Hubbel & Johnston Chiropractic

April 2023 – Last month’s “Hot Topics”

In our clinic, we are very fortunate to have patients who are very invested in their health. Many of you are involved in your care, and have excellent questions about your condition, and how your body works. We thought that this month, we’d share some of the great questions our patients have been asking, and our doctors have answered. 

Q: Why do I feel pain? Is that a signal that something is permanently damaged? 

A: Pain, and your body’s interpretation of pain, is like the alarm system ringing in your body, telling you that something else needs your attention. In most chiropractic cases, a joint dysfunction (sometimes called a chiropractic subluxation) irritates the adjacent spinal nerve. This “pinched nerve” then conducts the pain signal to your brain to prompt you to do something about it. The sooner you seek care, the faster the nerve will recover and the pain signal will go away. 

Our bodies are very resilient, and are “self-healing” machines. Chiropractic care can help to speed your body’s process of healing. Very rarely is there permanent damage, and with proper chiropractic care, stretching, and strengthening, your body will restore itself to its normal state. 

Q: I hurt my back and I didn’t do anything stupid!? I didn’t fall, and didn’t pick up anything heavy. It just started when I bent over to get my sock! Why would that hurt me?

In many cases like this, there is a “mismatch” between your body’s capacity and the demands you are putting on it. The normal demands that you put on your body (sitting, carrying your child, reaching down to grab a sock, deadlift 150 lbs) may be too much for your body when your capacity is lower. Capacity means how well your body has recovered, and is a combination of how well you’ve slept, your nutrition, if you’ve been sick, overworked, stressed, etc. There is nothing wrong with your body when you hurt after an incident like this, and there is nothing wrong with picking up your sock off the floor. Simply, your body is trying to tell you that you are not recovering the way you should be to strive for optimal health.

Q: How long will it take for me to get better? Why am I not getting better as fast as my friend?

How long you will take to feel better depends on several things. 

  1. The TYPE of problem you have will dictate how long it takes – usually conditions with numbness and tingling along a nerve take longer than a sore neck, for instance.
  2. How long the problem has been there. Longer-standing problems take longer to resolve. More recent health problems tend to resolve faster as your body is not as used to being in this painful pattern. 
  3. Your age is also a factor in how fast you will heal. Older patients are often at a slight disadvantage in healing. Factors that can improve your speed of healing include good nutrition, sleep, moderate exercise and regular chiropractic care. Dr. Hubbel is the true example of this! 
  4. Your attitude – patients with a positive attitude who BELIEVE they will get better are the patients who heal faster. Your compliance to our recommended care including adjustments, rest, and home exercises will give you the best results. 

April 2023 – Updates

Happy Spring! Our clinic renovations have started to slow down, as we are nearing the final result we have been looking for. 

Our office will be closed ONLY on Good Friday (April 7th), and will be open on Easter Monday (April 10th). 

Our wonderful team member, Louise, begins her acting debut in the VOS’ presentation of the Sound of Music. The show is running from April 13th until the 22nd, where you can see (and hear) Louise serenading us all as Sister Dorthea, our favourite “Nun of Nonnberg Abbey”! 

We have signed up again this year for the MudGirl race at Dagmar ski resort at the end of June. Although the entire team enjoyed it thoroughly, Carleigh was the driving force in our registration again this year. Next month, we will be surveying you all again to see who you think will get the muddiest,  who will be the most enthusiastic, and who will have the biggest wipeout. 

April 7th is World Health Day. We are very lucky to live in a society where good health is common, but remember that your own health is something in which you have a large role to play. Exercise, diet, and of course, regular chiropractic care are keystones of such good health. Share with us your favourite way to stay healthy and keep in shape. As the weather gets warmer and drier, get out and active with friends and family!As some of you may know, Dr. Leguard hurt her knee in mid-February while skiing. Although she is feeling better, she has partially torn her ACL, a very important ligament in the knee. An ACL tear may require surgery, but sometimes can be healed, only if proper rehabilitation, rest and chiropractic care are utilized. With this in mind, she has changed her hours slightly for the next little while to give her knee the time and opportunity to heal. Dr. Leguard’s updated hours are as follows: Monday & Wednesday afternoons, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday mornings.

March 2023 – How to Use Your Happy Hormones

Do you ever think about WHY your body feels so good when you’re happy, exercising, in the sun or in love? An even better question may be WHY you feel so good after a visit to your favourite chiropractor? These things may seem more similar on a physiological level than you’d anticipate. 

