Blog

Chinese Medicine and Stress

I’m naturally a nervous person, so believe me when I say I’ve tried every trick in the book to calm down when stress gets the better of me. 

So for me when i was anxious and wasn’t sleeping well – something like Chinese medicine for stress relief,  may have been a better fit than the pills I was prescribed.

The concept behind traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is, essentially, that your body already has the tools it needs to heal itself from the inside out. To better understand this, think about what your body’s like when you’re sick: Your muscles feel achy, your head is congested, and you feel crummy both on the inside and on the outside, right? Well, according to Chinese medicine, it works both ways: Stress and anxiety can affect your physical health, and in order to guarantee that that doesn’t happen, there are little, everyday behaviours you can adopt.

1. MAKE SMALL ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR EATING HABITS

I am a living, breathing example of how anxiety can affect your gut health and spiral into a  physical and psychological mess. When I’m stressed, my stomach starts to bother me with cramps and constipation – others will lean more towards looser stools.  Now, eating more of the good stuff (fruits, veggies, etc.) and less of the bad stuff isn’t exactly an automatic quick-fix – however things like mushrooms — which are known to have adaptogenic elements, meaning they can help reduce stress — dark leafy greens for their vitamin B, and whole grains should be added to your meals to “help rebalance [the nervous system].”

Also think about eating at regular times – especially your breakfast – as well as eating slowly and uncomplicated foods.

2. BREAK SOME EGGS (LITERALLY) OR DO SOME BOXING

Finding a physical outlet is an epic way to let out some stress this all comes back to your liver, as Anger / stress are the main emotions related to the Liver, When you’re feeling particularly stressed out or irritable, the worst thing you can do is hold all of that in. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to find ways to let the stress of even the most minor annoyances out of your system.

The Liver being stagnant can be responsible for physical muscle pain, period pain, headaches, digestive upset and twitches. 

3. MEDITATION

It can be daunting at first to sit down and bask in the quiet (or loudness) of your own thoughts, but given the purported benefits of meditation, it’s got its merit. And if the idea of sitting makes you restless, there are other forms of meditation out there for you to try, such as journaling or listening to a guided practice. Me personally? I gave my mediation wheels and take it with me on a walk. That’s when i empty my head the best. 

4. WALK AROUND BAREFOOT

Going sock-less at the office might sound a little gross, but traditional Chinese medicine says barefoot is the way to be. The idea behind this concept — which is called “earthing,” I regularly recommend my patient to get in nature , showed off and back to the sun – think of your back like a solar panel for your organs and it needs to be charged, 

The addition of being barefoot during this process seems to really augment the benefits for anxiety. I direct them to visualise the anxious feelings being absorbed by the earth and dissipating from their bodies. I wouldn’t suggest ditching your entire collection of Adidas sneakers, but try going barefoot occasionally. 

5. GET YOUR BODY MOVING WITH QIGONG

Qigong is a full-body experience that combines meditation with tai chi movements. According to the wellness website Energy Arts, this exercise is meant to be gentle, and it requires you to repeat a sequence of movements over and over again, “building awareness of how the body moves through space.

In traditional Chinese Medicine, the belief is that most of your physical ailments are a result of mental stress and instability, and when you nurse the latter, you’re better able to heal the former. Qigong is physical in practice, but the focus is on mental clarity, in order to produce that calming domino effect.

6. RELEASE MUSCLE TENSION WITH ACUPUNCTURE

When you’re stressed, do you tend to feel a kink in your neck, or sore in your back? A stress doesn’t just make you feel tense; it makes you physically tense, too, so it makes sense why acupuncture is a popular traditional Chinese remedy for stress.

Stress and anxiety would have to be one of the top things i treat in clinic. 

Foods That Give You Energy In The Morning, So You’re Set Up For Success

I am suggesting  that you pay attention to your food choices, how your first meal affects how you feel for the entire day, and to make adjustments accordingly. Oats, Eggs, Salmon, honey and greens are some of my favourite staples. –  We all know I am a big fan of soup for breakfast.

Most of the foods that aid the circulation and dispersion of stagnant qi caused by stress are spices or foods with a pungent flavour. The pungent flavour helps to move qi upwards and outwards, preventing it from stagnating. However, it is important to avoid foods which are very hot and spicy as these can contribute to the formation of internal heat.

Some of the best examples of foods that prevent qi stagnation are:

•Caraway

•Cardamom

•Cayenne

•Cloves

•Garlic

•Peppermint

•Turmeric

•Carrots

•Fennel

•Radish

•Watercress

•Peaches

•Plums

There is not one of our practitioners in clinic that can’t help you with your stress – give us a call today and see who is right for you. 02 8406 0679

The MUST HAVE facial of 2019

Ok so we have posted about Cosmetic Acupuncture here before, also known as Facial Rejuvenation. If you haven’t read our blogs on it already (tut-tut) click here 

Our facial specialist Andrea has listened to all your moans and groans about wanting the best of both worlds. You want to dabble in invasive cosmetic procedures elsewhere (again tut-tut) and also want cosmetic Acupuncture. You want facial acupuncture and not the body points. You are already loyal to an Acupuncturist but they don’t do cosmetic so you just want the beauty side of things from someone who does.

Well, as we said, she’s heard and she’s listened and she’s just gone and learnt from THE BEST in the business, the renowned Acupuncturist and skin guru based in New York, Dr. Travall Croom, who’s clientele include Victoria Secrets models, Sports Illustrated models, musicians, actors, celebrity chefs.

With three different facial Acupuncture qualifications under her belt, Andrea has combined all the methods she has learnt from the masters in their field of study and has come up with what we feel is one of the best natural facial treatments available and is suited to almost everyone.

What can you expect from one of her facials? Well lets not beat around the bush here, she is after all an Acupuncturist, so there will be needles, lots and lots of needles! There will be Gua Sha, Facial Cupping, Serums, Oils, and her new toy the Celluma Light Therapy. Not only does the Celluma look futuristic and great on instagram, it is incredible, proven technology that works by omitting low level light therapy to help generate collagen and elastin back into your skin.

Here’s the science…..

The Celluma works to boost collagen production and to understand how, let’s quickly run through two biology basics: the Krebs Cycle and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

  • The Krebs cycle is what generates cellular energy inside your body. Light activation boosts the body’s natural Krebs Cycle which in turn assists in creating more ATP.
  • ATP is the energy currency of all the cells in your body. When your body has sufficient ATP levels, then it has more energy to spend on restorative processes such as collagen and elastin production – these are the things your body uses to heal itself.

In summary:

Light Therapy = Enhanced Krebs (energy) Cycle = Greater ATP Availability = More Collagen

When all of those good metabolic events are happening, then it results in greater outcomes beyond just collagen production. We see a cascade of benefits such as:

  • Cell generation to replace old cells (mitosis)
  • Reduction and prevention of cell death (apoptosis)
  • Neurogenesis (new neurons)
  • Development of new capillaries (angiogenesis)
  • Increased blood flow
  • Enhanced Nitric Oxide production

With all those great things working together, your body is optimized to heal itself. Patients who use Celluma LLLT products begin seeing:

  • Skin rejuvenation and the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Accelerated healing of chronic wounds.
  • General pain reduction including muscle, joint and arthritic pains.

Have we pricked your interest? Word has spread and she’s booking up fast.

Depending on your skin’s quality Andrea recommends between 10 -12 treatments. The frequency of these treatments are also dependent on your skin and Andrea will chat to you about this during your initial consultation.

Packages are available so please enquire by emailing andreasacupuncture@gmail.com or call the clinic at 02-84060679

Optimising your Recovery

There is more than just exercise that is associated with recovery. A hard day warrants a long rest. A special occasion of celebration, with party food and alcohol, is sensibly followed with plenty of water, and hopefully a sleep in to allow extra hours for the mind to replenish and the detoxifying organs to neutralise the alcohol… There is ebb and flow with a myriad of things of nature, and in our social and professional lives. Recovery is even geared into our psyche, hence why we place head to pillows collectively and repair for 7-10 hours.

For now, in the context of muscle recovery after stress such as exercise, recovery models which aid the healing process and get us back to being optimal – are the big 4! 

Number 1. Cold Water Immersion. CWE has been given much awareness from people such as Paul Chek, Stig Severinsen, Wim Hof and our very own, Australian Nam Baldwin. I have experienced the teachings of Paul and Stig, and soon I’ll learn from Nam. Wim’s teachings has a stronger correlation to cold and ice exposure, yet all gentleman demonstrate breathing techniques and breath holds, which still are administered in many situations, to buffer or regulate and match the body to the environment.

If you choose to expose yourself to this contrast therapy, start easy! Try a temperature regulated shower and wet the limbs first, then the the torso which is a graduation. A client of mine once completely doused herself in a cold shower and it was lucky she did not faint! I

remarked that the cold will constrict blood vessels, whereas heat or warmth will dilate. What happened for her, was that the blood left her periphery and headed straight for the organs and gut. I will share more on contrast therapies / exposure on the next blog.

Understanding the effects of treatments such as cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation within skeletal muscle after exercise is important. Cold water immersion is a

widespread practice among various sports, and a growing body of evidence suggests that this strategy may affect muscle recovery from strenuous exercise. Repair of skeletal muscle tissue following injury is complex.

That brings us to Number 2. Massage! In 2018, Frontiers in Physiology, a leading research organisation in the field published a meta-analysis study* (multiple studies addressing the same subject / question) was performed evaluating the impact of recovery techniques on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), perceived fatigue, muscle damage, and inflammatory markers after physical exercise. We have all felt this right! I also check in with new clients after their initial session, as this can be the same for Remedial Therapy. The muscle fibres ‘micro-tear’ which is a by-product rather than an intention from my perspective when I treat, allow for blood, oxygen and water to nourish these once hypoxic or adhered tissue, thus generating a healing response and building the muscles back more resilient. The study found – Active recovery, massage, compression garments, immersion, contrast water therapy, and cryotherapy

induced a small to large decrease (−2.26 < g < −0.40) in the magnitude of DOMS, while there was no change for the other methods. Massage was found to be the most powerful

technique for recovering from DOMS and fatigue. In terms of muscle damage and inflammatory markers, we observed an overall moderate decrease in creatine kinase [SMD (95% CI) = −0.37

(−0.58 to −0.16), I2 = 40.15%] and overall small decreases in interleukin-6 [SMD (95% CI) = −0.36 (−0.60 to −0.12), I2 = 0%] and C-reactive protein [SMD (95% CI) = −0.38 (−0.59 to−0.14), I2 =

39%]. All molecules and active properties that constitute muscle growth and repair.

In summary – the most powerful techniques for reducing inflammation were massage and cold exposure. I have many clients that book, immediately after an event, at the conclusion of a training cycle, whether weekly or biweekly, or on a Monday post weekend shenanigans, or and ultimately conducive in nature, as a resilience method to prepare their bodies or life! Optimal Balance and Optimal Recovery are now modern day needs. Wellness is the precursor to Fitness, and this can be evident when our bodies are dictated by time constraints or an unawareness of what is needed for our health. Please seek a Remedial Therapist or allied practitioner and learn or share your

personal insights. Numbers 3 and 4 next blog!

Not Sleeping? Here’s what our Naturopath has to say.

Sleep disturbance and insomnia are becoming more prevalent in our society and we are seeing an increasing number of patients in clinic suffering from sleep disorders. During the sleep phase, the body is subject to significant restorative activity which nurtures the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system and the respiratory system.

If individuals are not getting enough sleep or if they are not entering all the different phases of sleep including the different stages of REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement), they will not be getting the therapeutic benefits that restorative sleep brings to those body systems.

Sleep disorders may relate to one of the following conditions:

•Sleep onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep at night)

•Sleep maintenance insomnia (waking during the night or continuous awakening early in the morning)

•Non-restorative sleep (adequate quantity of sleep but poor quality of sleep)

Ongoing sleep disturbance can impact our lives in many ways:-

•Stress, irritability and nervous tension / anxiety

•Poor memory and impaired cognitive function

•Low mood and depression

•Gut dysbiosis

•Immune dysfunction

•Weight gain or loss

•Hormonal imbalance

•Headaches and migraine

•Fatigue

•Muscular aches and pains

Chronic sleep disorders can be caused by numerous factors so it is important to find out what is causing the sleep disturbance and treat the condition with a holistic approach.

Insomnia can present as a symptom of an underlying issue that won’t resolve until the underlying issue is addressed. In the interim though, here are some tips to help you sleep a little easier and a little more soundly:

1) Keep a regular sleep pattern – go to bed at the same time each night and wake around

the same time each morning. This can be difficult for some whose routine involves shift work or new parents but keeping a regular pattern can help with sleep issues. Napping can also cause sleep disturbance so unless you can no longer keep your eyes open, try skipping that afternoon nap.

2) Avoid screen time for at least 30-60 minutes prior to bed time. All screens including phones, laptops, iPads, television and other electronic devices are stimulating to the brain and can switch our brain over from winding down to gearing up.

3) Ensure you are getting enough protein and essential fatty acids in your diet as these nutrients promote restful sleep by regulating hormones such as serotonin and melatonin and support the nervous system.

4) Avoid stimulating food and drinks including caffeine, alcohol and sugar. These stimulants are known to wreak havoc with sleep and reduce the quality of sleep. Recreational drugs can also cause disturbance to the natural sleep pattern and reduce the quality of sleep.

5) Drink calming, sedating herbal teas in the evening such as chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm or lavender. These teas contain sedative properties that help induce sleep and improve the quality of sleep.

6) Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the occurrence of insomnia and promote restorative sleep. It is important, however, not to exercise too close to bed time as this can be stimulating to the body and impair the sleep onset stage.

7) Winding down before bed time by having a warm bath, turning down the lights and turning off electronic devices or doing some relaxation exercises or meditation can help to calm the nervous system, relax the body and induce sound sleep.

8) Ensure your bed and bedroom are set at a suitable temperature. Overheating or being too cool during the night will cause disruption to sleep. Try to find and maintain a comfortable temperature to facilitate restful sleep.

If you are experiencing sleep disturbance and would like to resolve the problem, consider natural medicine which takes a holistic approach to treatment and may include herbal medicine formulas, nutritional medicine and/or supplementation and dietary recommendations, lifestyle modifications and other natural therapies. Belle is a Naturopath at Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners and can help you to sleep soundly again.

To book a consultation with Belle please phone 8406 0679 or book online at http://www.nbip.com.au

Pyroluria… What is it? And could it be affecting you or your child’s mental health ?

Pyrrole Disorder may also be referred to as pyroluria, kryptopyroluria (KPU), kryptopyrrole, mauve disorder or more precisely hemopyrrollactamuria (HPU). It is a chemical imbalance that impacts haemoglobin synthesis and metabolism within the body. This imbalance can be genetic but can also be a result of environmental emotional stress. Haemoglobin within our red blood cells is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. As with all cells and reactions within the body there are waste or by-products. Sufferers of

Pyroluria overproduce the by-product associated with haemoglobin synthesis, which is called hydroxyhaemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL), also known as pyrroles. How do I know if I have it? The effects of Pyroluria are many and varied based on how mild, moderate or severe the imbalance is. 

Some of the symptoms include: Poor stress control, Nervousness, anxiety, mood disorders, severe inner tension, depression, Poor short-term memory, fatigue, headaches, migraines, dizziness, Joint pain, bruising, White spots on fingernail (zinc deficiency), Hypoglycaemia, cold hands and feet, Allergies, loss of appetite, bowel dysfunction, morning nausea, abdominal pain. 

Many of the above symptoms are common but not everyone who has pyrroles will present with all of these symptoms. They may only have one or two. So, what are the causes? Pyrrole disorder is caused by excess Hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) that binds to the nutrients zinc, and vitamin B6 and inhibits their action within the body. This renders them unavailable for their many important physiological functions, such as co factors for enzymes in metabolism.

These essential nutrients, when bound to HPL are removed from the bloodstream and are excreted through the urine as pyrroles HPL is a biomarker for oxidative stress and is neurotoxic. Stress of any kind increases the production of pyrroles, which in turn decreases zinc and B6. The main biochemical features are the severe deficiencies of zinc and vitamin B6. A deficiency in zinc will also create an imbalance with copper and many of the symptoms are actually associated with this zinc to copper imbalance.

Zinc and B6 have so many essential roles within the body, zinc is particularly important in immune function, healing, digestion, growth, insulin sensitivity and control of blood sugars.

Both Zinc and B6 are required for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, GABA and acetyl choline. Both zinc and B6 are also involved in the production of steroid hormones such as cortisol, fat metabolism and weight control. So, with all of that said they are very important nutrients!

You think you might have it? How do we diagnose it? Pyroluria is verified by a urine test which will detect the KPU in the urine: This test is ordered through a private lab so you’ll need to speak to a health practitioner. The test can however, be performed at a pathology lab as Pyrroles in the urine are heat and light sensitive. The sample needs to be quickly wrapped in foil and frozen to safeguard the results and ensure accurate analysis. Ok. You’ve come in for your consultation, had your test and proved positive for pyroluria.

How do we treat it? Treatment is based on re-establishing optimum levels of zinc and B6. It is essential that the replacement therapy provides the nutrients in forms that will be absorbed efficiently. Making dietary adjustments can be beneficial although supplementation will most likely be necessary. The active form of vitamin B6, known as Pyridoxyl-5-phosphate is considered most effective. Zinc picolinate is the optimal form of zinc as it has the highest bioavailability, it can also be helpful to avoid food sources and supplements containing copper.

In addition, stress management will be helpful and important, including regular exercise, practicing mindfulness and getting enough sleep are just a few ways to reduce stress on the body. People with mild to moderate cases will usually have a quits a quick response to treatment, as long as nothing else is contributing to the symptoms. Those with more severe conditions could take several weeks before progress is seen and 3-12 months for complete improvement.

If you or your child are experiencing the for mentioned symptoms and want to get to the bottom of it send an email to our Nutritionist Bronwen on bronwen@nbip.com.au

Are You Suffering From Sinusitis ?

This would have to be the worst winter for illnesses that i can recall. In clinic I have seen the flu (as in the real one), horrendous colds, sinus problems and gastro. Everyone I speak to is recovering from something and still has a lingering cough or snotty nose. I would have to say in clinic Sinus related issues has been the most common.

Thankfully Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine has been helping but most of all it’s dietary changes that i am sending sufferers home with. You see, in Chinese Medicine an accumulation of phlegm and discharge is considered to be a damp pathology.

Damp is derived from a weak or overly exhausted digestive system, heavy and greasy foods, dairy, raw veggies, fruit, alcohol, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants all wreak havoc on you stomach and spleen and give rise to damp pathologies – such as sinusitis, phlegm nodules, indigestion, foggy head, pressure headaches, heavy sensation and a weakened immunity.

The best way to resolve damp is to incorporate the medicinal properties of food is through excluding the wrong foods as above and including the right foods – some favourites are; Adzuki beans, green tea, rice, olives, tangerine or mandarin peel, mushrooms, parsley, garlic and seaweed.

If you are suffering from frequent bouts of sinus issues call the clinic and book in today 02 8406 0679 or book online http://www.nbip.com.au

Chloe Player

Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Is BPA-Free plastic safe?

Is BPA-Free plastic safe?

Long hailed the healthier alternative to plastic, “BPA free” plastic is everywhere! Water bottles, lunch boxes and even reusable coffee cups are branded “BPA free” for the health conscious consumer.

So, what is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in plastic to make it, well.. plastic. It is used to make hard plastics, the kind we use for storing food and beverages. 

It had been used in plastics for decades, however studies showed BPA was responsible for multiple health issues and resulted in companies removing it from products. BPA has been shown to contribute to immune, reproductive and neurological issues, and has been linked to cases of childhood asthma, metabolic disease, obesity, early puberty, poor sperm quality and count, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

You may be wondering, how could a plastic cup cause all of these health issues?

Well, the compound BPA is similar to our hormones in structure. When a coffee cup or lunch box is heated, BPA can leach into the contents of the food and drink inside. When its then ingested, the body can confuse the BPA from that lunch box plastic with our natural hormones. In our bodies, we have hormone receptor sites which are reserved for hormones like oestrogen. With BPA in our systems looking so similar to a hormone in structure, it can sneakily bind to our hormone receptor sites and overload the cells. This overload disrupts our endocrine system, leading to multiple health issues that are influenced by hormones.

It really doesn’t take much BPA in our systems to have this affect either.

Plastic that has been “stressed” releases even more chemicals than unused plastic. Stressed plastic may have been exposed to heat or UV light, a microwave, or a dishwasher, and this can cause further leaching of these chemicals in larger quantities.

Is “BPA Free” Plastic a better option?

Manufacturers have replaced BPA with alternative plastic hardeners Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF). Studies show that the replacements BPS and BPF are having the same affect on our endocrine systems as BPA exposure did.

With this in mind, heres a few tips to minimise your exposure.

• Never heat your plastic. Ever.

• If it has been stressed, recycle it, and replenish your tupperware draw with glass or stainless steel food storage containers.

• Never heat your babies bottle in a microwave.

• Avoid packaged foods in plastic wrap and plastic bottles.

• Stop accepting receipts from the cashier. A study showed that blood levels of BPA in cashiers was much higher due to repetitive handling of receipts! Crazy huh?

• Eat plenty of fibre to help your body to pass the chemicals and increase your consumption of vegetables from the brassica family. The brassica family include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard.

Curious about other ways to support your hormones? Contact Brooke, our Naturopath and Clinical Nutritionist who has a special interest in healthy hormones via email at brooke@nbip.com.au or call the clinic 02 8406 0679

Switch Off For Better Mental Health.

We live in an age where sensory overload is a daily occurrence. iPads, laptops, smart phones, computer games/consoles, television and many other electronic devices are constantly stimulating our minds and, more detrimentally, our children’s minds.

Just driving down the street or doing the grocery shopping, we are faced with countless efforts to attract our attention – signs, billboards, ad banners, marketing ploys and other gimmicks add to our distraction. Most of our primary and secondary schools now have BYOD (bring your own device) and are equipped with wifi which is free for all students to connect to during school hours. Fortunately, some schools are now introducing meditation and mindfulness practises but the fact remains that many children are mostly “switched on” from the moment they wake to the moment they go to bed at night. Come bed time, many kids are not getting restorative sleep and rest because they have difficulty relaxing and switching off.

Busyness and busy minds seem to have slowly but surely crept into the daily lives of many people and families and I am seeing the effects of this more and more frequently in clinic. Mums and dads trying to juggle full time work, their children’s activities and schooling, social events and other commitments such as volunteering for sporting groups, at schools or in other areas of the community, not to mention trying to find time for their own health. This may present in adults as adrenal fatigue, insomnia, weight gain or loss, stress and feelings of disconnection from those around them, gut issues, cardiovascular problems and mood disorders.

For children however, it can present in other ways including anxiety, sleep disturbance, fears and phobias, issues with eating and appetite, impaired cognitive function resulting in poor concentration and memory, behavioural issues and problems with digestion.

Many children and teenagers are finding it difficult to disconnect from technology – they are more concerned about recharging their device battery instead of recharging their own battery. As parents and carers, we have a responsibility to set boundaries around children’s exposure to technology and stimulation. In addition to this, it’s important to ensure children are getting the right nutrition for their growing bodies and developing brains. Introducing healthy lifestyle habits are just as important as maintaining a healthy diet and it’s often easier to sustain these healthy habits if the whole family can adopt them.

Recently, we have seen a rise in the number of children struggling to stay focused in the classroom and finding it difficult to remember instructions and concentrate on a set task.
With the constant buzz of activity around us, it’s now more important than ever to prioritise downtime for children and teenagers. Having set times in the home where all electronic devices are powered right off can give people the space to disconnect to the outside world and reconnect with themselves.

Eating well and consuming nutrients that support the nervous system and brain health are essential for childhood and teenage development. Some basic nutrition guidelines for improving cognitive function and optimising brain health are:

• avoid sugar and sugary foods/drinks
• avoid additives, preservatives and artificial flavours and colourings
• increase hydration (filtered water is best)
• increase intake of a wide range of colourful vegetables
• choose whole food options instead of processed snack foods
• include adequate high quality protein and good fats in the diet
• include plenty of dietary fibre
• avoid stimulating foods including caffeine, soft drinks and energy drinks

Depending on presenting symptoms, specific nutrients such as zinc, omega-3’s, iron, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E may be required in supplemental dosages until balance has been restored. Nutritional supplementation should always be prescribed by a qualified health care practitioner with dosage tailored to specific conditions and based on weight/age groups.

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits are vital in optimising brain health and enhancing cognitive function. There are many ways in which we can introduce healthy habits into our lives but some of the basic ones are:

• sleep hygiene – keep a regular sleep/wake cycle, even on the weekends and holidays if possible • meditation – some people find meditating difficult because their mind wanders, but
meditation is a practise and may take some time and dedication just like any other
sport or skill to perfect
• exercise – regular exercise is required to detoxify the body of toxins which can
contribute to impaired cognition
• relaxation – schedule in time for rest and relaxation to enhance sleep and give your
mind, body and spirit the space it needs to rejuvenate
• disconnect from devices – turn off the television, tablets, computers, phones and
other electronic distractions at certain times of the day/week/weekend to open the
space for mindfulness and creativity

Learning how to switch off will nurture the nervous system and improve cognition. It’s now more important than ever before to put practises into place to ensure there is balance in yours and your children’s daily routine.

If you have concerns relating to poor concentration, impaired memory, foggy head, sleep disturbance, behavioural issues or mood disorders book an appointment with our Naturopath, Belle, who can provide a tailored health plan to address your concerns. Appointments can be made by phoning 0405 128 213 or emailing belle@nbip.com.au

You’re clenching your Jaw right now aren’t you? STOP! 

Did you know that Jaw clenching is one of the most common secondary effects of stress? 

Temporalis Muscle Joint Disorder (TMJD) consists of tension throughout the jaw joint region and accompanying muscles. It can manifest as jaw pain, teeth grinding, headaches, earaches, limited range of motion (lock jaw), inflammation, neck pain, muscle spasms and can even cause changes in facial structure from muscle development. While teeth grinding occurs mostly during sleep, jaw clenching can happen subconsciously throughout the day, adding to the above symptoms.

Square Face Syndrome is a real thing ladies! Chronic clenching of the jaw leads to hypertrophy (fancy word for overworked) of your masseter and temporalis muscles, this causes the face to take on a masculine and square appearance. Most people go to a dermatology clinic and get botox or fillers injected into the masseter muscle to give them a softer appearing face but we obviously have a more natural alternative solution. UNCLENCH YOUR JAW! 

Okay its not that easy, or perhaps the damage has already been done and you are looking more and more like your brother or your father…then Acupuncture and Gua sha shall be your saviours (along with magnesium and relaxation techniques to de-stress ) 

Jaw clenchers / TMJD sufferers im afraid it gets worse, overworked masseter muscles not only cause facial structure changes but also one of the main causes of premature neck and chin wrinkles – SIGH 

If you happen to be unfortunate genetically in the teeth department, and you have crooked teeth and or an over bite that is the cause of your jaw clenching then you do need to go and see a dentist or orthodontist and get them to address this problem, either with a mouth guard or dental surgery, because overbites tend to cause exaggerated marionette lines, chin wrinkles and a down-turned mouth and crooked teeth result in an asymmetric smile , and dimpling of the skin. So stop putting off that trip to the dentist. 

How can we help you ? 

