Make an online booking here:

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

No more peanut allergies?

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.

Update Nov 2017

We have recently heard back from ‘Steve’, and he is loving his new job, is seeing his kids regularly, and his depression is improving every day! We are very pleased to hear about the improvement in his life.

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).”

 

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.)

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.

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.

Tired All The Time?

Adrenal Exhaustion- The Most Common Undiagnosed Cause of Fatigue

Adrenal fatigueDo you still feel tired when you wake up, even if you have had a really good sleep?  If you feel like you have poor energy all the time, you could be suffering from Adrenal Exhaustion or Adrenal Fatigue.  Your adrenals produce adrenaline, which is part of your body’s emergency response system.  If a tiger jumps out at you from behind a tree, your heart suddenly beats faster, your breathing gets faster, various muscles will tighten, your blood sugar levels rise, and non-emergency systems in your body are suppressed (such as your digestive system).  Your body is now in ‘fight or flight’ mode.  This is great for emergencies, but if your body gets stuck in this mode, it will eventually make you feel very run down, and it doesn’t seem to get much better no matter what you do.  (In the long run, it can also put a strain on your heart, and increase your chances of developing diabetes).

The main symptom of adrenal exhaustion is constant tiredness, but because the body gets very run down it can often cause stress, irritability, depression or anxiety.  The immune system is very sensitive to your energy levels, so immune weakness, allergies, or auto-immune diseases can develop.  Adrenaline is part of your hormone system, so adrenal exhaustion can also cause all types of hormone imbalances, including PMS, menopause symptoms, thyroid problems, or low libido.  Poor sleep and digestive problems are also very common symptoms.

Adrenal Exhaustion is a quiet health epidemic that is becoming increasingly common.  In fact, it may surprise you to learn, that adrenal exhaustion is an underlying factor in almost all illnesses.  Adrenal exhaustion is often caused by an overly stressful and busy lifestyle.  The links between problems with the adrenal gland and excessive stress are well-known but recent research also suggests they can be exacerbated by poor diet, caffeine and smoking.  Because adrenaline is the body’s ‘fight or flight’ hormone, the body is very sensitive to there being too much or too little of it in the blood stream.  Almost any type of stress, whether it is physical or psychological, will cause an increase in adrenaline levels.

In this fast paced age, we hear that every minute counts.  Day after day, week after week, all this pressure to achieve, meet goals, finish daily tasks, begins to build up inside of us until one day we are locked in the throes of time pressure.  A chief contributor to time pressure is emotional identity.  This happens when you invest a great deal of mental and emotional energy in a situation.  All that energy can create tunnel vision, leaving you unable to see or appreciate other important things in your life.  When someone or something interferes with that focus, the result frequently is irritation, anxiousness and frustration, especially when deadlines must be met.  You push people away, neglect other areas of your life, but still proceed until eventually you lapse into emotional chaos.  In the end, time pressure can seriously damage not only your relationships and quality of life, but even the situation in which you buried yourself to the exclusion of all else.  Time pressure takes a toll on our nervous, immune and hormonal systems, and left unattended will likely produce cycles of anxiety, fatigue and temporary despair.  As this process continues it makes us more susceptible to health problems.

Time Pressure Situations

Always rushed, too much to do, not enough time; mentally scattered, not feeling in control, tunnel vision, irritation at anyone or anything that breaks your focus, internal pressure, a gnawing feeling in you solar plexus, impatience, lack of compassion for self and others, feeling a constant slow burn inside, low-grade stress and strain, feeling disconnected from life, decreased enjoyment of projects, relationships or life in general.

Other causes of adrenal exhaustion are

  • Any type of trauma or shock, which could be recent or in the distant past.  It could be from a car accident, falling out of a tree when you were a kid, etc, etc.  The trauma could be physical, mental or emotional.
  • Prolonged stress, such as from work, study, or an unhappy relationship.  (Again, this could be a recent situation or from the distant past.)
  • Overwork, or not getting enough sleep for a long period
  • Any chronic illness or pain
  • Severe pain
  • Surgery
  • Medications steroid medication, antidepressants, strong painkillers, thyroid medication

When treating Adrenal Exhaustion, it is important to address 3 areas.

  1. The adrenals themselves.  (Vitamin C may be helpful, however much stronger tonics are normally needed.)
  2. The therapist must check the body’s nervous system and treat that as well if it needs it.  Specific treatments or supplements to clear out the current stress or the old, accumulated stress in the body are often necessary.
  3. Because the body is quite run down, tonics for the body as a whole are important, and for any areas badly affected by the adrenals, such as the digestive system, immune system, or hormonal system.

If you suspect that you may have Adrenal Exhaustion, please book in for a free Comprehensive Assessment so that we can check and let you know if you do, and inform you on how best to treat it.

Making 2017 a Good Year

Anticipating reaching your goals

The start of the year is a great time to reflect on your life and how you would like it to be. Unfortunately, plenty of people make sincere resolutions to improve their life or their health which only last a few weeks, then they fall back into their old patterns. Often the biggest obstacle is our own subconscious mind. Our subconscious is stronger than our conscious mind, so if you and it are pulling in different directions, sooner or later your subconscious will win. The trick is to get your subconscious to work for you rather than against you, and the best way to do this is to train it to associate your goal with nice images and good feelings.

Here are a few methods that have worked well for me.

  • The most important thing is to make it a positive and enjoyable process.
  • Start with the big picture- think about the direction you want your life to go, and the reasons why. (Such as “I want to lead a fit, active and healthy life, so I can enjoy playing and doing things with my kids (and their kids) for most of my life.”)
  • Then create Goals rather than make resolutions. Make them positive things to move towards rather than away from.
  • Create SMART goals, that are
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time Framed

For example, “I will create a fitter and healthier body by going for a pleasant 20 minute walk twice a week, and enjoying a tasty and healthy meal from my new cookbook at least once a week. Then, in June I will successfully climb Mt Ngungun in the Glasshouse Mountains.”

  • Picture yourself having already reached your goal, and enjoying the feelings of happiness, satisfaction, triumph or enjoyment that come with achieving it. This will help your subconscious to want your goal as well, and once this happens, your journey becomes much quicker and easier.
  • Pictures also work well to help get your subconscious on your side. Make up a ‘vision board’ or even a piece of paper with your goals set out and pictures on it that represent you achieving those goals. Put it up somewhere you will see it every day (such as on your bathroom mirror), and at least one a day use it to visualise yourself having achieved your goals, and feeling all the wonderful feelings that come with that.

These techniques may sound a little ‘out there’, but when used well they are surprisingly effective.

Roadblocks

  • Make a start. There is a saying that if you are not going forwards you are going backwards.
  • Make an effort, but don’t force yourself. Your subconscious will adjust to your new routine if you do it gently. As soon as you start to force yourself, your subconscious will fight back against you.
  • If you ‘fall off the wagon’ once or twice and neglect the things you committed to, don’t beat yourself up over it. You want your subconscious to always associate your goals with good feelings, never bad ones. Just pick up where you left off and keep going.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals up or down. If you find exercising 3 times a week is too hard, do it twice a week instead. Or if you have gotten comfortable with your new routine, take it up a notch higher.

If you are serious about improving your health, consider seeing a qualified health professional, such as an experienced naturopath, or book in for one of our free Comprehensive Health Assessments.

Why not make 2017 the year you changed your life for the better?