Our emotions are regulated by our brain’s ability to release different hormones, or natural body chemicals, during specific activities. There are FOUR “happy hormones” we can focus on boosting to improve your mood in the winter months: 

  1. Oxytocin is the famous “love hormone” whose main function is to facilitate childbirth (and rewards your brain for processes related to that). Oxytocin is released by our brain when we’re with our partners, touching another person, giving someone a hug or cuddling with our children. One of the best ways to increase oxytocin in our bodies naturally is through exercise. 
  2. Endorphins can act as your body’s “natural painkillers”. Endorphins are actually released in response to pain or stress. Interestingly, endorphins are released after an adjustment, which may explain in part why some of our patients feel so great immediately after their adjustment. Other ways to release endorphins include exercise, acupuncture, meditation and UV light from the sun. 
  3. Serotonin helps to balance your mood, and promotes feelings of well-being and reward. Serotonin also functions in memory, digestion, addiction, breathing and body temperature, among other physiological functions. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, with one of the most common types of antidepressants being SSRIs (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which block the reabsorption of serotonin in your brain so you feel happier longer. Some of the best natural ways to increase serotonin are exercise and sunlight. 
  4. Dopamine plays a role in feeling happiness, pleasure and reward. We can help to have a healthy baseline dopamine level by viewing early morning sunlight for 10-30 minutes, taking a cold shower in the morning, and avoiding bright (blue) light between 10pm-4am. Interestingly, caffeine also makes your body less sensitive to dopamine’s effects… (take this as you will!) 

Utilize some of these tricks to help improve your mood throughout the winter months. Chiropractic’s effect on the nervous system can help to release all of these hormones, through physical touch, adjustments, exercise and commuting outside to our office. Yet another reason to call us for an appointment… If anyone in your circle could use a happiness boost, think of chiropractic as a part of the solution!

March 2023 – Updates

More new clinic changes in February!  A new desk in the consultation and examination room, big changes to the front desk, coat rack and a new kitchen to boot!  These changes will provide more space and better flow throughout our office. Things will start to settle down on the renovation front… but you’ll have to ask the catalyst of all of these changes, Dr. Hubbel, (who simply does what the ladies suggest!)  Enjoy this photo of Dr. Hubbel and Karen putting together the puzzle of the century – an IKEA drawer set!!!

Looking into March, we will be celebrating Dr. Hubbel’s birthday on March 10th, Karen’s on March 16th, and Dr. Leguard’s on March 26th. Did you know Drs. Hubbel and Leguard are almost exactly 60 years apart in age?! 

Dr. Hubbel will celebrate his 63rd year of chiropractic March 4th. Dr. Leguard will be away from the office March 6 to 13, to take part in her best friend’s wedding in Roatan, Honduras. A very exciting month indeed! 

In terms of staff development, we recently watched Brene Brown’s Netflix special “The Call to Courage” which discusses courage in situations where you cannot control the outcome, and vulnerability as a tool in building relationships. We’d recommend this to all of you as an interesting watch. This month, staff are learning more about the Vagus nerve, which is a nerve in your body that helps you to either “rest and digest” or go into “fight or flight”. This learning is led by Myranda, who has a special interest in the subject. 

February 2023 – Women’s Heart Health

A Spotlight on Women’s Heart Health
February is heart health month. In our society, heart disease is often thought to be a more male dominant condition. In Canada, Heart Disease is the #1 cause of premature death in women. In fact, for the first half of women’s lives, their risk of heart disease is lower than men. After menopause, the risk of heart disease in women is very similar to that of men.

What are the key differences with heart disease between men and women?
Some of you may know that the symptoms of heart disease differ based on gender. Half of women who have a heart attack have their symptoms go unrecognized. Symptoms of heart disease in men are the widely known “classic” symptoms such as intense chest pain, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness. Symptoms in women include chest discomfort or a lack of any chest pain (instead of “crushing” pressure or pain), shortness of breath, fatigue, indigestion, nausea, neck, jaw or back pain.

The differences in symptoms are due to differences in this disease between men and women. Heart disease in women tends to appear in the smaller blood vessels of the heart (called microvascular disease) instead of the major coronary arteries, like in men. Interestingly, angiograms (one of the most common tests used to diagnose heart disease) are not as effective to diagnose microvascular disease of the small blood vessels. Stress tests are also less sensitive for women.

Just as the symptoms, disease specifics and diagnoses are all slightly different in women, the interventions used after a heart attack are often different too; women are less likely to be prescribed treatment such as blood pressure or cholesterol lowering medications.

