10 Fun Facts about Dr. Kristin Ling!

1.  Would you rather live in a big city or in the country?  The country!

2.  What are 2 things that you are really good at?  The Nintendo game Dr. Mario and braiding hair!

3.  If you had a warning label, what would it say?  High Energy

4.  Is there one colour that you seem to really have in your closet? Grey

5.  What’s your favourite go to treat? McDonald’s Chocolate Milk Shake

6.  Do you collect anything? Stickers from places that I visit and add them to my water bottle.

7.  What was your favourite subject in school? Outdoor adventure leadership

8.  What habit do you have now that you wish you started much earlier? If things take less than 2 minutes, do it in that moment.

9.  What is my favourite thing to do when I am not at work? Cuddle with my golden retriever Jasper :)

10. What is the best part of your job? Seeing the joy in someone’s face when they are feeling better!

Back to School Means Back to Back Packs!

The notion that backpacks should be a certain weight, have a certain number of straps, or worn a certain way have been around for a long time; but why is it important?

The Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics conducted a large scale study where they measured the body weight and back pack load of 3, 498 students. In the study they were able to conclude that heavy back packs were indicators of students having back pain; the heavier the back pack, the more pain the child was experiencing.

Besides back pain, your child may be at risk of muscle strains, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, numbness and tingling down their arms and a change in their posture. If the weight of the back pack is distributed unevenly or too heavy, it may also cause the child to be unsteady and become more prone to injuries from falling down.

To help navigate your way through the world of backpacks, find some frequently asked questions!

What should I look for in a backpack for my child?

o   Proportional size – The top of the back pack should not be higher than your child’s shoulders, extend below their hipbone nor wider than their back.

o   2 wide padded straps – The straps should be at least 2 inches wide. This will help evenly distribute the weight across your child’s back

o   Waist strap – This will help distribute some of the weight around the child’s waist and take some load off the back

o   Padded back – This will make the back pack more comfortable for your child.

o   Compartments - Having compartments in the bag will force you to spread the weight around the bag and not directed into one place

o   Let them add in their sense of style! – Giving the child some say in their back pack will allow them to be proud and wear it properly to show it off! You can always allow for patches and pins to let them make it their own!

How heavy should their back pack be?

According to the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, your child’s back pack should not be more than 10% of their body weight.

To ensure this can be done, suggest to your child to leaving heavy books at school and only bring them home when required.

Also get your child into the habit of cleaning out their back pack at the end of the week. This will avoid clutter building up and making their back pack difficult to load.

How should they be wearing their back pack?

Fortunately, the look of 2 straps is in because that’s exactly how you want your child to wear it!

Both straps should be tight enough so that the back pack is sitting on the upper portion of their back and not hanging low. You also want to make sure that the back pack is sitting flat against the child’s back.

Should I get one with wheels?

Using a backpack with wheels would be beneficial to alleviate back pain however you must keep in mind where they have to travel to get to school. If they travel on gravel, have to go up stairs, etc. it may be hard for the child to maneuver the back pack. If the terrain is difficult, they might resort to putting the back pack on their shoulders forcing them to carry not only they school supplies, but the wheels as well.

Does it matter how I load their back pack?

It does actually! To prevent one part of the back taking on the full weight, you should start packing by putting the heaviest item in the centre and closes to the back, followed by lighter items. Its also a good idea to make sure no items are sticking out of the back making it uncomfortable for the child. 

DSC00463.jpg

Questions?

If you are still unsure if your child has the right back pack for them, if it’s too heavy, or if they are wearing it right, feel free to bring in your child’s back pack loaded to their next appointment at Basin View Chiropractic.

Happy back packing everyone!

Dr. Kristin Ling, BPHE, D.C.

TCM Acupuncture: What is it, and why is it beneficial to your health?

20190112-IMG_6494.jpg

What is TCM Acupuncture?

There are several different types of acupuncture. A few examples include medical, motor point, Chinese and Japanese acupuncture. I’ll be discussing the acupuncture that I’m specifically trained in, which is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine takes all aspects of an individual and their environment into account. TCM Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help treat an array of health conditions, from muscular pain, to irregular menstruation, to anxiety, and everything in between!

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine, sterilized needles into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body, commonly referred to as acu-points. By activating these points, it allows energy (Qi) and blood to move more freely, as well as giving your body signals to help boost its self-healing ability.

What is Qi? (pronounced “chee”)

An important aspect in Chinese medicine is the concept of Qi. Qi can be generally described as a vital energy force in the body. It flows along specific pathways - called channels or meridians - that run through the body and correlate with different organs. Qi helps the body perform important life functions such as circulation (moving/warming), immunity (protecting), storing (holding), and separating/absorbing nutrients (transforming & transporting).

When Qi, blood, body fluids, and organ systems are performing optimally, the body is in balance. if there is disruption (such as falling on ice, being stressed), this can cause disharmony and the energy can become stagnated. Similar to nutrition, some substances and systems may be used more (become deficient), while others overact (become excessive). It is our job as acupuncturists to recognize what systems are being effected (based on your symptoms), find the root of where it began, then select and give points that help bring your body back in balance.

Acupuncture as Preventative Medicine

As acupuncturists, we can also recognize what could potentially become an issue down the road. For example, let’s look at menopause. Menopause will have an effect on the body one way or another, so we can alleviate future symptoms associated with menopause by nourishing specific organ systems before menopause starts. Therefore, acupuncture works really well as a preventative measure of your health!

What To Expect On Your First Visit?

Your first visit will last approximately 90 minutes. We will discuss your medical history as well as other aspects of your life such as sleep, digestion, emotions/relationships, etc. My goal is to get a full picture so I can best tailor treatments to you. I will then ask to look at your tongue, and take your pulse. Since different organ systems are reflected on the tongue and pulse in Chinese medicine, these are additional diagnostic tools that give me more insight into what areas are affected and nature of what’s going on. It’s less about there being something physically wrong with an organ, and more to do with its function in the body from a Chinese medicine perspective, and how well it’s working with relation to other systems to keep the body in balance. The last 30 minutes will consist of an initial acupuncture treatment. Similar to a massage treatment, you’ll be lying on a massage table covered by cozy sheets.

Does It Hurt?

Very thin, fine, sterilized and disposable needles are used - so small that they are thinner than a hair strand! Most of the time, you barely feel the needles. Some areas can be more sensitive than others based on location and the patient. There may be a “mosquito bite” or a “hair pull” with initial insertion, but it should be minimal and dissipate shortly after. It’s common to feel other sensations while the needles are in (warmth, heaviness, movement, tingling) as this is a sign of Qi activating and moving— pain is not one of them. There should not be any pain during your acupuncture treatment. If so, small adjustments are usually enough to alleviate it. The number of needles used and the needle’s locations on the body will vary depending on what condition you’ve come in for. Once all the needles are inserted, they’re typically left in for 15-20 minutes. After that time, the needles are removed (you’ll feel relaxed and fantastic), then we’ll discuss number and frequency of treatments that would work best for you.

Follow-up treatments last 1 hour. We will take a moment to discuss how you’ve felt since last visit, look at the tongue/pulse again, and then move forward with acupuncture treatment.

I hope this was a helpful explanation into TCM acupuncture. I also hope you feel at ease with what to expect when you come in for a visit. I look forward to seeing you soon!

- Olivia Doughart, BSc (Kin), R. Ac