Articles in Category: General Health

Acupuncture

Written by Richard McMahon, BSc (Acupunture), Dip Remedial Massage on Monday, 03 July 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

By Richard McMahon

BHSc (Acupuncture), Dip Remedial Massage

 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a therapy that has been an integral part of the Chinese Medical Tradition for over 2500 years making its way to the west in the early 70's. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, single use needles into specific points in the body with the aim of increasing the natural healing capacity of the body and reducing pain.

 

Do the Needles Hurt?

Patients’ sensitivity is extremely varied but most people do not find Acupuncture to be especially painful. Once the needles are in place most patients find they feel deeply relaxed and calm. However, these treatments are not weak, and in order for a sense of pain relief to occur post treatment, some sensation will be felt. Sometimes treatments are uncomfortable but the idea is to get a good outcome, rather than being specifically gentle and potentially not get a specific result.

 

Are there any Side Effects to Acupuncture?

The most common side effects of Acupuncture are deep relaxation and drowsiness. However small amounts of bruising can occur occasionally, aching around a tight muscle that has been treated is common in sensitive patients, similar to a deep remedial massage which can last for up to 24 hours, and extremely rarely a patient may feel faint and light headed if they are sensitive and haven't eaten anything that day.

 

Can I Benefit from Acupuncture Even If I Don't Have Reason to Get Medical Treatment?

Acupuncture has a strong regulating effect on the body and nervous system and can be useful in reducing stress and encouraging better rest and recuperation. Overall, Acupuncture has the potential to create a positive outcome for different conditions.

 

How Long Will It Take to Recover?

Most patients are very relaxed and sleepy after treatment so intense activity shouldn't be scheduled immediately following treatment. If treatment was for specific injuries or strong muscle tension, it is best to rest after treatment and the area can be achy for up to 24 hours in sensitive people. The patient should expect to be sore the day after treatment however relief should be felt the following day. The acupuncturist is interested in the response the patient is feeling a couple of days after treatment rather than the immediate 24 hour response, often if the acupuncturist is interacting with the problem then a reaction is most likely going to occur, if a patient has a more reactive system they may be sore for a couple of days, but if that means that in a week the patient is on the road to recovery then that's a good outcome from treatment. All of these effects are temporary and usually not perceived as an issue for patients.

 

How Many Visits Will I Need?

It totally depends on the patient and is adjusted case by case. This relies heavily on how much a patient is willing to do as homework e.g. stretching, diet and sleep and how much stress they have in their lives.  

 

Do You Use Herbs?

It is preferable to combine Chinese herbal therapy with Acupuncture when treating internal conditions such as digestive issues, sleep disturbance, menstrual irregularities etc. Herbal treatment aids in healing of injuries but usually external herbal formulas such as liniments or soaks are used in the West.

 

Do You Use the Heat Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a fantastic therapy but due to smell/smoke I only use it when really necessary such as conditions of strong fatigue or when the patient has strong sensitivity to cold or strong pain that is worse in cold or damp weather.

 

Is It Similar to Getting an Injection?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin so are usually much more comfortable than the larger needles used for injections.

 

Do You Use the Electrical Devices?

Electrical stimulation can be used to enhance treatment especially if the condition involves swelling e.g. chronic knee injuries or bursitis of the hip.

 

What Are the Known Conditions Treated by Acupuncture?

Musculoskeletal conditions treated include; lower back ache, knee pain, bursitis, tendonitis, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, muscle tension, arthritis, sciatic, joint pain, sporting injuries.

Digestive conditions treated include; heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal bloating or pain and ulcers.

The respiratory system can have beneficial effects from Acupuncture; these include the common cold, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, low immune system.

Acupuncture can also help with women suffering from menstrual cramps/pain, irregularity, abnormal bleeding and menopausal symptoms.

Cardiovascular problems can also be treated by the use of Acupuncture; these include patients with high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain poor circulation, muscle cramps, stress, insomnia, withdrawal from medication or drugs, headaches, migraines, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, some paralysis conditions, post stroke recovery, fatigue, chronic pain, post-op recovery.

What Should I Expect on My First Acupuncture Visit?

When you first attend our clinic for treatment you will be asked to fill out a detailed form about your general health and the history of the complaint that you would like treated. It is important that you fill out the whole form even if you feel the questions don't relate specifically to the condition you would like worked on. This questionnaire assists in understanding the unique state of your body so that we can address any underlying imbalances that may be contributing to your condition.

 

Your therapist will then ask a series of questions to further understand your unique constitutional make up. Your pulse will be taken and your therapist may need to perform some abdominal palpation to obtain further details about the state of the body.

 

Sports medicine assessment techniques will now be utilized if you are attending the clinic for a musculoskeletal complaint.

 

Back to Work Ergonomics! New Year New Habits

on Friday, 18 January 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics

Back to Work Ergonomics! New Year New Habits

What better time to start new habits than the first month of 2019! We all know the importance of a ''good working posture'' and long hours of sitting is unhealthy, but trying to maintain yourself in a certain position you are not used to is actually not as easy as you think.

Have you ever tried sitting up as tall and straight as you can but end up feeling more sore and tired on your back? If your answer is YES, then you should definitely read this article.
 
Sitting posture
Let's start off with posture. Speaking to most of my patients, I realise a lot of people try to sit up straight by pulling their shoulders back as much as possible and overarch their lower back. You are actually using the wrong muscles if you do that and that is why it feels uncomfortable overtime. Sitting up properly is all about feeling comfortable and natural when done correctly.
 
Instead of overcorrecting your posture, try imagining a balloon tied to the top of your head and it is slowly pulling you up towards the ceiling while sitting/standing. That is the amount required to maintain a good posture. If you start slouching again overtime, it's okay! It's all about practice.
 
A good tip to remind yourself to not slouch is to buy coloured round stickers (your favourite colour) and stick it around your workstation and home as a reminder.
 
Double Screen Monitors
This is probably what most workstations have these days rather than the old school single screen. Subconsciously you may not realise it but, you are probably only turning your neck and not your body when switching between monitors. Over time the neck gets tired and unhappy with you.
 
Assuming most people have rotating work chairs, try rotating your body towards the screens and your neck will follow along with it. Initially you may need to do this consciously but it will pay off overtime.   
 
And last but not least..
 
The Work Chair
The thing I always say to my patients is “Hips HIGHER than knees”. When sitting on any type, brand and colour of chair, always make sure your hips are sitting higher than your knees! Most high tech ergonomic work chair these days allow you to tilt the seat forward or backwards. Play around with some of the handles at the side and it should let you tilt the back seat of your chair higher. Never let the front part of your chair seat sit higher than the back part.
 
If say you do not own a fantastic ergonomic work chair, simply fold up a towel or a small cushion and sit your buttocks right on top of it. That should give your hips a bit more height or at least at an equal height to your knees.
 
My point is, the right work habits and a good workstation set up should not be difficult and should not bring pain to your body when done correctly.
 
Remember! It is not a NO PAIN NO GAIN FORMULA!
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HAPPY WORKING! =)

Written By Iris Tan
B.App Sc (Chiropractic)
M.Clin Chiropractic

Bedding Myths

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Monday, 21 January 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Bedding Myths

At this time of year, we find lots of people are thinking about new beds. It might be something to do with New Year's resolutions. For whatever reason, a new bed could be a good idea if your old bed is getting on in years.

I thought I might cover some of the myths and 'marketing hype' that we see in the industry.

Firstly, do I need a new bed?

How old is your current bed? Most modern beds will last 10 years. In fact, almost all new beds have a 10 year warranty. Usually, once the bed is getting over 15 years, or it has big furrows or stains, it is time to get a new one. 

How do I know if my bed is causing my back/neck pain?

Try sleeping in a spare bed. Are you better? Then go back to your bed. Is your back/neck sore again? We often find that patients start to question their own bed when they go on holidays and their back pain goes away. The bed could be the issue; however, it could also be a variance in the activities that you do in your normal life. Our tip, use this as an excuse for a weekend away. 

Non-Flip Mattresses

There is a tendency to see a lot of non-flip mattresses now. While I acknowledge that better quality materials and manufacturing can mean better mattresses, simple physics dictates that you only have one surface to wear out. So a one-sided mattress will last less time. It is cheaper to manufacture a non-flip mattress and marketing tells us it saves your back because you don't need to flip it. Our experience is the mattress will not last as long. Our suggestion... Always buy a flip-able mattress for the longest mattress life.

Pillow Tops

All the rage at present! A pillow top feels luxurious; however, this would be the greatest source of complaints about mattresses. The pillow top will generally wear out before the support characteristics of the mattress (furrows and ridges) and it seems this is very difficult to rectify or address through a warranty claim. The biggest issue with a pillow top is that if the bed is too soft, it is very difficult to make it firmer. The best solution is to buy a mattress without a pillow top and if it is too firm, then buy a great overlay. We normally suggest a gel infused memory foam overlay as they are cool, comfortable and when they wear out, it is simple to throw it away and get a new one.

'Latex is Hot'

Generally this is not the case. Good quality latex beds are core drilled and are a natural fibre. They breathe well and conform well to the body, meaning generally no pressure points. 

At Institute of Sports and Spines we stock and sell high quality memory foam overlays, latex mattresses and both memory foam and latex pillows.

If you think you need a new mattress, pillow or overlay, talk to us and we can recommend and let you trial them at the clinic to identify what is the best solution for you.