Stress Busting Tip #5

December 13, 2017 in Mental Health

Workday Stress-busting tip #5--Sleep

Here’s the last tip in the series, and I’m kind of cheating because this tip isn’t necessarily one you’re

going to do at work. But it’s simple, and oh so necessary….sleep! Now, if you work for a very progressive

company that has nap rooms and is okay with you taking a snooze in the middle of the day, then go for it.

For everyone else, just try to get a bit more sleep at night. Different people require different amounts of

sleep. In general, adults require 7 to 9 hours per night. Anything less than 5 hours probably puts you in

the sleep deprived category.

Better sleep is connected with lower stress levels during the day. When we get good sleep, we are better

equipped to handle the challenges that come our way during the day. Anyone who has taken care of

young children knows that when a child hasn’t had enough sleep, they’re much more likely to have a

meltdown…frustration, tears, tantrums. Guess what folks? We adults are no different that those children.

We’re just more practiced at keeping the tantrums inside our heads…and sometimes, not so much.

In addition to the lower stress levels, better sleep is allows for consolidation of memories and skills

acquired throughout the day, and increased creativity. In turn this is going to increase productivity at

work. It is also associated with decreased inflammation and better healthy living choices. Once again, the

connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind is at play.

It can be as simple as turning off the TV a half hour earlier than usual or putting away your book a little

earlier. For those of you who may have trouble falling asleep, try some of our other stress-busting tips

before bed. The progressive muscle relaxation and the mindful breathing exercises are really easy ones

to do before bed and often help to calm the mind before sleep.

We live in a society that tells us to wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honour. But there is little honour

in being short-tempered, or losing focus in a meeting, or walking around tense for half the day because

we’re having trouble coping. Instead, let’s honour our bodies and our minds by giving ourselves what we

need. And for goodness sake… go to sleep!

Stress Busting Tip #4

November 14, 2017 in Mental Health

Workday Stress-busting tip #4—Smile!

Some of us are lucky enough to work in an environment where there are lots of smiles going around. Others, not so much.

When we smile, we feel more relaxed and happy. We all know it instinctively, but how often do we actively try to build a smile into our day? I am inviting you now to do so. For some, this might mean calling a friend who is likely to bring a smile to your face or talking to a colleague with whom you can share a joke. Maybe you’ll choose to watch five minutes of your favourite comedian. Or a Youtube video of a baby doing something ridiculously cute. Find some things that work for you and build one smiling activity into every day.

And if for some reason you can’t build in the five minutes that one of these activities would take, just try smiling for the heck of it! Yes, we smile because we are feeling happy. But it works both ways. When our facial muscles are activated in the form of a smile, it triggers pathways in the brain that help us feel relaxed and happy. So go on, try it! The silliness of smiling at nothing might just give you the giggles.

Stay tuned next week for the last installment of the workday stress-busting series. So simple, but so important!

Neuropathy and Hypothyroidism

November 10, 2017 in General

By: Dr. Kyle Etwaroo, Chiropractor

Although the majority of my patients deal with mechanical based pain, stemming for either muscles, ligaments or joints, there are times when examination requires the study of the nervous system and its function peripherally. Neuropathies are problems with the peripheral nerves (nerves outside the spinal cord) in your body, which can lead to decreased sensation, numbness, vibration, and even loss of strength in certain places. Some neuropathies are the result of muscles or structures in the body entrapping a nerve leading to neuropathic symptoms, but it can also be due to systemic issues that have been present for quite some time. Most people will know that long standing diabetes that remains unmanaged can lead to neuropathies in patients, especially into the hands and feet. Another condition that can go generally undiagnosed but relatable in both neuropathies and diabetes is hypothyroidism. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • Lethargy, fatigue, sleepiness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Cold intolerance
  • Weight gain (due to decreased metabolic rate)
  • hair thinning
  • Decreased pulse and high blood pressure
  • Edema in the heart and lower extremities

The last point is of importance. The edema build up in extremities such as the hands and feet is often the result of neuropathies in this condition, where the fluid causes pressure build up on the nerves leading in neuropathic symptoms. Most studies have shown a mild correlation with hypothyroid patients and the neuropathic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but it is not limited to the arms and wrist if expressed. Many of these symptoms listed above are also be found in patients with long standing diabetes like the weight gain and edema, which can prove problematic in determining what condition could be attributing to the neuropathy. Therefore in all clinical scenarios with neuropathic pain, there needs to be a firm understanding on the cause of the symptoms, whether it be mechanical or systemic in nature in order to refer to the proper practitioner for treatment. While diabetes can likely be the culprit in systemic cases, there’s no harm in asking a GP to Check your thyroid hormone levels, especially if you’re are not responding to conservative management. Even if you suspect hypothyroid symptoms, neuropathic problems often don’t appear in subclinical cases (where the hormone is just above average), therefore coming to follow up and taking proper physicals are always of importance in order to keep you in good health.


DynaMed Database
Shiri, R 2014- Hypothyroidism and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis
Jallilzadeh et al. 2006- Peripheral Nerve Function in Subclinical Hypothyroidism: A Case-Control Study

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