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.


Why you really need to stress less

stressIn clinic, we see patients with many and varied symptoms and conditions, but when it comes to working out the root cause of these conditions, often stress features in a big way.

Stress is now a common fixture in our hectic, busy lives. Small amounts of stress that are easily resolved can be beneficial in motivating and helping us achieve our goals. However, chronic or long-term stress affects each of us differently, and it may affect the whole body in a negative way and contribute to many health complaints.

Signs of stress include:

  • Feeling any of the following – anxious, worried, forgetful, irritable, depressed and exhausted.
  • Stiff or sore muscles or joints.
  • Insomnia.
  • Tension headaches.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Frequent colds and flu.
  • Digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, change in appetite.
  • Worsening of an existing illness or condition.
  • Skin conditions.

Fight or Flight: Your Response to Stress

Thousands of years ago, we may have been faced with the threat of a sabre tooth tiger and our immediate response to this was one of two reactions: to attack or run away. This is now known as the fight or flight response. Once this stress response is triggered, chemical messengers called adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline are produced by the adrenal glands and brain. These messengers increase blood flow to the essential organs such as the heart, lungs, brain and muscles to help us fight or run away. Digestive function slows down as this is less important in survival mode. Cortisol also increases the amount of sugar released into the blood to provide energy for our muscles to attack or run. In the past, stress was shortlived and once the stress was over, these chemical messengers shortly returned to normal.

Where’s the Off Switch?

Over time our bodies have not changed this biological response to stress. Although the sabre tooth tigers are long gone, the physical threat to our lives and limbs has been replaced with the modern day stress of long work hours, financial worries, traffic jams and family issues. So what happens if this stress response does not turn off because of our non-stop busy lifestyles?

Ongoing stress that does not resolve may result in chronic stress, which can be the underlying cause of many health conditions. Chronic stress can impact body systems such as the cardiovascular system by contributing to high blood pressure. It can also take its toll on your nervous system leading to exhaustion, headaches and insomnia. Your digestive and immune systems can also be weakened by stress, making you more susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome, frequent colds and the flu.

Herbs and Nutrients for De-stressing

In clinic, I often use these herbs and nutrients to help our patient’s cope better with stress:

  • Rhodiola and withania are herbs which enhance the body’s response to stress. Rhodiola has been shown to reduce both physical and mental fatigue during times of stress.
  • The herbs passionflower, zizyphus and magnolia have been traditionally used for reducing stress, anxiety and nervous tension, and also work well in cases of insomnia.
  • St John’s wort is well-known for supporting healthy mood and protecting against the effects of stress.
  • Magnesium, glutamine and B vitamins are used in abundance during times of stress, when the body’s requirement for these key nutrients is increased. Magnesium assists in muscle relaxation and calms the nervous system.

10 Top Stress Busting Tips:

Lessen your stress load by practising the following stress busting strategies:

  1. Rest and Relaxation: Relaxation techniques such as tai chi, yoga, and meditation can help you to control stress and improve physical and mental wellbeing. Turn off all technology before 10pm (this includes phones, tv, computers and other devices) for a better night’s sleep.
  2. Think Positive: A good attitude and positive outlook is fundamental for de-stressing. Thinking positively will help you get through a stressful period with greater enthusiasm and drive.
  3. Exercise: Exercise is a brilliant form of stress relief, as it conditions the body and mind, and encourages the release of endorphins, which help you feel good. Enjoy restorative, rather than exhaustive exercise, when you are feeling particularly stressed.
  4. Indulge Yourself: Enjoy a well-deserved massage or some other blissful treatment – perhaps soak in a bath with relaxing aromatherapy oils such as lavender, ylang ylang, chamomile or geranium.
  5. Eat Healthy Foods: For a healthy mind and body, eat a diet abundant in fresh, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Consume protein with meals and snacks, and enjoy foods high in essential fatty acids such as oily fish, nuts and seeds. Minimise your intake of caffeine, energy drinks, sugar, alcohol and processed foods as these will contribute to fatigue in the long-term.
  6. Have Gratitude: Keep a diary of things in your life you are grateful for. If you find this difficult, focus on the basic things – a roof over your head, peaceful times, a cup of tea, the shade of a tree are all things we can take for granted, but many people don’t have access to.
  7. Take Breathing Breaks: For 1 or 5 minutes close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly. Perhaps listen to a piece of music which you find soothing or go for a short walk.
  8. Reconnect with Friends and Family: choose positive, uplifting people in your life, and spend more time with them.
  9. Be Mindful: Do everything with focus and intention – cook your food mindfully, eat mindfully, work mindfully and be in the moment as much as possible. Set a reminder in your diary or on your phone to be mindful (and perhaps have a breathing break as well).
  10. Change Your Daily Routine: Have a long relaxing breakfast, try driving to work a different way, learn a new skill, watch a different television program. And play.

Be joyful and lighthearted where possible. Smile.

If you feel that stress is a problem for you, and you don’t know where to begin, make an appointment to see our Naturopath, or indeed any of our practitioners for tailored advice on how to manage stress.


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.



Neurolink is a system of balancing the body and the physiological functioning of all its systems. The body is an amazing being that can repair and heal itself very efficiently. Sometimes due to various stressors it may not work at its optimum.
Health In The Bay breakfastNeurolink uses muscle testing to determine where there are areas of the physiology that aren’t working as ideally as it could be, and then utilises feedback to the brain about these imbalances to stimulates the brain and body to make corrections in these areas. In this way it stimulates and promotes healing and normal functioning of the body.
It can be used as a treatment all on its own, or to complement and assist other treatments and adjustments. It can address imbalances in digestion, hormones, immunity, sleep patterns and moods. It also addresses how well organs, brain centers and the nervous system are functioning, and how effective our immune response is to virus, bacteria and fungus. It results to strengthen our body to stressors including emotional chemical and physical stress and allows your body to cope better with these stressors.

The Musculoskeletal System and its Importance to our Health

Health In The Bay beachThe Musculoskeletal System consists of bones, muscles, joints and ligaments and tendons that make up the body and allow it to be upright and to have movement. The skeleton is the framework of the body. Of this, the spine is made of 24 movable bones, 23 discs and has attachments for 12 sets of ribs and hundreds of ligaments and muscles. It supports and protects the spinal cord, and allows 31 pairs of nerves to pass from the spinal cord through small openings to muscles, organs, bones and skin.
The Nervous System consists of the Central Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System. The Central system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The Peripheral Nervous System consists of all the nerves that are running through our body, from the point where they branch off the spinal cord to the target structure ie muscle, organ, bone or skin. The Central Nervous System has control over the whole body by sending and receiving signals via use of the Peripheral system.
The Nervous System controls absolutely every cell and system in the body. This means literally every muscle, every organ, every function the body has. Therefore if there is anything that impedes the function of any part of the Nervous system, the target tissue will be compromised. The opposite is also true, having a nervous system that functions optimally will result in a body that functions optimally.
As mentioned the Central Nervous system is housed and protected by the spine, with all the bodys nerves branching off the spinal cord and exiting the spine through small openings between the vertabrae. Due to this close proximity of these structures, it is easy to see how any imbalance in the spine or change in how well it moves or imbalances in the muscles around the area, can result in some impeding pressure or force on the nerve, thereby affecting its function and hence the function of the target structure. So by having a well balanced musculoskeletal system results in minimising any impeding pressure or force on the nervous system, thus allowing it to function optimally and so increasing the potential for optimal health.