Tag: health

Healthy Swellness: Equine therapy in King City with Jennifer Schramm

IMG_3174

Early this summer, I was invited to try a session of equine therapy in King City, Ontario. I had never heard of equine therapy, but I love the idea of quality time with horses so I accepted the invite to join Jennifer Schramm to try a session of equine therapy so that I could get a taste of what her workshops, Unbridled Experiences, are like.

I arrived and Jennifer and I spent the first part of the session chatting inside. And then we stepped outside to the barn to meet the horses. As our first exercise, she had me meet each horse but I wasn’t to pet them. After spending a few minutes with them, she asked me what I’d noticed about each horse. I could tell one seemed more impatient and distracted (and I guessed he was the youngest), another was more calm, quiet and seemed more sensitive (this indeed was the oldest horse) and the third horse was somewhere between the two. Jenn told me my assessments were quite accurate. It’s pretty interesting what you can read about an animal by just being in their presence.

IMG_3622

So I learned from my two-hour session that there are different types of equine therapy and it can be beneficial for a wide range of issues. For example, it can be a helpful therapy for children with autism; from what I learned from Jenn, the therapy then revolves more of the routine of caring for the animal and being in the moment and being in tune with the animal’s cues.

But the therapy session I took part in was crafted around more around self discovery; considering an issue or area of one’s life you’re coping with and seeking some answers to, and through exercises with the horses, drawing some insight on how your actions, motivations and behaviour are affecting that area of your life.  Horses are powerful, sensitive and emotional animals, though, and through that, they can help reveal things about yourself you may not even realize.

This might be easier to illustrate with a hypothetical scenario. For example, let’s say you’re feeling lonely because you feel like friends have been distancing themselves from you and this is the issue you’re focusing on for your session. I did a few different exercises with the horses, but one I did with the oldest horse involved having to get her to move through two pylons I’d set up, but without pulling or pushing her to direct her that way. If you (as “lonely person with no friends”) were doing this drill and were really impatient and angry with the horse, you might come to realize that those aspects of your personality and how you’ve been treating your chums may be what is making your friends shy away from you.

I can tell you it took awhile but eventually the horse made her way through those pylons, but only after I got a bit of guidance from Jenn. To finish the session, we headed indoors where we chatted some more and she asked me to jot down my thoughts just for myself to process the day’s session.

I wasn’t in a rush so before I left, Jenn introduced me to her mini pony, Paddington, who that day was being kept in the stables as he was a bit under the weather. He’s an absolute darling.

IMG_3397

After one short session, I can’t say if I’m entirely a proponent personally for equine therapy, but I think if it works for you, or you’re seeking something different in your journey of therapy and self discovery, go for it. I will say that some quiet quality time with the horses, and simply having time to focus and connect with your own thoughts and feelings and issues you’re dealing with does feel quite therapeutic in and of itself. Whether one can glean and learn from the interactions with the horses is something I’d have to explore much more of.

For more about Jennifer and her equine therapy Unbridled Experiences workshops in King City, visit www.jenniferschramm.com.

Paddington

Leave a Comment August 10, 2017

Foodie Swellness: 3 ways I maintain my on-the-go schedule (including Good & Simple Muffins and Bars!)

IMG_5820

When you work freelance like I do, and you make your own schedule, it can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure, if I want to take the afternoon off because it’s a gorgeous sunny day, I can…but it also means I’m always juggling my schedule and fitting in meeting, events, fitness and a social life however/whenever I can.

As much as a 9-to-5 job can be a drag, sometimes I envy the structure it gives your life. Although that does mean you have to cram everything else outside of those hours, doesn’t it? So life can get chaotic for all of us–whether it’s kids, fitness, travel, friends, work–we all have times we feel like we’re just struggling to stay ahead of it all.

How do I juggle my responsibilities and make it work? It’s not rocket science by any means but here are three ways I’ve found have helped make my busy schedule more manageable.

Snack on the go. I try to eat three meals a day, and snack as needed depending on my workouts and how hungry I am. But sometimes i legitimately forget to include time to grab a meal because I’ve scheduled my day to run from one meeting to another. And often, since I’m not a morning person, I’m running out the door trying to get to an early workout or event, and I haven’t eaten a thing. This is why ready-to-go snacks like Good & Simple Muffins and Bars are a staple in my house. I’m partial to the Bars (they’re just easier to eat and I find they taste slightly less sweet than the muffins); Walnut and Grains is my fave but the Blueberry Oatmeal is a close second. Made with real ingredients such as whole grains (in the blueberry oatmeal bar, for example, there’s 13 grams of whole grains in each bar) and no artificial flavours or colours, Good & Simple offers a wholesome and tasty quick way to fuel up quickly and when you’re on the move.

Create some routine to your day to day. While I love making my own schedule (although I do curse that very same thing when I’ve taken a few hours off in the day to go to a sample sale and I’m typing away on my computer at 2 a.m.!) , going through each day with zero structure can be taxing mentally. So I try to have some routine to my day: I try to do a quick journal entry morning and night (this is still a work in progress), and now walking my recently adopted dog, Billie Jean, a minimum of three times a day helps me break up my schedule into distinct chunks of time, which makes managing my time easier to do.

Find a calendar that works for you. My smartphone calendar is my bible. I use the Informant app to keep track of my events, meetings, phone calls, deadlines, workouts, appointments and plans with friends. It’s all colour-coded, and I’m very, very lost without it and refer to it a few times a day. I didn’t find the iCal had all the functionality I wanted, which is why I purchased Informant. Before I bought it, I was forgetting about deadlines from time to time. It remains the most expensive app I’ve ever bought but it was worth it (and that’s even without using it to its full capabilities, I still need to learn how to make use of all of its features).

I’d love to know if you have ways to streamline your busy life! And in the meanwhile, to learn more about Good & Simple, which are now available in Ontario, here.

(sponsored)

IMG_5821

Leave a Comment July 27, 2017

Healthy Swellness: 6 ways your Rexall pharmacist can help you

RexallBrunswick-001

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.

RexallBrunswick-143

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.

RexallBrunswick-144

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

(sponsored)

Leave a Comment May 2, 2017

Previous page


Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments