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301-1585 Markham Road, Toronto, ON M1B 2W1 || 647.350.2447
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NEW! Clinic Hours Expanded

CIHS Clinic is growing with the new addition of our Pain Management clinic and our new medical doctor Dr. J. Chen!

We are open at these hours and welcome new walk-ins!

Monday 9:30 – 6

Tuesday Closed

Wednesday  9:30 – 6

Thursday 9:30 – 6

Friday Closed

Saturday 9 – 2


Call 647-350-2447 to book an appointment today!
Same-day appointment available.

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Add a SPRING to your step with custom orthotics!

Spring is just around the corner…

and after this long winter it’s a great opportunity to get outside and get walking. If you have enjoyed taking advantage of the bitter cold winter by cozying up inside and not walking around much, you may find that getting active again takes a toll on your feet, calves, and leg muscles. Custom orthotics give proper support and help your feet maintain their structural balance as you stand, walk, or run. They give you the stability you need to reduce stress and strain on your joints, which can lead to less pain for you now and in the future.

At CIHS, our practitioners thoroughly examine your feet and use the most modern technology to build custom orthotics for your needs. We send out your information to a recognized Canadian processing laboratory where they use modern materials to manufacture your orthotics. Your Canadian-Made orthotics will be available 2-4 weeks after your initial consultation.    

How do I know if I need custom orthotics?

Most of us can benefit from custom orthotics – they offer customized support and cushioning made for your feet and reduce everyday strain and stress. Listed below are some situations where orthotics can really help with back and foot pain. If any of these describes you, contact us for a consultation to see what custom orthotics can do for you.


  • Standing or walking for long periods of time

  • Involved in sports and athletics, or taking part in regular physical activity

  • Prior injury to knees, back, or neck 

  • Diabetic

  • Poor circulation

  • Overweight

  • Foot problems such as bunions, callouses, or flat feet

  • Over the age of 40


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Let us show you how

naturopathic medicine, chiropractic care, acupuncture, physiotherapy, and massage therapy

can improve your quality of life by:


  • Getting non-invasive relief for back and joint pain

  • Naturally tackling headaches, stress, anxiety and mood disorders 

  • Helping you eat nutritionally balanced, whole foods that give you a natural energy boost and help trim your waistline

  • Helping you get back to your everyday activities after suffering a sports injury, slip and fall accident, or motor vehicle accident

  • Helping you feel healthier overall – lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and relieving tension, AND

  • Answering any other questions you may have about the therapies we offer


This is your time to take control of your health!

Join us on:  Saturday March 1st at 1:00pm
CIHS Clinic, 1585 Markham Road Suite 301


Healthy lunch provided! Free draws for amazing prizes for all registrants!

This is an exclusive event and seats are limited. RSVP Required by Thurs., Feb. 27 2014.

Call 647-350-2447 or email

for more information or to register. 


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Safety tips for shoveling snow


Shoveling snow is a strenuous activity that is very stressful on the heart and back. Safe snow shoveling requires proper preparation, the right tools, good technique and knowledge. Here are some tips to protect your health when shoveling snow.

Be Prepared:

  • Talk to your doctor about this activity and your health status before winter season arrives.
  • Consider hiring a student or using a volunteer service if you are a senior or if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels.
  • Get the right tools for the job:
    • a sturdy yet lightweight shovel is best.ergonomic_shovel1
    • an ergonomically correct model (curved handle) will help prevent injury and fatigue.
    • spray the blade with a silicone-based lubricant (snow does not stick and slides off).

Before you start:

  • Wait 1-2 hours after eating.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
  • Dress for the weather! Wear layers and cover as much skin as possible. Wear boots to prevent slipping.
  • Warm up! (walk or march in place for several minutes before beginning).

When shoveling, remember to:

  • Start slow and continue at a slow pace (Suggestion: shovel for 5-7 minutes and rest 2-3 minutes).
  • Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Shovel early and often:
  • new snow is lighter than heavily packed/partially melted snow
  • take frequent breaks

Protect your back! Lift properly and safely:

  • stand with feet at hip width for balance
  • hold the shovel close to your body
  • space hands apart to increase leverage
  • bend from your knees not your back
  • tighten your stomach muscles while lifting
  • avoid twisting while lifting
  • walk to dump snow rather than throwing it
  • When snow is deep, shovel small amounts (1-2 inches at a time) at a time.
  • If the ground is icy or slippery, spread salt, sand or kitty litter to create better foot traction.


The practitioners are CIHS Clinic are committed to providing optimal health care for you and you family through a variety of services and treatments. Our clinic offers physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, custom orthotic inserts and shoes, and compression hosiery. For more information, please call 647-350-2447. Appointments can be made over the phone or on our website.

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Are you claiming all the extended health care benefits that you are entitled to?

Read the original news article here. Survey after survey finds Canadians want more vacation time and better health benefits at work. But while most of us have some extended health coverage, few of us are actually making use of the … Continue reading

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Extended Health Care Coverage – What you need to know

What is extended health care coverage?

The purpose of EHC coverage is to supplement provincial health coverage.  The most common type of EHC coverage in Canada is provided through workplace group benefits programs.


Am I Covered?

You can find out if you are covered by a workplace group benefits program by speaking to your human resources contact at work. Your group benefits program will usually issue you a Benefits Card with the name of the Insurance Company, your Plan Number and ID Number. Your plan number identifies your plan. It may be different from your coworkers’ plans, depending on the employment contract you have signed. Your ID number identifies you, and is used by the clinic and the insurance company to keep track of your benefits usage.

Our Services – What’s Covered?

The services offered at the CIHS clinic are more than likely covered by your extended health care benefits plan. To find out if you are covered, we suggest you call your extended health care benefits company and speak to a representative. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • Does this plan use a calendar year?
    If YES, the yearly allowance for your benefits starts on January 1st and end on December 31st of every year, regardless of whether or not you have used them in that year (they are not cumulative).
    If NO, ask when your benefits start for every year. For example, you could have coverage that starts on November 1st and ends on October 31st for every year.
  • Is there a deductible on this plan?
    If YES, you will have to pay the deductible prior to receiving any compensation for extended health care. For example, if you have a $50 deductible for massage therapy, you need to pay the first $50 for massage therapy services you receive.
    If NO, you will be fully reimbursed for the services you receive without having to pay a deductible. The amount of reimbursement is based on your specific benefits plan. For example, if you are covered for chiropractic at 80% per visit, this means that you will be reimbursed $40 for a $50 chiropractic visit. $10 for each visit is paid by you.
  • Is Assignments of Benefits available?
    If YES, the clinic may bill the insurance company directly for your services, with your consent.
    If NO, you will have to pay for our services first and then submit statements to your insurance company to be reimbursed.
    Note: This may change depending on the service/treatment rendered, make sure you ask your insurance representative for the specific service you are interested in.
  • Do I need a doctor’s note?
    Some insurance companies will require that you have a doctor’s note for a specific service, such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, or orthotics. In this case, visit your family physician before coming in to the clinic for treatment.

CIHS Clinic offers chiropractic, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, acupuncture, orthotics, and compression hosiery.
For every service you are interested in, make sure you note the maximum per year and the maximum per visit.
For orthotics, insurance companies may require additional information. Please ask your insurance representative to go through all the necessary requirements needed for custom orthotics.

It’s almost fall! Many Extended Health Care Benefits Plans end on December 31st. 
Call our office at 647-350-2447 for your appointment now.

We are open on evenings and weekends.

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Flexibility Stretching for Health Longevity by Stephen Lau

When you were young, you might have been very athletic and sportive. However, as you continue to age, you may have become less active physically: instead of participating in sports, you may have become only a spectator. Your sedentary lifestyle only reinforces your lethargy and sluggishness in everyday life. Even if you are busily engaged in running errands for your family, you are exercising only certain muscle groups of your body. What you need is flexibility stretching for health longevity.


Why is flexibility stretching so important to health longevity?

Flexibility fitness improves your posture. Poor posture leads to aches and pain. More importantly, poor posture may affect correct breathing, and the importance of correct breathing cannot be overstressed. You need to breathe right to get sufficient oxygen and nutrients to various parts of your body. Poor posture, due to muscle stiffness and muscle tension, contributes to incomplete or shallow breathing – which is not correct breathing. It is interesting to know that rodents, one of the fastest-breathing animals, have the shortest lifespan, while tortoises, with the slowest breathing, live the longest in the animal kingdom. Flexibility fitness has to do with correct posture, which is fundamental to correct breathing.

Flexibility fitness is doing flexibility exercises to enhance fitness. Many people, who do regular exercise, tend to focus on fitness, strength, and endurance. But flexibility stretching is the essence of fitness, because it not only reduces muscular tension but also improves overall physical performance.

Flexibility stretching enhances the quality of the protective lubricant for optimum joint movement, the decline of which is the major cause of arthritic conditions. Also, increased lumbar and pelvic movements reduce the risk of lower back pain.

Flexibility exercises, through stretching, improve neuromuscular coordination, that is, the reduction of time taken for messages to go from the brain to the muscles.

Flexibility stretching helps to avoid injuries and falls due to stiff or tight muscle fibers. As a result of flexibility stretching, the range of movement (ROM) significantly improves general physical movement and increases blood supply, thereby instrumental in facilitating joint mobility to avoid accidents and falls, especially among the elderly.

Physical activity, through flexibility exercises, extends longevity. In fact, flexibility stretching is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill. Unfortunately, inflexibility causes falls, and the fear of falls further immobilizes the elderly, and thus forming a vicious cycle of immobilizing the aged. Falling is the second leading cause of death in women aged between aged 65 and 85, and the leading cause of death for most individuals over 85.

There are two types of flexibility stretching: “static” flexibility stretching involves stretching a muscle for a certain length of time; and “dynamic” flexibility stretching focuses on slow or fast movements into stretched positions. The former is especially ideal for health flexibility for muscles and joints; while the latter, using multiple muscles and joints combined with neuromuscular coordination, is suitable for building coordination and strength.

Flexibility stretching is health flexibility for health longevity. If you wish to live longer with quality living, it is paramount that you do flexibility stretching everyday.

Interested in learning more about stretching for problems with pain? You can book an appointment with our doctors to go over stretches that can help you become pain free!

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Do you run barefoot?

Going Shoeless: The Pros & Cons of Barefoot Running

By Linsay Way, DC


With the subculture of barefoot runners and the products catering to them growing daily, just about every chiropractor has been asked at one point or another about their opinion regarding barefoot running.

Most of the hype put forward by barefoot-running advocates is anecdotal and based on questionable knowledge of biomechanics at best. They point out that humans ran and walked without shoes for millions of years, arguing that going barefoot is natural for humans and can reverse injuries caused by modern running techniques while preventing future problems. But “going Paleo“  for the sake of going Paleo isn’t a very strong argument on which to base any patient recommendation. This argument also fails to take into account the fact that asphalt and concrete didn’t exist, as well as the fact that there were very few 50- or 60-year-olds still running around millions of years ago.

Nevertheless, there are compelling arguments for going shoeless or at least wearing the minimal amount of shoe possible. A 2010 study led by Harvard professor of human biology Daniel Lieberman, published in the journal Nature, suggests that runners who don’t wear shoes have a significantly different foot strike that minimizes structural impact compared to those who wear shoes. Lieberman, et al., analyzed the running styles of adult U.S. athletes who had always worn shoes; adult U.S. runners who had grown up wearing shoes, but now run barefoot; Kenyan athletes who had never worn shoes; and Kenyan athletes who had grown up running barefoot, but had switched to running with shoes. They found that the barefoot runners tended to point their toes when landing, putting the impact at the middle or front of the foot instead of on the heel and making the runners less prone to repetitive-stress injuries.

barefoot runner

Other research out of Harvard has demonstrated that the foot-strike pattern associated with barefoot runners is significantly more economical for running, meaning runners use less energy to run the same distances as runners wearing traditional shoes and striking with the heel.

On the other hand, a trial published earlier this year in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise raises questions about whether barefoot running is really advantageous or simply contributes to the development of a different set of running injuries. Thirty-six recreational, experienced runners participated in the study. Each participant had, until the beginning of the trial, run between 15 and 30 miles a week wearing normal running shoes. Both groups received a pre-participation MRI of their feet to ensure no pre-existing injuries were present.

Half of the participants were used as a control and told to continue their running routine using the same mileage in the same shoes for the duration of the study. The other runners were given barefoot-style shoes and told to incorporate them into their runs according to the recommendations provided at the time by the manufacturer: a single short 1-2-mile run in the shoes the first week and two 1-2-mile runs in the shoes the second and third weeks. After the third week participants were encouraged to add miles as they felt comfortable. (The manufacturer has since changed its recommendations to include strengthening and proprioceptive exercises, and suggests barefoot-style running be introduced more gradually.)

Following 10 weeks of training, both groups received follow-up MRI studies. Neither group showed injuries or tissue changes to any of the structures in the lower leg, but over half of the participants wearing barefoot-style shoes had developed increased bone-marrow edema in the tarsals and metatarsal bones.

The radiologists rated the severity of the edema on a scale of 0 to 4, with 0 indicating no edema and 1 indicating the slight edema of a normal response to training. The control group showed average level 1 edema levels in the bones of their feet, while the majority of the barefoot-running group had developed edema levels of at least 2. Three of the barefoot runners had extensive level 3 edema and two displayed full stress fractures of their calcaneus or metatarsals with associated level 4 edema. By the end of the test period, almost all of the barefoot-style runners were running fewer miles due to pain and soreness.

Not everyone who chooses to make the switch to barefoot or minimal footwear will end up with injuries. However, anyone planning on doing so needs to be extremely cautious during the transition period. I tell patients who are dead set on ditching their shoes for barefoot running to transition slower than they think is necessary to allow their foot and calf muscles to adapt; to start on a cushioned track surface if possible; and to consider using a barefoot-style minimalist shoe at first. Distance running without shoes might have been natural for our human ancestors, but for most of us, it’s something our bodies have never experienced.

In a press release detailing the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study, one of the study co-authors stated, “People need to remember they’ve grown up their whole life wearing a certain type of running shoe and they need to give their muscles and bones time to make the change. If you want to wear minimalist shoes, make sure you transition slowly.”

What’s the clinical takeaway from these studies? When it comes to injury prevention and running efficiency, it’s much more important how you run than what you run in. Heel strikers, regardless of shoe, will sustain more impact injuries than those who land on their mid or forefoot and allow their arches to act as natural shock-absorbers. The most efficient and least-injury-prone runners shorten their stride, land on the forefoot, and keep the running motion smooth, light and flowing.

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The Biology of Kindness

The Biology of Kindness: How It Makes Us Happier and Healthier

By Maia Szalavitz
May 09, 2013


There’s a reason why being kind to others is good for you — and it can now be traced to a specific nerve.

When it comes to staying healthy, both physically and mentally, studies consistently show that strong relationships are at least as important as avoiding smoking and obesity. But how does social support translate into physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier weights and other physiological measures of sound health? A new study published in Psychological Science suggests that the link may follow the twisting path of the vagus nerve, which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from interactions.


The researchers, led by Barbara Fredrickson, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, recruited 65 members of the university’s faculty and staff for a study on meditation and stress. Roughly half were randomly assigned to take an hour-long class each week for six weeks in “lovingkindness” meditation, which involves focusing on warm, compassionate thoughts about yourself and others.

In the class, the participants were instructed to sit and think compassionately about others by starting to contemplate their own worries and concerns and then moving out to include those of more of their social contacts. People were taught to silently repeat phrases like “May you feel safe, may you feel happy, may you feel healthy, may you live with ease,” and keep returning to these thoughts when their minds wandered. They were also advised to focus on these thoughts, and on other people, in stressful situations like when they were stuck in traffic. “It’s kind of softening your own heart to be more open to others,” says Fredrickson.

The group not assigned to the meditation class was placed on a waiting list for a future class. For 61 days, all the participants logged their daily amount of meditation and prayer (those in the class were encouraged to practice every day) as well as their most powerful experiences of positive and negative emotions. They were also tested before starting the six-week class and again after completing it on their heart-rate variability, which is a measure of how “toned,” or responsive, the vagus can be.

The vagus regulates how efficiently heart rate changes with breathing and, in general, the greater its tone, the higher the heart-rate variability and the lower the risk for cardiovascular disease and other major killers. It may also play a role in regulating glucose levels and immune responses.

In addition, and relevant to the study, the vagus is intimately tied to how we connect with one another — it links directly to nerves that tune our ears to human speech, coordinate eye contact and regulate emotional expressions. It influences the release of oxytocin, a hormone that is important in social bonding. Studies have found that higher vagal tone is associated with greater closeness to others and more altruistic behavior.

More of the meditators than those on the waiting list showed an overall increase in positive emotions, like joy, interest, amusement, serenity and hope after completing the class. And these emotional and psychological changes were correlated with a greater sense of connectedness to others — as well as to an improvement in vagal function as seen in heart-rate variability, particularly for those whose vagal tone was already high at the start of the study.

“The biggest news is that we’re able to change something physical about people’s health by increasing their daily diet of positive emotion, and that helps us get at a long-standing mystery of how our emotional and social experience affects our physical health,” says Fredrickson.

Simply meditating, however, didn’t always result in a more toned vagus nerve. The change only occurred in meditators who became happier and felt more socially connected; for those who meditated just as much but didn’t report feeling any closer to others, there was no change in the tone of the vagal nerve. “We find that the active ingredients are two psychological variables: positive emotion and the feeling of positive social connection,” she says. “If the practice of lovingkindness didn’t budge those, it didn’t change vagal tone.”

More research is needed to determine how large these changes can be and if they can be sustained, as well as how the feelings of social connectedness interact with compassionate meditation. But, Fredrickson says, “We’ve had a lot of indirect clues that relationships are healing. What’s exciting about this study is that it suggests that every [positive] interaction we have with people is a miniature health tune-up.” Being a good friend, and being compassionate toward others, may be one of the best ways to improve your own health.


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Sunny, Optimistic Outlook Can Protect Your Heart Health –

A Happy, Optimistic Outlook May Protect Your Heart

By Alexandra Sifferlin
April 18, 2012

A new paper by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) suggests that positive psychological well-being may reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other adverse cardiovascular events.

Many previous studies have shown that negative mental states, like depression, anger and hostility, can be harmful to heart health. But the new report — an analysis of studies from the last 15 years — is the first large, systematic review of data on positive mood and cardiovascular outcomes.

Not suffering from depression is not the same as having a high level of optimism, note the authors of the study, published Tuesday in the journal Psychological Bulletin. “Even if a person doesn’t have depression or anxiety, that only puts them at a neutral point,” says study author Julia Boehm, a research fellow in the department of society, human development and health at HSPH. “That doesn’t mean they have happiness and optimism.”

After reviewing more than 200 studies published in two scientific databases, PubMed and PsycINFO, the authors found that optimism, life satisfaction and happiness were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and its progression. “For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50% reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers,” Boehm said in a statement.

The association remained true regardless of factors like age, socioeconomic status, smoking and body weight. “Even if a person is overweight, smokes a lot and has high cholesterol, they can still benefit from positive emotions. It is something unique about well-being itself,” says Boehm.

Why exactly positivity may benefit the heart isn’t clear, but the researchers suggest that optimistic people may be more motivated to treat their bodies well. “Having a purpose in life motivates people and gets them thinking about the future and how they can structure their lives. They want to get out and do things. They are not sitting at home watching TV,” says Boehm.

“We found that if you have a positive disposition you’re more likely to exercise, eat well and get enough sleep at night. This can have positive biological effects in terms of inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure and lipids,” says Boehm. “Engaging in healthier behaviors can lead to healthier bodily functions.”

(MORE: Stem Cells Heal Scar Damage After Heart Attack)

If further research supports the current findings, the authors hope it will allow for improved heart-disease prevention and treatment methods. “We are finding that bolstering psychological strength might be a useful target for future intervention. We don’t just want to fix what is wrong with someone, but we want to improve their overall well-being.”

“I think we can identify people who are socially isolated and pessimistic and find a role for cognitive therapy,” says Dr. Nieca Goldberg, an American Heart Association spokesperson and director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at New York University Medical Center. “When dealing with cardiovascular patients, we often see these negative emotions. Stress management and physical activity can help boost moods.”

For now, the authors recommend people “treat” themselves by focusing on the little things in life that are meaningful to them and make them happy.

Read more:

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