Think Well Archives - Synergy Chiropractic

Don’t fail yourself

We have a teenager in our house this week!

Our daughter Kate turned 13 this week. As I reflect on the milestone, I recall my own foray in to my teens and the subsequent learning and growth I had. I thought what advice would I have loved to have been given when I did. So I shared my thoughts with her and now here for each of you.

As you stand on the starting line of becoming a young woman, I thought there are some things you need to know before you begin.

Know what matters to you

Take time to know what and who matters to you. Your friends, family and supporters all want you to win but not at the cost of losing your sense of yourself. Only ever hang out with people who celebrate you and never hang out with people who tolerate you.

Keep promises to yourself

This took me 44 years to figure out. When I’ve promised myself something and committed to doing it, it has made all the difference in my self-esteem and confidence. When I don’t, I beat myself up. Whether its making a phone call, showing up on time, completing that project or doing something that inspires you, keep your promise to yourself and watch how it changes you.

Fall in love with making mistakes

Rather than beat yourself up, learn that every thing in life is an opportunity to grow. Without failing once in a while you can’t learn. Just like when you learned to ride your bike, you had to fall a few times to know how to stay up. Be patient and always know that you are allowed to fail.

Say yes to new experiences

Always be willing to try new things. Find new places to explore. New forms of art to enjoy. New foods, sports, friends, whatever. Enjoy learning and appreciating how wonderful the world is and how much you’ve never seen of it.

Be patient with your body

As your body changes, you’ll think you are the coolest kid in town and perhaps the next day feel like you are a ‘demi-gorgan’. So, take care of your body. For years, I would play sports hurt or ignore what my body was trying to tell me. Now, I wished I had only listened.

Be grate-full

Take time every day to give thanks to all of the people and things that you have in your life. Start and finish your day with a couple of thoughts of gratitude for the abundance in your life. It makes all the difference in how you see the world.

Give to receive

When you give, you get. Where your energy goes, your energy flows. When you think negative thoughts, more negative stuff shows up in your life. When you think positive thoughts and act on them, you get more abundance in your life. When you are generous with your time and talents, you get more in return. Know when you need to say no, but don’t be shy in giving more either when it matches your values.

Be. Do. Have

When you want to HAVE things in your life, you have to DO the things necessary and in order to do those things, your first have to BE that person. Never compromise yourself and always stay true to being you.

You are incredible and I am so honored to be there alongside you thought it all.

Love dad.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

promise

I see you

Yesterday, I had a patient of mine tell me how challenging her life has been the past 6 months. She has been working 6 days a week, 12 hours days and it is now causing her to gain weight, lose sleep and feel pains in her body she hasn’t felt before.

Earlier yesterday, I had another patient who is 4 months pregnant who is taking a sick leave from work because she is so tired and nauseous throughout the day that she can barely function to get out the door to get to work, let alone actually be productive.

I’ve put some thoughts here to speak to you – yes YOU.

To all the women (including my wife :)) out there, we see you.

We see how hard you’re trying. We see how much you’re working. We see you doing everything you can to hold it together.

We see you rallying to create the best lives possible for your kids. Running from one place to the next, somehow trying to be seven different places all at one time. We see how many people need you, rely on you, and count on your love to get them through the day. We see the stress of trying to be all things, for all people.
In case you ever wondered, YOU ARE SEEN. You are appreciated, admired and truly respected.
Between your Costco runs, school drop-offs and pick-ups, hockey, dance recitals, and basketball practice, we can only imagine the energy it feels like it would take to add One. More. Thing. Especially if that one more thing, is solely for you.

Permission

We are here to say, that in case you needed permission or extra encouragement; you, your body, and your spirit deserve that One. More. Thing. We promise you it’s easier to give from a full cup. We promise everything important will still get done. We promise that you deserve a spot on that list of important things. In fact, we insist on it.

We don’t want you to give up all the things that you’re doing. You can’t! So let’s play in the possibility that everything else will run more smoothly in your life, if you are operating from a place of less stress. Stress has been a buzz word for the last decade or so and for good reason. Stress in quantities that are too high, stop us from living the life we deserve to live.

