Four reasons you should make a dentist appointment regularly

I know that we have all been shook by COVID 19. We have been dealing with shutdowns, isolation, restrictions, you name it, but it is still important to take care of yourself.

Dentist appointments aren’t just there for when you have an issue that needs to be seen. In fact prevention is better than waiting around for a problem to come up. I actually had a dentist appointment right as the shutdowns happened, and getting to see my dentist was one of my top priorities when things started to open again (after I confirmed with the office that it was safe to do so).

I know that the dentist can cause some people to worry. Heck, up until recently my dad hadn’t made an appointment in 5 years because he was afraid to get anymore cavities filled. Fear, bad experiences, you name it can cause this anxiety and so it is important to choose dental care you can count on  says dentist Alistair Graham of Mona Vale Dental

 

 

dentist Alistair Graham of Mona Vale Dental  say it’s important to choose dental care you can count on. 

Here are four reasons why even though it can be scary, it is important for you to keep up with your checkups:

 

To Watch out For Mouth Cancer

This is one of the most vital things that your dentist will do at every check-up. They don’t just check that your teeth and oral hygiene are healthy, they will also do an examination that looks for any signs of mouth cancer, head cancer, and neck cancer. They will check for any lumps on your head and neck. They will also keep their eye out for any white or red patches in your mouth. Usually, nothing out of the ordinary will be found, however, these checks could be potentially life-saving.

Hygienists

Dental therapists and hygienists are quite often overlooked when it comes to your oral health, however, they can be extremely useful when it comes to the advice and the service they can offer you. Dental hygienists are ‘preventive’ dental health and will treat gum disease, they will also educate you on the right way to look after your teeth and gums at home (at my last appointment I realized I have been brushing my teeth wrong my whole life).  This will normally include professionally cleaning your teeth, referred to as a scale and polish (removing plaque and tartar). 

Talking Through Teeth Whitening 

Tooth whitening has grown in popularity in the most recent years, however, there are many myths that are circulating leaving people unsure about what is safe and what isn’t. You dentist is the best person to offer you advice on this department, they will know and understand all the options that are available for you.

Prevent And See Early Signs 

They can catch things early or prevent them from happening. With the use of a tiny mirror and a routine exam, your dement is able to see under your gums, this is an area where there can be a lot of action without you even releasing. Dentists will both solve and prevent problems. Potential problems include tooth decay and gum disease. When it comes down to your oral health, it is key for you to be proactive, seeing your dentist is the way to follow through with this. 

 

There isn’t anyone who is better qualified to advise you and help you keep on top of your oral health than your dentist. This means they should always be your first port of call if you have any concerns or worries. 

 

Faster Healing After A Joint Injury – What Can You Do?

When was the last time you stopped to think about how your body does what it does every day? Back when I was a professional athlete I used to think about it all the time. The aches and pains, taking care of them right away so that they don’t explode into something larger. But now that my tennis days are over, I hardly take the time really think about my body, and unless you work in the health care professional, I am sure you don’t either. 

Yet sometimes things go wrong within the body, and accidents can cause all kinds of problems, including joint injury. These kinds of injuries can cause massive disruption to your daily life, and ideally you will want them to heal as quickly as possible, I would know, I am dealing with chronicle joint pain in my wrist form years and years of sports.  Although you must be careful not to damage yourself further, there are some things you can do that will help your body heal more quickly; read on to find out what they are.

Have A Massage

My mom used to be a massage therapist and would help relieve muscle pain after every big match. A massage from the experts at I Am Health will definitely help when it comes to your joint injury and the pain it leaves behind. A massage doesn’t touch the joint itself, but rather the muscles around it, so it’s usually a safe option (especially when you engage a professional massage therapist to help you). The great thing about a massage is that it will reduce the pain you are feeling and also make the muscles around the joint that has been injured stronger. This means that there is less chance of the injury occurring again once it has healed, and on top of helping your muscles loosen up, it also feels incredible. 

Rest 

It is imprinted in my mind: RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate). It is what I was told to do after every injury when I played tennis.  This isn’t just good advice; it’s crucial if you want your injury to heal faster. When you rest and don’t put any weight on the joint that should be healing, your body can regenerate more quickly. The more you can rest, no matter how hard that might be if you are usually an active person, the more quickly your body can heal. 

This is an important thing to note. Although you might want to get back to work or your hobbies quickly after an injury, if you rush things and don’t allow enough resting time after you have been hurt, it will take you longer to get well, and you can even make things worse, as the body won’t have a chance to repair itself. It might be hard to stay still and do nothing for what seems like a long time, but it will take even longer if you don’t do it at all.

