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.

Neck and shoulder pain.

acup-shoulder-painMany of us live with permanently stiff shoulders or a neck that seizes up from time to time. Our modern lifestyle is a major culprit, with computer work (especially on laptops) putting a lot of strain on the neck and shoulders. Out-of-control stress levels don’t help either. One of the worst environments for neck and shoulder pain is a high-pressure work environment with badly set-up computers and cold air flowing down on you from air conditioning. With this sort of combination of stress, poor ergonomics and the tendency to tense up the shoulder muscles in response to cold, it’s not surprising that so many people suffer from stiff neck and shoulders.

Other things that can trigger neck and shoulder pain are prolonged driving, freehand writing or drawing, occupations involving a lot of repetitive use of the arms (hairdressing comes to mind), and playing some musical instruments.

So what can be done? Obviously it’s important to address anything in your lifestyle that might be contributing, which could involve a rethink of your work or leisure patterns. I’ve included a list of other tips at the end.

But what if your shoulders and neck are still sore after doing everything you can to relax them? This is where acupuncture comes in.

Japanese acupuncture uses several needling techniques to melt tension in the neck and shoulders. Another technique that is great for neck and shoulder pain is moxibustion – the use of a warming herb on the tight, painful areas. Cupping is also very useful. But much of the treatment is done away from the local painful region– as it is just as important to treat the constitutional pattern that Oriental medicine sees as causing disruption to the flow of energy, as we see this as underlying the neck and shoulder pain. This ensures that treatments will have a lasting effect.

We usually see an improvement within 4-6 weekly treatments, and when this happens we scale back the frequency of sessions as your body “relearns” this state of reduced tension. Eventually most people will just need the occasional top-up session every few months or so during periods of particularly intense activity or stress.

Tips for relieving neck and shoulder stiffness:

  • Make sure your desk is properly set up. Many offices these days have ergonomic guidelines and it’s also possible to have an expert review your set-up.
  • Give your neck and shoulders a break by taking lots of breaks from computer work, or other intense activities like writing freehand, drawing, music practice or driving. Aim to have a break where you get up, walk around and stretch after every 20 min of typing etc.
  • If at all possible, avoid sitting in air-conditioning, or wear a scarf (or a top with a collar that covers your neck).
  • Warmth helps most people with this sort of pain, so try hot showers or heat packs.
  • Try to build some type of relaxation into your day, like meditation, yoga or Tai-Chi. Another really useful strategy is to focus on becoming aware of shoulder tension as it builds up and repeatedly and deliberately relax and drop your shoulders. Tricky to do at first, but it gets easier with time.
  • It is also often possible to strengthen other muscles in the upper body so that your traps don’t take all the strain. If you go to a gym, ask one of the trainers to show you how to strengthen these muscles.


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.



Health In The Bay Anxiety HandsRoughly 14% of Australian adults suffer from some form of anxiety that has become an anxiety disorder.

Does everyone have anxiety?

Anxiety is a necessary biological response to perceived or real threats from the environment. Having anxiety, to a degree, is both a necessary and healthy aspect of living. Everyone has anxiety to a degree.

When does anxiety become a problem?

Anxiety becomes a problem for people when the experience of anxiety continues well past the perceived threat or problem that caused it; when the anxiety you feel about a problem is disproportionately larger than the problem actually is; when the anxiety one experiences inhibits them from moving forward; where fears prevent people from doing what they need to do;

What is an Anxiety Disorders?

An anxiety disorder is a medical condition.

Anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias. Common to all of these is a level of anxiety that can, and does, interfere with a person’s ability to cope and function and this can completely interrupt their lives.


How do I know if anxiety has become a problem for me?

A person with an anxiety disorder will feel distressed and anxious a lot of the time, and often for no apparent reason. Some anxious episodes can be so severe they become immobilising.
Regardless of the type of disorder, the typical symptoms include….

  • Excessive, exaggerated or unrealistic worries (generalised anxiety disorder).
  • Compulsions and obsessions which they can’t control (obsessive compulsive disorder).
  • Intense excessive worry about being judged by others (social anxiety disorder).
  • Periods of intense apprehension, fear, terror or impending doom. These periods can occur suddenly (panic disorder).
  • An intense, irrational fear of everyday objects and situations (phobia).


What other symptoms can come from Anxiety?

