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4 Ways to Support Your Well-Being as We Transition into Winter Months


Winter months bring many joyful activities, such as the holiday season, playing in the snow, or the cozy feeling of coming inside and enjoying a warm drink after being out in the cold all day. However, for some individuals, the winter months can bring on a feeling of sadness. Depression that arrives or worsens during the winter months may be a sign of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Which is a form of depression that is triggered by changes in daylight and weather that occur primarily in winter.


Signs and Symptoms of SAD

- Feelings of depression that happen most of the day, every day, in a seasonal pattern

- Experiencing tiredness or low energy

- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy

- Sleeping too much

- Changes in appetite/ or weight gain

- Feeling sad/ guilty/ or down on yourself


How to Support Yourself


Set yourself up in the fall

Set up a routine in the fall to help your body transition into shorter days and into winter months. Your routine could include aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, eating nutrient-dense foods, and including daily movement.



Daylight savings time is upon us, and our bodies are greatly impacted by a reduction of sunlight. We may feel more irritable, fatigued, lethargic, and/or reduced emotional bandwidth. Get outside as much as you can during the afternoon to take advantage of what sunlight we have. If you commute to and from work in the dark, try to take a 30-minute walk on your lunch break if possible. When you are indoors, open your blinds and get as much natural light in as you can.


A time for reflection

Winter is a time when nature is dormant and resting, signalling for us to pause and reflect. This year try to not get caught up in the bustle of the season and truly slow down and enjoy it. The cooler months are a great time to start incorporating meditation practice. Our Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Katie, recommends the following meditation apps to help you get started - Insight Timer, Headspace, or Calm.


Enjoyable Activities

Plan activities to look forward to! Initiate conversations with friends, plan outings and engage in clubs or the community. Having connections in real life can make a big difference in not feeling alone. If you struggle to make real-world connections, as opposed to online connections, I recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Katie’s book Create Calm and reading chapter 21, which is all about community and putting yourself out there. Pick up a complimentary copy for a limited time in the front reception area of the clinic!


The staff at Norfolk Chiropractic Wellness Centre hope these strategies help you transition into the winter months with ease!


by Kelly Verstraete, CHA

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Chiropractic


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the occupational disease of the 21st century and can affect just about anyone, though office workers, computer users, musicians and assembly line workers - among others - are more prone to get it. Most common symptoms of CTS include numbness and tingling in the hand, fingers and wrist; swelling of the fingers; dry palms; or intense pain that awakens you at night. It sometimes also causes these same symptoms in the upper arm, elbow, shoulder or neck.


Since CTS doesn’t happen to everyone who performs repetitive tasks,  it makes sense to look for other contributing factors. In many people the health of the structural system may be the main problem - spinal subluxations and misalignments can be causing nerve pressure that contribute to the condition. 


Take a close look at those suffering from CTS and you will find that more than the wrists (where the carpal bones are located) are being used to perform their tasks; the neck and spinal column are usually also involved. For many years clinicians, patients and researchers have reported relief from classic symptoms and an overall improvement in body function after chiropractic adjustments. Compressed nerves in the neck can block the flow of nutrients to the nerves in the arm, shoulder, wrist and related area and make them more susceptible to injury and irritation. Chiropractic adjustments help ensure that the body is free of subluxations and misalignments, removing structural stress from the nervous system.


A chiropractic adjustment may make the difference - will it make the difference for you? 


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We are open during the Lockdown

As you will have heard, the Ontario Government has imposed a province wide lock down starting on December 26th, 2020.
Norfolk Chiropractic Wellness Centre will remain open and continue to treat patients, with protocols in place that meet and exceed the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health and the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health local directives. Our treatment rooms are cleaned between every patient, PPE is worn by practitioners and staff, and the clinic as a whole is cleaned and sanitized regularly throughout the day.
In order to maintain a safe environment for our patients, practitioners and staff we would remind everyone to self-screen before attending every appointment. If you answer yes to any of the following questions the day before or day of your appointment, please call us immediately:
1. Have you travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days?
2. Do you have any of the following new or worsening symptoms or signs? Symptoms should not be chronic or related to other known causes or conditions:
Fever or chills, Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, trouble swallowing, runny nose/stuffy nose or nasal congestion, decrease or lost of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, not feeling well, extreme tiredness, sore muscles.
3. Have you had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19?
When you arrive at the clinic we ask that you wear a mask, sanitize your hands immediately upon entry and fill out the tablet, confirming you have completed and passed the COVID-19 screening. Our full COVID-19 in-person Best Practices for both patients and practitioners are listed on the COVID 19 banner of our website. We can stay safe if we all work together.
If our mandates change, and you have an upcoming appointment, we will contact you directly to let you know of any changes to your appointment.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions and to confirm your appointments.
We look forward to seeing you and continuing to support you on your Wellness Journey.
Thank you!
The team at Norfolk Chiropractic Wellness Centre

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Have you met Dr. Katie yet?

