Mental Health

The #1 cause of aging and what to do about it

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What do you think could age you faster? Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep?

If you picked sleep, you would be right.

Sleep is such an important building block for our health yet in today's modern world it is often considered an inconvenience. How often do hear people get praised for "burning the midnight oil" or consider it a badge of honour to pull an "all-nighter"?

In Tom Rath's book, Eat Move Sleep, he likens the number of hours of sleep deprivation to the number of beers you might drink. Many people wouldn't want their child's teacher to have a few beers before coming to class, but missing a few hours sleep is not even considered, it might even be expected.

If you truly want excellent health, making sleep a priority is essential.

Here are some quick tips to take advantage of sleep as a potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and cost effective (actually it's totally free!) tool for longevity:

  • Best bedtime is 10 pm. Try to get as close to this as possible, even if it's in small 10 -15 min increments
  • Best time to wake up is 6 - 8am.
  • Set an alarm to go to bed.
  • Expose your eyes to bright light as soon as you can
  • Have protein for breakfast.
  • Make mid-morning your last call for caffeine.
  • Shut off all screens 30 -60 minutes before bed.
  • Take melatonin if you are a shift-worker.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Make early evening your last call for alcohol. The closer to bed you drink, the more likely your will have disturbed sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
  • Have a bedtime routine.
  • Dim the lights as evening falls.
  • Try guided meditation to help you fall asleep.
  • Check your blood sugar if you are having trouble staying asleep.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
— Unknown

 

Originally Published: June 18, 2018

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Dr. Michelle Durkin, BSC(H), ND, Contributor and Bowen Practitioner at Quinte Naturopathic Centre

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Dr. Michelle Durkin attended the University of Guelph and obtained a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biomedical Science. With this medical background, she went on to study at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto and graduated as a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine in 2003. Dr. Durkin founded her clinic, the Quinte Naturopathic Centre. As a Naturopathic Doctor she is very committed to providing excellent individualized health care in a warm and professional environment. Michelle is also a professional Bowenwork® practitioner. In addition, Dr. Durkin holds professional memberships with the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND), the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), and the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (APND).



Returning to the Sport You Love Education on head injury

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Concussions have become the new hot topic among the sporting world, and it’s an old problem that is now taking a front seat within the medical community. Concussions most commonly occur during or immediately following a sporting event, and they can happen at any age and with any kind of high-impact force to the head. They are also very common in car accidents, or with something as simple as a slip and fall where the head, face, neck, or other body parts make contact, resulting in an impulsive force being transmitted to the head.

A concussion is a brain injury and is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain induced by traumatic biomechanical forces. It is estimated that 3.8 million concussions occur in the US each year during competitive sports and recreation activities, with as many as 50 percent going unreported. There has also been a disturbingly steep rise in the number of concussions occurring in younger children and adolescents.

Common symptoms to watch for following any head trauma are: headaches, the feeling of being slowed down, difficulty concentrating, dizziness and sensitivity to light and noise.

Fortunately, 80 to 90 percent of those who experience a concussion will fully recover, with the majority of people recovering in seven to 10 days post injury. For the other 10 to 20 percent who have ongoing symptoms or post- concussion syndrome (symptoms lasting longer than three months), further treatment is often necessary.

Treatments for concussions are multifaceted and can include several professional disciplines including physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists and occupational therapists, with each profession catering to specific parts of post- concussion rehabilitation.

As physiotherapists, we can assess and treat a variety of issues following a concussion, including muscle tightness and imbalances, headaches, dizziness and even balance disturbances in more severe cases.

Probably the most important part of our customized treatment programs for patients suffering from concussive symptoms is education for patients, parents, teachers, coaches and trainers. With various outcome measures and graduated return to play or school guidelines, we will work with you and your support team to get you through this difficult time, with the goal of successfully returning you to your sport, school or back to your everyday life, symptom-free.
 

Information for the article has been taken from lecture notes from concussion courses given by Jacquie van Ierssel and Shannon McGuire.

Originally Published: November 16, 2017

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Ed Dowling, BSc. HK, MPT, Contributor and Physiotherapist at Quinte Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation Specialists