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March 15, 2013

Healthy Mind + Healthy Body

Spring! It's finally here!

After a long winter it has been fantastic to see our Leslieville neighbours out and about, and the whole Queen St East community coming back to life!

Spring has long been associated with growth, rejuvenation, and renewal. It's our time to reconnect with nature, but it's also a really good time to reevaluate our January resolutions.   

Did you make any resolutions related to your health? I know that we at [mend] made more than a few.  More running, more yoga, more sleeping, better eating, and the list goes on and on.

Looking back at most of our goals and hearing about some of our patients' resolutions, we couldn't help but notice that most of us had centered our health and wellness goals around the physical body.   I mean, we are in the business of physical and manual therapy here at the clinic, but I think that many of us often forget that the physical body is only a part of the health and wellness of the whole person.  

One of our fave authors Dr. Dan Siegel (who has penned inspiring books such as Mindsight and The Mindful Therapist ) along with organizational consulting guru Dr. David Rock, have created The Healthy Mind Platter, and propose that our brains can function more optimally by performing seven daily mental activities or habits.  In their words "We're entering an era of an epidemic of overwhelm. A time when too many people's mental well-being is being stretched through multi-tasking, fragmented attention and information overload."  Without balanced mental health, Siegel and Rock believe that the implications of poor mind health may be even more detrimental then poor diet and physical inactivity. 

The idea is that The Healthy Mind Platter, with it's seven healthy mind habits (the "ingredients"), can be combined daily and devoured in various delicious and nutritious ways as a part of a balanced mental health diet.  Each individual may choose more or less of each essential mental health practices depending on their daily mental health needs.  See below for Dr Siegel and Dr. Rock's explanations of each essential mental health ingredient.

healthy mind platter

Focus Time - When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, taking on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.  (How about those crosswords? scrabble online? or maybe even that sudoku you did on the way to work?)

Play Time - When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, which helps make new connections in the brain. (We like random karaoke, hula hooping classes, and trying rock-climbing for the first time)  

Connecting Time - When we connect with other people, ideally in person, or take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, richly activating the brain's relational circuitry. (Going for a walk with a colleague at lunch and talking sports, family, or anything that isn't work related! Or simply connecting with your family at the dinner table and talking about your day)

Physical Time -When we move our bodies, aerobically if possible, which strengthens the brain in many ways. (Walk, run, swim, yoga, bike, however, wherever, whenever!)

Time In  -When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, helping to better integrate the brain. (Meditation, mindfulness, and self reflection are an important way to consolidate our days)

Down Time -When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, which helps our brain recharge. (Sometimes listening to music or just people watching at your local coffee shop)

Sleep Time - When we give the brain the rest it needs to consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day. (No explanation needed here, but do try and get that 8 hours in!)

With so much of our time being dedicated to our physical bodies, remember that our brains are ultimately responsible for all of our movements, thoughts, and sleep, as well as our emotional and social connections.  So maybe it's time to start re-considering our often narrow definitions of health & wellness, and to start training for a healthier mind one ingredient at a time.

In health,

the [mend] team

for more information on The Healthy Mind Platter or on Dr. Dan Siegel please visit

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April 31, 2012

grand opening

So... it's official! After a fantastic grand opening party on Friday night, [mend]physio's doors are officially wide open!!!

We are so thankful and humbled by the overwhelming support and welcome from the community as well as our friends and families.  The past 3 months have been a blur and we have loved every second of it! From store-hopping for furniture and artwork, meeting our friendly neighbours in and around the building, to testing out new exercise equipment, we have learned so much and have had so much fun throughout the entire start-up process. We want to take this opportunity to thank some of our key team players.

Team J

Miss Jessica Wong rocked out with our project management & steered this whirlwind project in the right direction with extreme determination. From brand and creative development to party-planning, she pushed us to do it right and do it well.

The talented Mr. Jonathan Correa created our great look. Everything creative, sleek, beautiful, and balanced at [mend] came from this brilliant mind. You can drop him a line with your branding/design needs at

Mr. tech extraordinaire, Jansen Sullivan played advisor to the not-so-tech savvy of us all. He's getting us on the map in terms of the world wide web and has been keeping our email accounts very well-organized.  He doesn't shy away from the mop and bucket either!

Pop-culture and social media enthusiast Jamie Uyeyama set up our ever-so-important Twitter and Facebook accounts. His patience while explaining # and @ has been crucial to our social education and now we're going to tweet, share, and blog to make him proud!

Website Creation Guru

Our easy-to-navigate, sleek, cool, and overall marvelous website is courtesy of graphic design mastermind Lisette Viola. Not only did Lisette work magic with our timeline and create the most amazing icons, she let us edit and participate every step of the way.

The [mend]physio Space

Leo N. whipped up this amazing 2260 square foot space in no time. His ideas for the clinic have unified this old storage unit and dimly-lit tanning salon into a brand new, bright white, shiny spot for us to call home.  

Our friends, families, & patients

You know who you are. Without these folks we wouldn't be here! Your support, encouragement, late night pep talks and manual labour have left us forever indebted. A very special thank you to Colourgenics ( for making our beautiful visuals come to life in the form of canvas, foamcore boards, and photos. Thanks also to The Commissary and DJ Beatstreet for the great bites and tunes. 

Please check out our Facebook page to see some great pics of our journey and photos from our grand opening party, and make sure to Like us!

We are so excited to be starting our new adventure in this wonderful community. We look forward to meeting and mending with all of our neighbours here in Leslieville, and all across Toronto.  Please come by for a treatment or just to chat, we'll be here!

In health,

the [mend] team

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