Posture – the Missing Link in the Beauty-Health Connection

December 19, 2013 9:44 am
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4 Ways It Affects Appearance and Functionality

Symmetry and vitality share certain characteristics.

“The people we view as physically attractive are usually healthy and symmetrical in appearance,” says Bill Schultz, president of posture innovator AlignMed (www.alignmed.com). “That’s not a coincidence; postural symmetry and good health go hand in hand.”

Good posture – holding the head, shoulders and trunk in perfect alignment – creates balance, which allows our many physiological systems to function optimally. When we habitually sit, stand or walk in a less than fully aligned position, muscles stretch or contract to accommodate. This can result in chronic imbalances that can lead to pain. Studies dating back to the 19th century suggest our posture affects mood, energy and self-confidence, all of which affect how attractive we appear to others.

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“You don’t see supermodels, A-list actors or the rest of the ‘beautiful people’ slouched over as they strut down the runway or red carpet,” Schultz notes.

“Think about the importance of posture among the most challenging sports: for track runners, ballerinas and gymnasts, optimal posture is essential,” says Schultz, who explores four ways in which posture is part of the beauty-health connection.

• It’s not just sitting for hours on end that’s bad for you; it’s how one sits. The dangers of sitting have garnered plenty of attention in recent years, especially since we have become a society of sitters. Sitting for long periods comes with many health risks, including obesity and cardiovascular disease. But sitting with less than perfect posture – most frequently, sitting with the head and shoulder in a forward position over a desk — can cause significant neck pain, which involves muscles and nerves from the neck down. Proper posture can prevent neck and spinal damage.

• More than 116 million North Americans suffer from chronic pain at some point in their lives. That’s according to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine. Chronic pain means that a sufferer has anywhere from 30 to 60 days of lasting pain, and this massive problem is estimated to cost North Americans $635 billion. For many, treatment and/or prevention is out of reach. However, a reliable and easy way to prevent chronic pain is to maintain good posture.

• A strong, well-functioning core is crucial for training and optimal health. The bulk of a body’s mass is located at and around one’s core, including the trunk and pelvis region. Today’s fitness fanatics firmly grasp the importance of a healthy core. Surprisingly, much of the health-conscious population today is muscle-centric and does not fully appreciate the importance of posture, even though proper posture facilitates core strengthening, especially while exercising.

• Using passive therapy to continuously improve posture. To feel and look your best, it’s important to maintain good posture throughout the day, but that’s difficult, especially for sedentary people. Neurologists at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center say passive therapy can be even more effective than active therapy. Posture-enhancing apparel such as MyLign by AlignMed offer neurologic biofeedback that constantly remind the skeleton and muscles to self-correct. AlignMed founder Shultz says the shirts are not compression shirts, which squeeze the body and are primarily worn for aesthetics. “The shirts map muscles in the same way kinesio tape – used to reduce inflammation, relax muscles and enhance performance – assists world-class athletes,” he says.

Canadian Athletes and a Look at Canada’s 2014 Olympic Men’s hockey team

November 29, 2013 1:01 pm
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I can’t wait for Men’s Olympic Hockey to start. Will there be another Crosby dream moment or will the Russians take it this year?

Canadians look forward to the Olympics to watch many winter sports but in the end the juggernaut is the Olympic Men’s hockey team and the most anticipated games are men’s hockey. Who can forget the swelling of national pride when Canadian forward Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in the Men’s Gold Medal Hockey match at the Canada Hockey Place during the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver on February 28, 2010? Canada beat the USA 3-2 to win gold. The next line-up of Olympic contenders are looking to repeat that victory in Sochi, Russia in February. Who do you think will take the gold? Find out more about online sports betting info at CasinoGuideCanada.ca. Don’t let the hockey players have all the fun, you can take part too!!

As the National Post’s Noah Love observed: “Sidney Crosby! The golden goal! And Canada has once-in-a-lifetime Olympic gold!” will be played for the rest of your days, just like Foster Hewitt’s “Henderson has scored for Canada!” and Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles?” before it.

Is the Canadian roster taking shape? Not yet. There are the locks like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, Shea Weber and Duncan Keith. There have also been pleasant surprises like Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn and San Jose Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Olympic hockey team has Patrick Sharp in its sights, say prognosticators. The swift, sharpshooting forward of the Chicago Blackhawks is slotted anywhere from serving as a first-line winger for Crosby with Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, to being a question mark as to whether he even makes the team.

NBA Players Try Yoga for Performance Benefits

November 22, 2013 10:29 am
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The benefits of yoga have been known to people in the East for many thousands of years, and finally the West is catching up. Yoga is now so popular and its impact so much more understood that sporting stars across many disciplines are now incorporating it into their training – and none more so than players in the NBA.

 

Yoga for longevity

Being strong, fit and healthy for as long as possible is the ultimate goal for every NBA player. Professional careers in the NBA will always have a finite deadline as younger, fitter and more able athletes constantly vie for the top positions.

So, as well as cardio and all the usual training players are used to, many NBA teams and players have chosen to incorporate the ancient tradition of yoga. With the added benefit of strengthening endurance, the mind and helping players learn to focus their attention in the most effective way, yoga is the gift that keeps on giving.

It’s undeniable that regularly practising yoga – in whichever form – has a huge impact on core strength, flexibility, mental dexterity and muscle training. It’s likely that the NBA players who do practise often will find they can concentrate for longer periods and may have the edge over other players.

 

NBA teams who do yoga

The Denver Nuggets employed a professional yoga instructor more than seven years ago and routinely put their players through their yoga paces, particularly during the downtime of the offseason.

Similarly the Atlanta Hawkes have their own yoga instructor, used to help the team understand the tenets and importance of mental and physical discipline. The New York Knicks have also been known to use a yoga instructor as have the Los Angeles Clippers.

Improving focus, strength and physical fitness can, of course, help the team’s standings and even have an impact on those tricky NBA betting odds.

 

Do yoga and the NBA really mix?

Yoga is, of course, a traditionally spiritual discipline, much associated with meditation and Buddhism. These don’t particularly seem to fit with the NBA’s play hard ethos, however, as yoga has become much more accepted and practised over the last decade or so, it’s clear that yoga has many benefits for athletes – including hard headed NBA players.

As the Baron Davis said when interviewed about his thoughts on incorporating yoga into his training: “Yoga helps center you, especially for what we do. If you can find a place that keeps you centered, both mentally and physically, it can help push your game to the next level.”

