Happy Holidays!

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Happy Holidays - Human Integrated Performance

With December comes the Holiday Season for a number of different cultures. Regardless of what you celebrate, please accept our sincere wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year. Our founder Nicolas Allen has a Dutch background so we thought we would share a little bit about a European Holiday Tradition.


St. Nicholas Day

This December holiday isn’t largely celebrated in the United States or Canada, but is big in many European countries. On the anniversary of St. Nicholas’ death on December 6th 343 A.D., this holiday pays tribute to a man who spent most of his life helping those in need. December 5 and 6 are Sinterklaas/St. Nicholas’ Eve and Day in the Netherlands, when Saint Nicholas, also known as Sinterklaas, visits children and brings them presents. In the Netherlands, the main celebrations take place on December 5, rather than December 6.

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Happy Holidays - Human Integrated Performance

Sinterklaas arrives from Spain in a boat and has a white horse that can walk across rooftops. Every little kid puts his shoe at the chimney (or the window) and sings a song, when the kid goes to sleep sinterklaas comes and puts a present in the shoe. Some children think they can get around the Sint by leaving a carrot for the bishop’s horse, accompanied by a wish list. In the olden days a disobedient child would find a potato in his/her shoe but these days this is deemed too traumatic. (DutchNews.nl)


There are many stories about his secret good deeds, but one seems particularly well known. A very poor man had three daughters, and because they did not have dowries, they faced futures likely including prostitution. To save them from this dark fate, St. Nicholas threw a bag of gold for each daughter through their windows. The treasures are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left by the fire to dry.


However you celebrate the holidays, all the best from the Staff at Human Integrated Performance.


Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Kwanza

Happy End Mubarak

Happy New Year


-The Human Integrated Performance Team!

What is relaxation really?

Physiotherapy Edmonton - What is relaxation really? - Human Integrated Performance
Physiotherapy Edmonton - What is relaxation really? - Human Integrated Performance

Relaxation isn’t always what you think!

When working with clients the concept of #stress invariably comes up. Where that stress comes from is often dependent on the type of client I am working with. That stress might be caused by #overtraining, the pressure of #competition, #burnout, overworking, family pressures, coaching pressures, school, the list goes on and on. And although time management, stress management, and boundary setting are key tools to managing these stressors, what I find most people have troubles with is the concept of #relaxation.


Often times people think of relaxation as having to take a bath or a nap, but relaxation is much more nuanced than that. In fact, depending on the person, the situation, and countless other factors, it may surprise you that any activity (even skydiving) can be a relaxation activity!


More important than the activity itself is the intension and goal of the activity. You see, relaxation is broken in to three different components and it’s the balance of these three components that determines the effectiveness of the chosen relaxation activity. Relaxation is composed of what I call #REST, #RECOVERY, and #REJUVENATION.


Rest is what most of us commonly think of relaxation. This is the physical component required of relaxation and generally involves sleep or quiet activities. This is like your favourite beach holiday, laying in the sun and enjoying a good book. No stress, no commitments, and no worries. This type of relaxation allows our bodies to heal from the effects of stress and be prepared for the next challenge.

Recoverycan be best compared to that soothing walk through the woods or comforting spa day. Here relaxation is healing our minds. It’s more spiritual, allowing us to connect with nature and ourselves. I often describe it as those “Ahhhh” moments that just feel good! Most of us can think of a time we went for a walk and just felt better, that’s Recovery hard at work.


Rejuvenationthen becomes the motivator of the trio. We all need excitement in our lives and that perfect adventure is just the ticket to make us feel excited to take on the world. If you’ve ever come back from a holiday feeling like you need a vacation, you probably had too much rejuvenation and not enough rest! But if you come back from your holiday excited to work and achieve your goals, your Rejuvenationis right on par.


Usually I find clients have an imbalance in their relaxation that impacts their performance day to day. They may be getting enough rest but aren’t motivated to achieve their goals or they even feel disconnected from what’s really important to them. Other times, they are excited about what they do, but just don’t have enough rest to be successful.


Ultimately, when we can find a #balance of these three components to relaxation, clients have more energy, are happier, more productive, and more motivated. If you struggle to find the right balance of relaxation in your life, then I invite you to contact us at Human Integrated Performance so we can help teach you the skills to be better equipped to handle stress and enjoy your life to the fullest. Be sure to subscribe to all our social media channels or visit us at www.humanintegratedperformance.com for more information on how to Recover and optimize your own human performance.

Recover Vlog

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Recover Vlog - Human Integrated Performance

Watch our Registered Psychologist discuss relaxation and what actually helps us relax!

