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How to Stop the Back to School Cold

Natural Immune Boosting Tips for the Whole Family


Back to school colds are the worst! It seems like you are just getting into the swing of things and all of the sudden one (or more!) member of your house starts sniffling. At best it’s inconvenient, at it’s worst people are missing out on school, work and sleep all for a crummy virus you know is going to show it’s head again next year! The germs are inevitable, most children get 7-10 colds per year until they are 7 years old, and as beneficial as they are for helping their immune systems grow up it’s normal to want to minimize sickness and absenteeism. Here are our top five tips for boosting your immune system, naturally.


Get to Bed

A good night's sleep is essential for an optimal immune system. While each individual has their own sleep requirements, adults need at least 7 hours of sleep, and kids need a minimum of 9-14 hours of sleep depending on their age. To ensure a good nights sleep, create a consistent bedtime and follow a bedtime routine that is free of screen time. This will help support good sleep hormones for better sleep.


Say No to Sugar

Sugar enters our blood stream quickly when we eat it. This increase in blood sugar suppresses our immune system. Also sugar negatively impacts the good bacteria living in the intestines (AKA the microbiome). The microbiome has an important role in regulating the immune system. By avoiding processed sugar you avoid both the blood sugar related suppression of the immune system and also support the microbiome in it’s natural regulation of the immune system!


Keep Calm

Stress also has a large negative effect on the immune system. When we are stressed our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. This hormone suppresses the immune system which decreases our ability to fight off infections. Simple stress management exercises, such as breathing deeply or taking a dog for a walk, can help a lot in lowering cortisol levels and keeping the immune system healthy buy keeping stress at bay.


Practice Hand Hygiene

There is a reason public health officials are always talking about hand washing, it works! Washing your hands is a great way to prevent the spread of many infections including the common cold. Teach your children to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow and to wash their hands after doing so. Have children wash their hands after they get home from school. There is no need to use anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizer, regular soap and water works effectively.



Your immune system cells travel through the blood and their own network of pathways in your body called the lymphatic system. In order to keep the lymphatic system moving well its important to stay hydrated. Make sure everyone in your family drinks plenty of water. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also important sources of water so include as many as possible in the diet. Immune cells act as “surveillance” in the body, they look for infection. In order for them to do this job they need to be moving. Drinking lots of water helps them do just that!


In addition to lifestyle changes, there are other naturopathic tools, like herbs, nutritional supplements and acupuncture, that can be helpful in supporting the immune system. To find out how naturopathic medicine could help you, book your complimentary meet and greet appointment today.



Submitted by


Dr. Katie Thomson Aitken ND

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Christmas collection for the less fortunate

It's that time of year again! Are you looking for a place to drop off food bank items? We are collecting donations for our friends at Chalmers Community Services Centre, right up until December 21st. A full sheet of Chalmers' Wish List items can be found in the clinic! From all of us at Norfolk Chiropractic, thank you for your generosity in helping us to help others!  #BeGood #DoGood

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Reader's Choice Awards

Voting is open for the Guelph Mercury Tribune, and we have been nominated in a number of categories. We would sure be honoured to have your vote! Voting closes on August 25th. Just follow the link below and make your vote count.


Thank you!!

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Massage Therapy and Pregnancy

Prenatal massage can be an essential part of well-being and pain management during your entire pregnancy.  There are many physiological and emotional changes that occur beginning in the first few weeks of pregnancy and continuing into the postpartum period after childbirth.


As your pregnancy progresses and you begin to gain weight, there are several changes that your body makes and responds to:

• Your body’s centre of gravity shifts forward.This causes a natural tendency to make an adjustment in posture affecting daily activities, including walking and sitting, leading to back pain and discomfort.

• The ligaments and tendons supporting the pelvis and lower back soften and stretch in pregnancy due to hormonal changes.The stress on these structures often leads to muscle spasms and tightness in the hips to provide extra support and stability.

• Sore and overworked muscles can lead to incorrect movement or lifting to perform regular daily activities.Minor injuries in the neck, shoulders or back can develop.

• The calf muscles often tighten up to provide extra stabilization for changes to posture and weight.This can lead to leg cramps, most commonly occurring at night.


Massage therapy offers many benefits to relieve many of these symptoms and more:

• Promotes a healthy pregnancy by creating a relaxing and positive environment for stress relief

• Provides relief from aches and pains, muscles spams and cramps

• Promotes better posture

• Increases circulation of blood and lymph

• Assists in decreasing fluid retention, commonly in the ankles and feet

• Promotes better sleep by reducing physical and emotional stress


What is different about a prenatal massage?


As part of your medical history intake, your RMT will ask questions about your health during pregnancy to ensure any treatment modifications are made.  Your treatment will then be tailored to your current needs, and will likely change throughout your pregnancy as your body changes.  Leslie’s treatment table is designed specifically for prenatal massage with a removable belly insert.  Extra pillows are always used to provide the necessary support for your growing belly and to eliminate any strain on the front of the hips and pelvis.  Treatment can also be performed sidelying in any necessary situations.  Any questions or concerns specific to treatment during pregnancy are always welcome and should be addressed immediately.


