What I learned at SWIS 2015

swis weightI was honoured to attend the Society of Weight Training Injury Specialists Symposium here in Toronto, November 13-14. With over 40 sessions scheduled over the weekend in the four categories of training, treatment, rehab and nutrition, there was plenty to learn. I am very thankful for my team at Totum Life Science for inviting me to this event.

I started my Friday in the Treatment stream in a course on “Neurostim”.  This course highlighted the use of light therapy to treat scars that have been turning off muscles since the initial injury, causing dysfunction and often pain. Following this I went on over to the Training stream and settled in to learn about “Strength Correctives, Building Armour for Your Athletes”. This interesting course went over a selection of specific correctives for basic exercises like the squat. Whereas an athlete may not be able to squat right now with full range of motion, there are many ways to get him/her there eventually.

Following an afternoon break, I made my way over to the Rehab stream where SWIS rehab presenter delegates were having an open panel discussion demonstrating their favourite rehab techniques for specific weight training injuries. Not only is a panel discussion like this great for weight training injuries, many of the injuries discussed can be sustained during sport or any other activity like triathlon training. On the panel were Dr. Dale Buchberger, Dr. Rob Rakowski, Dr. David Leaf, and Dr. Jerome Rerucha.

In the late afternoon, Paul Check, a holistic practitioner from California presented on “Athlete Management – The Four Doctors”.  This course was also under the Rehab stream.  The four doctors are “Dr. Happy, Dr. Quiet, Dr. Movement and Dr. Diet”.  According to Paul Chek, these are the last four doctors you’ll ever need.

This course was a great review on the fine art of creating a balanced training schedule for your athlete that addresses items not normally considered but highly important, like sleep, stress and meditation. Interestingly enough, three of the four doctors are in this Chinese Proverb,

“The best doctors are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.”

Just before the first day of SWIS 2015 ended, one of my favourite nutrition experts, Dr. John Berardi spoke about “Nutrition for Injury Recovery”. I have shared this talk before in previous posts and will share it again here . For example, did you know that you should be eating more calories while recovering from an injury?

Saturday, was another fabulous day of learning. I fit in an early morning weight training session before the day began with my super-duper awesome client “J”, who has come along way with her weight training. “J” is a mother of two, age 48 who has chisled here figure down substantially while working with me over the past year. “J” has lost over 3% body fat with heavy weight lifting and proper nutrition. “J”s program includes a quite a reduction in her overall weekly alcohol consumption. If you were able to read “My Top 10 for 2015” article, reducing your overall alcohol intake is number 10 and by reducing your overall alcohol intake, you can significantly improve 1 through 9.

At 7 am on Saturday morning, “J” and I completed a 3-set full body continuous 12 rep circuit that included squats, push ups, stability ball core work, horizontal pull ups, followed by prone posterior chain and related mat-based core work.

Following my morning weight training session with “J”, I started the SWIS sessions in the Treatment stream with Dr. Jerome Rerucha who discussed “Treatment Modalities – Laser Percussor/Adjustor for Weight Training Injuries”. Being trained in Cold Laser Therapy myself, I found this course useful. Treating the main pain centre may not always be best route was the premise here, as treating the area causing the dysfunction may be better a better place to start.

Following Dr. Rerucha, I fit in a lunch session of cycling intervals for 40 minutes followed by the SWIS buffet of chicken breast, veggies and sweet potatoes.

After lunch, Paul Check completed his “Four Doctors Approach” in the Rehab stream, and following this I popped into learn about “Advanced Nutritional and Biochemical Applications for Muscle Hypertrophy and Fat Loss” with Dr. Daryn Willoughby in the nutrition stream.

Did you know that if working out a night puts you to sleep then you most certainly have adrenal fatigue issues and/or high cortisol and should not be working out at this late hour? 

Dr. Daryn highlighted the many mistakes we make when trying to gain muscle and lose fat, when really it can be quite simple.

The last presentation I attended at SWIS 2015 was Charles Poloquin’s “Individualization of Strength Training through Neurotransmitter Dominance Profile”. This was also in the Nutrition stream. Poloquin is most widely known for his BioSignature Modulation. He has now gone on to develop training methods that correspond best with our individual neurotransmitter prototypes. Poloquin believes “the greatest determining factor of an athlete’s physiology is their Neurotransmitter Profile”

This was particularly convincing to me when Poloquin touched upon the fine balance of the Acetyl-Choline athlete, which I  most closely resemble. As an Acetyl-Choline athlete I am witty, highly creative and quick thinking. I respond best to a variety of training intensity and volume and have a tendency to over train very easily if volume is excessive.  I feel there is some sense here, so I’m going to look into these neurotransmitter training methods into further detail.

