Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Get In The Sleeping Spirit

⛄ For many, the holiday season is packed with all sorts of excitement. But it's also full of things that can throw a wrench in your sleep schedule—and by the time the New Year rolls around, you can find yourself dealing with a serious case of post-holiday exhaustion! 🥱


All of those rich, decadent foods can make it harder to fall asleep after your big holiday meal. Luckily, you don’t have to forgo your holiday favourites completely in order to get a good night’s sleep; you just have to change the way you consume those foods. Try not to eat to the point of feeling excessively full.  Avoid foods that tend to cause you stomach pain, gas, or indigestion.

When you eat is also important. Eating your holiday meal early gives your body time to digest—so that by the time you’re ready to go to sleep, your body isn’t still trying to process the food you enjoyed earlier. 🍗🥧


Alcoholic beverages may make you feel sleepy, and may even get you to sleep faster or earlier than it normally would, but alcohol gravely disrupts your sleep cycles to where you are actually getting mostly light sleep during the night—and you may not even be entering deep sleep or REM sleep [at all]. 💤

If you don’t want your holiday cocktails to mess with your sleep, try to limit the number of drinks you enjoy during the evening hours, and plan to stop drinking well before you go to bed. 🛌 Do your best to limit excessive alcohol consumption at night—and try not to consume any alcohol at least two hours before bedtime. 🕛


If you’re one of the people that finds the holidays far more stressful than relaxing, it’s important that you find ways to manage your stress.

While the best way to manage stress will vary from person to person, some recommended strategies to help manage your stress for better sleep this holiday season include:

▶ Avoiding stimulants, like caffeine, throughout the day ☕

▶ Exercise, which reduces cortisol and releases stress-fighting endorphins 🎽

▶ Meditation and/or deep breathing exercises—especially before bed 🧘‍♀️

#holidays #sleep #eating #drinking #stress #wellness #wecanhelp #wilmot

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Stay Standing This Winter!

Happy First Day of Winter!

Check out these tips to prevent slip-ups.

Falling on ice can leave you red-faced with embarrassment, or far more seriously, hurt badly from taking a knee to the ice or falling awkwardly on icy snow. Slippery sidewalks, driveways and icy parking lots can be risk factors for falls in winter. Avoid a bad fall with these top tips!

Walk like a penguin

The penguin waddle helps you keep a centre of gravity over the front leg as you step, instead of split between the legs. Short strides also help keep your centre of gravity, which helps avoid falls. When walking, extend your arms out from your sides to increase your centre of gravity. Don’t keep your hands in your pockets!  Walk slowly, with short strides and try to land your steps with a flat foot.

Keep walkways clear

Shovel snow and scrape ice as soon as possible. Liberally sprinkle ice melt product or sand onto walkways to provide foot traction and to make sure surfaces don’t turn to ice. This not only protects you and your family, but also postal carriers and others when they’re walking around your property. Where possible install or use handrails for extra support.

Take all precautions

Be extra cautious walking after a storm. Tap your foot on potentially icy areas to see if it is slippery. Hold a railing while walking on icy steps. Stay steady by wearing proper winter footwear. Lightweight boots with a thick, non-slip tread sole will provide good traction on ice. If a sidewalk is icy down the middle, walk on the snow beside it to avoid slips.

Lighten your load

Carry fewer bags on snowy days, since excess baggage can throw off your balance and make it tougher to regain your balance once you lose it. Keep your hands free by putting away your phone while walking – you may need to catch yourself!

Boost balance with exercise

You can’t control the weather, but you can improve your balance through regular exercise. Exercise is an ideal way to help you stay safely on your feet because it helps improve balance, flexibility and strength. Talk to a chiropractor about ways to improve your balance and strength in order to prevent falls.

Visit your chiropractor

Don’t let a fall get you down. If you do take a tumble, visit your chiropractor. They’ll get you back to doing the things you love to do and will work with the rest of your care team to help prevent future falls.

#winter #staysafe #december

Monday, December 6, 2021

How To Make Exercise A Regular Habit

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

The Christmas season is upon us and this means that New Year's resolutions are not far behind.  Starting an exercise program will likely be on many people’s resolution lists, and for good reason.  Regular exercise has long been identified as an essential element of good health.  Despite this fact, many struggle to make exercise a regular habit.  Below are some helpful tips that can help individuals stick with an exercise program.

Make Exercise Convenient:  Incorporating regular exercise into a busy life necessitates some planning and sacrifice so it becomes a priority.  This may require scheduling exercise into everyday routines and/or making regular exercise as convenient as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood that it remains a priority.  Exercise does not need to be time consuming.  Regular bouts of exercise for as little as 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on health.

Make Exercise Safe:  An exercise that may be considered safe for one individual may not be safe for another due to age, physical limitations, and other health concerns.  If you are not sure where to start, consult with an experienced individual such as a personal trainer or health care provider who can assist in choosing activities that are appropriate for you.  If you have been inactive for a period of time, gradually ease into activity and take it slow.

Make Exercise Fun: 
Individuals should choose a range of exercise activities that they enjoy.  Performing these activities with a workout buddy, friend, or family member also results in the exercise being more satisfying.  Those individuals who choose fitness and recreational activities they enjoy are more likely to be consistent with those activities.  Having another individual to share this with also increases the likelihood that you will continue with the exercise activity.

Make Exercise Feel Good:  Not only does exercise make you physically stronger; it also has the benefits of releasing excess tension, building self-esteem, and stimulating the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals called endorphins.  Although there may be some initial physical discomfort when beginning a new exercise program, this may be your body’s normal response when starting a new activity and should not last more than one to two weeks.  If discomfort or pain persists beyond this point, seek advice from a knowledgeable individual to make sure the exercise you are performing is appropriate and being done correctly.

Make Exercise Practical:  Individuals beginning an exercise program need to have realistic expectations about the amount of time they can invest, the activities they will enjoy engaging in, and the physical and psychological benefits they expect to experience.

Regular exercise leads to tremendous health benefits that can be initiated by individuals of any age or shape.  Hopefully we have inspired you to invest in the health of your future.  From all of us at the New Hamburg Wellness Centre, good luck and Season's Greetings!

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Common Back Pain Myths

By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

80% of all Canadians will suffer from at least one significant episode of back pain in their lives.  Below are some of the common myths surrounding back pain and what modern science has to say about them.

Myth 1:  If you’ve injured a disc (i.e., herniation, rupture), you must have surgery.

Truth:  Surgery to relieve back pain should only be used as a last resort.  Even if specific testing reveals a damaged disc, recovery often results without surgery.  An injured disc in the back may become inflamed and put pressure on nerves and surrounding pain sensitive structures.  Non-surgical treatment aims at minimizing pain and discomfort from joint irritation and muscle spasm, and prescribing specific exercises to help with recovery.

Myth 2:  Most back pain is caused by injuries or heavy lifting.

Truth:  Injuries caused by heavy lifting do not account for all back pain.  In up to 85% of cases,
individuals can’t recall a specific incident that brought on their back pain.  Back pain can result from a single exposure to a bending or twisting incident, or it can be caused by small cumulative loads placed on the spine over time.  Scientific research also links the following risk factors to back pain: smoking, being overweight, poor posture, poor physical fitness, and stressful life events.

Myth 3:  X-ray images, CT and MRI scans can always identify the cause of pain.

Truth:  Even the best imaging tests cannot identify a muscle spasm or ligament sprain that may be the cause of pain.  Imaging is usually reserved for special cases such as those suffering trauma in a fall or accident, surgical candidates, unresolved cases of severe chronic back pain, and suspicion of underlying tumor, infection or other serious disease.


Myth 4:  If your back hurts, you should take it easy until the pain goes away.  Bed rest is the mainstay of therapy.

Truth:  Clinical data indicates that individuals who remain active do better than those who try bed rest.  Remaining active means continuing with daily activities as tolerated and easing back into a regular routine.  Activities may have to be modified while recovery occurs, but movement is important for recovery provided it does not put the individual at risk for further injury.

