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Male Fertility Down by 50%

boosting fertility

An increasing proportion of men are becoming infertile, with sperm counts declining by more than half between 1973 and 2011. This is according to a review and analysis of 185 different research studies conducted on men in Australia, New Zealand, North America, and Europe. The analysis also showed that sperm counts are continuing their downward tend in these countries.

However, there was no decline in fertility for men from South America, Asia, and Africa over the same period!

The reviewers suggested that the results may be like a “canary in the coal mine” for our society. (Canaries were used in old coal mines to warn when dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide reached a certain level in the mine. These gases would kill the canary before the miners, telling them to leave the tunnels immediately.) They warn that the lifestyle and environmental factors which are gradually destroying our fertility may be damaging our overall health as well. Some of these factors include chemicals such as hormone disruptors and pesticides.

Natural therapists have long believed that many of the chemicals we are now exposed to in our daily lives can have a detrimental effect on our health and fertility. Often low fertility is considered to be due to the female partner, however male fertility problems are becoming more and more common. (For more information on fertility, please read our ‘Boosting Fertility Naturally’ article, or search for ‘fertility’ on our website.)

(Reference: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/883370?nlid=116919_4562&src=wnl_dne_170726_mscpedit&uac=153616SR&impID=1397224&faf=1)

New Chronic Pain Treatment

Chronic pain

Several of our Brisbane acupuncturists attended a seminar recently on the latest developments in Japanese acupuncture. There were some excellent new treatments, including one for chronic pain that is not improving with regular treatment. It is called the DLPFC treatment, and treats the part of the brain that relates to long-term pain (the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex). The belief is that sometimes this part of the brain can get ‘stuck’ and keep registering the pain even after it has gone. The treatment is designed to help this part of the brain to switch off so that the person stops experiencing the old pain.

This treatment is not for everyone; it only works in cases where the condition has already been treated but the pain is still there. Having said that, some of our clients with very stubborn pain are reporting great results.

If you think that you may be a candidate for this treatment, please book in for an Assessment with Peter.

Peanut Allergy Breakthrough

Peanut allergy breakthrough

Improving Digestion May Be the Way to Solve Allergy Problems

In a recent study by Australian researchers, children with strong peanut allergies were given a daily mixture of peanut powder and a probiotic. In 80% of cases, the children stopped having any reactions to the peanuts, and 70% of them still had no reactions 4 years later.

This is great news, and we are very pleased that the medical profession is becoming aware of the strong link between digestive health and the state of the immune system. There has been some good research in this area in the last few years.

Every case is different, however in our Brisbane Naturopath Clinic we usually find that a major factor in food intolerances and allergies is a condition known as ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’. This is where the small intestine absorbs particles of food that are too large, and when they enter the blood, the immune system thinks they are a foreign invader and attacks them. The bacterial balance in the large intestine also plays a crucial part in the health of the digestive system (which is why giving the probiotic was so helpful in this study).

If you have digestive problems, food intolerances, allergies, or an auto-immune problem, consider taking advantage of our free Comprehensive Health Assessment.

Socks for the Homeless

Donating socks for the homelessThe Brisbane Motorcycle Street Feed group provide free hot, home-cooked meals for the homeless. Once a week they feed between 150 and 300 people, and Michael Devlin of More Real Estate is an active member of this group. In winter, Michael also collects socks for the homeless to help keep their feet warm.

We are very pleased to have donated over $500 worth of thick, hard-wearing socks to help make the lives of those without homes a little more comfy.

Brisbane Motorcycle Street Feed Facebook page

Car Donation

Handover of car to 'Steve'Peter had an old but reliable car he wanted to give away, to someone in our local community who was struggling financially and in desperate need of a vehicle.

