Health Tips

Understanding Food Allergies

Allergies occur when an overactive immune system produces proteins called IgE antibodies against substances in the environment that are otherwise harmless — pollens, house dust mites, moulds, animal hair (dander), and in some cases, specific food proteins. Food allergy is mainly a problem of infants, toddlers and young children. food-allergy-bandOver 90% of cases are associated with atopic eczema — an intensely itchy chronic skin rash affecting the face, arms, legs, and other parts of the body — and there is usually a family history of allergic disorders such as asthma, hay fever and eczema.

In adults, a single food such as peanut or shellfish is usually involved, but children are commonly allergic to two or three foods, sometimes more. The most common ones are peanut, egg, milk, other nuts, seafoods and / or sesame. Fortunately, most children grow out of their egg and milk allergies before they reach school age, or during the early school years, but allergies to nuts and seafoods can persist. Wheat and soy can cause allergies, but they tend to be mild and transient.

New food allergies can occasionally arise in adult life, usually with crustaceans and other more exotic foods that are not eaten in childhood. With rare exceptions, reactions to fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are due to chemical intolerance’s rather than allergies. Skin prick tests or blood tests (radioallergosorbent test or RAST) can detect IgE antibodies in people with allergies, but are of no value for diagnosis of intolerance’s.

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

Food Intolerances

Many chronic health conditions can be triggered by unidentified and untreated food intolerance’s. If you have any of the following recurring symptoms then you may be suffering from food intolerance. Do not ignore these warning signs or your symptoms could become more severe and could trigger a far more serious condition such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or one of many other so-called-modern diseases.

Symptoms of Food Intolerance’s
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  • Abdominal Pain
  • Joint Pain & Swelling
  • Anxiety/Mood swings
  • Belching after meals
  • Low Libido
  • Bloating & Flatulence
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Cystitis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sinusitis or nasal discharge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Skin disorders
  • Drowsiness/Lethargy
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  • Snoring
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fuzzy thinking, foggy brain
  • Throat infections – recurring
  • Indigestion
  • Thrush & other fungal infections
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to control weight; weight gain or weight loss
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Energy levels are low, feeling exhausted
  • Low immune system – frequent colds & infections
  • Persistent cough or noisy breathing
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Understanding Food Intolerance

intolerant-foodsUnderstanding the difference between intolerance and other types of food reaction is an important starting point because the approach to dealing with them is quite different. Unlike allergies and coeliac disease, which are immune reactions to food proteins, intolerances don’t involve the immune system at all. They are triggered by food chemicals which cause reactions by irritating nerve endings in different parts of the body, rather in the way that certain drugs can cause side-effects in sensitive people.

The chemicals involved in food intolerances are found in many different foods, so the approach involves identifying them and reducing your intake of groups of foods, all of which contain the same offending substances. By contrast, protein allergens are unique to each food (for example, egg, milk and peanut), and dealing with a food allergy involves identifying and avoiding all traces of that particular food. Similarly, gluten, the protein involved in coeliac disease, is only found in certain grains (wheat, barley, rye) and their elimination is the basis of a gluten-free diet.

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

Vitamin Supplements

vitamin-supplements-webMost people base their health on how they feel. Just because you feel healthy and in perfect fit now, does not mean you do not need supplements. 


When it suddenly strikes – an illness, a health problem, a sign of old age, weakness – we begin to search for a dietary or herbal supplement to help us get out of the hole we have unfortunately dug for ourselves.

Supplements help you overcome nutritional deficiencies. We need all the nutrients in their proper amounts for optimum health. Since our diets most likely cannot provide all of them, nutritional supplements can fill in those gaps.



Nutritional supplements also help boost our immune system. The stronger your immune system, the more resistant your body can be against disease. You probably know that popping a tablet or two of Vitamin C can help you avoid colds and related illnesses. This is exactly how useful supplementation is.



Nutritional supplements are also useful in getting rid of the toxins which we horrendously take in everyday. The environmental stresses we go through, chemicals we are in touch with, as well as our lifestyle – these all subject us to harmful toxins which can lead to serious health problems. Supplements, most especially anti-oxidants, can help our body keep toxins to a minimum.



There are much more benefits that nutritional supplements can provide. The main point is that these supplements help you have the optimum health you deserve and minimize the risk of diseases.

Workstation Setup

Workstation SetupYour workstation should be set up to cause the least amount of stress on your body. Prolonged hours of poor posture or repetitive work habits, often in a stressful environment can result in significant overuse injury. Applying the following points can help tominimise such injuries.

