID gel for treating osteoarthritis of the knee.

Homoeopathy is widely available in Ottawa. You can find a registered Homeopath by searching on the College of Homeopaths of Ontario website.

5. Massage

Registered Massage Therapy is the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain.

A high-level scientific study involving 68 subjects concluded that massage therapy seems to be efficacious in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Registered Massage Therapy is widely available in Ottawa. You can find a registered massage therapist by searching on the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario website.

6. Mud Therapy or Bath

A mud bath is a bath of mud, commonly from areas where hot spring water can combine with volcanic ash.

Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and can be found now in high-end spas in many countries of the world.

A small study from Serbia found that Sulphur bath and mud packs lead to a significant decrease in pain intensity in patients with osteoarthritis.

Several spas in Ottawa offer mud bathing.

7. Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy, also called proliferation therapy, is an injection-based treatment used in chronic musculoskeletal conditions.

It has been categorised as an alternative medicine practice.

A high-level scientific review paper concluded that prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis might be appropriate for the treatment of symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis.

Prolotherapy is available at the Ottawa Naturopathic Clinic in downtown Ottawa.

Have I missed anything?

Now I would like to hear from you:

Which therapy from today’s post are you going to try first?

Or maybe I did not mention one of your favourite natural to treat osteoarthritis.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How Helping Your Gut May Help Diabetes

How Helping Your Gut May Help Diabetes - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, your physician has hopefully told you to concentrate on healthy eating practices and exercise to help prevent the development, or progression, of the disease.

Odds are you have also heard that considering your the health of your gut bacteria or microbiota may help decrease the risk of contracting or the progression type 2 diabetes.

Maybe you also have learned that it could even reverse the condition as well.

So, what’s the truth?

Your gut microbiota is the collection of bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract that plays a role in your immunity, your ability to obtain energy from food, and more.

Your microbiota plays an important role in your health and diabetes.

“If you look at diabetes and obesity, over 600 million people in the world are obese, and over 400 million have diabetes. There are multiple factors implicated in both diseases, including genetics, culture, environment, and lifestyle,” says Ruchi Mathur, MD.

“Gut microbes may play one piece of a very large and complicated puzzle, but they’re not the be-all and end-all,” she says.

What Do We Know About The Gut microbiota?

“We know disturbances in the gut microbiota affect almost all conditions we observe in medicine. We know people living with diabetes may have a different gut microbiota than others,” says Eugene Yen, MD.

“However, we don’t yet know if you can manipulate or fix your microbiota to alter or reverse the development of the disease,” he adds.

However, there is some early evidence that altering the microbiota may help diabetes.

In a study published in October 2012 in the journal Gastroenterology, people who were obese or had metabolic syndrome and received faecal microbiota transplants from lean and skinny subjects saw their insulin resistance improve.

A faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a treatment that transfers stool from one person into the GI tract of another.

Medical trials using FMT are ongoing, and they may pave the way for future diabetes treatments.

However, for now, FMT’s for metabolic disease or diabetes are not standard medical practice.

“We don’t know what we need to change in someone to help improve their diabetes,” says Yen.

What Do We Understand and Don’t Understand?

“The ideal gut environment is one that’s packed with diverse and redundant microbes”, says Dr. Mathur.

“Redundancy” is the capacity for different species of bacteria to take on the same functions. Thus if one gets eradicated, the other species can then take over.

“Diabetes is associated with less diversity and less redundancy in the gut microbiota,” says Mathur, who co-authored a review published in October 2015 in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice that looked at the role gut bacteria play in weight gain and insulin resistance.

“We also do not clearly understand the relationship between diabetes and gut microbiota. It could be that a disrupted gut microbiota causes diseases to develop, or that diabetes alters the microbiome, or they may share a different common factor”, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, CDE.

“This is too new to have definitive answers. As a practitioner, I say that gut bacteria might influence insulin resistance. It may also impact obesity, which influences insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes,” she adds.

Understanding that they are connected, but not how to fix it, is frustrating, to say the least.

But it does not leave you powerless.

What Can You Do To Help Type 2 Diabetes?

“Oral probiotic supplements haven’t turned out to be the sure-fire cure yet, but research is underway to see which strains might be beneficial in certain disease states”, says Mathur.

