Filed under: Healthy Swellness

Healthy Swellness: 6 ways your Rexall pharmacist can help you

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Who are the people in your health squad? I keep it pretty simple: I’ve got my doctor, my massage therapists (although I haven’t seen either of my two fave RMTs in ages…sigh), my chiropractor, and my running buddies (they count, don’t they?)—I’d say those are the core people. But I will admit: I don’t ever take advantage of getting more from my visits to the pharmacist other than to having my prescriptions filled.

But last week, when I attended the launch of the new Rexall Brunswick House, I got to chat with the pharmacy manager, Jessie Chen, and learned that you miss out on benefiting your health when you don’t draw from your pharmacist’s expertise.

“Often people come in with it comes to cold and flu symptoms, seasonal allergies, heartburn, stomach upset, dry eyes, headaches—they come into the pharmacy first for something over the counter that can provide some relief,” says Chen. She says about 50 percent of her work with patients is helping with these issues, and the other half is focused on prescriptions.

Other ways your pharmacist can help you?

  • “We can administer flu shots, and recently in Ontario (every province has different regulations), we were approved to administer other vaccines, such as the shingles vaccine and HPV vaccine.”
  • Your pharmacist can take your blood pressure. The pharmacy is equipped with a blood pressure machine and if you wish, they can create a tracking card for you and link it to your medication profile so you can monitor it over time.
  • Your pharmacist can help you quit your smoking habit. Pharmacists can provide smoking cess counselling, recommend certain nicotine replacement products, and prescribe sme smoking cessation medications, and provide follow-ups with patient over time, says Chen.
  • “We can help you when buying over-the-counter products,” says Chen. “It’s a good idea to consult with your pharmacist. Sometime people think because something is herbal or if it’s vitamins, it’s safe, but there could be potential interactions. Pharmacists are a good resource to help identify if any interactions and whether or not that product is a good choice for you,” she says. If you’re pregnant, for example, there may be some products with limited research on them and the pharmacist can identify when you would want to exercise caution.
  • Your pharmacist can also help determine when you need the help of another health expert. “Our recommendations are tailored to the patient, so we take some basic health information, such as symptoms, and drug allergies, and find out what medications they’re currently taking to keep in mind possible drug interactions, and from there we can assess whether seeing their doctor is necessary.”

Since there are so many ways you can work with your pharmacist when it comes to your health, you should choose a pharmacist you feel comfortable with. “Health and wellness if the core of our business,” says Chen. She recommends selecting someone you feel you can open up to and be honest with, since open communication and trust is the key for it being a successful relationship.

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And btw, in case you’re worried about the Brunny now being occupied by a Rexall, you should know that Rexall worked with the city’s Historic Preservation Service and restored the exterior and interior elements. In fact, the original keg barrel bar is now the main checkout area. The chandeliers and tin ceiling are originals that have been restored.

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And while those are elements of the building you can check out anytime when you shop here, if you pop in now, you’ll have a chance to have a peek at the Rexall Brunswick House Music Artifacts Exhibition, which included memorabilia from artists who’ve played on the Brunny’s stage, including Jeff Healey and Oscar Peterson. But check it out soon, because all of these artifacts are soon being shipped to Studio Bell, the National Music Centre in Calgary (which I got a chance to preview before it opened when I was in Calgary last spring—it’s definitely worth a visit!).

Photo credit: Evan Bergstra/Ryan Emberley Photography

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Leave a Comment May 2, 2017

Healthy Swellness: Don’t let pursuing your fitness goals give you back pain

davWith the warmer spring weather on its way, a lot of us are scrambling to get started on getting our beach bods back in time for summer. And while we may be considering how toned we want our arms to get, or of that six-pack of abs, the health of our back is not something we typically consider, but really should not be overlooked.

Ironically, as I write this, it was almost a year to the date that I discovered how important back health is in the most painful way. It’s hard to say for certain what caused me to throw out my back, but long flights and running both possibly contributed to the issue. What I can say for sure is that it is the most physical pain I have experienced ever. I couldn’t sit down, lie down, pull open a door, or move in any way without incredible pain. My pride kept me from crying actual tears, but there was much whimpering and crying on the inside. And the only way I found relief and got my back to health? Regular appointments with a chiropractor.

If you’ve never seen a chiro, I think they’re a health pro we could all use in our lives. For example, if you’ve thrown yourself into a new workout regimen this spring, remember how important proper form is. Improper form can cause injury to your spine, knees, and shoulders, says the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Three popular exercises, when done with bad form, that can and often do lead to back injuries are squats, deadlifts and kettlebell swings.

First off, for these exercises, remember to maintain a neutral spine (to discover your neutral spine, stand backed up to a wall, with your head, upper back and tailbone touching the wall, with enough space for your fingers between the wall and your lower back). Next, keep these pointers in mind for each exercise:

Squats

Keep your chest up, and as you bend your knees, engage those glutes by lowering your body as though you were taking a seat. This form will help you maintain a neutral spine.

Deadlifts

As you hinge at the hip to perform your deadlift, envision a wall two feet behind you and imagine you are touching your glutes to this wall. This little tactic helps ensure you hinge at the hips instead of overusing your knees,

Kettlebell swings

Maintain that neutral spine as you swing so that you hinge at the hip and avoid straining the back. Swing the kettlebell only up to shoulder level (if you swing higher, you may compromise your neutral spine form.

Whether you’re just getting back into fitness or are a regular at working out, make sure you can continue your exercise routine by caring for your back, bones, muscles, joints and central  nervous system. You can find more essential info on keeping your back health in check at www.chiropractic.on.ca. And while you’re at it, on the site, you can find a local chiropractor who can help you learn about and maintain your back health.

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Leave a Comment May 1, 2017

Healthy Swellness: Help clean Canada together with Glad Canada

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With Earth Day coming up (April 22nd!), and it being Canada’s 150th birthday, Glad Canada asked me if I’d be up for helping clean up a part of Toronto, and it was no question at all that I would take part.

I hate litter. I’ve been many a time fuming on the inside but not willing to get into an argument with strangers out in public when I see them litter. In my mailroom in my building, some of my neighbours leave flyers laying about, rather than putting them in the recycling box that’s literally three steps away, and it drives me bananas. I’m regularly swooping those up and tossing them in the blue bin. When I read about David Sedaris’s habit of picking up litter, I identified with his passion for it.

And yet I’ve never picked up trash in public, until now, thanks to this invite from Glad Canada, and I can tell you now it’s pretty satisfying. I set out for the Beaches with my dog, Billie Jean, with some gloves and Glad bags. By Lake Ontario. I spent about 20 minutes picking up (there was straws, plastic bags, newspapers, and more) and it’s incredible what a difference just what my little bit of effort could make.

And if we all just took that small window of time, imagine how much cleaner and beautiful our amazing city would be. I promise you that getting in on this #CleanCanadaTogether action with Glad Canada will make you feel great and make your hometown that much better. Check if there’s Glad community clean-up event in your area, or just go ahead with a friend, or your dog like I did.

Happy Earth Day, and here’s to a cleaner Canada!

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Leave a Comment April 21, 2017

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