By Jennifer Wells
Dip. Ed, Grad. Dip Ed, Dip Spalding Educator, M.I.L.A, Auslan Level 3
World Autism day is a wonderful time to share the unique complexities that a person with Asperger’s syndrome experiences in our somewhat chaotic world.
Asperger’s, or what is now known, according to the DSM-5 as Level 1 High Functioning Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects more than 1 out of 100 people. It is unknown what causes this developmental disorder but it is currently thought to be both neurological and genetic. It is related to Autism as it affects the way the brain processes information.
If you are seeking Screening and assessment for Asperger’s syndrome you will need to undertake a comprehensive diagnostic assessment by an experienced clinician.
Having Asperger’s is not always straightforward and it may be accompanied with other mental health issues and developmental conditions. The I.Q. of a typical person with Asperger’s syndrome normally ranges from average to above average. Some may have Executive Function Disorder (EFD) which can inhibit the person's ability to understand and complete tasks. EFD and short-term memory disorders which may also cause difficulties with learning and understanding of spelling and writing conventions despite the fact that they may have strong vocabularies. Some may have Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) which will require extra educational assistance from both school and tutors to help the individual gain a greater understanding of the language process and to assist with social interaction with their peers.
People with Asperger’s often see and interact with the world in a different way to a typical person. They often feel overwhelmed and are unable to read social situations and this can lead to anxiety. Some may require behavioral or sensory integration therapies or short- or long-term strategies to cope with daily complexities. This type of support is offered by a variety of professionals with expertise in this area.
Parents of children with Asperger’s often despair over their child’s sensory sensitivities and their aversion to particular types of foods and possible lack of nutrition. A naturopath and nutritionist can be beneficial in these situations. Natural health assistance can play a major role in supporting people with Asperger’s by assessing their biochemistry and genetics thus adding to a holistic approach to supporting the individual.
If you are interested in learning about Asperger’s, Tony Attwood is a world renowned expert in this area and offers valuable information, advise and sound guidelines. The link is found bellow;
A recent study of researched evidence on Naturopathy has come out showing that it is effective for treating chronic pain, hepatitis C, menopausal symptoms, bipolar disorder, and asthma and more. The research showed positive results across world regions for treating similar conditions with the core concepts of naturopathic practice. The full study can be read here;
It's pretty lengthy, so a summary of the study can be read here;
What a shame the government has cut private health rebates so that it no longer includes natural therapies...
But it’s not too late? You can still help reverse this by contacting local member of Parliament Greg Hunt via the link bellow;
Politicians see one personal message worth 100 votes, make your voice heard.
1. Practitioner only means that the supplements or herbs can only be prescribed by a qualified naturopath who has spent 4 years studying and are part of an association. This means that they have the knowledge to prescribe the best suited supplement/herb for you and your particular needs.
2. Naturopathic supplements tend to be at a therapeutic dose, which means it is generally higher in concentration and have been proven to exert clinical benefits.
3. Just because things are natural doesn’t mean they are safe to use for everyone. Some herbs and nutrients can have a negative interaction with some medications, so it is import to have proper and safe advice associated.
4. Many vitamins, minerals and even herbs are found in different forms. These forms may have different qualities and some might be easier to absorb than others.
For example with magnesium, one form is great for the nervous system and another the other is used as a colon cleaner, two very different results. Without knowledge in the area, you may not know which one if best for you and your condition. Companies may choose a form that is not absorbed well in the body because it is cheaper to manufacture and thus cheaper for you. So you might be taking something and feeling no result because you aren’t actually absorbing it (money down the drain).
5. Off the counter supplements tend to have more excipients, bulking agents and/or preservatives. Which for those with sensitivities or allergies, it can be difficult to pick which ones you won’t react to.
6. Supplements aren’t designed for long term use, they are to support you for the short term until the cause can be found and resolved. Without a naturopathic treatment plan you may be taking unnecessary supplements for too long, causing more harm than good.
Don’t waste your money on 'cheaper' supermarket supplements; get proper advice to be safe and effective! You can make an appointment with one of our lovely Naturopaths if you are feeling like you need some support from supplements, we offer short consultations for minor issues such as a cold.
*Please note that if you have seen another Naturopath (outside of the clinic) we need to see the prescription from them to be able to sell you over the counter supplements and herbs.
This week is “Smart Eating Week”! So, what does “smart eating” look like? In this day and age of media saturation with fad diets and fitness gurus, it can be hard to know. Let’s start with the basics…
Protein is required for muscle growth and repair, neurotransmitter production (think “healthy mood”), and a wide range of other important functions within the body. Getting adequate amounts of protein everyday – preferably with every meal or snack – is important to balance blood glucose, ensure stable energy levels throughout the day, and prevent sugar cravings. Sources of protein include eggs, meat and poultry, fish, yoghurt (always choose full fat, natural varieties), nuts and seeds.
2. Healthy Fats
Sources of healthy fats include coconut and olive products, avocadoes, nuts and seeds, and butter (yes, butter!) and other full fat dairy products, if you can tolerate them. Fats form the outer layer of every single cell in our bodies, so you can imagine how important it is to include them in our diets, right? Plus, they’re a major component of our brains, and are used in the production of hormones. Add a small handful of nuts or seeds to your morning porridge or put them in your smoothie, add some olives to your lunchtime salad, roast your veggies in a little butter or olive oil.
Now, when I say “carbohydrates”, I don’t mean processed carbohydrates like pasta, bread and cereals. I mean vegetables, fruits, legumes and small amounts of whole grains. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, and the fibre in wholefood carbohydrate sources promotes good digestive function. Try adding some more veggies into your daily routine in order to increase your fibre intake eg. add a handful of spinach leaves to your morning smoothie or omelette, had a side salad with your lunch, add an extra serve or 2 of veggies to your dinner.
I know us Nutritionists always bang on about how important water is, but it really is! Without adequate amounts of water, your energy dips, you’re more likely to get headaches and muscle pain, your digestion slows down, and you end up feeling rubbish. If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding a squeeze of citrus juice, some berries or a few mint leaves. Or drink herbal teas. Aim for at least 2L of water per day.
5. What to Limit
Refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and fried foods are high on the list of “what to limit”. They rob the body of essential nutrients, including B vitamins and water, add to inflammation and acidity in the body, and can leave you feeling less than awesome. Here are a few things to try in order to limit the amount of these foods that you consume:
Got any questions, or would like some further information on how to eat more healthily? Book in to see one of our qualified Nutritionists or Naturopaths, now available 6 days per week!
Written by Suzanne Sparrow
AdvDip (Nut), AdvDip (Nat)
“I am so happy to be joining the team at The Natural Health and Wellness Clinic on Tuesday’s. I look forward to providing Holistic Myotherapy, Hahnemann Healing, Concomitant Healing and Spiritual Counselling for all those people in the wonderful Somerville community who wish to live more vibrantly and with purpose. Each modality I treat with can be used in combination or separately in this comfortable and nurturing environment."
Tracey Lee Magookin is a physical and emotional healer. She has been a qualified Myotherapist for eleven years working in Mornington at Beleura Health Solutions as well as in private practice. Because she has an innate understanding of how the spirit and mind drive the body, she has enhanced her natural healing abilities with qualifications in Hahnemann Healing, Concomitant Healing and Spiritual Counselling.
Tracey began her journey of self-healing when she was 30 years of age. As a young child she was intrigued by the complexity of the human body as well as in the erratic and emotional behaviour of those around her, observing their reactions in different situations, of course too young yet to fully comprehend why this was happening. With maturity, she began to have an inner understanding and with this her journey of self-discovery began, recognising negative patterns in her own life, the emotions that were at times out of control and the physical pains and illness that were stopping her from being her best self.
With her lifelong interest in the human body, Tracey read, worked and studied hard to became a Myotherapist in 2007. Whilst treating and interacting with her many clients over the years, she recognised that people’s negative emotions if left untreated, adversely influenced their behaviour, affected their health and even caused physical pain. A spark was ignited within her to help people on a deeper level. To enhance her skills Tracey applied herself to learn about energy healing, as well as embarking on courses that illuminated how the mind and spirit all play their role in our health and well-being. She has become dedicated to following a holistic approach to healing physically and emotionally. In this, she has achieved success, not only in assisting those who come to her for help, but within herself knowing she is following her purpose in life.
Written by Fiona Stewart
Are you nervous about trying hypnotherapy? Not sure what to expect? Worried you will be dancing around the room clucking like a chicken? Here is my first time experience with hypnotherapy.
What happened in the appointment…
Sandy was warm and welcoming, we filled out an initial patient questionnaire that detailed past illnesses to current struggles, what my lifestyle and diet was like as well as any potential areas that may need to be worked on. Sandy explained that hypnotherapy is completely safe and that she can’t make you do anything that subconsciously you don’t want to do – so there would be no chicken dancing today.
I then lay down in the chair and was covered in a blanket (it was a semi cool day and when in a relaxed state your body temperature drops). Sandy turned on some tranquil music and began to relax my mind and body through the breath and focusing on each aspect of my body one at a time (similar to meditation or yoga nidra).
Sandy explained that it was not her job to rewire your brain – but to create an environment where you can change your usual conscious thoughts from something that may be negative (anxiety, self-doubt, smoking ect) and unconsciously change them to productive and positive thoughts. She is the facilitator in this and was able to tap into the subconscious and ‘plant the seed’ so to say.
The time went so quickly, that when I opened my eyes I almost didn’t believe that it was over.
So is hypnotherapy for you?
Hypnotherapy is proven be effective in helping the process of quitting addictions such as smoking. Sandy has been trained in the IBS unit at the Alfred Hospital where it been clinically shown to have long term improvement for IBS.
Sandy has also got a background in elite sport, where the difference between athletes is 90% mental and 10% physical. Hypnotherapy for sport performance is practiced throughout the world amongst both professional and amateur athletes.
If you are someone who knows (or even suspects) that your thoughts are holding you back (in any aspect of life) Hypnotherapy could benefit you.
Bachelor Degree of Health Science - Naturopathy
Suffering from recurrent headaches or migraines can be extremely debilitating and negatively influence the quality of life of sufferers. As there are many different types of headaches and migraines, there are many different potential causes and triggers. It is important to try and investigate what the cause/trigger is for each individual, as possible treatment will therefore change as a result. Exploring and figuring out what trigger might be affecting a particular person can be challenging, but here are a list of the most common triggers generally seen.
An individual could have one or a combination of compounding causes/triggers that lead them to having recurrent headaches/migraines. It is important with any medical condition including headaches/migraines that you seek a health professional to rule out any serious pathologies and to help you with treatment. There are a number of nutritional and herbal treatment options that our naturopaths are able to offer and can help figure out why this might be happening to you.
You don’t have to put up with being in pain, we are here to help! Various treatments available for the different types of headaches and migraines!
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…