Eat The Right Foods 

To heal properly, and more quickly, the body needs to have all the right nutrients. These nutrients come from the food we eat, which is why, if you want to heal faster, you need to eat the right foods. 

Vitamin C is particularly useful when it comes to your joints, and this can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, berries, and kiwis, for example. Vitamin A is also excellent, and for this, you should ensure your diet contains carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes, as well as many other foods. 

It’s only natural that, when we are injured, we want to put our lives back together as quickly as possible, and there are – as you can see from the list above – several ways this can be done. However, you must always be careful to check with your doctor before trying any additional measures to speed up the healing process, as you may cause more harm than good.

 

Alternative Healing Therapies: The Uses And Benefits

Going through a global pandemic can be stressful. Many studies have showed an increase in stress an anxiety across North Americans. There are many different ways to try and cope with your mental and emotional health. On one end there is the field of science and medicine. In fact I have recently turned to therapy to help cope with both the pandemic as well as a personal traumatic situation at home. But there are also some alternate therapies and ancient healing methods that are also gaining popularity world wide during this time. Some of these techniques include physiotherapy, yoga, aromatherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, and Ayurveda. I wanted to share some of the benefits I have found through some of these alternative healing methods.

1. Ayurveda

Ayurvedic treatments are based on ancient Indian practices and use medicines made from herbs and plants to restore balance in the mind and body. It is an all-natural form of treatment that also incorporates massages as a mode of healing. 

Image credit: Pexels

 

2. Physiotherapy and Chiropractics 

Physiotherapy and chiropractics take a more holistic approach to heal physical pain, looking at the body as a whole and focussing on overall well-being and lifestyle of the individual. Both practices work on the principle that the body can heal itself when it is correctly aligned, which in turn helps the nervous system function at its optimum.

It is not difficult to find a chiropractor nowadays, as it has become a popular choice of treatment for ailments such as back pain, whiplash and problems of the spine. 

 

3. Acupuncture 

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine thin needles into the various acupuncture points within the body. This then stimulates the nerves and muscles to release natural pain-relieving chemicals that help one heal without painkillers. 

4. Homeopathy

While homeopathy might not yet be widely recognized  as a field of medicine the world over, there is a growing number of believers who swear by it. Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of diluting natural substances to a great extent, thus making it a holistic treatment with no side-effects.

5. Aromatherapy

This mode of alternate healing makes use of essential oils (oils that are extracted from plants). It is believed that inhaling particular oils (via steam or a diffuser) or infusing them into the body (with an aromatherapy massage or adding a few drops to your bath) helps alleviate pain, stress, insomnia, depression and other mental and physical disorders.

Image credit: Pexels

6. Yoga

This ancient Indian technique of keeping the body and mind in sync has gained immense popularity the world over and is widely practiced in Western nations too. It involves physical aspects such as correct posture, stretching and breathing exercises but also has a spiritual side to it involving meditation and visualization . 

 

7. Hypnotherapy

Some people are still a bit wary of this method of healing, but hypnotherapy – putting the patient in a deep state of relaxation in order to access their subconscious thoughts, beliefs and memories – does have its fair share of followers. 

 

It is believed that our actions/ fears/ ailments are a direct result of our subconscious. Hence by seeking the root of the problem, we can change unwanted behaviours and cure deep-seated traumas such as depression, anxiety, phobias and addictions.

 

How to deal with trauma during a global pandemic

Let me start off by saying this blog is not easy to write. My family and I have been through weeks of crisis, trauma, sadness, heartache, hope, happiness, tears, laughs, the list goes on and on and while most of what has happened in the last few weeks I will keep private (especially since parts of my emotional experience I haven’t even been able to express yet with my partner),  I felt the need to share at least a slither of what has happened, in hopes, and I don’t know who, but somewhere out there, there is someone else who needs this help. Not that I wish for anyone to have to deal with a truly traumatic experience while also trying to navigate a global pandemic, but if there is someone, I want you to know you are not alone.

I also felt the need to put some words on paper as a therapeutic part of my personal healing. Maybe it is selfish of me, since I am not the one with double digit broken bones, but I am the one with the broken heart that is slowly being put back together piece by piece and sharing the experience , these words , it makes the trauma real. It helps me process it and hopefully be whole again myself.

