What Susan Has Taught Us…

If you have been a patient at Backfit, you have likely experienced Susan’s warm and vibrant energy. She loves connecting with patients during their decompression treatments and being a part of their healing journey…

View More: http://shantalmariephotography.pass.us/backfitheadshots

Susan came to Backfit 3 years ago from Northwest Indiana, where she owned a business specializing in communication and resiliency skills.  Susan has a passion for engaging, encouraging and empowering people to communicate more effectively.

Susan has been teaching in one form or another since she was 15 years old. From swimming lessons, to personal development workshops, to communication seminars, Susan loves making meaningful connections with people! Through her early teaching experiences, Susan was able to see that every person would filter information in a different way.

“I could explain a concept and some people would give me that ‘I got it’ look, while other people would have that ‘what are you talking about?’ question mark over their head.”    After years of working with people and experimenting with many different tools – in 2003, Susan discovered the KLLP Communication Analysis Tool.   Through the KLLP, Susan became an independent certified trainer with specialty training in teambuilding and coaching.

The KLLP is not a personality profile, but a communication analysis tool that allows people to understand communication styles in an easy and effective way. Susan thrives in seeing people discover their uniqueness and tap in to their potential.  When working with teams, Susan loves to watch people ‘come together in a way that works’. She has worked with many different types of groups, from small business and leadership teams, to couples and individuals.

Susan’s passion and enthusiasm have made a tremendous impact on the Backfit team!  She has helped us to better understand our individual communication styles so that we can work more effectively as a team.

You can see Susan in action at our upcoming Lifefit Event!

Up close and personal!

Susan and her husband Tom have 2 children. Ben is in his third year at UVIC and Abbi is finishing Grade 11 at Claremont High School.

What do you love most about Backfit?: The positive atmosphere, working with such an inspiring team, and getting to engage and encourage patients on their journey into health.“

Susan’s faves:  A good cup of Chai tea, personal growth and development,  ‘aha’ moments, sunshine,  good wine with friends, nature, a favourite book, her family and dogs, the color green, creating atmosphere, the OCEAN!

One of Susan’s goals this year:  To quit talking about kayaking and get out on the water and do it!







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Are you LifeFit?

Get Healthy. Stay Healthy. Live the greatest season of your life. 


Backfit Clinic is thrilled to announce the launch of LifeFit!

Are you ready to take your health to the next level? Join us for a FREE 1-day seminar packed with strategies to get healthy and stay healthy through nutrition, exercise, and mental fitness.

On Saturday, June 13 from 9:00-12:00, Backfit will pack the Victoria Conference Centre in the name of
helping people to make better, more informed, healthy choices.

“At Backfit, we define health by how you function – not just how you feel. We believe that people can have more energy, experience less pain, and live more fulfilled lives. And we want to help them do that,” explains Dr. Ryan Doyle.

“Our holistic approach to health focuses on the impact of everyday choices on long term health.”

The morning’s topics include:

– How to Embrace the Fullness of Life – LifeFit
– Nutrition for Better Health – NutriFit
– Exercise for Better Health – GetFit
– The Mind/Body Health Connection – MindFit
– And More!

Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance as seating is limited. To reserve your ticket, please call (250) 477-8143 or email info@backfit.ca

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Join the BackFit Big Bike Team!

big bikeJoin the Backfit Big Bike Team!! The first 14 people to sign up get to ride!

You can be part of the Backfit team to raise money for Heart and Stroke!

Sign up by emailing Candace@backfit.ca with your name and phone number.

WHO: You, and the Backfit Team
WHAT: The Big Bike Event for Heart and Stroke Foundation
WHERE: Downtown Victoria (2km ride)
WHEN: June 22
WHY: Because it’s fun!

Participants will be given 1 Backfit T-shirt and 1 bottle of Cryoderm as a thank you for their participation. We ask that participants make a donation, or fundraise, a minimum of $100 toward the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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Your Spinal Reboot!

-by Dr. Greg Eisert

I notice a theme each year as spring leads into summer that plays out in the lives of our Backfit patients. With longer days and warmer weather, we see an increase in activity levels. If we aren’t conscious about preparing our bodies for this transition, we are susceptible to injury.

Strains, sprains and everything in between are accomplished in many different ways. A few examples include: a vigorous gardening session, an epic tennis match, or the first soccer game of the year.

One thing we can all count on is that we will “feel” the effects of activities if we are not accustomed to them.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”    

~Alexander Graham Bell

Our capacity for healing and recovery is greatly impacted by our level of preparation. I have included a list to follow to minimize the “after effects” of the activities we love to do.

Action Steps:

  1. Plan Ahead: If this is going to be your first time gardening in 6 months, don’t plan on doing 6 hours straight. Incorporate breaks every 30 minutes to reduce the demands on your spine. Don’t overdo it!
  1. Warm Up: Prior to any type of vigorous activity, prepare your spine with a proper warm-up. This may include a wobble chair (or similar activity), cervical traction, range of motion exercises, as well as light stretching.
  1. Mindfulness: Your goal is to minimize sustained postural loading (strain) on the body. Be mindful of your posture and biomechanics when you hit the court or the green!
    1. Tennis: Avoid playing a gruelling 5-set marathon for your first match in 6 months.
    2. Gardening: rotate through body positions every 10 minutes.
    3. Golf: Listen to your body and stretch between holes.
  1. Spinal Foams: Lying on your spinal foams for as little as 5 minutes immediately after activity will help to reposition and “reboot” your spine.core 1
  2. Cryotherapy: Using ice or CryoDerm will help to reduce inflammation created from the activity. Inflammation is akin to a wild fire. The longer it’s left alone, the bigger the potential problem (pain and stiffness).


CryodermCryoderm 2


  1. If you’re out and about and cannot foam immediately after activity, apply CryoDerm to your area of concern. When you do arrive home, get on those foams and ice afterwards.

Keeping ahead of the inflammation is the best way to keep functioning at our best.

Experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of physical stress on the body is not a reflection of the state of our health. Rather, our health correlates with how well we “bounce back” from an aggravation or injury. What takes one person one day may take another person 2 weeks. This is a true reflection of one’s health and well being.

Now that you “know” –  it’s time to get outside and enjoy all that life has to offer!




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Become a Backfit Ambassador!

bf-11Backfit is looking for fun, creative, athletes, yogis, and coaches to help spread the word that healthy athletes make better athletes.

We believe that improving your spinal health will help you maximize your potential as an athlete. And we want to partner with you to help you achieve your dreams.

You already know that being an athlete means pursuing your next personal best one small improvement at a time. If you’re doing everything else right, improving your spinal health could be the missing piece.

You know that becoming your best means doing things differently. You’re ready to try a different approach.

We want to work with you to minimize your potential for injuries, and maximize
your recovery – so that you can train harder, and train smarter.

And we want to partner with you.  Apply today to become a Backfit Ambassador, and get access to a complete and comprehensive spinal fitness program, customized for you.

To apply, please send us a short email or video (under 5 minutes please) that
introduces us to who you are and why you’d make an amazing Backfit Ambassador. We are looking for ambassadors who are fun, creative, and not afraid to try
something new. Please send to karmen@backfit.ca by April 30, 2015.

Please include the following:
Your Name
Your Sport, Experience, and Goals
Why You’d Make an Amazing Backfit Ambassador
Your Experience with Social Media
Your contact info

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Ask an MD – Interview with Dr. Faulkner

Today we’re bringing you more from our interview series with Dr. Stephen Faulkner, MD. In our first video, watch as Dr. Bentham asks that burning question “Is chiropractic care safe?

In our second video, these two doctors have an important dialogue about the role of lifestyle habits in your spinal health. Which habits are you currently practicing? Is there something new you can implement?



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How Can You Change Your Posture?

The state of our health is, in many ways, the product of our thoughts and behaviours.  Whether it’s the way we nourish our body, our level of physical activity, or the amount of rest and reflection that we create time for, our behaviours have a direct impact on our health and wellbeing.  Agreed?  So here’s the thing… as humans, we have patterns to our behaviour – typical ways that we will react and respond in certain situations.  Changing patterns can be a challenging task.

Take a couple of minutes and listen in to this short clip from Dr. Doyle’s presentation on posture.  Yes – even your posture can be a product of your habits!  If you want to make a change, you have to create a new pattern.

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Backfit Interviews Dr. Stephen Faulkner, MD

With over 30 years of medical practice experience under his belt, Stephen Faulkner, MD has seen all too often the effects of neglecting our spinal health. A Backfit patient and advocate, Dr. Faulkner took the time to sit down with Dr. Bentham to provide his medical perspective on chiropractic, and the profound importance of the spine and nervous system.

Over the coming weeks, we will share this interview series with you through our blog and e-news.  These short, yet insightful, videos may help to answer some of the questions you have about your spine or the Backfit program.  We are certain you will feel informed and empowered by this candid conversation. Enjoy!



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7 Rules for Healthy Eating

This fall, we hosted our first annual LIFE Fair, and what an amazing day it was!

All 3 of our healthy living workshops were at capacity and we’ve received great feedback from so many of you.  In fact, there has been plenty of demand for more informative and engaging workshops like these.  In 2015, we have plans to expand our workshop series to provide you with even more tools to optimize your health and wellbeing.


