a system of integrative medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.

Dr. Kelly Schoonderwoerd

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Dr. Rebecca Scott

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Some of our techniques

Chiropractic is one of the largest primary contact health care professions in Canada with over 5,000 practicing chiropractors. Approximately four and a half million Canadians use the services of a chiropractor every year.

Chiropractic is a regulated health profession recognized by statute in all the Canadian provinces. The benefits of chiropractic care are well recognized by other health professionals.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic involves drug-free, non-invasive manual procedures which utilize the highly-refined skills developed following their undergraduate degrees during four intensive years of chiropractic education. Chiropractors assess disorders related to the spine, extremity joints, muscles, tendons, nerves and all other myofascial structures of the body, and provide diagnosis, treatment and prevention of those disorders. The goal of chiropractic treatment is to decrease pain and disability and to restore function with the earliest possible return to work and normal activity. During the last 25 years there have been six formal government studies of chiropractic, all of which have found the profession to be safe and effective.

The role of chiropractic can vary depending on the case. It may be the primary method of treatment, or may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects of discomfort associated with the condition. Chiropractic care may also be palliative, providing symptomatic relief to patients with chronic conditions. By treating the musculoskeletal aspects of such disorders, chiropractic improves the general well-being of the patient. The number of treatment visits varies for each patient and condition, however, the mean number of visits per year to chiropractors in Canada is 9.8.

Chiropractic Techniques

Diversified Palmer:
Diversified adjustive procedures; vector line-of-correction; the focus is on restoration to normal bio-mechanical function and correction of subluxation. Diversified methods have been developed to adjust extremity joints, allowing for beneficial applications in treating sports injuries and other injuries detected through static and motion palpation findings

Manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

Thompson Technique

Thompson Technique was originated and developed by Dr. J. Clay Thompson. The Thompson Technique utilizes a “Segmental Drop Table” to enhance the motion force imparted towards the segment or area to be Adjusted. Dr. Thompson introduced the concept of adding motion by inventing a headpiece that would drop away as the adjustive thrust was applied to the vertebral segment. He was granted a patent in 1955 on his concept and thusly was born the Palmer-Thompson drop headpiece. Since the new idea was such a success Dr. Clay then went on to invent a table with drop pieces for adjusting the dorsal, lumbar and pelvic area. this came about in 1957 and from there the rest is history.

Today there are numerous manufacturers of drop-piece tables used around the world. The “Segmental Drop System” takes advantage of the spines inherent design of the joints in order to move the spinal segment in the direction that will improve the motion of the segment with the one above and below. It just makes good sense that since the spinal joints face front to back and have an incline that slopes more naturally backwards that we can effect increased motion by applying an adjustment from P to A, (Posterior to Anterior) and with an inferior to a superior line of correction. The majority of the spinal adjusting utilizing the Thompson Technique has the patient lying prone. (face down.) This is the basis for Dr. Clay’s theory of proper spinal adjusting and the driving force that lead him to invent the drop table.

Palmer Package

Palmer package is a system of chiropractic care taught by the Palmer College of Chiropractic. It includes a variety of techniques. The main ones being: Diversified, Thomson, Gonstead, and Toggle Recoil. Diversified consists of spinal analysis to identify the improper position of one or more vertebrae, and the administration of a manual thrust. Thomson uses a special table with drop-away sections to minimize the amount of energy needed to adjust the spine. In Gonstead, the practitioner uses a small heat-sensing instrument and full-spine X-rays, then has the patient sit, kneel, or lie on her side so adjustments can be made. Finally, Toggle Recoil consists of the administration of a high-speed, low-force thrust to the upper spine.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The theory of Myofascial Release requires an understanding of the fascial system (or connective tissue). The fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater.

Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

Fascia also plays an important role in the support of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. These structures would not be able to provide the stability without the constant pull of the fascial system. In fact, our bones can be thought of as tent poles, which cannot support the structure without the constant support of the guide wires (or fascia) to keep an adequate amount of tension to allow the tent (or body) to remain upright with proper equilibrium.

In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When we experience physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture over time and repetitive stress injuries has cumulative effects. The changes they cause in the fascial system influence comfort and the functioning of our body. The fascia can exert excessive pressure producing pain or restriction of motion. They affect our flexibility and stability and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and strain.

The use of Myofascial Release allows us to look at each patient as a unique individual. Our one-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which our therapists use a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. We promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, through the enhancement of strength, flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

Activator Method

Evolved from nearly 40 years of empirical study and 15 years of clinical research, the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (AMCT) uses the latest advances in orthopedic, neurological and chiropractic examinations to seek joint dysfunction in the spinal column and extremities for improved patient care. AMCT uses the Activator Adjusting Instrument to give consistent low-force, high-speed chiropractic adjustments. Over 35,000 doctors have been trained in AMCT and 2,100 doctors are Proficiency Rated, making AMCT the most widely used technique worldwide; a testament to low force patient satisfaction.

BioFlex Laser Therapy

BioFlex Laser therapy is non-invasive and virtually painless and has been used in over 2 million treatments worldwide without any significant complications or adverse effects. Unlike traditional pharmacological medications, laser therapy has very few contra-indications and treats the root cause of symptoms.