Meet Katie Thomson Aitken

She is the naturopathic doctor here at Norfolk Wellness.


Here is Katie doing yoga, and this is why she loves it,


"I’ve been doing yoga on and off for 10 years now. Yoga has helped me fall in love with exercise. I love classes when I show up and spend the whole class on my mat with my breath as much as classes where I leave drenched in sweat filled with joy from trying something new and challenging."


Naturopathic doctors treat patients as individuals by addressing the physical, environmental, lifestyle, attitudinal, and emotional aspects of health. This allows naturopathic doctors to find and treat the cause of the disease using a variety of therapies.


If you think this might be right for you, you can book an appointment online here

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Oh no! So you’ve been in a Motor Vehicle Accident - what’s next?


After you’ve been in a car accident, it can all seem overwhelming - Who do I call? What information do I need? Who can help me? When am I going to feel better? While every case is individual and timelines for healing and recovery may differ, some things are the same for every claim. If you follow these four straightforward steps, it should hopefully help simplify things for you.


1. Contact your auto insurer right away and open a claim. They will assign an Accident Benefits Adjuster to you and send you out a package of papers. (There’s lots - they send out every possible form that MIGHT be needed). The really important one is the OCF 1 - Application for Insurance Benefits. Complete this form and return it to your insurer AS SOON as you receive it, to make sure there are no delays in getting treatment approved.


2. Do you have Private extended health care Benefits? (The auto insurance industry mandates that any existing benefits be used first before their coverage will take over). Contact your Benefits coordinator and find out the details of your plan - including:

> Does your plan cover your treatment if it is the result of a motor vehicle accident?

> What is your annual coverage amount for Chiropractic? For Massage?

> What percentage of each visit does your benefits cover?

> What date does your plan reset annually?

> How much coverage have you already used this year for Chiropractic? For Massage?


3. Contact our clinic to book your initial visit. Even if you are a current patient, you will need to have a full examination so the doctor can assess you and determine your injuries, get all the details of your accident, and formulate an individual treatment plan for you.


4. When you come for the first visit, please bring all the details of your Extended Health Benefits (as above), along with any claim information you may have already received from your auto insurance. This will allow us to set up your MVA file and make sure that we set up your billings correctly.


Helping you to heal includes trying to keep your accident-related stresses to a minimum, so if you have questions or concerns about any of the paperwork or processes, please reach out and ask! We are always happy to help :)


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How long will I need Chiropractic Care?

One of the concerns we hear from potential patients is that they will have to keep “doing chiropractic” for the rest of their lives if they start treatment. We like to explain it this way: In dental care, you get your teeth cleaned and make sure your gums are flossed and everything is healthy. But once you eat another meal, or take another drink, you may run into issues again if you don’t keep up with regular oral maintenance. Plaque can build up, cavities can form, toothaches can happen. So regular brushing and flossing is a must, and scheduled maintenance visits to your dentist are highly recommended 


The same happens with your spine. When you start coming for chiropractic visits, it may take a few treatments to realign and retrain your spine to stay in it’s optimal position. Once you’re feeling better you may think - I’m all good, why do I need to keep coming back? Well the reality is, just like the dental care, as you go about living your life and performing work tasks, playing sports, having accidents or just living your life - your spine may end up out of alignment again. This is why we recommend maintenance care, so that you keep your body “tuned up” to keep it from breaking down. 


What does maintenance care look like? It really depends. There is no one “right” schedule that we suggest everyone follows. For some folks, maintenance looks like a visit every couple of weeks, because they have a very physically demanding job that puts lots of stress on their body. For others, maintenance might look like once a month to iron out the kinks; and for still others it may look like 3 - 5 visits per year to keep tuned up when life throws them a curveball. It may also include recommendations for stretching and strengthening programs to keep your body running at its best between visits.