Mind Over Matter tour comes to Ottawa and calls attention to the lack of research on women’s brains as they age

November 20, 2013 11:50 am
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Deloitte and The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, MP and Liberal Health Critic, help raise awareness of gender imbalance in research.

Ottawa is the next stop on a six-city national tour that will bring leading neuroscientists and business leaders together in an effort to raise awareness of the need to enhance brain research that takes sex and gender into account.

The Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI), which received tremendous support from all parties earlier this year when it launched on Parliament Hill, embarked on the Mind Over Matter (#mindovermatter) tour this month, advocating for additional research. While travelling across Canada, the tour group will also provide information about what women can do to stay brain-healthy longer.

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“Current research and treatment still focus on male brains, even though women are twice as likely to be affected by dementia, stroke and depression as they age,” said Lynn Posluns, Founder and President of WBHI. “In fact, seventy per cent of new Alzheimer’s sufferers will be women. The Mind Over Matter Tour is about raising the awareness and funds necessary to understand the discrepancies between the brains of men and women in order to improve how we approach and treat women’s aging brains. Twenty years ago, researchers recognized that a woman’s heart attack presented differently from a man’s. Science needed to take sex into account in order to achieve a healthier outcome for all. It’s time to look at brain research through a sex and gender lens.”

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The Mind Over Matter tour is hosted by Deloitte and is taking place at their offices across Canada. The Ottawa event will be attended by a select group of healthcare industry leaders. It will feature presentations by The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, MP and Liberal Health Critic, Lynn Posluns, WBHI President, and Jens Pruessner, Ph.D., Director, McGill Centre for Studies in Aging. Dr. Pruessner will be speaking on: Sex and age-specific effects of stress in health and disease.

DETAILS OF THE OTTAWA MIND OVER MATTER BREAKFAST EVENT
(Note: Event is by invitation only.)

• DATE: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

• TIME: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (formal presentations begin 8:45 a.m.)

• PLACE: Deloitte, 800-100 Queen Street, Ottawa

The Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) is a Canadian registered charity inspired to combat women’s brain aging disorders through investment in focused, innovative research at leading institutions around the world. The WBHI supports urgently needed leading-edge peer-reviewed research on women’s health and brain aging, to improve diagnostic and treatment methods. Ultimately, this research will improve brain health outcomes for women throughout the world. WBHI is a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as part of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA).

 

For more information, visit http://womensbrainhealth.org/

Chef Shares Tips for Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts

November 8, 2013 10:33 am
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If there’s one downside to holiday feasting, it’s the gurgles and groans of postprandial indigestion.

“We assume it’s because we overate, but for a lot of people, that pain and sick feeling may not be about how much you ate but what you ate,” says Kyra Bussanich, (http://www.kyrasbakeshop.com/), two-time winner of The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and author of a just-released recipe book – Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle (Ten Speed Press; Random House, Inc.).

Millions of North Americans have celiac disease – an auto-immune reaction to gluten (the protein in wheat), says Bussanich, whose painful symptoms became life-threatening before she was diagnosed with the illness. “Most of those people aren’t diagnosed, though, because the symptoms look like so many other intestinal ailments.”

People with celiac disease must completely avoid gluten, which is also in rye and barley, to avoid a case of painful and gut-damaging indigestion.

For Bussanich, a chef, there was no choice: One speck of gluten would make her ill. But she refused to give up pastries, cakes and other treats, so she perfected gluten-free varieties. Her award-winning desserts left their flour-based competition in crumbs on Cupcakes Wars in 2011 and 2012, and she was a runner-up on the show’s “Cupcake Champion” segment.

Bussanich offers these tips for whipping up gluten-free baked goods this holiday season:

• If you’re following a recipe, don’t substitute the listed flour or starch with another type unless you’re familiar with its properties. There are many different types of gluten-free flours and starches, including millet, sorghum and sweet white rice flour, and potato and tapioca starches. Each has its own idiosyncrasies. For example, millet flour has a slightly nutty flavor and is well-suited for goods with a hearty texture. Sweet white rice flour holds moisture well and is good for recipes that have a slight gumminess to them. Potato starch is light and good for fluffy cakes.

• Use eggs and butter at room temperature. Eggs are often used as a binder, the protein that substitutes for the missing gluten. Eggs and butter are easier to work with when used at room temperature, and room-temperature egg whites whip up fluffier. If you forget to pull the butter out of the refrigerator beforehand, heat it for 7 to 12 seconds in the microwave. Put cold eggs in warm (not hot) water for 30 to 60 seconds.

• Don’t overwork batter and dough with Xanthan gum in it. Corn-based Xanthan gum is often used as a stabilizer and thickener in gluten-free baked goods, sauces, dressings and soups. Once this ingredient is added, overworking the dough can give it a slimy, gummy texture, and cause it to lose flavor. (A good substitute for Xanthan gum is ground psyllium seed husk.)

• Heat higher, cream longer for lighter cakes. One complaint people sometimes have about gluten-free baked goods is that they’re too dense. To prevent “density”, try setting the oven temperature 25º warmer than you would for flour. This will cause the butter in the recipe to release its water as steam, which helps the cake rise quickly. Also, cream eggs and butter together longer – about 10 minutes – than you would for flour cakes.

Healthwise: How to Counterbalance Overindulgence – Stress and Sleep Management Tips from Naturopathic Doctor Penny Kendall-Reed

October 21, 2013 12:40 pm
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 Whether it is during Thanksgiving, Diwali, Christmas or any other celebration this festive season, everyone can use tips on how to counterbalance our tendency to overindulge.

Overindulgence can manifest itself in many ways. For many, the unbalance presents itself as lack of sleep, while for others it is overeating, or ingesting too much coffee and alcohol. For some, it is enduring sustained high levels of stress at work. Whatever the excess, it is important to make an effort to undo some of the damage such overtaxing can cause your body and mind. We should all strive towards making positive choices throughout the day.

Naturopathic doctor Penny Kendall-Reed shares her recommendations on balancing busy lifestyles, creating better sleep and maintaining a healthy weight.

First and foremost, Dr. Kendall-Reed reiterates important lifestyle choices, such as: eight hours of quality sleep; a balanced diet; learning to say no; spending time with family; disconnecting from technology; laughing; massage therapy; breathing meditation; and physical activity, all of which can reduce daily stress.