Stress comes in many different forms: physical, chemical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc. The list goes on But, we remind you that stress doesn’t have to dominate your life. Not for long anyways. Too much stress robs us of our ability to maintain a healthy life. When it conquers us we make decision and choices out of fear or anger and that is a terrible position to be in.

We want you to have a healthy, balanced, THRIVING life. We don’t want you to wait for the next ‘crash’. Incessantly putting out fires should be the last thing on your plate.

We specialize in helping women (and all humans for that matter) increase their ability to adapt to the stress in their lives. We totally get that it’s silly to think that the day-to-day stressors can be eliminated. What we do know, is that your body, your brain, YOU, have the ability to change how you adapt and handle it all.
If you’re looking for a support team, here we are.

We believe in you.

We admire you.

And we see you.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

Stressed Out and Sneezing

August is here and so begins the ‘sneezing season’ for some allergy sufferers.  Ragweed wreaks havoc on many this time of year.  Itchy eyes and ears, sneezing, scratchy throats – it can be crippling.

What many people don’t realize is there is high levels of stress can cause your allergies to become worse. This has been confirmed by research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology.  Mental stress can upset the balance of your nervous system and immune system. If your nervous system is overstimulated with stress, it can affect the response of your immune system to an allergen.

How is that possible?

Our nervous systems have two divisions – the sympathetic (gas pedal) and parasympathetic (brake pedal).  You probably remember the terms ‘high or flight’ (sympathetic) or the ‘rest/digest’ (parasympathetic) from high school health classes.  Both of these systems work simultaneously to keep us constantly adapting to changes in our bodies and outside our bodies every second of the day.  Think of both systems working together like two kids on a teeter totter.  Sometimes the sympathetic system needs to be ‘up’ and at other times, the parasympathetic system takes a turn working harder.  Both offset each other to avoid one system becoming dominant.

So here’s how it affects you as an allergy sufferer.  The sympathetic system is responsible for our response to allergens.  When pollen or dust contacts the membranes of the nose or eyes, the body launches an immune assault to resist it.  This drives up histamine.  If the sympathetic system is overly dominant, then the histamine levels can be greater than necessary.

Schedules, finances, workloads, not enough exercise, poor diets, chemical stress and more can press down on our ‘gas pedal’ causing our system into sympathetic dominance.

So with that understanding, by decreasing mental, physical and chemical stress, your immune system can function better and head off many allergies at the pass.

Why it Matters:

Exciting new research has showcased how stress reduction can reduce the symptoms we associate with seasonal allergies. Meditation and chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce stress levels. And with reduced stress levels, your immune system has the potential to function at a higher level. Feeling more relaxed is something all of us could benefit from- and it may even help reduce your seasonal allergies.

– Physical, chemical, and emotional stress can cause your immune system to become hypersensitive.

– A hypersensitive immune system often overreacts to a potential threat resulting in worsening allergies.

– Reduce stress, and allergies, with a stress-reducing activity like exercise, meditation, or even getting chiropractic adjustments!

Next Steps:

Aside from putting you in a bad mood, being over-stressed has far-reaching effects on your body. If you “start to feel your allergies coming on” find stress-reducing activities that you enjoy. It may be reading a book, meditating, getting a massage, or perhaps even getting a chiropractic adjustment. Feeling better mentally and reducing your seasonal allergies are just a few of the benefits you can expect by lowering your stress levels!

Take a moment and think about one thing that you could do to reduce your stress and plan how you intend to do just that.

Science Source: Stress and Allergic Diseases. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2011.

Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.

“No I am not pregnant”

“Are you pregnant?” No. “Really because at this angle it looks like a bump.” I promise you, I am NOT pregnant, just fat.

