myosymmetries 101-1011 Glenmore Trail SW calgary ab T2V 4R6
call for a free consult: (403) 225-0900
  • welcome to Myosymmetries Calgary:

    Combining the science of brain and body with the compassion of psychology.

    Myosymmetries is a multi-disciplinary center utilizing computerized technology to improve health & wellness and enhance physical & mental performance. "People come to the clinic to get rid of their pain, dysfunctions and limitations improving their quality of life usually after everything else has failed," says Stuart Donaldson, Ph.D., BCIA(SF), ABDA, director of Myosymmetries Calgary.

    our assessment finds what is dysfunctional
    our treatment provides the solutions:

    • Assessment Process at Myosymmetries Calgary:

      Many of our clients have struggled to find answers, so proper assessment is the first step in determining how to meet our clients’ needs. Choosing the right assessment is based on the type of challenge or problem, whether it be psychological or pain related.

      more
    • Who is Myosymmetries?

      From concussions to chronic pain to fibromyalgia to anxiety/depression and dementia, Donaldson has used his unique biofeedback treatment with tremendous success for people from all walks of life with a wide variety of disorders.

      more
  • Myosymmetries Assessment and Treatment Overview:

    • (SEMG)

      Surface Electromyography data interpretation from muscle groups.

      more
    • (qEEG)

      Quantitative Electroencephlography (brain mapping) data interpretation.

      more
    • Myofascial Pain Syndrome

      Trigger point and management.

      more
    • Fibromyalgia

      Trigger event and management.

      more
    • Back Pain

      Electromyographic back treatment with MyoRack rehabilitation.

      more
  • the staff at myosymmetries calgary:

    • Dr. Stuart Donaldson

      The foundation of Myosymmetries and it's accliamed treatments [...]

    • April North

      Our public relations expert and front office specialist [...]

    • Doneen Moran

      Certified Biofeedback Technician and Registered Psychological Assistant [...]

    • Chris Rozell

      Bring overs 15 years of human services and expierence [...]

    • Mary Donaldson

      Senior neurotherapist at Myosymmetries Calgary [...]

    • Kayla Kaluzny

      Public Relations / Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Program [...]

    • Angela Loya

      SEMG Technician [...]

  • Our Address:

    Myosymmetries Calgary 101-1011 Glenmore Trail SW
    Calgary, AB T2V 4R6

    Telephone: +1 403 225 0900
    Fax: +1 403 225 2389
    E-mail: myo@cubedmail.com

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  • the myosymmetries privacy policy:

    Under no circumstances will information by disclosed to a third party for marketing purposes.

    We collect personally identifiable information, like names, telephone number, email addresses, etc., when voluntarily submitted by our site visitors. The information you provide is used to fulfill your specific request(s). Cookie and tracking technology are useful for gathering information such as browser type and operating system, tracking the number of visitors to the Myosymmetries website, and understanding how visitors use the Myosymmetries website.

    Your personally identifiable information is kept secure.

    Only authorized employees, agents and contractors (who have agreed to keep information secure and confidential) have access to this information. Myosymmetries utilizes 128bit SSL encryption when communicating with our clients via e-mail.. Client credit card information are only access able by members of management, and are kept on-file for security purposes for a period of not more than one year. Identifiable information is only stored on a device which is owned and operated by Myosymmetries.

    We reserve the right to make changes to this policy without written or verbal notice.

    We reserve the right to make changes to this policy without written or verbal notice. Any changes to this policy will be posted. At any time, you may request Myosymmetries remove any personal information that may be used to identify you from our collection records. Requests for removal are processed within 72 hours upon receipt.

  • Surface Electromyography (sEMG)

    What is Surface Electromyography?

    Surface electromyography (sEMG) is a recent development emerging from the field of biofeedback. Biofeedback has been practiced in one form or another for most of this century, really emerging as a discipline in the late 1960's. One of the principle components of biofeedback was the use of electrodes to monitor muscle activity. This became known as surface electromyography in order to distinguish it from needle electromyography as practiced inneurology. It was discovered that the electrical activity of a muscle and that of a single motor unit could be increased or decreased upon command through conscious mental control. One of the leading pioneers in this field is Dr. J. Basmajian. The ability to decrease the electrical activity gradually became the domain of psychology through the use of relaxation techniques. Electrodes could provide the therapist immediate feedback as to the state of arousal, thus shortening therapy. Meantime, physiotherapy, rehabilitation medicine and other allied disciplines started to use sEMG techniques to increase muscle activity or improve motor control. This was primarily developed in the stroke rehabilitation field. This split between increasing and decreasing activity continued more or less into the late 1980's when the distinction between the fields began to blur. The emergence of computers, gave the clinician the ability to access multiple channels of data and to process vast amounts of data. This changed the field. Research exploded with attention focused upon everything from examining the electrical characteristics of a muscle to simultaneously examining several muscles' activity during the movement.

    Click Here for more information

  • Performance Enhancement

    Maximize Performance:

    To get the most out of your body and brain, whether you need them to work together for the best results in sports or in the boardroom, self-regulation skills can take you to the next level. You can learn how to effectively manage stress, restore well-being, and enhance your innate performance capabilities. By training on the state of the art Neurofeedback and Biofeedback equipment at Myosymmetries, you can actually maximize your health and performance on any playing field. Improvements in both physical and mental skills can be seen within 10 to 20 training sessions.

