When do chiropractors use acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be used to treat musculoskeletal (MSK)-related pain—an area where your chiropractor is an expert. Doctors of chiropractic assess conditions related to the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems, and they are qualified to diagnose, treat, and prevent disorders and dysfunctions related to the musculoskeletal system. Acupuncture is just one of the modalities that your chiropractor may use to treat your MSK-related pain.*

The practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin at particular pressure points in order to produce an analgesic—or painkilling—effect2 (among other observed benefits3). For those chiropractors who perform acupuncture therapy, they have completed additional training from a recognized educational institution. Dr. Glenn Ashizawa attended McMaster University’s Medical Acupuncture; an evidence-based approach to TCM. Where he earned his certificate after successfully completing a comprehensive examination. Dr. Glenn has earned the certificate status with the Canadian Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

Neck Pain

Recent evidence supports the use of acupuncture for reducing neck pain, particularly if it is chronic.4 Patients with neck pain who received manual therapy in combination with other modalities—including acupuncture—have been reported to have moderately better pain reduction, greater patient satisfaction, and improved function, range of motion and strength.4

Headaches

Acupuncture has been found effective in treating the headaches you might get once in a while, or chronic tension-type headaches that someone might suffer from all the time.2 For migraines, adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment can reduce how often you might get them.5

Low Back Pain

In a Cochrane Review,6 it was found that for chronic low back pain, acupuncture is more effective for pain relief and functional improvement than no treatment or short-term “sham” treatment in the placebo group. Studies suggest that acupuncture would also be a useful addition to other therapies for chronic low back pain. In other words, when it’s added to other conventional therapies, it can relieve pain and improve function better than conventional therapies alone.6

Consider the Experts

Ultimately, Dr. Glenn is going to work with you to come up with a treatment plan that will best suits your needs, address your ailments, and provide the best outcome for your overall health. That includes a thorough history, a comprehensive exam, and a diagnosis that will inform how the issues are managed. You’ll work with the chiropractor to determine the best course of treatment to meet your unique goals.

If acupuncture is something you’re considering, talk to Gail or Cassie at the front desk or to Dr. Glenn Ashizawa to see if it is the right treatment for you by calling (519) 539-2020.

Footnotes

* Acupuncture treatment can be used by chiropractors who have received additional training for acupuncture therapy.

References

  1. Ontario Chiropractic Association. Acupuncture Insurance Best Practices Guide [Internet]. 2nd ed. 2014. Accessed August 224, 2016]. https://www.chiropractic.on.ca/acupuncture#.V72561UrKUk.
  2. Linde K, Allais G, Fei Y, Mehring M, Shin B, Vickers A et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016.
  3. Cabýohlu MT, Ergene N, Tan U. The mechanism of acupuncture and clinical applications. Intern J Neuroscience. 2006; 116: 115-25. doi: 1080/00207450500341472.
  4. Carlesso L, MacDermid J, Gross A, Walton D, Santaguida P. Treatment preferences amongst physical therapists and chiropractors for the management of neck pain: results of an international survey. Chiropr Man Ther. 2014; 22(1): 11.
  5. Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews. 2016.
  6. Furlan A, van Tulder M, Cherkin D, et al. Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain: an updated systematic review within the framework of the Cochrane collaboration. Spine. 2005; 30(8): 944-63.

Headaches got you down?


Most Canadians will suffer from at least one headache in their lifetime; however, the reason for the headache can differ from one individual to another. In fact, headache triggers can vary from environment, food, stress, dehydration and others. Still, headaches or pain to the head can be caused or referred from muscles, joints, ligaments or nerves.

Types:

There are different types of headaches that you could experience or have experienced in the past. The 4 main and most common types of headaches are migraines, cervicogenic, tension-type, and cluster headaches. Each of the types of headaches have different causes.

Causes:

Migraine – the cause of migraines is still unknown, but there seems to be a relationship between individual genetics and the environment. Migraines are commonly associated with triggers. These can include hormonal changes, food and additives, stress, sleep, physical and sensory factors, changes in the environment and certain medications.

Cervicogenic – headache that stems from the neck or cervical spine structures. Pain can be triggered or worsened by neck movement.

Tension-type – occurs due to tension in the muscles of the neck or face which produces pain. Factors associated can include stress, anxiety, eyestrain, poor posture, injuries and others.

Cluster – similar to migraines, the cause of cluster headaches is unknown. It has been suggested that cluster headaches may be caused by problems in regulating temperature, blood pressure, hormones or sleep. Other causes or triggers proposed include alcohol, tobacco and drugs (e.g. nitroglycerin).