It’s a wrap. Once again, thank you to my team at Totum Life Science, without whom I would not have been introduced to the SWIS 2015. And of course a huge thank you to Dr. Kinakin for bringing all of the experts together under one roof and putting on such a great event.

Please feel free to contact me regarding any of the new learning I have discussed above.  I am always happy to share!




Registered Kinesiology and Regulated Healthcare in Ontario – Part One


If you have had a chance to read my most recent post, you would know that I am a graduate of kinesiology and health science studies and, that I am a registered health professional practicing kinesiology in Toronto, Ontario, Canada – the first governing province in the entire world to regulate the profession of kinesiology. By regulating kinesiology, the public is in a safer position to use kinesiology services as they are bound to a governing college with strict guidelines, policies and ethics. Kinesiology services in Ontario, in this regard, are also a tax deductible service as a medical expense in the province of Ontario and, are covered by several health plans including Manulife, DesJardins and Great West Life.

As “exercise is medicine” is becoming a household phrase, so too is “kinesiology”.

Kinesiology by definition, is the study of human movement, or in other words “exercise” or “physical activity”.  Because of this simple definition many may still understand a degree in kinesiology as just that – a degree in physical activity, exercise, recreation and sport — and not as a science degree. The title of the degree which I achieved from Toronto’s York University in 2005 includes not only “kinesiology”, but “kinesiology and health science” and, for good reason.  What I studied goes beyond physical activity, fitness, recreation and sport. My degree includes the study of science, physiology, nutrition, anatomy, skilled performance and motor learning, statistics, research and data collection, biomechanics, chronic disease, neuroscience, endocrinology, epidemiology, bone and joint health, psychology, behaviour, counselling , and more.

Is exercise without the science easy, nonetheless? 

One may think so.

Is physical activity simple provided one is motivated to get active?

Even still, if plain old exercise were so easy, everyone would be doing it and not only that, doing it properly (dose, intensity, time, type) so that they were reaching all of their goals without hitting any obstacles or getting sick or injured along the way.

What if you have a chronic condition or disease? How about an eating disorder? What if your child is diagnosed with diabetes? Would you be curious as to whether or not he/she still be allowed to play soccer? Whom would you trust to send your child to see about this besides your family doctor?

The more physical activity and similar studies have evolved over the years, the more closely the relationship has become to not just limit the department of kinesiology and health science studies to sport and recreation, but to branch out into studying health and chronic disease as they relate to exercise. In fact, kinesiology and health science studies have been focusing on heart disease, diabetes, acquired brain injury, stroke and spinal injury as they relate to exercise and movement for many years now.

One main focus of such studies often pertains to “dose”.  Similar to pharmacology the “dose” of exercise is different for each individual. Both the type and the intensity may be varied depending on the physical pharmacondition of the person. The timing can be precise depending on not only the current medical condition, but it can also be customized to work with a person’s current medical prescriptions, chronic ailments and adjoining side-effects from one or the other. The duration of the exercise session can also be curtailed to elicit a precise response in order to treat a condition and to potentially heal it. This all requires expertise and years of study to properly define, prescribe and monitor.

Thus, a kinesiologist knows the ins and outs of the body and how it functions and dysfunctions. With regard to myself, I have both a strong knowledge and broad background of chronic disease and psychology and the various medications that go with such disease and how they may be affected by movement. I also understand various common ailments and of course, injuries related to sport, physical activity and work.

During my four year course of study, along with the 48 credits of core courses that focused on the study of the basic ins and outs of the body and mind as it relates to physical activity and health, 52 of my other credits were electives.  Some examples of the electives I chose to were exercise and addictive behaviours, which focused on disordered eating and physical activity habits and their relationship with correlative mental health conditions. I chose to learn more about phyiscal actvitiy and chronic disease which delved into post traumatic stress disorder and using exercise as an adjunct to cancer and stem cell therapy in order to improve symptoms of depression.  I also very much enjoyed my practical course in African and Caribbean Dance, in addition to the specialized Coaching Certificate Program I enrolled in, where I received my National Coaching Certification Program Level 3 Therory designation in my favourite sport, triathlon.

Historically speaking, kinesiology and health science degrees are relatively new.  The University of Toronto only changed the name of their program from Physical Education and Health to Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2012.  Previous to the 1990’s most schools were offering only physical activity or physical education degrees, not kinesiology and health science degrees.

As the study of sport science and physical activity continues to evolve, many schools have come to the realization that they are no longer studying just sport and physical activity, but that they are on to something much broader and more encompassing.

As a result, the popular title “kinesiology and health science” was born and continues to grow today. In fact, most – if not all – Canadian universities (and many more around the world) have changed or, are in the process of changing their outdated undergraduate “sport and physical activity” programs to “kinesiology and health science” studies or similar.

So, if you’ve reached this point you know a bit more about me and a lot more about kinesiology. But, I need to help you understand one more thing.  That is how one practices kinesiology and how the practice of kinesiology fits into the regulated healthcare model in Ontario, Canada.

First of all, I will inform you of the scope of Registered Kinesiology in Ontario:

The practice of kinesiology is the assessment of human movement and performance and its rehabilitation and management to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement and performance. 2007, c. 10, Sched. O, s. 3.

In layman’s terms as redefined by the Ontario Kinesiology Association, the scope is as follows:

 The practice of Kinesiology is the assessment of movement, performance and function and the rehabilitation, prevention and management of disorders to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement, performance and function, in the areas of sport, recreation, work, exercise, and activities of daily living.

This is where things may get confusing, or how I more like to explain it in terms of “overlapping” scopes of practice. Whereas, no single health profession has exclusive ownership of a specific skill or health service, different professions may provide the same health services. A Kinesiologist in this way may seem similar to a Physiothersapist or a Chiropractor. Let me explain the differences.

Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are classified as Health Practitioners and can diagnose disease.  As a Kinesiologist, I am classified as a Health Professional and can make a clinical impression.  

A clinical impression is not to be confused with communicating a diagnosis of a disease.

To further explain,

Chiropractors are authorized to (Chiropractic Act, 1991):

  • Communicate a diagnosis identifying, as the cause of a person’s symptoms,
    • a disorder arising from the structures or functions of the spine and their effects on the nervous system, or
    • a disorder arising from the structures or functions of the joints of the extremities.
  • Move the joints of the spine beyond a person’s usual physiological range of motion using a fast, low amplitude thrust.
    • Put a finger beyond the anal verge for the purpose of manipulating the tailbone.

Physiotherapists are authorized to:

  • Communicate a diagnosis identifying a physical dysfunction, disease or disorder as the cause of a person’s symptoms.
  •  Treat a wound including by cleansing, soaking, irrigating, probing, debriding, packing or dressing the wound.
  • Administer, by inhalation:
    • i. oxygen, or
    • ii. a drug or substance that has been ordered by person who is authorized to do so by the Chiropody Act 1991, the Dentistry Act, 1991, the Medicine Act, 1991 the Nursing Act, 1991 or the Midwifery Act, 1991.
  • Putting an instrument, hand or finger beyond the labia majora or the anal verge for the purpose of assessment or treatment.

Kinesiologists are not currently authorized to perform any of the controlled acts outlined (above) and in section 27 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

While most of these controlled acts are relatively easy to recognize and are clearly defined, the first controlled act, referred to commonly as “communicating a diagnosis” is an area that often causes confusion for regulated health professionals.

Let me explain.

In a comprehensive and consistent process, kinesiologists assess their patients’/clients’ movement and performance for the purposes of rehabilitation and enhancement. Kinesiologists base their clinical decisions on this assessment, and may offer professional opinions, appropriate interventions and recommendations. In this way, they are making a chartingclinical impression. This clinical impression can help the kinesiologist treat you right away provided it is appropriate, and it may also help to serve any other health professional involved with your treatment, either to enhance their own clinical impression or to assist them with making a diagnosis should they be authorized to do so.

The kinesiologist may also discuss findings with the patient/client, inculding a plan for follow-up with the appropriate diagnosing professional. In this process, it is essential that the kinesiologist provide the patient/client with an explanation of the nature of the problem that includes providing a label or name for the identified dysfunction (e.g. Hyperlordosis, reduced proprioception, Trendelenburg gait, etc.). This is considered by the College to be communicating a dysfunction, not a disease or disorder, and therefore does not fall within the definition of the controlled act of communicating a diagnosis.

Let me recap.

Outside of a communicating a complete diagnosis, the administration of oxygen, treating an open wound, moving joints beyond their normal range of motion and lastly, internal pelvic examinations – the many services that are provided by your various health care professionals may overlap.  This is to your benefit, as it only gives you more options to choose from during your Ontario healthcare service journey.

Below is a list of services your Registered Kinesiologist is authorized to provide in Ontario:



  • Gait Assessment
  • Musculoskeletal Assessment
  • Biomechanical Assessment
  • Postural Assessment
  • Ergonomic Assessments/Work Station Analysis


  • Therapeutic/Remedial Exercise
  • EducationFascial Stretch
  • Cardiac/Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Work Hardening
  • Work Conditioning
  • Modalities including, ultrasound, TENS (Biofeedback, Surface EMG), laserhttp://kine.info.yorku.ca/
  • Assisted Devices UtilizationManual Therapy
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Work Design/Re-Design/Adaptation
  • Treatment Coordination/Communication
  • Manual Therapy
  • Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy
  • Soft Tissue Therapy
  • Sport Massage
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation, including taping
  • Exercise with Special Populations
  • Chronic digeriatricsease prevention and management (e.g. Cancer, Diabetes, Arthritis, Heart Disease, MS, Fibromyalgia)
  • Acute illness recuperation
  • Exercise and fitness programs for weight loss, cardiovascular training and muscular conditioning/development
  • HydrotherapyRock Tape
  • Cryotherapy
  • Movement disorder therapies
  • High performance training
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Personal Fitness Training
  • Fitness and health related mental health and addiction programming

So, how does all this relate to how Registered Kinesiology fits into the current regulated healthcare model?

A Registered Kinesiologist is your healthcare expert on exercise. Although many other health care professions prescribe and monitor exercise and may even involve themselves in exercise programming, this is secondary to what their profession is primarily trained to do.  On the flip side, if your Registered Kinesiologist is providing manual therapy, or using modalities such as laser or ultrasound for a few examples, this is secondary to what they are primarily educated to do. Neither scenarios are wrong, or better or worse that the other. Getting the two to work together in order to get you moving better faster is key.

So how do we do this? How do we all fit into the regulated healthcare model in Ontario?  And, by all  – I mean not just the health professionals themselves, but YOU – the patient!

Stay tuned for Pahealth professionalsrt 2 of Registered Kinesiology and Regulated Healthcare in Ontario.

#kinesiology #regulated #ontario #registered #rehabilitation #sport #medicine #physiotherapy #chiropractor #manual #therapy #therapist #health #fitness #healthcare  

My Top 10 for 2015

P1070556As a Registered Kinesiologist, I am classified as a Regulated Health Professional in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

The scope of practice of kinesiology, as defined by the Kinesiology Act, 2007, is as follows:

“The assessment of human movement and performance and its rehabilitation and management to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement and performance.”

This definition reflects the idea of kinesiology not just as rehabilitative, but preventative and promoting general wellness. Kinesiology places a strong emphasis on prevention and enhancement, and utilizes exercise and improved movement to achieve a better quality of life for individuals. Proper diet and exercise not only help in recovering from illness or injury, but can also help prevent heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and many other common conditions.

I care deeply about health. Enjoy my top 10 list for 2015 and enjoy a healthier 2015 as a result. For more information on the practice of kinesiology in Ontario, please visit The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario and/or The Ontario Kinesiology Association

1. Get hydrated. Give up pointless other beverages for plain old water.  It does the body good and it is FREE.  Water

  • Keeps your temperature normal. So, if your metabolism is slow, you may just need more water.
  • Lubricates and cushions joints, and as such plain old water may be helpful to those with arthritis.
  • Protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. If you suffer from back pain, good old water may be just what you need.
  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. If you are regularly constipated you may just be dehydrated.

Shoot for at least 2 litres per day. Especially if you are active.  Aim for closer to 3 litres if you are a bigger person or a very active person, closer to 2 litres will do if you are smaller and less active. Aim  for more if you drink a lot of coffee or tea (including Green Tea). If you are not near drinking 1 litre of water daily now, progress slowly by increasing one more 250 ml glass of water into your present regime every few days until you reach your desires amount.

2. Get more sleep. And if it is regular sleep (going to bed at relatively the same time every night) – all the better. You’ll be more alert and therefore more effectively productive.  You will also get all of the human growth hormone output your body needs to be the optimally best you. On the contrary, depriving yourself of adequate sleep wreaks havoc on your hormonal system and stress levels and as a result directly causes weight gain, mood swings and unnecessary food cravings for sugar and fat to say the least.

3. Get more fibre.  Time and time again I hear folks wanting to shed pounds, get healthier and get fitter.  But instead of seeking more fibre they want to drop carbs, perhaps depriving themselves of vital nutrients their bodies need – or they seek to add more protein – often the animal kind which causes the body to become more acidic.  Take the easy route to a slimmer, fitter and healthier you and start adding chia to your morning cereal, smoothies, lunchtime salads and soups. In “Fat Flush for Life,” certified holistic nutritionist Ann Louis Gittleman, Ph.D., names chia seeds as one of the world’s most fiber-rich foods. Unlike dietary fiber from cereal grains, the soluble fiber content of chia seeds takes more time to travel through the intestinal tract, which helps add bulk to the stool and provides a slower rate of glucose absorption making it great for diabetics. Soluble fiber can also reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream

4. Spice it up. Move over salt and pepper. ** Spices like turmeric, ginger and cayenne have a lot to offer and are easy enough to add to soups, stews, salads and smoothies – adding flavour without the drawbacks of adding too much sodium.  Turmeric has been researched as having powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Current research on ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects – including alleviation of gastrointestinal distress like gas and bloating. Cayenne, is a powerful compound with many uses in alternative health practice, that may include: boosting metabolism, neutralizing acidity, reducing inflammation, aiding digestion, and migraine headache relief to name a few.

5. Lift heavy.   At some point in your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function, a condition known as age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you will still experience some muscle loss. Adding more weight to your lifts can also help you remove more fat from your body.

6. Get outside. Exposure to green space improves well-being both immediately and over time. In other words, don’t eat lunch at your desk every day. You could also decorate your office with plants which has been studied as having similar effects as getting outside on improving overall well-being of office workers.

7. Meditate. When we think of meditation, we think of relaxation and de-stressing.  However, one study has gone further into unfolding the many benefits of meditation.  A range of disease-fighting genes were active in relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group in a study by Dr Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. After two months, the meditator’s bodies began to change: the genes that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on. More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure.

8. Exercise every day.  I mean it.  Every day. I once had a client argue with me that this could not possibly be safe.  Our bodies are built to move.  I am not asking you to play vigorous tennis or football daily, but to get moving enough to break a slight sweat every day has many benefits from boosting your mood, stabilizing your blood sugar, protecting you from disease, to improving your sex life. Do some dips during commercials today and some push ups before heading out the door tomorrow.  Ab work is great before bed.  Prop your feet up and crunch away! Park your car far and take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators.  Give up online shopping for a mall walk.

9. Detox. Not just with juices, fasting and sweating – although these may be great on their own, but be sure to include along with your physical detox a detox of your mind, negative thinking, redundant habits, clutter and excessive chatter. I recommend keeping a daily “Gratitude Journal”, which is best done first thing in the morning.  Simply open up a page in a notebook and start a sentence with “I am grateful for” and let the rest flow.  Some days you might just be grateful that you got out of bed without pressing the snooze, other days you might find more to be grateful for. What the “Gratitude Journal” does is it sets the tone for positive thinking throughout your day, which many studies have shown to be beneficial for overall health and wellness.

10. Well they say if you want to get your point across,
keep it simple, emotional, truthful, real and valid. To say it, say it again and then repeat it at the close. So hear I go, with my most simple, emotional, truthful, real and valid of my list. Drop the booze.  This will ensure you get through 1-9 with sheer ease. Dropping the booze or in the least reducing your intake to at least 3 alcohol free days per week will insist you be more hydrated as alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol is known to disrupt sleep. Alcohol has no essential nutrient content whatsoever and it is only a sad cousin to the well known evil “sugar”. Alcohol may be spicy at times, but on the contrary to ginger, turmeric and cayenne it causes cancer, increases inflammation and causes the body to be overly acidic – making it easier for you to get a host of diseases. Alcohol is empty calories and as such causes unnecessary weight gain. Alcohol is a depressant and may make you housebound and unmotivated to get outside and move your body in a healthful way. Lastly, your body sees alcohol as a poison, or at least as something it doesn’t actually want inside it. Limit your intake and like I said, 1-9 will be as easy as 1-2-3.

Happy New Year everybody!  All the best for a most healthy, happy and prosperous 2015!

*Always check with your doctor first before taking any new medication, reducing or going off any medication, or when adding any natural supplements to your health plan.

**This is not a reference to mega dosing with spices and is only suggesting to a sprinkling an appropriate amount of spices on your food throughout the day. If in doubt of allergy or food-medication interaction or contraindication to any of the spices I mention herein this article, please check with your doctor.


All material on this website are provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the author, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.my logo smaller