When does a woman’s risk of heart disease change?
As we discussed earlier, hormonal changes such as menopause can impact women’s heart health. Other times of hormone change, such as pregnancy, the use of hormonal birth control and gender-affirming hormone therapy, can also affect women’s heart health. Interestingly, it was thought that the decrease in estrogen during menopause increased women’s risk of heart disease. In fact, it has been found that these heart changes actually occur several years before the symptoms of menopause begin, such as loss of menstruation and hot flashes. There is promising research that using targeted hormone replacement therapy in very early menopause can be protective to a woman’s heart.

Risk factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity, being an unhealthy weight, smoking, stress, family history, and alcohol abuse increase everyone’s risk of heart disease. Conditions that are risk factors for everyone include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.
Did you know… Canada’s new alcohol guidelines advise fewer drinks?
It has been found that any level of alcohol consumption is associated with some risk, so drinking less is better for everyone. Among healthy adults, there is a negligible to low risk for individuals who consume 2 drinks or less per week. Any reduction in drinking helps. For the month of February, would you consider one less drink per week?

February 2023 – Updates

New year, new clinic look! As you may have noticed, our office has undergone a LOT of changes in the last month. Our consultation office has now transformed into a consultation and examination room, we’ve added another treatment room, and we’ve designed a new working office in our hygienist’s former room. We think the changes will provide more space and allow more efficient flow when we have multiple doctors in the clinic

As we discussed last month, our focus on personal and professional development is very intentional so we can all be the best versions of ourselves to serve our community. One of the ways that we focus our growth is by using a “Word of the Year”, based on the book “One Word That Will Change Your Life”.  Our clinic “Word of the Year” is Roots. Roots, to us, means focusing on our systems and foundations (both physical and our practice) to grow. In the last few years, we’ve had a lot of change in our clinic, and we are ready to settle in to grow. 

Our team members all have chosen their words of the year. Words this year include “acceptance”, “strong”, “explore”, “do”, “present”, “self”, “sweat” and “savour”.  We have also completed our 23 for 23 list, with items including specific renovations in our clinic, being more consistent with our systems, “baby friendly” treatment rooms, 3 staff community events, updating our new patient video and many more. We are excited for a big year!

As reminders – we are encouraging patients to interact with our front desk staff only once during each visit. This means in practice that you schedule your next visit and pay for your visit at the same time.               Additionally, a reminder that coats, hats and boots should be removed in the front entranceway. Thanks for helping us in keeping our floors (and doctors) dry, and treatment rooms free of moisture and winter layers. 

Looking into February, we will be celebrating Dr. Johnston’s birthday on the 16th, and Myranda’s on the 18thDr. Hubbel will be celebrating his 63rd year of chiropractic on March 4th. Big celebrations ahead!

When are our Doctors Here?

Dr. HubbelTuesday and thursday morningsDr. JohnstonMonday and Wednesday all dayThursday afternoonsFriday mornings **not available TuesdayDr. LeguardMonday afternoonTuesday  and thursday all dayFriday morning **not available Wednesday

January 2023

Happy New Year! We are always thankful to have you in our clinic and trusting us with your health.  Here’s to another healthy and happy year!  We will continue to do our very best for you.  

A few housekeeping items… 

As our clinic continues to grow and we get busier, we are encouraging patients to interact with our front desk staff only once during each visit. What this means in practice is that you schedule your next visit and pay for your visit at the same time. Thank you for your flexibility in adopting this system.

Our beloved town of Cobourg periodically turns into an icy arctic tundra, which means that coats, hats and boots should be removed in the front entranceway. Thanks for helping us in keeping our floors (and doctors) dry, and treatment rooms free of moisture and winter layers. 

New year… new renovations! Hygienist Dee-Ann Yorki has moved on and we are happy to have the extra space. Renovations are under way for us to fully utilize that space. Stay tuned. 

Holiday news… 

Our holiday fundraiser to support a few children from “The Giving Tree” went incredibly well this year. Our initial plan to support two children was modified with our amazing patient support- we raised so much money that we bought gifts for 3 children plus extra gift cards for the Giving Tree, and donated the rest of the money to local charities that help families out through the holidays.

Our staff (Julie, Carolyn, Louise and Myranda) did a fantastic job shopping and organizing the gifts for the three children. The ladies then celebrated their successful shopping with dinner together at CJs on the doctors’ dime. Ha!  Thank you to all, for your support in our efforts this year.

You may also have seen our “12 babies of Christmas” posts on our social media for the month of December. Aren’t we so lucky to get to look after so many families in our community? And aren’t the babies lucky to get a healthy start to their young lives.  

More holiday news… 

On Monday, December 19th, our staff enjoyed our holiday party together at Warrior Axe Throwing!                Dr. Johnston and Carleigh (a dangerous duo as many of you know) spearheaded this operation. Julie, with her former life as a military operative (she tells us she translated morse code, but we think she was a spy) had excellent aim, and Myranda rocked her christmas dress while throwing sharp objects (very on brand for her). Carolyn was our underdog of the night, telling us that she didn’t know how to throw an axe: Carolyn ended up placing second in our tournament, so Carleigh thought Carolyn was likely hustling us. Ha!                                        Dr. Hubbel was there mostly to supervise his rambunctious co-workers. Carleigh, Karen and both Drs Johnston and Leguard all had good power but medium aim. Our tournament champion was Louise – we think she had a little extra oomph this year in getting her frustrations out from guiding a teenage son and renovating a house.  We feel very lucky to have such a wonderful team, and that we all enjoy each other’s presence every day.

Setting Intentions for 2023 

As you all likely know, a big part of growth is setting goals and being intentional about how you spend your time and energy. In our office, we value personal, professional, and clinic growth, so that we can all be the best versions of ourselves to serve our community. 

One of the ways that we focus our growth is by using a “Word of the Year”. The idea is based on the book “One Word That Will Change Your Life”, by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon, but it has been popularized by many in the health and wellness sphere, such as Gretchen Rubin, an author who discusses happiness, habits and human nature (one of Dr. Leguard’s personal favourite authors!). 

Each of us picks our personal word of the year. Last year’s words included “transform”, “be-you-tiful”, “intentional”, “serenity”, “confidence”, “open” and “blossom”. We will report back on our words in February. We also pick a word for our clinic. We are thinking about using a word that represents feeling “settled” and “putting down our roots” to grow after so much change. If you have any suggestions for us, we would really appreciate hearing them. 

If you have any New Year’s resolutions or a word of the year you would like to share with us please let us know! Cheers to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023!

December 2022 – Dr. Hubbel’s Poem

In true holiday fashion, we’ll leave you with a nice holiday poem, courtesy of Dr. Hubbel: 

T’was the day before Christmas but there was no cheer.No jingle bells jingled, no sound of reindeer.The word had gotten out that Santa was sick.There’d be no friendly visit from jolly St. Nick.

The people were sad; no gaiety sounded.For Christmas had come, but Santa was grounded.He limped down the street wondering what should he do?When the sign said D.C., ….it was too good to be true.

Now Santa was not one to like a new tactic, but all else had failed: So he’d try Chiropractic.He entered the clinic and saw at a glance,In a place such as this, illness hasn’t a chance.

The people were smiling, the music was snappy.With all of the patients contented and happy.In a very short time, to judge by the clock,He was in the adjustment room talking to “Doc”.

“Oh, Doc take a look at the size of this pack!Have you any idea what it does to my back?”Poor Santa was miserable, just barely able, with the help of the doctor, to get onto the table.

The doctor was gentle, without fuss or tussle.She examined the vertebrae and relaxed every muscle.She spotted the trouble and then with a click,She started aligning the spine of St. Nick.

In no time at all, he felt no aches or pains.He picked up his pack and grabbed the reins.The air was a’tingle with new fallen snow,And healthy Kris Kringle was rarin’ to go.

(Editor’s note: If your Santa needs help, please tell him where to go!)

All of us here at Hubbel & Johnston Chiropractic wish you and your families a merry and healthy Christmas and New Year. We are so thankful for each and every one of you for trusting us with keeping you healthy. 

December 2022 – Updates

This year, we thought  we’d reflect together on some of our favourite parts of the year. Of course, getting to care for everyone in our practice community is always a highlight, but we thought we’d share a few others: 

Julie – Gaining 2 new roommates. One furry one and one less furry  (Reggie the cat and Julie’s wonderful boyfriend, Ron.) You pick which one is which. Ha!

Louise – After living in their trailer until mid December last year, she and her family are all moved in and comfortable in her new home. At work, one of the best things Louise did with her work friends was the Mud Girl Run. Being a breast cancer survivor, it was something close to her heart that we did as a team. 

Myranda – Going to Dallas in March with her Mom and brother Brayden, where Brayden underwent the initial phases of treatment for Lafora Disease, a seizure disorder. Myranda got to meet the people who are trying to make a difference for her brother, in fighting to cure Lafora in kids. Myranda also notes that 2022 has been a huge year of self-development for her. 

Karen – A toss up between the Mud Run and her new great grandson Rhodes… but Rhodes wins! 

