Chiropractic is one of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Saskatchewan. It is a non-invasive, hands-on health care profession that functions to diagnose, treat & help prevent disorders & conditions related to the spine, nervous system, and musculoskeletal system.
Doctors of Chiropractic use a combination of treatments which are determined by the needs of the individual patient. After taking a history, performing a physical examination and rendering a diagnosis, the chiropractor will develop a comprehensive treatment plan and recommend any beneficial rehabilitative exercises and/or stretching. Further, they may provide nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling if warranted.
A chiropractor will not prescribe drugs, but in certain circumstances they may refer to a medical specialist for such treatment.
Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that entails stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions. Acupuncture is used to treat many different diseases, disorders and pain conditions. Common ailments that respond well to acupuncture include: muscle strain, tendinitis, arthritis, headaches, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Registered Massage Therapy
Massage is one of the older methods of healing. Massage therapy refers to a comprehensive health management strategy focusing on the application of various techniques to positively affect the soft tissues and joints of the body. Massage techniques most commonly include pressure and compression, kneading, friction, and mobilizing to improve the health and condition of the muscles, tendons, skin, fascia or connective tissue of the body.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy, also known as, PHOTOBIOMODULATION THERAPY (PBM) or Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is the application of low power coherant light over injuries or lesions to stimulate healing. The laser reduces inflammation, aids in wound and soft tissue healing, and gives pain relief to both acute and chronic pain. Application is pain free with no heating effect, unlike surgical lasers. Although cold laser therapy is commonly used for soft tissue injuries, joint conditions, neuropathic pain and pressure ulcers, it also treats a wide variety of injury and disease.
Hot Stone Massage
Hots stone massage therapy is a form of massage that incorporates smooth hot rocks into the massage. The therapists utilizes various size, form and weights of warmed, smooth, flattish stones to apply the pressure during the massage. The pre-warmed stones are also placed on key points of the body to stimulate the circulatory system. The stones are used to warm, soften and relax tight, aching muscles; while promoting an extraordinary feeling of relaxation and contentment. Often, rocks made of smooth volcanic Basalt are used because of their high iron content and ability to retain heat.
A specific massage administered to an expecting mother through the many changes of the pregnant body. Massage can be a highly effective part of prenatal health, helping many women through the transition of trimesters.
Cupping Massage brings together the daily massage therapy practice with the ancient art of cupping. Incorporating plastic cups to create suction, pulling muscle and facial tissue away from the body to increase release. Cupping is basically like a reverse massage, in that with a massage you are pushing the skin around, whereas, with cupping, you are pulling the skin up. The suction that the cups create increases blood flow to that particular region, which can loosen your muscles, relieve muscle tension, and can help reduce inflammation.
Acupunture - Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of ultra-fine needles* into specific locations on the body. These precise points have both individual and collective functions that, when stimulated, activate the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS then causes biochemical changes that trigger the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This, in turn, leads to emotional and physical well-being by boosting immunity, reducing pain, and warding off factors that cause pre-mature aging (1).
Acupuncture is recognized as an effective treatment for a variety of health issues by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who are also conducting and publishing peer reviewed studies on the practice’s effectiveness.
*Please note: ALL acupuncture needles that I use are hair-thin, pre-packaged, sterile, single use, and disposable. The needles are filiform, (solid/do not have a hollow centre) that therefore cannot ever inject any sort of product into your body.
Chinese Medicine & Services
As its name suggests, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated in China and dates back at least 3 thousand years. The founding fathers of TCM developed their theories and diagnostic abilities by observing nature, as well as the cycles of life. They surmised that all illness came from imbalances within the body, that health could be achieved by bringing the body back into balance (homeostasis), and that the body was capable of healing itself when given the correct stimulation. The various forms of treatment used by TCM practitioners to help the body regain homeostasis are: Acupuncture, Herbal Medicines, Cupping, Gua Sha, Moxibustion, Tuina, and more. While its popularity has never wavered in Asia, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized TCM as a valid practice for treating illness and requested that China begin training practitioners outside of China. Since then, TCM has been gaining traction all over the world as people realize the effectiveness of this “alternative” medicine. In Canada the first school of TCM opened its doors in 1985, and by 1988 Alberta began to legislate the practice. In 2008, British Columbia lead the way by considering acupuncture a “medical service” which allowed insurance companies to reimburse treatments. Now most insurance companies across Canada will cover acupuncture. National licensing exams (board exams) for Acupuncturists, TCM doctors and practitioners and Herbalists have been conducted since 2013 (2). Understandably, the practice of TCM still seems quite new to many Canadians, but rest assured, it is a practice that has stood the test of time.
