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The Roots of Happiness are in Good Health

The Roots of Happiness are in Good Health

I talk to 8 experts of Tall Tree Health about the secrets of their success.

By Chuck Groot

Nestled in the beautiful quiet forest at Mattick’s Farm is a serene yet buzzing clinic called Tall Tree Health Integrated Health Centre, that specializes in helping people get healthy. The bright cheery rooms, beautifully decorated with soothing art, are equipped with the latest equipment to bring you back to the best you can be physically.

Their award-winning services include:

Tall Tree attracts only the best practitioners, including Kevin Matthews Registered Massage Therapist and Yoga Therapist.

Kevin Matthews RMT

Here is what Kevin has to say about choosing to be part of the Tall Tree team.

Kevin, “I joined the team after meeting with Brad prior to the clinic being built. It was apparent that he truly cared, and we shared a common vision for providing the highest level of integrated health care for the community. Brad’s approach in applying evidence-based treatment was progressive and current. I wanted to be part of this integrated approach for the patients. I have had the privilege of working for 10 years in the area before the clinic opened. It felt like it is a natural progression for the best outcomes for my patients. Within the design of the clinic there is a full range of services and space to include more of the other modalities that we could offer, and I felt they are essential for optimal health support.”

Chuck, “How long have you been practicing your modalities”

Kevin, “I have been practicing as an RMT for 15 years, practicing yoga for over 20 years, as a teacher for 5 years, meditation practice for 10 years and teaching for 5 years.”

Chuck, “Where did you learn your specialties?”

Kevin, “I graduated in 2003 from Westcoast College of Massage Therapy, completed Yoga teacher training at Saltspring Centre of Yoga founded by Baba Hari Dass , and currently continuing studies in therapeutic yoga at Ajna Yoga Therapy College. Over the past 10 years I have been on numerous 1-2 week meditation retreats and trainings with various teachers throughout Canada, US and Mexico.”

Chuck, “What do you feel is the most important ingredient for your client to enjoy a healthy recovery?”

Kevin, “Discipline brings the joy of recovery. Training the body and the mind. Meditation and mindful movement, like yoga is perfect.”

Chuck, “What do you recommend for stress reduction?”

Kevin, “It’s important to center yourself through meditation, yoga, and/or time in nature daily. Another important element is to cultivate self compassion and share that with others.

Chuck, “Is there a book or magazine that you would highly recommend for people to read?”

Kevin, “"Silence Speaks" by Baba Hari Dass.”

 

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine has its humble beginnings in British Columbia during the early 1900’s, but it’s origins were in the Vitalistic school of medicine of Ancient Greece (circa 400BC). It was formalized in the alternative healing systems found in Europe of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It’s a system that lets the body heal itself by using natural remedies such as herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise, and nutritional counselling. The goal is to cure the illness, not just the symptoms; by looking at the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. Patients are involved with their treatment as each person has highly individualized treatments.

Naturopaths are highly trained and go through a rigorous four-year science-based medical education. In order to be licensed, naturopathic medical students must pass two sets of board exams. Tall Tree has two of the finest Naturopaths in the country, Melissa Glover and Marita Schauch.

A conversation with Tall Tree’s Naturopathic Doctors.

Melissa Glover ND

Chuck, “Dr. Glover, why did you join Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre?”

Dr. Glover, “Oh my goodness for so many reasons, but primarily its amazing reputation in the community and beautiful setting. I could not have imagined a better clinic to start my practice, and I’m so proud to be a member of the team. Everyone is always in a good mood and loves coming to work which makes it such an enjoyable and fun place to be! I love the contagious smiles and wagging tails I see walking into work every day!”

Chuck, “What do you like about what you are doing?”

Dr. Glover , “I am so passionate about natural medicine and health, but mostly I love being able to spend time listening to patients and really getting to understand their full history, who they are as a person, and what they want to see change. Then with each patient I’m able to create a natural and holistic treatment plan that will help them and get them reaching their goals and feeling better. I also love seeing patients feel healthier in ways they didn’t even know possible.”

Chuck, “What are your top three suggestions for your patients? “

Dr. Glover, “Honestly this varies so much patient to patient, but I’ll try. Here are some of my most commonly used basic recommendations:

1. Drink water, more than you think (most people need ~2L per day).

2. Cut out the sugar and increase vegetables (aim for a rainbow of colours on your plate), healthy fats and fibre.

3. Stress management - find a coping strategy that works for you! Focus on breathing, try some meditation or take one of Cara or Kevin’s yoga classes!”