“There is not a single probiotic out there that has been shown to change the microbiota durably,” adds Yen.

Likewise, with food sources of probiotics, there is not sufficient proof to suggest which bacterial strains and in what amount may help improve any particular disease.

However, despite this lack of evidence, including these foods regularly in your diet may lead to better health.

Not sure which foods contain probiotics to choose? Yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, raw sauerkraut and kimchi are all excellent sources of probiotics.

“Something that also may make a difference is avoiding taking unnecessary courses of antibiotics, which alter the bacterial balance in your gut”, says Mathur.

Adopting a plant-based diet may also improve the health of your gut bacteria. This diet does not mean you give up animal protein but think about eating a diverse number of plants in a wide range of colours as possible.

“Though we can’t say definitively that the gut microbiota influences diabetes management, we can say that plant-rich diets appear to provide a healthier diversity of bacteria,” says Weisenberger.

Because gut bacteria obtain their nutrients from carbohydrates, it is essential to fill your diet with veggies, whole grains, and legumes that “feed” these bacteria.

These foods have also been called prebiotics.

Onions, garlic, dandelion greens, leeks, asparagus, raw apple cider vinegar, and jicama are especially rich sources of prebiotics.

If you are unsure what to do, try consulting a Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, or Naturopathic Doctor.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

How to Choose the Right Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

How to Choose the Right Diet for Type 2 Diabetes - Ottawa Holistic Welllness

If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you have probably received conflicting guidance on which diet can help you. While there is not one diet that will work for everyone, there are some changes you can make today that will help.

In this article, I will explain what diets are effective in managing type 2 Diabetes, and how to decide which diet is best for you.

What diets are effective in managing diabetes?

The fact is that many different diet approaches can be useful in treating type 2 diabetes. Studies show that low fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic, and Mediterranean-style diets are all useful for type 2 diabetes.

The most obvious point about all of these diets is that they are all far, far better than the Standard Canadian Diet, which is what the majority of people in this country follow.

For example, if you remove highly refined flour, sugar, industrial seed oils and other foods out of people’s diet, and you substitute that with wholefood, nutrient-dense choices, that is going to exert an enormous difference regardless of the diet.

How to Choose the Right Diet for You.

There is a lot of contention and debate, on the internet, about what diet is the best diet for type 2 diabetes. When you study the data, what you find is that many approaches can be valid. The question of which one is the best fit for you to follow as an individual comes down to your concerns, requirements, and aims. 

Choosing the right diet also comes down to other factors.

A vegan diet is potentially risky over the long term, for many people, because of the potential for nutrient deficiencies without supplementation. Many studies show, for example, that up to 70 to 80 per cent of vegans were lacking in B12, even when they were supplementing.

Does a person feel better on a diet because they have another condition?

Alternatively, does the person have a situation that might contraindicate a particular diet? For example, do they have Hashimoto’s Disease and or adrenal fatigue? Are they pregnant or are they trying to get pregnant or nursing?

The key to success, over the long term for anybody no matter, what condition they are trying to address, is to individualise and customise what they are doing for their circumstances and needs.

You can not figure out the best diet for you by just looking at what other people are doing, or listening to experts who are passionate about a particular approach.

We see a lot of this on the internet, where people state that everybody should do a specific diet whether that is vegan, Paleo, low-carb or keto.

My advice to you is to stay away from anyone who makes that suggestion because I think those people are not honest about what the research says.

Consider working with a Naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, a dietician, or a Functional Medicine practitioner who is well versed with many different approaches. They should also know how to do a full evaluation based on your health history and testing to create an individualised prescription for you.

For example, if you do have type 2 diabetes and you are overweight then according to the research lower-carb, and ketogenic diets may be useful.

Changing your diet is easier to do with guidance, but many people have been able to figure this out just by listening to podcasts and reading books. Although that is not optimal, I think it is legitimate and sometimes the only way forward for some people depending on their resources.

The critical point that I want to get across here is just whether you are working with a practitioner or you are doing it on your own, really be rigorous about it.

Do not accept what you read in a book, or even the healthcare practitioner that you know and trust or respect says will work. Ultimately your body is the final judge and will be the decision-making authority in terms of whether it works or it doesn’t work.