Important points to note :

  • Site in front of your workstation such that your monitor is directly front on.
  • Your arms should be at right angles from your shoulders when you type
  • Your wrists should be in line with your forearms, both horizontally and vertically
  • Your keyboard should be flat
  • the top of your monitor should be level with your eys
  • Do not sit too close to your monitor – at least an arms length away
  • Ensure your seat is properly adjusted
  • If your feet don’t reach teh ground, use a foot rest.
  • Do not reach too far for your mouse, keep it close to your keyboard and support your arm on the desk when using your mouse
  • Use a document holder attached to the site of the monitor
  • Take regular breaks every hour, stretch your legs and perform simple mobility exercises to limber
Optimal Chair Setup

Correct seating posture is an essential ingredient to preventing spinal injury and fatigue.

The basic features of a good chair are :

  • height adjustable
  • pelvic tilt on seat
  • lumbar support
  • Adjust the height of your chair such that your knees are level or just below hip height and that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • If your seat has a pelvic tilt, this should be set to a slight forward incline to promote a natural inward lower back curve.
  • Move the lumbar support so that it fits snuggly into the curve of your lower back. This will help to prevent lumbar strain and helps to maintain a straight spine and neck whilst seated.
  • Never sit with your legs crossed! Crossing at the ankles is a preferable alternative.

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

10 Healthy Back Tips

healthy-back

  1. Exercise Regulary – This doesn’t have to be anything overly strenuous. Something as simple as a daily walk can make a huge difference.
  2. Eat A Healthy Diet – Proper nutrients allow the body to repair itself easier
  3. Maintain Good Posture – Are you sitting up straight as you read this?
  4. Stretch Your Spine Before And After Sports – This will also help to loosen up the surrounding muscles
  5. Don’t Overload Your Backpack Or Purse – Remember to carry it over both shoulders to balance the load (if possible).
  6. Stretch Your Legs And Back After Each Hour Of Sitting – Whether in a car or at a desk, stretching regularly will help to keep you from tightening up or injuring yourself further.
  7. Never Cradle The Phone Between Your Neck And Shoulder
  8. Sleep On Your back Or Side, Not On Your Stomach – This helps to keep your spine in line and reduces the risk of hurting your neck while you sleep
  9. Invest In A Good Chair, Pillow And Mattress – When you think about the amount of time you use these things each day, it’s worth it.
  10. Have Regular Spinal Check-Ups – It’s much easier to prevent a problem than to correct one.

Ice & Heat Applications

Ice is an effective and natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory.

Ice should be applied over the inflamed area in the acute or early stages of your problem. (See below for application)

Whenever you experience swelling, redness or sharp / stabbing pain it is generally considered best to apply ice. Repeat until symptoms ease – usually for 24 – 48 hours.

Following this you should alternate with ice and heat. If in doubt, contact your Naturopath.

APPLICATION

Place ice cubes in a plastic bag or use a professionally prepared ice pack.

Place a damp face washer or tea towel over the problem area then place the ice pack on the material covering.

The first application should be as follows:-

10 minutes on
10 minutes off

10 minutes on
10 minutes off

10 minutes on

Then during waking hours, apply the ice pack every 2 hours, or as indicated by your Naturopath.

Heat is an effective therapy for reducing muscular tension and pain and is best used AFTER the initial inflammation has subsided.

N.B. If you do not have ice immediately available, then use a pack of frozen peas or similar item.

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

Shoulder Pain

Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are very common, and are caused by injuries affecting the shoulder joint, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

Shoulder PainIt is possible to do more movements with the arm than with any other part of the body. The arm is such a useful tool that it’s a pity that there are only two of them!

The bones that make up the arm include the humerus, in the upper arm, and the two bones of the forearm, the radius and ulna, as well as the little bones of the wrist, hand and fingers. The arm is very special as it enables the hand to get into all sorts of useful positions.

The shoulder joint in particular, being a universal joint, has a huge range of movement. The hand can go above the head, behind the back and even across to scratch behind the other shoulder. The elbow works like a hinge joint allowing the hand to come nearer or go further away from the body. The elbow and wrist combined allow manipulation of the hand through more than 180 degrees i.e. from palm up to palm down, the wrist helps with grip, whilst the joints in the hand, thumb and fingers allow the dexterity of finger movement.

Since the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as Vertebral Dysfunction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder.

Naturopaths can assist with the following shoulder conditions:

  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Chronic Shoulder Pain and Stiffness
  • Shoulder Muscle Spasm and Tension
  • Arthritis of the Shoulder
  • Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain
  • Rotator Cuff Disorders such as tears and strains
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • AC Joint Injury

In order to determine the cause of your pain, your Naturopath will conduct a full physical, orthopaedic and neurological examination of the shoulder, cervical and thoracic spine.

You will be asked to perform shoulder range of motion and muscle strength tests. Where the pain is felt, both at rest and during movement of the shoulder, provides important clues as to the cause of the shoulder pain.