For those of you that weren’t able to join us at the LIFE Fair, here are some of the highlights from Dr. Bentham’s class on healthy eating!  By following these simple and practical rules, you provide your body with the nourishment it needs to perform at an optimal level.

Watch the video by clicking here!


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The Ups and Downs of Inversion Therapy

~by Dr. Greg Eisert


Inversion therapy is nothing new… Hanging upside down to relieve pain and the effects of gravity has been documented as far back as 400 BC. Hippocrates used a complicated system of ladders and pulleys in order to remove weight from the spines of his patients. Today, inversion therapy is used with the goal of reversing the gravitational pull on the body’s organs, bones and joints.  But are the benefits of inversion purely theoretical or does it actually work?  See which are the best inversion tables here.

Reducing the pressure on the spinal joints and increasing disc spacing can relieve lower back pain. In theory, inversion tables should help to stretch and elongate the spinal column, allowing the spinal joints to separate. This separation of the spinal joints (where the spinal nerves enter and exit the spine) enables nerve impulses to travel unhindered to and from the brain. These nerve impulses are essential for life, coordinating everything from cellular repair to breathing.

Apart from spinal benefits, the use of inversion also has been shown to:

  • stimulate venous return
  • stimulate the lymphatic system
  • stimulate the autonomic nervous system and its baroreceptors (potentially effecting blood pressure)
  • increase oxygen flow to the brain
  • help maintain correct posture




Our joints are held together by muscles and ligaments. During inversion therapy the body is “actively” engaged against gravity. Unless the muscles are completely relaxed, the desired effect will be elusive. If there is an injured joint (spinal joint for example) the body will actively engage its muscles to protect or shield that joint from further injury. As a direct result of this protective reflex, the joints that need the most movement get little to none. Furthermore, the muscle spasm around that injured joint is amplified. This amplification consequently constricts the blood supply further, allowing for no separation of the spinal joints, no reduction of pressure on the spinal nerve roots and potentially an aggravation of symptoms.


For most “healthy” people, inversion therapy poses few threats. Inversion therapy is not without complications however, and is not recommended for use by people who have had recent back surgery. Individuals with herniated or bulging discs, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, muscle spasms, as well as ankle, knee or hip issues should ultimately avoid inversion therapy. Any other medical condition that may be provoked by an elevation of blood pressure, intracranial pressure or the mechanical stress of the inverted position should be considered a contraindication to inversion therapy. Below is a comprehensive list of contraindications to inversion therapy.

Acute Infections (joint, sinus, ear, eye) Hernias (Hiatal, Ventral)
Anti-Coagulant Use (asprin, warfarin) High Blood Pressure (>140/90mmHg)
Aneurysm (cerebral, abdominal, etc.) Inner Ear Disorders
Artificial Prostheses (knee, hip, etc.) Motion Sickness
Cardiovascular Insufficiencies in Limbs Obesity (>300lbs.) (machine dependent)
Cerebral Sclerosis Osteoporosis
Circulation Disorders Poor Coordination
Congestive Heart Failure Pregnancy
Conjunctivitis (Pink eye) Recent Trauma and/or Operations
Detached Retina Skeletal Implants (neck, back & joints)
Dizziness Spinal Injury (acute or chronic)
Fainting Spells (history of) Stroke (history of)
Glaucoma Swollen or Damaged Joints or Ligaments
Head Injury (history of) Transient Ischemic Attack (history of)
Heart Disorders Unhealed Fractures

What is the “take home” message on Inversion Therapy?

Inversion is a relatively simple, cost-effective treatment that does not require highly expensive equipment or lengthy training. Inversion therapy can “theoretically” result in a reduction of pain, realignment of the vertebrae, relaxation of the muscles and reduction of recovery time.  However, it’s important to remember that inversion therapy has its limitations and is not for everyone.

In my opinion, inversion therapy can be beneficial for individuals in the “maintenance” phase of their spinal health program. These are individuals who are healthy, active, have no contraindications and are under regular chiropractic care (ensuring proper spinal alignment).

Patients who present with conditions such as herniated or bulging discs, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or muscle spasms need to have those issues addressed prior to any sort of inversion therapy.  In contrast, spinal decompression therapy is very effective in the treatment of these conditions.  By utilizing a very precise pull and release cycle, spinal decompression therapy is able to relieve pressure from spinal nerves and stimulate disc rejuvenation while the muscles are completely relaxed.

A safer alternative to inversion therapy for those individuals who want to “help themselves” by working at home is the use of spinal foams (spinal orthotics). These specialized foams, prescribed by your chiropractor, assist the body to regain its proper structure.  A spinal health routine that includes spinal decompression therapy, in conjunction with spinal alignment therapy and spinal foams, will have you well on your way to an active and healthy lifestyle.

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