River Valley Health Testing and Training Experts 2017-03-09T19:03:53-07:00 tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2011:1 Copyright (c) 2011, River Valley Health Allergies tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-07-02:/archives/20150702142008 2017-03-09T19:03:53-07:00 2017-03-09T19:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood Ashley Dack It’s that time of year: sunshine, green grass, clear paths for running and cycling and….seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies can really slow a person down and contribute to lack of participation in outdoor activity. Many of us are sensitive to a variety of dietary and environmental irritants, but much of the time our bodies can fend off one or two triggers at a time. This time of year there is a high concentration of pollen, snow mold, and other irritants released into the air, and our systems can be easily overwhelmed.

One of the tough things about allergies is they tend to attack and trigger a negative response in the entire system. The body goes into ‘fight mode’ over a period of days, or even weeks, and eventually exhaustion and illness can follow. Of particular concern is the negative effect allergic response can have on gut health. Up to 70% of the human immune system resides in the gut. Any disruption to the balance of flora can lead to a loss of natural immunity to a wide variety of illnesses.

RVH Naturopathic Doctor Stacey Richards and Dr. Kirti Deol are experts in identifying causative factors, advising on regaining healthy digestive flora and helping patients modify their lifestyles so they can get back to enjoying outdoor activities with confidence. Call us today at RVH and The Base to take back the summer! 780.430.9224

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AFLCA Resistance Training Certification Weekend tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2017-03-01:/archives/20170301214228 2017-03-01T22:35:11-07:00 2017-03-01T21:00:00-07:00 Ashley Dack Join Marjorie O’Connor from Fit International and MOC Systems and Dr Derek Lampshire from River Valley Health and The BASE Performance Training Gym

April 1 and 2, 2017 – Saturday- 8:30- 5:00 pm and Sunday- 8:30- 5:00 pm

This extensive course will cover topics such as leadership, muscular strength/endurance, introductory weight training programs and/or weight room orientation. Topics covered include: techniques and precautions, exercise analysis, design, anatomy program design, specialty background, safety considerations, training methods, and resistance training with women, older adults and youth.
Plus, practical sessions and performance based techniques.

This is open to all upcoming fitness trainers that want to be certified as an AFLCA leader and a prerequisite for those that want to become
an AFLCA Certified Personal Trainer. Also, anyone that would be interested in learning proper training techniques and performance based skills, would find the weekend beneficial.

Location: The BASE by RVH at 18019-111 ave
Price: $250- Includes manual and handouts
Please bring: Pen and notebook, snacks, lunch, workout gear, water bottle

Agenda: April 1 and 2, 2017

Saturday 8:30am – 5:00 pm

  • 8:30 am- Introductions- MOC
  • 9:00 am- BASE BOOT Camp- The BASE Trainers
  • 10:00 am Certification Requirements – MOC (Marjorie O’Connor)
  • 10:15- 10:30 am Strength Training Trends- MOC
  • 10:30- 12:15 am Muscles in Motion – Anatomy, Exercise Specificity- MOC
  • LUNCH- Bring your own
  • 1:00- 2:00 pm Personal training and leadership- MOC
  • 2:00- 5:00 pm- Fundamental movement patterns, proper squat mechanics and the importance of movement patterns. Practical session with Derek Lampshire

Sunday 8:30am – 5:00 pm

  • 8:30 Practical- Group Training in upstairs training zone- Class design with BASE trainers and MOC
  • 9:30-11:30 a.m. Principles of Conditioning – Muscle Contraction Training Techniques- Scenarios MOC
  • 11:30-12:15 pm – Special Populations, Children, Women, Older Adult, Pregnancy MOC
  • 12:15-1:00 pm- LUNCH- Bring your own
  • 1:00- 1:15 pm- Exam prep- MOC
  • 1:15-3:30 pm- Practical application – techniques and applying the principles of mechanics/functional movement into resistance training such as deadlift, lat pull, rotation movements and the pull up with Derek
  • 3:00- 5:00 pm- Practicum- practice teaching – MOC and Derek

To Register please contact – Contact Donna Owen from Fit International at donnaowen@shaw.ca or fitintl@shaw.ca

IV Therapy tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2017-01-18:/archives/20170118132555 2017-01-18T16:28:43-07:00 2017-01-18T13:25:00-07:00 Ashley Dack What is Intravenous (IV) therapy?

IV therapy utilizes vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids to support the body’s ability to heal itself. When suffering from various illnesses, absorption of nutrients is low since the cells in the body are not functioning optimally nor does the body have the adequate building blocks to help the cells heal and recover. This is where IV therapy can help.

Intravenous, meaning “in the vein,” directly delivers high concentrations of nutrients into the circulatory system, bypassing the digestive tract. The concentration gradient it creates in the body allows the nutrients to flow passively into our cells, with little or no effort from the body. The cells are then provided with higher concentrations of nutrients then can be attained by the GI tract absorption when using oral supplementation. With IV therapy, the cells can heal and repair quicker, restoring its functionality.

When using IV therapy, we focus on providing the highest quality and most activated forms of nutrients. They are given in therapeutic doses to correct any nutrient deficiencies and the associated symptoms.

Who can benefit from IV therapy?

Everyone. It can treat a wide range of ailments, along with working synergistically with other treatment protocols. It can create a strong foundation of health and optimize the functioning of your cells. Some indications are (not limited to):

  • Infertility
  • Cancer
  • Common cold or flu prevention
  • Autoimmune
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue and Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Obesity, metabolic syndrome
  • Pain, inflammation
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Low immunity
  • Adrenal fatigue (chronic stress)
  • Heavy metal detoxification
  • Asthma
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Anti-aging
  • Health optimization
  • Depression, anxiety, ADD*

How to start:
Book in with Dr. Kirti Deol, our naturopathic doctor, to get a full assessment done. She will discuss your symptoms, concerns, and the number of IV treatments required. Typically an average treatment plan is about 6 IV treatments and then a maintenance plan annually.

For more information or to book an appointment please call 780-430-9224 or email kirtideolnd@gmail.com.