    Maximize Physical Performance:

    You can improve muscle performance by learning correct muscle coordination and relaxation. Learning to control your emotions during times of physical stress can control sweat response. Learn how to control your heart rate variability by maintaining levels of calmness and efficiency. And your body temperature in recovery from training is also within your control.

    Maximize Mental Performance:

    Training with Neurofeedback improves focus and enhances imagery effectiveness. This lessens stress and eliminates or lessens negative self-talk. It also improves recovery from fatigue. Clients training in this way are more consistently ‘in the zone’ of peak performance.

    Customized Performance Service:

    The biofeedback/neurofeedback programs are designed to match the nature of each client, the type of skill needed for how long, and the changes necessary within the actual performance. For example, being calm in one part of a skill may be important but being highly energized in another part may lead to better performance. The brain and body can be trained to be flexible and match the sequence of mental and physical states needed. At Myosymmetries, your brain/body training is customized for you to achieve the exact results you want, whether you’re a concert violinist or a basketball star.

    Read more about Neurofeedback and Biofeedback.

  • Fibromyalgia

    What is Fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia ( fi-bro-my-al-ja ) (fibrositis, FMS) is a complex, chronic condition which causes widespread pain and fatigue, as well as a variety of other symptoms. The name fibromyalgia comes from "fibro" meaning fibrous tissue (such as tendons or ligaments), "my" meaning muscles, "algia" meaning pain. Unlike arthritis, fibromyalgia does not cause pain or swelling in the joints themselves; rather, it produces pain in the soft tissues located around joints, skin, and organs throughout the body

    Assessment of Fibromyalgia:

    Because fibromyalgia produces few symptoms that are outwardly noticeable, it has been nicknamed "the invisible disability" or the "irritable everything" syndrome. The pain of fibromyalgia usually consists of diffuse aching or burning described as the "head-to-toe", and it is often accompanied by muscle spasm. Its severity varies from day to day and can change location, becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used the most. (i.e. the neck, shoulders, and feet). In some people, the pain can be intense enough to interfere greatly with work and ordinary, daily tasks, while in others it causes only mild discomfort.Likewise, the fatigue of fibromyalgia also varies from person to person, ranging from a mild, tired feeling to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness.

    The good news is that fibromyalgia is neither crippling nor fatal. :

    Although the exact prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population is difficult to ascertain, up to 10 million people have been estimated to have fibromyalgia syndrome (Muhammad Yunus, MD, 1996), and the condition exists around the world. While most prevalent in adult women, fibromyalgia also occurs in children, the elderly and men.

    What causes Fibromyalgia?:

    Although the cause of fibromyalgia syndrome is not currently known, research has already uncovered significant information. For example, fibromyalgia syndrome often develops after a physical trauma (i.e. accident, injury, or severe illness) that appears to act as a trigger in predisposed individuals. Such a trauma may affect the central nervous system which in turn produces the condition that we know as fibromyalgia.

  • Anxiety

    Anxiety/Depression:

    Many clients come to us wanting to feel better. They may be suffering from anxiety, depression, and /or excessive anger. At Myosymmetries, we recognize that many factors can affect how people feel, but we start with the brain. We focus primarily on assessing brain function through QEEG brain mapping. We may also use standard written assessments and stress-testing to better understand the unique experience of each client. Based on our findings, we develop a plan that may include; neurofeedback, counselling, sweat response training, and /or HRV (heart rate variability) training

  • Dr. Stuart Donaldson Medical Publications:

    Myosymmetries presents Dr. Stuart Donaldson published materials and medical contributions:

    The Other Side of The Desk. Donaldson, Stuart, ISNR – Research Foundation, San Rafael, California. 2012

    Donaldson, Stuart, CC., Rozell, Christopher, J., Moran, Doneen P., Harlow, Erin N., Multi-Modal Assessment and Treatment of Chronic Headache, Biofeedback, 40(2), 2012, p67 – 74.

    Donaldson, Mary W, Moran, Doneen, & Donaldson, Stuart. Schizophrenia In Retreat. NeuroConnections, Spring 2010.

    Donaldson, Stuart, Ph.D., & JJ Miles, Ph.D., The use of qEEG in assessment of Gender Identity. 21st Biannual symposium in Oslo, Norway. July 2009.

    Donaldson, C.C. Stuart & Donaldson Mary W. Fibromyalgia: View of a Puzzling Syndrome. Advance Magazine for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. Vol. 20, # 23, November 16, 2009

    Donaldson, M, & Donaldson S. The Assessment of Brain Wave Activity in Fibromyalgia Using QEEG Techniques. Biofeedback. Summer. 2006

    Donaldson, S., & Hodgetts, T. The Use of SEMG in the evaluation of Low Back Pain. Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, Fall, 2005

    Anil Kumar Jain, Bruce M. Carruthers, Marjorie I. van de Sande, Stephen R. Barron, C.C. Stuart Donaldson, James V. Dunne, Emerson Gingrich, Dan S. Heffez, Frances Y. -K. Leung, Daniel G. Malone, Thomas J. Romano, I. Jon Russell, David Saul, Donald G. Seibel. The Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Clinical Case Definition for Practitioners. Article: Canadian Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols - A Consensus Document. Journal of Musculosketal Pain. Vol.11 #4

    Donaldson, C.C.S. Guest Editor Special Edition of Surface Electromyography. Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. (2003)