Having said this, not all stress can be eliminated or controlled and Dr. Kendall-Reed acknowledges that we all need a bit of help sometimes: “I wish I could say that we could deep-breathe our way through everything, but that is simply not true.”

 

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Supplements to help balance a busy lifestyle

Probiotics: These are live microorganisms similar to the good bacteria that live in our gut. Probiotics help the stomach, liver and pancreas break down food and ensure that no undigested food remains in the bowel. Probiotics also help boost the immune system by crowding out bad bacteria and making it harder for illness to set in.

Daytime Stress Support: In stressful times, our body produces more cortisol. The increase of this stress hormone then affects every one of our systems. To help minimize the effects of stress on the body, Dr. Kendall-Reed recommends Jamieson’s Stress Support Day, which contains natural supplements such as lemon balm, and amino acids GABA and L-Theanine: these can help improve our body’s ability to regulate stress.

Nighttime Stress Support: According to Dr. Kendall-Reed, the right kind of sleep is what is important. The fourth stage of sleep is the most restorative. However, increased cortisol production due to stress means few of us ever reach this stage because cortisol blocks the production of melatonin, which allows us to achieve restful sleep. Jamieson’s Stress Support Night contains camomile, lavender and melatonin, all of which promote good quality sleep without creating dependency.

Omega fatty acids: Omega fatty acids help manage stress in the body by reducing inflammation. When we are stressed, depressed or anxious, we have lower levels of Omega-3 in our brain, which is why a supplement can be quite useful. Dr. Kendall-Reed recommends Jamieson’s Omega Red supplements (Krill or Salmon) because the oil is cold-pressed on the boat; therefore, the extraction maintains its purity and the antioxidant level in each capsule is high, rendering the supplement more effective.

Xanthitrim: There are no any quick fixes when it comes to weight management. However, some people who do maintain an active lifestyle and balanced diet still struggle with a few nagging extra pounds. To help eliminate this excess chub, Dr. Kendall-Reed recommends Xanthitrim by Pure. This supplement is a brown algae, pomegranate seed oil extract and a green tea extract. It helps to reverse lipogenesis, which is the formation of fat from food, and increases the rate of fat burning without any adverse side-effects.  Dr. Kendall-Reed also reiterates the importance of Omega fats, as they help to permeate the satiety center of the brain, thereby reducing cravings.

Most importantly, stay positive and focus on what you can control. Each choice has an effect on your health and well-being.

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Back Pain Causes You Won’t Hear about from Your Doctor

October 15, 2013 11:00 am
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Millions of North Americans suffer from back pain.

“How can anyone take preventative measures when most back-pain specialists take a one-dimensional perspective on this common problem after back trauma has occurred?,” asks leading back-pain expert Jesse Cannone.

Most people experience significant back pain at some point in their lives; unfortunately, the response from the medical community is too often surgery, which fails 60% of the time.

“The back consists of many intricate anatomical parts, all of which are dependent on the smooth functioning of each other, but there are many factors people don’t know about that affect the back’s function throughout a lifetime,” says Cannone, author of The 7-Day Back Pain Cure. “In order to better heed Franklin’s advice, more people need to know how back pain starts. Sadly, in most cases, they won’t get this profoundly helpful info from their doc.”

Health should always include a comprehensive view, including vigilance for mental, dietary and physical well-being, he says. Cannone covers in detail the physical causes that often lead to back pain over time:

• Minor problems can lead to major back dysfunction: When a physical condition isn’t corrected, the body starts to break down. Tight muscles can pull the vertebrae out of alignment, pinching a nerve or creating a herniated disc. Physical dysfunctions can pressure joints and, over time, stress them to the maximum until they develop inflammation and injury. Overworked muscles can go into spasm, causing pain and forcing the body into physical dysfunction. Pain from this condition is often triggered by a specific activity, like heavy lifting, which is why most people believe they’ve “thrown out” their back in a singular event. In reality, however, it was a long process.

• Muscle imbalances – the tug of war inside your body: We’re born with well-balanced bodies, but rarely do they stay that way. Over time, we tend to favor one side of our bodies, and with repetitive activities, we often create imbalances by working some muscles too much while underutilizing others. Sitting is one way of creating imbalance, but various activities – writing, eating, cleaning, cooking, laundry – in which we favor one hand over the other can, too.

• Lack of muscle use: Unlike other machines, which wear out the more they’re used, the human body grows stronger the more you use it. When you don’t use all of your muscles regularly, the muscles that keep the body balanced wither.

• Loss of muscle flexibility: Women who frequently walk with high heels often suffer a variety of problems as a result. One problem is the shortening of the calf muscle. Imagine the muscle as a rubber band that extends from the back of your knee to your heel. When you wear high heels, the rubber band shortens and, over time, the muscle adapts to this contracted position. When you take off the heels, the calf muscle will feel pulled. This often happens to other muscles in the body, throwing off body balance.

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Stress Can Make Good

September 18, 2013 1:57 pm
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Sometimes being stressed out forces you to focus on the challenges of your marriage, remain in a job that pays the bills but is unfulfilling and makes you feel incredibly overwhelmed, strung out and unable to concentrate. While stress affects everyone in different ways, two major types of stress exist: stress that is beneficial and motivating — good stress — and stress that causes anxiety and health problems — bad stress.

However, bad stress doesn’t have to remain bad. It can be manipulated based on perception. Notice it and manage  thoughts so you can redirect the strain and stress into a new action. Stress and stagnation can be a potent and dangerous cocktail if unsupervised. Moving from a state of bad stress to good sress is a discipline that, if practiced regularly, can be used effectively to make positive changes in your life.

Karen Keskinen is a Life Coach at SAGE Wellness

Karen Keskinen is a Life Coach at SAGE Wellness

According to experts, stress is a burst of energy that basically advises you on what to do. In small doses, stress has many advantages. For instance, stress can help you meet daily challenges and motivate you to reach your goals. In fact, stress can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently. It can even boost memory.

Stress is also a vital warning system, producing the fight-or-flight response. When the brain perceives some kind of stress, it starts flooding the body with chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. This creates a variety of reactions such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Suddenly, the senses have a laser-like focus to help you deal with physically stressful situations such as jumping out of the path of a moving car to safety.

Taking chances, taking risks and changing aspects of your life can transform bad stress into good stress. Facing your fears and staring your stress in the face can be a motivator to make change. Take note of the benefits of stress and redirect your thoughts towards change rather then stagnation.