Alissa St. Laurent: Endurance Program tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-02-29:/archives/20160229095509 2017-01-05T12:47:42-07:00 2017-01-05T11:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood Ashley Dack Running always has a risk of injury and burnout. I’ve been lucky to avoid that since I’ve been involved with The Base’s Program. Training at The Base has created the consistency I need to be able to build, grow and constantly improve. I always feel like I’m learning something new. I feel challenged and inspired. I’ve seen the results in so many small yet specific ways and there have also been significant changes in how my body performs, adapts and recovers.

I literally have gone from a hobby runner to an internationally competitive athlete since working with the The Base and RVH team! I have always felt like my goals and my well-being have been a priority with anyone I’ve worked with there, from nutrition advice to performance training to acupuncture and chiropractic. The providers work together and compliment each other so well. I feel like I have such a complete support system.

-Alissa St. Laurent

At the pinnacle of athlete performance training, the Endurance Program combines the best of our performance services to give you the tools that you need to reach the next level in your pursuit of being the best. For more information on our Endurance Program, please contact our General Manager, Kristen Specht at kristens@rivervalleyhealth.com


Todd Grundy tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-07-02:/archives/20150702135259 2016-11-12T11:40:40-07:00 2016-11-12T11:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood Ashley Dack There are going to some ”Embrace the Suck” moments throughout the 24 hours and I’m excited to see how we bolster and/or feed off of each other at those times.

This weekend Todd Grundy is taking on the Worlds Toughest Mudder. Its a extreme 24-hour obstacle course challenge. Champions will be crowned, and $100,000 is up for grabs. We asked Todd a few questions about his race.

THE BASE: Why have you decided to participate in the Worlds Toughest Mudder?

Todd: The Worlds came up as a challenge that a few football coaches could do the year we all turn 40. We have completed numerous Tough Mudder events throughout North America, both together as a team, and separate from each other. We still have a competitive side and needed a goal to train for. We felt the need to elevate the bar in a milestone year, and so The WTM it was.

THE BASE: What’s are you looking forward to the most during your event?

Todd: I’m most looking forward to discovering where I hit the wall physically and seeing how strong my mental game is. We are down to only two of us running the event which will pose some additional challenges on the course from a team of three, but the camaraderie we have based on past experiences is terrific. There are going to some ”Embrace the Suck” moments throughout the 24 hours and I’m excited to see how we bolster and/or feed off of each other at those times.

THE BASE: How has training at The Base prepared you for this?

Todd: The Base has been instrumental in my preparation for the WTM. I’m a far way away from being in the same league as the caliber of athletes trained at The Base, but the philosophy there doesn’t reflect that in the training provided. Dana has been an exceptional catalyst in my overall fitness. I’ve had experiences with a number of trainers in a number of gyms over the years, and Dana has surpassed any and all standards of motivation, knowledge, preparedness and extracurricular research for my benefit. He had to start from scratch in a lot of ways and teach me proper fundamentals replacing years of poor techniques, however, once we had generated a strong foundation we were able to flow up the pyramid targeting ideal goals at each level. The training was never mundane or repetitive, but escalated with a designed methodology to achieve strength with mobility while increasing both muscle and cardio endurance. The atmosphere in the gym is astounding. Focused trainers and athletes, constant coached movement and fantastic equipment.

Another incredibly valuable piece The Base has to offer is its treatment side. My therapists and trainers constantly conversed regarding my needs and worked to together to allow me to increase my output while executing proper recovery. Having Dani available for ART right after workouts and sometimes unscheduled if needed has helped immensely. Dustie with IMS for an elbow injury sustained outside of the gym, Kirti with energy and recovery through naturopathic measures and concurrent nutritional guidance from a multiple resources, all have been instrumental in preparing me for this event.

THE BASE: What’s next after this?

Todd: What’s next? I’ve had this discussion with Dana and although we haven’t locked down exactly “what” is coming next, we have determined there “will” be a next, and The Base will play an integral role in whatever that may be.

Calling all Dancers tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-09-25:/archives/20150925115850 2016-09-27T11:30:02-06:00 2016-09-27T11:00:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Alison Kindrachuk Our training facility is not just for track runners and footballers, but for all types of athletes. Our program ensures that all genres of dancers can minimize risk for injury and improve performance outcomes.

Our Mobility portion assesses the dancer’s overall flexibility, mobility, gait and posture patterns to identify mechanical asymmetries and limitations. The Functional portion of our program assesses the dancer’s overall stability and strength within basic athletic movement patterns. Within these exercises, the dancer’s stability, balance, alignment and core activation are mechanics in which they should be able to pattern and coordinate.

We intend to identify limiting factors in a student’s ability to train safely. With the information we have gathered we can design a training program to eliminate limitations and create unlimited potential for performance.

If you are a coach or teacher, contact our General Manager, Kristen Specht, to find out how we can help your athletes succeed. Call us 780.430.9224 or visit www.rivervalleyhealth.com

Squat Mechanics tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-08-24:/archives/20150824142116 2016-09-22T14:01:01-06:00 2016-09-22T14:00:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Alison Kindrachuk Learn how to do the ideal squat.

All sport requires frequent use of a Sport Ready Position, a position from which an athlete can move quickly and efficiently in any direction. Squat mechanics is one of the pillars of the 43°22 Performance Training system and is essential for achieving a powerful Sport Ready Position.

Some of the common overuse injuries athletes experience can be traced back to poor squat mechanics.

  • Initiating a squat with knee flexion: the quadricep muscles are overloaded and inhibit gluteal muscle activation. The gluteal muscles are major leg extensors. Any movement that requires pushing from the legs should be predominantly performed by the gluteals. If an athlete’s squat mechanics are shutting their gluteal muscles off, they can’t move efficiently, much less with speed or power. Also, if the quadriceps muscles are continuously overloaded, the athlete is at risk for knee pain and injury.
  • Initiating a squat with lumbar spine extension. Excessive lower back extension causes compression of the posterior and lateral aspects of the spinal segments. With enough pressure, the discs can bulge, putting pressure on surrounding nervous tissue. This causes pain and loss of mobility, and can lead to much more serious injury.
  • Squatting with excessively deep knee flexion. In some training programs athletes are encouraged to squat well below 90 degrees of knee flexion. Most people do not have adequate hip mobility to perform such a low squat and will compensate by allowing their knees to splay open or collapse inward. This puts pressure on the sides of the knees and compromises stability.
  • Squatting with excessive anterior pelvic tilt. This puts stress on the hips, low back and knees. Even when performed with adequate mobility, this type of squat only allows for vertical movement. All other ranges require an inefficient adjustment in body position.