I shared the below post on my personal Facebook page yesterday, and what I received back was an outpouring of love, support and encouragement, but also commiseration from women who have been or are there and are struggling. We’ve all been there in one way or another, and we all need to help each other out. Today is a day to reflect on mental health and the grip it can have on so many.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

This is going to be a bit long and a lot personal. I feel the need to reiterate a few of the MANY reasons to not EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

  1. She may well be pregnant, but is not ready to tell anyone and now she feels awkward.
  2. She may not be, despite desperately trying to no avail for who knows how long, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  3. She may have recently suffered a miscarriage, is still trying to process it, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  4. She may not want kids at all but faces the constant pressure of everyone asking WHEN she’s going to have them instead of IF, and now she feels self-conscious about her choice.
  5. She may not be able to have kids, and now she wants to go cry in a corner.
  6. And last but certainly not least, she’s just overweight and now she feels awkward, self-conscious and wants to go cry in a corner.

This last one is my experience and although I am strong enough to resist crying in a corner, I struggle every day to fight with the girl in my head that says I’m too big and I’m not doing enough. 18 months ago I gave birth by emergency C-section, and spent the better part of the next month attempting to navigate this completely uncharted territory of motherhood, all while trying to recover from my body being cut open and put back together, and the debilitating headache caused by CSF escaping the hole in my spine. I struggled from the beginning to produce enough milk and that proved even harder when my 2 month old ended up in hospital for 3 weeks. One of the best things for milk production you ask? Calories in. So I ate because I wanted to provide the best for my baby and I ate because I didn’t truly enjoy the first six months of her life. Around month 6, I started to love being a mother and spent all my time with her, especially the most peaceful time of the day, nap time. This left no time for myself, let alone exercise. This past fall I fell into a slump. A slump I consulted my medical doctor about. When I wasn’t working and had time to myself I spent it sitting, eating and struggling to motivate myself to move. Though I have embraced therapy many times for myself, this time I forced myself to take care of me. For the past 2 months I’ve worked out half an hour every day and I’ve made a conscious choice for the past 3 months to eat better, with occasional slips. But, I am still the heaviest I have ever been. This week I was asked if I was pregnant and when I said no, they persisted by pointing out how the shape of my body would have led them to believe that. No. No baby. Just fat and unused muscle.

Loving One’s Self

I have gotten to a point where I still love myself despite my new size, and I’m ok with doing the best I can. I have the most beautiful little girl who lights up my entire life and I would do it all over again for her. Preparing and trying to conceive, carrying and delivering a baby, raising your first, second or fifth baby, or supporting your partner in any of these ventures, deserves effing SUPER HERO status. This job is THE hardest and what makes it even more difficult is what your mind and body go through as a result. As baby carriers, our bodies change drastically. And sometimes…most times…it is a colossal sized struggle to get back to “the way we were”, and the pressure to do so is undeniable.

A New Vision

I believe we live in a world that is making it increasingly difficult to say with 100% conviction that “I am beautiful”, “I am strong”, “I believe in myself”, and “I am a good person.” I am eternally grateful that I was raised with a basic foundation of self-worth, and I have only built on that over 3 decades to be able to hear words like the above question and know that I am still more than good enough. There are women and men who are not this strong. There are teenagers struggling to get through the throes of high school. There are adults taking it day by day at the workplace or within their families. My daughter may or may not grow up having a certain level of strength to take on what’s out there, but I will fight every day to show her how beautiful she is no matter her size, looks or what anyone else says about her.

I didn’t write any of this to garner sympathy but to remind us all to be CONSCIOUS of our words and our actions. You have NO idea what anyone’s story is, but we all have one. Share your story, it might entice someone to share theirs. And they may need a little of your support to get through the day. But they will be better off for it, as will you.

Chiropractic and a wellness lifestyle changed her life.  She had such an incredible experience and change in her health, that she decided she help change people’s lives.  In addition to being the Director of First Impressions at Synergy, she is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach. When she’s not at the office, you will find her either at the gym kickboxing, or with my husband, Mike, and their 3 dogs.  She is a philanthropist and founded a non-profit charity, Families First Community Cancer Support, which supports and provides financial relief to cancer-burdened families in the community.