Karen Keskinen is a certified Life Coach at SAGE Wellness. Try a 60-minute, free initial consultation to plan your coaching sessions to transform your stress and make change and decisions happen. Karen has space for new clients. SAGE is located on the third floor of 340 Gladstone Avenue (above Rama Lotus). 613 235-7243 www.sagewellness.ca

 

Physicians Share Tips To Prevent And Correct Signs of Aging

September 10, 2013 9:59 am
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Some Vitamins Do Work from the Outside-In

Women’s worries about wrinkles, dark spots and other aging skin concerns aren’t all vanity, a new poll reveals.

Forty-two percent of women ages 50 to 59 believe they need to look young to be successful at work, according to a recent poll by Penn Schoen Berland.

“Increasingly, men and women have anxiety about looking older, but the good news is that science has developed natural tools to help us look younger longer,” say Drs. Rick and Arlene Noodleman, the husband-and-wife physician team at Silicon Valley’s Age Defying Dermatology (www.agedefy.com) – national leaders in medical and cosmetic dermatology and integrative medical treatments.

Something we all battle daily is damage from free radicals, a term that has entered the public lexicon with little understanding by most people.

“Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost electrons through oxidation, making them unstable,” explains preventive medicine specialist Dr. Arlene Noodleman. “If your body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to stabilize them and render them harmless, they can damage cell membranes, which eventually breaks down the proteins that support and plump the skin. We’re bombarded by free radicals every day. We produce them when we metabolize food and even when we breathe. They’re also in the environment – diesel exhaust, air pollution, UV radiation (from the sun) and cigarette smoke are all major producers.”

“What’s worse, those free radical oxygen molecules are always looking to stabilize themselves by swiping electrons from stable molecules, which creates even more free radicals,” says dermatologist Dr. Rick Noodleman. “We have lots of natural defenses against free radicals, but as we age, we begin to lose them.”

Some vitamins are antioxidants, meaning their molecules provide electrons that stabilize the free radicals. Clinical studies have found that certain of these are effective in preventing damage, or correcting damage such as reducing wrinkles and dark spots.
In certain cases, “taking your vitamins” means applying them on your skin so they can work from the outside-in, the physicians say.

• Vitamin A – “There is significant scientific evidence that the form of vitamin A called retinoid, when applied topically, can treat damage caused by sun exposure,” says Dr. Arlene Noodleman. “It can soften fine lines and wrinkles and lighten dark spots.” In one study, subjects had significantly fewer fine wrinkles after applying a prescription-strength retinoid cream (0.1 percent isotretinoin) once a day for 36 weeks. “Of the over-the-counter retinoid products, Retinol appears most effective,” Dr. Noodleman says.

• Vitamin C – “Vitamin C applied topically is much more effective than taken orally,” says Dr. Rick Noodleman. “That’s because vitamin C is relatively unstable — it quickly oxidizes when exposed to air and in certain other conditions. So, to get the full benefit, you would need it in much greater amounts than you would normally consume in a tablet. You can get that benefit by using a topical formulation,” he says. “Look for ‘stable’ vitamin C of the L-ascorbic variety, which offers the best protection against sun damage. It reduces lines and wrinkles, protects against sun damage, and encourages production of collagen, one of the proteins susceptible to free radical damage. Importantly, collagen makes up 75 percent of our skin and gives it support and volume.”

• Vitamin B3 – “As a ‘damage corrector’, test-tube studies have shown that vitamin B3 boosts collagen production and clinical studies have shown that it reduces dark spots,” says Dr. Arlene Noodleman. In one significant study, 50 Caucasian women applied a 5 percent vitamin B3 solution to one side of their faces every day for 12 weeks. They had a marked reduction in dark spots, redness and yellowing, and increased elasticity.

The two doctors advise that, for best results, people should buy these topical vitamin products at concentrations that have proved effective – and use them for the length of time recommended.

Why Sportswriting Matters

August 22, 2013 3:07 pm
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A 71-year old game won’t likely decide this year’s college football champion – but in some ways, it’s more relevant than ever.

Sports Illustrated published its annual college football preview last week, complete with write-ups of the top 25 teams and profiles on a select few players and coaching strategies. At the back end of the magazine was an entirely different piece: Brian Curtis’ 4,300-word feature on the circumstances surrounding the 1942 Rose Bowl – namely, the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor and the players caught in America’s ensuing entry into World War II.

War is an extreme example of sports’ significance to human life. The Duke and Oregon State players that faced off on the gridiron on New Year’s Day ‘42 were soon linked on the battlefield, fighting a much different enemy with consequences that extended far, far beyond a scoreboard. The story correlates the decision to relocate the Rose Bowl from California to North Carolina with the impetus of the war itself: preserving a way of life, rather than caving into fear or apprehension or whatever range of emotions such terror elicited.

No, the temporary move to Durham wasn’t nearly as important as America’s entry into the European theatre, but for a nation reeling from attack and the players that would soon venture overseas themselves – some never to return – the Rose Bowl had to be played, somewhere. So the story goes.

Thankfully, “War and Roses” doesn’t devolve into tired “football as war” metaphors, or vice versa, beyond exploring the sudden brotherhood of former rivals. If anything, the story is timely and pertinent to a more nuanced debate: why sports are important in society, and, consequently, why sportswriting is important.

It’s a subject that’s garnered recent attention with the release of two brilliant digital features from the New York Times: “Snow Fall” and “The Jockey,” both of which explore relatively obscure sport topics. A couple days ago, Times public editor Margaret Sullivan commended the scope of both projects, but wished that future endeavors would focus on “journalistic subjects that really matter.”

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That’s the funny thing about “War and Roses”: it’s important because of the former, but it was written because of the latter. The game result, for SI’s purpose, was insignificant; the focus is on human connections and how they manifested themselves, surrounded by gunfire in a Belgian farmhouse or atop a ridge in the Italian mountains, a world away from the sanctity of a football field. It’s about men that happened to play sports, men that became the human faces of a decidedly human issue.

That’s what sportswriting is: human stories told through the prism of a game. The players themselves are far more important than the final score; their exceptional, superhuman athleticism matters less than what makes them normal. The winningest jockey in horse racing is a creature of dizzying routine. The participants of the 1942 Rose Bowl united a country in sport, then fought and died for that country in war, the football result long forgotten. These are stories readers devour, and not because of the games.