On a personal note, I can honestly say that receiving regular prenatal massage helped minimize my pain and discomfort during my pregnancy.  I was able to sleep better, move with more ease, and work until I was 38 weeks pregnant.  Now that I have returned to work, I would to spread the awareness of prenatal massage and provide that same relief to others.  I leave you with this question: what better time is there to take care of and nurture your body than during pregnancy?  You are already watching what you eat, drink, and do to care for your growing baby, so while your body is doing everything it can, make sure you give it the care it deserves too.


Leslie Brown, RMT

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HAppy Holiday Weekend!

A friendly reminder that it's John Galt Day this Monday, which means the clinic is closed for the civic holiday weekend. We will be back in office Tuesday, August 2nd. Have a great weekend!!

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More congratulations!!

And we're on a wedding roll! Big congratulations go out to our lovely Chiropractic Health Assistant Teresa and her new husband Mike, who tied the knot at the end of June!! Join us in wishing them well on this happy occasion!

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Welcome Back!!

We are super excited to have Leslie Brown RMT returning from her maternity leave next week! Give us a shout to get pencilled in before Leslie's schedule gets completely booked up. She is working Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays for now to balance her work life and home life. You can book us either by calling 519-827-0440 or emailing us at


Welcome Back Leslie!!

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Best wishes and congratulations to our own Brook Bennie RMT on his wedding last weekend! Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness together!



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Is Your Mobility Up to Par? Part 2

Part 2 – Thoracic Spine


As briefly mentioned in Part 1, the mobility of the thoracic spine is often overlooked.  The thoracic spine is made to move!  We spend most of our time hunched over our work so we forget about the rotation and extension (standing up nice and tall) that our T-Spine (thoracic) can do.  This is the region of the spine that players on the PGA and LPGA tours use to create the big shoulder turn and generate incredible club head speeds.  In the back swing thoracic extension and rotation play key roles in creating space for a full shoulder turn, while maintaining your head position over the ball.  This decreases your side-to-side sway.  As you transition in to your downswing and make contact thoracic rotation and extension again become key to keeping your hands and club head moving down the line.  These positions may be very difficult to achieve with limited T-spine rotation or extension.


Now, what if you are limited in T-spine mobility.  Simply put, your body will adapt.  The amount of movement that occurs at your shoulder, elbow, wrist and, neck will increase to make up for any lost range of motion.  With all these extra movements it makes a perfect swing much harder to recreate and destroys consistency.  When compensations start to occur injury is not long after to follow, as muscles are forced to generate force they are not capable of or stretch more then they should.  Lack of T-spine mobility can result in rotator cuff injuries, golfer’s/tennis elbow, carpal tunnel like symptoms (numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers) and an increase in neck tension.  These overuse injuries or impingement syndromes will force time away from the course, or a string of rounds that are not as fun as they should be.


Reduced T-spine mobility also results in generally poor posture.  Recently listening to Swing Thoughts, a podcast about the mental performance of golf; I was made aware of research performed by Amy Cuddy.  Amy Cuddy is a professor at Harvard Business School and performs research on our bodies and how our postures affect our mind.  (If you are a fan of TEDtalks you may be familiar with her).  She, with her associates, discovered that people who assume “power” positions for even two minutes are able to increase their feelings of optimism and control over situations.  Improving your posture will change the way you view the course and where you bring your attention, which will lower your score.


Signs of poor T-spine mobility:

• Lots of side-to-side (lateral) movement throughout the swing
• Unable to make a full shoulder turn in the back swing
• Loss of balance during swing
• Difficulty finishing the swing
• Low swing speed
• Hunched posture
• Unable to achieve neutral spine at address


If you are experiencing any of the injuries above there are a variety of treatment plans your chiropractor or RMT can offer, as well as, identify the root of the problem and help correct it.  If you want to feel more confident and powerful on the course and in all other aspects of your life make an appointment to see your chiropractor or RMT today.


Brook Bennie RMT.


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Make sure your mobility is up to par!


Part 1 – The Hip


The golf season may finally be here with tons of courses opening this weekend.  Are you ready to get out and play?


To those who play it is common knowledge that the golf swing is one of the most complex athletic movements in sports.  It takes a fine balance of power, stability and mobility.  Lacking in one of these three areas will lead to a less efficient swing and possible compensation injuries.


The most common place golfers lack mobility is through the hips and thoracic spine.  With a lack of movement in these regions compensation occurs at the lumbar spine and shoulders.


Did you know your lower back (lumbar spine) is designed primarily flexion and extension (bending forward and backwards) and rotational forces put an extreme amount of stress on the joints in the lumbar spine.


With proper rotation at the hips the lumbar spine will be able to stay in neutral alignment protecting it from injury.  Another benefit to having full range of motion at the hips is the ability to create more power from proper force production from the ground and up through your core.  Turning will take less effort making it more consistent.  This means more yards on your drive and shorter irons to the green!


Signs that you may have an issue with hip rotation in your swing:

- A short backswing
- Difficulty turning hips in backswing
- Difficulty squaring hips to target on follow through
- Being told you are not finishing your swing
- Sore back after every round
- Difficulty maintaining balance during swing
- Consistent slice or push shot


If you experience any of these issues, book an appointment with your chiropractor or RMT for an assessment to determine if your hips are holding you back from better golf!


Brook Bennie RMT


In Part 2, we will discuss thoracic

mobility and how it affects your

shoulders, wrists and neck

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Norfolk Wellness Blog Contributor
September 19, 2017
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Marnie Kerr
July 7, 2017
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