Symptoms:

Migraine – intense throbbing or pulsing sensation on one or both sides of the head frequently accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. Migraine can be preceded by an “aura” that can present as a flash of light, blind spots or tingling.

Cervicogenic – pain usually on one side of the head. The pain can start at the base of the skull and spread to the front of the head.

Tension-type – constant pain and pressure described as dull and achy. Pain can be felt on both sides of the head, forehead, temples and even back of the head. Often referred to as a tight band around the head.

Cluster – severe, stabbing, penetrating, burning or explosive recurring pain that is located on one side of the head. Cluster headaches have a rapid onset and can frequently present in patterns or “clusters” over a certain period of time. Often described as starting around or “behind” the eye and can cause redness or watering of the eye, stuffy or runny nose, droopy eyelid, facial swelling or flushing and sensitivity to light and noise.

Examples: Migraine, cervicogenic, tension-type, cluster and sinus.

How our experts can help:

Our chiropractors can assess, diagnose and manage headaches; however, in some cases referral and co-management may be the most appropriate course of treatment. Evidence has demonstrated that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulative therapy, can be an effective treatment for cervicogenic and tension-type headaches. More so, studies have demonstrated that care offered by chiropractors can also decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines. Depending on the findings of the history and patient examination, the chiropractor may recommend patient reassurance, manual therapies, modalities and lifestyle recommendations including rehabilitation. However, the plan of management will be individualized to the patient’s needs and examination findings. The treatment options may include:

  • Patient education and reassurance
  • Manipulation and mobilization
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, ultrasound and others
  • Acupuncture
  • Rehabilitation and exercises
  • Ergonomic and lifestyle changes
  • Referral and co-management


At ASH Chiropractic and Wellness our goal is to improve your quality of life and Improving your health . . . from the Roots Up. Early morning appointments available; Don't let your headaches keep you down!

Did you know... Knee pain can be effectively relieved or reduced by Chiropractors

Anyone can be a victim of knee pain. You do not have to be a professional athlete or a weekend warrior or fitness enthusiast to experience discomfort in your knee. Numerous causes of knee pain include: wear and tear from years of use, changes to the cartilage in the joint or on the back of the kneecap; inflammation of the capsule and its lining that enclose the knee joint; strain or damage to ligaments, tendons, muscles, and retinaculum that protects and stabilize the knee joint; restrictive tightening of the capsule, or muscles; malalignment of the leg, knee, or foot; irritation of bursa; or compressed/irritated nerves or tissues that are not located in the knee but refer pain to the knee, such as a pinched nerve in the spine.


By determining the cause of your knee pain, our Chiropractors will develop an individual treatment program. Techniques may include acupuncture, electrical modalities, mobilization or manipulation, laser, ultrasound, heat/cold applications and progressive muscle strengthening exercises for the core, hip, knee, and ankle all of which have been researched and proven to reduce knee pain.


At ASH Chiropractic and Wellness our goal is to improve your quality of life and Improving your health . . . from the Roots Up

The Benefits of Therapeutic Ultrasound

As part of your chiropractic treatment at ASH Chiropractic and Wellness you may receive therapeutic ultrasound. Therapeutic ultrasound is a safe and effective addition to treatment. It is used to promote blood circulation, accelerating the healing process by reducing swelling, as well as lowering pain. In addition, the ultrasound waves will gently massage muscles, tendons and ligaments within the treated area. This will enhance the recovery rate of damaged tissue without adding strain and will soften scar tissue.

How is therapeutic ultrasound administered?

Ultrasound stimulates tissue beneath the skin using sound waves. The ultrasound machine creates an electrical current through a cable to the treatment head. There are piezoelectric crystals in the head. When the crystals are exposed to the current the will vibrate at a chosen frequency, expanding and contracting, producing the compression waves. Different frequencies can target tissues at different depths. A lower frequency means that the waves will penetrate deeper into the body. The heat produced is controlled by choosing either a continuous or intermittent wave. It is administered with gel to ensure maximum contact with the skin as the head is kept in constant motion

At ASH Chiropractic and Wellness therapeutic ultrasound is one part of the services we offer. Call today to find out how this and our other services can help reduce your pain by Improving your health . . . from the Roots Up

Five tips for healthy holidays

With a few simple tips, you can enjoy your favourite holiday foods and still keep your commitment to eating well. Most importantly, enjoy the holiday spirit. If you happen to overindulge, have lighter meals the next day and find time for fun activities.

Tip 1: Eat regularly.

  • Skipping meals can lead to overeating.
  • Get a burst of energy in the morning by eating breakfast.
  • Keep your energy levels up and curb your hunger by eating small meals and snacks every three to four hours.