At RVH and The Base we believe the ideal squat starts with bracing through the core and latissimus dorsi muscles, followed by a forward hinge at the hip joint. The hips continue to glide posteriorly, eventually leading to knee flexion. The spine remains neutral and the torso upright throughout. The knees are never overloaded by forward translation at the joint. Performed properly, the knees and hips will reach full flexion at the same time. This position allows an athlete to move with power and ease in any direction without an adjustment in body position.

At RVH and The Base, we use our integrated approach to build strong, powerful athletes who are less likely to become injured in the first place, and keep our injured athletes active in their sport while helping them recover. Call us today at 780.430.9224 to book your 43°22 Performance Assessment

At The Base, We Build Athletes

8 Reasons You Should Be Using Sport Vision Training tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-01-29:/archives/20160129092801 2016-09-14T14:04:14-06:00 2016-09-14T14:00:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Alison Kindrachuk Sport Psychologists give you strategies to meet your goals, and the confidence and mental toughness to keep you on your game. The Base Sport Vision Training is just one facet of preparing athletes for great performance.

The difference between first and second can be measured in fractions – fractions of a second, fractions of an inch. The ability to process visual information has a huge impact on performance. Most performance mistakes can be attributed to poor dynamic skills or errors caused by:

  • Improperly read visual cues
  • Poorly developed motor skills, especially eye-hand co-ordination
  • Poorly timed responses
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor peripheral awareness
  • Delayed reaction time

RVH Sport Vision Training is an asset in any sport that requires athletes to process visual information quickly. Hockey, football, baseball and racquet sports are all prime examples.

These are the skills SVT can help an athlete to master:

1. Speed and Span of Recognition

The scope of information a player is able to take in at once and how quickly he is able to interpret it. An increase in an athlete’s speed in recognizing a visual stimulus results in a physical response that is much quicker and more accurate.

2. Eye-Hand Coordination

The eyes lead the body, not the other way around. Our hands, feet and body respond to the information the eyes send to the brain. If this information is incorrect, even to the slightest degree, there is a good chance that we will make a mistake in our physical response. Almost every sport error, or poorly executed play, can be attributed to faulty visual judgment.

3. Peripheral Awareness

Not to be confused with peripheral vision, which cannot be changed. Well developed peripheral awareness helps the athlete see everything at once and to maintain the whole pattern or the flow of the play, even as they move within it.

4. Anticipation Timing

The ability to accurately perceive or anticipate what is about to happen and when. Visual skills training improves the ability to selectively detect important advance physical cues. Most efforts fail not because the physical movements were wrong, but because they were made at the wrong time.

5. Visual Reaction Time

The amount of time required to process the visual information and initiate a physical reaction/response.

6. Concentration

The ability to maintain a high level of focus on a key target or objective, in spite of distractions, while also maintaining total awareness of what is happening around you.

7. Focusing and Tracking

Focusing flexibility and tracking are two separate skills that must work together to achieve good, clear vision; for example, keeping your eyes on the ball. Studies have shown that if the athlete’s head has to move to aid in eye tracking, his performance is not only less efficient, but balance is thrown off too.

8. Depth Perception

Both eyes working together to give us the ability to judge the distance, the speed and the revolution of objects in space. If you perceive the target closer, you will react too soon. If you perceive it farther, you will react too late.

Sport Psychologists give you strategies to meet your goals, and the confidence and mental toughness to keep you on your game. RVH Sport Vision Training is just one facet of preparing athletes for great performance. For more information on what our Sport Psychology department has to offer, call us at 780.430.9224.

At The Base, We Build Athletes

Brad Switzer tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-10-19:/archives/20151019130759 2016-09-08T11:23:16-06:00 2016-09-08T11:00:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Alison Kindrachuk Brad Switzer is a hard working, hard hitting pro boxer, who trains at The Base. He’s Formerly the Western Canada Heavyweight Champ, and is training to compete September 9, 2016 at the Shaw Conference Centre.

Dana Perkin (Personal Trainer), Brad Switzer (Pro Boxer), Derek Lampshire (Founder of The Base)

RVH: How did you get your start in boxing?

Brad: I was a competitive swimmer as a kid. I swam at a high level from 8-14yrs old. In Grade 10, I played JR volleyball. I got kicked off the team half way through the season and the SR team picked me up for the rest of the year. It was pretty cool to be a grade 10 playing on the SR team! When basketball came around it was the same coach that kicked me off the JR volleyball team, so I decided not to play. The rest of high school I was just into skate boarding and snow boarding.

I got started in boxing as an adult because a friend of mine signed up to do an MMA fight. I committed to train alongside him to help push him. I had always wanted to try boxing but I was too scared to go down to a gym. I thought I’d walk in, they would give me gloves and head gear and put me in the ring to spar (and get beat up). This is not the case at all. You actually have months and months of training and you even have to get a medical exam before they will let you spar. So, it was my friend who introduced me to Gasper who became my coach for my first eleven fights. My eleventh fight, we won a Western Canadian title together! Our first workout was on the dance floor of Diesel Ultra Lounge and I fell in love with it. I didn’t miss a workout after that first one. I was hooked!

RVH: How has training with the team at The Base improved your strengths?

Brad: My strengths and weaknesses are kind of one in the same. With boxing, it’s always good to be bigger. In my weight class at 6’10" 310lbs I’d say that’s a strength… but I’m also a lot bigger than most of the other super heavyweights, so its also a weakness because I’m slower. We spend a lot of time at RVH on foot work, foot speed and explosiveness to get faster!

