Summer is officially over. There: I said it. I’m not happy about it because I don’t feel like there were enough beach days or time to enjoy all the things that make summer awesome here in BC; however, instead of wallowing in my sadness I’m taking steps to ensure this is my best fall yet: both inside and out!
As you may or may not know, typically I’d be playing Ultimate Frisbee 2-3 times per week, plus running, yoga and hiking. After all, the 10km Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Monday can’t be run without training. After being diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis in February, my activity levels have dropped significantly as I work towards regaining my strength, stamina and energy. Instead of pushing my body to the point of exhaustion the way I normally would, and I know many of you also do, I’ve had to take a step back and re-evaluate what’s working and what’s not in order to continue doing the things I love and to regain my highest level of wellness.
It breaks my heart but I’m taking a short, seasonal break from Ultimate. Instead, I’m seeing a personal trainer who specializes in sports rehabilitation due to illness or injury in order to come back strong for the winter turf season in January (it’s the best season to play!!!). I’ve also been doing long, moderate hikes and am currently planning a hike to replace the Turkey Trot I would normally do. I LOVE getting out into the trees and mountains for as long as the sun will shine on me! Add with the amazing views, the escape from the city, plus the company of close friends, my day is made and my heart is joyous! I’ve also been focusing on proper nutrition, aiming to cut out refined sugar as much as possible, adding in green juice where I can and making proper meals.
In terms of health practitioners and treatments, I regularly see an Osteopathic Practitioner to keep my body aligned and balanced, and a Naturopath for acupuncture and supplementation to help keep my iron levels up due to chronic anemia, as well as inflammation levels down due to the colitis. I also go for regular counselling in order to reconnect to my self. On my own, I journal: journaling allows me to clear my mind, express my emotions and stay in touch with my spiritual and emotional self. It puts life in perspective and allows me to see where I’m at on a non-physical level at that moment. Plus, I meditate almost daily in order to decrease my stress levels, boost my immune system, and gain that inner sense of quiet and overall peace that you just can’t get from anywhere else in the same way.
As you can see, this is a mind AND body approach to health. The two are eternally connected and it doesn’t make sense to work on one without the other. I find a lot of people are pretty good at making sure they stay active year round, especially here on the West Coast; however, unlike in Central and Eastern Canada I’ve discovered people in Vancouver aren’t so great at making sure their body is tuned up regularly. And that’s where Osteopathy can help!
Your body is the only vehicle you have to transport you through this life. Working out regularly is great but it still needs maintenance in order to continue functioning at an optimal level. Cars need to be filled with gas, as well as have regular oil changes and maintenance in order to keep driving. Your body is no different.
Osteopathy helps the body by releasing tension of the muscles and soft tissues of the body, allowing the joints to move freely and recover from injury. In cases of misalignment of the bones, small adjustments are made to relieve pain and increase mobility. Cranial-sacral work helps to calm the nervous system, allowing for a deep sense of physical relaxation, in addition to bringing a deep sense of emotional calm to your system. In conjunction with visceral manipulation, which releases tension of the ligaments suspending your organs from your ribcage and spine, ensuring they are properly aligned for optimum function, these two aspects of Osteopathy can help strengthen your immune system and speed up the recovery when you do become sick.
Once you put the whole osteopathic treatment together, your body will be able to start moving, and operating, like the mean machine it was meant to be because it will now be balanced, free of unnecessary tension and able to help you express your joy! If you want to maximize what you’re able to do this Fall, and beyond, combine this form of manual therapy with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and the help of your other healthcare practitioners. We’re here to help so don’t do it alone!
Have a great fall,
Candace Kakowchyk, B.A.Hons, D.O.M.P., D.Sc.O