Safe lifting techniques

So this week I was at a retail store where they were gearing up to do inventory.  They asked me to come in to review safe lifting techniques – which by the way is a great idea.  Although many people have been taught this along the way it is always good to review.  And I find that the more people you get information from the more you remember and you tend to learn a different little tip from each source.

So I thought it may be a good idea to review.  Just this week I have had a patient move homes, another continue to pack and go through things to move homes, patients travelling, and patients who work in retail or warehouses who lift regularly.  Also there are the rest of us who continually lift and carry throughout our days: small children, bags and boxes for work, groceries, hockey bags you name it and we lift it. (does the question ‘hey doc why does my back hurt?’ seem a bit more clear cut now?  Ya life is full of busy and we are hard on our bodies… this stuff is cumulative and one day when you bend over the bathroom sink to brush your teeth you can’t stand back up.  Toothbrush too heavy? Nope. Just all of that catching up with you and the bending in the morning was the straw (or toothbrush) that broke the camel’s back so to speak).  Ok so lets do our best to protect the camels shall we?  (the camel is you in case you were confused).

Lifting tips and rules to live by:

Before you lift anything brace your stomach muscles (see Brace2 video link below)


Bend at the knees not at the back

Keep the load as close to your body as possible

take breaks

share heavy or awkward loads with a partner

Do not twist while lifting

Here is a helpful poster I found on line:

Also for smaller items try the golfer’s lift – see video link below !

Golfers lift

Steak and Spinach Spicy Salad (Keto)

Stumbled upon this combo this week because it was what I had in the fridge.  Actually I way over cooked three steaks and Ryan wouldn’t eat them.  I hate wasting food so I found another way – this became my lunch all week and I looked forward to it each day. You can also do it with perfectly good medium rare steak left overs…. my steak was well done eye of round that was pre-seasoned on the outside with a peppercorn mix from the store.  I upped the anty with red pepper infused olive oil and sriracha mayo… Me likes it hot.

Ok, you can tone it down but I loved it.

I even made my own dressing (it was really simplified because who has time…)

If you like spicy follow my recipe otherwise tone it down a bit.  I ended up eating a whole box of baby spinach this week. Yay for iron and calcium intake not to mention folic acid.

Spinach Salad:

As much baby spinach that will fill you up for lunch

half a well done steak cut in small chunks

Cucumber cut in quarters

half an avocado scooped out and chunked

sriracha mayonnaise to taste

top with coconut smiles (I got these at Costco and they are way addictive)



1 tablespoon red pepper infused olive oil

a splash of apple cider vinegar


Sore throats and head colds – something you can do to help yourself

Ok, so you know the chicken soup, lots of fluids, vitamin C thing but here is a  technique you can do at home to help your own sore throat and cold symptoms.  It’s not magic, just simple physical manual medicine and works by helping your lymphatic system drain.

Hold up. What the hell is they lymphatic system?

“The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and an important part of the immune system, comprising a network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph (from Latin, lympha meaning “water”[1]) directionally towards the heart.”

(Thanks Wikipedia!)

Ok so these lymptatic thingies (vessels and nodes) can get backed up if there is an excess of fluid – like when you are fighting a cold.  It gets all congested with fluid, dead white blood cells and dead bacteria/virus corpses and then the fluid slows down and gets literally backed up like Highway 400 Northbound at 4:30 pm on a Friday of a summer long weekend. Ain’t nobody going nowhere fast.

You have a ton of these vessels and nodes in and around your head, face and neck and if you can get them to drain just a bit your sore throat can go away or get better.  Below is a chart of the head and neck lymphatic chains so you get an idea where they are:

There is a simple soft tissue technique you can do for this that will be posted on my clinic fb page under videos.  I do this to help patients all the time with their symptoms and it works great.  basically you gently stroke the areas of the lymphatic vessels from top to bottom to encourage them to drain. Don’t push too hard and rub your skin raw and like with anything else you read here check with your health care provider first as there are some contraindications to this.  Or come on in to see me and I can let you know if it is safe for you.

Here is a link to my fb clinic page to check out the video – when I figure it out I shall also post it here.  Hope this helped!

I figured out how to add it here but have no idea why it is sideways – if I can fix it I will if not sorry!!! turn your screen 🙂  Click on the link below to view my sideways video:

sore throat

Home made Chocolate (Keto)

Yes, Keto Chocolate is possible.  Even recommended to get your fats in a really yummy way.  This recipe was given to me by a friend who did not want credit because it was given to her.  So thank you who ever made this one up!

I will be using this thing for molding the chocolate – I got it on Amazon for under $20 but you can do make it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and break it up afterwards.

Try adding fresh berries (blue or rasp) or nuts (not in my house – allergies) or coconut for added interest.  You can even at chilies or curry if you want to get fancy.  There are also some cooking and food grade essential oils you can get from Young Living now you can add to it – They make a chocolate that has some oils in it that are amazing I bet I will try to replicate at some point. The possibilities are endless… And I shall try them ALL I tell you!!!


1 cup cocoa butter

2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp vanilla

Note: you can half the honey and add 5-10 drops of stevia to decrease the sugar for Keto – I bought these chocolate flavoured stevia drops.

Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler and remove from heat as soon as melted – whisk in honey till smooth and add vanilla and stevia if you are using it. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Pour into molds or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with toppings or sink in fruit if in molds.  Place in freezer or fridge to harden and store in the fridge.

Easy peasy!


Sore Achy Knees – And What you can do about it

So do you or someone you know have sore aching knees?  There are tons of potential knee problems out there and obviously I cant diagnose them over a blog – nor should you try to diagnose yourself by reading one!


If this sounds familiar – intermittent or constant aching pain in the front or sides of the knees that came on for no apparent reason (no injury you can remember), pain on going up or down stairs or with prolonged sitting, nothing seems to help, the doctor can’t really find anything wrong even after imaging (Ultrasound, MRI or CT scan), you tried physio and strengthening exercises and it didn’t really help, you tried arthroscopic surgery and it didn’t help…. this post is for you.

If you have a combo of these symptoms or even if you have one of these symptoms you may have irritation to the coronary ligaments of the knee and fascial scar tissue.

Ok bringing that back a little bit – the coronary ligaments are little forgotten about thingies that hold the menisci (much more popular with orthopaedic surgeons and surgery) on to the tibia (lower leg bone). I wrote a paper about these once – it got published – you can Google it if you feel like it.  These suckers are pretty good little pain generators and all they want is a tiny little bit of attention and they will settle down.

Additionally if you have ever injured your knee (or anything anywhere) you will have scar tissue.  Just a fact of life.  Ok, so fascia. What the hell is that?  …. did you ever skin a chicken?  when you peel the skin off of the muscle do you remember seeing that little saran-wrap-like layer? That’s fascia. When I went to school eons ago we didn’t really even learn about it much – they didn’t think that it did much of anything then. Boy were we wrong.  Now it seems the fascia is an important part of our anatomy allowing muscles and bones to slide past each other easily and it even has contractile properties and moves a bit on its own. It is also a good pain generator because as soon as you get an injury there is bleeding and swelling and mess in the area and which causes fascia to stick to itself (kinda like saran wrap).  That is scar tissue and it can cause an altered movement to the surrounding area and a strange pull on the tissue – which in turn cause pain.

Ok, so that is what is going on in your knee maybe… what do we do?  Luckily with deep tissue work, instrument assisted fascial massage and adjustments to the knee, foot and hip these things are actually manageable.  Even if you have had this problem for years.

I have seen patients with this problem go back to playing tennis or skiing after getting themselves treated even if they haven’t gone and done these sports for a long time (years).  I have had patients carried in to the office or come in on crutches that could walk out after treatment – all because of these amazing little pain generators – because the great thing about them is that they just want a tiny little bit of attention and then a lot of the time they quiet down again…. call me if you have any questions!

My Mother’s Bone Broth Soup Recipe

This is a recipe from the old country I thought was my Grandmother’s – and it was originally, but my Mom (at my Dad’s prompting) modified it to make it even better.

Penny Hounsome (trainer extrodinare and wellness coach)  were talking about this on a Facebook Live post this week so this one is for you Penny!

Some of the benefits touted of bone broth soup are as follows (from Google): Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and therefore support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. Collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal these openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity.

This soup came about because nothing NOTHHING used to be wasted and sometimes food was scarce especially after the WWII in Europe.  Now bone broth soup is all the rage for it’s health benefits.  I have made it for years with people exclaiming “yuck” (if they weren’t of European or Asian descent and were used to these things).  I make it because it reminds me of childhood and is delicious.  It’s actually Healthy and Keto friendly too? SWEET.

It’s actually really easy.  Throw all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil then let simmer for 2-3 hours- perfect for a rainy or snowy Sunday afternoon.  The marrow amazingly can be spread on rye toast with a bit of salt (please someone point me to a keto bread before I make this again!) – we fought over this part as children.



4-5 beef bones (cut) – they have these at most grocery stores – ask the butcher/meat counter

1 package of chicken giblets

Liquid Chicken Broth


Salt to taste

1-2  carrots peeled but whole

1 onion quartered


That’s it really – toss it all in a pot and make sure the liquid covers all of the meat and bones with a bit of room at the top (say an inch or two – this is an old country recipe which means there is no recipe really so I’m guessing)


When you serve the soup you can serve the giblets in it (I love them – another item we kids fought over – look up giblets and make sure it doesn’t gross you out – perfectly healthy to eat just some of our non old country sensibilities may be offended).  The soup bones can be fished out and the marrow plopped on toast, spread and salted… super yummy.  AAAANnd you can eat the ‘chewy stuff’ off of the outside of the bones – this grossed my mother out entirely but again fought over by kids and dad this time…

I hope you like it ! I will add a picture when I make it next!


I didn’t know I had ribs there!?!

So did you ever wake up in the morning and have trouble turning your neck one way and/or have pain right under your shoulder blade?

So that is what I like to call ‘rib pain’

Yes you have ribs there.

The rib cage is literally a cage that surrounds your heart and lungs.  The go from your clavicle or collar bone all the way to the top of your abdomen where you can feel them at the front of you.  They are in the front AND the back of you as pictured below.

Ok, so now that we have had a small anatomy lesson – why on earth does my rib hurt?

It doesn’t exactly.  Here is what happens: The ribs are supposed to swing up and down like a bucket handle gently with every breath. Up with breathing in and down with breathing out. For a number of reasons (lifting, sleeping funny, sitting, reaching driving, just merely existing…) one of your ribs can stop doing this and create irritation in the surrounding muscles, nerves, joints etc.

This tends to cause pain. It can be excruciating in the region of your shoulder blade and may make you want to lean against a door frame to put pressure on the area.  I have seen people with pain all the way down one arm or numbness and tingling in the arm, shoulder or flank, neck pain, headaches, jaw pain… all sorts of issues.

So what can you do about it? Well unfortunately not too much… it may go away on its own (but don’t count on it – I have seen people with this pain that has persisted 6 or more years before they came to see me). You can try lying on a stress ball or getting someone to massage it.  Generally though it will likely come back or only give you temporary relief until you get a chiropractic adjustment.

So there you have it. It is fixable.  I tend to do lots of muscle work surrounding the area and then do some adjustments, apply essential oils and sometimes kinesiotape.  We also give strengthening exercises and talk about desk ergonomics if needed to help make sure the problem doesn’t come back.

If you have this, or someone you know does, please come in and have it checked out or give us a call and we can chat about it.  It is something I have seen a lot in practice and had great success with – I tend to get this myself so I can really empathize with the irritation of this condition.

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Once upon a time in the distant past I took a trip to London (and Paris) to visit friends of my parents and a friend of mine.  This story takes place in England.  On Salisbury Plain, in fact…

It was a dark and stormy day (really). And my ‘Aunt and Uncle’ dropped my friend and I off at the famous site on Salisbury Plain – that’s right the amazing Stonehenge.  It was our only available time to visit and it was raining really hard so my Aunt and Uncle decided to wait in the car for us because they had been there before and they didn’t want to do battle with the rain.  So anyways, my friend and I went out there with almost no other people and took a walk around Stonehenge, pretty well alone. When does that ever happen? When it is raining sideways on Salisbury plain apparently.  It was quite amazing.  It was also really cold and wet.

Once we were done we went for lunch in a pub nearby.  We all had a Broccoli and Stilton Cheese soup that is maybe the best soup I have ever had. Ever. Maybe it was because I was cold and wet and hungry (hangry but holding it in really), or maybe not.  I have been trying to copy it ever since.

This is the closest I have come and it uses broccoli stalks that I collect and freeze as I use broccoli to feed the family (yep you read that right).  I cut the very end off and cut them in chunks and collect it in a large Ziploc freezer bag – once I have a full bag I can make a soup!

So here it is- hope you enjoy:

1 full bag of broccoli stalk (from freezer)

some broccoli florets (if you have them – I rarely put them in)

2 potatoes pealed and cut in chunks

1 wedge stilton cheese

1 L chicken or veggie stock

salt to taste.


Really that’s it.  I throw it in a large pot and make sure the stock covers the veggies and add water if it doesn’t.  Boil until everything is soft and then transfer to blender to puree in batches.

Super Yummy and amazing in this super cold weather.