Functional assessment and dynamic, informed treatment. It’s healthcare, for your muscles.

    Studies Prove that Yoga Reduces Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

    Anyone who has a regular yoga practice can attest to the positive impact it has on mental and physical health. Aligning breath with movement  has been shown to have a calming effect on the body and mind. Recent studies have proven that yoga is effective in treatment for depression including chronic/treatment resistant and PTSD.

    From Science Daily – “scores for depression, anxiety and stress decreased throughout the program, a benefit that persisted four months after the training”.  Many varities of yoga were studied, including various styles of hatha and restorative.
    You can read more here!

    Your Brain Needs Exercise

    Human beings evolved to move. Our bodies, including our brains, were fine-tuned for endurance activities from our history as hunter-gatherers. There is consistent findings that the brain works better after exercise, but discovering why has been more difficult.

    Exercise changes both the number of neurons in your brain and how they communicate, as well as becoming more sensitive to the world around us. It has been suggested through studies that  if the brain isn’t challenged or stressed enough it may reduce capacity to save energy as a response to inactivity.  Read more in these two articles:

    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!

    Hip Mobility – 90/90 Stretch

    The hip girdle area is anatomically complex. There are 17 muscles which are associated with the hip area, each working together to give the hip joint mobility. Your hips drive many of your daily movements, including walking to squatting. Athletes and people who work jobs which require them to sit a lot may experience mobility issues with their hips.

    The 90/90 stretch is designed to increase mobility and function.

    To start the 90/90 stretch, find a comfortable seat on the floor or other flat, relatively level surface. You may want to sit on an exercise mat or folded towel to cushion your sitting bones. place one leg directly in front of you with the outer thigh and outer part of the shin resting on the floor, and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle. Your front thigh should be perpendicular to your body. Extend your other leg out to your side with the inner thigh of your back leg resting on the floor, and also bend the knee at a 90-degree angle. Now rotate your legs from one side to the other.

    We made this video to help you when you’re doing it at home.

    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.
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    3-D Foot Scan

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Five Questions about Restorative Hot Stone Yoga

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    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!

     

    Four Reasons Why You Should Try Foam Rolling

     

    For those not familiar, foam rolling is almost like a massage that you perform on yourself using the foam roller as an assistive tool for self-myofascial release. The goal is to target the body’s fascia, or the connective tissue encasing our muscles. Here are reasons why you should incorporate foam rolling into your routine:

    1. It increases circulation – Because foam rolling helps to break up tightness in the tissues, it helps ensure that blood is able to circulate properly throughout your entire body.
    2. It improves mobility – releasing areas of tension gives a better range of motion
    3. It aids post-workout recovery  and also facilitates injury recovery –  Rolling increases blood flow, which helps reduce the time it takes to recover!
    4. It boosts athletic performance – reduced tightness may help to ensure your body is working at it’s best.

    Safe Gardening

    Toronto has been having beautiful weather this week! For many that means spending time outdoors gardening and doing yard work. It’s common during this time of year to see people seeking treatment for strains and repetitive injuries sustained while doing work in their garden. Here are a few tips to help you stay injury free this season!

    Shoulders

    Injuries at the shoulders can happen when the same action is repeated over a period of time (such a shoveling).  The fact that most people are typically more sedentary during the winter usually means that more force is needed, combined with high repetitions means there is a higher risk for injury. Follow these quick tips to keep your shoulders more safe:

    • Take frequent breaks.
    • If you need to lift heavy items, practice good lifting form: bend at your knees and not your back, bring the item close to your body, and then stand up. Use a wheelbarrow if heavy items need to be transported long distances.
    • Stretch first! Here are some simple shoulder stretches to try.

    Back

    Practicing good posture while gardening can help you avoid most injuries.  Avoid bending forward at the hips with a rounded back to help protect your spine!  Here are a few tips to keep your back happy:

    • Use long handed tools to help avoid too much bending over.
    • Sit on a short stool if possible.
    • Use knee pads! This encourages you to maintain good posture.
    • Avoid twisting movements while digging.
    • Check in with yourself often, stretching before, during and after gardening.

    Take breaks, be mindful and take your time to help you stay injury free during the spring and summer!

     

     

    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.