Chuck, “What are you doing for continuing education?”

Dr. Glover, “I am keeping up with the latest research in natural health products and alternative medicine. I recently attended the Advancing Natural Medicine Conference in Vancouver and learned so much - this year was focused on neurological and brain health (some of my favourite topics). Earlier this year I attended a conference about Functional Hormone Restoration, where I learned a great deal about bioidentical hormone therapy and prescribing.”

Chuck, “What do you consider to be the best overall activity for health and fitness?”

Dr. Glover, “Wow what a hard question! I don’t know if there is one answer. I think each patient is so different - for some it will be cleaning up diet, and for others it will be focusing on movement, whereas for someone else it may be spending more time with friends and family and less time at work. If I was being cheeky, I would say seeing a naturopathic doctor… or visiting us at Tall Tree and we’ll point you in the right direction.”

Chuck, “Is there a book or magazine that you would highly recommend for people to read?

Dr. Glover:

•When the Body Says No - Dr. Gabor Mate, MD

•A Mind of your Own - Dr. Kelly Brogan, ND

•In Defence of Food - Michael Pollan”

Next, we speak to Dr. Marita Schauch.

Marita Schauch ND

Chuck, “Why did you join Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre Dr. Schauch?”

Dr. Schauch, “I loved the idea of a team of like-minded practitioners all working together to ultimately help people achieve their health goals.  I feel so fortunate that I work in such a supportive and fun work environment and look forward to coming into work every day.”

Chuck, “Dr. Schauch, what are some of the things you like about what you are doing?”

Dr. Schauch, “I love that Naturopathic Medicine is about prevention, education and empowerment.  I love seeing my patients succeed with their health goals and I know that they appreciate the holistic approach to wellness and health.I also love that my profession constantly challenges me to be a better doctor.”

Chuck, “What have you found to be the biggest thing you learned from your patients?”

Dr. Schauch, “What I’ve learned from my patients is that praise, positive outlook and hope can go a very long way.  When my patients are feeling their worst and then they find out that there is hope or that there is a solution to help them on that journey of wellness they improve so much faster.  Words are so powerful.”

Chuck, “Without revealing names, what was the nature of the most challenging patient?”

Dr. Schauch, “To elaborate on the above - with chronic disease and pain it can be very difficult to get out of that vicious cycle.  Again, the power of the mind and our thoughts and words can help us stop that cycle but it’s definitely not easy and very challenging for both patient and doctor.  Also, a change in diet or starting an exercise program when there is fear of pain or loss of hope that anything will actually help is also challenging.”

Chuck, “What do you consider to be the best overall activity for health and fitness?”

Dr. Schauch, “Just moving your body :) Being out in nature, walking amongst the trees - finding an exercise that you love and will stick with is most important.”

Chuck, “Is there a book or magazine that you would highly recommend for people to read?”

Dr. Schauch, “I love the Alive Magazine - great articles and recipes.  Women’s Voice Magazine for women’s health issues.  My Book - The Adrenal Stress Connection.”

 

Kinesiology

What does a kinesiologist do? After researching kinesiology, a better question is what can’t  a kinesiologist do for you? When it comes to the prevention of injury and chronic disease your kinesiologist is on the front line. Improving performance, health, and overall quality of life are what they can do for you.  They are passionate about proper exercise, sport, and correct human movement. As they say, “We can help you feel better, move better, and live better.”

Let’s continue our interviews with Jeremy Cote.

Jeremy Cote BSc.

Chuck, “Jeremy, what made you join Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre?”

Jeremy, “I joined Tall Tree mostly through my relationship with Brad and his special invitation. I have known Brad for many years through our mutual involvement in the local badminton community, and he has mentored me through certain aspects of my journey as a health professional. He had shared his vision with me years in advance about how he wanted to start an amazing "best practices" clinic in Victoria and when it got off the ground, he would give me a call. At the time when that call came, I was working at a clinic up north in Fort St. John and jumped at the opportunity to come back to Victoria and be part of an amazing team to help the dream become reality. I was seeking good mentorship, a chance to make a difference in my home community, and a top-notch clinical experience, and Tall Tree was all of those things!”

Chuck, “It is obvious that every aspect of Tall Tree was carefully planned. What made you decide to do what you are doing?”

