Don't outsource your brain!

When I was at school in the 70’s, handheld calculators had just hit the mainstream – clunky and unwieldy, they still dramatically reduced the time it took to do simple calculations that previously I had struggled to squeeze out of a slide rule (who can remember what that was?)

 Now, scientists are recognizing that using convenience devices likes smart phones, tablets and laptops to do our thinking and remembering for us, risks underutilization of our intellectual faculties, which can result in sloshy or inadequate brain function.

 Top dementia researcher Dr. Frank Gunn-Moore of the University of St. Andrews School of Biology in Fife, Scotland feels that reduced mental acuity will be an unwanted side effect of our dependence on search engines and the expediency of web services.  “It’s important to promote good brain health and to do that -  is to use it, but these days we seem to outsource our brain to the Internet,” said Dr. Gunn-Moore. “If we want to know something, we look it up online rather than trying to recall the information from our memory.”

While no current studies propose a direct link between using online services and diminished thought power, a 2016 paper published in “Memory” did demonstrate that online access has altered the way we process – experimental subjects who had access to the Internet were more likely and quicker to default to those resources when asked to respond to simple questions, instead of first trying to think of the answers organically.

 This may be more habituation than laziness, but it has the same outcome – we are training ourselves to think less and Google more, robbing us of vital brain exercise that keeps us sharp and ready.

Are you in top shape for the Christmas festivities?

Are you in top shape for the Christmas festivities?

Father Christmas has been adjusted to get him through the Christmas rush so make sure you are in the best possible condition to really enjoy the next few weeks. 

May you and your family be blessed with good health and your home filled with happiness and joy in this festive season and the year ahead. Assisting in your health and well-being has been a privilege. We look forward to being able to do the same should the need arise in the years ahead.

We will be open with reduced hours over the next 2 weeks with normal hours resuming from Monday Jan 8th.

 

Wed Dec 27th – 4-6 pm

Fri Dec 29th  - 9-11 am

Wed Jan 3rd – 4-6 pm

Fr Jan 5th – 9-12am

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High fibre diet may help kids with asthma

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015, 12.4% of boys under 15 suffer with asthma and 9.6% of girls.  This number has increased almost 10% since 2008.  A total of 2.5 million Australians suffer with asthma.  

Luckily, according to a new study from University of Newcastle, there is hope in sight.  Professor Lisa Wood and her researchers found that increasing the intake of dietary fibre decreases inflammation of the airways, improving lung function and relieving symptoms.

SBS news reported Prof Wood explaining how: "Soluble fibre doesn't get digested until it reaches the large intestine and then the bacteria that are present in the large intestine break down the fibre to produce metabolites called short-chain fatty acids and they can go back into the bloodstream and they affect immune cells which control inflammation". Now, this may be news to some, but it seems only to confirm what we already now:  That immune function and the inflammatory process have a lot to do with the health of our gut.  

It is often recommended that children be given a quality pro-biotic supplement to help establish a healthy microbiome.  This study emphasizes the importance of the pre-biotics; the food the gut bacteria like to eat.  Soluble fibre is a pre-biotic.  Pre-biotics are basically plant material - which too many children try to avoid at all cost. 

According to ABS 2016, less than 1% of children consume the recommended amount of daily vegetables and legumes!!!!  They do better with fruit: 78% of 2-3 year olds enjoy the recommended 1 piece of fruit per day, 59% of the 4-8 year olds (1.5 servings) and 39% of the older kids (2 servings).  So it is unlikely that these children eat enough fibre to keep their gut flora happy.  The Victorian website Better Health advises that kids ages 4-8 have 18g of fibre per day, girls aged 9 to 13 need 20g and 14 to 18 year olds need 22g. Boys aged 9 to 13, and 14 to 18 years, need 24g and 28g per day respectively.

Getting this amount of fibre is not difficult if you eat your greens:  An apple contains 3g of fibre, an orange 3.5g and a banana 2.5g.  A handful of nuts give you 4.5g of fibre and 100g of broccoli 4g.  And if you are not averse to grains ½ cup of muesli is 6.5g of fibre and a slice of whole meal bread 2g.

Helps students and parents experiencing exam stress

With VCE exams starting this week it can be a stressful time for the students doing them and the parents supporting them. For the student there is the increased physical stress of spending additional hours hunched over the books and computers as well as the emotional stress that the competitive exam environment creates. For the parent it may be more of the emotional stress of feeling like you’re walking around on egg shells to create the ideal environment for your child to do their best.

 

Getting an adjustment can help in relieving the build-up of both these stresses as they cause joints to tighten and perhaps lead to back aches or headaches. Good hydration and nutrition can help as well as not trying to overdo the long hours. Your mind works best when it has regular sleep and exercise.

Best wishes to all involved.

Out of Balance?

Balance is the ability to maintain the body’s centre of mass over its base of support. A properly functioning balance system allows us to:

•       See clearly while moving

•       Identify orientation with respect to gravity

•       Determine direction and speed of movement

•       Make automatic adjustments to maintain posture and stability in various conditions and activities

Our balance is determined by three different body systems. The first being our eyesight, the second are the semi-circular canals (vestibular system) within our inner ears and the third being Proprioception which uses nerves called mechanoreceptors within all muscles and tendons, a high proportion of which are located within our neck muscles. All these systems are communicating with our brain which then makes appropriate responses.

Vertigo and dizziness affect 20-30 percent of the general population, with the majority being older women. In vertigo, the patient experiences spinning, loss of balance, and occasionally nausea. It can manifest in a sitting or sleeping posture, or only show once the patient stands up or walks around. Modern medicine distinguishes three types of vertigo. In objective vertigo, the patient has the sensation that the environment is moving. In subjective vertigo, the patient feels as if he or she is moving, and in pseudo-vertigo, there is a sensation of rotation inside the patient's head. Diagnoses include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière's disease and vestibular neuritis. It may also be due to trauma, fever, migraine, and excessive alcohol consumption.

In acute situations, chiropractic adjustments are the first therapy to consider as it addresses any neck dysfunction, and can often relieve the situation immediately. Chiropractors can also treat cases of vertigo that are due to dysfunction of the grains in the canals of the inner ear, and the manoeuvre tests for, and releases these grains by gravity. It can be quite effective, and patients can learn to do it themselves.