Acupuncture needles inserted locally in and around the jaw muscles will help relax the tight masseter and temporalis muscles, ease your stress levels , and get more circulation to the area. 

Now for our favourite part : Facial Gua Sha – Not only does gua sha smooth out fine lines and wrinkles it releases fascia, relaxes muscles , move lymph and invigorates blood flow. 

I can tell you’ve already relaxed your jaw just thinking of this! 

You can get Gua Sha’d at any acupuncture appointment you make, it’s featured heavily in Andrea’s cosmetic facials, and general acu sessions, and it’s featured heavily in Chloe’s daily treatments also. 

So don’t be in pain and don’t turn square.

For bookings visit www.nbip.com.au or call 84060679 

Inflammation: Good or Bad?

The human body uses inflammation to help the body heal and to protect itself from further harm. It is a vital process, an immune response to injury or infection. When acute inflammation persists and becomes chronic that’s when the problems start. Chronic inflammation plays a role in every major disease, ranging from heart disease to obesity, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is the most common reason people visit health care practitioners. Ranging from diverticulitis to gastritis and anything else ‘itis’. If it has an ‘itis’ it’s inflammatory.

The good news is, with anti-inflammatory diets and lifestyles we can not only prevent future diseases from occurring but we can improve existing conditions and vastly enhance how we feel day to day. When it comes to inflammation, food really is the best medicine. When we start healing the body by living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, we can see positive changes in our health, such as improved mood, clearer skin, better digestion, weight loss and more energy. Even better, we reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?

Inflammation is an entirely natural and essential process in which the immune system responds to anything ‘attacking’ the body. There are three main processes that occur; Firstly, the small branches of the arteries expand to allow more blood flow to the area, then capillaries allow protein and fluid to move between blood cells, and finally, the body releases neutrophils which are a type of white blood cell containing enzymes that digest micro-organisms. Superficially you may notice redness, heat and swelling. Tonsillitis or a scratch on the skin are two examples where we see a natural acute inflammatory response. During an inflammatory response the physiological processes that occur are all mediated by our immune system.

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

Chronic inflammation is persistent, low-level inflammation and unlike acute nflammation, it is not something we can see. When Inflammation turns from a short-term immune response to a chronic, persistent issue, problems occur. If the immune system is constantly being disrupted and is on perpetual defence, a persistent inflammatory response occurs and it can become systemic. Chronic inflammation that serves no purpose in the body can start to actually CAUSE illness instead of its original function of healing. Even though we can’t see it there are many symptoms we may experience. 

Some of the symptoms are:

Joint pain or other aches and pains

Migraines

Fatigue

Depression

Digestive problems

Acne, eczema, psoriasis

Food sensitivities

High blood pressure

Allergies

Trouble losing weight

Autoimmune conditions such as Lupus

The list goes on….

It is now widely known that chronic inflammation is directly connected to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A diet high in pro-inflammatory foods such as refined grains, processed meats and sugars are placing an increasing toxic load on our bodies. Fortunately, through diet and lifestyle changes we can turn it around, reducing inflammation and the demand it places on the body.

HOW CAN WE TEST FOR IT?

With the ubiquity of chronic inflammation, it’s important to know where your inflammation levels are, which can motivate us to make the necessary changes. Thankfully, a simple blood test will give us the answers. C-Reactive protein or CRP is a test we can do to determine inflammation levels. CRP is non-specific, meaning it won’t tell us where your inflammation is coming from but it will tell us if it is high. High CRP has been associated with brain inflammation, chronic fatigue, cancer, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and more. Further testing and a thorough health history will help to determine the cause of the inflammation.

WHAT NEXT?

Book an appointment with me of course! Yes, it is optimal to see a qualified health practitioner who can look at the whole picture and give you evidence-based advice. However, you can start making some changes yourself like cutting out trans fats, refined sugars, eating more omega 3’s, getting plenty of B vitamins, and making sure to get adequate sleep and exercise. However, if you’re ready to take it up a notch contact me on bronwen@nbip.com.au or book online at http://www.nbip.com.au.