Chiropractic and Medicare

MCAs you are most likely aware, Chiropractic can be calmed under Private health insurance, but you may not be aware of a Medicare service that has been available since 2004. The Medicare Allied health initiative provides for Medicare benefits to be paid for allied health and dental care services provided to people with chronic conditions and complex care needs. They will allow for up to five visits under this initiative.

Under the initiative, people with chronic conditions and complex care needs firstly need to be managed by their GP who would set up a Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan. This care plan can include 1 or more allied health professionals to assist in the treatment plan. These can include Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Mental health services, Psychology, Speech Pathology and Dental. Medicare will pay a large percentage

If you would like Chiropractic care and this is something that you may be eligible for, all you need to do is speak to your GP, who will set up an EPC, which includes myself as your Chiropractor. Your GP will give you a copy of this EPC with a referral to me, which you need to bring to your next Chiropractic consultation. I will sign it to agree to the care plan and send it back to your GP. For the next 6 visits, you pay your invoice as per usual, then take your receipt to Medicare to claim. Medicare will cover the majority of the bill.

Improving your chances of conceiving

natural-pregnancyPreconceptual Care

Preconceptual care involves getting both partners into the best possible physical and mental shape to maximise your chances of creating a pregnancy that lasts to full term, and brings you a healthy baby at the end of it. Research indicates that a three to four month programme of healthy living will get you into excellent shape before trying for a baby, help you become pregnant more quickly and reduce the chance of miscarriage.

Preconceptual care is a common sense approach, and when both couples adopt these principles, it can dramatically increase the chances of a healthy conception.


Five Steps to Fertility

For 3-4 months, both partners should:

  1. Eat only health, fresh foods
  2. Eliminate any toxic substances from your system – for example give up smoking and drinking alcohol
  3. Find out which vitamins and minerals you are short of, and top up
  4. Become as fit and well as you can – for example exercise regularly and get checked and treated for any low level genito-urinary infections such as thrush
  5. Reduce the level of stress in your life

Complementary therapy treatments including herbal medicine, reflexology, chiropractic, acupuncture and even counselling can work gently and effectively to eliminate some of the obstacles to conception. Everyone and every couple is unique, and complementary therapies excels at holistically addressing individual health concerns.


Phytotherapy (Herbal Medicine).

Various herbal medicines are available to us to balance and enhance reproductive health, fertility and sexual vitality in both men and women. Herbs can have a potent effect on the reproductive system, and you will get the best results if you see a qualified naturopath or herbalist who are trained in the actions and administration of herbal medicine.


Some herbal remedies especially for women:

Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree) – can assist to regulate periods and balance out the oestrogen and progesterone levels and rations.

Chamaelirium luteum (False Unicorn Root) – this North American herb has an excellent reputation as a tonic for the uterus and ovaries, and a balancing effect on the sex hormones. It is traditionally used for encouraging fertility in women.

Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai) – a traditional Chinese herbal tonic for women to regulate hormones and ovulation. This herb should not be taken in early pregnancy and avoided if there is a possibility you could be pregnant.

Withania somnifera (Winter Cherry) – is strengthening, rejuvenating and an important herb for stress and fatigue.

Asparagus racemosa (Shatavari) – a hormone balancer from India, which also enhances libido in women.


Some herbal remedies for men:

Turnera diffusa (Damiana) – strengthens the male reproductive system and also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac.

Panax ginseng (Korean Ginseng) – a useful herb for impotence, stress, low sperm count and fatigue.



Both prospective parents should consider adequate intake of:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Boron
  • Selenium
  • Chromium

Where possible, minerals should be chelated and from an organic, natural source.

Finally, positive thinking is important. Whether this is through visualisation, verbal affirmations, hypnosis, meditation or other relaxation techniques, it can be a wonderful way to create change in your body.


Chiropractic and Pregnancy

PregnantDelivery assistance, natural birthing, drug-free birthing, low back pain, sciatic pain or pain down the leg, baby in breach position, balance and coordination, hormonal balance.