The lasting question, still, is why sports actually matter, and it’s hard to answer that without delving into clichés. We watch sports to learn something about ourselves. They’re a distraction from the mundane and depressing travails of regular life. They bring fans together through a common passion, be it love or hate. We consume sports with a voraciousness that should, theoretically, be left for issues that truly concern society. Maybe that’s why they’re important.

If business and politics and the preservation of the environment are significant topics to everyday life, then sports are, too – not because they’re life-or-death, but because we’ve deemed them essential to our existence. Sports Illustrated exists because of a mass craving for sports, be it college football projections or case studies of the human condition. Brian Curtis writes because he can do so with depth and elegance, and because stories like “War and Roses” need to be told.

Here’s the story: a group of regular people joined together to perform extraordinary and remarkably normal acts at the crux of an event that ensnared all of humanity and changed the world forever. They also played football.

CIS Support Falls Short

August 20, 2013 4:53 pm
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Two years ago, as a first-year student at Queen’s University, I attended every Gaels home football game – at first with an enthusiastic group of floor-mates, then with a smaller, committed contingent of those friends as the weather suddenly turned dreary. Ontario University Athletics (OUA) football is a funny enterprise, renowned above all at schools with traditional success (Queen’s, Western and McMaster, for example) and shunned at others (including York and Toronto, the latter of whom lost 49 games consecutively in the mid-2000s).

Even at the school with the richest university football heritage in Canada, I was struck by the dichotomy of crowds at Richardson Stadium. The facility was filled nearly to capacity for September games during Frosh Week and Fauxcoming – this was during Queen’s four-year Homecoming hiatus – but comparatively abandoned by the time October rolled around, with dates against dreadful Waterloo and hated Western both drawing a couple thousand fans at best.

Heading into the following week’s home playoff game, I expected the masses to return, given the stakes of the situation. The Gaels were two years removed from a national championship, having played two epic playoff tilts at Richardson in front of gloriously raucous crowds, students occupying every last seat on one side and alumni packing the stands on the other.

So what happened? Official attendance for the late October game was 2,594 – a mere quarter of Richardson Stadium’s capacity, and nowhere near sufficient to properly celebrate Queen’s comeback win. During my early weeks at school, I’d learned the relevant passage of the Oil Thigh and taught to support the Tricolour above all, school spirit being somewhat of an extremist ideology at Queen’s. Midterms and weather aside, I expected more students to devote a few hours to watching the game; there were certainly enough football fans on campus.

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Therein, of course, lies the root of the problem: there were enough football fans to fill the stands, but not enough Canadian university football fans – and it’s a crucial difference. My broad experience as part of the latter group (and later, as a student newspaper sports reporter) has generally been one of student apathy. There’s a sentiment of inferiority that pervades Canadian sports, at both the university level and in our meager professional offerings.

This, of course, is the opposite of the United States, home of almost all worthy North American sports franchises and the essentially professional (and corrupt) NCAA. Down south, there are simply better athletic alternatives in nearly every sport: the NFL is king, while other major leagues have only a smattering of Canadian teams at best. Like any rational sports fan, Canadians have generally been taught to appreciate the best. Football, in particular, casts a stern hierarchy, with Canadian universities toiling somewhere near the bottom.

The CIS  (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) and CFL are endearing for their quirkiness, playing with three downs on behemoth fields that dwarf NFL gridirons in width and length. The uniqueness of the Canadian game is attractive to a core group of hardcore devotees, but nowhere near enough to unseat the superior American product. Even at schools with somewhat solid support, the main attraction is the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the fight song – all which still pale in comparison to the NCAA – rather than the game itself.

Now, in late August, another OUA football season is just around the corner. Hopes are high in Kingston and Ottawa alike, with Queen’s poised to contend for the Yates Cup and the Carleton Ravens embarking on the first step of a revival. Whether the students and fans will follow is another matter.

The CrossFit Experience

August 13, 2013 10:33 am
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Two years ago, I wrote a piece for this website extolling the virtues of CrossFit – an “internationally-renowned strength and conditioning phenomenon” launched in 1995, which saw its popularity surge throughout the following decade. That original bit of research, skimming the history, components and merits of the fitness program, was my very first exposure to the CrossFit movement. Any prior knowledge and experience I had was limited to team sports and conventional, individual weight training.

CrossFit, truly, is less of a regimen than a lifestyle, establishing itself in tailor-made gyms around the world and, now, at least one Canadian university campus. Still, I can’t say that 1,000-word blurb drastically reshaped my approach to fitness – I continued to plod along in the gym, wavering between spurts of dedication and indifference, with nowhere to pursue serious CrossFit training in Ottawa or, after moving away for university, Kingston. Beyond a few articles and cheesy testimonials, I also couldn’t verify whether CrossFit was a viable fitness solution or a fad with minimal staying potential.

Somewhat serendipitously (and well after I’d forgotten about CrossFit ever existing), I was reintroduced to the program this past February as part of my work with the sports section of the Queen’s Journal. A few enthusiastic students had started an unofficial CrossFit club on campus – the first of its kind in Canada – and immediately attracted an immense cult following. I was set to go through an individual WOD (workout of the day, in CrossFit parlance) and document my inevitable struggle for the newspaper.

The story that ran was less workout diary and more hard news, detailing the power struggle between the organizers and Queen’s Athletics and Recreation, which used a series of vague objections to CrossFit to conceal their financial motives and prevent the group from assembling. Mercifully, the saga was resolved in May, when CrossFit Tricolour was ratified as an official university club. Despite the mass dispersal of students from Kingston in the summer, preliminary workouts have attracted a steady flow of participants from those that remain. The allure of the WOD is real, as daunting as it initially seems.

I learned that first-hand that day in February. After going through the requisite warm-ups and determining that my deadlift technique was up to par, we engaged in the WOD: 10 dumbbell squat presses, followed by five burpees and leaps over a bench, repeated as many times as possible in 15 minutes. To put it simply, I got destroyed, completing 12 rounds and immediately crumpling to the gym floor. The final half of the workout was spent gasping for air between lifts, buying as much rest time as possible and cursing the directions and encouragement of my instructors.

Naturally, I was hooked. Lifting a series of heavy things for a few hours each week (mixed in with casual games of pick-up basketball and squash), as had been my moderately successful routine for the past couple years, would no longer suffice. One CrossFit WOD had engaged and dismantled my entire body, but more importantly, it reshaped my mental conception of what fitness can and should be.

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So in groups of five and 10 and 20, and surely dozens more during the school year, we press, pull, jump, sprint, throw, plank, lift and squat (and squat, and squat some more. After that’s all done, we squat). The skill work and WOD change each session; various movements and exercises are combined to target overall speed, strength, endurance, precision, flexibility and more. As a regular individual with recreational athletic ambitions and a goal of staying healthy, CrossFit allows you to refine your strengths and identify weaknesses you never would have considered.

There have been some missteps, particularly when we resuscitated movements I hadn’t attempted since childhood. I nearly dislocated my shoulder coming down from a handstand, tripped myself up countless times with a jump rope and learned that the head isn’t the proper takeoff point for a somersault. Mastering the fundamental motions of each is still very much a work in progress, but it’s a step up from the conventional gym rat approach, which would dismiss such maneuvers as playground nonsense. The core tenets of CrossFit – really, the basis of many athletic movements – say otherwise.

Just as the original OLM post noted that CrossFit doesn’t have the same historical resonance as something like the invention of basketball, Queen’s recreational movement doesn’t carry the same significance at the school as competitive varsity sports. That’s not CrossFit’s aim, of course, nor that of its many devotees and advocates – engaging the common student is the main priority, though athletes and physical freaks are also encouraged to partake.

For those of us who drifted away from competitive sports after high school, it’s a way of recapturing past glory. Grinding away in a dim, sweaty gym is a far cry from the CrossFit Games, but that’s where the purity of athletic striving resides: the start. With music thumping during warm-ups or the final seconds of lead-up to a WOD ticking down, anticipation peaks, and you feel like you’re part of something big. Maybe that’s what CrossFit does best: setting up an individual pursuit where you’re never alone.

Johnny Manziel and Moral Indignation

August 9, 2013 12:12 pm
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Johnny Manziel is under fire from the NCAA for selling his autograph, and it’s ridiculous. Texas A&M’s sophomore quarterback, fresh off the greatest rookie season in football history, has endured scorn from the governors of amateur athletics and a legion of uptight sportswriters, groups that reveled in Manziel’s build-up and now smile on his potential downfall. The spirit of amateurism is at risk, with Manziel the dastardly culprit.

It’s a prime example of the moral indignation that fuels shoddy sports analysis, and the inconsistency with which this indignation is applied. It’s clips like this that are the problem. Tweets like this one, too. Manziel’s football accolades are impenetrable, but something about his conduct irks the crusty sportswriting elite, so they attack his actions away from the game and insist they have something to do with football. The problem, of course, is that they don’t.

Manziel’s prodigious list of accomplishments – starting at quarterback in the SEC as a redshirt freshman; becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy; thrusting A&M into the national championship discussion – is primarily the result of his individual merits and abilities. Somehow, compared to his school, the NCAA and the sports-writing contingent so intent on tearing him down, Manziel stands to benefit the least.

He can’t yet secure an NFL contract, since players must be at least three years removed from high school to enter the amateur draft. If he’s suspended for selling autographs, he can’t leave college early, since this year’s NFL supplemental draft – which allows players who develop eligibility issues to unilaterally turn pro – has already passed.

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If he’s forced to sit out the collegiate season, then declares for the draft, his standing will undoubtedly slip in the eyes of NFL scouts, the type of men conditioned to value  “intangibles” and “character” over a historic MVP season – things you can’t measure over the success in plain sight. Unlike his peers in other sports, who can ply their trade in various minor leagues or bypass school earlier to turn pro, Manziel is still the NCAA’s property for another year, with emphasis on the word property.

Manziel doesn’t fit the ideal mould of All-American quarterback with a squeaky-clean reputation. (It’s unclear if this ideal mould of athlete exists anywhere outside of the fantasies of tut-tutting columnists.) He juked, scrambled and gunned his way to the Heisman, then voiced a few unpopular opinions on Twitter. He’s a 20 year-old kid suddenly thrust into mega-stardom, one that likes to party and regularly turns to Drake for advice on how to cope. Quarterbacks, like other humans, don’t exist in a bubble; for certain analysts to expect that of Manziel is childish and absurd.

It’s just another example of modern sports culture lowering the denominator, embracing vapid debate and translating unwarranted outrage into attention. With nothing else to talk about during the summer, an amateur athlete, one that generates millions of dollars for his school and the national association that presides above him, daring to sign a few autographs for money becomes the latest scandal du jour. We skim over professionals that commit actual crimes – seriously, the uproar from the Denver incidents paled in relation to this – then dogpile on a college superstar capitalizing on his hype.

If Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, who’s six weeks older than Manziel, sold his autograph at market value, nary an eyebrow would be raised (though scandal-mongers would still whine about his hair and fiery attitude). Manziel plays football, not baseball, and with rules prohibiting him from chasing a pro contract, selling memorabilia is suddenly an affront against society. The rules that exist to defend amateurism – an outdated, exploitative concept that only protects the interests of the NCAA’s corrupt bourgeoisie – are terrible. The moral righteousness of those condemning Manziel might be worse.

Physicians Share Tips To Prevent And Correct Signs of Aging

August 8, 2013 10:17 am
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Some Vitamins Do Work From The Outside-In

Women’s worries about wrinkles, dark spots and other aging  skin concerns aren’t all vanity, a new poll reveals.

Forty-two percent of women ages 50 to 59 believe they need  to look young to be successful at work, according to a recent poll by Penn  Schoen Berland.

“Increasingly, both men and women have anxiety about looking  older, but the good news is that science has developed natural tools to help us  look younger longer,” say Drs. Rick and Arlene Noodleman, the husband-and-wife  physician team at Silicon Valley’s Age Defying Dermatology, (www.agedefy.com), national leaders in medical and cosmetic dermatology and  integrative medical treatments.

Something we all battle daily is damage from free radicals,  a term that has entered the public lexicon with little understanding by most  people.

“Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost electrons  through oxidation, making them unstable. If your body doesn’t have enough  antioxidants to stabilize them and render them harmless, they can damage cell  membranes, which eventually breaks down the proteins that support and plump the  skin,” explains preventive medicine specialist Dr. Arlene Noodleman.

“We’re bombarded by free radicals every day”, she says. “We  produce them when we metabolize food and even when we breathe. They’re also in  the environment – diesel exhaust, air pollution, UV radiation (from the sun) and  cigarette smoke are all major producers.”

“What’s worse, those free radical oxygen molecules are  always looking to stabilize themselves by swiping electrons from stable  molecules, which creates even more free radicals,” says dermatologist Dr. Rick  Noodleman.

“We have lots of natural defenses against free radicals, but  as we age, we begin to lose them,” he says.

Some vitamins are antioxidants, meaning their molecules  provide electrons that stabilize the free radicals.  Clinical studies have  found that certain of these are effective in preventing damage, or correcting  damage such as reducing wrinkles and dark spots. In certain cases, “taking  your vitamins” means applying them on your skin so they can work from the  outside-in, the physicians say.

• Vitamin A – “There is significant   scientific evidence that the form of vitamin A called retinoid, when applied   topically, can treat damage caused by sun exposure,” says Dr. Arlene   Noodleman. “It can soften fine lines and wrinkles and lighten dark spots.” In   one study, subjects had significantly fewer fine wrinkles after applying a   prescription-strength retinoid cream (0.1 percent isotretinoin) once a day for   36 weeks. “Of the over-the-counter retinoid products, Retinol appears most   effective”, Dr. Noodleman says.

• Vitamin C – “Vitamin C applied   topically is much more effective than taken orally”, says Dr. Rick Noodleman.    “That’s because vitamin C is relatively unstable — it quickly oxidizes when   exposed to air and in certain other conditions. So, to get the full benefit,   you would need it in much greater amounts than you would normally consume in a   tablet. You can get that benefit by using a topical formulation,” he says.    “Look for ‘stable’ vitamin C of the L-ascorbic variety, which offers the best   protection against sun damage”, he states. “It reduces lines and wrinkles,   protects against sun damage, and encourages production of collagen, one of the   proteins susceptible to free radical damage. Importantly, collagen makes up 75   percent of our skin and gives it support and volume.”

• Vitamin B3 – “As a ‘damage   corrector’, test-tube studies have shown that vitamin B3 boosts collagen   production and clinical studies have shown that it reduces dark spots”, says   Dr. Arlene Noodleman. In one significant study, 50 Caucasian women applied a 5   percent vitamin B3 solution to one side of their faces every day for 12 weeks.   They had a marked reduction in dark spots, redness and yellowing, and   increased elasticity.

The two doctors advise that, for best results, people should  buy these topical vitamin products at concentrations that have proved effective  – and use them for the length of time recommended.

About Drs. Rick and Arlene  Noodleman

Dr. Rick Noodleman, a board-certified, Stanford-trained  dermatologist, is an expert in the medical and surgical management of skin  disease, aging skin, and advanced cosmetic techniques. Dr. Arlene Noodleman,  board-certified in preventive medicine and fellowship-trained in integrative  medicine, is a healthy aging expert who focuses on the whole person and  strategies that facilitate the body’s innate healing response. Together, Drs.  Noodleman created the Revercel cosmeceutical and neutraceutical product line  (www.revercel.com), which includes  products containing vitamins in the amounts and forms scientifically proven to  be effective. They include Eye Perfection and Intensive Repair Serums with  Retinol and Vita-C Emulsion.

If you would like to run the above article,  please feel free to do so. I am able to provide images if you would like some to  accompany it. If you’re interested in interviewing Dr. Rick and Arlene  Noodleman, let me know and I’ll work out the details.

Kingston Lays the Groundwork for Ottawa Soccer Success

August 6, 2013 12:20 pm
Frank Clair

Supporters of Ottawa’s newest pro soccer franchise can be forgiven for forgetting or overlooking the city’s most recent foray into the beautiful game. Ottawa Fury FC is set to join the North American Soccer League next summer – one tier above the Canadian Soccer League, which featured a remarkably successful Ottawa club in 2011.

Capital City FC advanced all the way to the CSL championship game in its inaugural season, drawing league-high attendance figures to Mooney’s Bay. As quickly as they rose, the club disappeared, effectively folding their operations after one summer. In the interim, a newly established pro team has shown soccer’s potential in Eastern Ontario, providing a valuable framework for the Fury.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m working in media relations this summer for Kingston FC, the team in question. That said, their early success goes beyond any potential bias or subjectivity. After mustering just four wins in 2012, their expansion season, Kingston is ensnared in a four-club race for the CSL’s top position, including two-time defending champion Toronto Croatia.

Guillaume Surot has scored 15 of Kingston FC's 42 goals on the season.

Guillaume Surot has scored 15 of Kingston FC’s 42 goals on the season.

Their offensive output has far outstripped any other team – 42 goals in 13 contests is good for over three a game, with Guillaume Surot, the league’s top scorer, netting 15 of those. The club has a distinct international flair, with a Czech goalkeeper, a defender from Northern Ireland, British, Kenyan, American and Romanian midfielders and Surot, a French-born striker, all featured in the current starting lineup.

Kingston, renowned for its historic contributions to the game of hockey, has begun to take notice. A core group of fans has quickly bolstered the team’s attendance figures, with Kingston FC routinely drawing upwards of  500 fans at home. Here in Ottawa, with the CSL club’s success in mind, crowds 10 times that size are a clear possibility.

Canada’s men’s soccer team continues to flounder internationally, but club soccer has started to gain prominence here at home, filtering down from the top professional level. Since their inception in 2006, Toronto FC’s results have ranged from mediocre to outright embarrassing, but the club has laid the groundwork for further pro expansion across Canada. The Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact both hold Major League Soccer playoff positions; they’ve cultivated equally dedicated fan bases and command their fair share of airtime on national television.

TSN and Sportsnet’s coverage doesn’t really extend to the second rung of continental club soccer, the NASL, but Ottawa’s entry should be met with the same acclaim as teams on either side of the Canadian soccer pyramid. The Fury already has a successful franchise in the amateur Premier Development League, from which a few players could make the leap to the NASL team starting next summer. Solid ownership is essential to the success of any pro franchise; while Ottawa CFL fans are in good hands with junior hockey mainstay Jeff Hunt, the soccer team should experience similar stability under John Pugh, the Fury’s longtime owner, who’s working in conjunction with Hunt as part of the Ottawa Stadium and Entertainment Group.

With a resplendent 24,000-seat facility in the renovated Frank Clair Stadium and an official support group on board – the Bytown Boys Supporters Club, formerly affiliated with Capital City FC – the Fury are at the forefront of NASL expansion, with the eight-team league set to add five new franchises in the coming years. Ottawa will join FC Edmonton as Canada’s second-tier soccer representation; if fellow franchises in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Kingston are any indication, Canadian fans will likely follow.