    Donaldson, M., Donaldson, CCS, Mueller HH, Sella, G: (2003) QEEG patterns, psychological status and pain reports of fibromyalgia sufferers. Am J Pain Management. Vol.13 #2, April.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., MacInnis, AL., Snelling, LS., Sella, G.E., Mueller, H.H. (2002) Characteristics of diffuse muscular coactivation (DMC) in fibromyalgia sufferers - part 2. NeuroRehabilitation. Vol. 17 (No.1) (February)

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Sella, G.E. (2002) Fibromyalgia. In Moss, D., Wickramasekera, I., Davis, T., McGrady, A. (Eds). Handbook of Mind-Body Medicine for Primary Care. Sage Publications.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Sella, G.E., Mueller, H.H. (2001) The Neural Plasticity Model of Fibromyalgia: Theory, Assessment and Treatment. (Part 1). Practical Pain Management. Glen Mills, PA. PPM Communications. May/June. 12-18

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Sella, G.E., Mueller, H.H. (2001) The Neural Plasticity Model of Fibromyalgia: Theory, Assessment and Treatment. (Part 2). Practical Pain Management. Glen Mills, PA. PPM Communications. July/August. 18-25

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Sella, G.E., Mueller, H.H. (2001) The Neural Plasticity Model of Fibromyalgia: Theory, Assessment and Treatment (Part 3). Practical Pain Management. Glen Mills, PA. PPM Communications. September/October. 25-31

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Sella, G.E., Mueller, H.H. (2001) The Neural Plasticity Model of Fibromyalgia: Theory, Assessment and Treatment. (Part 4) Practical Pain Management. Glen Mills, PA. PPM Communications. November/December

    Mueller, H., Donaldson, C.C.S., Nelson, D., Layman, M. (2001) Treatment of fibromyalgia incorporating EEG-driven stimulation: a clinical outcomes study. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Vol. 57(7); 933-952

    Donaldson C.C.S., Sella, G., Zheng, Y. (2000) Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia & neurasthenia. In Zeng, Y. (Ed). Practice of Biofeedback (published in China in 2002).

    Donaldson, C.C.S. (2000) Foreword In Sella, G.A. Muscular Dynamics: Electromyographic Assessment of Energy and Motion.. Martins Ferry, OH, Genmed Publications.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Sella, G.A., Mueller, H.H. (1998). Fibromyalgia; a retrospective study of 252 consecutive referrals. Canadian Journal of Clinical Medicine 5(6):116-127.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Nelson, D.V., Schulz, R. (1998). Disinhibition in the gamma motoneuron circuitry: a neglected mechanism for understanding myofascial pain syndromes. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 23(1):43-56.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Nelson, D.V., Skubick, D.L., Clasby, R.G. (1998). Potential contributions of neck muscle dysfunctions to initiation and maintenance of carpal tunnel syndrome. Applied Psychophysiology Biofeedback 23(1):59-72.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Pow, R., Gossen, L. (1996). Myofascial Pain Syndrome AAPB White Paper. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

    Donaldson C.C.S., Romney, D., Donaldson, M., Skubick, D. (1994). Randomized study of the application of single motor unit biofeedback training to chronic low back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 4(1):23-37

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Skubick, D., Clasby, R., Cram, J. (1994). The evaluation of trigger-point activity using dynamic EMG techniques. American Journal of Pain Management 4(3):118-122. won the award for The Outstanding Contribution to the Interdisciplinary Literature as presented by the American Journal of Pain Management for the year 1995.

    Skubick, D., Clasby, R., Donaldson, C.C.S., Marshall, W. (1993). Carpal tunnel syndrome as an expression of muscular dysfunction in the neck. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 3(1):31-44.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Stanger, L., Donaldson, M., Cram, J., Skubick, D. (1993). A randomized crossover investigation of a back pain and disability prevention program: possible mechanisms of change. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 3(2):83-94.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Donaldson, M. (1990). Back to Balance. Okotoks, AB, Tarus Consultants Ltd.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Donaldson, M. (1990). Multi-channel EMG assessment and treatment techniques. In Cram, J. (Ed). Clinical EMG for Surface Recordings: Volume 2. Seattle, WA, Clinical Resources.

    Donaldson, C.C.S. (1989). The effect of correcting muscle asymmetry upon chronic low back pain. Calgary, AB, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Calgary.

    Donaldson, C.C.S. (1979). Crisis intervention in the province of Alberta. In Royal, P (Ed.). Report of the Committee on the Nature of and Response to Personal and Family Crisis in the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta.

    Donaldson, C.C.S. (1977). Adlerian Parent Study; Methods Comparison. Calgary, AB, Unpublished Thesis, University of Calgary.

    Donaldson, C.C.S., Snelling, LS., MacInnis, AL., Sella, G.E., Mueller, H.H. (2002) Diffuse muscular coactivation (DMC) as a potential source of pain in fibromyalgia - part 1. NeuroRehabilitation. Vol. 17 (No1) (February)

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD / ADHD)

    What is ADD / ADHD:

    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a condition that at the very least interferes with the quality of life and at worst can lead to drug and/or alcohol problems, juvenile delinquency, and relationship and employment failure.

