Fractures, Sprains and Chiropractic

chiropractic sprains fracturesCan Chiropractic help with a fracture (the medical term for any broken bone)? No, of course not! But Chiropractic can help if you’ve had a fracture, it has healed, but it still just doesn’t feel right.

Obviously the first thing you need to do if you suspect a fracture is go to the hospital and have it treated. Once it has healed and you are able to use it again, you may notice that it is can be painful or uncomfortable at times, or it just doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t improve then thats when seeing a Chiropractor can be helpful.

When you have a fractured bone it is usually due to a fall. So when you fall and land with enough force to break your bone, it is obviously quite a large force. It is not only the bone that will be injured by this degree of force, there would be a number of surrounding joints and ligaments, tendons and muscles affected by the impact.

These muscles and tendons will very likely be strained, while the joints can be jarred, inflamed and possibly in slight misalignment. This will result in the joints in the area not moving freely, so when moving that part of your body, it will feel tight and restricted, and even painful. The muscles would also feel sore and possibly spasmed.

Similarly, spraining a joint can impact on surrounding joints, muscles and ligaments. Seeing a Chiropractor soon after having such an injury is important as it can improve the rate of healing, as well as reduce the level of pain. A sprain is essentially due to overstretching of a joint and hence the ligament crossing that joint will be strained, sprained or in extreme cases, torn. This overstretching of the joint will impact the alignment of that joint, and then this misalignment will continue to put some strain on the ligament. This ongoing strain can reduce the ability of the ligament to heal.

The misalignment of the joint can also produce pain, so treating the misalignment will reduce the pain, and improve the overall function. This is particularly the case when its an ankle that has been sprained (which is very common) as there are so many bones around the ankle there is potential for many joints to become affected. Then as a secondary problem, if there is some changes in the alignment of the foot joints, then the body will be compensating because of pain and also poor biomechanics, which can result in pain and inflammation in the knees or back.

Chiropractic care can be very effective in correcting these joint misalignments and so it makes sense to have some Chiropractic care at some stage after an injury such as a fracture or sprain to improve healing, decrease pain and improve overall function.

Naturopathy and Weight Management

naturopathy weight managementThere are more deaths from obesity than malnutrition. It is estimated that 63% of adults in Australia are now overweight or obese, and 25% of children. These figures are on a steady incline, as are all the complications that come with it.

With so many “health experts” giving advise on how to eat, it can get slightly overwhelming knowing whose advise you should actually take, and if the latest fad diet is the one that will work for you. Weight loss can be individual at times, as there are other factors that may be hindering you, such as insulin resistance, underactive thyroid and hormonal imbalances.

Your naturopath will take a thorough case history, delving into your personal history to come up with the necessary dietary and lifestyle amendments, as well as any needed supplementation.


Will I have to drink water and eat mung beans all day?

No! Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, I think it’s important to not think of it as a diet, but think of it as a healthy lifestyle change. It’s not just about losing weight and keeping it off, it’s about feeding your body with nourishing and supportive foods, so you feel better and improve your life expectancy by lowering your risk of so many other illnesses.


Conditions associated with obesity?

So many of today’s deadly diseases have obesity as a causative factor,. Obese people have a 50-100% increased risk of death from all causes, most of the risk if from the following;

  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Back pain

Naturopath’s Top 7 Tips to Increase Energy and Fatigue.

7-tipsWhen was the last time you felt really good? And I mean REALLY good!

Remember when as a kid you would have days where you bounced out of bed in the mornings, excited and energised? Do you now struggle to get out of bed, with energy slumps during the day, propping yourself up with caffeine and sugar, and when you get home you only have the energy to watch a little TV and fall into bed?

Can you pinpoint the day that you lost your energy? For many, loss of energy is something that sneaks up on us. The reduction in our energy most often happens so gradually that we don’t notice the change from one day to the next. The sad thing is that we actually get used to feeling low in energy and this becomes our new “normal”.

There is often a biological reason for why we feel so tired. In our cells are very small things called mitochondria. Mitochondria are a little like batteries that produce energy for the whole body. These mitochondria require several specific nutrients in order to produce energy at an efficient rate. If any of these nutrients are not available, or if the mitochondria are damaged, the energy we have available goes down.

So how can you increase your energy?

Ultimately, there is no quick fix that will work in the long term. The solution is to get back to basic good living to take the load off your mitochondria and really improve your energy. When I feel that my energy is low, these are the seven things that I do:

  1. Get adequate, regular and consistent amounts of sleep each night – if you are having trouble sleeping, my best tip is to switch of all technological devices about 90 minutes before bedtime. This includes the tv, computers, smart phones, tablets etc as the blue light emitting from these devices can disrupt the production of your sleep hormone – melatonin.
  2. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some people find that reducing the consumption of wheat, dairy and red meat improves overall energy.
  3. Exercise regularly – a gentle walk in the morning sunshine can be helpful for those suffering fatigue and insomnia.
  4. Avoid too many stimulants such as caffeine, foods high in sugar and alcohol.
  5. For some people, just making the above 4 changes is enough to put the bounce back into their step. Many people, however, need more intensive support than this. Certain nutrients can really assist here.
    • CoQ10 – is vital for healthy energy production in our cells and protects our mitochondria from day to day damage. Many of my clients notice a real difference when they take this nutrient regularly.
    • Omega 3, found in fish oils – also protects our mitochondria from damage.
    • N-acetyl carnitine and lipoic acid – shovels nutrients into the mitochondria and stabilises blood sugar levels.
    • B Vitamins – essential for energy production for the mitochondria.
  6. Herbal medicines can also noticeably improve energy levels. These include ginseng – there are a few different types of ginseng available, with slightly different effects. I like Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) for men and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis) for women. Rhodiola is also a good herb to try as it supports the adrenals and balances blood sugar.
  7. Taking care of your emotional and mental health can also enormously improve overall energy levels. This can include:
    • Surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting people, and avoid people who you find draining and toxic.
    • Listen to beautiful music – whatever you find that to be.
    • Search for health, fitness and motivational podcasts.
    • Watching positive television shows and movies – avoid violence, gossip and dark dramas.
    • Reading literature with a positive message and avoiding content that overstimulates or depresses.


How exercise can improve your health and well being.

anytime-fitness neutral bayHealth Benefits of Exercise.

Exercise reduces the risk for several diseases including heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, breast cancer, osteoporosis and colon cancer. Exercise may also help prevent, or be effective in treating, some mental illnesses, such as depression. For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week.


Other benefits of exercise.

Exercise controls weight:

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits

Exercise boosts energy:

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores

Exercise promotes better sleep:

Many people report having better sleep when they exercise regularly. Typical improvements include falling asleep more quickly, longer periods of deep sleep, and feeling more refreshed in the morning. Because exercise has a positive impact on stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which interfere with sleep, exercise helps improve sleep and reduce emotional health problems.

Exercise improves mood:

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.


exercise typesTypes of exercise.

Aerobic Training:

A balanced fitness program should include aerobic exercise. Also known as cardiovascular or endurance training, this type of exercise offers benefits such as increased blood flow, boost in HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels, healthy blood pressure and body weight and an overall sense of well-being. There are many aerobic activities from which to choose, including walking, running, swimming, cycling and rowing.

Resistance Training:

While aerobic training offers many health benefits, it does little to tone your muscles. Resistance training, also known as strength or weight training, can reverse the decline in bone density, muscle mass and strength that occurs as you age. It can help you build muscle and burn fat while lowering your risk for heart disease.

Flexibility Training:

Flexibility training, also known as stretching, is an essential component of your fitness regimen. Through stretching, you can reduce muscle cramps, joint stiffness, injuries and stress. Stretching can also help increase your range of motion in your joints and muscles. There are many types of flexibility exercises to keep your interest.


Should I See a Chiropractor or a Physiotherapist?

Chiro Or PhysioWhen you’re faced with pain, especially if it’s the first time, it’s hard to know who to turn to. Can your GP help, or do you need someone more specialised, someone who treats your specific issue? Both physiotherapy and chiropractic professions specialise in the musculoskeletal system, to help improve overall health and well-being.

What is a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors are known as the ‘spinal health experts’ who work to help improve your body’s nervous system. Chiropractic assumes that a healthy and properly functioning nervous system equates to improved overall health and well-being. Chiropractors address all demographics including babies, infants, athletes and the elderly.

Chiropractic focuses primarily on the spine and the alignment of the vertebrae, the skull and the pelvis. The spinal column, consisting of the vertebrae, contains and protects the spinal cord and the many nerves that branch out from it. These nerves form the nervous system and are responsible for all our bodily functions. A chiropractor aims to improve the flow of information along these nerves, which are sometimes impaired through misalignment of the vertebrae.

Though chiropractic is not just about the spine – it also focuses on nutrition, exercise and your health and well-being as a whole.

Lower back pain is one of the principal reasons people consult a chiropractor, although they also treat a number of other issues, both structural and functional. Examples include digestive issues and headaches. Research suggests it can also be helpful in treating menstrual pain, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chiropractors primarily use chiropractic adjustments to help improve the nervous system. Sometimes they ëmove’ areas that are not moving properly. This is referred to as an ëadjustment’. They may also use an ìactivatorî, a pen-like instrument that addresses the misalignments in the spine and pelvis by correcting them with a gentle percussive force. There are a number of different styles of Chiropractic. Other techniques they could use are massage or hot or cold packs.

Are Chiropractors Qualified?

To practise in Australia, chiropractors must complete a five-year university qualification, which is subdivided into a three year Bachelor and a two year Masters degree. They are also regulated and registered by the government. The Australian Government has set up a regulating body to oversee the industry and ensure high standards of practise are maintained.

What is a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapy, like chiropractic, aims to improve your health and wellbeing. Physiotherapists are often referred to as movement specialists and aim to help your joints and muscles work to their full potential. They often give exercise programs to patients to improve mobility, and will also use in massage, stretching, ultrasound and laser therapy, and mobilisation and manipulation.

Common problems that physiotherapists treat include sports injuries, back and neck pain, arthritis, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and even asthma. They will use a range of treatments includuing massage, exercise programs, hot and cold packs and aids such as crutches and wheelchairs to help improve movement and mobility.

Are Physiotherapists Qualified?

In Australia, physiotherapists will have completed either a four-year degree in Physiotherapy of Applied Science (Physiotherapy), or a graduate entry Masters program (a two-year accelerated program). These qualifications enable practitioners to apply for registration with the Physiotherapists Registration Board. In 2010, a single national registration and accreditation program was set up in Australia, with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia responsible to registering physiotherapists and students.


Acupuncture Scar Therapy

Health In The Bay Scar TherapyWe all know how stubborn scars can be at healing. What you may not know is that scars can block the free flow of qi (energy) and blood as well as constricting the soft tissue. This can cause a number of seemingly unrelated complications that are not local to the area of scarring, such as neck, shoulder and back pain and headaches.

Do you need Scar Therapy?

Remember, not all scars will cause problems. Many do heal effectively. The best way to decide if a scar needs attention is to inspect it yourself through sight and touch.

Firstly, take note of the appearance of the scar and the skin around it. Is it a different colour? Is it bulging or lumpy looking? A purple or red colour is a good indication of blood or qi stagnation.

Secondly, palpate the scar by feeling around the perimeter (outside) of the scar (never push down on the inside of the scar) at an angle as if pushing underneath the scar. Feel for pain, tenderness, unevenness or numbness. These are indications that the flow of qi and blood are obstructed.

Does it feel itchy at times? This is normal in the first few weeks as the tissue heals after the surgery or trauma. But if it goes on for longer, scar therapy might help. If you do discover anything out of the ordinary this is a good indication that your scar has not healed effectively and you could benefit from Acupuncture therapy.


How does it work?

Acupuncture stimulates microcirculation improving blood flow to the area. It draws the body’s attention to the area of concern to encourage re-knitting of scar tissue. Other techniques such as moxibustion, herbal medicine and warming liniments can be used to improve circulation.


Does it improve the appearance of scars?

Acupuncture scar therapy can be applied to most scar types including acne, pox, injuries and surgery scars. It can make thick scars thinner, improve the colour and general appearance and reduce pain/numbness/tingling and itching. However, the final results depends on your skin type, the type of surgery or trauma, and how long you’ve had the scar.

Living The Art Of Breathing.

Health In The Bay Breathing

Since your first breath, breathing has been one of the most important biological functions of your body. The rhythm of breath helps regulate a number of your body’s systems:- Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal and Metabolic (Endocrine).
When we are stressed or anxious it’s natural for our breathing to become shallow. Simply improving our breath, by breathing deeply and slowly, benefits us at times of stress and anxiety and helps improve restless sleep and insomnia.
The breath is one of the only bodily functions that can be consciously and unconsciously controlled. It’s not surprising that conscious focus on the breath is the foundation of most Buddhist meditation practices.
The average person takes up to 29,000 breaths per day so you’d think we would be experts at breathing. However, it’s common for many people to practice paradoxical breathing. This is an incorrect form of respiration that involves expansion of the upper chest and sucking in the abdominal muscles during inhalation. Paradoxical breathing is linked to many problems including:
  • Reduced oxygen content.
  • Fatigue.
  • Postural problems.
  • Digestive complaints and bloating.
  • Increased muscular tension especially in the neck and shoulders.
  • Lower back pain.

Health In The Bay BreathingHealthy breathing is when the area between the lower ribs bulges out on the in-breath and deflates on the out-breath. This makes sure that air is drawn into the lower parrts of the lungs. The breathing pattern should be slower, even and gentle. Drawing attention to your breath for 20 minutes per day will improve the way you breathe and your general well being, strengthen your lungs, regulate metabolism and help regulate your emotions and response to stress.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the lungs are a source of external Qi (Energy) and are functionally interwoven with the the Heart to regulate flow of blood and Qi around the body. The lungs are also responsible for the nourishment of the exterior body and often dull, lifeless skin or hair can be attributed to poor lung function from a TCM point of view.
Improving lung function, using a combination of Acupuncture, tailored breathing exercises and lifestyle can often have a profound effect on your health and benefit many of the symptoms listed in this article.

Can Chiropractic help reduce headaches?