Tip 2: Load up with colour.

  • Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit. This is a great way to balance out calorie-rich foods.
  • Choose fresh cut veggies, leafy green salads, and fruit.
  • Hosting a meal? Start off with a steaming bowl of squash soup.

Tip 3: Enjoy your favourite holiday foods.

  • Enjoy special holiday foods like shortbread cookies, latkes, turkey with stuffing, and mashed potatoes, but keep your portions in check by using smaller plates.
  • Pass on high-calories foods that you can get any time, like chips and chocolate.

Tip 4: Watch your drinks.

  • Calories from drinks can add up quickly. This is true for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Drink slowly. If you choose to drink alcohol, alternate alcoholic drinks with lower calorie options such as sparkling water with lime, low-sodium vegetable juice, or cranberry juice with club soda.
  • Love eggnog? Enjoy a small cup and think of it as dessert.

Tip 5: Be active.

  • Balance out those extra holiday calories with some activity.
  • Adults should aim for the recommended 2 ½ hours of weekly physical activity.
  • Start slowly and build up. Every ten-minute burst of activity counts. You'll feel great!
  • Going to the mall? Add a few extra laps of walking around.

Healthy ideas for eating out

There's an endless supply of rich food and free-flowing drinks during the holidays, whether you're eating out with friends, going to parties, or visiting family. Arm yourself with these ideas to keep portions in check and temptation under control.

Restaurants

  • Go for smaller portions when eating out at restaurants. Most places serve more food than you need and it's usually high in fat and sodium.
  • Check out these tips to make healthier choices when eating out and manage the amount of fat and sodium in your meal.

Buffets and cocktail parties

  • Eat regular meals and snacks before going to a party. That way, you won't arrive starving and you'll be less tempted to overindulge.
  • Scope out your options and make one trip to the buffet.Instead of eating a bit of everything, choose the foods you really want, and keep the portions small. Add some colour to your choices too.
  • Focus on socializing. Steer the conversation away from the food table so you're less likely to nibble mindlessly.
  • Set a limit. Cocktail parties with finger foods can make it hard to keep track of what you're eating. Pick a maximum number of appetizers and skip the rest. Healthier choices include: cocktail shrimp, satays, fresh spring rolls, sushi, and vegetables and fruit with low-fat dip.

Big holiday meal

  • Offer to bring a dish. Take a vegetable or fruit platter, bean dip with whole grain pita wedges, or tomato and black bean salsa with baked tortilla chips.
  • Start with small portions and eat slowly. Your brain needs 20 minutes to realize you're full. Take a break before reaching for seconds.
  • Get moving. Go for a walk after your meal or lace up for a fun skate. Play in the snow--throw a few snowballs around, build a fort, or go tobogganing

Info Courtesy of Canada.com

Back to school is the last thing on our kids’ minds. But you can see from the retail point of view - it’s time to shop for September already. Even if you aren’t in that frame of mind, your child’s backpack is still a summer accessory for sleepovers and swimming classes. Backpacks should be carefully considered as an important purchase - since they have an impact on our children’s health.

A poor fitting or heavy backpack can affect a child’s musculoskeletal health. So here are some best practices when choosing a backpack.

According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association :

  1. The backpack should be between 10 to 15 percent of the body weight of the child.
  2. Distribute the weight of the bag evenly across the back. The more spread out the load is, the less strain there is on the body.
  3. Make sure the child wears both shoulder straps. Wearing a backpack over just one shoulder can cause leaning to one side, which could curve the spine over time.
  4. Adjust shoulder straps so the backpack fits closely to the upper part of the body. The further a backpack is away from the body, the more difficult it is to achieve proper balance.
  5. The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
  6. A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning its contents most effectively.
  7. Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry and the heavier the backpack will likely be.
  8. The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body.

Instead of our children walking around slouching with an oversized bag, take the time to follow the tips stated above. Carrying a heavy, awkward fitting backpack can cause slouching and back pain. They will thank you in the long term as the school year proceeds and later in life for a healthier, more comfortable back!

Concussions

Summer is upon us and sports are on a lot of our minds since we can finally run and play outside! While concussions are the last thing we want to worry about, it’s important to be aware that increased activity can put us or our children at a greater risk of injury.

