Yorkdale Chiropractor: Do you UNILATERALLY LIFT Bro? 3 One Sided Lifts to Pack on some Serious Muscle

Today we’re talking about UNILATERAL EXERCISES. A controversial topic amongst some training circles. Some people feel they are as useless as nipples on men. I disagree. I like unilateral lifts. I find them functional and effective. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t use them for everything and I don’t think that they are all you should be doing either. What I do like about them however is not only do they add some variety to your training, it also adds a different dimension to your mechanics while you train.

For those of you that don’t know what a Unilateral lift is, simply put, it is an exercise that you do on only one side of your body (ie. squatting on one leg or curling a dumbbell with one arm only). What it brings to the table is the following:

  • You have to stabilize and activate muscles in a different way (especially your core muscles). These muscles may not be as active when doing their bilateral counterpart exercise.
  • They work on enhancing Range of Motion (ROM) and balance that may not be possible during a bilateral lift.
  • On a neurological level, you entrain different neurological movement patterns.

Without further ado here we go!

unilateral chest press1) Single Arm Chest Press -This is a great way to not only challenge your pecs but to give your core a burn at the same time. Lifting a weight one side at a time will immediately make you engage your core to resist rotational forces (and not fall off the bench).

  • Grab a weight (a little less than you would normally do for a normal bilateral chest press) in one hand and have a seat on the edge of a flat bench (can use a incline or decline bench as you progress with your strength).
  • Lie down and bring the weight down so your arm is bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Place your opposite hand on your hip stability. Feet should be flat on the floor about shoulder width apart.
  • Engage your core. Slowly raise the weight until your arm is almost straight. Pause and slowly lower it back to starting position. Focus on not letting your torso rotate or come off the bench.
  • Repeat reps and sets based on your type of training.
  • Switch hands and repeat.
  • Don’t: arch your back or lock out your elbow

suitcase carry2) Suitcase Carry – Great for working those hip, glut and spine stabilizers like your Quadratus Lumborum, Obliques and Glut Med/Max. This will also blast your core.

  • Grab a heavy dumbbell/barbell/kettlebell. Hold tightly in one hand.
  • Brace your core.
  • Walk normally for a certain amount of steps or distance.
  • Switch hands and repeat.
  • Don’t: hold the weight against your leg and use momentum to swing your hips around.

bulgarian split squat3) Bulgarian Split Squat – I have a love/hate relationship with this one. But boy does it work. Core, gluts, thighs, hams, etc. It hits them all.

  • Grab a pair of dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, plates etc.
  • Put one leg up on a bench behind you. And position your front leg far enough in front so that there is a 90 degree angle at its end position.
  • Brace your core and slowly bend your front leg until you have a 90 degree angle at your knee. Try to keep your hips square.
  • Make sure your knee does not drift in front of your toes.
  • When you go up push through your heels and squeeze your gluts. Repostion your front foot if you need to.
  • If you feel any pain stop.
  • Repeat for reps and sets depending on your training.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Don’t: lock out your knee when straightening or let your knee drift over your toes


Have a great weekend everyone. Keep crushing it.

With gratitude,


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Yorkdale Chiropractor: 5 Tips to Dominate your Deadlift

We’re talking about DEADLIFTS!! Love em or hate em deadlifts are, in my opinion, one of the best exercises you can do period.

  • It’s functional – literally you are lifting and lowering a heavy object off and on to the ground (we do this many times a day and countless times over a lifetime).
  • It activates every muscle in your body (when done correctly).
  • It’s impressive – nothing I respect more than someone who has a massive deadlift (proper form of course).

Looks easy right? It’s not.

Without further ado:


Use the bar to pull yourself into position. Pull all the slack out of your body. Engage your lats, upper back and hip flexors. Pull your shoulders back and lock them down. Elbows should be straight at the start of the pull.

Put as much weight as you can behind the bar. The more weight behind the bar, more leverage for your lift. It is so imperative that you maintain a neutral spine throughout your entire lift.



Push your heels to China. Push your heels through the ground. It will deliver a stronger start to your lift and protect your lower back. The more force you put through to the ground the more stability you will have be and the more massive the lift.



It will be difficult to maintain a neutral spine if your hip flexion is limited. Tight hamstrings could be a major cause. You can stretch your hamstrings dynamically or statically (see below). They serve different purposes and both should be utilized.



Also see this previous post about statically stretching your hamstrings. 



Aim for the sweet spot in the lift just as the bar is passing your knees to shoot your hips through the bar. This will not only give you some increased explosive power on your lift but will also act to protect your lower back from the brunt of the load.

DO NOT hyperextend (overarch) your back at the top of the lift (unless you want spine surgery down the road). Instead, extend your hips (push your hips forward).  The difference is subtle but makes a difference in the health of your spine. Try to finish in straight line. If someone were to draw a straight line on the side of your body from your foot to your head it would intersect your lateral malleolus of your ankle (that bone sticking out on the side of your ankle), knee, hip, shoulder and ear.



This one may seem almost common sensical but grip that bar and grip it hard. The harder you can grip the more tension you can create and the better your activation and mechanics will be. Actively work on your grip on days where you are not doing pulling exercises. Grip strength is fundamental in all aspects of strength but you never want grip to be the limiting factor with how much you can deadlift. Some common ways I strengthen my grip is using FAT GRIPZ or holding the bar for a few seconds at the top of the lift (as much as 3-5 seconds). Your forearms will be feeling it.


That’s it for today ladies and gents.

Dr. Joy

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North York Chiropractor: And Now for the REAL COKE Commercial

Part 2:

If only that last commercial was real. As a friend told me immediately, “Do you think Coke would ever say those things?”

Coke did make an Anti-obesity ad last year that did, to their credit, did talk about being active early in life, consuming too many calories and decreasing portion size.

The real commercial is quite clever in a few ways:

  • They make it seem they are concerned in improving a nation wide epidemic (which they are one of the primary sources of) – it only makes sense that they clean up their own mess. 
  • They want you do decrease portions/calories – 7 percent of the calories come from soda, the biggest single source in our diet.
  • They offer 180 low/no calorie choices – filled with aspartame/sweeteners that are known to cause cancer and diabetes.
  • Smaller portion controlled sizes – that cost equal to or more than the original sizes and use up more packaging which comes at a cost to the environment.
  • Put water, juice and low/no calorie options – 95% of juice is sugar water and see above for low/no calorie options.

Very smart marketing Coke. Well done.

Best in health,

Dr. Joy


North York Chiropractor: Coke Commercial That Tells you NOT to Drink Coke?

Hey there beautiful people,

It’s been know for decades the harmful effects of pop (or Soda for all you Americans).

It has been known to (potentially) cause or contribute to:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Organ damage
  • Cancer
  • Accelerated aging
  • Muscle loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Memory loss/decreased cognition
  • Cavities
  • Infertility

Etc. Etc. Etc. And this is just a short list. The list goes on and on and on. The extent of the damage that pop/soda does may not be common knowledge to most people but it is safe to say that people know that it’s bad for you. Drop the coke. Walk away. Should be that easy right?

Guess not. Coca-cola is one of the biggest companies in the world. You would be hard pressed to find somewhere their influenced is not felt. I drank a lot of pop as a kid (I didn’t know any better) and even now indulge every so often (even though I know better) in a Coke/Diet Coke (usually with some form of alcohol). So we all know pop is bad for us yet we still drink it. The healthcare industry tells you not to drink it and we still drink it.

But what about if the actually company told you to stop drinking it?

@ 1:33 – The calories in Coca-Cola products have no nutritional value.

@ 1:42 – If you drink Coke you will get fatter and fatter.

@ 1:49 – Don’t drink Coke. It’s killing you and your family.

Like they say in the video, it’s like if the tobacco companies told you not to smoke and that smoking kills. Is this some form of reverse psychology? Or do you think people just don’t care? Perhaps the old saying is right, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.”

What do you guys think?

Best in health,

Dr. Joy

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Yorkdale Chiropractor: 10 Common North American Foods Banned in Other Countries

Good afternoon beautiful people!

Does it surprise you to know that common foods found in North America (mostly the United States) are banned in other countries around the world? A grain of wheat found in the States is completely different than a grain of wheat found in Europe. Literally, the genetic make up of the two are so different that on some level you can consider them a different species. Crazy right?

Here are 10 other foods as per www.Mercola.com that we likely eat on a daily basis but because of food additives, growth promoters & genetically engineered ingredients, other countries wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

1. Farm Raised Salmon – salmon are fed unnatural diet of grains, antibiotics and other drugs. Because of the grayish, unappealing colour, is dyed pink using a petrochemical not approved for human consumption. Banned in Australia and New Zealand.

2. Genetically Engineered Papaya – Genetically engineered food has been linked to many damaging affects including intestinal damage, organ damage, tumors, birth defects and sterility. Banned in the European Union.

3. Ractopamine Meat – A chemical used to reduce fat content in pigs, cattle and turkey.

4. Citrus Flavored Sodas and Sport Drinks – Contains a synthetic chemical that was originally used as a flame retardant (Brominated Vegetable Oil – BVO). Bioaccumulates in human tissue and breast milk and can cause reproductive and behavioral problems.

5. Processed Foods with Artificial Colors and Dyes – Over 3000 additives are added to US foods. Can have toxic and hazardous health effects and especially with regards to adverse effects on children’s behavior.

6. Arsenic Laced Chicken – Arsenic based drugs make animals grow quicker and make the meat pinker (and more appealing). Although organic arsenic is primarily used, it changes into inorganic arsenic which is a known carcinogen. Banned in the European Union.

7. Bread with Potassium Bromate – Bromated flour has been shown to damage kidneys and nervous system and cause thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort and cancer. Banned in Canada, China and the European Union.

8. Olestra/Olean – A calorie and cholesterol free  fat substitute used in fat free snacks like chips and french fries. It has been known to cause diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. It also interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Banned in the UK and Canada.

9. Preservatives BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) & BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – known to cause cancer in rats and possibly humans. Banned in Japan and parts of the European Union.

10. Milk and Dairy laced with Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) – Injected into cows to increase milk production. Linked to increase risk for colorectal, prostate and breast cancer. Banned in over 30 nations including Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the European Union and Canada.

To avoid potentially hazardous foods and harmful ingredients your best bet is to cut processed foods out of your diet (or as much as possible). Other than that, changes to the landscape of how food hits our tables aren’t changing any time soon.

Best in health,

Dr. Joy

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Yorkdale Chiropractor Welcomes Dr. Patrick Porter to Yorkdale Wellness

Please join us this WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25 @7-8:30pm (Q & A to follow) at Yorkdale Wellness Clinic (see attached flyer) for a workshop that will show you how to…


Discover The Six Secrets That Will Awaken Your Genius!


Workshops based on the award-winning bestseller: 

Awaken the Genius,

Mind Technology for the 21st Century

by Patrick K. Porter, Ph.D.


Dr. Patrick Porter

Welcome to the world of the awakened genius!  The “Secrets of Genius” workshops are a hands-on adventure into the realm of genius.  You not only learn about whole-brain thinking, but are taught in a whole-brain format!  As an experiential workshop, Secrets of Genius involves learning through seeing, hearing, doing and integrating.  Using the cutting-edge technology outlined in the book Awaken the Genius, Mind Technology for the 21st Century, which was voted the best “how-to” book of 1994 by the North American Bookdealers Exchange, the program offers a powerful synthesis of Psycho-Linguistics (the language of the mind), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), guided imagery and experientials.  The power in this dynamic seminar resides in integration.  Self-discovery exercises and guided imageries awaken the imagination, and inspire the other-than-conscious mind.


MASTER the Secrets of Genius!

Have you ever wondered about your life’s purpose?  Did you ever feel there was a more creative, inventive and intuitive you somewhere deep inside? Scientists and psychologists agree, most people are using less than 10% of their brain’s full potential.  Well here is your opportunity to uncover the talents and skills that have been lying dormant within you and to unleash that genius that is your birthright.

You can take a whole-brain journey into your inner genius with Dr. Patrick Porter, author of the award-winning book,Awaken the Genius.  Become an activator of the new paradigm that is now readily apparent around the world–it is where geniuses abound and peace and the pursuit of collective happiness is the founding principle.  You will learn:


*      The stuff “genius” is made of — and how to get it.

*      The secrets of time — and how to use it.

*      The power of the other-than-conscious mind — and how to activate it.

*      The nature of learning preferences – and how it applies to you.

*      About the brain – and how to balance its power.


There are still limited seats available, please RSVP to this DrJoyArciaga@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Bring your friends & family too. All attendees will get a chance to come in to our clinic a complimentary Neurological Assessment and MindFit Session


We hope to see you all there!

Dr. Joy

Yonge and St. Clair Chiropractor: What do you Know About Organic Foods?

Good Morning!!

First post in quite a while.

Today’s topic: Organic Foods. What does Organic really mean?

Definition (as per the USDA National Organic Program (NOP)):

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bio-engineering  or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

This is makes sense BUT something that I found out recently really surprised me. Did you know that there are different tiers (levels) of organic food? Organic ingredients is not the same as certified organic which is not the same as 100% organic.

100 percent organic1) 100% Organic: If it has a label bearing 100% organic it means that every ingredient used to make it meets the organic standard.



canada organic

2) Organic (Certified Organic): 95% of the ingredients meet the organic standard.





3) Made with Organic Ingredients: At least 70% of the ingredients in this product meet the organic standard.



4) Anything less than 70% can only have “Organic” for each specific item on the ingredient label that meets the organic standard.


Tricky huh?

Have a great  day everyone.

Dr. Joy

Book an appointment with Dr. Joy today!

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Yonge and St. Clair Chiropractor on GMO Foods

Hello all,

Just a short clip today about Genetically Modified Foods. We’re not going to go in to the the absolute horrors and damage that GMO food can do to our bodies here and now. It’s a lengthy discussion. Long story short: they are bad for us, screw up our bodies, and they are everywhere (estimated to be in about 70% of all foods in a typical grocery store).

What this video is simply talking about is being aware of which foods actually fall into that category. The big agriculture industries don’t even want us to know which foods have it and which don’t. That should tell you something right away.


Have a great weekend,


Book an appointment with Dr. Joy today.

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Yonge and St. Clair Chiropractor: Eye Opening Documentary about the “Healthcare” Industry

Hello Everyone,

A couple of months ago I posted a trailer for a documentary about the current healthcare system. There are some shocking truths about present day healthcare that are not brought into the public eye. Medicine, specifically big Pharmaceuticals, is the biggest industry in the world. Trillions of dollars are spent annually treating health. Actually let me rephrase that. Trillions of dollars are spent treating DISEASE. Not health.

Why is this the biggest industry in the world? How come we are spending more and more on the healthcare every single year and yet we are the sickest our society has ever been? The United States has about 5% of the world’s population yet consumes 50% of the world’s prescription drugs. Canada spent over 200 Billion Dollars on healthcare in 2011 and that figure is expected to increase for 2012.

Hippocrates was the very first physician in history. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. Do you believe that Hippocrates imagined that we needed to ingest pill after pill after pill to maintain our health?

Don’t get me wrong. Doctors play such an invaluable role in healthcare. If I get hit by a car please call 911 and bring me to the hosptial ASAP. There is no one better in the world at saving lives than a doctor. But should the be all and end all solution for all ailments be meds? As it stands right now it isn’t a matter of is medication warranted. It is WHICH medication should I be taking?

For a limited time only here is the first look at Doctored. Enjoy


Dr. Joy

Let MD’s treat your disease. Let’s try treating your health for a change.

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Yonge and St. Clair Chiropractor: 3 GREAT Swiss Ball Exercises

Good Morning,

So who has one of those big swiss balls collecting dust in the corner of their room? Maybe you use it to dry clothes on (I did for many years)? Well pull it out, dust it off, and let’s get going.

1. Ball Push-Up: A great way to work your chest, triceps, upper pectoral, and core muscles is the ball push-up.

2 Variations:
A) Rest your shins thighs on the ball and place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart. Lower your upper body toward the ground until your arms are bent at 90 degrees, and then lift back up. This inclined position really targets your chest. Rest your feet on the ball to make it more difficult.

B) Same as a regular push up but place both hands on the ball instead. This will force you to use chest stabilizers muscles to complete the exercise.

Keep your core nice and tight for both of these.



2. Ball Jack Knife: Targets your abdominal and hip muscles.

Place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, arms extended, ankles on the ball, and legs extended. Put your weight on your arms and roll the ball in toward your arms by bending your knees and waist. Extend your legs back out straight. Repeat. Keep that core tight.

3. Ball Squat against a wall: work your quadriceps and buttocks

Start standing up straight with a Swiss ball in between your back and a wall. Start with the Swiss ball in the middle of your back. Lean into the ball and begin to squat down. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground and your knees are at 90 degrees. Your knees should never drift over your toes. Straighten back up to the start position and repeat 8-10 times. The slower you go the harder it will be. Make it even more difficult by switching to a single leg.

Adding the Swiss ball to your workout is great for beginners or for someone looking to add some variety to their workout.

More to come later.

Have a great one,


Being active is such a huge component to your overall health. I can help getting you MOVING WELL and OFTEN.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Joy

Vita Integrative Health Clinic (Yonge and St. Clair)   www.facebook.com/DrJoyArciaga