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

    How Exercise Changes Your Brain


    Being physically active has many benefits, including reducing the odds of heart disease, stroke and diabetes; and helping to lower blood pressure. Studies have also proven that regular exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. Researchers found that regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, which is the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.

    With dementia diagnoses on the rise, exercise is a promising strategy for  combating cognitive decline, by improving both brain structure and function. How is it that exercise impacts the brain? The direct impacts are through the way it reduces inflammation, reduces insulin resistance and and stimulate the release of the chemicals in the brain which  affect the health and growth of brain cells. Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.

    So what kind of exercise do you need to do to improve your brain? Anything that gets your heart pumping is recommended. Ideally half an hour four to five times a week. But if you’re just starting, start small if that works better for you! Try going for a brisk ten minute walk each day, and work up to more. If you want a low impact option, try swimming, elliptical machines, rowing, bicycling, or water aerobics.

    This TedTalk is another great resource to learn more about the benefits exercise can have for you!

    Spring is Here!

    What better way to celebrate than by trying out a new salad!

    This Spring Superfood Salad has a blueberry ginger dressing and is easy to make. If you try it out let us know how it goes for you!

    For the salad bowls:
      • 4 ounces spinach
      • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
      • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
      • 1/2 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed
      • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
      • 1 (6 ounce) package blueberries
      • 1 avocado, peeled, cored and diced into small pieces
    For the blueberry-ginger dressing:
    • 1/3 cup blueberries
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • salt and pepper, to taste


    1. Add all of the ingredients for the dressing (blueberries through maple syrup) to a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
    2. To assemble the salad, divide the spinach mix into two servings and arrange in bowls. Top spinach mix with quinoa, sprouts, chickpeas, almonds, blueberries, and avocado, dividing evenly between bowls. Top with blueberry-ginger dressing and serve.

    What to Expect from your Osteopathy Appointment

    What is Osteopathy? The Canadian College of Osteopathy defines it as “A natural medicine which aims to restore function in the body by treating the causes of pain and imbalance. To achieve this goal the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner relies on the quality and finesse of his/her palpation and works with the position, mobility and quality of the tissues.” 

    What exactly does that mean? When you arrive at your osteopathy appointment, it’s best to be wearing something similar to what you may wear to a yoga class. Unlike other appointments, you remain clothed. You’ll start with an in depth assessment to see how your body is moving and any problem areas, ranging from your spine or ankles to your organs. Osteopathy treats your body as a whole, which means that while you’re having hip pain, you may receive treatment in your shoulders and neck which allow for your hips to move better.

    From there, you’ll receive a hands on manual treatment specific to what is going on in your body. You may receive stretching, gentle pressure or resistance; often the movements feel quite gentle, but have a big impact.

    My experience with my osteopathic treatment with Julie included decreased pain in my knees and joints, being able to breathe deeper, much improved sleep and better overall range of motion.

    If you’re interested in learning about how adding osteoapthy to your health care routine may benefit you, Julie’s schedule may be viewed here:


    We’re Pleased to Welcome Osteopath Julie Krize, M.OMSc to the team!

    JulieJulie is a graduate of the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy and is a member of the Ontario Osteopathic Association. She is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Art Historian, and through a weaving of these global experiences Julie because interested in the artful mechanics of the human form, and the body’s self-healing mechanism. Along her own journey towards health, Julie sought out conventional therapies and had no lasting results. Her own experience of an osteopathic practitioner was fascinating, balanced and effective, and inspired her to pursue her education in Osteopathy.

    Julie continues to study functional anatomy, physiology and body mechanics to provide highly personalized care for each individual she treats. Her interests beyond her osteopathic practice include zen based meditation practices, awareness around mental health, and living a socially active and engaged life.

    Julie starts with us next Thursday, April 12th. You can see her full schedule and book your appointment here!

    Slow-Cooker Lemon Dal

    It’s technically spring, even though you may not know it by the weather!