Jeremy, ”I decided to pursue Kinesiology because I felt it was a good balance of many of my passions: teaching/coaching, working with people, helping those people achieve their goals and expand their own idea of what they are capable of, and making a difference in the world for the better. I love seeing the change in people who look inward at the way they are and seek to improve themselves, go about creating and executing a plan for how to get there and actually follow through with it in spite of some work and challenge encountered along the way. I love seeing these people attempt something that they perceive is beyond their capabilities but give it a try and surprise themselves at the results. Working as a kinesiologist gives me opportunities everyday to help people reach new heights with not only their health but also their self-perception and self-image.”

Chuck, “What are you doing for continuing education?”

Jeremy, “One thing I love about working for Tall Tree is the amount of emphasis on continuing education. The fact that Brad and the Tall Tree management support continuing education so much shows me a number of things: first, the humility that we as therapists do not know everything and need to continue learning, and the moment that we believe we know it all is the same moment where we become irrelevant and outdated as clinicians. We all have something to learn. Second, the emphasis is on striving for excellence and seeking to always be better, which is something that clinicians WANT for their patients, and if we aren't modeling that in all aspects of our lives, then any messages we want to deliver to our patients are hollow because WE aren't doing it. Personally, I've been focusing my continuing education around improving my ability to relate to my patient's experience, deliver messages to my patients with empathy and care, and communicate effectively about pain and injury.”

Chuck, “Please tell us what are your top three suggestions for your patient?”

Jeremy, “The three biggest things that I seek to communicate in some way to my patients are:

a. Your body is strong, resilient, tough, capable of responding to training and able to change.

b. There is no one right way to move or exercise, and you have the freedom to experiment and try new things without fearing damaging consequences.

c. No matter how old / out of shape / far gone you think you are, exercise is always worth trying and has the power to make vast improvements in our lives physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Chuck, “What do you recommend for stress reduction?”

Jeremy, “Exercise! Studies have shown repeatedly that exercise can bring about chemical changes in the body that do absolute wonders for mood, anxiety, depression, self acceptance, attitude, and much more. One of the main messages that we try to deliver to patients is that there is more going on with our bodies and our pain than just the biomechanical and the physical. We intentionally seek to approach every patient and every case as a person and not a robot, and exercise can have benefits that are much further reaching than just the physical.”

Chuck, “Is there a book or magazine that you would highly recommend for people to read?”

Jeremy, ”For patients who are in pain and struggling with getting back to regular function, I recommend Explain Pain by the NOI group. It's a great resource to help people understand what is actually happening when they are in the midst of a painful flare-up and to help manage and downplay the roller coaster of recovering from an injury. For people interested in some more general reading about the benefits of doing a bit of exercise everyday, my favourite article that I've come across thus far is from the New Yorker magazine, called "The Heroism of Incremental Care". But even better yet, get outside and go for a walk!”

Next, we talk to Kinesiologist Alex Pillar.

Alex PilarBSc.

Chuck, ”Why did you join Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre?

Alex, “I was interested in joining the Tall Tree Health team for a couple of reasons. First of all, their dedication to evidence-based practice and continued education is inspiring and has allowed me the opportunity to further my own knowledge and understanding. Secondly, Tall Tree has acquired an exceptional team of practitioners who are passionate about their respective fields and supportive of each other, and it is a wonderful work environment to be a part of. Lastly, I grew up in the neighbourhood and I’m happy to be back in Cordova Bay contributing in some way to the community I grew up in.”

Chuck, “What made you decide to do what you are doing?”

Alex, “I played volleyball in high school and distinctly remember when the season ended, and I was no longer playing sports, I noticed a shift in the way I felt physically and was beginning to struggle with a negative self image. I remember having a conversation with my mom about it, and we started going for runs together in the mornings before school. Looking back, that was when I realized how important physical activity was for my health. Fast forward a couple of years, after graduating high school I began working as a trainer at a strength and conditioning facility for youth in Langford, which eventually lead me to study kinesiology at UVIC.” 

Chuck, “What are you doing for continuing education?”

Alex, “I’m currently upgrading a human anatomy course at UVIC which I completed back in 2007 during my first year of university. I’m also enrolled in a pain science course which is being hosted by our clinic in November. Informally, Tall Tree hosts education nights at the clinic which I’ve been able to join in on. I find the in-house education sessions are great because it gives me the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and partake in the discussion, which really helps improve my understanding of how and why to integrate current research findings into clinical practice.”

Chuck, “What are your top three suggestions for your patients?”