The team at RVH has helped me tremendously. I can’t thank everyone enough! Nic has helped me with goals and planning, Derek has treated my injuries and Dana is always giving me that extra push in the gym. It has just been an awesome experience and I’m proud to say they are part of my team. RVH is an amazing resource for athletes. Everything we need all under one roof.

RVH: What is the hardest thing about pursuing your sport at this level at this point in your life?

Brad: The hardest thing about my sport is finding balance. I train twice a day and work a full time job and a part time job! The grind never stops! I’ve never been afraid of hard work, so I welcome the challenge and embrace the pressure and struggle of being exhausted. I want to go to sleep but constantly need to get one more workout in for the day.

RVH: What’s the payoff? What keeps you motivated?

Brad: The payoff is being able to go to bed each day knowing that you have done the work and pushed yourself to the brink. When you are in the ring and another guy across the ring from you is looking to take your head off, you need to know with 100% certainty that you are ready and you’ve done the work. Getting your hand raised is one of the best feelings ever! I want to feel it many more times! The only way to make sure it happens is by doing the work day in and day out.

RVH: What else do you enjoy outside of boxing?

Brad: I don’t have a lot of time outside training, but when I’m not training I love getting out on my motorbike. It’s so relaxing and peaceful! I usually go on a couple of vacations with my buddies every year. These vacations are definitely not good for me or my training! I drink way too many vodka shots and usually come back 20 pounds heavier. I suffer through training for at least the next ten days. My friends are super important to me so I try to get everyone together as much as I can. We’re all so busy, but we do a good job of setting aside time every couple of Sundays for what we call family dinner. It’s awesome to get out and laugh with everyone.

At The Base, we build athletes.

How To Use Heat tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-01-21:/archives/20160121102454 2016-09-01T13:00:19-06:00 2016-09-01T12:00:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Ashley Dack The debate continues in the health care community regarding the use of heat for managing pain and inflammation. At RVH and The Base, we believe it has its place in the spectrum of self care.

HEAT: Blood flow provides oxygen and nutrients and removes waste from muscles and other structures. Chronic, tight muscles have inadequate blood flow resulting in irritation and unhealthy tissue. Heat application improves blood flow by causing vasodilation and is best used to treat ischemic conditions.

Heat application is best for:
*chronic injury
*chronic pain
*relaxation/stress relief

Safety Tips for Heat Application:
-do not use heat with an acute condition/injury: heat can exacurbate the inflammatory response, resulting in more swelling and pain.

-do not use heat on areas with reduced/altered sensation

-do not use heat local to metal pins/screws from surgery. Metal conducts heat and can cause damage to adjacent tissues.

-do not use heat if you have a heart condition, diabetes or severe high blood pressure

-avoid more than 20 minutes full body immersion in hot water. It can be extremely dangerous to elevate the body’s temperature outside the normal healthy range, especially for children, the elderly and pregnant women.

-stay hydrated when applying heat or while working out in a hot environment (ie: moksha or hot yoga)

Spend more time reaching your goals, and less time fixing problems. When you’re hurt, you need results. Our programs are built on our belief that a treatment plan should address every aspect of an injury and correct underlying mechanical issues. Through active recovery, we work with you and utilize the expertise provided by our integrated team to uncover the root of the problem and prevent the issue from returning.

River Valley Health and The Base are the gold standard in integrated injury recovery, health & fitness and sport performance. Book your appointment today, call 780.430.9224

At The Base, we build athletes.

43°22 Athlete Development Program tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-08-26:/archives/20150826102912 2016-08-18T15:32:12-06:00 2016-08-18T15:00:00-06:00 Pam McDonald Ashley Dack The 43°22 Athlete Development program is a system designed to equip young athletes with the fundamental skills required for athletic success and injury prevention.

Our 43°22 Athlete Development Program is designed to equip young athletes with the fundamental skills required for athletic success and injury prevention.

This program focuses on stability, core strength and movement mechanics. We incorporate age appropriate resistance and conditioning exercises alongside skill drills for overall athletic development. All of these elements are incorporated into a framework of games and teamwork by our certified trainers to keep kids engaged and having fun. Our group setting fosters a team atmosphere while still allowing quality instruction and attention to detail.

It’s important to expose young athletes to a variety of basic coordination and skill development. As juvenile sport becomes more competitive, parents and coaches are focusing earlier on single-sport training. There is increasing evidence against early sport specialization. Most training programs fail to ensure fundamental mechanics are present before moving on to complex movements and patterns. Athletes train for power before basic mobility and muscle activation are solid, leading to quantity over quality, producing injury and burn-out, especially in very young athletes.

The bottom line: 43°22 Athlete Development sets the foundation upon which all future strength, power and athletic development will be built and gives kids the tools to become better athletes. Call us today to inquire about our programs for athletes of all ages and levels of experience. 780-430-9224

Katherine and Michelle Plouffe: High Performance Program tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-02-29:/archives/20160229100030 2016-08-12T12:52:03-06:00 2016-08-12T12:00:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Ashley Dack Injuries aren’t fun, but they give you a lot of perspective. I have had to learn to focus on my long term health and not just constantly playing through pain. Taking a couple days off, for example, is hard for me to do because I feel like I’m letting my team down sitting on the sidelines. But I am learning that’s the best thing I could be doing if I want to help my team late into the season. I don’t have an off-season, and it’s definitely become more important to manage the rest that I’m able to get. Working with the team at The Base has been great because I’m able to correct my body to be able to keep playing when rest is just not possible. Rehab and injury prevention are just the tip of the iceberg at The Base. The providers and trainers are always willing to meet the needs of our team training schedule and work with us to determine what is best for us individually, based on how our bodies feel. The staff are just great people! I can’t say enough about them. The Base team genuinely want their athletes to succeed and be the best they can be; whatever feat they are trying to accomplish.

