Initial visits are typically longer because it is important to gather information about your symptoms to create a diagnosis.

History

The history is where you tell your story.

This is the part where you tell me where it hurts, when it started to hurt and what makes it worse.

Then, I will ask you to go deeper.

There are injuries and medical conditions in the past that can have an impact to today’s issue. For example, being an elite figure skater during childhood can create issues with the way you activate your core at the gym. We develop motor patterns that become subconscious and as adults, we don’t know how to adjust these patterns to different types of activities. This “go to” motor pattern, can cause injuries like hip and knee pain for example.

Car accidents

I know, it’s hard to recount past traumas, however even the smallest perceived trauma can have lasting effects. I’ve had patients in my office who downplayed past accidents where they lost consciousness, the car flipped over and the “jaws of life” were required to remove them from the scene. As they recounted the trauma, they said it was “no big deal” and that “no follow up treatment was required.”

Trauma gets stored in the body.

And so, as the holistic detective I gather information about your lifestyle, level of activity, quality of sleep and stress levels to get the whole picture.

Physical examination

In this phase, I do a postural assessment as well as a joint specific assessment in the areas that need to be assessed.

Chiropractors assess beyond the spine. I also assess shoulders, wrists, ankles and hips. Basically if it’s a joint or a muscle, I will assess it if it part of your symptoms.

Specificity and Big Picture

I also investigate kinetic chains. In this way, I don’t “spot search” or “spot treat”. I keep the biomechanics of the movement in mind.

The goal is to improve performance, therefore if you have knee pain, but we don’t address foot posture or the stability in your spine and pelvis, then we won’t get a full reason why your body is functioning the way it is.

Anatomy Lesson

After the assessment is complete, I will sit with you to discuss the findings and teach you a mini anatomy lesson so that you understand WHY and WHAT is happening.

When you are empowered to know what is going on, then you can make a positive change.

Report of Findings & Consent

A copy of the summary of findings will be emailed to you with a list of self-care action steps to support your treatment plan.

Treatment options like: Chiropractic, Medical Acupuncture, Myofascial Release, Kinesiotaping and Prescribed Exercise Rehabilitation will be offered.

Once you decide which tools you feel comfortable to heal your issue, then formal consent it taken.

Treatment

Then it’s healing time.

Treatment is always offered at your initial visit.

Exercise prescription

Every new patient will be prescribed a curated set of exercises and stretches that will support the healing of their condition via the Physitrack app. The app is free and you will get a complete video library through which you can track your pain levels and your attendance.

It’s all about accountability when you want transformation.

Well there you have it.

The initial visit is all about:

  1. Gathering information
  2. Assessing your body’s mobility, strength and neurological signs
  3. Empowering you with information
  4. Consent
  5. Treatment
  6. Tools for your successful transformation

Now over to you.

If you have a goal that you want to accomplish, comment below.

This is one of my favorite dance conditioning sequences that I developed to challenge balance, core and coordination. Using a small pilates ball increases the level of difficulty to maintain the lines in the lower limb and spine. Breath control and ease of movement are all challenged here. This exercise prepares for choreography and provides musicality that gets you out of your head and back into your body.

In one exercise, the following will be developed and challenged:

1. Dynamic core stability
2. Ability to move in neutral spinal alignment
3. Strong leg lines
4. Controlled, graceful ports de bras
5. Diaphragmatic breath without compromising transverse abdominus engagement
6. Thoracic extension
7. Lumbopelvic stability
8. Pelvic floor activation and endurance (hello!)
9.Musicality

And most importantly,

You are conditioning while you dance.

Dance gets you out of your head and back to your body so you can begin again.

You don’t have to be a dancer to try this out.

What dance skills do you think this will prepare you for?

Here are 2:
1. Barrel turns
2. Side tilts

Comment below to add to the list.

The Pilates Half Roll Back with a flexband helps to promote the opening of the Lumbar Spine in flexion and the activation of core musculature.

Chronic back pain is often caused by posture that is the result of weak abdominal strength which leads to an anterior tilted pelvis and arched low back.

If you sit most of the day, have tight hip flexors or just had a baby, this exercise below is very helpful to counter this postural effect.

Turn up the sound and try it out. Comment below and tell me what you think!

Realign. Strengthen. Live your Life.


I forgot where I put my keys…. Then I forgot where I put my wallet. Where did I put my glass of water again?

Overwhelm.

Anxiety.

Analysis Paralysis.

A high speed life, can lead to anxiety and panic. This activates the stress response which believe it or not can work against you when it comes to finding clarity and solutions for problem solving.

Clarity Emerges from a Grounded Mind.

Dr. Blessyl Buan

Grounding is the act of slowing down.

Return to your breath.

Return to your senses.

Reset your mind.

Stop the stress and defensive response.

Ignite creativity, innovation and flow.