    ADD / ADHD Assessment:

    Assessing ADD requires a thorough medical history; an understanding of the client's social, educational and developmental history; access to previous evaluations and school testing, psychometric testing (intelligence), educational and perhaps personality testing - and neurometric evaluation. A neurometric evaluation assesses the activity of the nervous system, as an attentional deficit is usually of neurological origin. Neurometric assessment involves an qEEG in which brain wave patterns are recorded and analyzed. Increased slow wave activity (delta) and decreased fast wave avtivity (beta) in the front of the brain is a pattern recently linked to ADD. Research suggests a malfunction in the regulation of a neurotransmitter as the most likely source of the problem. The disorder can be inherited or caused by trauma, such as lack of oxygen to the brain at birth or fetal alcohol exposure.

    Cutting Edge Treatment:

    At Myosymmetries, we use two forms of neurofeedback training; EDS (Electroencephalograph Driven Stimulation) and neurofeedback training using biofeedback. In both treatments, the clinician connects the client (child, teenager or adult) to a computer by means of electrodes placed on the scalp. This is painless and non-invasive. During the second stage of treatment, using the biofeedback, clients are trained to increase their fast-wave activity and decrease their slow-wave activity. In this step, they learn how to generate more beta waves, which is the frequency needed to concentrate. This form of therapy teaches the ADD individual to recognize what it feels like to concentrate as rewards are given when the beta frequency increases and the slower frequencies decrease. This half of the therapy is very similar to playing a video game with your mind. When the treatment is complete, the newly flexible brain is no longer stuck in a slow wave frequency and is able to shift from resting state up to a higher levels of concentration as required by the situation.

    What to expect:

    Improved listening and learning skills with a higher rate of completion of tasks and assignments at home, in school or at work. Some clients report they finally feel calm, and have improved relationships with others. They talk about feeling good about themselves, about being happier and about not feeling ADD anymore.

  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome

    What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

    Myofascial pain syndrome evolves when a trigger point develops in a muscle.

    Myofascial Pain Syndrome Assessment:

    The source of the pain is a trigger point, which may be latent or active dependent upon the individual's activity level. A latent trigger point when present in a muscle produces pain upon palpation, usually is associated with reduced range of motion, and once developed tends to remain so until treatment is completed. The latent trigger point becomes active with exertion of overloading causing a well defined pain pattern. It is easy to see why this type of pain is often considered to be psychogenic in nature, as activity (equated to stress) will increase the pain and rest (equated to reduced stress) reduces it. Despite this knowledge, myofascial pain syndrome remains poorly recognized as a clinical entity. There are several reasons for this. First, there is no medical specialty that calls muscles its own. For example, nerves have neurology and the mind has psychiatry. Physiatry, a medical discipline devoted to rehabilitation, is just starting to emerge as a strongspecialty but even then not all graduates are well trained in myofascial pain syndromes. Second, historically, there has been no clear definition of myofascial pain syndromes. The terminology for muscle pain has included myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, fibrositis, etc., producing a confusion of terms and dysfunction and study outcomes. Myofascial pain syndromes and fibromyalgia are two separate entities, each having their own pathology, but sharing the muscle as their common pathway of pain.

    Cutting Edge Treatment:

    The development of EMG techniques has started to make great progress in addressing varied pain entities. For example, Donaldson et al (1994), using surface EMG techniques (sEMG), demonstrated that the muscle which contains trigger points was hyper-active when compared to the contralateral partner (the same muscle on the opposite side of the body).

  • Arianne's Story

    Seventeen-year-old Arianne feels like a different and new person today compared to what she was like about a year ago.

    About three years ago she had orthopedic surgery for her hip and ended up with neuropathic pain.

    “Basically from my hip to my knee I felt pins, needles, burning, raw sensation. I still have it a bit but now I’m more able to tune out the pain,†says Arianne.

    She attributes that vast improvement to Dr. Stuart Donaldson at Myosymmetries, who she first saw in August 2015.

    In many ways, her quality of life today is like night and day to what it had been for a long time.

    “I’m an air cadet and for the past four years I haven’t been able to march in my squadron’s annual ceremonial review and this year (June 2016) I marched in it with my uniform and it was amazing,†says Arianne.

    “I started school again in February. For me that was a huge turning point because I realized you know what you’ve got and you’ve gone this far. It was an amazing feeling.â€

    Due to the pain previously, she couldn’t be in a regular school environment.

    Her introduction to Myosymmetries changed all that.

    “The first thing I noticed that was different was the positive atmosphere. It’s always great to have a clinic with a positive atmosphere and I can say that Myosymmetries has that. The next thing is we kind of had a plan and that also really helps. But the number one thing for me would be the positivity and the goal setting.

    “Also, because they’re focusing not really on the negative aspects of pain they’re focusing on getting my function better and that was what I really needed and it has gotten me a long ways.â€

    Arianne says her overall functioning has increased tremendously. In general, that relates to her physical activity but also for overall focus and living her life rather than focusing on the pain.

    “We are very, very grateful for Myosymmetries because of their positivity in enabling her to go from point A to point B. Her confidence is rebuilding. She’s getting stronger. She is by no means the same person she was before all of this happened to her. She’s been able through this clinic to accept the new person that she is and she’s building on that. Becoming better and better and stronger and learning about new talents and new things she never knew she had,†says her mother Kathleen.

    And Arianne says another huge thing for her that she did not at first recognize was that throughout the struggles of getting her from point A to point B the clinic didn’t give up on her but went through the journey with her.

    “That really has to count for something,†she says.

  • Martha's Story

    Martha McManus is a peacemaker as a professional but the 68-year-old had no peace in her life for several months following a car accident in October 2015.

    She was having problems sleeping. She felt like her head was in a constant fog. She was lacking clarity in thinking.

    These disturbances in her life persisted until she met Dr. Donaldson at the Myosymmetries clinic in Calgary and she regained her health in a fairly short period of time.

    “The biggest thing for me was sleep. I thought that sleep sort of regulates the whole body functioning. That’s back to normal. I’m back to normal, healthy sleep. I sleep well. I sleep solidly. Wake rested,’’ says McManus who had been in a book club for years but for a period of time she couldn’t read books or finish them – even understand them.

    For a time, she couldn’t even read, edit or process her own writing.

    “That’s back to normal now. I can write, read and finish books.’’

    McManus was volunteering with the Rotary Club one day in October in 2015 and on her way to the bingo hall in Calgary when her life changed. Another vehicle rear-ended her.

    “There wasn’t so much damage to my car but immediately my head and my neck hurt,†says McManus, who went to hospital emergency. “They did the classic. You know, go home, take two Tylenol. You’ll be stiff but you’ll be fine. But after this I didn’t feel fine.â€

    She then went to her doctor and ended up doing several sessions of physiotherapy.

    “I was having some lack of clarity in thinking. I was an excellent sleeper. But sleeping was interrupted and thinking was weird. I thought. Am I getting Alzheimer’s? Am I getting dementia?,†says McManus.

    She wondered if she could have suffered a concussion but her doctor told her that there was no way to diagnose that or even have a way to treat it if indeed it was a concussion.

    A friend pointed McManus to Dr. Donaldson, who she first met in February.

    “I’ve been fascinated with the brain and trauma since one of my three Master’s degrees is a Master’s of Philosophy where I studied trauma and resilience with Canadian peacekeepers. I went and Dr. Donaldson’s test results showed that yes I had a concussion.

    “I did six sessions and then was fine. I’m good now. I’m back to normal.â€

    The 68-year-old McManus has worked in places like Sri Lanka with the Save the Children Foundation and in Baghdad with a UNICEF-funded program. In Calgary, she has mediated and handled workplace disputes, school bullying and conflict as well as conflict in families.

    “Have conflict. Will travel,†she quips. “My life’s work is peacemaking.â€

    Dr. Donaldson’s diagnosis and treatment has completely changed her life.

    “When I teach communication and comprehension, it’s about the nuances of understanding what people are saying and meaning. That incorporates a massive amount of information in a person’s face, tone. That whole composite of communication that you’re receiving and communicating is huge. And the nuances were lost. It was like seeing black and white in communication instead of colour. That was lost but now it’s all back.â€

  • Jack's Story

    For teenager Jack Landry, treatments with Dr. Stuart Donaldson have completely changed his outlook on life and its future.

    “It’s helped me with my thought processes. It’s easier for me to talk to people. It’s easier for me in school and writing papers. I’m happier now. I have a sense of well-being,†says the 19-year-old, adding that he is more confident now about his future than he has ever been

    It wasn’t always like that as two concussions early in his life had significant consequences for Landry during his teenage years.

    Landry first saw Dr. Donaldson in March 2015.

    His mother, Ingrid Cran, says Jack’s problems began when he suffered a concussion but didn’t know it. He was treated initially by a psychiatrist and a psychologist and “he was cycled on and off of tons of anti-depressants. Things were starting to get worse. I think he actually had what they call post-concussion syndrome.â€

    For about a year and a half before seeing Dr. Donaldson, Landry suffered through depression, anxiety, signs of ADHD, slow working memory, and bad mental processing.

    “He had a laundry list of things that were wrong with him which at the end of the day are not wrong with him. They were all part of the concussion,†says Cran. And all of those things weighed heavily on his mental state.

    A friend pointed her to Dr. Donaldson and his biofeedback treatment.

    The transformation in Landry, who also had a concussion when he was 12, has been dramatic.

    “He had no reading comprehension. He went through four or five years of school without reading. But I didn’t know that. Now he’s getting 80s and 90s in school. He’s actually able to sit down and focus,†says Cran. “He’s figured out he can go to university. Before that, he was going down a bad path. I was at a point where my kid was going to be dead or in jail because he didn’t have any choices in his mind. So he was choosing the wrong people and the wrong activities.

    “In terms of that, he’s completely disassociated with any of that lifestyle and is now going to go to university and get his Master’s degree and will have a very successful, constructive life.â€

    Cran says her son missed a year and a half of school due to his lingering health problems. Now it is night and day the change in her boy’s life. He embraces life rather than spending it lying in bed with no motivation to live it.

    “He’s happy now. He was very depressed before. He didn’t get out of bed for a year . . . There’s been a really big personality shift . . . Night and day in improvement and the kid’s outlook. I was sort of in a position where I could hardly get him through school because he wasn’t going to school and there was no way he was going to go to university.â€

    Until Dr. Donaldson entered the picture and changed that.

  • Kayla's Story

    For the past few years, Kayla Kaluzny knew something was wrong with her but she couldn’t pinpoint the problem.

    A star hockey player, who played four years at the University of Maine in the United States, the 23-year-old increasingly suffered from headaches, attention issues and fatigue.

    It was a mystery to her and her parents – until Kaluzny met Dr. Stuart Donaldson in December 2015.

    “He told me he could help and that was the main thing. He was the first doctor that I had gone to with that set of symptoms that said yes we can help,†she says.

    Dr. Donaldson’s treatment included mapping her brain where it was discovered that certain areas were not making strong connections as they should have compared with other parts of the brain. It was discovered that her left side of the head for the most part showed some mild traumatic brain injury which was not surprising considering the number of years she had played competitive hockey. Some imbalances and trouble spots were found.

    Treatment, which consisted of sending very small electrical impulses to the affected areas of the brain, began in the early part of 2016 – twice a week for 10 weeks.

    “Initially it felt like a very mild head rush - like blood rushing to your head. I had temporary relief of headaches and they disappeared over time. My writing used to be terrible – like chicken scratch. After treatment, my handwriting improved. I had not played piano and guitar for awhile. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. After my first treatment, I went home and played guitar for three hours. I even started listening to music again,†says Kaluzny.

    “The exhaustion and fatigue are completely gone. I am way more energetic. I’m bubbly. I’m less irritable. That partly has to do with the fact that I have the energy to get through my day. I can focus way better. There was a time that I couldn’t sit down and read a book for more than five minutes without getting distracted or having to get up.â€

    She came to realize that even though she was never actually diagnosed with a concussion she most likely had a few during her hockey career and with other sports.

    After completing her stint in Maine, she came back home. She did have what she believes was a major concussion, which was never diagnosed, while playing slo-pitch in Calgary in the summer of 2015. It left her exhausted. She couldn’t hold her head up. She was cross-eyed every few minutes at work and couldn’t focus at all. And the chronic headache was disturbing. All she wanted to do was sleep 10 hours a night. But she was not getting any better.

    “I realized many of the symptoms were present over the last few years of hockey. The fatigue and lack of focus. You feel like you’re hung over every morning,†says Kaluzny.

    In September 2015, she entered the University of Calgary’s engineering program but had trouble with focus and fatigue. After a couple of months, she decided she had to leave school and focus on her health.

    It was then that she found Dr. Donaldson through a friend of her father Tom.

    “Originally you think (her problems) are situational. Life happens,†says Tom. “But there was a significant difference in her. I knew the impact she was taking from hockey. We were beginning to get worried about her. It took some time to get to the worried stage because we know she’s such a fighter but we started seeing some major differences in terms of mood and enthusiasm and certainly drive. We were really worried. No question about it. Now, I can’t believe it….It’s changed her big time. We’ve got our daughter back.â€

  • Nadine's Story

  • QEEG

    The director of Myosymmetries, Stuart Donaldson, Ph.D., likens the simultaneous readings of electrical activity in the brain to an orchestra.

    "When you're listening to an orchestra, you hear the entire sound as a unit, but you can also break it down into its components. When one musician is playing in the wrong key, it throws everything off. Similarly, each part of the brain does its own task and contributes to the whole. If one part of the brain's electrical production is particularly irregular, the whole does not work as it should. QEEG enables us to pinpoint the problem."

    QEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalograph) Assessment provides a brain map for the professionals at Myosymmetries to follow when designing your treatment. They are able to capture a picture of your brain wave patterns over the whole brain simultaneously. This allows them to assess the electrical activity in each part of the brain independently, as well as in combination with all the brain's other parts. This will make your neurofeedback training site specific.

    The procedure involves the client sitting quietly in a comfortable chair and wearing a snug cap on their head. This cap is equipped with 20 small sensors that read the electrical activity coming from the brain. Twenty minutes of data will be collected - ten minutes with eyes open and ten minutes with eyes closed. This data is then processed and compared to a normative database, allowing us to pinpoint specific issues of interest or concern.

    More Resources:

    For more information about the brain and neurotherapy treatments, you might be interested in the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) website (www.isnr.org).

  • ADD / ADHD

    What is ADD / ADHD:

    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a condition that at the very least interferes with the quality of life and at worst can lead to drug and/or alcohol problems, juvenile delinquency, and relationship and employment failure.

    ADD / ADHD Assessment:

    Assessing ADD requires a thorough medical history; an understanding of the client's social, educational and developmental history; access to previous evaluations and school testing, psychometric testing (intelligence), educational and perhaps personality testing - and neurometric evaluation. A neurometric evaluation assesses the activity of the nervous system, as an attentional deficit is usually of neurological origin. Neurometric assessment involves an qEEG in which brain wave patterns are recorded and analyzed. Increased slow wave activity (delta) and decreased fast wave avtivity (beta) in the front of the brain is a pattern recently linked to ADD. Research suggests a malfunction in the regulation of a neurotransmitter as the most likely source of the problem. The disorder can be inherited or caused by trauma, such as lack of oxygen to the brain at birth or fetal alcohol exposure.

    Cutting Edge Treatment:

    At Myosymmetries, we use two forms of neurofeedback training; EDS (Electroencephalograph Driven Stimulation) and neurofeedback training using biofeedback. In both treatments, the clinician connects the client (child, teenager or adult) to a computer by means of electrodes placed on the scalp. This is painless and non-invasive. During the second stage of treatment, using the biofeedback, clients are trained to increase their fast-wave activity and decrease their slow-wave activity. In this step, they learn how to generate more beta waves, which is the frequency needed to concentrate. This form of therapy teaches the ADD individual to recognize what it feels like to concentrate as rewards are given when the beta frequency increases and the slower frequencies decrease. This half of the therapy is very similar to playing a video game with your mind. When the treatment is complete, the newly flexible brain is no longer stuck in a slow wave frequency and is able to shift from resting state up to a higher levels of concentration as required by the situation.

    What to expect:

    Improved listening and learning skills with a higher rate of completion of tasks and assignments at home, in school or at work. Some clients report they finally feel calm, and have improved relationships with others. They talk about feeling good about themselves, about being happier and about not feeling ADD anymore.

  • Chronic Pain

    Research suggests that muscles are the source of much chronic pain:

    Under the direction of Stuart Donaldson, Ph.D., EMTA, BCFE, ABDA, we at Myosymmetries have come to focus on muscles as research has increasingly shown that in ailments such as chronic back pain, much of the pain is actually coming from the muscles. If you can treat the muscles, you greatly ease the pain.

    The muscle damage alone can have a lasting and serious effects:

    At Myosymmetries, we look at the whole body system, not just the pain. Correcting muscle damage involves more than simply strengthening a muscle, because the neurological function of the muscle, as well as the muscle fiber, is damaged. "You learn to walk, or write or perform any muscle skill by inhibiting inappropriate muscle activity," Stuart Donaldson, Ph.D. says. "You cancel out the muscle that shouldn't be firing, leaving the primary movers to do their job. In the case of muscle trauma, the inhibitory signal isn't doing its job. The partner muscles become hyperactive".

    Disruption of Inhibitory signal:

    Various kinds of trauma can disrupt the inhibitory signal. Most often it happens when a stretch is imposed upon a muscle that is already lengthened - for instance, if you're rear ended while your head is turned, your neck muscles will be more severely damaged than muscles that were straight and in balance at the moment of impact. Severe chilling or fatigue can also decrease the inhibitory signal. That decrease in the inhibitory signal can be simply understood as poorly regulated motor control. Poor motor control leads to the development of the trigger points in the muscles as the members of the pair of muscles perform unevenly, one being hyperactive and the other becoming dormant. In turn, the trigger points refer pain in sites that are seemingly unrelated, but in fact follow a consistent and well documented pattern. If one muscle is dormant or near dormant, its counterpart on the other side of the body has to work twice as hard to make up for it. Over time, the working muscle becomes chronically fatigued and painful. The innovative thinking that underlies the work at Myosymmetries starts with the recognition that anatomically, you can look at a muscle by itself, but physiologically you can't, because muscles work in pairs. That means that addressing the pain in the overworked muscle involves reawakening the dormant, injured one to do its job.

    But even treating the muscles effectively isn't enough by itself:

    The central nervous system becomes involved when each individual disturbed muscle reflex sends a signal of pain up the spine to the brain and the total bombardment becomes too much. Constant stimulation of the brain by pain alters the brain's activity as the messages become diffused around the original receptor in the brain. As more parts of the brain become affected by pain, those parts in turn send wrong messages to the areas of the body they direct, and the pain communication becomes circular. That changes the biochemical activity in the brain, and the cycle of body pain and confused brain messaging becomes self perpetuating. At the same time that the pain is increasing by means of diffusion of messages in the brain, the pain originating in the muscles is increasing. The brain must be re-educated through biofeedback to receive and send messages accurately, or else the muscle pain will simply recur as the brain continues to send out its habitual wrong messages. By the time people come to Myosymmetries, with or without a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, they are struggling with chronic pain and the mental fog, forgetfulness, exhaustion and sleep disorder caused by the biochemical changes in the brain. They often are also carrying the burden of despair because they have been told "it's all in your head", when nothing irregular has shown up on an x-ray or in a muscle biopsy. Be assured that at Myosymmetries, with our multi-disciplinary approach to pain, we offer understanding, explanations, hope, and comprehensive, effective treatment. A frequent cause of chronic muscle pain is whiplash, caused by an automobile accident or any other severe jolt to the body. Whiplash is a multi-dimensional injury. The brain is shaken, joints are affected, and muscles are damaged.

  • For more than 30 years, Dr. Stuart Donaldson has been improving the quality of life for hundreds of desperate people inexplicably suffering from a wide assortment of ailments.

    From concussions to chronic pain to fibromyalgia to anxiety/depression and dementia, Donaldson has used his unique biofeedback treatment with tremendous success for people from all walks of life with a wide variety of disorders.

    "People’s lives have changed," says Dr. Donaldson.

    “When people first come into the clinic they see me. The reason is to get a fairly detailed history of the individual. This tells us an awful lot about them and their mental state of mind.â€

    He also reviews the medication they are taking.

    Dr. Donaldson says the things that cause the dysfunction very often are not different from those that maintain it. He looks for issues that are maintaining the chronic problems.

    He uses Quantitative EEG (electroencephalogram) to map brains and diagnose mild traumatic brain injuries.

    “Everything that we do is based upon psycho-physiology,†he says. “We measure the way the muscles work. The way the brain works. That’s what the brain map tells us. How the brain is working. If you’ve had a concussion, parts of the brain are obviously damaged. And parts of the brain will be compensating from the parts that are damaged. Basically, what we try to do is get the brain cells functioning normally again.

    “We can train them up or down using biofeedback procedures. We put microscopic electrical activity – very small – to specific areas of the brain. It stimulates blood flow in the brain and helps with the brain healing itself - getting re-organized.â€

    That has dramatically changed the lives of numerous patients over the years – patients who had lost hope that they could ever get better again.

  • Erin Harlow:

    About Erin Harlow

    Erin Harlow is a Registered Massage Therapist and a Registered Yoga Therapist. She graduated from Grant MacEwan University in 2003 with a diploma in Massage Therapy Studies. Erin also studied Visceral Abdominal Manipulation with the Barral Institute.