Signs of Shoulder Pain may include restriction in the movements of the shoulder, both active (the person doing them themselves) and passive (the joint being moved by someone else).Upward motion is usually less than 100 degrees (ie not far above shoulder level) and the arm cannot be turned outward more than 30 degrees.

It may also be necessary to undergo specialized diagnostic tests such as XRay, Ultrasound and/or MRI scans.

Treatment of Shoulder Pain

Regardless of the cause, treatment of the shoulder complex requires an experienced Naturopath who can test the movements and structures of the shoulder and come to an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Naturopathy treatment can then focus on the core problem.

The initial objective of all shoulder injuries is to relieve pain and inflammation.

Whilst many doctors will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and swelling, the benefit obtained by applying ice-packs can be equally, if not more beneficial.

As your shoulder begins to heal, it is vitally important to

  • Restore range of movement,
  • And later to improve muscle strength so as to stabilize the shoulder and help prevent further injury and aggravation.

Your Naturopath will be able to assist you with suitable shoulder range of motion exercises and shoulder strengthening and rehabilitation exercises during your recovery.

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

Sciatica

sciatica-painChiropractors regularly treat sciatica and have terrific results.

Sciatica is the Latin word for “Pain down the back of the leg” Sciatica is referred pain usually caused by trapping the sciatic nerve in the lower back. See back pain.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down through the buttocks and along the back of each leg. Sciatica is pain along this nerve and is a relatively common form of back pain and is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated or bulging disc.

The pain from sciatica can be anything from infrequent and irritating to severe and debilitating. Usually, it affects only one side, the pain radiating through the buttock and down the leg and is often associated with a constant pain on one side of the buttocks, pain in the leg and/or buttock that may be worse when sitting , burning or tingling down the leg, weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot or a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up.

While sciatica can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, it is rare that permanent nerve damage (tissue damage) results. Most pain is due to inflammation and will improve within a period of time. Nerve pain is caused by a combination of pressure and inflammation on the nerve root, and treatment is centred on relieving both of these conditions.

Typically, sciatica is made worse by bending, lifting, sneezing and coughing.

Sciatica is a common problem for manual workers, sedentary office workers and is particularly prevalent during pregnancy.

Naturopathy Treatment main objectives are

  • reduce pain
  • restore movement
  • strengthen weakened muscles
  • reduce tension

Causes of Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the main nerve in the leg and the largest in the body. It runs from the base of the spine, along the back of the thigh to the knee, where it divides into branches.

Sciatic pain is usually caused by compression of this nerve root at the point where it leaves the spine. Damage to the nerve can also cause pain.

In young and early middle-aged adults, the most common cause of sciatica is a prolapsed intervertebral disc in the lumbosacral area of the lower back.

In older people, changes in the spine due to conditions such as osteoarthritis may be responsible either by causing localised pressure on the nerve or by narrowing of the spinal canal – called spinal stenosis.

Other bone disease or local injury may also be responsible.

Pressure on the sciatic nerve can result from a number of reasons including

  • Sometimes, just sitting awkwardly can cause sciatica.
  • Piriformis syndrome (tightness of the piriformis muscle in the buttock that compresses the sciatic nerve)
  • Spinal misalignments, vertebral dysfunction
  • herniated disc
  • Poor posture – wearing high heels, prolonged sitting, poor mattress
  • Poor lifting technique and poor bending habits
  • Spinal compressions due to osteoporosis

Diagnosis of Sciatica

Since there are many disorders that can cause sciatica, your Naturopaths’ first task is to determine the exact cause of your sciatic nerve interference.

Naturopathy treatment

  • Always begins with a thorough history,
  • Spinal, orthopaedic and neurological examination.
  • Special diagnostic imaging investigations such as X-ray, CT, MRI
  • Posture pro scan may also be required to accurately diagnose your sciatica.

Treatment of Sciatica

As sciatica is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve, it stands to reason that treatment involves removing this pressure. Your Naturopathy treatment aims to achieve this by reducing nerve pressure caused by poorly moving spinal joints as well as easing muscular tension in the lower spine, buttock and leg.

This is achieved by using a combination of the following techniques:

  • Spinal mobilisations
  • Massage therapy and trigger point therapy
  • Stretching tight muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments
  • Ultrasound and other electrical stimulation devices
  • Advice in relation to how to minimise pressure and irritation of the sciatic nerve

In addition to this, you will be given a series of home stretching exercises and asked to apply ice and heat to help aid your recovery.

If you are suffering with sciatica at the moment please do not delay – you can achieve the best results when you address the symptoms early!

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

Neck Pain

If you are one of the many Australians that suffers with neck pain, you will be pleased to know that our proven Naturopathy approach may offer the solution you have been searching for.