Most laser therapy treatments take about 30 minutes to complete, but some treatments can take as much as an hour. Treatment duration and frequency can be dependent upon how long the condition has been present, as well as the state of the patient’s general health.

For example, a patient who is suffering from many underlying health problems or is on multiple medications might take longer to respond to treatment. Most patients require an average of 9 – 10 treatments.


Feet orthotics are more than just a comfort feature. They can greatly enhance the biomechanics of our bodies. Your feet have a direct impact on the rest of your body and support you with each step. By stabilizing and balancing your feet orthotics enhance your body,s performance and efficiency, reduce pain and contribute to your total body wellness.

When foot imbalance is present, there is a negative impact on the knees, hips, pelvis, and spine. Some patients must have these abnormal forces reduced before they can achieve improved spinal function. Even the pain you feel in your neck could be caused by a misalignment in your spine that is from unbalanced positioning in your feet.

During standing and walking, our bodies are subjected to natural forces and postures that can inflict mechanical stress and strain throughout the interrelated chain of joints and muscles.

Running is especially stressful to the body and more often than not many runners experience injuries related to this activity. The cause of running injuries are almost always multi-factorial. In addition to spinal and lower extremity subluxations, contributory elements often include muscle imbalances, footwear problems, and gait asymmetries.

Almost all of these issues can be cleared up with proper assessment and custom-made feet orthotics.

Postural Effects from Imbalances in the Feet

Excessive rotation of the bones of the leg (tibia and femur) will cause unnecessary stresses on the knee as well as twisting of the pelvis and spine. If the pronation is more prevalent on one side, there can be a resultant unleveling of the pelvis and functional scoliosis.

Tilting of the pelvis can place tension on muscles and connective tissues which can eventually lead to chronic back problems or arthritis in joints. Addressing health concerns with corrective foot supports decreases the pain and discomfort experienced within the core stabilizing structure of the body.

Benefits of Custom Made Orthotics

Custom made feet orthotics stabilize the foundation of the pelvis and spine by first addressing structural problems with the feet. By reducing abnormal forces and stresses, while enhancing structural and functional relationships custom foot supports, such as orthotics, bring back a natural balance to the body.

Furthermore, properly fitted custom orthotics support the foot to control excessive and unwanted pronation, walking on the inside arch of the foot, and supination, walking on the outside edge of the foot. This helps reduce stress on placed on the body. Improving the shock absorption of the feet gives way to the repetitive stress on joints and muscles thus permitting smoother function and decreasing arthritic symptoms.

Using custom feet orthotics represents a long-term, yet cost-effective intervention for many types of functional and structural problems. They are notably helpful for the comfort and care of more serious problems like arthritis or diabetes. Other conditions that are affected positively by the use of orthotics are:

  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Posture
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Short Leg
  • Shin Splints
  • Ankle Pain
  • Heel Spurs
  • Taking Care of Kids’ Posture
  • Foot Problems
  • Sports Injuries and Performance
  • Patellofemoral Pain
  • Iliotibial Band Friction
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis

Wearing custom-made foot orthotics inside your shoes is similar to placing a shim beneath the leg of a wobbly table: it adds support to eliminate unwanted motion in the entire structure. They encourage optimal muscle and nerve function by guiding the feet through a more normal pattern with each step taken.

Even if your feet don’t hurt, they may be contributing to your overall postural balance. If you're having pain or discomfort in a specific area of your body; anywhere from your feet to your neck contact us to learn how custom-made orthotics may help bring you long-term relief.

What is Acupuncture and How Can it Help Me?

Woman getting an acupuncture treatment in a spa[/caption]The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
The result can be quite painful. Enter chiropractic.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The Eastern or Asian acupuncture medical treatment said to prevent or treat a variety of medical ailments, including pain.The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Spinal Decompression

Spinal Decompression Pickering is now available at Hardwood Chiropractic for the treatment of disc injuries. Disc injuries are now one of the most widespread causes of daily neck and lower back pain. Even with daily chores, the discs in your spine are under pressure being twisted with every movement. These factors can result in an injury. As your discs degenerate, they lose hydration which reduces disc height and creates the opportunity for facet syndrome and lateral foraminal stenosis. 

Degeneration causes the pliable outer coating of the disc to become brittle and vulnerable to cracking or tears. This injury can lead to disc bulging, protrusion or herniated discs that can put stress on spinal nerves, causing severe pain and irritation of the nerve root. Damaged discs rarely heal on their own because they are constantly under pressure, even when a person is at rest. It has become widely accepted that the best way to improve disc injury is to decompress or reduce the pressure on the damaged disc.

When you reduce the pressure on a disc or decompress it, it is better able to absorb fluids and nutrients enabling the body’s natural healing processes. Also, reducing intra-discal pressures may bring the nucleus of a herniated disc back into the centre and relieve pressure on spinal nerves.

Spinal Decompression Pickering – Successful In Treating:

  • Degenerative Disc
  • Herniated or Bulging discs
  • Slipped or Ruptured discs
  • Disc desiccation
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet syndrome
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Previous failed back surgery (without metal implants)

Harwood Chiropractic Centre

676 Monarch Ave, 7
Ajax, ON
L1S 4S2


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