I have seen so many people that have been harmed by standardised diet advice and prescriptions. These people often end up in my clinic a couple of years after they started a program that was not right for them. However, they kept doing it because they were told to do it or it was based on what they had read.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

What is Energy Medicine?


What is Energy Medicine

Energy Medicine is based on the understanding that any physical, mental, or behavioural problem has a counterpart in the body’s energies and can be treated at that level. It provides a holistic approach to healing by not only addressing your body, mind, and spirit, but also by working with your emotions, past trauma, and even your relationships.

So what is “Energy’

Over the centuries energy in the body has been given different names such as Qi (Chi), Prana, Innate Intelligence, Mana, Pneuma, Vital fluid, Odic force, and Orgone.

After many years denying the existence and importance of this energy within our bodies, science is now discovering methods of measuring it. There is more information at the bottom of this blog.

The belief among healers is that when our energy is blocked, stagnant or disrupted our physical bodies cannot function optimally. This imbalance can also lead to disease and ill-health.

Energy Medicine

For thousands of years, practitioners around the world have activated the body’s natural healing processes through clearing meridians, balancing energy, healing touch, utilising Ayurvedic medicine, shamanic practices, applying hands-on healing such as Reiki, and many other modalities.

The many different healing modalities that fall under the category of Energy Medicine may be referred to as energy therapy, energy healing, vibrational medicine, psychic healing, spiritual medicine or spiritual healing.

All of these modalities will work to affect the energy in our body and to assist us to become balanced, grounded, to tap into our innate healing power within, and to release and resolve traumas.

Traditional Western medicine focuses on diagnosing symptoms and treating you from the outside. When used in combination with Energy Medicine the results can be profound as the whole person is addressed.

Benefits of Energy Medicine

Energy medicine has been shown to have many benefits.

These include calming the nervous system, releasing trapped emotions and traumas, bringing calm and a sense of peace.

In this way Energy Medicine can help with anxiety, depression, PTSD, relieving pain and fatigue, improving sleep, it can bring more confidence, more focus and more connection to others, it can also can help clients be less reactive and improve relationships.

Energy Medicine Modalities

These are just some of the Energy Medicine approaches available:

Hands-on Therapies

Approaches such as Reiki, Chakra Balancing, Energy Healing, Tantric Healing, Pranic Healing, Esoteric Healing, Magnetic / Auric Healing, Healing Touch, Hands of Light, Body Talk and Therapeutic Touch involve the healer laying their hands on the body or holding them in the auric field around the body.

Crystals and Magnets

These can be used either on the body or close to the body to affect the energy flow.

Acupuncture / Acupressure

Acupuncture and Acupressure are an ancient modality which uses very fine needles or finger / hand pressure to affect the meridians or energy lines within the body


The reflexologist uses pressure, usually with their fingers, on the reflex points of the hands or feet. This affects the energy within the body.

Distant healing, intercessory prayer

The healer works from a distance either with prayer or by using intentional energy healing such as Reiki. The recipient will often feel the effects of the energy during the session.

Exercise and Movement

There are a number of systems using meditation, breath and movement to positively affect the energy within the body by cleansing, strengthening, and circulating it. They include Tai Chi, Qi Gong (Ch’i Kung) and Yoga.

Combination Therapies

Acupressure and Tai Chi can be used together to provide hands on treatment along with Tai Chi exercises to be used at home. This allows the healing to continue.

Emotional Blueprint: This unique system uses reflexology to read the emotions that are stored within your body, in combination with visualisation and journeying. This allows you to connect with these emotions, to release them and established new, more beneficial patterns in their place.


Energy Medicine has something to offer everyone, whether you just need to relax and enjoy some “Me Time”, or you have deeper physical and emotional / mental health concerns that you wish to alleviate.

It is an excellent complement to Western Medicine and to other Alternative Health Modalities. It is safe for anyone from young children to seniors.


Scientific Measurement of Energy

Indirect measurement of subtle energy in the body is possible through certain physiological correlates that are emerging.

Instruments to measure acupuncture activity and Kirlian photography (electrical discharge photography) are the two main contenders for subtle energy monitoring.

