Tag Archives: Northern suburbs chiropractor

How Would Love Respond?

I am a huge fan of personal growth and development, so reading books that cover these topics is very enjoyable to me.  A friend of mine recommended a book to me, “How Would Love Respond?” by Kurek Ashley, that I first read in the early months of 2009.   I was fortunate to have seen Kurek speak in Brisbane a couple of years ago, and even got him to sign the book for me.  He is an excellent speaker, motivator and is full of life.

Recently, I was at a chiropractic seminar with my team from Hillarys Chiropractic in Brisbane.  Kurek Ashley was there speaking to the chiropractic congress and I was reminded of different principles in the book.  I decided it was a good time to re-read “How Would Love Respond?” and see what resonated in me this time.

I’d like to share some points from the book and encourage you to read it so that you too can enjoy the benefits in your own life.

One of the first pages of the book before it starts reads, “Your mind is like a parachute.  It works much better when it’s open!” – How true this statement is, and that is where we can change our life so much.  Things like social or family conditioning can cause our minds to ‘not be free’.  Awareness of this is the key – the first step in creating change.  There are several examples of Kurek’s personal journey, and the fact of the matter is, “we all have a story.”  We are sitting here today as a result of the life experiences we had.  There are no accidents.  We have choices on which perspective to believe this to be true – choosing to look at it from a positive view or a negative view.  We have that power to choose, whether you believe this or not.  By learning how to access this power, there are ways to open the mind and keep it open.  Keeping it open is even more important, because old patterns and old behaviours can creep up and get in the way.

Chapter 1 of “How Would Love Respond?”

“Life Doesn’t Turn Out The Way It Should” – Kurek Ashley shares his amazing story in detail of his life-changing experience.  We have them in different times, different forms, different places with different people – SEE’s (Significant Emotional Events) that literally change your life.  I’ll leave Kurek’s personal story described in Chapter 1 for the reading in the book – don’t want to spoil any of the details, but the messages and summary is this:

“Trust in the fact that there are no accidents and that there is something in this book that you’re searching for in your life.  And even if you don’t yet know what it is you’re searching for or maybe you didn’t even know that you are searching, have faith that it will be revealed to you, and that’s why you chose this book.”

Usually, circumstances and events don’t appear or reveal themselves for what they truly are until later.  Knowing what questions and thoughts to form around those events can make the biggest difference in the evolution of your life.

A question Kurek mentioned that is a good habit to form,

“What’s great about this?”

Even in the midst of what can appear ‘total disaster’ or chaos, or devastation, there will be positive aspects in some form, we just have to look at the whole picture.  I find this an excellent tool that I intentionally try to incorporate into my life when things may not appear as bright as they seem.

Stay tuned for the next blog post, where I will share some more points from the book.

May you have a most outstanding day!

Chiropam

Dr John Demartini

Demartini & Chiropam

As one of my greatest mentors, Dr John Demartini says, “Do what you love, love what you do” – this has been what I live by and where my greatest inspiration comes from. As a young child, I remember going in and out of doctor’s offices practically every other day. I suffered from chronic ear infections, chronic throat infections and several different allergies. I was prescribed several different medications, trying to find solutions to my problems. I also went for allergy shots in my arms regularly and was scheduled for grommets/tubes in the ears and for a tonsillectomy. My mother had a bad experience with a chiropractor several years prior (before I was born) and therefore had a very negative opinion of chiropractic. It took a family friend over a year to convince her to take me to a chiropractor that she highly recommended. Well, that was the moment that changed my life forever. I was one of the miracle type cases that responded straightaway, and instead of just alleviating my symptoms, the cause was dealt with specifically and most importantly, naturally. The chiropractor found misalignments in my spine, called vertebral subluxation complexes that was causing interference in my nervous system. To this day, I still have my tonsils, did not have the grommets put in, and don’t have any allergies. At 9 years old, I decided that I wanted to help people through chiropractic the way chiropractic has helped me. I consider myself extremely fortunate, as I have been able to live my dream, my true passion and inspiration through my chosen profession. I truly love what I do and do what I love. For that, I am truly grateful.

