Functional assessment and integrative manual therapy. It’s healthcare, for your muscles.

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    Yoga Works as Well as Physical Therapy for Back Pain

    Time Magazine recently published an article about a study done to compare the effects of yoga and physical therapy on back pain. It was found that yoga was just as effective in treating back pain. The really neat part of this study is that it was done from a racially diverse population with the majority from low income housing – the people who report a greater number of chronic lower back pain.

    From the article: 

    “Based on their findings, the authors conclude that yoga may be a reasonable alternative to physical therapy, depending on availability, cost and patient preference. “Our study shows that when yoga is made available and affordable to a diverse population, people of both sexes, people who are disabled, [people of] different races and economic backgrounds are receptive to yoga and, more importantly, can benefit from it,” said Saper.”

    Read more here!

    Guest Post by Dr. Rahim – The Foot Core

    Fun Fact: Our foot and ankle are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles tendons and ligaments. It is this complexity that allows for movement patterns which we perform every day. When we are running, the foot becomes rigid to allow for the quick transfer of force from the ground into your step and when we are landing, the foot becomes supple allowing for a reduction of force into your system.

    Here’s a question – when was the last time you used your toes? For example, we type using the small muscles in our hands but we very rarely use similar muscles in our toes.  Instead, most of us keep our feet in shoes all day. This is good and bad; good because it protects us from the odd pebble on the ground but bad because we hardly use our small or “intrinsic” foot musculature. This lack of usage causes subtle deformities in our foot arch and creates weakness in our ability to distribute normal ground reaction forces evenly. These issues in the feet can also transfer themselves up the chain and manifest as knee, hip and low back issues. Common injuries we see which may stem from the foot include: plantar fasciitis, mortons neuroma, patella-femoral pain syndrome, hip impingement and low back pain.

    Foot problems are hard to correct. Telling someone to spend less time on their feet is usually impractical due to family and job demands.  However, all is not lost! Here are some tips that can help reduce pain stemming from the foot.

      • Perform intrinsic foot strengthening – Exercises such as picking a towel up with your feet and raising your big toe without raising any of your others can help strengthen the smaller muscles in your feet and build your foot arch.
      • Perform large muscle strengthening – Your small muscles in the feet and large muscles act in unison. Therefore performing exercises for your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings may help decrease foot pain.
      • Orthotics – We use a 3-D Scanner to view your foot musculature and its arches. Based off of our biomechanical assessment and scan, a certified Pedorthist will custom build your orthotic. This is meant to slip into your shoe and help your foot with the mechanics of efficient loading and unloading.
    3-D Foot Scan









    Five Questions about Restorative Hot Stone Yoga


    You may have seen that we are going to be offering Hot Stone Restorative Yoga, and had a few questions about what to expect. Here are answers to five common questions:

    What is Hot Stone Restorative Yoga?
    Restorative yoga is a deeply soothing inward form of yoga where the body is placed in highly therapeutic postures that are supported with soft bolsters, blocks and cozy blankets while the mind is invited to slow down. As you relax in the poses, heated basalt stones are gently placed on the body. The heat from the stones gently penetrates into muscles, melting away layers of physical and emotional tension, resulting in a deep state of relaxation.

    What should I wear during a session?
    Whatever you are comfortable wearing! generally people will wear something warm, cozy and stretchy.

    Can someone who has never done yoga do Restorative yoga?
    You don’t need any experience to do restorative yoga. Each session will have generally five to six poses which are held for a longer time, allowing you to fully relax.


    What if I am really stiff?
    Perfect! Restorative supports you where ever you are with blocks, blankets, bolsters, pillows and any other prop you need to be comfortable enough to relax into the pose.


    What is Kinesiology Taping?

    If you have been in during a week day appointment, you may have noticed Christie wearing Kin Tape, and been asking what it is used for!

    Kinesiology tape can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions.  Kinesiology tape is similar to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows it to be worn without restriction of your movement. It may be used for injury rehabilitation, pain management, swelling and alignment.

    There are many different brands available, and it may be used on a wide range of ailments. Check out this link for more detailed instructions on application. If you have any questions, ask us the next time you’re in the clinic and we’d love to help!


    What is Integrative Massage Therapy?

    Our recent hire Amir Salkic has completed the five year program at the Canadian College of Osteopathy and is a D.O.M.P. candidate. Amir integrates his skills and knowledge to better serve your therapeutic needs by providing you with safer and more effective treatments. In doing this he is able to deliver the best therapeutic massage therapy to better aid patients through their journey to recovery, stress management and wellness. incorporates advanced assessment and treatment techniques like Craniosacral, visceral manipulation, precision Joint Mobilizations, positional release & muscle energy to treat musculoskeletal and neurological injuries.

    An Integrative Massage Therapy Treatment starts with a very thorough assessment to understand your body as a whole.You can expect to have a review of your posture, mobility, and general health history using visual and manual techniques.
    Treatment is done with the idea that no part of the body is independent of any other body part or system, and much is done for treatment of the structure of your body. You may have a pelvis which is twisted, or vertebrae in your spine which aren’t aligned properly or restrictions in your joints; IMT will your body restore muscle and tissue balance.
    Things to know about your appointment:
    • Wearing a tank top and shorts to allow for easy visual assessment. Unlike massage, you don’t get under the covers on the table.
    • Treatment may be a mix of gentle adjustments, myofascial release, counter strain and Craniosacral work.
    • Drink a lot of water once treatment is done! You may experience your body releasing strain you have held onto for years, and drinking water may help flush your system and promote healing. An Epsom Salt bath is also a good idea.
    • Some people say they have improved sleep after treatment!

    You may view Amir’s availabilty here.