Myth 5:  Diagnosing back pain is simple and straightforward.

Truth:  The causes of back pain can be complex and difficult to diagnose.  There are many biological tissues that can generate pain in the back.  These may include muscles, ligaments, bones, nerves, and joints.  Quite often it is a combination of several or all of these structures that can manifest into back pain, and potentially radiating pain into the buttock or leg regions.  Sometimes stress and depression can also contribute to back pain.  A licensed health practitioner who deals with back pain is best trained to diagnose the source(s) of your problem and prescribe appropriate therapy when required.  For more information, visit


This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Pregnancy And Chiropractic Care

Is Chiropractic Care safe during Pregnancy? YES – and it is encouraged. ☑

Just because low back pain is common during pregnancy it does NOT mean it is normal! Chiropractors are adequately trained to handle the needs of pregnancy and post-partum healing. 🤰
Dr. Melissa Hamilton has extended training in pregnancy and post-partum care – she is an ambassador for GrowCo Pregnancy and Postpartum Rehab, with the goal of raising the standard of care for all moms. 🤱
What are the benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy?
▶ Less back labour
▶ Shorter labour times
▶ Pelvic alignment and balance
▶ Less back pain
▶ Reduced need for pain medication
▶ More comfort while breastfeeding
Chiropractic care can help! Consult with Dr. Melissa Hamilton to receive personalized advice and treatment. 👍

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Arthritis? Chiropractors can help

This blog is brought to you by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors, in partnership with the Arthritis Society. Cindy Stephen is a 61-year-old Calgarian, professional communicator, mother of six and grandmother of seven. Below is her experience as someone who suffers from arthritis and uses chiropractic treatments to help alleviate the symptoms.

Many people my age have arthritis in a variety of joints.

Folks over 60 who have led active lives find themselves with arthritis of the knee or hips, maybe a
touch in the joint of the thumb or in the ankles. Professional athletes are prone to arthritis in their shoulders and elbows from years of repetitive motion activities like shooting pucks, throwing balls or taking hits from other players.

The arthritis I suffer from, in the back of my neck and lower spine, came from decades of sitting at a desk job, bad posture and giving birth to six children. My issues with pain began in my mid-30s; by the time I was in my late 40s it was difficult to get out of a chair or car. By my mid-50s I began to experience pain in my legs and walking up stairs was difficult. At that point, I consulted with a chiropractor. It was he who not only found the arthritis through an X-ray but was able to explain all the muscle and ligament dysfunction that caused it in the first place.

There are over 100 types of arthritis.

Two you may have heard of are Osteoarthritis (OA) which is a degenerative, wear-and-tear type of arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) which is inflammatory; an auto-immune response which can affect people of any age. I have OA, and the good news is that with proper treatment and management many types of OA can be prevented.

When I was 20, I had a boyfriend who pulled a chair out from under me as I was sitting down to dinner at a fancy restaurant. I landed hard on my rear end. (He landed hard on his when I dumped him the next day).

I suffered pain in my tail bone for years afterward. Doctors took X-rays and saw no break, yet I had pain in my backside for years afterward, especially during each pregnancy. What no one was able to detect was that the true injury was to the ligaments around the sacroiliac joint, which were stretched because of the fall.

Loose ligaments combined with prolonged sitting, poor posture, the aging process and inactivity meant the muscles surrounding the joint in my lower back weren’t doing their job of holding my body in position. Or, as my chiropractor says, “ligamentous laxity which allows painful abnormal motion”. Despite the damage occurring in the lower back, my hips were out of place which created more pain and stiffness while walking.

Flash forward 40 years later:

My chiropractor detected the arthritis in my spine. It might have been prevented if the true damage from my fall had been discovered, if I had practised better posture while sitting at my desk or in front of the television and if I had maintained a consistent exercise program and kept active.