Preventing Running Injuries

Running for exercise is not for everyone – but if you currently run, or are thinking of taking up running for exercise, then the following may be of benefit to you:

running shoes

Useful Tips For Preventing Running Injuries

1. Strengthen the areas which are vulnerable.

2. Buy and utilise the correct footwear.

3. Use the correct running posture.

4. Warm up before your running workout.

5. Gradually step up your running program.

6. Cool down appropriately to minimise stiffness and soreness.

Correct Running Posture

1. Keep your shoulders back and down, with your chest lifted and tummy tight.  The body should be leaned slightly forward without bending and the waist.

2. Look out ahead, not at the ground. Keep your eyes on the horizon.

3. Don’t clench your fists as this sends tension up the arms.

4. Land midfoot, instead of striking heel first like in walking.

5. Absorb shock better and protect the knees by maintaining a short stride with a slight bend in the knee as you land.

6. Focus on keeping the legs relaxed and lifting the feet up to avoid fatigue in the muscles.

Check with a health professional, such as your chiropractor or muscle therapist for advice that is unique to your specific needs.  Each body is different, so to adopt generic advice is not wise, nor will it assist in prevention or overall achieving of goals.

Preventing injuries involves listening to your body and basic common sense, so make sure that is Number One on your list!

Running Injuries

running injuries

Now that it is Springtime in the southern hemisphere, it is typical for most people to want to shed the extra weight that they may have put on over the winter months.  It has been my experience in dealing with patients on a regular basis, that moderation is key and a plan and specific goals to work toward achieving helps assist in a successful springtime exercise program.  The other key to remember is what you eat.  Exercise without watching what goes in the mouth, will not bring the health benefits as doing both.  Same with only watching what you eat, without exercising.  The two go hand in hand.

One big exercise that is commonly chosen is running.  I have heard people say that they’ll take that up and get out in the fresh air, and the weight will drop, and it will look after itself.

Wrong! Running to lose weight and/or keep fit can invariably lead to running injuries.  I highly recommend educating yourself, doing some ‘homework’ and getting informed on some of the possible injuries associated with running. Then make a wise and informed decision if running is the best option for you.

Many Running Injuries Are Caused By Overuse

When you think about taking up running, or just starting to run, it’s best to learn how to prevent running injuries.

The Most Common Running Injuries

•    Knee
•    ITB (Iliotibial Band)
•    Foot
•    Calf

Chondromalacia, or Runner’s Knee is due to wearing of the cartilage under the patella (kneecap) when the patella is tracked incorrectly while running, causing pain in the knee.

Lateral or side knee pain is usually due to Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome.  This band runs from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee and inserts just below the knee.  The ITB is meant to stabilize the knee while running.  If this gets irritated, it can get inflamed and cause pain in the knee or band itself. This leads to ITB Syndrome.

Another contributor to knee pain as well as foot pain, is Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the thick fibrous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot.  It’s job is to absorb the shock of the running motion.  Plantar fasciitis is when this tissue gets inflamed due to wear and tear, resulting in pain.  This can be temporary or a long-term problem.

Shin splints are usually caused by stepping up the volume of training too quickly.  Achilles tendonitis can cause leg pain and or ankle pain, and may eventually lead to rupture of the tendon itself.

Running May Lead To Back & Pelvis Injuries

Besides the injuries listed above, some runners may suffer from acute back pain, pelvis or hip pain, groin pain, and chronic back pain.  Running can also irritate the discs in the lower back, which may lead to things such as Sciatica.

Running Injuries Take Long To Heal

Running injuries may take months, or even longer to heal, easily putting fitness and weight loss programs on the back burner.  There are also the injuries that may lead to other problems that cause long term effects that can irritate other areas of the body.  I believe that it is wise to learn about the preventative measures so that we can make better choices and better decisions on the type of exercise we undertake.

Running for exercise is not for everyone – but if you currently run, or are thinking of taking up running for exercise, then the following may be of benefit to you:

Useful Tips For Preventing Running Injuries

1.    Strengthen the areas which are vulnerable.
2.    Buy and utilize the correct footwear.
3.    Use the Correct running posture
4.    Warm up before your running workout.
5.    Gradually step up your running program.
6.    Cool down appropriately to minimize stiffness and soreness.

Check with a health professional such as a chiropractor or sports massage therapist for advice that is unique to your specific needs.  Each body is different, so to adopt generic advice is not wise, nor will it assist in prevention or overall achieving of goals.

Preventing injuries involves listening to your body and basic common sense, so make sure that is Number One on your list!