Katherine Plouffe
Pro Basketball Player
Team Canada 2016 Olympics

Being injured has impacted every part of my training. Through this experience I’ve learned a lot about my body and without the injury I may have never found The Base It has been a blessing in disguise. I think now I am more aware of what my body needs and how it feels. I’m learning when to take it easy and when to push through something. The Base has been amazing for me. They are totally on board with getting me healthy in the most reputable way possible. They have worked with and around my schedule, which has been all over the place depending on team training schedules. I love that they work with me not just for a quick fix but making sure that I am committed to making changes that will help my playing career and life in the long run!

Michelle Plouffe
Pro Basketball Player
Team Canada 2016 Olympics

Michelle and Katherine with Danielle- Chiropractor and Dana- Personal Trainer

Athletes need results. The High Performance Program at The Base delivers.

At the pinnacle of athlete performance training, the High Performance Program combines the best of our performance services to give you the tools that you need to reach the next level in your pursuit of being the best. For more information on our High Performance Program, please contact our General Manager, Kristen Specht at kristens@rivervalleyhealth.com

Food Sensitivity tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-02-23:/archives/20160223143939 2016-08-09T14:25:24-06:00 2016-08-09T14:20:00-06:00 Deanne Underwood Ashley Dack Food sensitivity is often mistaken for food allergy. It’s actually more like an immune reaction to food. Problems with digestion can result in moodiness, fatigue, achiness, weight gain and overall poor health.

Your gastrointestinal tract (GIT), also referred to as the gut, is large; up to 30 feet long! More than 60 tons of food will pass through it in your lifetime. The GIT does much more than handle digestion. It is considered the ‘second brain’. The symptoms of food sensitivity can take up to three days to appear and the spectrum goes far beyond the classic symptoms of skin rash, diarrhea or constipation. Other common symptoms include:

• runny nose/nasal congestion
• increased or rapid pulse
• difficulty losing weight
• poor focus and concentration
• headaches and migraines
• Stiffness or achy joints
• mood disorders (anxiety, depression, etc)
• insomnia
• migraines
• eczema

Studies have shown a profound link between GIT & Mind and GIT & Immune system.

• 90% of nerve fibers carry information to the brain, not the other way around. Can you imagine what some of that could be? (**Stacey needs to clarify what she means)
• Our emotions are influenced by the nerves in our gut.
• 95% of our serotonin (feel good hormone) is made in the GIT
• 70% of our immune system resides in the GIT

The Mood/GIT connection is well studied. Studies show bowel disorders are often correlated with mood. 20% of those with anxiety disorders are found to have functional bowel disorders such as IBS. The GIT is an important area to address with most patients, even if they don’t have gut symptoms.

Naturopathic Medicine can address anything from low-grade food sensitivities (dairy, gluten etc.) to more complex GI issues with symptoms such as eczema, poor immune system function, seasonal allergies and chronic headaches. Food sensitivity testing is a useful tool that can be used in addition to a food-sensitivity diet to reveal foods that are detrimental to overall health.


Tom McGrath on goals, training, and winning your hometown race. tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-04-22:/archives/20160422152817 2016-04-22T15:47:27-06:00 2016-04-22T15:00:00-06:00 Kristen Specht Edmonton’s 2015 Marathon winner Tom McGrath is gearing up for the London Marathon this Sunday, and looking to set yet another personal best. We asked him to tell us more about how his running career began, and what he does to keep pushing forward.

Can you tell us a bit about your history as a runner? How did you get started?

My best friend through high school was one of those kids who excelled at the longer distances from a young age, his Dad had been a runner and so he took it up early on. After years of being one of only a few runners on the track and cross country teams, he convinced me to join the team in grade 11 because he wanted someone to talk to while running. I begrudgingly agreed to join.

Fast forward a few years, and my college roommate got me to agree to run a marathon with him one day. Little did I know he actually meant in only a few weeks! I ran my first marathon in Edmonton in 2006, and finished only 5mins off of a Boston Qualifying time so I thought the next summer I should try again. I figured that with an actual training program I could qualify for Boston. Ten years later I am about to run my 20th full Marathon and my Personal Best is almost an hour faster than my debut marathon in 2006.

Tell us about how it felt to win the Edmonton marathon last year.

I had actually won my hometown marathon in 2009 at the Fallen 4 Marathon which finishes in Whitecourt, AB, where I grew up. That was an amazing experience and I often wondered if anything would ever top that. But now I’ve called Edmonton home for 10 years and I once again got to experience winning my hometown marathon. But this time it wasn’t just in front of my parents. My support network has grown significantly since 2009, and getting to share my win in Edmonton with not just my family, but my Fiancé who ran her first marathon that day, my training partner who I’ve spent endless hours working towards goal after goal, to all of my running friends, non-running friends, and the entire community of Edmonton who has been incredibly supportive of me over the years. Getting to experience crossing the finish line in the Edmonton Marathon in first place with all of those people there to share with me is a feeling I will cherish for the rest of my life.

What are your race goals for 2016?

My #1 goal this season, as is with all seasons, is to run a Personal Best in the marathon. My current best, which I ran in Edmonton last summer is 2:28:48. In 2015 I finally broke the 2:30 barrier at the Edmonton Marathon after a few years of hovering just above it. By the end of this season I’d like to get my time under the 2:25 mark. That’s a goal that I set for myself last year, which seemed too far fetched even 6 months ago. However I’ve seen significant gains over the past 4 months which I attribute greatly to the 4322 program at the Base, which would indicate that that goal might not be too far off.

I’d also like to break 70 minutes for the half marathon, although I won’t specifically train for a half marathon, it should come along the way while training for a fall marathon if all goes well. A long term goal I have is to complete all 6 of the marathon majors (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, NYC) in under 2:30, I’m currently 1/6. I’m running the London marathon this upcoming weekend, and plan to race the Chicago marathon this fall. So hopefully by the end of 2016 I’ll be halfway there!

Walk us through your training regime.

I spend about 15 hours per week dedicated to training. This particular marathon cycle that included about 135km/week. The biggest volume week I had this cycle was 145km. I’ve typically averaged between 145-160km per week, however this cycle I’ve dropped the total mileage a bit to focus on the quality workouts. I run 6 days per week (always one complete day of rest as week), which usually consist of 3 easy effort runs (~16km) one long run (32km), and two workouts. The workouts are a variation of tempos, hill repeats, intervals and marathon specific pace runs.