Alex, “1. Find a mode of exercise you enjoy and think of it as “self care”, rather than adding another chore to your to-do list.”

2. Surround yourself with people who motivate you, whether it’s finding a workout partner, joining a fitness class with a great instructor, or following someone inspiring on social media.”

Chuck, “What do you recommend for stress reduction?”

Alex, ”Get active! The benefits of physical activity for mental health have been well researched and the side effects are all positive! This may be as simple as going outside for a brisk walk, or you may be inclined to do something more intense such as kickboxing; it doesn’t matter what form of exercise you choose, the important thing is that you move your body (preferably on a regular basis). 

Get outside! We are spoiled for options on the island and you don’t have to commute far outside of Victoria to spend time in nature. Personally, I try to spend time near the ocean or in the woods at least once a week to breathe the fresh air and de-stress.”

 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy or OT’s as they are called, help solve problems people have with the inability to do everyday activities that are essential to them. They study the challenge(s) presented to them by their clients and recommend a course of preventative or corrective action. They are trained to help people with their health and wellness by looking at not only their medical and physical challenges but their psychosocial factors.

Let’s talk to Devon Cochrane Tall Tree’s Occupational Therapist and Program coordinator

Devon Cochran OT

Chuck, “Hi Devon, tell us why you joined Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre?”

Devon, “I live in the Cordova Bay area and noticed the clinic being built (now about 4 years ago), and the prospect of working in my home community was very exciting. After some research online, I was able to find Brad's contact information and we sat down to talk.  He already had an occupational therapist set to start working when the clinic opened but we had a great discussion and the desire to join the team never went away.  Brad was building something exceptional with Tall Tree and I wanted to be a part of it.  A couple of years later I had the opportunity to reconnect and discuss building a unique rehab program at Tall Tree.  Brad was generous enough to give me a chance to create something meaningful for the community and so I happily joined the Tall Tree team in 2017.”

Chuck, “Tell me, what do you like about what you are doing?”

Devon, “At Tall Tree I have the opportunity to direct my own work and am afforded the freedom to practice the way I feel is best.  I've been able to carve a special niche with treating brain injury.  I find supporting people after concussion to be rewarding and fulfilling, and every situation is interesting.  Dealing with the brain is so fascinating, because we are all so different and it's such a complex thing. I love helping people with the "messiness" of recovery from injury, an I'm always learning.”

Chuck, “Brain concussions are a hot topic lately. What have you found to be the biggest thing you learned from your patients/clients.”

Devon, “Nothing is permanent.  I'm reminded every day (and have to help remind the people I work with) that recovery is possible, and nothing lasts forever.  Improvement is always possible, sometimes it just takes maintaining hope and patience and continuing the put the work in, any way you can.”

Chuck, “Without revealing names, what was the nature of the most challenging client?”

Devon, “Related to above - I find the most difficult cases are when we see people for the first time, years after injury.  In some of these instances, people have "tried everything" and have almost given up hope.  When behaviours, habits and thought patterns are laid down over years it takes time to unpack and change them.  There are no shortcuts. But when it's been so long it's hard for people to have the energy to keep pushing and slogging through day-after-day.  Progress is often slow and not very exciting. But it's these cases that mean the most.  Helping someone "climb their own personal Everest" is the most rewarding thing we can do as clinicians.”

Chuck, “What do you consider to be the best overall activity for health and fitness?”

Devon, “Exercise!  There's nothing else quite like it.  Exercise helps us physically, mentally, psychologically and gives us feelings of mastery and confidence. No other activities touch on so many facets of our lives.  We're made to move!”

Chuck, “On that note, let’s move to the next question. Is there a book or magazine that you would highly recommend for people to read?”

Devon, “About 10 years ago I read "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge - and it totally changed my understanding of how the brain can heal.  Now a decade later, everyone knows about neuroplasticity - but it's such an important concept to keep coming back to.  Our brains have an amazing ability to adapt, change and repair.  The stories in this book help keep me hopeful and inspired to keep helping!”

 

Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist helps people re-establish, preserve, and maximize their physical strength, function, motion, and health. They want to see you get the best possible range for their bodies and live as pain free as possible. Physiotherapists have in-depth knowledge on how the body best works and how to assess, diagnose and treat injuries and reducing pain.  According to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, “But physiotherapy is not limited to rehabilitation of injury and the effects of disease or disability. A physiotherapist also provides education and advice for health promotion, disease and injury prevention.”