Acupuncture instruments are based on the observation that acupuncture points have special electrical characteristics; the points have lower resistance to electrical current flow as compared to the surrounding tissues. As each meridian is associated with one or more organs inside the body, the electrical activity of the acupoint seems to be related to the organ function.

In the second kind of instrument, based on Kirlian photography, a high voltage, low current is applied to the finger pads. The colourful discharge that is observed is analyzed in a computer and is related to organ function.

Sophisticated instruments are presently available based on these principles. These instruments are undergoing many trials and clinical evaluation, so that their use can become acceptable in medical diagnostics and therapy.

Why Are Men Less Likely Than Women To Seek Medical Care

According to statistics, men can expect to live approximately five years less than women, and men are more likely to die from as an accidental injury or suicide.

Physiological variations do not explain these differences between men and women. Two possible explanations are, firstly, that men are more resistant seek medical advice and secondly, they are less inclined, to be honest about there symptoms.

A cultural myth exists around manhood that states that men need to be brave, self-reliant and tough. This myth is typified in the phrase. “be a man”. Boys learn from a young age that if they do not behave in this masculine manner, they will not be seen as real men.

There have been many scientific studies linking men’s health to masculinity.

study published in 2014 in the Journal of Health Psychology found that men who embrace the mythical cultural script regarding masculinity, and believe they must be tough to be admired, were less likely to seek medical care compared to those men who did not uphold these tenets.

From the same study, men upholding these creeds about masculinity and portraying them in their lives were less inclined to seek preventative medical advice. Furthermore, they were more prone to delay seeking medical intervention after experiencing injury or illness. The study observed that men’s reluctance to seek medical care was associated with the dogma of masculinity.

What occurs when men do seek medical care?

In a 2015 study, researchers found that men who think they should be tough favour male doctors. The researchers observed that part of the reason men favoured male doctors was because the men believed male doctors are more skilled than female doctors.

Does choosing a male doctor effect men’s health negatively because men might disclose their symptoms differently to male and female doctors?

Researchers sought to investigate how the gender of a doctor might influence the communication between a doctor and patient.

First, the researchers asked the men to state how frequently they experienced some common health symptoms. Secondly, they asked the men how uncomfortable it would be to divulge these symptoms to another person From this study, the researchers took the five most common embarrassing symptoms and designed another study to investigate whether the men would reveal these symptoms differently to female compared to male doctors.

The researchers asked the men about beliefs regarding masculinity and the regularity with which they experienced the five embarrassing symptoms. They then took the men into a doctor’s office and asked them, again, to divulge their symptoms to a female or male medical student.

Results of the study showed that the men who upheld the idea of masculinity were more honest with females compared to males. When the men spoke to a male doctor, the men supporting masculinity expectations were less forthcoming. When the men talked to a female medical student, the men were less revealing about their symptoms, but to a lesser degree.

How does this matter?

Men who have masculinity views tend to delay preventative health measures and, when they do visit the doctor, they favour male doctors and prefer a Men’s pharmacy.

The avoidance of medical care and poor doctor-patient communication could have a huge impact on the health of men. Men who are not honest about symptoms are less likely to receive adequate treatment. If men do not seek preventive measures such as regular check-ups with their doctor, they may miss early signs of serious health problems.

The conclusions of this study highlight the value of picking a doctor with whom patients feel relaxed, regardless of gender (doctor or patient). It is also imperative to help men to be honest with their doctor.

It is crucial that men should feel a doctor’s office is safe and non-judgmental. If a man is concerned that a particular doctor may see them as less of a man after they divulge a health issue, then that doctor is probably not the right doctor for them.

Men and women go to doctors to take care of their bodies so we should broadcast that as a strength and not frailty. Overlooking symptoms and dodging the doctor will usually result in an adverse outcome.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

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Nourishing Ourselves And Creating Boundaries To Reduce Stress - Ottawa Holistic

Nourishing Ourselves And Creating Boundaries To Reduce Stress

Chronic stress and anxiety are a reality with most of my clients.

I love my job because I learn so much from people, and something I see over and over again is how willing so many of us are to sacrifice our own time and energy to give to others.

Despite all the negative information we receive on a daily basis about the state of humanity, in my experience, people are innately good and want to help others. Commendable yes, but this can also be very draining if we don’t also practice self-nourishment.

Giving our time and energy to loved ones and others are part of what being human is all about. It makes others feel good, and it makes us feel good to have a positive impact on the lives of others. But balancing how much we give away with how much we give to ourselves, and how much we are willing to receive from others, is very important.

We can only give what we have, right? If we are tapped, what we offer is of a different quality than what we provide when we are feeling full and charged and nurtured. And so often we all keep giving even when we are exhausted and approaching burn out.

Why is it so hard for us to say “no, I can’t right now, I need to take time for myself and recharge.”?

Being hard on ourselves

What has been so fascinating for me to witness when we dive deep into the body-mind to access the tissues that are holding the stress and associated emotions, is that at the root of these tendencies are all these feelings of self-criticism, self-doubt, and self-judgement.

From the client’s experience, these emotions are often unexpected but not necessarily a surprise; we are not consciously acknowledging how hard we are on ourselves. But when the conversation arises, the feelings hit us hard because we know it’s something we have been ignoring and pushing aside, and it resonates deeply.

In reality, a portion of our stress, and the excessive demands we continuously feel, sometimes most of it, is coming from within, and that we have not been exercising our right to personal boundaries!

And so begins the dialogue of how we free ourselves from these inflated expectations of ourselves, and we can start to connect to what it is we need to feel fulfilled and valued in our lives.

Nourishing ourselves for a change

Nourishing the soul is a practice. It requires reflection and awareness, and the strength to make conscious decisions every day to honour and love yourself, to set boundaries and to adopt a slower pace. Connect with what nourishes you. Connect with Nature. Choosing to heal and nurture over working on the to-do list.

Starting small is vital when adopting new lifestyle practices that you start. Make mistakes, forgive the unsuccessful changes, move on from the judgement and criticism. Remember that the voice we hear most frequently is our own, so making it a kind voice is a very genuine and essential piece.

Keys to successful change

In my personal experience, there have been a few key habits that have helped me make real and positive changes.

Firstly, the CranioSacral work I’ve done with a few different therapists has very much helped me to understand my inner diversity better, helping to untangle the truth behind what drives my actions. Also involved in this has been the process of letting go of a ton of personal emotional baggage, leaving way more space for new ideas and better habits.

Secondly, listening to guided meditations on a daily basis has, over time, filled my brain with much more positive language, effectively changing how my mind talks to itself. I cannot emphasise the effectiveness of this practice. It is one that takes time and regular practice, but one that has been well worth the time investment.

And thirdly would be the process of consciously selecting who I spend time with and to whom I give my energy. This process has probably been the hardest, but again, the benefits of this practice are undeniable.

Paying attention to how I feel before and after interactions with friends, colleagues, lovers, acquaintances, and even clients have been my most useful tool for developing loving kindness towards myself. This is the active practice of establishing boundaries, and it takes a lot of practice and sometimes can feel very selfish.

But the better I’ve gotten at this, the better friend, partner, lover, parent, and therapist I have become. And since there is no end point, no peak, no finish line (aside from death I suppose) I’m looking forward to the continued practice, the continued learning, and the increased ability to be kind to both myself and others.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Somatic Movement for Daily Living - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Somatic Movement for Daily Living

The capacity to move is a vital aspect of our lives, and we move our body every day.  We walk to our job, run to the bus, work at our desk, stand in lines, workout at the gym, do yoga and play sports.  However, many people don’t understand the mechanics of movement and believe they have to work hard to develop greater mobility or flexibility (i.e., no pain, no gain).   This belief is not the case.  The practice of Somatic movement can help alleviate this misunderstanding as well as correct misaligned muscle tissue. 

With all the stress in our lives, we often forget how to restore the body back to a stress-free state, one in which the muscles are relaxed and soft, rather than being tight and rigid.  Somatics not only relax muscles and reduce muscle pain, but the exercises also soften and soothe the nervous system.  This is a distinct and essential benefit. Added with legal supplements, these exercises become the perfect fit in your somatic schedule.

