The Fascinating Facts of The New Pain Paradigm   Piercing, throbbing, shooting, aching, dull, cramping, burning––pain produces a variety of sensations, and by the time we reach middle age, most of us have experienced all of them in some part of our body. But this is where pain gets interesting––there’s only one place it actually occurs: in your brain. That time when you were a kid and you fell and scraped your knee? It wasn’t your knee producing the pain, it was your brain. When you burned your hand on a hot stove? Again, that was your brain, not your hand that made...

Human beings are very adaptable. We can endure situations we might have once thought ourselves incapable of facing. Nearly anyone who has experienced a loss understands this. Grief and the processing of loss may be difficult, but we’re still capable of managing it, and in many cases, more effectively and in less time than we expected. Loss is just one type of traumatic experience to which every single one of us is vulnerable. In fact, we’re vulnerable to trauma just by way of the universal truth that everything is changing all the time. Although it will vary in type and degree...

What Is Anxiety? This word is tossed around a lot in popular media. It’s used to describe anything from a modicum of stress experienced sitting in a traffic jam to a full-blown panic attack. The former is a common stress response. The latter seizes our mental and physical body and reduces us to a bundle of nerves, sweat, and heart palpitations. Simply put, anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress that can cause feelings of apprehension, nervousness, and fear. Such responses to certain events or circumstances are natural, particularly now given the current state of the world. And in some cases,...

Scenario 1: Your biggest fear has just been triggered. You’ve been called upon to speak at your best friend’s wedding, a gathering of about 200 people. You detest speaking in front of an audience, but you can’t let your best friend down. You agree to do it knowing you’re going to stress about it right up until the big day six months from now. Scenario 2: You’re in the back of a cab that’s just about to head onto the 401. The passing cars are a blur of colour, steel, and rubber, and you feel the cold prickle of fear rise through your...

Why do we care about the science behind energy medicine? Many of us have experienced the therapeutic value of massage and acupuncture, or even non-touch and less conventional forms of energy medicine such as sound healing, Reiki, or even prayer. Energy medicine is indeed a broad field, and at a time when it is becoming more popular as an alternative healing choice, our left-brained skeptic wants to know how it works and why allopathic medicine is beginning to welcome it into convention.   “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the...

  Your body is a fluid, dynamic structure of bones, blood vessels, tissues, and other organic matter. Just think for a minute about what an incredible experience it is to live within your body. You’re made up of genes coded with clues about your ancestors, as well as millions of microscopic bacteria that influence everything from your mood to how well last night’s pizza digested.   But our miraculous bodies also contain a more subtle system. You can’t see, touch, or feel it, though it is alive, active, and has major implications for physical and emotional health: the energy meridians, or channels.   Energy meridians...

What is the Black Pearl?   Put all thoughts of Captain Jack Sparrow or coveted organic Tahitian gems aside, and let’s pick the brain for a moment––literally.   The Black Pearl also refers to a significant, non-material aspect of life: our happiness. It relates to our emotional health, and our ability to recover from trauma and manage stress. It gives us clues for confronting fear, and it can even signal how well we accept our setbacks and misses in life.   Pretty intriguing, right?   The Black Pearl is a small cluster of neurons called the amygdala located in the temporal lobe of your brain. It’s part of...

When you think of paying it forward, you may think of paying for a stranger’s coffee or food in line behind you. What you may not think about is what kindness looks like in your own home. It’s easy to get irritated with your spouse and kids. As a family, you see each other at your best and worst. That’s why kindness within your home is so important. Practicing kindness regularly helps to heal relationships and it encourages family members to love each other in simple ways. If you’re looking for some kind things you can do for a family member...

What Do You Want to Create More of in the World? Every day, you shape the world around you. You make seemingly small choices that can impact another life for years to come. Maybe it was your decision to stop and offer assistance to the elderly woman shopping alone or your kindness to the cashier on your way out of the store. You may never know of the effect of these small kindnesses but make no mistake, you are influencing other people. But that kindness doesn’t just affect them – it affects you, too. Here are a few ways paying it forward...

If nothing else, #icestorm2018 has taught us that you don’t always have control over what is happening around you no matter how much you plan. My daughter and I had planned a road trip to Montreal, to shop for her prom dress for months.  As the weekend drew closer, it was evident that Mother Nature wasn’t going to be as cooperative as we had originally hoped. Rescheduling the trip really wasn’t an option (anyone with an 18 year old daughter can attest to that) so we decided to leave a bit earlier Friday morning and keep a positive outlook that it wasn’t...