    Acupuncture FAQ, Part One

    We sat down with our Acupuncturist, Annette Lambert, R.Ac, to ask her a couple questions about what people can expect from an acupuncture treatment. This is the part of a series which answers questions we have been asked regarding acupuncture treatment.

    If I don’t want to have any needles, can I still get a treatment?

    Absolutely!  With your consent, your acupuncturist can choose to do acupressure using her fingers and thumbs or can apply magnetic pellets (“seeds”) to stimulate acupuncture points.  In fact, you can also ask your acupuncturist to perform TuiNa, an ancient form of Traditional Chinese massage, Cupping, or Gua Sha.

    What are Cupping and Gua Sha and what do they do?

    Cupping utilizes suction to break up connective tissue adhesions and scar tissue, it promotes  tissue perfusion, reduces inflammation, decreases tension and stiffness, and thus helps promote local circulation, relieve  sore, muscles and spasms, and facilitates the healing process.  From both a Western Medical and a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, cupping promotes circulation and breaks up stagnation (of Qi and Blood) and promotes relaxation.  The Flash Cupping method is also useful in the loosening of chest congestion and phlegm for removal from the body.  This loosening of chest congestion is thus immensely helpful for treating asthma, bronchitis, chest colds and flus and for bringing some relief for emphysema.  Cupping can also be applied to the abdomen to promote bowel movements and assist with digestion.

    Cupping has become more popular in the West and its popularity has risen with its distinct circular marks.  These distinct marks have been seen on the likes of Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps, Rio Olympic gymnast Alex Naddour to help them with their sore challenged muscles allowing them to recover faster and be at the ready to compete.  The marks have also graced the backs and torsos of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Justin Beiber, as well as on the arms of our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

    Cupping has been utilized for thousands of years in the Middle East, East Asia, and Ancient Egypt.  Traditionally, cupping involved the use of a flame inserted quickly into a glass, bamboo, ceramic, or animal horn cup to remove the oxygen and create a vacuum.  Modern cupping can also be achieved with plastic cups and a hand pump or with flexible silicone cups. When applied speedily to the skin, the underlying tissue layers are drawn up into the cup which results in enlargement of the tiny blood vessels; this enlargement promotes the flow of fresh blood  and lymph into the area.  However, this enlargement of the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) can also lead to some extraversion (leakage) which is visible as redness and bruising.  Depending on your body, the quickness with which it heals, and how deeply seated the stagnation is, the redness, bruising and/or suction marks (that look like you have been hugged by an octopus) can disappear by the end of the treatment or last up to ten days.  On average, most cupping marks and bruising will disappear in 3-4 days.  The only other side effect is mild to moderate temporary temporary discomfort as stagnation is dissipated and the underlying tissues opened up.



    Meet Your Acupuncturist – Annette Lambert

    Annette grounds her practice in the principle that diagnosis and treatment are inseparable. For her, the keystones of treatment are to gently establish a connection with the patient, to be fully present throughout each treatment, and to maintain communication. Annette incorporates acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, TCM nutritional advice and lifestyle awareness, Tui Na, Reiki,and Zen Shiatsu into treatments tailored to the individual.

    Annette has taken these cool courses:

    • Zen shiatsu
    • Reiki 1 and 2
    • Wilderness Advanced First Aid

    Annette is interested in learning more about:

    • Medical Qi Gong
    • Qi Gong Instruction
    • Stroke Rehabilitation
    • Shaolin Kung Fu
    • Prenatal Acupuncture

    Types of Treatment which Annette is really good at are treating people with anxiety, Gua Sha, Zen-Shiatsu and Cupping.

    On a more fun note, Annete enjoys ATVing and loves helicopters! She has also had a black bear enter her tent while sleeping – ask her about it the next time you come to visit!


    Meet Your Therapist – Paul Dziegielewski

    We sat down with Paul, the most new addition to the Anatomica team, about his favorite parts of his role so that we could all get to know him better!

    Paul has been an RMT for six years, and he is an excellent fit for the Clinic!

    1. What are some cool courses/certifications you have taken?
      • Shiatsu
      • Fascia course with Thomas Myers
      • Anatomy
      • Osteopathy Courses in Cervical and Sacral
    2. What are you interested in learning more about?
      • Traditional Thai Massage
      • Shiatsu
      • Reflexology
    3. Three types of treatment at which I am really good:
    4. Something fun you don’t know about me:
      • I used to be a Hip Hop Dancer, and I also like to backpack and hike



    Have you followed us on Facebook? We posted last week about how acupuncture isn’t just about needles, as covered by the Huffington Post  R.Ac. Annette Lambert offers no-needle treatments at Anatomica!

    Acupuncturists are trained in several healing techniques, and only one of them uses needles. There’s acupressure, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, ear seeds, qigong, herbs, among others.

    Annette is in the clinic Monday from 2:45 – 8:30pm, Thursday 8:30am – 2:15pm and alternate Saturdays.

    Alycia Duff-Bergeron, Founder and Clinic Director

    When I opened Anatomica in 2013 as my private practice, I was committed to offering an unsurpassed level of service and care to every client.  Today I have the pleasure of working with a skillful team of therapists and administrative staff that are equally committed to raising the bar in their fields and providing exceptional treatment. Our therapists are dedicated, professional, and focused on your health. Anatomica proudly offers some of the most effective manual therapy and functional assessment techniques, performed by therapists with several years of practical experience, all of whom demonstrate a considerable effort to further their educations and understanding of current treatment protocols. We invite you to visit Anatomica to experience effective, personalized healthcare in an inclusive space, staffed by practitioners that are setting a new standard of professionalism. We are Anatomica. Welcome.