Today, I visit the chiropractor twice a month for regular adjustments. He says my ligaments can be repaired through surgery if it gets to that point, in consultation with my family physician, but with exercise the muscles in my back can be strengthened to better support my spine, and daily walking will assist with the muscles in my hips and upper legs.

My chiropractor also uses Active Release Therapy on the muscles around my lower back and hips which have been impacted by poor ligament structure.

My OA isn’t reversible at this point but chiropractic helps.

I’m able to slow the progression of the disease by keeping up in my chiropractic appointments and following his advice to keep active. It assists with reducing pain, because my chiropractor aligns my spine which decreases the stress that aggravates the pain generated by the arthritic joints.

When the spine isn’t aligned properly, there’s increased stress. When everything is in alignment, the stress is reduced and there is less pressure on the joints.

One of the biggest benefits for me of chiropractic care is the increased range of motion I experience. OA is uncomfortable – I’ve had years of stiffness which I attributed to growing older, not with how my body was functioning mechanically.

As you age, degeneration of your joints can begin silently and your body can begin to compensate for it slowly until suddenly, the pain creeps up on you.

Chiropractic care won’t stop you from getting older, but it can certainly help you from feeling old!

If it hurts, see a chiropractor.

Chiropractors are educated to assess, diagnose, treat and prevent problems of the spine and muscloskeletal (MSK) system (joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves).

While there is no cure for arthritis, chiropractors can help manage the chronic pain associated with the condition, as well as work to restore and maximize the function of an arthritic joint. The goal is to help arthritis pain sufferers improve their overall health and well-being so that they may return to the activities they enjoy.

Consult with your chiropractor.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Tips To Rake Without The Ache

Many of you have probably experienced pain or discomfort after a long day of raking leaves and 
bending over to pack them into bags. 🍂

It can be a very strenuous activity and can put a lot of stress on your back. However, it’s a task that cannot be ignored. 😒

When you do start raking those leaves, be mindful of your back. ⚠

👉 Take frequent breaks and do gentle stretches

👉 If you feel a sharp pain in your back, stop for the day

👉 Make sure you warm-up before you begin

👉 When lifting bags of leaves make sure you are lifting correctly keeping a neutral spine and carry smaller, manageable loads

If you are experiencing any discomfort, contact our office to see one of our experienced team members. ✅

📞 519-662-4441



#raking #leaves #fall #backpain #yardwork #spinehealth #stretch #chiropracticcare #newhamburgchiropractor #physiotherapy #massagetherapy #wecanhelp #newpatientswelcome #awardwinningteam #wilmot #newhamburg #baden #tavistock #wellesley #waterlooregion


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Time To Re-set Your Diet After Thanksgiving

With so many indulgences in such a short amount of time, it's easy to overdo it over the holidays. 🍽

Still, there’s no reason to panic. Own your indulgence. Hit restart. ⌚
Here are some expert tips to get your health and wellness plan back on track.
Don't Beat Yourself Up 😟
While it's important to reflect on how certain foods make you feel so you can go on to make healthier choices, you should never dwell on negative feelings. Instead, look to the day as a new beginning and a new chance to lay the groundwork with a post-holiday plan.
Drink Plenty of Water 💧
Not only will filling up on water help you digest all the extra food you ate, but it will help boost your energy and feel better. Drink plenty of water as soon as you can and keep drinking it throughout the day. If you are feeling some indigestion, you may also want to sip on some unsweetened ginger tea. 🍵
Start Your Day With Exercise 🏃‍♀️
Get a workout in early in the day to feel better and use up those extra calories you ingested the day before. You shouldn't use exercise to punish yourself; rather, see it as a way to boost your mood and energy.
Go Back to Eating Healthy 🥦
You may be tempted to restrict your calories the next day to make up for everything you ate the day before, but that will just leave you feeling unsatisfied and may trigger more overindulgence. Go back to eating healthy right away and load up on fruit and veggies. 🍎
Be Creative With Your Leftovers 🥗
Eat your leftover turkey breast on top of a salad or paired with some steamed green beans and brown rice. Just skip the leftover mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. 🍗