Healthy Valentine’s Day: Celebrating the Heart in Every Way

Valentine’s Day is traditionally a celebration of love often symbolized by the giving of heart-shaped gifts and cards. Yet, the essence of Valentine’s Day can actually touch upon a more profound and holistic notion of health and well-being. This involves not just one, but two hearts we all possess: the physical heart and the heart of the mind.  

The physical heart, the engine of our bodies, beats tirelessly from before birth until our last moment. It’s a symbol of life and vitality, responsive to the care we give our bodies through nutrition, exercise, and rest. Conversely, the heart of the mind, equally real and vital, thrives on emotional nourishment: the loving words, thoughtful actions, and deep connections we share with those around us. This heart is touched and strengthened by the quality of our relationships with partners, family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and pets. It’s also influenced by our interaction with our surroundings, including art, technology, and the environment.  

Valentine’s Day, therefore, presents a unique opportunity to celebrate and nurture both hearts. Embracing this day can mean more than exchanging chocolates or flowers; it can be a time to foster our relationships and express gratitude for the love and support we receive and give in all areas of our lives. It’s a reminder to cherish and improve the quality of these connections, knowing that they directly contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

Nurturing the Physical Heart

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a focus on the physical heart means adopting habits that enhance our cardiovascular health. Opt for a heart-healthy dinner with your loved one, featuring dishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Consider a walk together, or activities that not only foster connection but also promote physical health. 

Enriching the Heart of the Mind

The heart of the mind flourishes with meaningful interactions and expressions of love. This Valentine’s Day, consider writing heartfelt letters to those you care about, articulating the importance of their presence in your life. Engage in acts of kindness and appreciation, not only towards others but also towards yourself. Reflect on and celebrate the positive relationships you have with your surroundings and strive to deepen your connection with nature and the arts.

A Day for All Relationships

Valentine’s Day is an ideal moment to reflect on and celebrate the myriad relationships that enrich our lives. This includes the bond we share with our pets, who offer unconditional love and companionship, and the relationship we have with our environment, which sustains and nurtures us. It’s a day to appreciate the beauty in our lives, from the art that moves us to the technology that connects us, recognizing that these relationships profoundly impact our well-being.

In celebrating Valentine’s Day, we acknowledge that love, in its many forms, is a powerful force for health and happiness. It’s an opportunity to strengthen the bonds that support our physical and mental hearts, reminding us of the interconnectedness of all aspects of our well-being. This year, let’s expand our understanding and celebration of love to encompass not only the partner-based aspect, but also the self-directed, and the universal, embracing the full spectrum of relationships that nourish both our hearts.  

Enjoy a mindful Valentine’s Day in every way!  

By Dr. Scott Donkin

Healthy Hibernating: 10 Strategies for a Vibrant February and Beyond

As we experience the chilly embrace of February, it’s common for many of us to enter a state of quasi-hibernation. This period is marked by a noticeable dip in physical activity and energy levels, potentially ushering in feelings of tension, anxiety, sadness, and a general sense of malaise. Moreover, this seasonal lull in physical conditioning can leave us vulnerable to injuries when we resume more vigorous activities in the spring, be it through sports or engaging in labor-intensive yard work or other home projects. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.  By adopting successful strategies now, we can maintain our physical and mental well-being throughout February, setting the stage for a healthier, happier spring.  Here are ten action tips to help you stay vibrant and well during these winter months.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Begin with setting small, achievable goals for both physical and mental health. This could range from committing to a daily walk, no matter the weather, to dedicating 10-15 minutes before bed to mindful practices. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

2. Embrace Outdoor Activities

Despite the cold, outdoor activities can be incredibly rejuvenating. Dress warmly and try snowshoeing, winter hiking, or even a brisk walk in the park. These activities not only invigorate the body but also expose you to natural sunlight, helping to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

3. Stay Social

Isolation can exacerbate feelings of sadness and anxiety. Make an effort to stay connected with friends and family, whether through virtual meetups or safely distanced outdoor gatherings. Social interaction is vital for maintaining our mental health.

4. Maintain a Balanced Diet

It’s easy to turn to comfort foods during the colder months, but a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can enhance your energy levels and mood. Don’t forget to hydrate, as well!

5. Regular Exercise

Commit to a regular exercise regimen that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Whether it’s yoga, home workouts, or joining a virtual fitness class, regular physical activity can significantly boost your mood and overall health.  Here too, even 10-15 minutes a day is time very well spent for you.

6. Prioritize Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.

7. Mindful Activities and Meditation

Incorporate mindful practices such as deliberate, slow belly breathing or meditation into your daily routine. These practices can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and enhance your focus and concentration.

8. Learn Something New

Challenge your brain by learning something new. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, learning a new language, or taking an online course, engaging in new activities can provide a sense of accomplishment and joy.

9. Plan for Spring

Use this time to plan your spring activities. Whether it’s garden planning, setting fitness goals, or planning a spring project, having something to look forward to can be incredibly motivating.

10. Self-care

Last but not least, don’t forget to practice self-care. This can mean different things to different people: reading a positive book, watching an uplifting movie or inspirational documentary, taking a long bath, practicing movement activities including Feldenkrais, yoga, pilates, or simply sitting quietly with a cup of tea. Listen to your body and mind, and give them what they need to move toward better health and well-being.

By integrating these strategies into your February routine, you can combat the winter blues, maintain your physical conditioning, and prepare both your body and mind for the vibrant days of spring. Remember, self-care and well-being are year-round commitments. This February, let’s challenge the notion of hibernation and instead embrace a period of rejuvenation and self-improvement.

Contact Dr. Donkin with any questions or help to make your winter time healthier and happier. 

Stressful Life Events


There will always be times and events in our lives that cause stress, pressure, grief, and discomfort. Unfortunately, they are unavoidable. However, we can choose how we respond and what we do to help alleviate the pain caused by traumatic life events and experiences. In the next months, we will focus on some physical things you can do at home or when you are out and about and tensions rise. These exercises are by no means a remedy or cure, but they can certainly help you cope and bring you back to a centered place to help alleviate symptoms. If you have questions or find yourself in need of more extensive physical help, please reach out to our office.



Did you know that 52% of prescribed opioids are for lower back pain? Chiropractic care is a safe, drug and surgery-free approach to addressing patients’ back pain effectively. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.


Not sure what’s right for you? Dr. Donkin is happy to make recommendations based on your wellness plan. Talk to him today or at your next appointment!


Spring weather is around the corner…


Spring is in our forecast even with the usual March antics at play! Are you making a list of your weekend yard projects to be ready for warmer days ahead? If you plan to be busy outside remember to listen to your body. If you feel aches and pains, take breaks and contact Dr. Donkin to schedule your next visit.



For those suffering from head and neck pain, chiropractic adjustments have shown significant improvement in posture and pain relief associated with poor posture. Contact us today, to schedule your next appointment.


Do you have an injury, new or old?


Don’t let a history of injuries stop you from enjoying your hobbies or even just interfering with your day-to-day tasks. Dr. Donkin can help get you back on the path to wellness, so you can enjoy your passions. Our purpose is to help you get out of pain, back into health, and on to wellness. We treat back pain, headaches, plantar fasciitis, nerve problems, neck pain, sports injuries, disc problems, auto accidents, and other personal injuries. Contact us today and let us help you get on the path to wellness.


Not sure what’s right for you? Dr. Donkin is happy to make recommendations based on your wellness plan. Talk to him today or at your next appointment!


July 4th After Effects

Independence Day is filled with parades and fireworks displays, and a common side effect of watching fireworks is stiff and sore necks and shoulders. Don’t be alarmed! This is easy to understand. All year long, people are focused on looking down at their children, computers, and cell phones. As a result, many people have conditioned their bodies to slump forward and down. Then, during the celebration’s frenzy, we reverse this movement and extend their heads backward for long periods, looking at exciting fireworks displays.

Remember, we are creatures of habit! The neck and shoulder pain comes because the neck is usually not pliable enough to reverse its usual posture for long periods. To prevent the stiffness and soreness from setting in, warm up your neck and shoulders with:

  1. Reverse shoulder rolling
  2. Take frequent breaks from looking up.
  3. You can also use your favorite topical muscle gel or cream before looking up and or after the celebration is over.

If you are still suffering from the side effects from enjoying the firework displays, or have questions contact Dr. Donkin today. Dr. Donkin can help you get over the episode and help prevent it from occurring next year!

Bone Chilling Headache

We have been living through freezing temperatures for a much longer time than usual this season and it’s going to last awhile. This type of frigid, cold weather is a big headache in many ways, and there has been a significant increase in patients coming in with headaches – even those that don’t usually have headaches.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Extremely cold temperatures can actually make the facial and skull bones ache because, there is very little insulation between the skin and the face and skull bones.
  • Cold temperatures can also make the muscles in the temples very stiff and achy and can also cause an increase in jaw clenching.
  • Breathing in extremely cold air through the nose and mouth can be irritating to the sinuses and throat and lead to headaches, as well.
  • Frigid temperatures can stiffen neck and shoulders that are already sore from shoveling snow or driving in these extreme temperatures.
  • A problem that we have noticed is that extremely low temperatures can trigger a headache pattern that continues even after temperatures begin to increase.

Here are some remedies to help avoid the effects of cold temperatures:

  1. Safeguard your scalp muscles against the cold by donning a stocking cap or hat, optionally paired with ear muffs.
  2. Implement additional measures to shield the neck and base of the skull by strategically layering clothing, mitigating the risk of unnecessary muscle contractions leading to tightness and soreness.
  3. Opt for thin insulating garments beneath your clothing to minimize the impact of sudden temperature changes, ensuring a more comfortable experience.
  4. Enhance protection against extreme cold by tucking in T-shirts and shirts into pants, safeguarding the lower back’s skin from exposure.
  5. Mitigate the risk of muscle spasms, tightness, and fatigue in very cold temperatures by staying adequately hydrated during this season, recognizing the potential for dehydration-induced effects on muscle sensitivity.

The good news is that there are methods and treatments for all of these situations and the issues that may arise from them.

Give us a call today and let us help you get through these chilling seasonal woes!

September 2020 Newsletter: Are Benzos the new opioids?

As I was checking my LinkedIn page I found an interesting article recently that I would like to share with all of you. It is titled Are Benzos the New Opioids? COVID-19 may be contributing to a troubling new trend. by Sherry McAllister. Here is a quick excerpt from her article. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the most stressful time in nearly seven out of 10 employees’ professional careers. Every demographic rated the pandemic more stressful than the September 11 terrorist attacks, the 2008 economic recession and other events.

This unyielding stress has prompted a 34% increase in anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, from mid-February 2020 to mid-March 2020, according to an analysis from Express Scripts, a subsidiary of health insurer Cigna. The increase in anti-anxiety prescriptions due to pandemic stress could exacerbate another trend associated with benzodiazepines, also known as ‘benzos,’ which have increasingly been prescribed to help manage pain.”


Make Your Home Workstation Work

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are finding themselves working from home–with very little notice to prepare. Some without a dedicated home office are using coffee tables, recliners, kitchen tables and counters, and any number of other surfaces and locations as makeshift workspaces. All can potentially lead to aches and pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).  

Scott Donkin, DC, DACBOH, and Scott Bautch, DC, DACBOH, CCSP, CCST, of the ACA Council on Occupational Health, are accustomed to making recommendations for their patient’s traditional workspaces, but they also understand that in times of unexpected change you must find ways to adapt quickly. Many of the workers forced to go remote are working on laptops, according to the doctors. Here are their top three suggestions for making a home workstation work with your laptop:

Pick a Spot

If you do not have a regular desk at home, working at a kitchen table is generally much better than sitting on a couch with your laptop on your lap.

Adjust Your Seat 

For those without an ergonomic chair, use a seat wedge to help maintain better posture. Sitting on the wedge makes you tilt your thighs forward and down, which causes you to arch your back and sit up straighter. You can purchase seat wedges online, or you can make your own by folding a bed pillow in half to form a wedge.

Adjust Your Monitor

The kitchen table is often too low for the laptop screen, so place large coffee table books or reams of copy paper underneath to raise the laptop in a stable way so that you do not have to raise your hands uncomfortably up, or bend your head uncomfortably down. Consider getting a wireless keyboard, which enables you to raise the laptop screen higher—to eye level—and place the keyboard on the table top, which will encourage better posture.

Create a DIY Sit/Stand Station

The popularity of standing desks has increased significantly over the past several years. You can create your own standing desk at home by simply working at a raised kitchen counter, for example, but be sure that the height of the counter does not cause you to bend your elbows too much. You should be able to comfortably reach your keyboard with elbows bent at about a 90-degree angle. While you’re at it, consider using a wireless keyboard and boosting the height of your laptop screen to eye level with books, reams of paper, or a stand, which in turn will prevent neck strain caused by looking too far down at the screen (see photo).

As it turns out, every seated workstation, even a makeshift one, can be a sit/stand station, according to Drs. Donkin and Bautch. All you need to do is simply stand up every 20 minutes or so and take a break that includes some stretching and movement. Here is an example: 

  1. Stand up and move your legs up and down like you are walking in place.
  2. Look at an object that is more than 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
  3. Gently shake your hands wrists and elbows for a few seconds while you are also gently rolling your shoulders up, back, and down.
  4. Take a slow, deep breath in to improve your posture and smile, then slowly exhale.
  5. Sit down, refreshed, in a good posture. You are ready to get back to work!

For more information on musculoskeletal health and injury prevention tips, visit the ACA’s consumer website,

Making Your Home Work Station Work Well for You!

by Scott Donkin, DC, DACBOH

Scores of my patients as well as millions more are now working from home.  

Teachers, students, attorneys those in the financial services and many others are trying their best to remain productive in make-shift home work stations.

Even though an entire book could be written about setting up home work stations, here are three recommendations that many of my ‘work from home’ patients have found helpful.  I would make much different recommendations in the traditional workplace setting but we are in a novel time right now and we must successfully adapt to new circumstances at this time.

The majority of the people I know are using a laptop at home so with this in mind consider the following:

Pick your best spot at home

If you do not have a regular desk at home, working at a kitchen table is generally much better than sitting on a couch with your laptop on your lap.

Adjust your home work station for better seated posture

  • Use or make a seat wedge to help you maintain a better posture.  My favorite by far is the Kabooti. Some of my patients also like the Bamboo seat wedge.  You can partially fold a sleeping pillow to form a wedge too.
  • The kitchen table is often too low for the laptop screen so place large books like coffee table books or reams of copy paper under the laptop to raise it up in a stable way so that you do not have to raise your hands uncomfortably up or bend your head uncomfortably down.  If you have a wireless keyboard then you can raise the screen up higher and place the keyboard on the table top for better posture.

Make your home work place a sit/stand station

Actually, every seated work station, even this make-shift one is a form of a sit/stand station.  All you need to do is simply stand up every 20 minutes or so and do a simple routine like this:

  • Stand up and move your legs up and down like you are walking in place.
  • Look at an object that is more than 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
  • Gently shake your hands wrists and elbows while you are gently rolling your shoulders up, back and down for a few seconds.
  • Take a slow deep breath in to improve your posture and smile then slowly exhale.
  • Sit down refreshed, in a good posture and you are ready to get back to work.

Consider structuring the timing of your home work day to be similar to your typical work day.  Remember individual circumstances vary so apply these suggestions to your own situation. This is not a replacement for treatment or consultation.  If you have specific questions contact your health care provider.  Don’t hesitate to contact me as well if you would like some additional information.


Scott Donkin, DC, DACBOH