Chronic pain, headaches, upper body tension, jaw pain and hand and wrist pain are physical manifestations of stress. In my practice, I prescribe the following grounding exercises to help my patients to find inner piece and to free their brains from the stress response. This in turn, promotes their power to heal.

1. Get your hands dirty

As adults, we don’t do this as often as we should. Planting, baking, painting, working with clay are all examples of ways that we can bring the tactile experience back to our life. Being tactile, allows us to be fully present with the experience. Perhaps this is why the slime craze is so popular among kids and adolescents. They need the slime for stress relief!

2. Immerse yourself in nature

It’s often advised the walking in nature is healing. It prompts you to look, listen and feel what is around you. They don’t call it “forest bathing” for nothing.

3.Surround yourself with art for a dose of inspiration

Beautiful objects and images inspire. They make your heart sing. They give you ideas of what you want to manifest for yourself. Beauty is everywhere if you open your eyes to it.

4. Journal on paper

Typing thoughts don’t have the same tactile experience of writing it down on paper. You are forced to slow down. Feel the ink interact with the paper. Doodle. Draw. Avoid writing inside of the lines. See the magic emerge.

5.Turn on Music and Dance

Music is like a portal that can take you to another world where all things are possible. Allow your body to embody the music. Feel the down beat, the crescendo and decrescendo of the music. Where does breath lie in the music? How does the rhythm allow you to breathe?

Try it out. Embrace your inner child and note how you feel. If you have children, it’s also important they have a chance to feel grounded.

Grounded families are happy families.

On November 15th, the Canadian Olympic Committee hosted an event at the Berkley Church Theatre in Toronto to celebrate the achievements of the Olympic Athletes and the corporate sponsors who supported them. I performed in a Flash Mob, choreographed by Janet L. Castillo. The choreography changed tempo often and portrayed the highs and lows of the athletes during their training and Olympic victory. This night was also special because I was 4 months pregnant and embraced the opportunity to perform.

It was a great experience to be a part of this night. Below is the video shot and edited by my husband, Ryan Buan. He did an excellent job capturing the performance despite the challenges of the venue and the nature of the performance.

Check it out and feel the Olympic spirit!

Like Santa, we lift, stand for long periods of time and work around the clock.  During this holiday season, ask yourself this:

“Why am I so quick to invest in material things and not my own body?”

Being young and full of vitality takes work. A healthy lifestyle trumps depending on “good genes”. (oh yes it’s true)

Image
image taken from The Chiropractic Journal

See a chiropractor. Learn about your posture and alignment. Prevent unhealthy alignment and pain. Get on the right foot.

Dance inherently trains the body about spatial awareness, balance and the emotional connection to music.  It is the simplest way to develop your ability to listen to your body’s internal cues.

Many of my patients are disconnected to their bodies. The onset of injuries shock them, their strain is annoying and pain is an inconvenient symptom. What they don’t realize is that the body has been whispering messages to them for many years. It is only until the body “goes on strike” with a debilitating injury, that my patients start to listen then come to my office.

Move!  Fshutterstock_109846025eel joy in your movement, are you free? are you restricted?

It’s time to listen.

Look what a corset can do…. You can use your abdominal “corset”: the transverse abdominus muscle to achieve the same effect.

Photo taken from

http://pinterest.com/pin/421016265134695384/ via @pinterest

The transverse abdominus is the deepest layer of abdominal muscle and is a muscle that stabilizes the spine and improves posture. It’s a muscle that requires endurance. Pilates is a great way to strengthen this muscle.

It’s important for me that my patients understand what is happening in their body. This is why I come up with analogies. A lot of times, they come so spontaneously I surprise myself.

When a patient complains of pain and numbness and tingling that radiates from the neck to their fingers as a result of postural strain from sustained desk work and excessive sitting, this is what I say:

“Your nerve is like a USB connection to your computer which is your brain.  Sensory nerves are responsible for giving messages about sensation (hot, cold, vibration, pressure) to the brain and the brain uses motor nerves to send messages to muscles to move.  When muscles are chronically tight, they compromise your posture which compromises your nerves ability to relay those messages like a really poor USB connection.  As a result, you feel numbness and tingling or pain”.

Suddenly the patient’s “inner light bulb “goes off and understands this concept much better. In the digital age, you need to think of the nerves like USB connections.

Being aware and connected to the messages that your body give you is the first step in healing. How can you correct something that you don’t understand?

My analogies are simple and are not meant to be very physiological to the point of confusion. My intention is for my patients to understand CONCEPTS not become adept in neuroanatomy (for those of you hardcore anatomists who find this analogy too simple).

Chiropractic helps to restore those connections. I also layer in myofascial work , acupuncture and exercise prescription so that proper alignment becomes a lifestyle choice.

Take care of your USB connections. Take care of your body.