We ended up selecting ‘Steve’ (not his real name), for the car. Steve has been through a very rough time lately. His partner was pregnant with twins, but unfortunately she developed a health issue and the babies had to be delivered immediately, and one of them died. Steve was a nurse and he took it very hard that he couldn’t do anything about it. He fell into a deep depression and his relationship broke down. Steve stopped working and lived in his car for a while, and then in a men’s shelter. He is just starting to get on top of his depression, and has managed to obtain a job working for a palliative care and respite care centre for young children with terminal illnesses. Steve will also be returning to his studies for his nursing degree.

However, Steve’s new job is at Chermside and he lives at Browns Plains. He would have needed to use public transport to get there and home, and the job will involve shift work.

This is what the lady who suggested Steve said when she found out about him getting the car.
“Peter, my brother has just called me in tears. I can’t thank you enough. This has taken a huge weight off his shoulders (and off mine). Not only can he now start his new job with a reliable little car, he will also be able to drive to see his children (which I know he dearly misses).

Thank you so very very much.”

Steve’s story touched us all at the clinic, and we are very grateful we could help him.

Hospital Trial Shows Acupuncture as Effective as Drugs

An Australian trial of acupuncture in our hospitals has found the therapy is more effective than morphine when it comes to relieving acute pain.

Here are the full details of the study, showing that the “Success rate was significantly different between the 2 groups (92% in the acupuncture group vs 78% in the morphine group).”

 

Case Study- Migraines and Headaches

Dianne (nMigraines and headachesot her real name) had been suffering from almost daily migraines and headaches for the past 6 years. As well as the pain, the migraines caused vomiting and diarrhoea, and her headaches made her feel dizzy and have difficulty concentrating. Heat, stress, tiredness, neck problems, sinus problems and jaw tension all made her conditions worse.

For those who get headaches, the vast majority will have an issue in their neck. And for people who get migraines, it is normal to find that they have a combination of their neck being out (usually at the very top), their liver not working well, and excess stress.

Dianne had been diagnosed with degeneration of the spine in her neck. When I examined her, her C1 vertebrae was also rotated, which was causing pressure on the Basilar artery into her head. This will usually cause headaches, migraines and/or dizziness.

Dianne was given an acupuncture treatment to untwist her C1 vertebrae, and loosen the muscles in her head generally, including her jaw muscles. This made her head very clear and her neck felt good. At her next treatment, she reported that her migraines were less, however she had come down with a cold, which made her sinuses and her headaches worse. So she was given a treatment to boost her immune system.

At her third treatment, Dianne’s C1 and the muscles in her head were treated again. For her fourth visit, Dianne was given a treatment to improve the blood flow in her body generally, including the blood flow to her head from her Basilar artery. As she was still reporting tightness in her jaw, the treatment also worked on correcting her jaw alignment. Dianne has reported that since this treatment she has had no further migraines or headaches.

This case illustrates that there can be many factors in a health problem, and sometimes good results are not obtained until most or all of these factors are sorted out. (For more information on the treatment of these conditions, you can read our Headaches and Migraines blog.)

Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines

The Answers are in the Neck, Stress, and Circulation

How has your head been feeling?  The brain is an incredibly complex, sensitive, and often overworked part of the body.  It can be affected by heat, toxins, hormones, lack of fluid, pressure, and many other factors.  In fact, headaches are one of the most common health problems, with almost 90% of the population experiencing them occasionally.  Symptoms can range from mild discomfort, to feeling like someone is putting an axe through your skull, and having to lock yourself in a dark room all day.

Headaches

There are over 200 different causes of headaches, however over 85% of the cases that we see at the clinic involve stress and/ or neck problems. Other causes can include dehydration, toxic overload, high blood pressure, sinus, inflammation, medications, and food sensitivities.  Most of the time a good massage will get rid of the headache and treat the neck problem or stress that caused it.  However, if this doesn’t help, if they keep coming back, or if you suspect something else may be causing your headaches, please book in for a free Health Assessment at our clinic.

Migraines

Some migraines can be completely debilitating.  They usually show up as an intense, throbbing or pounding pain around one temple. (Sometimes the pain is located in the forehead, around the eye, or at the back of the head.)  Some people experience visual disturbances before an attack, known as an ‘aura’.  When the migraine occurs, the sufferer may also experience nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound, so they may want to lie in a quiet, dark room during an attack.  A typical migraine lasts between 4 and 72 hours.