Somatic movement is useful for everyone: from the physically active to those who are more sedentary.  It prepares the body for activities like walking, running, hiking or playing sports (tennis, basketball, soccer etc.) by lengthening muscle tissue.  For those who spend more time sitting, Somatic movement develops greater flexibility in the hips, back, trunk and shoulders.  It also reduces the debilitating effects of back, neck and shoulder pain.

All Somatic exercises are practised slowly, actively and without force. So, even if you are using mobilty aids like a quad cane to walk around, this can work for you. Because they are slow and deliberate, they are healing and restorative.  The intent of moving slowly and actively allow the student to feel how a muscle contract and relaxes, as well as recognising other muscles that also contract to assist that specific muscle.

Practising Somatic movement, people gain greater sensory motor awareness and body intelligence.  With increased awareness, people learn to use the muscles in their trunk and rib cage more effectively so that when they sit, stand or walk their posture is more aligned.  Just as important, they realise when their muscles are out of alignment and know what to do to correct in this imbalance.  This is the value of body intelligence.

The process of ageing can be either an adaptive or maladaptive process.  It is often a matter of perspective and our awareness.  We learn how to be in the body through our experience, and a Somatic practice can teach anyone to be in their body in a functionally healthier way.

Benefits of Somatic Movement:

  • Feeling more relaxed and improved posture
  • Reduced pain and tension in the body (back, shoulder, hip and neck)
  • Heightened sensory awareness in the body & greater mental clarity


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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An Herbal Oxymoron - Anti-inflammatory - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

5 AntiInflammatory Herbs That Help Reduce Pain And Swelling

Most people know movement is an important part of any health regime. Unfortunately, many people stop moving when it becomes painful. Most pain intensified by movement occurs after an injury and ongoing when inflammation. So let’s explore a few ways herbal medicine can resolve inflammation by looking at herbal medicine helped heal a broken ankle.

If you hang out with herbalist long enough, you will hear someone say, if you have broken leg go to emergency, not the herbalist. Yet, last month I helped someone heal up a broken ankle after she went to emergency, and they could not do anything for her. At dire times like these, it becomes imperative that one stay updated on their medical insurance, or at least produce their insurance claim when required. It can almost be inevitable for anyone to fall to a victim to such circumstances, and hence, companies like Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment OR Medigap Open Enrollment understand the importance of the issue and step forward to provide you with the benefits that come along with the insurance. 

There were several concerns with the ankle.

    1. Swelling and bruising that was not going away
    1. Pain
  1. A small bone in the ankle was not healing

The first herb in the formula

Comfrey: A Demulcent Containing Allantion

Comfrey contains a phytochemical called allantion. Allantoin enhances the healing of wounds, tears and breaks in connective tissue. I have used it to help heal tendons, ligaments, bones and skin tears.

During inflammation’s final phase the body makes what is called granulation tissue. Granulation tissue is what knits the wound back together. Allantoin increases the body’s ability to make this unique healing tissue, the final resolution of inflammation.

Please note the safest way to take comfrey.

If you are taking comfrey internally, make a tea with leaves.

If you are applying it topically, use an infused oil of the root.

The second herb in the formula

St John’s Wort – A Nervine with Anti-oxidants and Liver and Nerve Support

St John’s Wort is a complicated herb. What one of the reason inflammation can linger is the debris (toxins) created by the wound, and the healing is not removed promptly. One reason is, the liver is overwhelmed by work! St John’s Wort helps flush toxins from the liver. An efficient liver is essential for good health and healing.

St John’s Wort also contains high levels of flavonoids. Let’s explore quercetin, a flavonoid that is found in St John’s Wort. Quercetin is an anti-oxidant. The inflammatory process creates considerable debris made up bits of dead cells formed during the healing of the wound. Some of this debris are loose oxygen molecules. Oxygen is a very combustible molecule. Think of the flame in a circle on an oxygen tank. In our body, loose oxygen molecules are also explosive. They cause small explosions that damage cell membranes resulting in more inflammation. Taking herbs, like St John’s Wort limits the damage loose oxygen molecules can create and shortens the period of pain and inflammation.

Part of the pain experienced during inflammation is caused by damage to the tips of nerves. St John’s Wort is famous for healing damaged nerve tissue. In this way, the pain is resolved not by shutting down the inflammatory process but by healing the damage that causes it in the first place.

