AdvDip (Nut), AdvDip (Nat)
Ever noticed how you crave chocolate when you’re due for your period? Or chips when you’re feeling stressed? That’s because there is a link between the gut and the brain, known as the gut-brain axis, which means what we feel influences what we eat, and what we eat influences how we feel. And this gut-brain axis is directly influenced by our gut bacteria.
The bacteria in our gut, known as the microbiota, serves many purposes – two of which are to help digest the food we eat and produce certain nutrients, such as vitamin K; and to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which act as our “feel-good” hormones. This is what happens in a healthy gut anyway. In an unhealthy gut, there is an imbalance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria, which is known as dysbiosis. This imbalance not only causes digestive symptoms, such as reflux, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, it also results in mental health symptoms, including anxiety, depression, poor stress response and insomnia.
Our diets play a key role in the balance between these good and bad bacteria. Here are my top 5 foods to cut down on to create better digestive and mental health:
By introducing positive nutritional habits, you can create a gut environment in which the good bacteria thrive and the bad bacteria can’t. Try these 5 simple tips to improve your gut and mental health:
Once you implement these healthy habits, if you’re still experiencing symptoms of poor digestive or mental health, consider seeing a qualified naturopath to have your gut microbiome lab tested so that your naturopath can devise an individualised treatment plan to suit your specific needs.
Suzanne is a qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath who works out of “The Natural Health and Wellness Clinic” in Somerville. Her areas of special interest include digestive health, and mental health disorders. Appointments to see Suzanne can be made by calling (03) 5977-7342 or online via www.sparrowholistic.com.au/make-a-booking.html
For more practical health and wellness information, follow Suzanne on social media:
A sore back is somewhat expected after 6 weeks travelling around Europe, maybe it was the long flights and endless hours in a bus, maybe it was the walking around the beautifully uneven cobble stone streets. Whichever it was, it left me hobbling around holding my lower back.
I booked into see Jeannine for my first ever Bowen Therapy treatment 3 days after my return. This is what you should know, I’m not a massage person – I had a massage years ago and vomited because the pain was so much (I did have a very stiff neck) so I was a little nervous about getting this treatment done, as I really didn’t want to be sick. I’ve also been known to cry at the physio, when the pain is a lot.
Read bellow for my positive experience with Bowen Therapy.
During the treatment
Jeannine sat me down and asked where the areas of concern were; my back and calves – blame the walking. I then lay face down on the table, which was covered in a soft blue blanket, and a cushion was placed under my ankles. Jeannine used 10-20 seconds worth of small moves, and then stepped away and to give my body time to respond to these. She explained to me that Bowen Therapy is about waking up the parts of your body to heal itself, it’s not supposed to feel like she is kneading knots out or have the same feeling as a massage. For this I was grateful and began to really relax.
Towards the end of the hour we did some stretching, these where similar stretches I had attempted to do myself (being a sport and exercise science graduate I knew where was hurting and stretches to help) but I couldn’t quite release the tension. Jeannine was able to release tightness and then stretch it out allowing the blood to flow around the area, promoting healing.
I walked out of the room relaxed and in significantly less pain than when I hobbled in an hour earlier.
Jeannine gave me some rules to make sure that the treatment had the best changes to heal my body. These were; no extreme temperatures until the next morning (which meant that I needed to have a luke warm shower), as well as to drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Everything works better when its hydrated!
Night of the treatment
I was hobbling- but in a different pain. It was what I’d describe as a ‘good sore’ my muscles had perhaps been slacking off and had now been woken up and my body was working on healing. The funny thing is the pain wasn’t even a spot Jeannine had touched – she had just woken up the area and the body was doing its own thing. I knew why Jeannine mentioned the rule of no extreme temperatures now – all I wanted to do was snuggle up with a heat pack on my back. I resisted and drank a herbal tea and went to bed.
The next morning
All the niggles seemed to be gone, I had no real pain left – just a small awareness that the area was still tender. I went along my daily activities with a bounce back in my step.
Five days post treatment
My back is feeling amazing! I would defiantly use Bowen Therapy and recommend to anyone and everyone who is after a gentler treatment for pain.
Wow, what a month May was!! Rebecca and I ran a series of naturopathy and nutrition workshops in the clinic, covering a range of topics of interest.
The second week of May was all about “Wholefood Eating Made Easy”. We discussed how confusing following a “healthy diet” can be in today’s age of social media saturation, the rise of health 'gurus', and government guidelines and initiatives. We stripped back the term “healthy” and reviewed each food group, and talked about the positive effects that eating fruit and vegetables, good quality proteins and healthy fats can have on our minds and bodies. We looked at the negative impacts of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and vegetable oils, and discussed some easy wholefood swaps. And of course there were the delicious whole food samples – chocolate bliss balls, hummus and veggie sticks, chia pudding and seaweed snacks. Mmm…
Bowen Therapist and Meditation Extraordinaire!!
Why attend Group Meditation?
Although Bowen Therapy began here in Victoria (actually in Geelong), decades ago and is now practiced all over the world, many don't understand what it is, or why one would seek out Bowen Therapy. So here's some information to help you decide whether Bowen is for you.
What is it?
Bowen Therapy is a gentle, yet effective soft tissue technique where small often subtle “moves” are performed over specific muscles, tendons, and joints of the body affecting the connective tissue (called fascia) that covers and connects so many of our organs and systems internally. It sends information to the body via the nervous system (and fascia) stimulating the body's own healing abilities so the body can find sustained relief, and restore balance physically, mentally and emotionally. A truly holistic remedial therapy, people have often reported positive physical and/or emotional benefits that appeared unrelated to the complaint that made them seek treatment! Bowen Therapy is not massage. It doesn't look or feel like massage, there's no oil, no long flowing movements along muscles and as long as you're wearing light clothing, in many instances you won't need to remove your clothes.
Who can benefit?
Bowen is so gentle, yet effective, that it can be performed on all ages – from infants to elderly. People seek Bowen Therapy for a range of reasons. Here are just some of the common conditions Bowen Therapists see on a regular basis:
*Headaches & Migraines
*Neck / back pain/restriction
*Frozen shoulder, tennis elbow
*Plantar fasciitis, foot pain
*Aches & pains during pregnancy
Want an appointment? Book online or call reception!
Stay tuned for more Bowen Therapy info in the coming weeks/months.
Dr Cathryn Leszczynski
Osteopath, Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer
We are fortunate in Australia to be spoilt with a vast array of health care practitioners to assist us with our aches and pains however sometimes it is difficult to know who helps with what! I frequently get asked if I treat certain conditions/injuries so in answer to that question here is the variety of issues that I assisted patients with this last week;
All of these issues were addressed with our well rounded Movement Logic approach of a thorough medical history, assessment, hands on treatment, exercise and ergonomic/lifestyle advice and an ongoing managment plan to deal with prediposing factors and to reduce the likelihood of re-occurrence.
So In answer to your question, Yes! I can help you with your head, foot, wrist, ankle, back complaint or any other area that involves joints, muscles, bones, ligaments and so on.
So if you have any aches or pains that need some attention why not pay us a visit at Movement Logic, we would be happy to help!
Book now with Cathryn by calling (03) 5977 7342 or click here.
Naturopath and Nutritionist
Have you ever noticed how amazingly powerful your mind is when you allow it to be free from all the background noise of everyday life?
My best ideas and inspiration come to me when I’m either walking the dog, or in the shower! Both places where there's no housework, no technology, no kids (my kids are past the age of wandering into the bathroom to talk to me while I shower), and none of the million other things that take up space in my head during the rest of the day.
The things that come to me in these moments of quietness are very varied in nature! It could be something for the kids, something for my business, something for my husband’s business, something for myself or something for a friend….
Here’s just some of the things that came to me on this morning’s walk….
I know that some of you may think that I’ve defeated the purpose of all this quiet time by filling my mind with so many things, but that’s how my mind works. Genuine actual stillness of my mind is very hard to achieve!
To all the beautiful practitioners at my clinic who have tirelessly tried to get me into meditation classes, I sincerely apologise. I promise it is something I am working towards, and I know that learning to meditate would allow me many more opportunities for a quiet mind.... but for now I love how just removing distraction from my life can give me clarity on so many things.
My next step.......get my kids to learn to appreciate a quiet mind as well. Hopefully inspiration on how to do that strikes me on my next walk!!!
Naturopath and Nutritionist
The Natural Health and Wellness Clinic
Shiatsu Massage and Japanese Needling Therapist
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine and healing in the world.
Originating from China it made its way to Japan and has been practiced there for over 14 centuries. Over time a difference in practices and techniques was developed that today distinguishes the Japanese form from Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture.
What is Japanese Needling & Therapies
Along with Shiatsu, which is literally translated to finger pressure along acupressure points and meridians or channels of energy (Qi), Japanese therapies is also used to uncover the root cause of a pathology, issue or condition and hence promoting healing and recovery.
Many tools are used and can involve insertive and non-insertive techniques. From Moxibustion, a warming of herb mugwort, to introduce warmth to a point or area. Ion pumping cords, using polarities and positive and negative Qi within one’s own body, promoting self-correction and repair and also cupping. These are only a few examples of tools available.
The use of needling, traditionally referred to as acupuncture is of great value. And although there are some debates on traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture and Japanese acupuncture, it is inherently clear that these therapies are proven century after century to have profound healing power.