  • Dizzy spells leading to panic.
  • Feeling overly jumpy and on edge.
  • Inability to relax or increased irritability.
  • Tightness in throat and chest- shortness of breath.
  • Feeling faint or shaky.
  • Racing heart with tingle sensations.
  • Fear of losing control or being rejected.
  • Hot flushes followed by waves of anxiety.
  • Tiring easily.
  • Obsessive worries and unwanted thoughts.
  • Not feeling connected to what is going on around you.
  • Stomach problems, nausea, diarrhoea.
  • Overwhelming fear that the anxiety can push you over the edge.

What causes anxiety disorders?

Physiological researchers suggest that an anxiety disorders is due to an in-balance within the chemistry of the brain. Behaviorists believe that anxiety disorders are a learnt response to stimuli. Branches of psychotherapy believe anxiety disorders stem from unresolved needs and issues, or repressed feelings or aspects of ones self. Attachment theories suggest that anxiety often results from poor bonding with the primary care giver as a child (attachment anxiety). It is also likely that psychological traits and genetic factors and environmental influences all play a part in anxiety.
Regardless of which theory one subscribes to, its important to note when persistent anxiety symptoms are not acknowledged and managed, then an anxiety disorder is more likely to occur.
Having strategies and techniques to help manage your anxiety is an important factor in whether the anxiety becomes a disorder or not. These strategies can include education, medication, exercise, yoga, meditation and psychotherapy.


How I treat Anxiety issues?

In the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders, I use a multi modality approach and attend to:

  • Beliefs: the beliefs people hold can cause anxiety in themselves , i.e. “I cant trust anyone”, or “ I must get that promotion or I’ll never be happy”. Understanding how our beliefs influence our behavior and our well being, and how they may be increasing pressure on oneself, can be an important aspect of anxiety management.
  • Family constellations; Anxiety is often passed down through the family. Often the anxiety within a family is transmitted from one generation to the next generation, and so on. Understanding what types of patterns one has unconsciously taken on from an anxious family can provide powerful insights into resolving and regulating anxiety. Through the process if the counseling relationship, such patterns begin to reach awareness and can then be changed.
  • Containment and regulation: the ways in which a person contains their own emotion and energy can be an important factor in anxiety. Often when one has not been adequately emotionally contained in their upbringing, they continue through life without an ability to contain themselves, which can be a painful cause of anxiety. It is useful for such a person to learn how to regulate and contain themselves more effectively through the course of counseling.
  • Blocking: people who have faced a difficult upbringing have often disowned aspects of themselves and certain feelings. Repressed and blocked feelings can create an enormous psychological pressure within a person, resulting in anxiety. Through the process of counseling, such aspects of one’s self are finally renowned, and become integrated back into the person, reducing ones inner conflict and anxiety.


How long is treatment?

As anxiety is unique in every instance, treatment types and durations will vary with every individual. For more information on your particular situation, please call Robbie on 9904 1333.

Does sitting affect your health?

Health In The Bay Massage HandsWithin the last 30 years, our world has seen astounding advances in our technological capabilities, which has affected the way people carry out their daily lives. Nowadays, most people are required to spend the majority of their working day in an office environment sat at a desk in front of a computer.

Our bodies, however, were not designed to remain in one position for long periods of time; they were made to move. When we are sedentary, our body responds by burning fewer calories and slowing down our circulation. Such a lifestyle also leads to postural problems, which can develop into chronic health issues.

In a seated position, certain postural muscles, especially in our back and neck, start to become short and tight from being overworked. This then leads to issues such as upper or lower back pain, stiff shoulders, neck pain, tight hamstrings, headaches and migraines. The muscles that support our spine also become weak, like our gluteal and abdominal muscles.

Repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are also becoming more widespread and it is not uncommon for keyboard users to complain of wrist, arm and shoulder pain or discomfort.

I am sure the majority of us, including myself, will have experienced some or all of these above symptoms at some point in our lives.

So what can we do about it? Take time to get up and move about, as well as to stretch. Whilst seated, be aware of your own posture and at work try to change the nature of your tasks as often as you can. In addition, try to develop a regular exercise routine even as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day.

Massage therapy is also extremely effective in this situation to release and relax the muscles, as well as to reduce overall tension and fatigue found within the body. Regular massage sessions are thoroughly recommended to assist in maintaining good body health and well-being.