My aim with these Blogs is to pass on simple, easy, tips and hints for improved well-being. I avoid suggesting anything unpleasant or prohibitively expensive as I prefer the bang-for your-buck interventions; the ones that under-promise and over-deliver!
Good Health shouldn’t have to be an expensive or elusive quest. I don’t post too often either as excessive advice is just as annoying as not having enough information; there are only so many hours in a day to get everything done
“If you’re healthy on the inside,
you’ll be healthy on the outside!!
As the title implies, this is blog is about gut health. But what does gut health have to do with Osteopathy and the treatment of aches and pains, you may ask?
Well, science knows that around 80% of the human immune system forms around our digestive tract (gut). As such, when our gut is irritated by such things as sluggish function (constipation), bloating, food intolerance etc. the very sensitive and thin bowel lining gets inflamed and this sets off an immune system response.
This causes our whole body to shift into a more inflammatory state, thus any aches and pains such as arthritic joint pains, are well and truly magnified. This is especially the case when folks suffer with conditions like chronic headaches; I don’t think I have ever seen a chronic headache patient with healthy bowel function.
The effect of this increased bodily inflammation from gut irritation is not limited to pain conditions either. Recent intense scientific research has now directly linked poor bowel function to a vast range of medical conditions from allergies and depression to diabetes, obesity, and beyond.
One of the ancient Greeks, I think it was Hippocrates, said that all disease begins in the gut. The explosion of research into bowel function over the last few years is certainly starting to bear out this generalization as being closer to the truth than we could have imagined.
Fundamentally it’s not possible to consider oneself to be a healthy person if there is poor gut function. From the effective breaking down and absorption of nutrition to waste disposal, it all happens there. As such, poor bowel function will affect every other aspect of health.
But where to start?
Gut well-being is dictated by what we call The Microbiome (capital letters for emphasis only!). The microbiome is the name for the ecosystem of bacteria that live in our bowel. Think of it as a massive team of little minions working together to keep you alive!
The microbiome do everything from help you process food and breakdown waste to maintaining the integrity of the gut lining and the manufacture of vitamins; and much more.
Here is a number to consider; 9 out the 10 cells in the human body are actually the microbiome we live with!
For the last 60 or so years Medicine has practiced from the point of view that the only good bacteria are dead bacteria;, however science never looked at it that way. A healthy gut flora is square and center of a healthy body.
A diet rich in vegetables, fruit, wholegrains etc. is an excellent starting point because these foods nourish our vital gut flora. But whilst the public are aware of that aspect of diet, the missing component has been the inclusion of fermented foods into our diets, especially in the English-speaking world.
Fermented foods (such as yoghurts, sour creams, kefirs, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegars and (yay) red wine as examples) replenish the stocks of the vital healthy flora in our bowel. Yet this is not a food group that most of us are very conscious of.
If you are deeply interested in exceptional wellbeing this is where the science is at, and our knowledge is increasing exponentially due to the work being done by many research facilities around the world, especially The Human Microbiome Project in the U.S.
I used the think the whole gut flora/probiotic thing was A significant part of health; it may well be that it is The single most important aspect of it!
It has taken two and a half thousand years, but it looks as though Hippocrates was on the money!
Want to know more about the importance of gut health and food as medicine ?
My very good friends at R.I.S.E Wellness ( http://risewellness.com.au ) run courses in fermented foods, and food as medicine. I can’t overstate the value getting across this knowledge; it can be life-changing for every aspect of your health.
Rob Knight, professor at UCSD and the co-founder of the American Gut Project, has been exploring the vital role micorbes play in the body. Key research finding can been found via Rob’s TED blog ‘How microbes could cure disease’ http://blog.ted.com/how-microbes-could-cure-disease-rob-knight-at-ted2014/
At Sth Melbourne Osteopathic Clinic (in Middle Park) we prescribe an integrated strategy to our clients for their health and wellbeing. As such, I’m more than happy to assist folks with the nuts and bolts of how to renew and rejuvenate the internal workings!
Dr. Joshua Brohier
Sports Injury – South Melbourne Osteopath Clinic
Let’s take the pulled hamstring or calf as a pretty typical example of a sports injury and see what might help avoid this kind of problem.
It’s extremely common to experience a generalized tightness in the lower back, hips, or legs for quite some time before “pulling” a calf or hamstring. Often the connection is not made between, say, a stiff back and the injury….but they usually are related.
The connection is that all the nerves that supply muscles down the legs must come from the lower back. Thus, if there is tightness in the lower spine that stiffness squeezes the nerves going into the legs resulting in stiff, tight, leg muscles.
If a muscle is tightened up it is much more susceptible to being pulled, as it has less flexibility in the first place.
It can be the same for things like knee pain problems; if the back and hips are stiffened up and not moving smoothly then these results in uneven weight-bearing through the lower limbs. The upshot is the knees being thrown out of kilter as they can’t track evenly……repeat that uneven weight –bearing thousands of times over with running training and a knee issue often ensues.
So it’s worth taking the hint early on with such symptoms and nipping them in the bud…….ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, as they say.
That prevention may involve spending some time each day on spinal and hip flexibility exercises, and having a little Osteopathic treatment to free up the stiffened up joints.
I’m also a fan of yoga for the same reasoning; the older we get the more time we have to invest in maintaining ease and flexibility of movement……rust never sleeps!!
cheers Dr Josh
Greetings all from Dr. Joshua Brohier care of South Melbourne Osteopathic Clinic in (currently) sunny Middle Park!
One of the treatment tools I get tremendous use and value out of is Acupuncture. I have been applying it in my practice for over twenty years now and am still amazed at the results clients receive. I have found Acupuncture is particularly effective in assisting to resolve the more stubborn shoulder, lower back, and knee problems that have been resistant to other forms of treatment. Acupuncture is also extremely effective in treating stubborn Achilles tendon problems – I have had tremendous results in patients particularly those who have responded poorly to extensive sport medicine injections and other forms of therapy.For me, Acupuncture has become an almost indispensable treatment tool for some of the pain conditions I see. But a fabulous example of the value Acupuncture has come to me recently via my dear ol’ Dad!
He limped into my treatment room the other day complaining of sudden onset of left hip and leg pain. My initial approach utilized gentle Osteopathic muscle and joint therapy to free up his hip and spine, thus taking pressure off the nerves that went down his leg. We certainly got good improvements doing this, but the leg pain was being stubborn and something more was required. After a bit of probing and poking around, I detected a muscle on the side of the hip that shot pain down into exactly where Dad felt it. A couple of Acupuncture needles into that spot and the improvements where immediately forthcoming.
Often a pain condition that looks a lot like either a disc, or a hip joint problem, reveals itself to be a big, fat, muscle knot! An excellent example of where Acupuncture is almost indispensable for resolving this kind of oddity.
Whilst my primary role as an Osteopath in the health profession is the treatment of structural aches and pains, I’m always on the lookout for easy to implement and good value wellness ideas.
After all, well-being is a bodily thing and a person in good health obviously experiences less aches and pains then someone who is not.
So from my desk at our Osteopathic Clinic in Middle Park comes this month’s bang-for -your buck tip: coconut oil!
Am sitting here eating it with a teaspoon out of the jar…..yum !
As far as super-foods go, it must be the most versatile and value for money one there is; everything from improved cardiovascular health to reducing abdominal fat. Not to mention glowing healthy skin and improved immune function.
It can also be used as a moisturizer and a cooking oil. Unlike other oils it isn’t damaged by heat thus making it excellent for stir fries etc (obviously only if you like the taste of coconut).
The super-food equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife for sure!
I’ve provided a couple of links to some brief and engaging information about coconut oil; The Authority Nutrition site has a nice concise list of benefits; the ABC online link contains a brief and very well-informed talk by an scientist expert in this field.
Got me pondering lamingtons and Bounty bars now
Renowned Middle Park Osteopath Dr Joshua Brohier is a highly qualified, dedicated professional with extensive clinical experience in Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Bowen and Emmett technique. Josh has established an enviable reputation and is considered amongst the best in his field.
Seeking a Middle Park Osteopath ?
Josh’s clinic’s Canterbury Rd Middle Park location makes it easily accessible for clients who live in surrounding Bayside areas of Port Melbourne, Sth Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, St Kilda, Elwood, Elsternwick, Brighton and beyond.
Accessible by car with ample parking on Canterbury Rd, by Light Rail (catch # 96 Light Rail to Stop 131 ) and by Tram (# 112 West Preston – St Kilda to Stop 140 Middle Park)
Common problems that we at Sth. Melbourne Osteopathic Clinic can assist with:
• Acute or chronic muscular pain
• Headaches and migraines
• Osteopathic treatment for Back and Neck pain
• Osteopathic treatment of Sciatica
• Osteopathy for hip and shoulder pain
• Postural problems
• Work injuries – including work cover
• Injuries after a car accident – including TAC claimable Osteopathy
• Sports Injuries
• Pregnancy Related PainTAC claimable Osteopathy
• Sports Injuries
• Pregnancy Related Pain