On top of the running I spend 2 hours per week at The Base incorporating their 43°22 program into my training. I started this marathon build by attending their Endurance level 1 program and have since “graduated” and am now working 1 on 1 with a trainer there twice per week. I focus one more session per week on the things I’ve learned at the Base that week. And I also add in 2-3 core focused sessions each week at the end of my run.

I also focus on recovery to ensure my body is prepared for the next hard workout. I do my best to ensure that I always get enough sleep and am eating properly throughout each week.

You changed up your training in 2016 and have been doing 43°22 Endurance training at The Base. What’s been different?

It has improved my body awareness, not just while working with the trainers but through my runs and my entire day. I’ve had to really focus on things that I’ve never thought about before. Training at the Base has really sharpened my focus on the little things to maximize what you get out of each workout and exercise that you do. It has also really helped me understand how focusing on the little things can make such a dramatic impression on the big picture. You need to master each step before progressing to get the maximum benefit.

My training has been pretty consistent for the past few years and the biggest change I made for this marathon cycle is adding in the 43°22 program at The Base. When I started at The Base it was difficult to understand how what they are doing there will make me a better runner. I’m not an exercise physiologist so I still don’t fully understand how the training helps me as a runner. With that said, since starting the program I’m running better than ever and I contribute that greatly to my trainers at the Base. Workouts are feeling easier, and I’m running faster than I thought I could even a few months ago. Hopefully that continues to hold true this Sunday!

Best of luck to Tom as he aims for another PB this Sunday in London!

The 43°22 Endurance Program is an 8 week registered class that will dramatically improve your fitness, efficiency and core strength. Like Tom, the results you’ll see include faster race times, better overall fitness, and reduced injuries. The next class cycle starts May 9th and finishes just in time for summer race season. Register on line at rivervalleyhealth.com

If you’d like more information, message us on Facebook or call The Base at 780-430-9224.

Madison Moore tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-02-23:/archives/20160223142210 2016-02-29T09:37:00-07:00 2016-02-29T09:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood Madison Moore is a grade 11 student attending Vimy Ridge Academy. At 16 years of age, she is poised to test herself at a national level in the sport of figure skating. Madison will be competing in the Calgary Winter Invitational in March and Sunsational competition held in Edmonton in April. She trains at The Base.

RVH: How did you get your start in figure skating?

Madison: When I was three my mom taught me the basics of skating, but when I stopped listening to her she decided to put me in Canskate. From there I learned two foot hops and spins. One of the coaches pulled me aside one day with my mom and asked if I would like to try their figure skating program. I haven’t looked back since.

RVH: What do you love about your sport and what are your strengths as an athlete?

Madison: The thing that I love about skating is competing. I like being able to show off all of my hard work on my jumps and spins and I love performing to an audience. My strengths are my determination and dedication to my sport. My weakness is overthinking the things I am supposed to do instead of just letting go and allowing myself to do them. My friends, family and coaches help keep me in the right mind set and always allow for me to be the best skater I can be.

One of my goals in skating would be to make it to Nationals. Last year I was fortunate enough to make it to Challenge, but I was in a category that couldn’t qualify for Nationals. I had an amazing time and this year I look forward to competing at a level where I am able to qualify for Nationals.

RVH: How has training at The Base impacted your performance?

Madison: Training with the team at the Base compliments my training at the rink. They have helped improve my skating by showing me which muscles I should be using when performing tasks and by always helping me overcome injuries quickly. I love going to train at the Base because everyone is so friendly and I always leave with a smile on my face.

RVH: What do you like doing when you’re not at the rink (or at The Base)

Madison: I am a huge nerd! I love reading any adventure or fantasy book. My current favorite series is Throne of Glass. I also enjoy binge watching episodes of Doctor Who and Supernatural on Netflix. Whenever I get the chance, I love hanging out and spending time with my friends and just joking around.

The 43°22 Athlete Development Program teaches young athletes the fundamental athletic skills that are essential to improving performance and preventing injuries. This program will set the foundation upon which all future strength, power and athletic development will rely and give kids the tools to become better athletes, and better players. Call us today to get started. 780.430.9224


How To Use Ice tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-01-18:/archives/20160118113436 2016-02-24T07:12:59-07:00 2016-02-24T07:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood At RVH and The Base, we advise the use of ice for acute and subacute injuries and for quick post-workout recovery.

A natural response to trauma, the inflammatory response is the body’s attempt to splint and protect the damaged area. This helps to prevent further immediate injury and jumpstarts the healing process. Unfortunately the inflammatory response is often more enthusiastic than necessary. The often excessive swelling can actually cause more damage if left unchecked. Ice is a powerful agent in managing the inflammatory process. The application of cold causes narrowing of the blood vessels, slows or stops bleeding and prevents an excess of painful swelling.

Ice application is best for:
*acute injury/pain
*managing post-workout inflammation/soreness

Safety Tips for ice application:
-set a timer for 15-20 minutes: after about 20 minutes of ice, the blood vessels will begin to dilate. This is the nervous system attempting to protect the skin from freezing.

-do not use ice pre-workout: Studies have shown that the application of ice to joints and muscles can alter sensation and therefore the brain/body connection. If your nervous system can’t communicate with your body, you may be at risk of injury.

-protect your skin: make sure to wrap an ice pack in a towel. It will take a few moments for the cold to seep through, but don’t be impatient. Extreme cold applied directly to the skin can cause damage to skin.

Spend more time reaching your goals, and less time fixing problems. When you’re hurt, you need results. Our programs are built on our belief that a treatment plan should address every aspect of an injury and correct underlying mechanical issues. Through active recovery, we work with you and utilize the expertise provided by our integrated team to uncover the root of the problem and prevent the issue from returning.