The doctors make their recommendations based on your unique situation; there is no “one size fits all” schedule that you must follow for the rest of your life. It’s really that simple - healthy maintenance for healthy bodies :).

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Breast Massage


Breast massage is something that some RMT's offer, all learn about, and only a small amount of the public is aware that it is even an option.  It can be used to treat a variety of breast complaints and can be very beneficial as they are a part of the body that is largely ignored when it comes to wellness.


Why would I need breast massage?


Indications for breast massage include:

Breast pain or injuries
post-surgical symptoms
Congestion and swelling
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and weaning discomfort
prevention of mastitis
Assistance with breast monitoring and familiarity with breast tissue
premenstrual and menopausal tenderness.


What is a treatment like?


If indicated, breast massage does not typically last very long and would be included as a small part of your regular massage. Generally, breast massage is gentle and never involves touching the areola or nipple.  As with any massage, some discomfort may be experienced if you are already experiencing tenderness but should not be painful. Depending on what the goals are for treatment, the general flow of treatment may work inward toward the body or outward toward the nipple.  A treatment would become personalized and individual based on your specific needs and would end with teaching you any home care that would help you maintain good breast health. 


What if I am not sure about it?


Communication is key in any treatment. Your comfort is of utmost importance as breast exposure and contact can be a sensitive issue for many people.  You have the right to alter or withdraw your consent at anytime during a treatment.  You have the right to alter the treatment to your comfort such as only massaging through the sheets instead of direct contact.  RMT's should be flexible to your needs and comfort level as well as inform you of all the aspects of a treatment.  


*Breast massage is not included in a typical massage and would need a clear indication for it to be suggested by an RMT as well as it needs to be consented to separately.*


If you are experiencing any of these indications, I would encourage you to speak to your RMT about your options.  If your RMT does not offer breast massage, you are welcome to come by Norfolk Chiropractic Wellness Centre and book an appointment with me!


Sienna Dang, RMT

Norfolk Chiropractic Wellness Centre


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What is Facial Cupping?


Facial cupping is a gentle, natural way to give your face a lift. It improves the tone of your skin and encourages circulation and collagen production. This relaxing treatment tones the muscles of the face, neck and upper chest and helps them to perk up like they did 5 or 10 years ago.


Most people see an immediate improvement after only 1 treatment. This improvement will last for several days after the treatment.


If you want to get a more permanent boost, book yourself in for an appointment once a week for 6 to 8 weeks. Then come in for upkeep about once every 4 to 6 weeks.


Facial cupping also helps with stiff neck, tight shoulders, TMJ and headaches and it can help to drain the sinuses. Bonnie can combine your treatment with acupuncture or acupressure massage for a full body experience.


This super relaxing and nurturing treatment would be a great gift idea for Mother's Day!


Book in for an initial assessment for acupuncture with Bonnie and let her know that you wish to add Facial Cupping to your appointment.


Click here to book your appointment with Bonnie today!


Submitted by

Bonnie Adam, R.Ac.

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Children's Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program

It's nearly that time of year again! Halloween has passed, and Christmas is already in the air! At the clinic, we have participated in a number of different donation drives and programs, but by far the most popular of these is the Children's Foundation Adopt-A-Family progam. We get asked every year if we will be doing this again, so I'm happy to say that YES, we are "adopting" again this year! What is the Adopt-A-Family Program, you ask? Here's a small blurb right from their website (


The Adopt-A-Family Program matches donors with families in need in order to make Christmas shine a little brighter. In 2017, with the support of our generous community of donors, we were able to provide Christmas gifts and grocery cards for 1,186 families which included 2,592 children and youth.


Families are referred to us by social service agencies who have identified they are in need. Adopt-A-Family is about more than gifts under the tree; it's about providing families with support and hope during the holidays. While children's wish lists include all the normal gifts that any child would want, the families' needs very often include basic necessities such as diapers, bedding and winter clothing.


*While Adopt-A-Family is a Christmas holiday program, it is open to people of all backgrounds and traditions.


As soon as we have been assigned our "adoptees", we will put together the information in our clinic lobby. We have so many amazing patients that want to help provide a brighter holiday for those in need - we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for participating, helping us to be "Santa", and in turn helping creating a closer community, raising spirits and giving hope to others during the holiday season. 



