Vitality Clinic Blog

April 14th, 2014

Industrial Athlete Explained

For a number of years now, I have referred to a moderate percentage of my patients as "industrial athletes."  I developed this description after seeing individuals entering my office with the same muscle fatigue after sitting for hours upon hours in front of their computer.  Although there are additional sets of muscle groups involved, my "industrial athletes' " muscles essentially undergo the same fatigue as someone who is training for a marathon.  I educate both sets of patients on the importance of developing efficiency of their systems, and endurance of the key muscles involved in both activities.

If you find yourself exhausted at the end of a day and often can't find that comfortable position, chances are you may need to increase the strength and endurance of your core muscles.  

Here are some basic exercises that can help.

Wall Angels:

Ensure your butt is flat against the wall and you are not arching the middle of your back.  Keep your arms and hands flush against the wall and elevate them over your head.  Repeat 10 times.  If you are unable to keep your arms flush against the wall, start with holding the pose in the picture below for 10 second intervals.  Alternatively, you can initiate the exercise while face up on the floor.



Hold the position below for as long as you can without losing your technique.  Repeat 5 times.  Note in the picture below my shoulders are placed behind my elbows; this makes the exercise more challenging but it focuses the work onto the back and abdominal muscles, and not the shoulders and chest. 


Prairie Dog (aka Bird Dog):

Hold the position below for as long as possible without losing your technique (usually from 10-45 seconds.)  Repeat on the other side.  Repeat 5 times per side.



Hold the pose shown below 3 seconds per side.  Repeat 10 times per side.  Attempt to relax your gluteus muscles as much as possibe as you want to feel the muscles in the small of your back working.

*Please note I do not take responsibility for any injuries sustained as a result of attempting the above exercises.  If you are unsure of the proper technique or have an existing back condition, consult your health practitioner prior to initiating the exercises.

Have a great week, 

Dr. Crysta Serné

Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic






March 26th, 2014

The Top 10 Benefits of Acupuncture

In light of Julianne's first day at the clinic on Thursday, April 3, 2014, we thought we would compile a list of some reasons you should consider seeing her!     


  1. Improved Health and Quality of Life.
  2. Stress Reduction.
  3. Pain Reduction.
  4. Improved and Faster recovery from Injury, Illness and Surgery.
  5. Emotional Balance.
  6. Improved Respiratory Health.
  7. Insomnia Relief.  Improved Sleep.
  8. Strengthened Immune System.
  9. Premenstrual (PMS) and Menopausal Symptom Relief.
  10. Reduction of the Side Effects of Chemo and Radiation Therapies.


Have a great night, 

Dr. Crysta Serné

Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic 


March 16th, 2014

Spring... a Sign of New Beginnings

In Chinese Medicine, Spring is the Wind’s time and wind always brings change.  The elements of cold, heat, and dampness like to “hook up” to the wind’s energy and take a ride, sometimes right into our bodies.  That’s why it is so important to be aware of the wind.  You can love it, as I do but take precautions.  In the Spring, the wind blows in all directions.  It can be warm one minute and cool the next.  When it’s sunny and warm, we leave our winter coats at home, only to be caught off guard when the cool breeze flows in from the north.  

The breeze becomes wind, and next thing you know, you have a headache, stiff neck, a pulled hamstring, and lower back pain.  This is the power of the wind!  To combat this, dress in layers, keep the back of your neck protected, and wear socks.  Sip warm-hot water even when you are in the sun, this protects your throat from the inside and keeps your blood warm so it circulates with ease.  Cold blood leads to stagnation and stagnation leads to pain of all sorts.  

The weather elements can find their way into your body through the body’s natural doors and pores, which can result in the Common Cold.  When the Cold hitches a ride on the tail of the wind it can bring on a stiff neck, a headache, coughing, and body aches, then turning to Heat when trapped inside the body causing a sore throat, red itchy throat or eyes, restlessness and sneezing; then a bit of Dampness for a poor appetite, nausea, lassitude, heaviness of chest, or dizziness among other things.  Acupuncture and cupping are very good remedies for all these symptoms of the imbalanced body.  They work to restore and encourage the body’s own natural healing energy.

Our environments, whether it is our day to day commitments, our self induced stressors or; experiencing the wonders of nature, they all affect our emotions.  The spring corresponds to Wood, and Liver Qi, which have to do with our growth and vitality.  Liver Qi moves suddenly, like the wind.  Managing our emotions can be a challenge for all of us.   Having regular Acupuncture is a great way keep the emotions running smooth and help you, to be more able to manage the stresses of life and enjoy the spring.

Julianne Petersen, 

Registered Acupuncturist

February 24th, 2014

Tips for Travelling

I just recently returned from a trip and I thought I would share with you a few of my thoughts and tips.

1.  Whenever possible bring your own pillow

I know it can be cumbersome to pack, but your neck will thank you for it.  Most hotel pillows are too soft and therefore, create an inappropriate fulcrum for your neck when you are sleeping.  When sleeping on your side, attempt to have the pillow maintain a right angle between your neck and your shoulder.  Avoid sleeping on your stomach at all cost.

2.  If travelling on a plane where sleep is a possibility, bring a travel pillow

Long arduous flights can create awkward sleeping positions.  I found that if I took a travel pillow and actually turned it around so that it supported the front of my neck, I didn't have the "head bobs" that can cause muscle and joint pain.

3.  If on a plane or in a car for more than an hour and a half, get up and move around

If you're on a road trip, stop at rest stops to get blood flowing into your legs again; that is what rest stops are designed for (apart from the obvious bathroom breaks.)  If on a plane (and safe to do so), get up and walk the aisle a few times.  This can eliminate a restless leg scenario or potential muscle cramping.  It is also good for your lower back to change positions regularly as muscles and joints don't appreciate being in one position for too long.  Not unlike what you should do if you have a desk job!