River Valley Health and The Base by RVH are the gold standard in integrated injury recovery, health & fitness and sport performance. We do it all, and we do it better than everyone else. Call us today at 780.430.9224


Jessica Laird tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-02-01:/archives/20160201081921 2016-02-22T08:27:17-07:00 2016-02-22T08:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood Jessica Laird is a Manager of Customer Care & Billing for ATCOenergy. She’s an Ultra Marathon runner and a mother of two high energy kids. Jessica trains at The Base.

RVH: What is your history as an athlete?

Jessica: I’ve been active my entire life. As a child, I studied Irish Dance, which I think should be considered a sport given the athleticism needed! In high school, I played some team sports and worked out at the gym. I became a certified Irish Dance Instructor in my early twenties and continued to moonlight as an instructor for years. I also kept up a steady daily workout…but I hated running! Up until six years ago I was the elliptical queen. After the birth of my second child I struggled to get the baby weight off. I put on 75lbs during my second pregnancy, (which was an improvement from the 90lbs. I put on with my first!). I knew I needed to change my workout and start challenging my body. I hopped on the treadmill and slowly started building my distance. I ran my first race, the Edmonton Police Service ½ marathon, in April of 2010. That started my running addiction and over the last few years I’ve taken on longer and longer distances. I have also lost all my toenails and now officially have really ugly feet!

RVH: What do you like about the challenge of Ultra Marathons? How different is it to prepare for and complete a 100 miler?

Jessica: My favorite part about Ultra Running is the awesome people in the community. They will literally give you the shirt off their back if you need it! I also love the challenge of seeing how far I can push my body without breaking it. I get to see views from the tops of mountain peaks that I got to on my own two feet. Sometimes the climbs can feel excruciatingly long, but when you hit the top and look around, the sights can be pretty overwhelming. Plus you get to run down at awesome speeds jumping over rocks and tree roots – can’t beat that! Except when you fall. That hurts…a lot!

Training for my first 100 miler last summer was kind of neat because every ultra distance I ran up to that race was a “training run”. I got some strange looks from some of my non-running friends when they asked what I was up to on the weekend and my reply was “I’m doing a 50 mile training run in the mountains!”. Completing my first 100 miler didn’t feel too different from completing any of the other ultra-distances for the first time. There is a certain point at which your body hurts, but you know it’s not going to get any worse and it really becomes a mental push to keep moving. My husband and kids were my amazing support crew. They met me at each check point for hugs and kisses. That was a huge motivator for me.

RVH: What’s next on your racing bucket list?

Jessica: This year’s race list starts with the Blackfoot 100K in May, the River Valley Revenge 50K in June, Sinister 7 100miler in July, Squamish 50 Miler in August, and the Lost Souls 100K in September. I might move up to the 100 miler if Danielle can put me back together fast enough between Squamish and Lost Souls – there’s a 2 week window so I’m hopeful!

RVH: Do you train with your husband? How do you manage kids/work/training?

Jessica: Sometimes! It’s pretty hard for the two of us to get out together at the same time so we take turns looking after the kids. He is definitely my biggest supporter and I couldn’t do what I get to do without him. During the week I get up at 5:00 am to run or cycle, then hit the gym over my lunch hour to do a strength or cardio session. On the weekends, I work around the kids’ schedules and try to get in at least one long run.

Over the last couple of summers we let the kids choose a 5K race every few weeks and we would run it as a family. Our son just turned 8 and our daughter will be 7 next month – they can both run a consistent 5k without walk breaks. They do it for the bling! Last summer they ran the kids Death Race. At every race they ran before the big event, when someone said “good job”, they would say “thanks – I’m training for the Death Race”. They both joined the cross country team at school in the fall this year and our son joined the indoor track team at school. Our daughter is peeved because she isn’t allowed to until next year! I realized the influence was there when I was having an adult conversation with a friend. She was complaining that she was having trouble committing to her workouts and my daughter piped up with “You just need to put your mind to it and get it done”…..awesome!

RVH: What else do you like to do?

Jessica: We love to travel. Our holidays are based on where we are going to race. The first question from our kids after we tell them that we are going away somewhere is “how long is the race?”. I do like to cook and bake and try new recipes, so it’s a good thing I’m active! My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family doing something active, whether it’s hiking, biking, skating, skiing, swimming, etc. It’s exciting to see the kids develop their own adventurous spirits.

RVH: How does the team at RVH help you get better/stronger/faster?

Jessica: Dani keeps me together! Last summer, before the Canadian Death Race, I having some issues with my knee. Dani pulled me back together in time to complete the event and take 1st in my Age Group. This past summer right before my 100 mile debut I developed an IT band issue that caused some knee pain. Once again Dani pulled me back together to complete the event and place 1st in my Age Group. I refer to her as my miracle worker! After my IT issues in the summer I took some one on one personal training with Jess to help build up my core and work on form. The training was incredibly helpful in getting my muscle awareness activated. My muscles still hurt and get knotted up, but the knots are showing up in the right places now. That’s progress in my books!

Last week my son had to come to my appointment with Dani at The Base. On the way out, watching through the gym window, he said “Mommy, when do I get to train here?”. 

At RVH and The Base, we use our integrated approach to build strong, powerful athletes who are less likely to become injured in the first place, and keep our injured clients active in their sport while helping them recover. With our Personal Training program we provide a customized training experience for every fitness level, based on the principles of our groundbreaking 43°22 training system.


Tension Headaches: What Can I Do? tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2016-01-04:/archives/20160104140719 2016-02-17T09:04:44-07:00 2016-02-17T09:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood Tension headaches are a real pain. They can have a profound effect on quality of life. The resulting irritability, loss of sleep and reduced productivity can impact on the ability to participate in all kinds of activities.

An estimated 80% of the population experiences tension headaches. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. The pain of a tension headache often feels like pressure that affects the head on both sides, radiating from the base of the skull, neck, eyes or scalp muscles.

It’s important to differentiate between tension and migraine headaches. The treatment for these conditions is quite different. Migraine headaches are generally more severe and symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, visual disturbance, light or sound sensitivity and increased severity with physical exertion. Migraines are usually unilateral, where tension headaches tend to affect both sides of the head.