Thousands of pregnant women around Australia are turning to safe and effective Chiropractic care to improve their pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby naturally.

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful natural processes to be involved with. To me, pregnant women do seem to “shine”. I love adjusting and aiding pregnant women, not only so that they can be more comfortable during the pregnancy but also so that the baby is delivered healthy and naturally without intervention.

Some mothers have concerns about being adjusted when pregnant. Is it dangerous? Will it hurt? Is it safe for the baby? Chiropractic care is actually one of the safest forms of healing available. Literally thousands of women around the world have been adjusted all through their pregnancy, and some even at the birth itself, and suffered no ill effects. In fact, in some cases their labour times were reduced by up to 33%!

If you are pregnant you should consider adding a Chiropractor to your health care team. Here at Health In The Bay we will always give the best care and advice possible so that your baby will be born with the absolute minimum of intervention. We are strong believers in holistic, natural birthing.

How Does Chiropractic Help Pregnancy?

In order to answer I’ll need to explain a little bit about how the body works. Your body is controlled through your brain and nervous system. Running down your spine is the spinal cord and branching off at each vertebra is a spinal nerve. These nerves then branch repeatedly and control almost every cell in your whole body. This is called your nervous system.

We live our lives through the function of the nervous system. The nervous system guides all of the processes in your body. This is especially vital for pregnant women. All of the delicate processes that occur within a mother’s body are guided by the nervous system. All of the five senses, the development of their brains, learning, growing, immunity and digestion are all controlled by the nervous system. So does it make sense to you that if you have any kind of nervous system interference then this is likely affecting some aspect of your life and pregnancy? Here’s where Chiropractic care and pregnancy fits in.

Chiropractic by its own definition works on improving the function of the nervous system. When a Chiropractor adjusts you he is looking for one thing: Subluxation. But what is a Subluxation? A Subluxation is a point in the spine where overwhelming lifestyle stress has created “stuck” vertebrae. These vertebrae then impact on the nervous system creating nervous system interference. The longer the nervous system interference is present and the more nervous system interference your baby has then the worse the effects will be.

It is also important to note that you can have Subluxation and not exhibit any problems initially. Sometimes it can take years before the nervous system interference creates problems.

If your problems or conditions are being caused by Subluxation and the nervous system interference created by that, then Chiropractic can help you!

How Can I Tell If I Need Chiropractic?

There are a few simple things you can check at home that can help you to see if you have Subluxation and are experiencing nervous system interference:

1. History: If you have a history of any of the following then there is a good chance that you have Subluxation:

  • Sedentary lifestyle: you spend more than 6 hours a day sitting
  • Back injuries
  • Falls or accidents
  • Motor vehicle accidents: whether as a passenger, driver, cyclist or pedestrian
  • Excessive weight (baby not included!)
  • Poor diet
  • Exposure to a lot of pollution
  • Exposure to chemicals: cleaning products or work related chemicals
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake: either regularly or binging
  • Family problems
  • Stress levels high for a long period of time.

Because Subluxation is created by all the different lifestyle stresses in your life then any of the above could have created nervous system interference.


2. Observation: There are several key behaviours that can indicate that you have Subluxation. Check out the following list:

  • Sleeping poorly
  • Low energy and lethargy
  • Hot flushes
  • Protective postures: to protect old injuries and areas of Subluxation
  • Irritability and grumpiness
  • Inability to go barefoot for long periods of time: i.e. > 3hours
  • limping
  • Like to sleep with a fan or music on every night
  • Frequent fidgeting or inability to stay still at important events
  • Postural hypotension: you get dizzy when you stand too fast
  • Any early signs of depression, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other degenerative brain conditions.

Subluxation interferes with the way you interact with the environment. Each of the five senses is directly controlled through the nervous system. Any of the above signs could indicate nervous system dysfunction and Subluxation.