    This slow cooker recipe combines the warmth of a dal with the fresh spring taste of lemon – perfect for days like today!

    Serves 6 to 8
    • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
    • 4 1/2 to 5 cups hot water
    • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
    • 4 cloves garlic, sliced in thin rounds
    • 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    • 2 or 3 serrano chiles, sliced in thin rounds (optional)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

    For the tadka:

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee
    • 1 heaping teaspoon brown mustard seeds
    • 6 or 7 fresh kari (curry) leaves (see Recipe Notes)

    Before prepping the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on to the high setting for 15 minutes, until the insert is warmed through.

    Pick over the lentils for any foreign objects. Wash the lentils in a bowl in several changes of water until the last wash runs almost clear. Place the lentils, along with the water, onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, and salt, in the cooker. Stir well and set to cook on high for 2 1/2 hours. When the lentils are cooked, they will be pale yellow in color. Add the lemon juice, stir, and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if preferred.

    To make the tadka, heat the ghee in a small saucepan or skillet, with a lid handy. Tilt the pan to form a pool, add the mustard seeds and kari leaves, and cover immediately.

    Once the seeds have finished sputtering, add to the lentils, stir and serve hot.

    Get to Know Your Therapist – Sasha Markunina

    Further to earlier post, we sat down to learn more about Sasha:

    What are some cool courses/certifications you have taken?

    • Hot Stones

    What are you interested in learning more about?

    • Cupping
    • Reflexology

    Three types of treatment at which I am really good?

    • Deep Tissue
    • Glutes
    • Neck

    Something you don’t know about me?

    • I have two kids!


    You can book your treatment with Sasha online by following this link, or by calling us at 416-890-1505!

    Meet Your Therapist – Sasha Markunina

    We are very happy to welcome Sasha to our team! Sasha graduated with honors from Bryan College. Her knowledge and experience in massage therapy focuses on deep tissue, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release in addition to having high proficiency in Swedish, relaxation, infant, pregnancy, and sport injury modalities. She is passionate about finding the most effective treatment plan to bring the best possible relief and results to her clients.

    Sasha believes that proper assessment leads to the best results in a massage treatment. She  always educates her clients on how to take care of their bodies for better overall health and well-being.

    From experience, Sasha provides a thorough assessment and treatment which gets to the root of the pain, and includes aftercare instructions to help correct the problem!

    Ways Science Proves that Massage Makes You Feel Better – Part One: Affective Touch

    Massage has been shown to provide benefits on both a physical and mental level. We’re going to explore four of the factors which have been proven through research to provide lasting benefits in the body and the brain.

    The word “touch” has the longest definition in the Oxford Dictionary, at 14 columns. Affective Touch is an emerging field of research which focuses on how touch affects our emotional state. Therapeutic touch mediates the release of oxytocin, which can result in reduced reactivity to stressors and improved mood/affect. Studies have shown that moderate pressure massage has contributed to many positive effects including increased weight gain in preterm infants, reduced pain in different syndromes including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, enhanced attentiveness, reduced depression and enhanced immune function (increased natural killer cells and natural killer cell activity).

    You can read more here!

    Acupuncture and the NFL

    National Geographic ran a series on the health care New England Patriots defensive player James Harrison receives, including our previous post on cupping.

    The most recent post is his acupuncture routine.  James reports that it has helped him with recovery after workouts and playing on the field. In this picture, more than 400 needles are being used as part of his treatment! He used to hate needles and was hesitant to try, but after his first treatment worked he was converted. So much so, that he pays for his acupuncturist to fly weekly to wherever he is from New York.


    We also offer acupuncture both either our traditional TCM treatments with Annette Lambert or an RMT treatment with Kristin Hodgen. The treatment will be custom to your body’s needs, and may involve a wide range of other modalities as well. Book online or by calling us at 416-890-1505 to learn more!

    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.