Steroid Shame Falls on Selig

August 2, 2013 2:15 pm
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There are several kinds of disappointment in sports, ranging from the collective failure of an entire team (say, this year’s Toronto Blue Jays) to the personal shortcomings of a team’s individual players (say, this year’s Toronto Blue Jays). Baseball’s most pervasive frustration, however, has managed to develop on the field of play and spiral to the point where it resonates far beyond it.

With MLB’s trade deadline recently passed and teams positioning themselves for the regular season stretch run, performance-enhancing drugs continue to cast a pall over any on-field exploits, resuscitating the great steroid debate that nearly torpedoed the game in the mid-2000s. Just as BALCO ignited baseball’s original doping scandal, Florida’s Biogenesis clinic has cast several current players under scrutiny, spurring reports that they’d provided PEDs to a notable subset of major leaguers.

No less than nine suspensions are expected to be announced over the long weekend, with New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez and a slew of presently nameless offenders currently embroiled in settlement talks with MLB. Last month, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was dinged 65 games, or the rest of the 2013 season, mostly due to his association with Biogenesis in previous years.

Alex Rodriguez could face a lifetime ban from MLB.

Alex Rodriguez could face a lifetime ban from MLB.

It seems as if Braun, Rodriguez and other yet-to-be-named transgressors are being castigated and punished by Selig less for juicing their bodies and abilities, and more for violating their sport’s perceived sanctity – a sanctity abused and debilitated under the commissioner not-so-watchful eye in last decade’s round of steroid revelations. Selig’s suddenly become the crusty father figure, sending his players away for 50-game timeouts for embarrassing him, shaming him, disappointing him.

Of course, Rodriguez’s ban will far exceed 50 games; he could potentially join Pete Rose and the 1919 Chicago Black Sox in the pantheon of disgraced players confined to the sideline for life. This’ll only happen if A-Rod blatantly refuses to accept a slimmer suspension, which reinforces Selig’s faux-tough-guy posturing. After allowing steroid use to run rampant for more than a decade of tainted seasons, only now is he taking a firm stance. He’s harping on the most tangential of connections to condemn a new generation of stars and claim that MLB was always this serious about cracking down.

The problem with Selig’s approach? They weren’t always serious, if ever. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were all linked to PEDs throughout their superlative baseball careers, yet never faced official reprimand from the league itself. Their punishment was limited to the court of public opinion and withering tut-tuts from scorned baseball writers – largely, the same writers that elevated the sluggers to deity status at the height of their powers.

Barry Bonds currently holds baseball's all-time record for career home runs.

Barry Bonds currently holds baseball’s all-time record for career home runs.

Selig, for his part, petulantly stayed away from the ballpark during Bonds’ record home run chase in August 2007, expressing baseball’s disappointment but simultaneously failing to enforce it. Now, he’s taking it out on MLB’s current miscreants – players that have erred or purposely wronged the game, but to nowhere near the same extent of their predecessors. Braun and Bonds will be subject to the same post-career criticism, but only one will actually feel the brunt during their playing days.

The reverberations of MLB’s ceaseless steroid saga are poignant across the board, from Coral Gables to Milwaukee to New York – but they’ll be felt most significantly at Cooperstown, site of a baseball Hall of Fame that’s atrophied to the point where not a single living player was elected this year. That’s the consequence and the legacy of the Steroid Era, driven by the power of Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Braun and Rodriguez – all celebrated, loudly and temporarily, and all shafted later on, loudly and permanently.

The first part of the Hall of Fame’s six-word motto reads, “Preserving History” –except, the implication goes, that disappointing period of history that MLB is suddenly so willful to extend. Such is life, apparently, under Bud Selig.

A Partnership for Prevention

July 30, 2013 10:30 am
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The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and Brampton Civic Hospital partner to explore preventative and integrative models in Canada.

Health care is the Ontario government’s single biggest spending program. In 2010-2011, the province spent $44.77 billion on health, 40.3 per cent of its total spending on programs. With an aging population, this number is bound to increase unless we start to make some significant changes in how we deliver health care in Ontario. We need to start switching our focus to prevention.  If we can prevent chronic diseases before they occur, we can take a significant burden off the health-care system. The question is how do we modify our current system to try and incorporate more prevention. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Brampton Civic Hospital have partnered to try to make this happen.

The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) has established a teaching clinic at the Brampton Civic Hospital. This is the first naturopathic teaching hospital established in a hospital setting. The opening reflects the public’s growing interest in integrative and preventative health care.

The Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) reports higher rates of obesity than the provincial average, with almost one in five youths in the LHIN reported as overweight or obese. The percentage of type 2 diabetes in this LHIN is also higher than the provincial average.

Heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity are heavily influenced by lifestyle choices. Naturopathic medicine can help respond to these health concerns. With a naturopathic doctor’s strength in nutrition, lifestyle and supplement recommendations, there is great potential for success in reducing the burden of chronic disease.

Bob Bernhardt, PhD, CCNM President and CEO, has made a commitment to research at this facility. Based upon past research studies, he is confident that he will be able to show a significant improvement in health outcomes and sustainable cost savings.

The naturopathic services provided at Brampton Civic Hospital are being provided at no cost to the patient.   This project is being underwritten by the College and its partners as community outreach. This project will not only be a great learning opportunity for the naturopathic students, but also an invaluable learning opportunity for the province. Being able to interact directly with other health-care providers at the hospital has allowed for better understanding and has demystified many of the misconceptions that may exist with complementary care.

The clinic has been open since January, 2013 and has received very positive feedback. Clinic students have seen conditions from fatigue and anxiety to type 2 diabetes and arthritis. It will be interesting to see  where this clinic will go and whether it can provide a model to not only decrease costs, but also to optimize patient care.

About the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) is Canada’s premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine. CCNM offers a rigorous four-year, full-time doctor of naturopathic medicine program. The College educates, develops and trains naturopathic doctors through excellence in health education, clinical services and research that integrate mind, body and spirit.

In Ontario, naturopathic doctors (NDs) are regulated health-care practitioners. Currently, the profession is transitioning to new regulation within the Regulated Health Professions Act. Visits to naturopathic doctors are typically half an hour or more in length, and involve standard medical diagnostic assessments as well as a range of therapies including lifestyle counselling, nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture/Asian medicine, homeopathic medicine, and hydrotherapy/massage.

For further info, contact: Catherine Kenwell, Director, Marketing and Communications, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine ckenwell@ccnm.edu, 416-498-1255 ext: 243

 

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