4.  Stretch, stretch, stretch

If you are sleeping in a foreign bed, your body will notice.  Stretch your lower back, hamstrings, and neck muscles before you retire for the evening, and also when you have finished your shower in the morning.  Never stretch a cold muscle!

5.  Stick to your routine as much as possible

If you go for a run every morning, attempt to stick to doing so even if it is of a shorter duration.  If you practice yoga or work out, try to maintain your routine with as much regularity as you can.

6.  Carry travel insurance ALWAYS

Accidents can strike at any time, that is why they are called accidents.  Even if you are travelling over the border for the day, carry proper medical insurance.  Your health and your pocket book will thank you for it!

 *Cabo San Lucas sunset

    *Koltyn at 8 1/2 mos

Have a great week, 

Dr. Crysta Serné

Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic













January 10th, 2014

Now is the time to lose weight

Now is the Time to Lose Weight
Dr. Heidi Rootes

With rising costs of health care don't you owe it to not only your self but also as a contributing member of society to be as healthy as you can be?  The rate of over weight and obese Canadians has been steadily on the rise over the past decade despite the overwhelming amount of information available regarding the health dangers associated with being over weight.

Here are the top 10 diseases/conditions associated with obesity:
1.  high blood pressure
2. diabetes
3. heart disease
4. elevated cholesterol
5. infertility
6. back pain
7. skin injections
8. ulcers
9. gall stones
10. cancer

Here are some facts about obesity in Canada:
In the 2007 Canadian Community Health Survey, the self-reported rate of adult obesity (age 18+) was 17%.Footnotei
The actual rate of obesity is likely much higher, closer to 25%.

Across Canada, self-reported rates of obesity have increased from 2003 to 2005 and again in 2007.
Obesity rates for both men and women increase with age, starting at age 20 and continuing until age 65.
After age 65, obesity rates decline.

In 2005, the measured rate of obesity for youth 12 to 17 was 9.4%, almost two times higher than the self-reported rate (4.9%).

Self-reported data from 2002/03 suggest that obesity rates are high among First Nations adults (36.0%), youth (14.0%) and children (36.2%).

In 2007, the self-reported obesity rate among off-reserve Aboriginal adults was 24.8%, compared to 16.6% for non-Aboriginal adults.

Unlike other health issues such as mortality or life expectancy, for which there is a clear disadvantage for those with lower income, the relationship between income and obesity is not clear.

In 2005, obesity-related chronic conditions accounted for $4.3 billion in direct ($1.8 billion) and indirect ($2.5 billion) costs – a figure that may be an underestimation of the total costs of excess weight in Canada.

click here to see original article

December 17th, 2013

'Tis the Season

By popular demand, I have attached a few photos of Koltyn.  He is six months in these photos- my how time has flown by!  I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Vanessa Fukuyama of Fortune Hill Photography for capturing these truly incredible moments.  2013 has been the most incredible year of my life and I wake up everyday thankful.  

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

Dr. Crysta Serné
Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic




December 3rd, 2013

Welcome to the team Caitlyn Fry, RMT

I am excited to welcome Caitlyn Fry, RMT to the Vitality Clinic team! As a former dancer, she understands all too well the body work required to keep one healthy and injury free. She is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday for the month of December and then swaps Tuesday for Thursday in January.

Call the clinic to book now as these coveted spots won't likely last long!

November 23rd, 2013

Now is a Great Time to Use Your Extended Health Plans

Good morning!

My mantra is "be proactive, not reactive with your health" as I believe many conditions can be prevented!  Most individuals have an extended health plan that renews every January. If you were considering seeking out treatment from either our Chiropractors, Naturopath, or Massage Therapists, now is a great time!

Most treatment plans are more frequent in the first few weeks, therefore more costly, and then taper off before reaching a maintenance schedule. Why not ensure you receive as much reimbursement in 2013 as possible, as opposed to using it all up in the first quarter of the New Year?

Enjoy this amazing day!
Dr. Serné
Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic

November 22nd, 2013

Dr. Heidi Rootes talks Cold and Flu with Mike Eckford on CKNW’s The Shift

Every year around this time people start taking about cold and flu season.  But is there anything you can do to protect yourself?  Fortunately, the answer is yes!

Here is an interview with Dr. Rootes and Mike Eckford on CKNW's The Shift discussing ways to protect yourself against Cold and Flu this season:

A recap:

1.  Sleep: Aim for between 7 - 9 hours a night Proper sleep produces hormones that support and strengthen your immune system

2. Avoid sugar, it suppresses your immune system

3. Manage your stress! High stress produced hormones that suppress your immune system

4. Exercise:  it not only strengthens your immune system but it also helps with stress management

Dr. Rootes tip to added immune support:  Intravenous Vitamin therapy!  Packed with high dose vitamin C, zinc, selenium, magnesium, B vitamins and minerals this is a life saver for those who are getting sick or having a hard time kicking their bug!

November 19th, 2013

Kale, Kale, and more Kale

I know there has been a lot of hype about how Vancouverites love their kale.  I actually just made kale chips this morning!  Why wouldn't we want to take advantage of a relativelty inexpensive produce that is packed full of nutrients?  

Here's a great infographic from the folks over at nutribullet, followed by my recipe for Kale chips.  


Kale chips

Rinse and de-stem the kale.

Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil (or really any oil you have.. I use grape seed myself)

Season with garlic poweder (optional), seasoning salt, and pepper.  Transfer kale to a cookie sheet

Place in the oven at 200F for 20-30 minutes or until the kale is dark green and crispy.  You don't want to see any black or you've over cooked it.

There you have it; a nutritious snack for all!

Enjoy and have a great rest of your week,

Dr. Crysta Serné
Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic