Turmeric is, probably, the most clinically researched spice.   Its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are very well documented, both as food and nutraceutical (supplement).  Turmeric is certainly one of my go-to suggestions for the maximum number of health benefits from one source.

fresh turmeric root sliced in half
You are almost certainly familiar with turmeric as the bright yellow spice used in curries; and Indians are well- known for liking curry.  What you may not know is that turmeric contains active components that have been shown to pass into the brain and assist breaking down beta-amyloids, proteins that are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.  It may just be a coincidence but Indians have a high rate of turmeric consumption and a low rate cognitive decline (what Alzheimer’s causes).

So the take – home message is that turmeric is protective for these age-related brain conditions; “it’s only The Brain, but probably still worth protecting!”

This remarkable spice does much more than ‘just’ help to protect your brain function.

Turmeric has been shown reduce inflammation just as effectively as prescription drugs, but without the myriad of side-effects from gut ulceration to increased cardiovascular risk.

Published research has indicated Turmeric delivers great value in the treatment / management of 6 keys areas;-

  1. Arthritis; as an Osteopath this is probably what got my attention first.  Turmeric is well documented for reducing inflammation throughout the body, and this is really noticeable in its effects on painful joints such as osteoarthritis of the knees.
  2. Immunity i.e. helps strengthen immune function and fight infection.
  3. Cancer; has been shown to have positive effects on some cancer cells.
  4. Skin; in addition to the previously described benefits for skin it also helps resolve inflammatory skin issues.
  5. Detoxing; helps the liver in its vital role of breaking down harmful compounds.
  6. As mentioned earlier, Dementia.

turmericI observe the clinical value of turmeric every day, in both acute and long-term pain/inflammation conditions.  As turmeric can be as powerful as prescription anti-inflammatories I often prescribe it for patients who have contra-indications, or reluctance, to taking conventional pain-killers.  The particular product I prescribe is Metagenics Inflavonoid Intensive Care.  An example was a recent patient with a sprained ankle from tennis; middle-aged man who also was very prone to stomach ulcers and had compromised liver function.  Having a history of ulceration tends to rule out conventional anti-inflammatories, and sub-optimal liver function means that paracetamol is not an ideal choice as it can be hard on the liver.  All the side-effects of turmeric are pretty much positive so this was a safe and effective option.

I also encourage my patients with osteoarthritis, often very manifest in knees and hips, to incorporate the use of turmeric over the longer term.  Once again the anti-inflammatory effects are well documented and, unlike pharmaceutical options, the side-effects are actually desirable!

But wait, there’s more!

A Queensland vet, Doug English, has a recipe called “Doug’s Golden Paste”.  It’s a simple and very quick recipe combining turmeric, black pepper (enhances the effectiveness of turmeric dramatically) and, my old friend, coconut oil (see a previous blog of mine).   I have seen the Golden Paste work wonders in treating animals with everything from skin conditions and arthritis to cancer.  Humans can (should!) take it too.

I have attached a link to Dr. Doug’s website, Turmericlife, as it’s an excellent resource for information on this wonderful spice.       http://turmericlife.com.au

‘til next time, yours in good health

Dr. Josh :)

The wear ‘n tear condition, Osteoarthritis (OA), is very prevalent in Australia – this is not a news flash to you I’m sure! Anti-inflammatory drugs such as over-the counter Nurofen, along with prescription ones like Mobic are big sellers for this reason. There is a growing body of evidence that deficiencies in the Trace Element – Boron, may well be related to the development of osteoarthritis. Apparently, in areas of the world where boron intake is 1mg or less per day the prevalence of OA ranges from 20-70%. However, in regions where the boron intake sits between 3-10mg a day the rates of OA are between marginal and 10 %!

Research has shown that folks with arthritis have significantly lower levels of boron in their bones and joint linings than those without arthritis. It has also been demonstrated that boron works on multiple pathways in the body to decrease inflammation and assist cartilage and bone renewal. It has also been found that boron enhances the effectiveness of the more well-known joint supplement combination, glucosamine/chondroitin. It has been suggested that if you’ve tried glucosamine for those aching knees but haven’t had results then it may be boron deficiency holding things back.

A trace element is a nutrient that we only need tiny amounts of; in this case boron is vital to the formation of bone and cartilage but only tiny amounts are required.

I first learnt about this connection between boron and OA from a very old and wise Veterinarian over 30 years ago. He could look at an animals bones and tell the farmer if it was deficient in boron by signs of wear and tear in the joints. The benefit to the farmer is this is a very cheap problem to rectify for healthier animals on market day! At the time I had no context for this piece of information so promptly forget it (!) until I recently started coming across research papers on osteoarthritis, especially in relation to the knees.

boronThe results I see in my patients include very significant reduction in pain and inflammation, along with improved mobility. Boron actually helps joint repair whereas all the anti-inflammatories in the world do not. And talk about cheap; you couldn’t spend more than 20 cents per day on this if you wanted to!

All the capsules I’ve seen are 3mg, and the consensus seems to be a dose of between 3-10 mg daily; I split the difference and suggest 6mg/day.

All the best,

Dr. Joshua Brohier – Osteopath



The life you save through donating blood might be your own!

Research reveals an 88% reduction in risk of heart-attack for those who donate blood!

This statistic is based on a study in Finland of 2682 men who donated blood at least once a year. Other studies conducted in relation to cancer and blood donation have shown significant reduction in rates of various cancers including liver, lung, colon, and throat tumors. I came across another  study the other day that also suggested blood donating may be of value in improving insulin sensitivity, thus helpful for folks with diabetes. So why all this goodness from donating blood, you might ask? The consensus is that giving blood reduces several risk factors:

  • Firstly it thins the blood thus reducing its viscosity.  This is important because thick, sludgy blood doesn’t  flow so well and can lead to blockages in blood vessels i.e. a heart attack!
  • Secondly blood donating removes excess iron from the body.  Contrary to popular belief, it seems that too much iron is probably a more significant risk factor in the western diet than being deficient.  Excess iron can apparently lead to oxidative damage of various tissues including blood vessels, thus arteries get corroded and blocked.   The damaging action of too much iron is considered to be a risk factor in some cancers as well.  And some studies suggest that iron can reduce insulin sensitivity, which is a major issue with diabetes.
  • And there is also some calorie-burning thrown in; the usual 500ml donation burns about 600 calories!

bloodlettingThis is not an exhaustive list of benefits, but it should be more than enough to get you donating; and let’s not forget it greatly helps others in need. It puzzles me as to why these benefits are not more widely touted, especially by organizations wishing to receive blood donations.  If a drug caused such a dramatic reduction in cardiac risk with absolutely no side-effects I’m sure it would be promoted enthusiastically. I can only surmise that it’s because blood-letting as a medical intervention for illness, which has a 3000 year old history across numerous cultures, fell out of favor in the late 19th century and became a thing of medical mockery.  I have been aware of the literature on blood-donating for a couple of years now but only got around to actually start giving blood this January.  I am making it a regular habit once every three months as suggested by The Red Cross. Maybe that 3000 year old practice had something to offer after all!

Best wishes, good health

Dr. Josh

;Hi there! Stiff and Sore ..

Check out this five minute Youtube presentation by the very entertaining Dr Gill Hedley;  its an excellent encouragement to maintain some sort of regular, life-long exercise habit.


stiff and soreDr.  Gill, an anatomist, graphically demonstrates the actual physical changes that take place in the body leading to stiffness and loss of mobility over time when we are sedentary. He also makes it clear how easy it to prevent the changes taking hold.  The key lesson to be learnt -  movement and stretching is imperative to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body.

This is importantk knowledge for you, me, our pets, everyone!

Not sure what stretches you should do for your body if you feel stiff and sore?

No drama ….. Sth Melbourne Osteopathic clinic  can guide you in which stretches are appropriate for  preventing and/or eliminating your ‘fuzz’.

good health and movement

Dr Joshua


Fermented Foods naturally assist the beneficial bacteria in our gut, thus enhancing and supporting our digestive, immune, lymphatic and nervous systems.

balance your body workshopSuffers of the many physical symptoms associated with IBS, CFS and Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut, Headaches, Food Allergies, Inflammation, Emotional Imbalance, Chronic and Acute Ailments, Recurrent Cold and Flu, Aching Joints, Insomnia and Weight Management will greatly Benefit from our balance your body workshop.

Learn how to incorporate Fermented Foods into your everyday diet, be Educated on the importance of Fermented foods in the positive maintenance of Health & Wellness.

balance your body workshopFermented Foods demonstrated will include: Coconut Yoghurt, Water and Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Kimchi and Sauerkraut.

And to continue your journey to improve your Health your take home Fermenting starter kit will include Kefir, SCOBY, Pro-biotic Cultures and wonderful recipes.

Take the time in your busy life to learn about and implement the changes that fermenting can add to your health and wellness.

To book:   email inspire@risewellness.com.au or call Jemima : 0417 573 316


Date:          Sunday 15th November 2015

Time:         12.30-2.30pm $90

Location:   R.I.S.E Wellness – Kitchen hub – 15 Mooltan Ave, St Kilda East, 3183.



Gut instinct

gut health

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.

gut healthFermented 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!

Be well,

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.


sports injuryThe 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!

acupunctureOne 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.acupuncture-back

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



coconut 2


joshuaRenowned 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