The third herb in the formula

Yarrow – The Healer’s Herb

If a wound, break of inflammation will not heal, think of yarrow. Remember part of the inflammatory process is cleaning up the debris from the injury. Yarrow excels at this. I have seen yarrow clean up 10-year-old bruising. “It just never healed properly,” she said and was amazed at what taking yarrow for three weeks did. Yarrow brings completion to the inflammatory process.

Also like St John’s Wort, yarrow is high in flavonoids and limits the inflammatory activity of free radicles.

The fourth herb in the formula

Poplar – For the Pain

There are many different analgesic herbs. Poplar like so many other herbs, willow, birch, meadowsweet, is high in salicin. It was from salicin that the first NSAID drug aspirin was made. But in that case, salicin was turned into salicylic acid and then into the over the counter painkiller. In a plant, salicin does not become salicylic acid, the analgesic, until it is absorbed through the gut and into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, it becomes salicylic acid. Interestingly, while moderating the experience of pain at the site of inflammation, it does not like NSAID stop the completion of the inflammation process nor carry the harmful side effects. It is however very bitter medicine, so prepare your palate.

The fifth herb in the formula

Kratom – For the Pain


Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Kratom:

Kratom is an all-natural herb which is known since ages for its powerful health benefits. It is not only useful as a substitute for drugs like an opiate, but also synthetic pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for pain relief. It has strong anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects pretty much like ibuprofen. It is due to these various advantages offered by this single herb, that many people have been able to adopt a completely natural and drug-free life.

The various alkaloids that it contains and its complex interactions together promote these health benefits to its users. Some of the alkaloids which specifically help in giving the herb its anti-inflammatory properties are:
  • Epicatechin: Other than being anti-inflammatory, it is quite an important alkaloid when playing a role of preventing cancer. It also has the following features- Antioxidant, antihepatitic, antiaggregant, antiseptic, antidiuretic, anti-mutagenic, antiperoxidant, and antiviral.
  • Rhynchophylline: This anti-inflammatory alkaloid comprises about 1% of the total alkaloid content of the leaf. It is rich in other properties like- Vasodilation, antiaggregant, antihypertensive, antipyretic, calcium channel blocker, anti-arrhythmic and anthelmintic. More information about dosage and application at this topic-kratom website.


Final Words

These for plants relieved the swelling and bruising, eased the pain and healed up the bone. They supported the efforts the body made to heal. They did not stop the inflammation; they brought it to resolution.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Physical Activity Beneficial for all Cancer Patients - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Physical Activity Beneficial for all Cancer Patients

People who are physically active before and after a cancer diagnosis are 40% more likely to survive when compared to their sedentary (little to no exercise) counterparts.

A recent study from April 2018 found that exercise holds a benefit for all types of cancer. The researchers looked at pre- and post-diagnosis physical activity in over 5000 cancer patients who received their diagnoses between 2003-2016. There were more women than men in the study, and the average age was around 60 years old.

According to the authors of the study, the most significant increase in survival was observed in people who exercised 3 to 4 days per week both before and after diagnosis. Interestingly, people who chose to exercise every day did not fare much better, a boon to the weekend warriors among us!

Interestingly, people who were sedentary ten years before their diagnosis but who decided to become more active after their diagnosis had a 25% increased chance of survival when compared to people who remained inactive after diagnosis.

As the authors stated, “The message is that it’s never too late to start exercising”.

Exercise can help people improve strength, heart and lung function, and overall quality of life.

So what is stopping you from exercising? It’s probably a complicated answer, and that’s okay. Exercise should be fun, and something that you can fit into your schedule without adding a high burden of stress. Even something simple like daily walks and stretching can be beneficial for the most sedentary among us.

If injuries are preventing you from meeting your exercise goals, perhaps it’s time for a tune-up with your chiropractor or osteopath. If the issue is due to your mood, maybe it’s time to find ways to address your mental health through diet, lifestyle, and therapy.

Our bodies were made to move, so ensuring that you are taking care of your body’s needs will go a long way to improve your energy levels, stress resilience, and exercise capacity!


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

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By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact