Happy New Year! I’m very excited to introduce the first #WeWantToKnow feature of 2018. January is that time of year when most of us are setting new goals (or in some cases, reviving last year’s unfulfilled resolutions!) and one of the top goals for most of us is to focus on our health and make efforts to take better care of ourselves. And on that note, it’s my pleasure to introduce Dr. Sapna Sriram - a chiropractic physician and acupuncturist, CEO and co-founder of Integra Health Centre in Toronto, and who has appeared as an injury expert on several media outlets including Breakfast Television, City TV News, The Globe & Mail, Cityline and more. When I met Dr. Sapna at her clinic to interview her for this feature, I had no idea that I would be walking away with valuable takeaways to change my poor posture habits, or else the next time I saw her might be to have strain injuries of my own treated! So I’m taking her advice and taking better care of myself, because I would much rather the next time I see Dr. Sapna be over a coffee for another chat - she’s friendly and approachable, with a big heart, a good sense of humour, and I’m so inspired by the career she has created for herself.
Dr. Sapna always knew she wanted a career in health care, and as she talked me through her professional history, it was immediately evident that she is genuinely passionate about helping others. She’s been in practice for over 10 years, and opened the Integra Health Centre in November 2015 with the express goal of creating a patient-focused and collaborative environment. Dr. Sapna recognized that within manual therapy there was an opportunity to form a facility that allows for a collaborative approach to health care. The clinic was designed structurally and functionally to be a collaborative environment - the open plan means all practitioners are in sight of each other, and are encouraged to talk to each other about their patients so that when when one of them is referred among them, they can share the patient’s progress and challenges in an effort to provide continuous care. Dr. Sapna’s team of practitioners are able to refer patients internally because the facility has over 14 types of providers offering more than 20 services. Dr. Sapna doesn’t want to simply provide a treatment for her patients, she wants to get to the root of the problem and solve it, and her method of team-based health care allows her to do this efficiently and effectively.
Dr. Sapna is just as passionate about helping others outside of her clinic as she is helping her patients, and discovered that she can spread a wider message on social media and through television appearances. While there are a lot of people treating injuries, there aren’t a lot of people talking about them, and Dr. Sapna has a focus on educating the public on avoiding injuries, advocating for safety of children in sports, and more. As a writer, I sit at my laptop for long periods of time, and I know this is unhealthy (“sitting is the new smoking,” as they say) and Dr. Sapna gave me useful tips and advice so that I can maintain better health habits (one of my New Years resolutions!). If you have a “desk job” or sit for long periods of time throughout the day, make sure to add variety to your workspace so that you can alternatively sit or stand, the goal being to challenge your body to not be in one position constantly - I’ve already started doing this and am typing this article while standing at my desk, laptop perched upon a giant stack of coffee table books! Dr. Sapna pointed out that just because a chair or desk is labeled as “ergonomic,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is ergonomic for you, and it’s worth the investment in your health to have a professional analyze your workspace. I was shocked to learn that sitting for long periods of time has a compounding effect that can take more than 12 hours to reset, so I’m especially motivated to check myself and move around more while I work.
Want more? Here’s what #WeWantToKnow about Dr. Sapna:
I can't start my morning without... My tea from Starbucks. Venti single bag, double cup, English Breakfast tea with a venti ice water.
I have a weakness for... Chocolate.
Most people don't know that I...Used to be classical Indian dancer.
Currently reading... My patient charts.
I want... To slow the clock down on my kids growing up.
Thank you Dr. Sapna, for participating in #WeWantToKnow!