Neck PainOne out of ten of us will have neck pain at some time in our life. In most cases it is not due to a serious disease or neck problem and often the exact cause for the pain is not clear. Most are probably due to minor sprains or bad posture. This comes as no surprise when we consider the activities of modern life such as sitting in front of a computer, watching prolonged periods of television and an increasing incidence of poor posture – particularly forward head posture.

Problems within the neck can also cause headache, shoulder pain, TMJ or jaw pain, pins and needles in the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome and upper back pain.

We encourage you to contact us for a thorough assessment with one of our Naturopaths if you regularly experience any of the following,:

  • In the am you may wake up with a sore neck
  • Reversing the car and turning your head, your neck may feel stiff
  • When you turn your head you may hear a clicking sound
  • Neck muscles may ache constantly
  • A sensation of pins and needles in your fingers and hands

With more moving parts than any other machine, it’s not surprising your body occasionally cries out in pain or refuses to do what you tell it to do. After all, there are hundreds of different muscles and joints that can go wrong. Fortunately, there’s an effective way to treat many of the problems you can experience –Naturopathy.

Causes of neck pain

One survey done has found that, of adults aged 45-75 years, about 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 5 men had current neck pain. Types and causes of neck pain include:

By far the most common cause of neck pain relates to the effects of poor posture. In order to understand the impact of poor posture, we must first consider why spinal alignment within the neck is so important.

Coupled with the stresses and demands of modern life, it is no surprise why neck pain is so common. Your head weighs about 5 kgs and in normal alignment it is very carefully balanced on top of your seven neck bones (vertebrae).

  • Your muscles work very hard to maintain this postion and easily withstand short periods of variation.
  • Problems arise when we assume awkward positions for prolonged periods, the fine balance is disturbed and the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments and discs of your neck become strained and irritated.
  • The tension in your neck and shoulder muscles doubles for every 2-3 cm’s that your head is forward! Over time, the neck strain and pressure accumulates to a point where it becomes chronic and even the smallest changes in posture cause significant effects.
  • Whiplash
  • Arthritis
  • Sporting Injuries.

Because neck pain could be an indicator of various illnesses, the physio will ask all the special questions such as general health, past medical history, weight loss, bladder and bowel control, quality of appetite and sleep and medication usage.

Treatment for Neck Pain

Before any action is taken, the Naturopath will assess your neck pain, diagnose the problem and help you understand what’s wrong. They will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that takes into account your lifestyle, leisure activities and general health. Thankfully, Naturopathy offers a very effective treatment for neck pain. Typically, your Naturopath will recommend the following:

  • postural advice and how to avoid further strain, good posture may help. Check that your sitting position at work or at the computer is not poor. (That is, not with your head flexed forward with a stooped back.) Sit upright.
  • a series of spinal mobilisations to restore proper movement to the neck vertebrae
  • massage to tight neck muscles
  • neck exercises to encourage improved movement
  • neck strengthening exercises
  • keep active
  • heat/ice therapy to help manage your neck pain
  • recommend a contoured firm supporting pillow seems to help some people when sleeping.
  • advice on how you can help yourself. for example, you may be shown exercises that you can do between treatment sessions

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.

Headaches

Headache is one of the most common illnesses in Australia, with around 15 per cent of us taking painkillers for a headache at any given time.

Headache PainBecause headaches are so common, most people think they are a normal part of life. However, a persistent headache is a sign that something is wrong. The continual use of pain medication to combat headaches is akin to removing the warning light that alerts you to a problem in your car! Medication doesn’t solve your headache, it simply offers a short term solution to dull the pain.

Types of Headache Tension headaches and migraine are the most common forms of headache and cluster headaches are most rare. Other types of headache include sinus headache, rebound headache and exertion headache.

Causes of Headache Headaches can result due to a variety of reasons including stress, poor posture, accidents, medications, environmental factors such as strong odours & pollution and dietary irregularities.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked cause of migraine and tension headache is due to nerve irritation in the upper neck caused by poorly functioning spinal joints – Vertebral dysfunction. Since the nerves of the upper neck supply areas of the scalp and face, irritation to these nerves can and often lead to headache.

Assessment of Headache Your Naturopath will carefully analyse potential headache triggers and perform a detailed history, orthopaedic, neurological and spinal examination to determine the cause of your headache. Further diagnostic testing such as XRay or MRI may also be required. Upon arriving at a specific diagnosis, your care can begin.

Relief From Headache Naturopathy is an extremely effective treatment for headaches. By carefully restoring proper movement to the spinal joints of the neck, your Naturopath is able to significantly reduce the presence of nerve irritation and muscle tension helping to alleviate the cause of your headaches.

For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled Naturopaths you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our Bungendore practice on 0421 957 075, or visit Balance Wellness Bungendore‘s state of the art Naturopathy clinic at 38 Ellendon St in Bungendore.