Carleigh – Found the Mud Girl race was a great kick starter to get back to some balance in her life (mom-work-human balance). Ha! Starting to work for her husband’s film production company has been a challenge and exciting for her too. Most recently, getting back to playing hockey has been a great energy boost and friendly reminder that she’s not getting any younger – to use it or lose it! 

Carolyn – Big wedding:   Her daughter Caleigh, marrying husband Kyle. Dr. Hubbel would also like to note that a big highlight for Carolyn this year was to spend more time in the office with all of us. 

Dr. Leguard – Feeling more “settled” in her career and life. Taking the time for the next few years to make fitness, travel and her career priorities. Meeting her really nice boyfriend. 

Dr. Johnston – Enjoyed all of the traveling that she and her family did together, and spending time together as a family. Highlights included the girls traveling on airplanes, exploring Canada and Myrtle Beach.

Dr. Hubbel – Has experienced an exciting year, as he learns to share everything with his two younger doctors and learning to follow directions… instead of giving them.  Change is good, right?

A few other updates…In November, we got to celebrate two special days – Carleigh’s daughter Delores (DJ) turned 3, and Julie’s mom turned 90! Dr. Johnston’s youngest, Isla, turns 2 on December 2!

Dental hygienist Dee-Ann Yorki, who shares space with us, is moving on in her career. She is closing her private practice and transitioning to work with Dr. Lai in Cobourg. Don’t worry – we will be making good use of the new space. A few more office renos will take place, creating another treatment room, consultation room, and doctor’s office in our existing space. We know that we have renovated a lot this year… and will certainly continue into the new year!

November 2022- Sleep Part 2

Making the Most of Your Sleep 

Last month, we discussed a few things to think about in terms of improving sleep quality and timing. Sleep is one of the most important factors impacting overall health and recovery. As patients who receive chiropractic care, we can only assume that health and recovery are priorities in your life. 

Sleep occurs in 2 types of stages – REM sleep and non-REM sleep. The first half of the night is dominated by non-REM deep sleep, and the second half is dominated by REM sleep. Each stage of sleep has very different and important functions. It is important to try to get a continuous bout of sleep for at least 90 minutes at a time, in order for your brain to go through each stage of sleep. In REM sleep your brain activity increases by up to 20% – functioning to help to restore your brain from the day’s work. In fact, the brain paralyzes the body during REM sleep so that the mind can dream safely without taking action. (REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement….but that is a whole other story!)

How to Optimize my sleep to get the most out of each stage? 

Can I have a good sleep if I wake up during the night?  Yes- it is typical to wake up during the middle of the night, especially as we age. When we finish the 90 minute cycle, our bodies wake up to change positions after being “paralyzed” during REM sleep. As long as your efficiency is 85% or more (you’re asleep more than 85% of the time you’re in bed), that is a healthy sleep. There is room for improvement if you are awake for 20-25 minutes every time you wake up.

The myth of the “Night Cap”  As alcohol is a “depressant”, many think of it as something that can help you to fall asleep – you can feel tired when you drink a glass of wine after dinner! However, alcohol is actually very disruptive to your sleep. Alcohol blocks REM sleep hugely, and actually fragments your sleep so you wake up without having a continuous sleep. Even one drink with dinner will impact your REM sleep time and change the hormonal releases throughout your sleep cycles. 

Interestingly, THC and CBD (the active ingredients in cannabis) also negatively impact your sleep. THC makes you go unconscious faster, like alcohol, but still blocks REM sleep which prevents adequate sleep recovery. In terms of CBD, the evidence is not as clear- in some studies, it promotes wakefulness, but in some, it can reduce anxiety, and improve thermoregulation in sleep. 

Keep your body COOL  If your body becomes too warm while sleeping, you will wake up, which disrupts your continuous sleep. Keep your bedroom cool (between 68-70 degrees fahrenheit) to have a cool sleep. 

A few last thoughts: 

  • If you have a bad night of sleep, don’t change your schedule or behaviours (sleep in, early bedtime, nap, extra caffeine etc) 
  • A bedtime wind-down routine can help to prime your body to go to sleep on time 
  • You can sleep TOO MUCH. There is a bell-curve type relationship with sleep time and health – the shorter you sleep, the shorter your life, but if you sleep beyond 9 hours regularly, the mortality risk rises again. However, if we are sick, we will sleep more and this is normal
  • If you’re a good napper, don’t be afraid to nap. Naps as short as 17 minutes can benefit learning and memory, but it is recommended to keep your naps brief (max 25 minutes) and at the latest, 7-8 hours before bedtime.
  • Consider your pillow and give thought to our water pillow which is the best!

Be sure to ask us more about sleep– it is one of the most critical components of your body recovery from injury and to maintain wellness.