Reading for Relaxation

I was having lunch the other day with a good friend that I haven’t seen in a while. Life got busy, and our monthly lunches decreased to a quarterly if not a bi-annual event. After we caught up on the usual family, work, friend details, my friend mentioned to me that she has ‘re-discovered’ a good form of stress relief.

Reading for Relaxation

She asked me to recall the last time I read a good book. I responded by saying, “Well, I read all the time….personal development books, subscriptions, notes, Facebook posts, blogs, professional development books and publications, etc.”

She asked me again, “When did you read for pleasure?” Ah, I sat back, thought about it and couldn’t actually recall – it has been that long…

There are many forms of stress relief out there, and not all will benefit the same with people, but if you look and match them to your own personal values, the benefits will be there.

The suggestion did not resonate with me at first, as I thought I’m way too busy to find time for that. However, after a few weeks, I remembered what she shared and decided to give it a try. My friend couldn’t describe enough how different it made her feel and how beneficial it was. I’m not a big television watcher, so instead of getting back on the computer, I went to Borders and bought 3 books to ‘just read’.

I had forgotten that reading is one of the simplest forms of relaxation for the mind and body. Picking up a book and allowing our minds to use our imaginations to add colour to the black and white pages can be a form of stress relief that modern life places upon us.

The pressures of the modern working day, the television and the computer game culture we live in, often hide the pleasure and benefits of reading. Although we can read, or even listen to books on the internet, a book can open a whole world of escapism and adventure for the reader, as our imagination is guided by the author.

The choices are virtually endless. It’s no different than choosing a DVD! If it is a difficult choice, the ‘best sellers’ list is always a good place to start. The reader may find a book that inspires them elsewhere like at the library or by recommendation from family or friends. Actually, you may even be lucky enough to stumble upon a book which literally changes your life!

heart-book

Sunset After The Storm

Last Monday, the 22nd of March 2010 was a day that the people of Perth, Western Australia will remember for many years to come.  The heavens opened up and it rained, then poured and then started sending hail that ranged from the size of golf balls to cricket balls.  Some escaped damage, and others had the unfortunate circumstances of wrecked cars or homes damaged from water or hail that viciously came through windows, ceilings, walls or backed up onto floors and gardens.

Here is a brief video that a local shot on the day of the storm for those of you who were not here in Perth to experience it, or if you wish to ‘re-live’ the experience.

The purpose of this blog post was not to elaborate on the damage, the wrecked cars, the numerous amounts of insurance claims now in queues, but to share with you my true inspiration from the storm.

The Sunset After The Storm which was the day after, was one of the most breathtaking I can remember.  I ran to get my camera and capture the sky with it’s most magical hues of pink, orange and red.

Sunset After The Storm

This to me is reflective of life.  The ups and downs of life are representative of a storm.  Emotions like rage, anger and hate can be shades of black and grey and be so dim.  Going through rough periods can make you feel like you’re in a black hole, falling down a dark tunnel, bleak and even fearful.  The sky that late afternoon got so dark around 5:00pm, that you thought it was midnight.  The power went out creating even more darkness and quietness which was quite eerie.  Amazingly enough, it was such a different sound compared to the ‘buzzing’ that is constantly surrounding us.  It was also another reminder how we take things for granted like electricity, which we have grown so dependent on.

Sunset After The Storm

On the other side of the spectrum, to balance out that dark, black vicious sky – the most amazing brightness that painted the sky literally made me stop and give thanks for the many blessings in my life.

I quote my mentor, Dr John Demartini, “Nothing has ever happened or can happen to you that is not a gift and a blessing, but it’s difficult to be thankful until you find the hidden benefit in what may seem at first to be a negative event. Gratitude makes you present with whatever you are doing.”

Sunset After The Storm

I’ve learned that it is more than just being positive, or thinking positive.  It’s about being truly grateful for what is, as it is.  Not living in the guilt of the past, or fear of the future, but truly in the present…that’s why they call it a gift :-).

Balance comes from focusing on what we have in our lives that we are grateful for.  I’ve been consciously asking myself, when I catch a negative thought, or complaint in action.  Is this an empowering thought, or a disempowering thought?  We have the power and the choice to change that.  It doesn’t have to dominate.  Choosing which way is so liberating.