- Herbal Medicine
Chinese Medicine is famous for its herbal formulas. While occasionally doctors of TCM may recommend a single herb, it is more likely they will recommend a specific combination of herbs, a formula, to treat an issue. Formulas can be custom made to suit very specific needs in a patient, or be premade in capsule/ pill form. While I’d eventually love to have full herbal pharmacy, right now I offer a selection of pre-made formulas in pill form. Should you require something more personalized, we can do a specific consult and order that formula in for you. Formulas are very reasonably priced.
Non-Needle Techniques/ Modalities
- Cupping and Gua Sha
Although both Cupping and Gua Sha have gained popularity due to celebrity and social media influencer use, these practices have been around even longer than acupuncture! Their uses go far beyond what is popular today, and while they may (or may not) trend downward at some point, their use in Chinese Medicine practice will always be valuable.
Cupping, used to be known as Horn Therapy, as the original “cups” were, in fact, the horns of animals! While there are five main types of cups used for this therapy today: bamboo, china, glass, plastic, and silicon, the later three are the primary ones used in Canada. No matter what type of cup is used, all cups have a method in which negative pressure is applied so that the cups suction to the patient’s skin. While the feeling can be mild, or intense, it shouldn’t be painful and the pressure can be altered for comfort.
There are many uses and styles of cupping. Cupping can be used to treat acute/ chronic tissue injury, lung problems (asthma, cough etc.), digestive issues, back pain, gynecological problems, and facial paralysis, just to name a few. During a treatment, cups can remain stationary, or be moved (like a reverse massage).
Gua Sha uses a tool to repeatedly scrape over the skin’s surface. “Gua” means “to scrape”. Sha means “like sand” or “toxin”. Interestingly, Gua Sha often causes petechiae (or “road rash”) on the surface of the skin. So, the term Gua Sha literally means “scraping to bring sand-like toxins to the surface”.
Scraping is done with a special tool; in my practice this is usually one made of jade or horn. The purpose of Gua Sha is actually to break the micro-capillaries in the skin, which is what causes the petechiae. This micro-trauma causes a rush of blood to the area. In turn, pain, stiffness, even a fever can be greatly reduced. Gua Sha can be done in a much gentler fashion on the face (no petechiae!) but it still causes an increased flow of blood which aids in muscle tone, lymphatic drainage, and leaves tissues revitalized.
Moxibustion (moxa) is the burning of Ai Ye (mugwort), above the skin. There are many ways that this can be done, but for the comfort of both patients and co-workers, I only use smokeless/scentless moxa. This form of moxa comes in a compressed stick and looks like a black cigar. Once lit, the moxa stick is
held over areas of the body that need treatment. It is deeply warming and is a fantastic tool in treating illness due to “cold”, uterine/ fertility issues, digestive problems, and aids in longevity.
- Ear Seeds:
The ear has many acupuncture points that can affect the whole body. Ear Seeds can be an actual seed, or a seed-sized metal ball, on a piece of tape that is placed onto specific points in the ear. These seeds are left in the ear for 3 days to 1 week and are meant to be gently massaged a few times a day. This acts as acupressure and essentially is a “take-home” treatment that can boost the effects of the in-person needle treatment just received.
Tuina is a type of massage used in TCM to treat muscular skeletal disorders, internal organ disease, and is also used in facial rejuvenation. Traditionally (and currently in China), tuina is also a manipulative practice which can be used for adjustments/ alignments, though this style is not within a TCM practitioner’s scope of practice here in Canada. I mostly practice Tuina for facial rejuvenation and may incorporate it for headache issues as well.
Smoking Cessation (Currently Unavailable - Technician on Maternity Leave)
Our smoking cessation is the application of red and infrared light to acupuncture points on the nose, ears, and hands. The treatment allows people to detox quickly from the side effects of quitting smoking. This three day program is a very helpful step for many smokers to quickly becoming a non-smoker.