Five Things To Understand About Concussions ( source: Canadian Chiropractic Association)

  1. A concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or impact elsewhere on the body that transmits force to the head.
  2. There are many ways to get a concussion such as from falling, or a car or bike accident. When it comes to physical activity, concussions have a higher risk of occurring in sports that involve body contact, collisions, and/or moving at high speeds.
  3. A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because clinical symptoms and signs can change and may evolve over time. The diagnosis of a concussion is based on the assessment of a range of symptoms (i.e., headache, difficulty concentrating, feeling like being in a fog, or emotional lability), signs (i.e., loss of consciousness or balance disturbance), cognitive impairment (i.e., confusion or slowed reaction times) and neurobehavioural changes, such as irritability.
  4. Recovery: When properly managed, 80–90% of concussions resolve in a short period of about 7–10 days, although the recovery time frame may be longer in children and adolescents.
  5. The most important factor in concussion management is physical and cognitive rest until the symptoms resolve. From there, a step-by-step guideline is followed that slowly increases physical and cognitive exertion before returning to one’s regular active lifestyle.1

How can sports concussions be prevented?


Make sure that while participating in sports or recreational activities you or your children:

Use the correct protective equipment for the sport or activity, and make sure it is properly fitted and maintained and worn correctly and consistently.
Follow safety rules and those for the sport.
Practice good sportsmanship at all times. (source brainline.org)

Many chiropractors commonly work with other healthcare professionals to support sports teams. Part of their role is to manage cases of suspected concussions and refer for additional medical attention as needed. Chiropractors can also help to co-manage the recovery and return to play of athletes.

If at any point you believe someone may have a concussion, contact medical staff immediately to assess the situation. Concussions should never be taken as a light injury and must be attended to. The sooner treatment starts, the better the recovery may be.

At any time you can make an appointment with us for a Pre-Screening wither SCAT 3 or SCAT 5 test - so if anything ever happens we have a baseline of data for you, and we can better treat and diagnose your concussion.

Wellness Blog

Nurturing Your Plants and Your Back


If you want your garden to bloom you need to get your back into it. To make sure your back is ready for all that work you need to work a bit before you dig.

Here is a handy list of tips to keep your back healthy

Have the right tools for the task at hand

Ensure you drink plenty of fluids.

Alternate between light and heavy jobs.

Lift Correctly

Take frequent breaks.

Heavy loads should be shared.

Your feet are protected with supportive shoes

Before you start, warm-up your muscles.

Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques.

Change positions frequently.

Kneel to plant and weed.

Spinal check-ups can help keep your back healthy.



Using the right tools that are ergonomically designed will make the biggest difference for you. Always choose the proper tool for the job.

Here are a few more tips to lighten your load:

A hose is easier to manage than a watering can

A good cart makes moving easier

A wheelbarrow that is lightweight and has two wheels is a great idea.

Separate a larger load into smaller ones

Good Shoes!
Cover up with a wide brimmed hat

The right moves

Using the right moves can go a long way in enjoying your garden.

Lift Right : back is straight, bend your knees, carry load close to body.

Kneel to Plant : knee pads reduce strain, keep back straight - take breaks.

Alternate: Heavy/Light/Heavy/Light

Change Hands: take the strain off by changing hand positions

Check Your Position: kneel/stand/sit

Rake Right: ease strain on your back by putting one leg in front and the other behind. Switch.



All of these tips will keep your gardening enjoyable and hopefully fruitful! If you do have back pain or concerns contact our office anytime



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Perfect Posture

You not only look better, you also gain energy, easier breathing, better circulation and less pain in your joints when you use good posture. It’s an investment in both your appearance and your health.

Maintaining the natural curve of the spine is the recipe for good posture. If your spine is not properly aligned, your muscles and ligaments work harder to keep you upright resulting in strain and aches. Slouching also puts pressure on your abdomen and lungs and this will affect blood flow, digestion and breathing.

Testing Your Posture

Use a three-way mirror or have a friend help you check out these markers:

  • When standing: your head, shoulders, hips and ankles should line up, one comfortably above the other. Your knees should be slightly bent and your feet should be shoulder width apart or more.
  • When looking at your back: are your shoulders and hips level or is one side higher than the other? Does your head tilt to one side or the other? Does one shoulder blade seem to be more prominent than the other? Do the muscles of the back seem more developed on one side, compared to the other? A healthy back should be symmetrical.
  • When looking from the side, your neck and low back should curve to the front of your body, and your mid-back and pelvis should curve to the back. Postural distortions in the curves of your spine mean stress and strain on your back.

Standing Tall Tips

  • If you use a bag or briefcase with a single shoulder strap, choose a strap that is long enough to place over your head and rest on the opposite side from the bag. This helps distribute the weight of the bag evenly and prevents distorting your posture.
  • High heels throw your spine out of alignment, making good posture difficult and often leading to low back pain. A low-heeled, supportive shoe is best, but if you are devoted to your fashion footwear, try to restrict the height to no more than two inches.
  • Try not to sit in any one position for a long period of time. Take a quick stretch break or change positions every 30-45 minutes. For a quick and easy spinal stretch, stand up and raise your arms above your head.
  • Strengthening your core back and abdominal muscles will help promote good posture by keeping your spine well supported.