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Practitioner Profile - Bonnie Adam R.Ac.

It's time for another Practitioner Profile! This time around we are getting a closer look at our Registered Acupuncturist Bonnie Adam's goals, dreams, and "Why" moments.   


Q: What made you enter your field of practice?
A: I have been a Reiki Master and energy worker for over 15 years. I have tried many different kinds of natural and complementary therapies over the years. For several years different health practitioners had been suggesting that I try acupuncture. My Shiatsu therapist, my chiropractor and my massage therapist had all suggested acupuncture for different issues I was experiencing. Believe it or not, I, an acupuncturist, was afraid of needles! I wasn’t deathly terrified or anything. I could give blood or have a blood test, but I couldn’t stomach the idea of several needles going into my body. I resisted trying acupuncture for a long time. I heard about how effective it was, but I still could not convince myself to give it a try. Until the day I put my back out. That was about 10 years ago now. I had put my back out once before, several years earlier, and I had been incapacitated for two weeks. I remember lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, zoned out on muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. It took many more weeks to truly recover and I didn’t want to go through that again. So, this time, I got over my fear and tried acupuncture. My back injury was the just as severe, or maybe a little worse than it had been the first time, so I was expecting to be out of commission for a while. To my surprise and delight, I was back on my feet in only three days! No weeks of lying in bed on medication. No weeks of slow and tedious recovery! I was hooked! To me, acupuncture was a miracle!  Needless to say, I was ready to try acupuncture for other issues I was having, such as hormonal imbalances and menstrual pain. I found it to be extremely useful for those issues as well, so the next thing I knew I had signed up to learn how to do acupuncture myself.

Q: What is the most rewarding experience you have had in your practice?
A: It is really difficult to choose only one experience when you get to help people every day, but I think the most rewarding experience was when I was able to help a client with an extreme case of frozen shoulders. This client worked loading trucks all day for 20 years. Somehow, he was managing to work through the pain and limitations of having 2 frozen shoulders. He could barely lift his arms at all. After the first 3 treatments we still weren't making a difference in his symptoms. He was a real trooper and kept coming for treatment. I ramped up the treatments, using every tool in my toolbox. We did massage, cupping therapy, and acupuncture with electrical stimulation every week for nearly 2 months. After 2 months we finally got him loosened up. He was able to recover almost complete range of motion and can now go to work almost free from pain. Friends were asking him if he had been on vacation or recovered from some grave illness, because the constant look on pain on his face had disappeared.  He has become a regular client, coming in monthly to prevent a relapse.

Q: What is one thing about yourself that no one would guess?
A: I once had a very interesting second job. I worked with race horses. My job title was, “Test Inspector.” A “Test Inspector" is responsible for taking urine samples from horses to check for doping. One of the main job requirements was the ability to whistle a certain tune that was supposed to encourage the horses to do their stuff.
It was actually the most dangerous thing I have ever done.

Q: What is the most interesting place you have visited?
A: Just last fall I went to Thailand and Cambodia for 2 and a half weeks. It was a volunteer trip. I stayed in a house in rural Thailand with an elephant in the back yard. I cut bamboo with a machete to feed our elephant and rode around in the back of a truck so old that it had to be started with a hand crank. I helped to walk a herd of elephants to the river and give them a bath. They love having their heads scratched just like puppy dogs. In Cambodia I volunteered teaching English to children in a small school and explored the ruins of ancient temples. If you ever get a chance to take a tour with the Bamboo company, I highly recommend it!

Q: What is your favorite pastime away from the clinic? 
A: I really just love to hang out and connect with friends, family and my partner Wayne. I enjoy hiking and walking my dog and my son's dog. Family is everything to me. I have 3 children, 2 of them into their 20's now. Raising my kids and running a business pretty much takes up most of my time. As I write this I am at my 16 year old son's volleyball tournament. He has played REP volleyball for 4 years. We commute to Mississauga 4 times a week for practice and his team recently won silver in the Ontario Campionships.  You could say I am a proud volleyball mom!


Thanks for sharing with us Bonnie! It's always fun to find out a bit more about our practitioners and what makes them tick!

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Marnie Kerr
November 8, 2022
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Norfolk Wellness Blog Contributor
October 12, 2022
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