Meet our HUMAN’s: Psychologist

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Nic Allen - Psychologist - Human Integrated Performance
Hi, I’m Nicolas Allen, but unless you’re my mother you can call me Nic. In addition to being the owner and founder of HUMAN Integrated Performance, I am also a Registered Psychologist. I specialize in sport psychology, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. I started private practice right after graduating from City University of Seattle in 2005 and I’ve loved every minute of it! As a former athlete I love seeing people achieve their own goals and dreams and being a part of you improving your life is incredibly fulfilling for me. For the last 13 years I worked in other multi-disciplinary clinics and facilities alongside teams of professionals and I’ve taken my experience and skills developed over the years to start HUMAN Integrated Performance. From being an athlete, a personal trainer, an exercise therapist and kinesiologist, to now a psychologist, I’ve developed a unique background and skillset that helps give me greater insight into how to help people overcome their problems. Starting something like HIP has been a dream of mine since I was an athlete. Despite growing up in hockey mad Edmonton, I never played organized hockey. I started fencing at age 11 and during my career, I was a five-time member of the Canadian National Fencing Team and competed around the world in World Cup events, multiple World Championships, University Games, and Jr. Pan-American Fencing championships.
Physiotherapy Edmonton - Nic Allen - Psychologist - Human Integrated Performance

World Jr. Fencing Championships, Hungary

As an athlete, I was fortunate to have an incredible coach and mentor to whom I owe all my success, but after I retired from fencing, I realize the lack of support in training, nutrition, injury management, and even mental preparation that existed throughout Edmonton. I was incredibly fortunate in my athletic career, but I would have loved to have seen how much further I could have taken my performance if I had all the tools around me that HIP offers.


That’s what drives me, to make sure that tools are available for you to achieve your own best performance. Having them all under one roof just makes it that much easier to access them. Even if we don’t offer a service currently, we probably know where or how to find it in the city (or it’s in the plans to get added!). I also believe we’ve developed a team at HIP that is truly special and you won’t find anything else like our community. We work hard, love what we do, and have a lot of fun! What can I say, it’s fun to be HIP. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)


With a desire to provide complete care at the highest level possible, Human Integrated Performance has been built to meet the needs of modern athletes and individuals wanting to achieve peak performance in sport, business, and life. Our team is small at the moment, but I’ve always dreamed big and HIP will be no different. We’re going to be one of the most comprehensive teams in Edmonton and we probably won’t stop there! If you’ve met me, you know I’m driven to succeed and I thrive not only on my own success but on yours as well. I know I don’t have all the answers to every problem, but I’ll promise you two things: 1) if I don’t know the answer to a problem, I‘ll keep working until I find one and 2) I won’t give up on you. What drives me is accomplishing goals and once I start working with a client, their goals become just as important to me as my own—their goals become my goals!


So if you see me around the office, please feel free to say hi and give me your feedback. We have big plans and big goals in the works at HIP, but without you along for the journey they’re meaningless so your feedback is integral to our success. HIP is so much more than a performance clinic, we’re a community. We warmly welcome you to this community and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Nic Allen - Psychologist - Human Integrated Performance

MSBike Hinton, 2017

Mental Skills and Sport Psychology

Physiotherapy Edmonton - Mental Skills and Sport Psychology - Human Integrated Performance
Physiotherapy Edmonton - Mental Skills and Sport Psychology - Human Integrated Performance

Mental skills can be the difference between success and failure for many athletes.

The American Psychological Association defines Sport and Exercise Psychology as the scientific study of the psychological factors associated with participation and performance in sport.  Sport psychology methods allow for the enhancement of performance and functioning, in both sport and life.


Sport Psychology can be applied to emotional control and anger management when dealing with referees and coaches. Many times athletes have difficulties accepting a poor call (or a call they disagree with) from a referee. A sport psychologist can provide skills to athletes to deal with these so-called “losses of control”.  Even business professionals can benefit from sport psychology skills to manage stress, manage employees, and prepare for presentations.


Sport psychology is as unique as the individual athletes who seek help from a sport psychologist.  Working with a sport psychologist typically begins with an assessment to determine what performance goals are to be accomplished. Following sessions are used to develop skills and abilities that will help the athlete accomplish their goals.


For athletes, sport psychology explores the mental game and how psychological aspects of sport can make an athlete a better performer.  Traditionally there are several basic mental skills that have been taught to athletes.  These skills include: Self-Awareness, Relaxation, Goal Setting, Imagery/Visualization, Self-Talk, Concentration/Focus, and Motivation. However, sport psychology is not limited to just these skills, in fact sport psychology has a large host of applications that many athletes may not be aware of.

For example, sport psychologist’s can provide athletes skills and knowledge that will help confuse or disrupt an opponent’s concentration.  Sport psychology can help coaches develop more effective tactics to use against an opponent or team through attacking not only technical and physical weaknesses, but mental weaknesses as well.  A Sport psychologist can provide coaches with new strategies to communicate with teams and athletes, sometimes diffusing difficult or tense situations.


More importantly, sport psychologists are also trained to deal with significant mental health issues such as #eatingdisorders, #depression and #anxiety. Athletes often experience additional life stressors and the added pressure can very often be overwhelming, resulting in the development of depression, anxiety disorders, or even eating disorders.  Sport psychologists are not only trained to deal with sports related issues but mental health issues that may even be life threatening.


Athletes reaching retirement are often faced with a significant change in lifestyle that can be difficult to accept. In fact, retiring from a sport can sometimes be as traumatic for an athlete as losing a loved one.  Sport psychologists can help guide athletes through the emotions that come up during retirement from sport.


If you are an athlete in need of a sport psychologist, Human Integrated Performance has the resources to help you maximize your #mentalgame.