So here is what I am willing to share, as we have shared some of it on social media already. On September 13th, the day before our one year wedding anniversary, my husband was in a very serious mountain bike accident. He spent several days in the ICU, suffered multiple broken bones, and a mid to severe brain trauma injury. Thankfully, every day he gets a little healthier, stronger, and better, and we are so lucky for that.

What I am not willing to share, yet  is the specific emotional turmoil this has caused, maybe one day but not now. That is not the point of this blog, the point of this blog is some words, I won’t say of wisdom since I am by no means (and hope I never am) an expert in dealing with trauma, but words from first hand experience of trying to navigate a traumatic experience while also trying to navigate a global pandemic, COVID 19.

According to reports, 53% of Americans said their mental health was negatively impacted by COVID 19. The pandemic has caused fear and anxiety over health, loved ones, job loss, the list goes on. According to the CDC, it has caused people to loose sleep, worsen chronic health problems, and worsen pre-existing mental health issues. All of that sounds hard enough right? Well now add another layer of anxiety, of fear, of uncertainty when a loved one is in the hospital.

Some obvious impacts were right on the surface level

Forget the personal, emotional and physical impacts for a moment. Let’s first talk about the actual concrete things we had to deal with. Because of COVID 19, my husband had to be tested when he arrived at the hospital. Until his test results came back, I could only be with him for an hour a day, and I could only visit him  through a window. Once his test came back negative, he was allowed one visitor, once a day during a certain time period. That meant once I arrived, I wasn’t allowed to leave his room except to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital or even have lunch at the cafeteria. So usually I would be in the room for 12 hours a day, just stuck there with my thoughts. No one to talk to, no one to cry with, no one to hug when I started to feel sad. All I could do was watch my loved one, helpless, and in return feel hopeless and heartbroken for 12 hours straight. On top of that you have to wear a mask the entire time, and you are constantly hearing about COVID from doctors and nurses talking to each other. It makes the pandemic so much more real and so so much scarier.

Some of the impacts were a little deeper and harder to express 

I count my blessings every day that this is the first truly traumatic experience I have had to go through. In the early days post accident, I could’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was just going through the motions but I wasn’t actually here. My body felt numb, it all seemed like a bad nightmare that had to end but no matter how hard I tried, I could’t wake up. The mornings were the worst, I would wake up with such anxiety that every inch of my body was in pain because I didn’t know what new experiences I would have to go through, or what information I would have to try and take in that day. I had to be strong on the outside for him, our family, our friends, but on the inside I was breaking down mentally, physically, emotionally.

How to cope with it all…or at least try to

I need to start off with thanking every single nurse that watched my husband. I wrote down every single one of their names so I can thank them at a later day. Not only were they taking care of my husband, but they also took care of me. Hugged me when I cried, joked with me when I needed a laugh, came running if I heard a beep that scared me (even though the beeps were totally normal and they were on top of everything). They were amazing not just at their jobs, but at supporting us and I am so thankful.

That is the first point I wanted to make, it is ok to not be strong all the time.

As I mentioned, I was trying to be strong for those around me, I was trying to go through the motions, to make sure all tasks were taken care of. I tried to distract myself from the pain, but the moments I actually felt ok, were the moments after a good cry. The moments that I let myself go. The moments that I let myself feel emotions. You don’t have to be strong all the time, and in fact it is import for you to be able to process your feelings to be able to accept what has happened, and be able to heal.

Not only is it ok to breakdown, but it is ok to lean on friends

When I was sad, down, hyperventilating (which happened a lot) I would message a girlfriend or my mom or dad. I know I am very lucky to have such an amazing support group, and some people aren’t in the same position as me, but not holding it all inside and expressing and sharing your feelings will help you cope and help you avoid a complete and utter breakdown when it all eventually does come out.

It’s also ok to reach out to someone outside of your inner circle… 

I had never tried therapy before, but a few people recommended seeking some professional help since I was really struggling to with my own mental state I decided to give it a try. It was the best thing that I ever did. Having an opportunity to express my feelings, emotions, and experiences to someone who was on the outside and unbiased and could really share and who could also give professional advice on how to handle my emotions. 

It taught me how to cope… 

Every day, sitting in the hospital room my mind would always go to the negative, the worst case scenario. In therapy I learned that cortisol is a chemical in your brain that spurs negative thoughts. But what the therapist taught me is that we still have control over where our thoughts go, and that if we are thinking about negative events that could occur down the road, why not instead turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. As hard as it is (and easier to turn to the negative idea) work a little extra harder to turn those thoughts down a positive path. 

Writing it down really helped me… 

Sometimes there were things I didn’t want to share with friends, family, or even my therapist, so I decided to start a journal. It was the one outlet where I could really express all of my emotions without any judgment or holding back any of my thoughts. Being able to let it all out helped me create a safe outlet. I was able to prioritize my fears and concerns. Writing it down helped me manage my stress levels by clearing my mind. 

Take a moment to breathe…

The hospital is a really hard place to be. Especially in the ICU, where families are going through really difficult times. Now put a global pandemic on top of that, where you aren’t allowed to leave the room except to go to the bathroom, so a friend sent me over some breathing techniques for when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Take a minute to yourself and try and clear your mind and just focus on your breathing. It will help calm you down in the moment. 

And if you need to, take some real time for yourself…

Everyone kept telling me that it was also important to focus on myself and my wellbeing. In the moment I didn’t understand, I felt I had to be at the hospital all day everyday to be there for my husband. I wasn’t sleeping or eating, or taking any time to myself. It wasn’t helpful. I didn’t have any energy  and I wasn’t able to be strong for my husband, or myself. I felt like I was losing my mind, and so one night instead of staying at the hospital for 12 hours, I left a little early, went home, and slept in my own bed and it was the reset I needed. At first leaving him all along, I felt so guilty, but everyone kept reminding me that I needed to also make sure my own bucket was full. Just taking one evening to myself, with a nice glass of wine, and some distracting laughs from friends helped me regroup and refocus. 

Try and focus on the positives…

As hard as it can be during one of the most difficult times of your life, trying to look for positive moments and events each day can try and keep your mind from going to a bad space. I decided to write down three things that I am thankful for each day. Focusing on positive moments, no matter how small they were, helped me realize that there were things to be thankful for and reminded me that as hard and dark as the days seemed, that even though this was going to be a long road, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. 

These are a few things  that helped me get through one of the most difficult times of my life. Leaning on friends, family, outside sources, and just trying to find moments and positivity  as hard as it may seem in the moment. I am no expert by any means but I have gone through this first hand. Going through a global pandemic is difficult as is, but add a traumatic experience on top of that and it can be extremely overwhelming and stressful. Everyone kept telling me that it is important to take care of myself as well as my husband, because if I wasn’t taking care of myself, I wouldn’t have the strength or energy to take care of him too. Find the outlet that helps you cope with the situation at hand. And just take it day by day, because focusing your mind on anything outside of the present isn’t going to help you be strong in the moment. 

 

 

 

My favourite at home workouts

Ok I will be the first to admit I haven’t done the best job at keeping fit during this pandemic, but it finally hit me just how bad I have been. I tried to put on my “fat” jeans and they are on the rather tight side. And despite BC entering phase 3, and more gyms and workout studios are opening up, you may not be at that comfort level just yet. So I decided to test out a few online workouts and wanted to share some of my favourite that are helping me get back into not just my fat jeans but my skinny jeans too.

 

Breathe at home

I was going to Breathe Studio daily before the COVID 19 shutdowns, and I was very impressed at how quickly they were able to transition online. They started offering the same classes they did in studio through instagram live, facebook videos, and even zoom classes so the teachers could watch and interact with you. I have always loved the high energy of these aerobic, HITT, and yoga classes, and was surprised to find that same energy online. I love sweaty along to the feel good classes at home.

 

Lilly Sabri 

A girlfriend of mine told me about Lilly Sabri, and I was hooked after the first class. I love that she posts daily workout videos including 7 and 14 day challenges that target all of your muscles and help both slim you done and tone your body. Along with her full workouts, she also offers lots of 5 and 10 minute videos that target specific muscles and areas.

Daniela Dib Fitness 

 

I always made sure to book Daniela’s classes when I was going to soulcycle. She is uplifting, encouraging, motivating, but also HARD. There were times I thought I was going to collapse right off of the bike. Because of this I was super excited when she decided to migrate and start her own online business. On her public page she offers a few IGTV fitnesses challenge videos, but the real workouts are on her members only page. Just a small paypall donation gives you access to some incredible pilates and fat burning classes, and trust me, her energy is so contagious you won’t even feel like you are working out (well you will because you will be sweating buckets).

I know this is a difficult time right now, but I have found that keeping up with exercise has kept me as sane as can be through it all. I hope that you will also find some enjoyment through these amazing workouts, or please feel free to share some of the online classes you have really been enjoying!!

Stay healthy my friends,

xo

Mia