A migraine is caused by the vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels) in the brain.  The enlargement of these blood vessels stretches the nerves that coil around them, and causes the nerves to release chemicals.   These chemicals cause inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery, making the pain even worse.

Preventing Migraines

As with any condition, it is important to treat what is causing the problem.

  1. Identify any triggers for the migraines.  Many of our migraine clients were found to have had food sensitivities.  Exposure to chemicals (especially perfumes or petrol smells), alcohol, flashing lights, MSG, and many other factors can also trigger migraines.
  1. Treat the way the body responds to these triggers. For example, food intolerance testing and treatments may be necessary for some people.  If chemicals, alcohol, smells, caffeine or smoking are triggers, a thorough detox (especially of the liver) is needed.
  1. Stress is normally an important factor, and most migraine sufferers will have an excess of adrenaline in their system, causing various muscles to be too tight. Massage, acupuncture, or specific natural supplements can be used to calm and relax the nervous system.
  1. Check and treat the circulation to the head and brain. As migraines are caused by swollen blood vessels in the brain, it is crucial to check the circulation in the head. We carefully look for
    • any puffy or ‘spongy’ areas at the top of the head
    • any ‘leathery’ feeling in the skin at the back of the neck
    • tightness on the side of the neck, just above the hollow above the collar bone
    • any puffy, swollen feeling at the base of the back of the skull
    • tiny, congested blood vessels at the back of the ears

Any of these can indicate pressure in the blood vessels inside the head. This can be caused by a) the constriction of the arteries to the head, or b) a build-up inside the walls of the blood vessels.

a) With migraines (and most headaches) there is virtually always a problem with the muscles or alignment of the neck.  Usually the top vertebrae in the neck is twisted, which ‘kinks’ the Basilar artery into the back of the head. The compression of the artery increases the pressure in the blood vessels, causing them to expand and press on the nerves in the brain. Because the Basilar artery supplies blood to the vision area of the brain, this can also cause the visual disturbances many people get with a migraine.

Basilar artery compression(Illustration from ‘Clinical Strategies’ by Kiiko Matsumoto and David Euler.)

Japanese acupuncture can be used to correct the alignment of this vertebrae long-term, instead of just temporarily.

b) It is also important to make sure that there is no build-up on the walls of the blood vessels (arteriosclerosis), such as cholesterol or calcium deposits.  (Japanese acupuncture treatments and various herbs can be used to improve the blood flow in these cases.)

Improving the blood flow to and in the head is particularly important for women who get headaches or migraines before their period.  There is a natural increase in the volume of blood in a woman’s body prior to her period, which puts extra pressure on any areas in her body where the blood flow is restricted.

Because this circulation disturbance causes less oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and a build-up of toxins in the head, the person may also experience anxiety, depression, or foggy thinking.

(Migraines are caused by pressure in the head, and a common migraine personality type is a very responsible person who put too much pressure on themselves.)

 

If you suffer from regular headaches or from migraines, we can help.  A Comprehensive Health Assessment will uncover what is causing the problem, and how it can be fixed.  (The normal value of an Assessment is $120, but we are offering them free of charge for a limited period.)  To find out how good you can really feel, please call us on 3376 6911, and ask for your free 1 hour Health Assessment soon.

 

Natural Home Remedies for Kids

Helping your child's healthWhether your child has a tummy ache, a stuffy nose, or a bug bite, some doctors say that old-fashioned home remedies are often the best way to help them feel better fast. These time-tested treatments rarely have side effects, cost next to nothing, and use items you probably already have on hand. If, however, your child is continually sick, or you suspect something more severe is going on, always consult your health practitioner for advice. But the next time your child has a minor ache or injury, you can usually find these smart solutions in your home.