3. Posture: Posture is a simple way of easily checking if you have Nervous System interference. Just follow the simple instructions below to check it out:

  • Stand straight and relaxed in front of a full length mirror with your arms hanging by your sides and your feet slightly apart.
  • Observe the level of your ears, particularly the ear lobes. Look for one ear lobe being higher than the other.
  • Next, find the bony bump near the tip of the shoulder. This bump is the AC joint and is at the end of the collar bone. With your hands hanging loosely by your side check your AC joints and observe their level. Note down if one side is higher than the other.
  • Lastly, find the tops of your hip blades. Place your hands flat against the top of the hip blades and observe for any change in height between the two.

By checking these three points you can see if your posture is out. If you found any difference then this is a sign that you have Subluxation.


What Will Happen When I Come In?

At Health In The Bay we take a very comprehensive and integrative approach to care of pregnant women.

  • Firstly, we take a comprehensive history. It is important that we get as much information about you and your pregnancy as possible before we begin taking care of you. You will be required to fill out our comprehensive health survey and answer any questions the chiropractor may have to fill in the details.
  • Next, we do a comprehensive exam. The exam is tailored to you but may include: posture, balance, reflexes, muscle testing, cranial structure examination, neurological assessment, and other nervous system assessments.
  • No X-rays will be required for pregnant women.
  • On the second visit, the chiropractor will report to you what is going on and outline a care program.
  • The first adjustment is given and the chiropractor will follow up via phone to see how you responded.
  • The Care program is followed as closely as possible with frequent reviews to ensure that the underlying cause is being addressed.


A Knotty Problem

Health In The Bay Knot

It is likely that most individuals have at some point in time experienced sensations of pain and discomfort caused by “knots”, also known as Trigger Points. These are painful areas in the muscles that cause pain to refer into other parts of the body, as well as create symptoms of weakness and fatigue.

A Trigger Point is the body’s response to a physical, emotional or chemical disturbance where the muscle becomes contracted or over-lengthened for extended periods of time preventing it from returning to its rest position. This then restricts the movement of the muscle and decreases circulation. The muscle then becomes deprived of nutrients and oxygen, which results in a collection of metabolic waste.

The most common causes of Trigger Points are poor posture, structural imbalances, repetitive activity and overuse, emotional factors, and direct trauma or injury. These points can occur in any muscles of the body, but are most commonly found in the neck and upper back. Trigger points can themselves bring about a variety of issues, such as tension headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), jaw pain, lower back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Trigger Points can be effectively treated with massage therapy where direct pressure is applied to the area in question. Upon compression, the Trigger Point will often reproduce the individual’s pain pattern. As the muscle relaxes, the pain and discomfort should then diminish.

Self care is also important to help prevent the re-occurrence of Trigger Points. This can include using a heat pack when muscles are tense or painful, having hot baths after treatment, keeping well hydrated, and carrying out simple stretch and range of motion exercises. Your massage therapist will be able to assist you with such exercises, and is also there to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

More on Naturopathy

Health In The Bay Aloe

What happens in a Naturopathic appointment?

An initial consultation takes an hour or so. Your Naturopath will take an extensive medical history and will ask many questions about your past and present health – physically, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes a physical examination will be required, and your Naturopath may take blood pressure and use diagnostic tools such as iridology, tongue and nail analysis to help get a complete picture of health. You may also be referred for allergy testing, blood, stool or salivary hormone tests.


What’s so good about Naturopathy?

Importantly, a reputable Naturopath will work with you to establish which particular health priorities need to be addressed, and to develop a treatment protocol that best suits your individual situation and requirements. Naturopaths also educate and empower their clients to make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve health.

Naturopathy treats the whole person, not just a single symptom, and the brilliant thing about this is that a client may come in to have one health problem treated, and as that problem is being treated, other health issues clear up at the same time! This is because Naturopathy addresses the cause, and this underlying problem may be affecting other systems of the body.

Naturopathy is a complementary medicine, rather than alternative medicine. In many cases, a Naturopath prefers to work with and in consultation with other health care providers including your GP, specialist and other health care practitioners to ensure the best long-term health solution.


Is Natural Medicine safe?

Generally speaking, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies are safe whilst being effective. They usually have less side effects than pharmaceutical medicines. However, herbs and nutrients do have potent actions, and so it is always best to see a naturopath, nutritionist or medical herbalist to ensure that the supplements you take are the most suitable for you and won’t interact with any other medicines you may be taking.


Chiropractic for Arthritis

Health In The Bay Tomato in HandsDo you experience pain, swelling or stiffness in your joints? Do you find it difficult to walk up stairs or open jars?
If so, you may be one of 3.85 million Australians affected by arthritis, one of the major causes of disability and chronic pain in Australia.

Arthritis comes in many different forms, all of which can have a major impact on your quality of life. It is a condition of the joints that causes the cartilage lining the joint surfaces to slowly wear out. This may then result in stiffness, swelling and pain. The decreases in mobility of the joints also have a high tendency to affect the biomechanics of the spine as well as other joints of the body. For example, if you have arthritis in the knee, it can also affect the mechanics of your hip joints which will ultimately have a big impact on the biomechanics of the spine.

How can we help?

Many studies have shown Chiropractic to be remarkably effective in managing arthritis and its symptoms. With regular chiropractic care, the body will be able to do better what it has always been designed to do, to move! The joints will move more freely with lesser restrictions and less pain. Furthermore, we also detect and correct misalignments in the spine that is directly or indirectly affected by the arthritis. Having a properly aligned and functioning spine means increasing life energy in the nerves supplying every organ, cell and tissue of the body. This promotes your body’s natural ability to heal itself as well as increasing the immune system to limit further stress caused by the arthritis.

Chiropractic is a non-invasive method of care, which means we do not utilize medication or anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief, therefore reducing any harmful side effects that can be associated with these drugs.

Combined with a positive focus and nutritious diet and exercise, Chiropractic provides a healthy lifestyle change that will get you going again!


Why do we get Back Pain?

Pain is very important to us. It is the body’s warning signal to us that something is not right. It is a signal that usually makes us stop and take notice and then hopefully take action to change it.
Health In The Bay spoonBack pain can come from several structures. The spine is made of 24 moving bones which are interconnected at joints, called Facet Joints, along the back of the spine. Between the ends of the bones in the spine there is a disc which is soft to allow mobility as well as shock absorption.
If the Facet Joints are not moving freely then there will be irritation at these nerve-rich joints, resulting in pain.
The same change in movement in the joints, or acute trauma, can result in the dics becoming inflamed and swollen, or even ruptured. The disc can then push on the nerve exiting the spine, again resulting in pain.
Together with these issues the muscles along the spine will spasm which is again a common source of back pain and stiffness.
Chiropractic care has helped many people with these problems by utilising appropriate techniques which improve the movement of the facet joints and the relationship between the vertebrae of the spine, hence reduce any of these sources of pain. If you don’t already have a Chiropractor, or would like to try a different approach schedule an appointment today.

Stress can be a pain in the neck

Have you ever referred to something or someone in your life as a “pain in the neck”? You were probably more accurate than you realised. Any emotional stress (which can include rushing and being very busy) can result in the muscles across the top of your shoulders tensing up. Tense muscles will be uncomfortable. Then if this tension is prolonged, over a short time the muscles in surrounding areas including the neck muscles and between the shoulder blades will also become tight and painful.

Health In The Bay Lizard

Another response to stress is commonly clenching of the jaw or grinding teeth at night. This results in muscle spasms around the jaw, which also will cause muscle tightness in the neck, and hence neck pain and stiffness.
Poor or prolonged work posture can cause neck pain also. Work is commonly related to stress, and this together with a sustained posture over the course of the day will result in tight muscles around the neck and shoulders, resulting in pain.
Chiropractic care can help in several ways. Chiropractors can help release the tight muscles, as well as give advise on stretching and posture and activities to help maintain good muscular balance.
More more information, please read on, or contact Martina, our principal Chiropractor.