    Working with Myosymmetries since 2010, Erin's main role is the assessment and treatment of chronic pain involving muscle dysfunction. Methods include myofascial treatment, and muscle balancing using EMG training. Her approach is gentle but effective in decreasing pain, rehabilitating tissues, and promoting wellness.

  • April North:

    About April North

    Having gone to school for Public Relations, nothing makes April happier than helping people. Her cheerful demeanor coupled with her need for organization is a great combo for her position in the front office. When not at work April enjoys gardening in the spring/summer, making preserves in the fall and snuggling with her big white dog the rest of the year!

  • Doneen Moran:

    About P. Doneen Moran (BA, BCB-T)

    Doneen's interest in stress and the workings of the brain began when she was employed as Human Resources Manager for a large family practice medical clinic set in a complementary medicine centre. She learned some of the ways that traditional and alternative medicine can strengthen each other and went on to join the Myosymmetries Neurotherapy and Chronic Pain clinic. After additional training in neurotherapy and psychophysiology and completing the requirements for board certification in biofeedback she became part of the Myo therapy team.

    Doneen enjoys teaching people about how their brain and body work together and finding ways to live better.

  • Chris Rozell:

    About Chris Rozell, MC, R.Psych (Provisional)

    Chris Rozell, MC, R.Psych (Provisional) has worked in the human services for over 15 years, supporting a broad clientele that includes children, teens, and adults. He has also specialized in a number of areas, working with caregivers, individuals with brain injuries, PDD funded agencies, and individuals with unique developmental challenges such as autism

    While completing a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, Chris connected with Dr. Donaldson and the Myosymmetries team. Chris’ interest in biofeedback stems from working with brain injured individuals whose needs are often unnoticed, ignored, or misunderstood. However, in the world of biofeedback, the body is always telling a story. Gaining access to this information improves our understanding of an individual’s functioning, without judgement. It allows us to quantify needs, and measure change. It provides us with a unique opportunity to take control of things that often go unnoticed, despite being essential to our quality of life.

  • Stephanie Nihon:

    About Stephanie Nihon

    Following her education Stephanie assisted executives, students and athletes in optimizing their performance. she offered training to decrease symptoms in the following areas: attention, learning weaknesses, stress, anxiety, negative self-talk, and brain injuries. Her role at Myosymmetries is using psychophysiological measures to assist well-being and health.

  • Dr. Stuart Donaldson:

    About Stuart Donaldson, Ph.D., EMTA, BCFE, ABDA

    Stuart received his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 1989. His doctoral work was on the relationship of muscle activity as measured by surface electromyographic (SEMG) techniques to chronic pain. He has utilized SEMG in studying myofascial pain, and fibromyalgia. Unique in the psychophysiology field he has also studied qEEG and brainwave activity combining SEMG with EEG biofeedback producing a comprehensive theory involving neural plasticity and fibromyalgia.

    Stuart has published extensively on both myofascial pain syndromes and fibromyalgia. In 1995 he won the American Journal of Pain Management Award entitled, The Outstanding Contribution to the Interdisciplinary Pain Management Literature, for his work on SEMG, neck pain and headaches. Stuart continues to travel and lecture throughout North America. He is presently Director of Myosymmetries, Calgary, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary.

    Publications and Medical Contributions:

    See Dr. Stuart Donaldson’s published materials and accredited medical contributions.

    Education / Certification / Training:

    • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - University of Calgary
    • Master of Science (M.Sc.) - University of Calgary
    • Bachelor of Arts (B.A..) - University of Alberta
    • Chartered Psychologist - Province of Alberta
    • Diplomate - American Board of Psychological Specialties - Rehabilitation Psychology
    • Diplomate - American Board of Forensic Examiners
    • Diplomate & Senior Disability Analyst - American Board of Disability Analysts
  • Assessment and Treatment Process:

    The Myosymmetries Assessment Process:

    Most individuals will start with an interview with Dr. Donaldson. This interview is usually ½ to 1 hour in length covering the details of the concern, the history including the onset (how, when, where), details about lifestyle and other related issues. Based on this an individual will be given a choice to proceed with some of the assessments listed below.

    • - Quantitative electroencephalograph (qEEG)
    • - Test of attention (IVA)
    • - Tests for depression, anxiety or other psychological issues
    • - Cognitive Functioning Questionnaire
    • - Trigger Point Evaluation
    • - Surface Electromyograph (SEMG)
    • - Specialized tests for fibromyalgia
    • - Psychological tests as needed
    • - Psychophysiological Stress Testing

    The assessment and testing typically takes 2 – 3 hours, with the results available within a week. A consult with Dr. Donaldson occurs following the assessment process and a treatment program is created.

    The Myosymmetries Treatment Process:

    Treatment at Myosymmetries is multi-faceted involving most of our staff. Typical treatment processes involve:

    • - EEG neurotherapies of various types (traditional therapies
    • - LENS neurotherapy
    • - Computerized brain training
    • - Heart Rate Variability training (HRV)
    • - Massage therapy
    • - SEMG muscle training – balancing
    • - Specialized stretching involving the MyoRack
    • - Counseling
    • - Pain Management
    • - Referrals to specialized Practitioners (Brain injury coaches, UCCA chiropractors, Gaia clinic, and personal trainers)
  • Angela Loya

    About:

    Coming Soon.