Guest Blogger – Keith Donaghy, Registered Psychologist

February 12, 2019

PAIN AND RECOVERY – How our beliefs about pain influence our recovery?

Unfortunately the aches and pains many of us suffer are associated with medical conditions, disability, injuries, or surgery. Pain is a source of stress and can be debilitating and emotionally hard to cope with. Why is it that some people suffering pain can maintain a high quality of life despite ongoing discomfort while others do less well physically and emotionally? Research is shedding more light on what factors mitigate pain-related impacts on day-to day life.
For a variety of reasons some of us are psychologically more resilient than others. Resilience refers to how well a person deals with and bounces back from the difficulties of life. Resilient people possess more positive beliefs and cope with stress more effectively. This resiliency is apparent in treatment as more positive beliefs and attitudes about pain and its impact upon them.
Resilient people also tend to possess a greater sense of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy a fancy term that refers to how much someone believes in her capability to influence life events. Self-efficacy beliefs determine how we feel, think, motivate ourselves and behave. People with positive beliefs and greater self-efficacy mange their physical and emotional distress in more healthy ways. They also cope better with the emotional impact many suffer after injury, surgery, or living with a chronic health condition. The loss of physical capacity, or a significant role in life, or the loss of self-esteem can be significant. The emotional impacts are significant and can result in anxiety, depression, feeling of grief, and anger. Coping with feelings like these is an additional challenge which can make it even harder to find the resiliency needed to cope well with and get through the challenges of the physical rehabilitation.

The good news is that it is possible to learn how to become more resilient. These are the top ten techniques that improve resiliency;
Find and nurture a sense of purpose
Build positive beliefs in your abilities
Develop a strong social network
Embrace change
Build optimism and positive thinking
Nurture yourself
Develop your problem-solving skills
Establish goals
Take action to solve problems
Keep working on your skills

There are many self-help books and online resources available to support anyone to work on their resiliency. Life coaches and psychologists offer expertise to support building resiliency.

Keith Donaghy, M.Sc.
Registered Psychologist

Cupping in Calgary

October 4, 2018

Cupping is a myofascial release technique that is used to relieve tension and promote circulation in the body. Sterile rubber, plastic, or glass cups are used to create a negative pressure that lifts the skin off of the underlying tissue, promoting relaxation and adhesion repair. Our massage therapists Jasmine Fleming, Jessica Schiewe, and Carmen Mandel all perform different versions of cupping, but all accomplish the same thing – the promotion of tissue repair and increased blood flow.

Cupping helps:

  • Relieve tension in muscles and fascia
  • Reduce adhesions and restrictions caused by injury or scar tissue
  • Reduce edema and swelling
  • Increase circulation and tissue repair

Our team of physiotherapists and chiropractors also perform cupping to help loosen fascia during their treatments. To book a cupping session specifically, call or book online and ask to see Jasmine Fleming, Jessica Schiewe, or Carmen Mandel.

How do I know if I’ve gotten a concussion?

July 29, 2018

Concussions are a form of mild traumatic brain injury that alters the way our brain works. It may occur from a force to the head, neck, or other areas of the body. Concussions are caused by an acceleration, followed by a rapid deceleration of the brain within the skull.

There are many symptoms that have been reported with a concussion, including, but not limited to:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • mental fogginess
  • blurred vision
  • decrease in balance
  • memory loss
  • confusion
  • drowsiness

Symptoms may appear right away or some may not appear until later. Some concussions may cause you to lose consciousness; however, most do not. Impact sports increase the probability of suffering from a concussion.

If you believe you have suffered a concussion, it is important to stop the activity you are doing. You may also want to consider contacting a medical professional, especially if symptoms continue for a few days. The majority of concussions have a short recovery timeline, but for some, recovery can take months. There are many factors that play into recovery timelines, including, but not limited to, age, type of injury, number of past concussions, and symptoms.

One of our Physiotherapists, Stephanie Thumlert, is trained in the assessment and treatment of concussions. If you are in Calgary and are worried that you might have suffered a concussion, please give us a call. Stephanie also performs baseline concussion testing, so that you can determine whether you have suffered a concussion if injured in the future.

How Shockwave Therapy Works

May 27, 2018
We have been using Shockwave Therapy in SW Calgary for five years, and have seen how it can be an effective treatment for many issues. Shockwave can work on any region of the body that is lacking blood flow and has accumulated adhesions and/or calcification, but it is especially effective on tendons. Initially, Shockwave Therapy was created to treat Calcific Tendonosis of the Supraspinatus tendon. With experimentation and research, however, it was found that shockwave can work on a wide range of injuries.
We use Shockwave Therapy to treat Plantar Fasciitis, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Trochanteric Bursitis, PatelloFemoral Pain Syndrome, Hamstring Tears, Achilles Tendonopathy, and several other conditions. The mechanism of action with Shockwave is twofold. The machine sends soundwaves through the damaged tissue, which helps break adhesions between muscles and smooth out calcification that might have formed in the area. In addition, because of the specific frequency used in the somewhat painful treatment, the brain is essentially tricked in to thinking that the area has just been re-injured, and begins the acute healing cascade to try and fix the new injury. This includes sending macrophages to eat the damaged tissue, cytokines and interleukins to nourish growing tissue, and fibroblasts to lay down new muscle.
Shockwave Therapy is typically performed once per week for 3-5 weeks. In most cases the patient is fully healed by the end of this timeline, however some patients aren’t fully healed until weeks later. This is because, even though we have stopped treating, the acute healing phase continues for up to 12 weeks, and in that time, repairs the remaining damage. If you are looking for Shockwave Therapy in Calgary, give us a call!

Welcome, Dr. Linsay Sunderland

May 10, 2018

We would like to welcome the newest member of our team, Dr. Linsay Sunderland. Linsay graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2009, and has been working in Calgary as a chiropractor for the past 9 years. She is trained in Active Release Techniques (ART), Graston Technique, Shockwave Therapy, and other soft tissue therapies. Linsay has worked with both athletes and non athletes alike, and has a special interest in working with dancers to limit their injuries and improve performance. To book an appointment with Dr. Linsay Sunderland, give the clinic a call, or book online!

Pain Management: Moving Away from Prescription Medication

April 26, 2018

Chronic pain, specifically lower back pain, can have a range of effects on a person – from ordered bedrest to hospital admission, the remedies for pain management are diverse and sometimes ineffective.

Traditionally, healthcare providers turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the treatment of lower back pain but recent studies show that a transition towards a more holistic approach pain management is the way forward.

The American College of Physicians released new guidelines for the treatment of low back pain which specify alternatives to pills based on the duration of pain.

For new low back pain (lasting less than 12 weeks) the guidelines suggest trying:

  • Heat
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Spinal manipulation with chiropractic care

For chronic pain (lasting 12 weeks or more) the recommended practices include:

  • Stretch-focused exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Mindfulness-based programs to cope with or reduce stress

Consult your chiropractor or physiotherapist before trying any of the listed practices, they will be able to help you in determining what’s right for you. To find out more about these studies, visit:

Magnesium: Do you need to be taking it?  

April 23, 2018

Magnesium is known to assist in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, Magnesium is referred to by some as the mineral that allows the body to do what it does best. Known to have an impact on neurochemicals, magnesium has been seen to intervene with depression through regulation neuro function and is critical for those struggling with PMS, including migraines, cramps and irritability; additionally, magnesium may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Knowing the benefits of magnesium is essential in determining your mineral intake. Some signs of poor magnesium intake include cramps, poor sleep and chronic pain. According to a recent study, less than 30% of U.S. adults consume the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of magnesium.

To determine if you should be taking magnesium, contact your health provider. For more information, read more here or book an appointment with on our healthcare professionals.

How to Fix Sore Wrists: Simple Wrist Exercises for Recovery

March 30, 2018

Whether you strain your wrists using a computer for work or during a workout, wrist pain can be significant and impact your daily routine. While may people think that wrist aches or pains aren’t too important, fixing the problem right away ensures that pain will not affect your lifestyle.

An article in GMB Fitness suggests six simple exercises that can help strengthen the wrists to alleviate pain.

1. Fingers facing toward your knees, with palms facing down

2. Fingers facing toward your knees, with palms facing up

3. Fingers facing forward, palms down, then perform closed chain finger extension. Then you’ll emphasize fingers and your thumbs.

4. Back of the hand wrist extension (fingers facing each other in the middle).

5. Fingers facing backward on palm finger extension.

6. The same 3 positions as above, but in the top of a pushup position. 

It’s important to modify these exercises based on personal comfort but practicing these movements will increase the flexibility and strength of your wrists, resulting in decreased injury and pain.

For more information, visit or talk to one our our healthcare professionals.

Staying Hydrated in the Winter Months

March 16, 2018

Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated and in the summer months its easier to notice when we need to drink water – but it’s just as important to maintain this going into the winter months.

According to a Healthy Living article, drinking water in the winter is crucial to a healthy lifestyle – water helps boost your immune system, helping ward off sickness in the peak cold and flu months. Additionally, water can increase your metabolism to get your beach body ready when the summer comes around again!

Because our body loses water the same during the summer and winter months, it’s important to maintain the same water intake during all twelve months of the year. Alberta winters also contribute to dry skin, and staying hydrated will make sure your skin doesn’t give in to the dry weather.

Staying hydrated contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle – maintain this year-long will help your health in the long term.

Tips to Avoid Snow Shoveling-related Injuries

March 10, 2018


During the winter months (and sometimes even fall and spring) snow is inevitable in our city, and shoveling is a reality. Although mostly everyone does it, not everyone keeps their body in mind while they shovel.

According to a Move Well Fit article, shoveling is great exercise, but only when done right. Shoveling snow incorporates core, strength and cardio training in one – working out the obliques, legs, back muscles and more.

Because of this, it’s important to be mindful of your body while shoveling. According to the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors, approximately 11,500 individuals in the United States (U.S.) experience a shoveling-related injury. Here are a few tips to ensure you won’t be one of them,


Stretching before shoveling ensures you won’t over-work the muscles used.

Choosing the Right Shovel

Buying a shovel that is made for snow; also, considering your height in choosing the length is important.

Shoveling Technique

Make sure to squat and bend your knees when picking up snow to avoid straining your back.

For more information on techniques to prevent injuries, call or book an appointment online to talk to one of our healthcare professionals.