Health & Harmony Always
Sandy Zeuschner from Point to Point Healing & The Natural Health and Wellness Clinic, is a qualified Shiatsu and Japanese & Oriental Medicine practitioner who is passionate about what these therapies offer in ways beyond simple body comfort to deep emotional and physical, body, mind and soul healing. Trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, her belief and knowledge of these therapies shows treatment after treatment with many pathologies and conditions from common cold, back, shoulder and neck pain, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, fertility, pregnancy, sinus, broken and sprained ankles and other bones, anxiety, pre and post-surgery, general wellbeing, and many more, benefiting.
“I am always humbled by what these therapies can promote, from self-healing and harmony”
Naturopath and Nutritionist
Google sugar free snack ideas and you're likely to find pages and pages of sweet treats made with sugar ‘alternatives’ such as rice syrup, stevia, dates, maple syrup etc etc. You’ll find substitute recipes for all your usual favourites including slices, cakes, desserts, drinks and more.
To be honest, I can't help but feel we've lost the point of the whole ‘sugar is bad’ message. Instead of retraining our taste buds to prefer savoury over sweet - we are just perpetuating the cycle of craving sugary foods. As a society, we are so stuck on replacing our old eating habits with different versions of the same thing that we've forgotten there's a whole lot of other delicious foods out there to be enjoyed, many of which aren't sweet at all!
In very simplistic terms, basically when we eat sugar, or undertake in other activities that give us pleasure, our brain fires off dopamine. If you have been a sugar addict and are trying to conquer that addiction by using these sugar alternatives then I’m not sure it’s the right strategy. It’s like telling a gambler to recover from their gambling addiction by partaking only in online gambling games where no money changes hands. The reward centres in your brain still fire off dopamine every time you play the game, just like dopamine is fired off in your brain when you eat sugary food. And guess what? Your dopamine receptors have no idea if the sugar you ate came from rice malt syrup, maple syrup, raw honey, or cane sugar. Using white sugar alternatives also doesn't retrain our taste buds.
Up until 18 months ago I was one of these people posting delicious recipes made with 'better' sugar sources, but it all changed when I did a full sugar detox. During my four week experiment I eliminated ALL forms of sugar with the exception of fresh fruit This 4 week experiment changed my life. It completely reprogrammed my taste buds, and my mindset. No longer did I feel the need for a sweet treat after lunch every day, my moods were better, my skin was clearer and I had more energy than before.
After the 4 weeks were up, I found I no longer wanted to bring back the dates, the dried fruits, the maple syrup, the rice syrup, the rapadura sugar etc etc. These foods were no longer part of my usual diet, but instead reserved for special occasions or as the very occasional treat, and now I focus on sharing delicious savoury recipes instead!
I know many of you will be reading this thinking that life is for living, and this all sounds incredibly bland and boring, but I guess the point is that once you actually go without the sugary foods for a while, you will begin to enjoy savoury much more.
One of the notable absences from most Western diets is bitter foods. Because we are so sweet obsessed, bitter foods, which play a pivotal point in our digestive processes, have taken a very distant back seat.
Don't get me wrong….the sugar alternatives are definitely (mostly) healthier and definitely a step in the right direction… but bitter is better!
Naturopath & Nutritionist
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Chronic illness took a while to appear - if often started long before you noticed symptoms, so why is that we expect to get better in the space of days or weeks?
High cholesterol? Give me a statin....STAT.
Hypothyroidism? Quick give me thyroxine.
Anxiety? Xanax will fix that...
The problem with this approach is that while it may improve symptoms, or blood markers, in a short space of time (and don't get me wrong, sometimes that is exactly what we need to do in the short term), it doesn't fix any underlying issues, and it's these underlying issues that take a lot longer to resolve.
People have become very used to this symptom control style of healthcare, so now even in the natural medicine world, results are expected to be quick - but unfortunately that's not always possible. Reversing damage in the body can take time. Sure - sometimes there's a quick fix - particularly if your problem is a recent one, but for long standing health issues sometimes change can take anywhere from weeks to months to years - but generally with improvements occurring all the time along the way.
A Naturopath I used to see with my eldest daughter likened chronic health problems to peeling back the layers of an onion. Once you peel back the layer of those first symptoms and start to resolve them often you uncover other problems in the layers underneath. These aren't set backs, they are issues that have been there for a very long time - but they have been masked by the other layers of symptoms.
Naturopaths look holistically at health and work to uncover what's driving the symptoms you're experiencing. For example is your thyroid issue caused by nutrient imbalances? Is it due to excessive intake of goitregens?
Is it because you have Hashimoto's (an auto-immune disorder)? And if it is Hashimoto's, were their factors that may have initiated the condition?
In an initial appointment, we spend around an hour with you taking a full health history. While some of the questions we ask may seem irrelevant, the answers you provide give us clues as to what is happening inside your body which enables us to find the best way to help you. Sometimes that requires further testing, which may seem like another delay, and an unnecessary expense - but may be an essential part of helping you get well again.
So remember, the results you are looking for may not always be as quick as you would have liked, but making lasting health changes is worth the wait.
Naturopath & Nutritionist
The Natural Health & Wellness Clinic