Let’s talk to two of Tall Tree’s excellent physiotherapy team. Let's start with Curtis Tait

Curtis Tait PT

Chuck, “Why did you join Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre?”

Curtis , “I was naturally drawn to Tall Tree Integrated Health Centre based on the clinic’s orientation to excellence, fun, and positively changing the landscape of healthcare on Vancouver Island and in BC. I’m very excited to be working with like-minded professionals dedicated to making a positive difference to their patients, community, and profession.”

Chuck, “How long have you been practicing physiotherapy and where did you get your education?”

Curtis , “I have always enjoyed helping people. My journey started at the University of Victoria in 2004 studying kinesiology (the science of human movement and exercise). I began to understand all aspects of the human body, especially movement.  Then I graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2012, I have been practicing in Victoria ever since.”

Chuck, “What do you feel is the most important ingredient for your client to have a healthy recovery?”

Curtis, “Movement, keep moving as much as possible as long as it doesn’t hurt too much.”

Steve Young is another Physiotherapist who brings multifaceted modalities, knowledge and teaching experience to Tall Tree.

Steve Young PT

Chuck, “Steve what prompted you to join Tall Tree Physiotherapy and Health Centre?”

Steve, “I joined Tall Tree after practicing for more than 15 years as a physiotherapist and I was really hoping for three specific things in the new clinic. Firstly, was looking to join a team where there was a shared vision and passion for providing the highest quality treatment for patients. I also wanted to be surrounded by other clinicians who would be equally as engaged with the constant pursuit of furthering our knowledge and continued growth as professionals. Finally, and most importantly, I wanted to work at a place that would put great emphasis on the care component of health care. This means that each patient is listened to and treated with the outmost thought and care by every staff member from the moment they walk in the clinic.”

Chuck, “What do you like about what you are doing?”

Steve, “I can honestly say that I never wake up and think "I have to go to work today" but rather "I get to go to work today". I enjoy hearing each patients story, learning about what they do and their experiences and helping them get back on track from injuries, so they can enjoy their life to the fullest.”

Chuck, “What are your top three suggestions for your patient?”

Steve:

1. “Take an active role in your recovery as you are the most valuable member of your healthcare team”

2. Keep a positive attitude as attitude is more than 50% of recovery!

3. Do your homework - this means exercises. As a physio, we can see you for an hour or two a week, what you do with the remaining time can greatly help your recovery!”

Chuck, “What are you doing for continuing education?”

Steve, “I run a continuing education organization along with three other physiotherapists at Tall Tree Health, so I am regularly attending or teaching continuing education courses. In the last year I have either attended or taught courses on six weekends, taught 32 weeks of online education and researched and written blog posts for our continuing education organization. My interests over the last year educationally have included assessment and treatment of the neck and back, managing persistent pain and treatment of hip and knee pain.”

Chuck, “What do you consider to be the best overall activity for health and fitness?”

Steve, “The best activity for health and fitness? I wouldn't want to limit to one thing as each activity has its own benefits; some improve flexibility while others improve strength or cardiovascular health. What we do know is that exercise, in general, is the most significant thing that we can do to decrease our chance of serious disease and add years to our life. In addition, it makes us happier and makes us look great. Probably the most important thing to do when choosing exercises is to find a couple of things that you like to do as you are much more likely to do it regularly!”

Chuck, “Is there a book or magazine that you would highly recommend for people to read?”

Steve, “There is so much information out there today on health and fitness that it would be hard to suggest one source. What I would say is that Dr. Google ca be both a great source of information but also a source of misinformation that can scare you to death! If you are interested in a specific topic, ask your health care provider for specific material to get you better informed or send me an e-mail, I'm always happy to help out!”


You can see that there is no need to live a life without optimum health. If you are looking for a way to treat your health more naturally, find ways to get maximum mobility, or reduce or eliminate the pain in your life, you have many options with Tall Tree’s caring, listening professionals that want to help you achieve your goal. Brad Jawl’s bringing together of this group of talented, passionate and dedicated individuals ensures that Tall Tree's canopy of services meets the wide variety of needs of our surrounding Victoria community in one special environment.

Tall Tree Health Integrated Health Centre

ADDRESS

5325 Cordova Bay Rd
Victoria, BC   V8Y2L3

HOURS

Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

CONTACT

E: admin@talltreehealth.ca
T: (250) 658 9222
F: (778) 440 9222

Designed by Blair Deering

Copyright © 2016

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