Historically, the Philippines was ravaged by many years of colonialism from Spain and Japan. Despite this, Filipinos are master survivors whose culture has family at its nucleus.  I am a first generation Canadian Filipino brought up to value family, yet I didn’t realize how true to nature family is to Filipinos until I visited the Philippines for the first time in 31 years.

Filipino folk dancing in Bohol, Philippines

In Makati, there are so many shopping malls it makes Toronto look barren.  Moreover, they are FULL of people….eating.   I was shocked to see how many eateries there were and all of them were full of customers.  Initially my thoughts were, “Gosh, Filipinos are gaining weight here. They are so indulgent.” (Side note: I had a preconceived notion that all Filipinos were skinny and ate lots of vegetables and fruits as in the days of my parents).  But if one takes a closer look, one will notice that every restaurant is full of families.  Food is one ingredient that brings family together.

Now what happens when you don’t have food?  The Philippines has a distinct separation between the poor and the rich.  Shanty towns line any available pocket in the city. These people don’t go to the malls. They don’t have plumbing. They don’t have jobs.  Food is scarce and not readily available. So how do they survive? Once again, family. They beg as a family and they suffer as a family. Yet even though they don’t have much, they are content.  Their family bond is what helps them to get through the day and counters the negative effects of poverty like exploitation, sickness and lack of education.

It also shocked me that both male and female employees in Customs at the airport would forget about their stern faces and “coo” at my 23 month old daughter.  Even in restaurants male and female servers would love to talk to my daughter as if I was at a family reunion!

Filipinos prove that rich or poor, happiness is achieved by nurturing relationships. In a world of materialism, wealth is misconceived as the accumulation of things.  However, true wealth is the balance of material goods, family, spirituality and personal fulfillment.  Wealth equals Health.    A positive environment filled with a positive support system make life’s struggles short-lived so that life can go on. Evaluate your relationships and relate them to your wealth quotient. Make the adjustments necessary to bring your life into balance and happiness will come to you.

by Dr. Blessyl Buan, Chiropractor & Pilates Expert

copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan
copyright Dr. Blessyl Buan

 

They say that you can’t truly give love to another or to your work until you love yourself.  Inner peace, joy, health and true happiness will not unfold until you make the steps to live a healthy lifestyle. As a treat for Valentine’s Day,  I’d like to share with you two personal images that have definitely opened my eyes.

Whenever I feel balanced in my life, hearts show up in my food. The above pictures are two examples of this and are NOT products of photo post production! It started when I was pregnant with my daughter 2 years ago and ever since, they show up in waves.  Now, they even show up in my surroundings.

We all have personal signs that resonate inner happiness.  For me they are hearts. 

Take care of your body. Slow down, BREATHE, take a moment to journal, DE-CLUTTER your mind and surroundings, EXERCISE, stretch, and receive BODY WORK like massage, chiropractic or acupuncture that will help you to get IN TUNE with your body.

BALANCE the mind, body and soul.

Dr. Blessyl Buan, DC1167998_healthy_lifestyle

Do the following sound familiar?
“I haven’t worked out in month. I’m just too busy.”
“I haven’t eaten a vegetable or fruit in a long time. I just need carbs and coffee to get me through”
“What’s a massage therapist?”
“The last time I got a chiropractic adjustment was 10 years ago…”

These are all very common excuses for not taking care of yourself.  Life is busy, but if you change your perspective on the value of your body and health, you will find that your schedule opens up.

Here are some tips:

  1. Think of yourself as an elite athlete or “A-list”er. Get professional help on your side. Your personal trainer, chiropractor, massage therapist, dentist, esthetician, nutritionist and more are a team to keep you  at your best.
  2. Write it in your calendar: commiting a lifestyle change to pen, or even your twitter/facebook status gets you to follow through with your plans.
  3. What’s your dollar value?: If you can spend money on your car, clothing or other material things easily, ask yourself how much YOU are worth in $$$. Compare that dollar value to those purchases and it will be an eye opener!

running-outside-with-waterbottle1

It’s easy to believe that you can continue at the same pace and intensity from where you left off last spring when you haven’t trained all winter. The weather is warmer and you may have registered for some races to motivated you.  Here are some tips to keep your goals realistic and increase activity in a healthy way.

1. Are your shoes still good?

Even if they look good they may have run it’s course (no pun intended).  Running/walking shoes should have a cushiony and supportive upper (ball of the foot part of the shoe). There should be some resistance when you bend your shoe in half from the sole.  If you can do this too easily, then you need new shoes! The more mileage you have, the more often you need to replace them. Even if you are a minimalist runner, meaning you are anti-cushioning, running footwear must still be up to date.  This will not deter your ability to feel the road.

2. Be realistic. 

If you’re a bit rusty, be honest with yourself and don’t pick up from where you left off last spring. Increase your level of intensity in a gradual way. There are many apps and resources that can help you with a running training program.  When you use an objective method to increase your running distance, injuries can be prevented. If you signed up for the Toronto Nike 15K run in June, Nike has great information here: http://content.nike.com/content/dam/one-nike/en_us/running/nwes-toronto-15k/training-program.pdf The information integrates information on how to safely increase your running distance and incorporate cross training.

3. Cross Train

Strength conditioning of your core muscles like transverse abdominus, obliques, glut medius and pelvic floor will help prevent IT Band issues, low back and knee pain that often develop from an unstable lumbar and pelvis. Remember, distance running is about endurance not power, so make sure that your muscles are ready for the distance.  Overall resistance training of upper and lower body will also improve performance.

4. Stretch it out

Working out new muscles will cause muscle soreness as your body adapts to your new activity. Stretching will reduce muscle stiffness and pain. Keeping the fascia mobile will help to prevent injury and improve motion. Also, don’t just focus on your legs.   A loose jaw, neck, chest and hand help to ensure that breathing is effortless during your runs.

5. Begin!  A body that hasn’t run in a while will think of many excuses. Just get started and remember you run for the joy.  Enjoy being outside.  Running is fun.

If you need help with your alignment. I am happy to get your body back into shape.  A body that is aligned can absorb shock better and injuries can be prevented.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, myofascial release and kinesiotape are all tools to keep you moving. Email info@dblessyl.com for more information.

Realign. Strengthen. Live your Life.

runner-stretchDid you know that your muscles adapt to the level of activity that you do? The heavier you lift, the bigger your muscles become.  Likewise, the more you stretch the longer your muscles become.

For example, when you sit for most of the day, your hip flexor muscles shorten. You may think that this is not be a big deal , but when you want to start to become physically active, you become more prone to injury because your body is not used to being lengthened, especially if the range of motion is ballistic (quick spurts).

To prevent injury, stretch once a day and hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.