New Mom With Backache? How To Prevent Common Aches and Pains

You have your newborn - finally! The normal aches and pains of carrying a baby inside of you are hopefully relieved. But now you are carrying them in a new way - at least lifting them up to 50 times a day! This repetitive movement can put your back is a sore spot.

Here are some ways to help you avoid backache.

Position

Positioning your body when you lift your baby helps a lot. Stand with feet apart, keeping your back in a neutral position and bend your knees. Whenever you lift your baby hold them as close to your chest as possible, and lift using both of your arms.

Holding

It’s natural to carry your child on your hip, but this can cause an imbalance in your posture. Hold your baby upright and directly against your chest to avoid lower back pain.

Carrying

If you are holding baby and moving around, pivot your feed instead of twisting your back when you turn. When placing baby in crib, bend at your knees instead of reaching over the rails and stressing your back out.

Feeding

Try not to lean forward when you are feeding baby. Try to use a comfortable chair or pillow and sit upright with lots of support.

Exercise

While you may not think there is time to go out and exercise, there are many things you can do while with baby to keep your muscles supported. Join baby on the floor and practice some strengthening movements.

Talk to us about specific stretches and strengthening exercises that will keep you feeling fantastic during this busy time! Until then try these exercises below.



Core Exercises you Can Do with Baby

Pelvic Bridges

Lying on your back, bend your knees and have your feet flat on ground. Put your baby on your pelvis with their back against your thighs. Holding baby, slowly push your hips up and hold this position for 5 seconds. Keeping your abdominals tight. Inhale as you slowly lower your body back to starting position. Repeat 12 times.

Plank

Place baby face up on the ground while you kneel in front of them. Place your forearms on either side of baby and lift your body off the ground. Avoid letting your hips fall or stick up in the air. Keep back straight. Hold for as long as you can up to 30 seconds. Repeat 3- 5 times

Stabilizer

Lay on your back. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle with feet in air. Stabilize baby so they’re resting on your shins and hold their hands. Engage your core, holding this position for 10 seconds up to 30 seconds. Repeat up to 12 times.

Arm and Leg Extensions

Get on all fours with baby lying on their back parallel to your chest. Engage your core while slowly lifting and extending your left arm and right leg simultaneously. Keep spine neutral. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your limbs. Repeat on the opposite side, 8- 12 times.

Always check with us before starting any exercises. Also make sure baby can hold head up on their own if you are including them in any exercises. If your back pain stops you from doing these exercises make an appointment to see us.



Soothing Your Baby with Reflexology - A Safe and Simple Method


Whether you are a first time parent or a well seasoned one - you’ll do anything to soothe your baby. There are many tricks and tips from swaddling, swaying, rocking, burping, car ride - well you get it. One tried and true method is reflexology.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a non-invasive treatment that benefits all ages, but today we are soothing babies!

Reflexology is safe, effective and based on the principle that reflex points found on our feet and hands correlate to specific organs, muscles, bones and body systems.

When our babies are upset It’s natural for us to rub their back, massage their tummy or feet. It’s natural instinct for parents to have a hands on approach to soothing our children. A baby’s foot is very soft and accepting of gentle pressure. Blockages can be released, restoring energy flow to the whole body. You can begin reflexology at birth and continue as baby gets older.

The Best Time for Reflexology

The best time for reflexology is when baby needs consoling, but you can practice it anytime. It will help you get used to the steps. Try reflexology after a bath when you may already be spending time doing baby massage. If you are snuggling up for a feeding or even a nap, when baby is still, you can try some pressure points. Older babies respond well to games, you can try singing a song such as “little piggies” and find the focal points on their feet.

How Often Should I Use Reflexology?

For ongoing problems such as reflux try once a week for about four weeks. Reflexology can be a regular maintenance approach to good health and easily added into part of baby’s day.

What are the benefits of Reflexology on babies?

Well, it’s not only a closeness they experience with parents, but it can help alleviate such things as colic, teething and gas.

What are the areas of the foot to use in Reflexology?

The baby’s foot is sub-divided into six major zones. These are the pelvic area, lower abdominal area, upper abdominal area, solar plexus, sinuses and the head or teeth area. In our guide below you will see the chart to help you along.

How do I practice Reflexology?

Well, we put together a very handy guide for you! Print it out if you like and keep it close until you become a pro. Please share with other parents who would benefit from this guide.

Get the Guide Here