Honey for Coughs

Honey coats and soothes the throat and helps tame a cough. In a study conducted by Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, parents of 105 children aged 2 to 18 rated honey helpful and better than cough syrup for treating children’s night-time coughs. Give them 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey. You can mix the honey with hot water and a squeeze of lemon, which provides them a little vitamin C as well as the soothing honey. Because honey is sticky and sweet, it’s important for your child to brush their teeth after they take it, especially if you give it to them at bedtime.

Please note your child must be at least a year old to try this remedy.

Chamomile Tea for Colic

Peter Rabbit’s mother fed him soothing chamomile tea in Beatrix Potter’s classic tale, and you can give it to your infant to relax their intestinal muscles and calm them down. Steep the tea for four to five minutes, let it cool to room temperature, and then put one to two ounces in a bottle. Don’t give your baby more than four ounces a day, so that he or she will be sure to have plenty of room in their tummy for breast milk or formula.

Baking Soda for Bug Bites

Baking soda paste stops the itching of bites. The alkaline baking soda helps counteract the acidic swelling. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a thick paste, smear it on the bites, and let it dry.

Saline Solution for Congestion

For a child over 6 months, fill an eyedropper with preservative-free saline solution, tilt their head back, and gently squeeze the solution into each nostril. (Do it in the bath or over the sink.) In fact, a recent study found that using a nasal wash with a saline solution helped kids get over colds faster — and made them less likely to get sick again.

What you need

  • A eyedropper
  • Saline (salt water) solution. You can buy bottles of saline nose drops or saline sachets at a chemist, or make your own.

Recipe for homemade saline drops: Dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 1/4 cup of warm water. Make a fresh batch each day and store it in a clean, covered glass jar. (Bacteria can grow in the solution, so don’t keep it for more than 24 hours.)

Steam for Congestion

Breathing moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath has the added benefit of relaxing your child. Have a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer going in your child’s bedroom when they are sleeping, resting, or playing in the room. Or, give your child a warm bath in a steamy bathroom. Let a hot shower run for a few minutes before getting the tub ready for your child. If they are old enough, let them play in the bath as long as they like – supervised, of course, unless they are old enough to hang out on their own. For children over the age of 2, adding a few drops of menthol to the bath water (or vaporizer) may also help them feel less congested. If it’s not a convenient time for a bath, simply turn on the hot water in the tub or shower, close the bathroom door, block any gap under the door with a towel, and sit in the steamy room with your child for about 15 minutes.  (Bring toys along for them to play with.)

Cucumber for Mild Swelling

If you go to a fancy spa, the therapist may use this salad staple to ease the puffiness around your eyes. That’s because cool cucumber slices help soothe hot, swollen skin. You can place a slice anywhere your child has minor swelling and then simply replace it with another slice from the fridge after it becomes warm.

If you need more specialised help in boosting your child’s immune system, or stronger natural remedies to improve your child’s health issue, call us on 3376 6911 to find out how we can help.

Case Study- Exhaustion and Depression

Fatigued manSam (not his real name) came to our clinic hoping to improve his very low energy and depression. We performed a Health Assessment on him, and found that he had high adrenaline levels, which had caused adrenal fatigue. His liver was very congested, which was restricting his internal blood flow and circulation, and he also had high levels of accumulated stress and worry in his system.

Some of the more common causes of depression include

  • Long term exhaustion
  • Sluggish internal circulation, causing a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and a build-up of toxins in the brain tissues

Both of these were factors in Sam’s case. Naturopathy is excellent for building the body back up again if it is too run down, and acupuncture is important to improve internal circulation, so we recommended a mixture of both these therapies.

Within a week of taking naturopathic supplements for his adrenals and his nervous system, Sam reported that he had much more energy in the afternoons, which is when he would normally ‘crash’. The acupuncture initially focussed on his adrenal fatigue, and his energy improved by 80% after 5 treatments. The focus was then switched to his internal blood flow and circulation, and after his first treatment for this he said that his whole body felt much lighter.

Sam says that his energy has improved by 90% so far. In addition, his stress levels are good and he is sleeping much better.