Sunset After The Storm

So whatever storm you may be going through in life, ask yourself:  Am I acting in an empowering way, or a disempowering way?  Are my thoughts empowering or disempowering?  If I want a different outcome, the first major step is to change my thoughts and the rest will follow.

Choose to see the sunset, appreciate the sunset, be grateful for the sunset, rather than focusing on the storm – the darkness, the destruction, the damage.  Look for your ‘Sunset After The Storm’….good luck on your journey!

Piriformis Syndrome

piriformis-syndrome

One common cause of pain down the leg or leg pain is Piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is named after the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of the spine (sacrum), connects to the thighbone (femur), and assists in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a slip and fall, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length. Such situations can cause cramping and spasm to develop in the piriformis muscle, thereby pinching the sciatic nerve – causing inflammation and pain.

Muscle spasms and/or contraction of the piriformis muscle itself can lead to pain along the back of the thigh, down to the knee, causing a possible loss of sensation or numbness and tingling in the sole of the foot. The piriformis syndrome can often mimic the well known complaint known as sciatica.  Because of the similar symptoms, it is often misdiagnosed as sciatica. The main difference between sciatica and piriformis syndrome is the cause. What both of these complaints have in common is that both can produce pain, and/or numbness and tingling below the knee and into the foot.

This has been the ‘special of the week’  in my practice.  It can be left or right, depending on the activity that can irritate the area.

Who Does This Affect?

Many athletes are prone to piriformis syndrome.  The athlete’s cause is primarily due to improper stretching and warm-up exercises as well as overuse during activity. In this case it is most likely that the piriformis muscle is irritated and usually in spasm.

People who spend long hours sitting are prone to this syndrome.  It can be from sitting at a desk, in front of a computer, students, riding in a car or truck for long periods of time, and sitting on a wallet.

People who sit for extended periods of time, especially with poor posture are prone to the piriformis being irritated.

What Causes Piriformis Syndrome?

The primary cause is due to tightness and contracture of the piriformis muscle. In this case the piriformis muscle is shortened and does not allow for the smooth movement of the sciatic nerve during leg motion.
The causes of piriformis myospasm are varied such as overuse, excessive fast walking without proper warm up and stretching, prolonged sitting.

Treatment for Piriformis Syndrome

As for treatment of piriformis syndrome, many variables can hinder your successful recovery:  including but not limited to smoking, obesity, job limitations and improper exercise (not warming up and stretching).  It is very rare to have a piriformis syndrome from a one-off direct trauma to the area.

Any treatment plan must include stretching of the gluteal muscles as well as stretching of the piriformis muscles.

Chiropractors can assist you by recommending the proper exercises and stretches to perform. Many Chiropractors may also suggest some form of muscle therapy to the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region in order to assist in relaxing these muscles.

Relevant adjustments to the spine, pelvis, sacrum as well as hip may be required to relieve the pressure from the nerve being trapped from the piriformis muscle.

Happy Halloween

Halloween KugelhopfAs an American living in Australia, I have seen the American holiday creep into Australia over the years.  Now more than ever, there are decorations, costumes, party favours, candy/lollies to get into the Halloween spirit.  I must admit that it was one of my favourite holidays as a child.  I cherish those memories and really enjoyed celebrating the holiday with other fellow Americans when my daughter was little.  The American Women’s Club of Perth was so influential in facilitating the American holidays, as well as an excellent way to mingle with other Americans living in Perth.  This year I will be celebrating with some American friends, but not necessarily traditionally.  I had some Halloween decorations to use on a pumpkin cake recipe that I modified to call my own.  Celebrating with the superfood-pumpkin we will have Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Spinach Salad.

Pumpkin Spice Cake  (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

125g  butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
180g peeled pumpkin, steamed and mashed
2 cups sifted plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1-1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  teaspoon cinnamon
1  teaspoon nutmeg
1  teaspoon allspice
1  teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180C.  I used a fan forced oven.
Cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat till fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

Slowly beat in the pumpkin.
Sift all the dry ingredients together, then add some buttermilk, alternating until all mixed in.

Tupperware KugelhopfPour the cake batter into the Tupperware Kugelhopf and bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remember, every oven is different so time will vary.  Test with cake tester or knife.   It should spring back when pressed lightly.

Cool cake in tin on a rack for 5 minutes -this allows for air to circulate around the base of the tin too. Turn onto rack gently to cool completely.

