Why did I become a Chiropractic Doctor?
Growing up I was told I would make a great lawyer and that I should be a lawyer. Fast forward to my undergraduate time and I was law school bound - yep, I wrote the LSAT and applied to law schools. During the application process, Becky with the good hair, the roommate in my head, started questioning my law school adventure. Case in point - she would always ask me if I was sure I was ready to give up the sciences to study law. Well I decided not to listen to Becky and I went to a law school information session and sat in the middle of the front row, like the keener that I am.
Once the presentation ended, I felt bad for asking my fellow colleagues to let me out of the row so I decided to stay for the chiropractic school presentation (I also didn’t want to hit anyone with my backpack, lunch bag, laptop and gym bag). Deep down I knew since my first class in Neuroscience, with the old school projector slides, I had found the mind and body to be a fascinating subject. The field of chiropractic is evidence-based, and a hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the skeletal, muscular and neurological system. What more could I ask for?
As your Chiropractic Doctor, I believe that through proper movement in your body and mind, you can achieve optimal health, well-being and increased productivity. That means when you move well and think well, you LIVE WELL, and isn't this what we all want?
Dr. Yaad Shergill DC, CAC, M.Sc (Cand), CAPM Dip
What is my education & training?
Let's get down to some details that you may think are important. I am a Doctor of Chiropractic, graduating from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. I couldn't get enough of school and went on to complete a two-year post-graduate residency in Clinical Sciences while teaching the newbies at the college. Prior to chiropractic school, I graduated from McMaster University (and I'm back there doing my Masters this time) with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience. I have completed additional training in acupuncture, instrument-assisted therapy, chronic pain management, exercise rehabilitation and animal chiropractic - yep you read that right.
My practice extends to all members of your family - yep - even the four legged, furry ones. Animals truly have my heart. I've had a passion for animals since I was just a little girl. I just couldn't be a veterinarian since they have to deal with some pretty sad cases at times (shout out to all you courageous ones). I completed a 7 month post-graduate program in Animal Chiropractic/Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy and am certified to treat both small animals (dogs/cats) and large animals (horses). I can help your animal move and feel better, but I can't promise I won't try to take them home with me.
What is my practice style as a Chiropractor?
I am a diversified practitioner who utilizes various techniques to optimize the functioning of your body. I truly believe in having a strong foundation (we're talking about core and back muscle strength) to support your body through mindful movement. I take a biomechanical approach, which is essentially how your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement. Diagnostic testing including radiographs and bloodwork is added to the mix when required. I use this approach to assess and better understand your pain/dysfunction and then create a treatment plan personalized to you, your health conditions, and comfort level. Treatment goals are always patient-centered and evidence-based. I treat you as a person, the whole of you, not just your condition in isolation - so be prepared to discuss mood, energy, nutrition and motivation.
What are the techniques I use?
Beyond my core chiropractic training, I am certified in Acupuncture, Graston, Active Release Therapy (A.R.T), cupping and personal training. If the treatment plan calls for it, I will adjust my patients using a low force, table assisted and gentle manual style. Adjustments help improve range of motion, reduce pain/discomfort and improve communication in the nervous system. I blend modern chiropractic care that is individualized to your body's needs with therapeutic exercises and mindfulness to help you reach your health and movement goals.
What are my areas of clinical focus?
For many musculoskeletal conditions, such as low back pain and headaches, chiropractic care is frequently the primary method of treatment. As a
Chiropractor, my goal is to help relieve acute pain and dysfunction from both athletic and non-athletic injuries as well as provide symptomatic relief to patients suffering from chronic pain.
People will often seek out my care for any of the reasons below:
Neck pain and headaches including whiplash
Strains and sprains
Work and sports injuries
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Shoulder and wrist pain
Pregnancy related concerns
Chronic pain conditions – fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis
Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
General health and well-being
Motor vehicle accident injuries
How do I incorporate research into my practice?
Research research research! After completing my residency, I packed up my little car and moved to Ottawa. It is in Ottawa that I fell in love with research and mindfulness. For the past 5 years I have been working as a Clinical Research Associate in the department of Anesthesiology at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. I work with some pretty amazing and smart people and we are investigating chronic pain, mindfulness, cancer and collaborative health care models. I have published research in the field of chronic pain, mindfulness, and visual neuroscience. I have a passion for research, numbers and questioning which treatments make an impact on our health and mental well-being. Research really makes me smile and keeps me on top of current medical trends.
Masters of Health Research Methodology. I love learning, I really do, I can't deny it and won't even try. I'm currently back at McMaster University researching cannabis, chronic pain and mindfulness. I am particularly interested in the advances in collaborative care, and quality of life for people with chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases.
What attracted me to team-based health?
Through my residency training and research associate position at The Ottawa Hospital, I’ve been immersed in team-based health, truthfully, it is the only way I know how to practice. At St. Michael’s Hospital there was an emphasis on building strong and integrated connections with
family physicians, dietitians and psychology through an integrated. The Ottawa Hospital boasts a tenacious reputation on bridging conventional and allied health care providers in both clinical and research settings.
Now taking this back to 2008, naturopath extraordinaire Dr. Elaine Lewis and I (we go way back to McMaster undergraduate days) would trade notes on unique presentations of cases that came across our formal education. We would share clinical tidbits and provide input on treatment plans that would come full circle and provide the patient with the most optimal care. We knew from our time in training that healthcare should be about teamwork and approached in a holistic manner. After some years of working in the
field, we were brought on as clinic directors for the Centre for Collaborative Health in Oakville. This really was a dream come true and a lot of blood, sweat, and smiles (okay a few tears here and there). Our vision was to provide Oakville with a collaborative health team, in which all areas of health are covered, under one roof, at one time. We wanted to connect with like-minded health care providers create a community, contribute to research and provide Oakville with the best integrated care possible. For this to happen the way we wanted it too, we always knew we would have to own and operate our own show titled One Elephant. Now I get to work alongside a diverse group of brilliant, genuine, and caring practitioners with a passion for health, prevention of illness and research and who I’m proud to call family. As the saying goes “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
How do I incorporate mindfulness into your treatment plan?
I was introduced to the practice of mindfulness and meditation through my mentors, Dr. Patricia Poulin and Dr. Howard Nathan. I've always been aware of my emotions and their influence over my actions but I would mostly react to situations, rather than respond to them. With hard work, determination, and perseverance, I am now able to respond to challenges mindfully BUT it is always a work in progress. Through additional training, I am happy to teach my patients mindfulness and am always blown away with the results. Learning to settle your mind and body can lead to some pretty powerful revelations about yourself.
What do I love most about being a Chiropractic Doctor?
I love being able to show people what their bodies and minds are capable of. The connection between the mind and body is extremely powerful and when this is understood, profound changes take place within us. There are so many misconceptions about pain, specifically back pain out there, and being able to unravel some of these myths is very rewarding.
If I’m not at work, where can you find me?
The fun and interesting stuff. In my spare time I can be found hiking the trails with my Doberman, named Raider (can you guess I love football), sweating it out in hot yoga, punching a bag, at the nearest CrossFit gym working on my lifting techniques or riding the Halton trails. I love curling up with a good book, a hot cup of tea/coffee and my cozy reading socks. My favourite foods include pizza and obviously more pizza. My favourite movie (and subsequently mission in life) is the Pursuit of Happiness.