Tension headaches have a range of causes: stress, anxiety, dehydration, low blood sugar, overexertion and fatigue can be factors. Poor movement mechanics, apical (chest) breathing and prolonged sitting can play a part as well. Eye strain is another cause that is important to consider. In our modern world most adults spend a lot of time working at a computer or using a hand held device. Research shows that extended time in front of a screen, especially at night, is detrimental to eye health.

In our experience, tension headaches respond extremely well to manual therapy. Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Graston, ART and Chiropractic care are all great options for restoring healthy muscle tone, joint mobility and reducing inflammation and pain. Our team of providers can assess your condition, give you a comprehensive treatment plan and get you on the road to recovery.

At RVH and The Base we believe most recurring tension headaches are caused by dysfunctional movement patterns. The most important step in ensuring full recovery is retraining the body to work better. Improving breathing patterns, mobilizing and strengthening the spine and shoulders, and improving core strength is key. Our 43°22 Performance Assessment is designed to give you an individual, integrated training program that will address movement impairments and improve your foundation.

Please note: An unusual tension headache can indicate a more serious problem. See a physician immediately if your headache meets any of these criteria:

1. sudden, severe onset
2. loss of balance
3. high fever
4. neck stiffness
5. seizure
6. visual disturbance
7. weakness
8. numbness
9. confusion
10. slurred speech

If your goal is to improve your quality of life and fitness, the team at RVH has the tools, experience and knowledge to get you there. We’ll fix your nagging injuries, teach you how to train more effectively, and give you nutrition and lifestyle strategies that are proven to get results. We are the best at what we do and we guarantee that if you commit to a 43°22 program you will reach your goal. All you need to do is show up. Call us today to get started. 780.430.9224

Yukichi Hattori tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-10-20:/archives/20151020125856 2016-02-15T09:07:39-07:00 2016-02-15T09:00:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood This week, Alberta Ballet presents Dynamic Directions, featuring the work of three of Canada’s best known dance makers: Aszure Barton, Wen Wei Wang and Alberta Ballet’s own Yukichi Hattori. Yukichi trained in Tokyo and Germany before beginning his career with the Hamburg Ballet in 1999. He has been dancing with Alberta Ballet for ten seasons. We sat down with Yukichi for a rapid-fire Q & A to find out what inspires and motivates him as an athlete and an artist.

RVH: Where do you draw inspiration from for your work as a choreographer?

Yukichi: My everyday life and everything that surrounds us. That way, the piece becomes relatable to the audience.

RVH: Are you more comfortable with humor or drama?

Yukichi: Either. I feel they are two sides of a coin.

RVH: You’ve enjoyed a long career as a ballet dancer. Has your approach to your art form changed much over the years?

Yukichi: I discover more about my body everyday. Over time I have learned to dance with less muscle tension to achieve good results. I used to be a ‘muscle’ car, now I am more like a hybrid.

RVH: Do you have a favorite ballet?

Yukichi: Hmm….. I don’t have any particular piece. I love dancing, that’s that.

RVH: Can you tell us something about the new work you’re creating for the show?

Yukichi: My piece is “The Rite of Spring”. It will be a part of our triple bill, Dynamic Directions, which opens in February 2016. The piece is choreographed to an iconic score of Stravinsky and will knock you right off your seat.

RVH: What are some qualities you look for the in dancers you cast in your work? Do you tend to choose dancers who share the same virtues you have—as they can adapt easily to your style, or are you interested in a wider variety?

Yukichi: I like working with people who are open minded. I have no preference for a particular dance style. The more versatile you are, the better. It’s all about communication.

RVH: What do you do every day to keep yourself healthy and strong?

Yukichi: Healthy home cooking and application of proper dance technique on a daily basis. It is astounding how much you can help your body by dancing correctly. Of course, I wish I could have RVH everywhere I go. You guys are simply amazing.

Every athlete needs support to perform at their best. Our 43°22 training system delivers results in all the key facets of athlete development, including body mechanics, hand-eye co ordination, muscle memory, pacing and proprioception. It doesn’t matter if it’s distance running or hockey, football or ballet. Our system helps every kind of athlete get better, stronger and faster. Call us today to book your 43°22 Performance Assessment. 780.430.9224

photo credit: Paul McGrath

A Naturopathic Doctor's Strategy for Ensuring Healthy Pregnancy tag:rivervalleyhealth.com,2015-10-20:/archives/20151020131409 2016-02-12T08:55:45-07:00 2016-02-12T08:55:00-07:00 Deanne Underwood We asked Dr. Stacey Richards, N.D., to weigh in on how she helps couples conceive, have a healthy pregnancy, and ensure the best possible start for baby.


To seek medical treatment for infertility, a couple usually has to have been unsuccessful in becoming pregnant for a period of at least a year. It’s the opposite for Naturopathic Medicine. I prefer to see the couple up to a year before they start trying to have a baby. The ultimate goal is to boost their fertility on all levels. There are many pieces to the puzzle; getting an egg and a sperm to connect at the right moment is not as easy as it appears. In the best case scenario, there is a 25% chance this will happen each month. Many factors have to be in alignment to ensure things happen in the right order.

There are several issues that together reduce a couples chances of conceiving. The obvious ones include age, diet and lifestyle, excess weight, stress, chronic illness and frequency and timeliness of intercourse. The factors that I look into are the ones that many doctors tend to overlook. These questions make all the difference and are the foundation of boosting fertility:

◦ Are the eggs and sperm good quality?
◦ Is the sperm able to fertilize the egg?
◦ Are hormones happily balanced?
◦ Is sperm count optimal?
◦ Is the uterine lining healthy?
◦ Is the woman able to get pregnant but not stay pregnant?
◦ Is ovulation occurring? When? Do you observe fertile cervical fluid? (fluid with a raw egg white consistency)

By working with a Naturopathic Doctor you improve your health and your chances of having a baby. You also ensure that the health of your baby is maximized. This is the reason I recommend starting care 6-12 months before you want to get pregnant. Preconception care can make all the difference whether or not you are struggling to get pregnant or carrying baby to term. Sometimes all it takes is a small change to get all the pieces aligned.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Dr. Stacey Richards at 780.430.9224