Decorate as desired.  I frosted and decorated with Halloween sprinkles.  It can be used anytime of year, just sprinkle with icing sugar.

Have a Happy Halloween!  Try the cake recipe even if it’s not for Halloween.  It’s great all year round, let me know how it turns out:-)

Sciatica

The sciatic nerves are the largest and longest nerves of the body, about the size of your thumb in diameter. Each of the two sciatic nerves is formed by four or five nerves branching off the spinal cord and running down the back of each leg. Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

What Causes Sciatica?

Pain is caused when the sciatic nerve roots are irritated, scraped, twisted, stretched or pinched as they exit the spine. Causes of this may be chemical, physical or the emotional stress of everyday living. A full-blown sciatic flare-up can involve the entire sciatic nerve path resulting in symptoms of lower back pain, burning, cramping or numbness that radiates into the thighs, legs, ankles, feet and toes. Pain may also be limited to various points along the nerve such as the buttocks, knee and calf.

One of the major causes of sciatica is the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. This can be associated with or without disc problems. It can be accompanied by the bulging or herniation of the discs which separate each spinal bone. This can irritate or put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord. The result can be an intense pain shooting down either or both legs. Other possible causes are pregnancy and childbirth, tumours, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet.

Can Chiropractic Help?

Sciatica (like other health problems that can be traced to the spine) often responds dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through chiropractic care.

The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled “adjustments” to remove the interference from spinal and associated structures. These chiropractic adjustments can be very effective in reducing nerve irritation and pain that is associated with it.

Sometimes the cause of sciatica is beyond the scope of chiropractic care. If this is the case, your chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Disc Problems

Disc Overview

The bones of the spine are separated by tough cartilage pads called discs.  Healthy discs are flexible and thick (like a wet sponge) allowing bending and twisting motions. Unhealthy discs are stiff and hard (like a dry sponge) and prone to injuries such as bulging or herniation.  Firstly, they act as the spine’s shock absorbers.  Secondly, they allow the spine to move in many different directions.  Individually, the discs offer very little movement, but in teamwork with the spinal bones, they give the spine just enough flexibility for various ranges of motion.

What are discs made of?

Discs are mainly made up of water, collagen and proteoglycans – a protein found in human connective tissues which helps to attract water and keep the discs hydrated. The inner gel-like material (nucleus pulposus) contains more water than the outer coat (annulus fibrosus).

This water content is very important because it keeps the discs plump and healthy, which enables them to function more effectively.

How do discs stay healthy?

Unlike other structures in the human body, spinal discs do not have a direct blood supply. Instead they get their nutrients and moisture from a kind of pumping action as the spinal bones above and below move in all directions.

This is really important to understand because it is central to why most disc problems develop, as well as providing the key to reversing disc problems after they have emerged.

Without this regular pumping action, spinal discs are unable to get the mosture and nutrients they need for optimum health.

Why do discs become unhealthy?

Over long periods of time, due to gravity, dysfunction in the spinal joints and accumulated trauma, the discs become starved of adequate water and nutrients and begin to become dehydrated and malnourished.

This process can lead to the discs losing their plumpness, causing them to become flattened in appearance and less elastic – and so affecting their ability to function properly.

This is what is known as ‘Degenerative Disc Disease.’

Also, the outer layer of dehydrated discs can become prone to thinning and cracking. This weakening of the outer layer may result in the inner gel pushing out, causing the outer layer to bulge.

Constant and continual compression prevents much-needed oxygen and nutrients from entering the disc. This ongoing starvation causes the once-tough outer layers of the disc to deteriorate (wear & tear) allowing the disc to become injured or diseased.

Disc damage can occur anywhere in the spine. However, the discs of the neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine) are the most commonly injured.

Because of the way each disc is attached to the spinal bones (vertebrae) above and below, a disc cannot “slip” as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniate, dessicate or rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal cord, interfering with their function.

Chiropractic and Disc Problems

The chiropractic approach to disc problems is to help restore better motion and position to the spinal joint or joints involved. Besides reducing disc bulging, better spinal function helps reduce inflammation and begin the slow process of healing the surrounding soft tissues.

While results can’t be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative chiropractic care. The traditional approach to disc problems often ignores spinal function.  If detected early enough, conservative chiropractic care is not only safer, but is often more effective than back surgery.