Archive for wellbeing

How to spot a good chiropractor

Just like a good doctor, a good chiropractor will have a great bedside manner, provide excellent treatment, show genuine care and compassion, and great communication to help you heal. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the right chiropractor for you:

  1. A good chiropractor will always take the time to do a thorough health assessment before treating you. This may involve asking about your health history, reviewing x-rays, and observing your body for signs of injury or pain.
  • A good chiropractor will give you a clear strategy of how they can help you. They will give you a clear plan of action on what treatments you need to get healthy and they will explain the reasons why they suggest certain therapies or treatments. Be wary of someone who won’t explain your treatment plan to you.
  • A good chiropractor will be sensitive to your pain and your personal needs. They will take the time to ask you consistently about your feelings and pain levels throughout the treatment process. A good chiropractor knows that pain is the body’s sign of injury and that something is wrong.
  • A good chiropractor will not stop treatment just because you’re without pain. Instead, they will work with you to restore your body to the healthiest position possible to help prevent injury without rushing the process it takes for your body to recover. However, they will also ensure to not over-treat you or pressure you into packages you may not need.
  • A good chiropractor will encourage you to take a holistic approach to healing through diet, exercise, posture and stretching.  They may also suggest and work with other practitioners such as GPs, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and massage therapists to ensure you receive an optimum level of treatment. They will provide guidance on exercises for your own self-care so that you are not constantly dependent on their services.
  • A good chiropractor will get to know you personally and make you feel comfortable. Because the body is attached to our mind and soul, your chiropractor must understand that letting someone into their personal space is a vulnerable process and therefore a great deal of empathy is needed.

Five ways to find the right chiropractor for you

  1. Try to get a referral. Friends, neighbours, family, and especially your primary medical doctor may recommend a chiropractor.
  2. Check if any of the recommended chiropractors are covered by your health insurance. If you receive a strong recommendation for someone not on that list, you might consider private payment or using the GP-referral scheme.
  3. Do a quality check for credentials to confirm if they are a current member of the Australian Chiropractor’s Association, where they received their qualification, and if there are any claims against them.
  4. Visit the practice website. Many chiropractors have websites, and these can be informative. Also look at their Facebook referrals, not just the number of stars but read the experiences of other patients.
  5. You may want to make a few phone calls of local chiropractors. Ask about appointment availability, insurance coverage, hours, etc. This is to see if you are treated with patience, courtesy and respect by the chiropractor’s office.

What to look for at your first few appointments

  • Does your chiropractor give sufficient time to you the first visit and on every subsequent visit?
  • Does he or she appear eager to help you get better as quickly as possible and to empower you to take care of yourself in the future?
  • Do you feel comfortable with your new chiropractor?
  • Are you getting better as a result of the treatments and not just the mere passage of time? (When effective treatment is given, most patients will see a significant improvement within the first few weeks of care, and sometimes even sooner.)
  • Is treatment physically comfortable? (Occasionally there may be some minor treatment soreness or even increase in symptoms after a treatment. This should not last more than a day or so, and improvement should be obvious with further care. If this happens, be sure to let your chiropractor know.)
  • Does your chiropractor have partnerships with other healthcare providers? Chiropractic is not a miracle cure. Whoever tells you that chiropractic can solve all health problems is probably someone you shouldn’t consult. Make sure your chiropractor works with other healthcare providers as well.

A good chiropractor is compassionate and puts you first, ready to build a long-term relationship to support your health needs now and into the future.

For more information contact Lane Chiropractic at 6676 2270.

Free chiropractor in your pocket app

Whether working remotely or in the office, studying or playing sport, it’s important to take care of your back. It’s easy for us to take our backs for granted, until we develop back pain and other related problems.

To help keep your back in shape, the Australian Chiropractors Association has developed the Straighten Up as an ongoing community service initiative to improve your health and the way your body functions.

Consisting of a set of simple exercises and taking just three minutes to complete, Straighten Up will help improve posture, stabilise core muscle groups, and enhance health.

The exercises can be undertaken by Australians of all ages with a special program tailored for children., which helps them develop good habits for life.

The exercises can be completed at any time of day but are most beneficial when they form part of a daily routine. It’s hoped that over time all Australians will take a few minutes every day to care for their spinal health, just as they do for their dental health.

Studies conducted overseas indicate that 90% of people who adopted the exercises as part of their daily routine reported a postural improvement. Approximately 80% reported that their backs were more comfortable and that they had better core stability after practicing the activities for several weeks.

Straighten Up app

While your chiropractor can’t be there 24/7 correcting your posture, the Straighen Up App can! Designed to act as ‘Your Pocket Chiropractor’, this app aims to address the growing posture issues and back pain problems faced by Australians.

Features of the App:

  • Reminders: Set reminders to receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, taking breaks, drinking water and improving your posture.
  • Exercises: A 3-minute spinal health program designed to improve spinal health, stablise core muscle groups and enhance health.
  • Augmented Reality: Showing both good and poor posture in different settings. The augmented reality feature works in conjunction with Straighten Up postcards.
  • Locate A Chiropractor: The app shows a list of local ACA chiropractors on a map and also as a list.

Download the free Straighten Up app today through either Google Play or the App Store.

Google Play

Four free, simple steps to ease stress, anxiety and depression

If you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed, you are definitely not alone, particularly in these uncertain times. There are four simple things you can do right now to ease your feelings of tension and sadness:

  1. Focus on your breath

When we are feeling sad, anxious or stressed we tend to shallow breathe.  This puts stress on your body because you are not getting enough oxygen, which in turn further increases your emotional stress – so it’s a vicious cycle.

To break this cycle, simply sit quietly and focus on breathing slowly in through your nose for five seconds and then out through your mouth for five seconds. See if you can increase it up to 10 seconds, without putting stress on your body. Do this a few times and you will immediately feel some calming effects.  The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere – at home, at work, in the car and even on the toilet

2. Drink water

Similar to oxygen, our bodies need plenty of water to function. Did you know that often you can be dehydrated without even knowing that you are thirsty yet? Just like a lack of oxygen, a lack of water can put your body under stress and amplify feelings of stress, sadness and anxiety.   Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

The best way to achieve this is start with a drink of water when you first get out of bed each morning (and when your body is often already dehydrated).  Even better if you can squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice in the water.

Try to avoid drinks that can contribute to dehydration such as coffee and soft drinks.  If you really don’t like the taste of plain water, add a squeeze of fresh juice to your cup, or if you want something more exotic, try a small splash of rose water for a very nice tasting rose petal drink

3. Stretch

It’s amazing how quickly our bodies can lock up on us, especially as we age. Stress, anxiety and depression cause muscle tension, which can very quickly turn into quite painful problems in the muscles, back, neck and joints. Our body being in pain further adds to our emotional stress.

To ease this, make a habit of doing a few small stretches each day, whenever and wherever suits you. Don’t overdo it of course, just enough so that your body feels a little bit of a release from muscle tension.

You may choose to bend forward and very slowly and gently try to get closer to touching your toes each day, or you may also choose to very gently give your neck a nice stretch by tilting your head to one side and then the other very slowly.  Find some stretches that make your body feel good and try to do a couple each day.  You can even do them while watching TV.

4. Get some sunlight

It’s a well-known fact that sunlight is a great source of feel good vitamins and, in particular, helps to naturally boost serotonin levels (which are the feel-good chemicals in your brain).

Try to sit outside or near a sunny window for a few minutes each day.  You will be amazed at how much this can help to lift your mood.  Even better if you can take a walk outside each day.  Just make sure to wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses whenever out in the sun to avoid sunburn.

How your chiropractor can help

While your chiropractor can’t rid you of the cause of your stress, whether it be work or family related, they can help to relieve you of the symptoms so that you can handle stress much better. Key benefits of chiropractic care include:

Eases nervous tension

Chiropractic care aims to find the right balance between your mind and body. Your spine is literally the backbone of your neurological system. Your brain communicates everything, including functions such as breathing and swallowing, with the help of the spine. As you feel stress and begin to tense up, this causes your spine to move.  After your chiropractor has adjusted it and your spine is in alignment, the central nervous system is unblocked so it can function the way it should. You may find yourself to be sick less, have more energy and feel less stressed overall.

Another benefit is the realignment of the spine helps improve blood circulation, and it allows your body to turn off the fight/flight response, which is integral to relieving your stress.

Triggers positive hormonesSpinal health influences almost every region of your body. Chiropractic adjustments lead to an increase in hormones such as neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol. These hormones are involved in positive nervous system functioning, such as:

  • Neurotensin: neutralises stress-induced pain
  • Oxytocin: boosts neuro-communication and feelings of social bonding
  • Cortisol: blocks pain deriving from inflammation.

Helps you get better sleep

Insomnia is a symptom of anxiety and/or depression. With chiropractic care, you may find getting to sleep a little easier. Studies show that chiropractic manipulation may also improve patient sleep patterns.

Relieves tension, stiffness and headaches

Patients with anxiety and/or depression also suffer from muscular tension. Chiropractic care can aid in reducing tension and stiffness, as well relieve pain related to tension headaches. Studies that measure electrical activity in muscles found that after a chiropractic adjustment, muscle activity was reduced by 25 percent.

If you’d like more information about how to reduce anxiety, stress and depression, or need help with managing the symptoms, contact Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Seven achievable New Year’s resolutions

Many of us love to make New Year’s resolutions but how many of these resolutions do we actually keep? Here’s a quick guide to seven healthy resolutions that you can easily keep in 2018.

1. Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Many of the benefits of regular exercise can be experienced with as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Not only will you decrease your risk of obesity and diabetes, you’ll also experience a reduction in back pain, migraine, and other neuro-musculoskeletal symptoms. Feel like you don’t have time? Try doing a 30 minute swim, a walk or even just some nice gentle stretching while watching TV. You can even do a five minute walk a few times a day around the office to get you up and moving away from your computer.

2. Deep breathing. Believe it or not, many of us often forget to breathe, especially when feeling stressed. This can make us more stressed and can promote illness because breath is fundamental to life. Meditation, going on walks, and taking breaks throughout the day can all aid in stress reduction. Lowering your stress can make your immune system more resilient and decrease chronic pain flare-ups. If you do feel stressed of overwhelmed, just remember to deep breathe and feel the immediate calming effects.

3. Laugh more often. Laughter doesn’t just relieve mental stress; it also fires off a cascade of physical reactions that benefit your health. Studies show that laughing can stimulate the heart, muscles, and lungs— not to mention the flurry of endorphins that are released after a good giggling session. Laughing is a natural way to anti-age, so laugh your way to being young again.

4. Eat your greens. Vegetables like broccoli and kale, which are rich in calcium, can help to decrease your risk of osteoarthritis. Spinach, lentils, and beans are high in magnesium, a vitamin shown to benefit patients with back pain. Wherever possible, try to buy spray free vegetables or even grow your own and save money.

5. Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of spinal conditions and arthritis. Smoking cessation has been linked to an improvement in spinal pain. As a bonus, new research shows that smokers who attempt to quit in January are more successful because of the extra motivation the New Year provides. If part of your New Year’s resolution is to save money, imagine how much you would save by quitting smoking. You could use that money to take yourself on a fantastic holiday at the end of the year.

6. Lose weight. Carrying extra weight increase the load on your spine and joints, making you more susceptible to sciatica, disc herniation, and osteoarthritis. The key to losing weight is patience. Don’t just jump on the latest fad diet in the hope of rapid weight loss. You may lose the weight initially but then it can easily pile back on once you return to your normal eating habits. Perhaps a better resolution to losing weight is changing to a healthy diet. Making a lifestyle change to a healthier way of eating provides for more sustainable weight loss.

7. See a chiropractor. The spine plays an important role in your overall health by ensuring that your nervous system is functioning smoothly. As spinal specialists, chiropractors relieve pain from spinal conditions and assist in improving your overall health. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments reduce the stress hormone cortisol and boost the presence of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.

Christmas Survival Tips

Another year has flown by and Christmas is upon us again. As much as we love the holiday season it can take its toll on our bodies, in particular our spine and nervous systems.

Whether it is overindulging in a bit too much Christmas cheer, or dragging heavy pressies around the shops while stressing if you have everything organised in time for Christmas day, our bodies are under a lot of pressure over the busy Christmas period.
To help you survive the silly season here are some simple Christmas and New Year survival health tips.

• Keep moving! Go for a walk or do some of your daily stretching exercises and make it a regular part of your holiday period. With the warmer weather upon us it’s even a great time for a swim to get those muscles really moving without putting too much strain on your body.

• Leave Santa and his reindeer some fresh fruit and water with lemon, not chocolate or beer. We’re pretty sure he’ll have enough of those things on Christmas day. As much as possible, reduce chemical stressors that affect Santa’s vital spine and nervous system.

• Remember to maintain good posture and use correct lifting techniques when carrying heavy gifts at the shops or at home. Even a whole bunch of small gifts can become quite a big weight for the body to carry, so take special care of your back.

• If doing things you don’t normally do, like a spring clean, renovation or gardening, remember to take it easy and listen to your body for any warning signs such as any stiffness or pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong so stop what you are doing and rest until your body recovers. It’s better to not finish that gardening project or spring clean, or ask someone else to help you, rather than end up flat on your back on Christmas day.

• Just because it’s Christmas does not mean you have to eat the whole pavlova or the whole cheesecake. Remember everything in moderation, and try to keep to a normal everyday routine. According to ‘Nutrition Australia’ we put on an average of 0.8-1.5kg over the xmas period. It could take weeks just to shed those kilos again and they put extra strain on your spine.

• Make an alcohol deal with yourself! Don’t have any more than you would have had normally if it wasn’t Christmas. Alcohol only dehydrates you and has vast negative effects on your health and wellbeing. If you do decide to drink, try to substitute every second glass with a glass of water to keep yourself well hydrated, which is particularly important in summer given that our bodies lose so much water trying to keep ourselves cool in the hot weather.

• Anxiety, depression and stress are very common during the festive season. Take some time out for either yourself or your immediate family. Whether it is a hobby, a nice dinner at home or a quiet getaway. Also, playing your favourite music, meditation and yoga can all help to ease stress. Stress has a direct impact on your nervous system and on your spine so take it easy.

• Get enough sleep. Plan for some early nights in as the silly season can cause havoc with our sleeping routines. If you do feel a little tired during the day, try to catch a 10 – 15 minute catnap if possible to give you that extra bit of energy until you can get your sleeping patterns back on track.

Lane Chiropractic has you covered over Christmas and will be open every day over the Christmas break, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We accept HICAPS for immediate claims on health funds, and remember you have until December 31 to claim for this year’s health rebates on most health funds so it’s a great time to use the benefit before you lose it. We also accept the GP referral program. For an appointment call us on 6676 2270. Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday to everyone.

YOUR SIDE PROFILE MIGHT INDICATE BACK OR NECK PAIN TRIGGERS

Paying attention to your side profile could help avoid neck and back problems and improve quality of life. New research published by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) suggests that those whose heads lean forward are most likely to be currently suffering from back or neck pain (58%), followed by those with an excessively arched lower back (56%).

The BCA researchers asked women (whom the study was focused on) which side-shape they are, with four broad categories of altered posture compared to the ideal.

• Spoon – flat back, rounded shoulders

• Leaning tower – head leans forward

• Bridge – arched back

• Flat-pack – flat back

Whether you stand like a spoon or a leaning tower, a bridge or a flat back, your side-shape may indicate problems ahead.

Posture has also been shown to have an effect on many other areas of health and wellbeing beyond symptoms of pain such as mood, energy levels, self-confidence, range of motion, and change in the release of stress hormones. Poor posture can also negatively impact on decision making, work productivity and other areas of life.

The good news is that making changes to your posture doesn’t call for extreme dieting or exercise programs and can be managed simply with the help of your local chiropractor.

People who want to improve their back and neck pain symptoms through a better posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles – with everything in the middle sitting on the same line.

One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles. When sitting, the gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip.

Back Your Inner Athlete

BACK YOUR INNER ATHLETE focusses on how you can perform and live better by backing your inner athlete through good spinal function, reducing pain, improving posture and taking care of your health.

You don’t need to be a sporting professional to achieve peak performance. You can perform and live better through reducing pain, maintaining good spinal function and living a healthy lifestyle.

The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia encourages you to Back Your Inner Athlete by making sure you have the three P’s of chiropractic care tended to:

REDUCE PAIN by helping de-stress your spine
IMPROVE POSTURE by educating you on correct posture
ACTIVATE PERFORMANCE by placing importance on good spinal health and function, alleviating pain, improving posture and mobility, and living a healthy lifestyle, to assist with improving performance in life.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), ‘globally, around 31% of adults aged 15 and over were insufficiently active in 2008 (men 28% and women 34%). Approximately 3.2 million deaths each year are attributable to insufficient physical activity’.1

REDUCE PAIN
Back pain can result from injury, spinal abnormalities, degenerative conditions and even poor posture – all of which can prevent you from backing your inner athlete.

DID YOU KNOW?

Back pain is the third most common reason for taking time off work.3
Work-related activities, including lifting heavy weights, bending and twisting and even working in the same position for extended periods can contribute to lower back problems.4
Parents of young children are at risk of back problems due to lifting and twisting while carrying children.
Children are not immune to back problems.
DIY and gardening can have an impact by placing stress on the back.
In older people, postural issues can effect everyday activities.
Chronic back pain can lead to a range of health issues including reduced mobility, quality of life, longevity and depression.
Neck pain is the second most common reason patients seek chiropractic care and is a leading cause of disability. Neck pain can be caused by degenerative conditions, poor posture, stress, poor hydration and bad sleeping conditions.
FINDING A SOLUTION TO BACK YOUR INNER ATHLETE

Due to the nature of the pain and its causes, a holistic approach is needed in most cases to re-educate and adjust the body to reignite that inner athlete. Chiropractors are trained and knowledgeable professionals who use skill – not force or strength – to conduct adjustments that address the cause instead of simply treating a symptom. Chiropractic care is individually based: discuss your specific needs with your chiropractor.

IMPROVE POSTURE
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Your posture directly affects your health.

Correcting bad posture does take discipline, but there’s no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort.

The first step is understanding the bad posture habits our lifestyle may expose us to and then taking steps to address them.

Poor posture may cause headaches, soreness, back pain, fatigue, respiratory issues, poor digestion and tension by putting pressure on your spine. In many cases, this can be prevented with the correct education, adjustment and awareness of the issue. While it may take some diligence to undo bad habits, it’s worth persevering.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Have an ergonomic assessment. If you have a desk job, this is essential in helping to maintain your spinal health.
Be mindful of how you perform everyday tasks – from picking up the kids to gardening, don’t put undue stress on the neck and back.
Move regularly. Walking is a great start.
Visit your local CAA chiropractor. These professionals are educated to assist your management of back and neck issues.
Download the ‘Back Your Inner Athlete’ augmented reality CAA Back App from the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
ACTIVATE PERFORMANCE
By placing importance on good spinal health and function, alleviating pain, improving posture and mobility, and living a healthy lifestyle, one can improve performance in life.

Back Your Inner Athlete by building core muscles to help support your spine, which provides stability and protection. A good place to start is simply walking regularly to boost mood, alertness and energy levels. It’s easy, accessible and free!

You can integrate walking into your lifestyle by planning ahead, setting goals, using a pedometer, tracking ‘everyday’ activity, engaging your friends and rewarding yourself when you reach your goals.

To help make walking easier, the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia developed the Just Start Walking mobile app which can be downloaded here.

An active spine is a healthy spine, and a healthy spine leads to a healthier life.

Four Back Benefits of Walking

Walking is a simple, inexpensive and easy activity with many benefits for health and general wellbeing. Walking regularly can improve heart and lung function, aid in weight-loss, decrease bone loss, and can also boost mood, alertness and energy levels, but did you know that walking can benefit your spinal health too?

1. Increases circulation to the spine

Walking increases circulation, bringing the body into balance and increasing stamina as blood pressure is lowered by the increased circulation. The continual flow of blood ensures that nutrients make it the spine and the surrounding soft tissues are nourished and enriched.

The movement of blood through the body nourishes all of the muscles, making you stronger whilst also making it easier to exercise. Essentially, the more you walk, the easier it is to walk.

2. Helps rehydrate spinal disks

Our daily bodily movements cause compression on the spinal discs, squeezing out the discs’ water that provides cushion for the vertebrae. The increased circulation from walking helps to rehydrate the discs by moving water to where the discs can absorb it.

3. Improves postural position

Poor posture is often the result of sedentary positions such as office work or extended use of computers and mobile devices. Poor posture places extra pressure on the spine which can lead to tension, soreness, headaches and back pain.

Walking strengthens the body and helps position the spine in its upright natural shape. When walking properly you naturally adopt proper posture. Good posture allows you to breathe better and can help reduce fatigue and the other side effects associated with bad posture.

4. Relieves spinal stress and back pain

Walking is a low impact exercise that assists in improving flexibility and mobility. Accompanied by a regimen of stretching, walking can improve flexibility and a better range of motion.

Extra body weight causes stress on the spine as the body works harder to keep balance. Excess abdominal weight can cause a swayback effect on the spine. Walking aids weight loss and weight management, which in turn relieves the stress extra body weight causes the spine.

Just Start Walking!

The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) is committed to empowering people to walk more and enjoy the benefits of regular walking. The CAA’s health initiative Just Start Walking provides resources on getting the most out of walking and a mobile app which sends reminders and tracks progress. For more information on this initiative and to download the app to your phone, visit www.juststartwalking.com.au

The importance of good posture

As a chiropractor I am constantly reminding people of the importance of good posture for physical wellbeing. Here are some handy tips to maintain good posture so that you can feel great.
IN THE MORNING
When getting out of bed in the morning, use your hands and arms to support you into a sitting position. Then swing your legs to the floor and stand straight up.
Once out of bed, do some gentle stretches. Stand up and stretch you arms above your head. Hug yourself, by wrapping your arms around your body, then turning slowly as far as you can to the left and then the right without jerking.
DURING THE DAY
To keep your shoulders in their right position, stand tall as though there were a string attached to the top of your head that is being pulled up.
Avoid forward head posture by keeping your cheekbones and collarbone in the same vertical plane
Avoid slouching by imagining a headlight in your breastbone which should always shine forward, not down in your lap or on the floor.
Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Take brief walks during the day, or stand and stretch as much as possible
When standing, balance your weight equally on both legs and feet, being sure to put weight on the four corners of each foot.
Exercise regularly. Walking, swimming and other general conditioning exercises strengthen weak muscles and stretch those that are tight.
AT NIGHT
When bathing young children, be sure to bend from the hips. And use your legs when you lift your child.
Sleep on your side or back, not on your stomach. You can help reduce strain by popping a pillow under knees when sleeping on your back, or between your knees when sleeping on your side.