Natural Winter Remedies

winter remedies.jpg

Common cold:

2-4cm minced (finely chopped) fresh ginger.

2 celery stalks (chopped)

1 bunch parsley (chopped)

1 bunch spring onions (chopped)

2-3 cloves garlic (crushed)

4 cups chicken stock (natural-not artificial flavour, optional)

1 cup pre-cooked barley


Simmer ginger and stock for 45 mins, add celery and ginger for another 15 mins. Add parsley and spring onions for the last 3 minutes. Serve hot/warm.


Fever reducing (promotes sweating):

4 cups chicken stock (natural – not artificial flavour)

2 tsp miso paste

1 bunch spring onions (chopped)

20g Honeysuckle flowers (if available, can use chamomile as substitute)

1 cup bean noodles or bean sprouts

pinch white pepper (or cayenne) and / or ground cinnamon (freshly crushed cinnamon sticks preferred)

Note: burdock root if available can be added with the stock initially.


Simmer stock for 45 minutes. Add miso and noodles (or sprouts) and simmer for 5 minutes, Place honeysuckle flowers in a muslin bag and steep for 5 minutes, remove bag, add pepper and serve.



½ (an Orange) peel,

4cm minced ginger,

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock* (natural – non artificial flavour) Note: *can substitute for 2 cups water and freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons).

2 pears (cubed)


Simmer stock, ginger and orange peel for 45 minutes. Add pears and simmer for another 15 minutes. *add lemon juice if substituting. Remove / strain orange peel and serve liquid.

Note: for strong cough can add up to 8g apricot kernels (seeds) in initial simmer with stock and ginger.


Recovery / immune boosting:

12 dates (red dates preferable to medjool),

4cm fresh ginger (minced)

5 spring onions (chopped)

3 carrots, cubed,

2 celery stalks (cubed)

1 leek (pale green / yellow and white part) thinly sliced

1 sweet potato (or yam)

20g (1/4 cup) goji berries

6 shitaki mushrooms (or swiss brown acceptable substitute), sliced

½ cup loose seaweed, shredded (e.g nori, kombu, hijiki)

20g lotus seeds (if available)

5 cups stock (natural, non-artificial flavor).

1 cup brown rice or barley

1 bunch parsley (chopped)


Simmer all ingredients (excluding spring onions) for 1 hour until porridge consistency (can add more stock / water if prefer thinner consistency). Cook additional 5 mins with spring onions and parsley and serve warm. 

Winter in Chinese Medicine

Winter in Chinese Medicine

by Dr. Amelia Hagger (Chinese Medicine Doctor)





Chinese Medicine encourages people to live in harmony with the seasons, and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory, there are five seasons – winter, spring, summer, late summer and autumn.

Each season has many associations, which help us to adapt our habits as the seasons change so that we may create more balance between our bodies and the external environment. Without access to modern pharmaceuticals, in ancient times simple steps were taken people were able to stay healthy throughout the year and had the traditional knowledge to keep their immune systems and their organs strong so that they could ward off disease naturally.

Winter represents the most Yin aspect in Chinese medicine. Yin is the dark, cold, slow, contracting or an inward energy pattern. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners believe that the diet and activities in winter should be adapted to enriching yin and subduing yang.

Winter, in TCM, is associated with the Kidneys which hold our body’s most basic and fundamental energy, likened to a savings account: that once depleted is very difficult to build back up. Winter is a time for awareness and delicately balancing the dynamic between daily needs and tapping into the ‘kidney’ reserves. The emotion of Fear weakens the kidneys, which strongly corresponds with aspects of adrenal function from a western Scientific / Human Biology function.

Many people love winter. They feel fresh and alert with the coming cold and love to be outdoors snowboarding, skiing and going for walks in the crisp fresh air. For others, winter causes them to re-tract, stay inside and can cause some to feel sad or even depressed because of the lack of light and reduced physical activity (know as S.A.D or Seasonal Adjustment Disorder).  So, when you are freezing and hiding under a blanket: Moderate exercise for 20 minutes daily will help boost circulation (warming the extremities), raise the core body temperature (basal body temperature), support the lymphatic and immune system and aid digestion, as well as getting a natural buzz from the feel-good endorphins (or happy hormones) that are released naturally by the body when exercising. Winter is a good time to slow down, relax and look inward and reflect on our lifestyles with practices such as meditation, writing, or gentler activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. These practices help us to connect to our inner selves and help to strengthen kidney energy, which in TCM links directly to willpower. The body part associated with the kidneys are the bones, so it is important to pay close attention to the bones in the winter months so strength training such as resistance and weight training are also suitable activities; providing it is not over done to the point of exhaustion.

Nutrition is also important ensuring that adequate vitamins and minerals are available and easily absorbed to strengthen the immune system and the body can effectively guard against the cold.  This is also why Chinese Medicine recommends cooked or stewed foods such as pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots in hearty soups. This is also why winter is a time when Chinese medicine prescribes bone broths as nutritional therapy, as they are warming, nourishing and especially good for the bones. Bone broths are also powerful Jing tonics, as Jing is produced by the bones (concept of Jing very roughly translates across as essence, genes and marrow – i.e. body’s blueprint or building blocks).Foods that specifically nourish and warm the kidneys are: black beans, aduzi beans, broths cooked with meat bones, lamb, chicken, walnuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds and dark leafy greens. A small amount of unrefined sea salt is also helpful as the taste associated with the kidneys organ is salty, but remember, moderation in all things is important: too much can damage the kidneys.

The good news is that winter can be enjoyed by everyone if we live, eat and exercise according to the season and pay attention to the responses of our bodies.

Enjoy every season and learn to love winter!


Post-operative rehabilitation

Post-operative rehabilitation

By Jess Griffin

Exercise Physiologist

Appropriate post-operative rehabilitation is important in achieving the optimum outcome from your procedure and in minimising the risk of complications.

Exercise rehabilitation, which can include home exercise programs and gym-based rehabilitation, is extremely important in a person’s recovery.

Post- operative exercise rehabilitation usually commences in hospital the day after your surgery under the guidance of a therapist and should continue once you have returned home. Ultimately how much benefit you gain from your surgical procedure is up to you!

Post- operative exercise helps to restore range of movement in the joint, decrease pain, improve your muscle strength and mobility and get you back doing the things you love sooner.

Pre-operative rehabilitation is also just as important in optimising the outcome of your procedure. While the need for rehabilitation following surgery is extremely beneficial, the importance of exercising before surgery is often overlooked. Because of the many months of pain and reduced activity leading up to surgery, muscles become weaker and walking, balance and fitness deteriorate. Therefore, it is recommended that you perform a program of land and / or water based strengthening, flexibility and general fitness exercises, which can be prescribed by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Pre- operative rehabilitation has proven to show benefits in reduced pain and increased physical function following surgery, as well as reducing the effects of muscle wasting following surgery.

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist will prescribe an individualised exercise program, depending on the procedure performed, your specialist’s protocols and your personal rehabilitation goals, whether that be to return to sport, work or achieve pain free daily activities.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Addictive behaviour

East meets West for Addictive behaviour

by Dr. Amelia Hagger (CMD)

Doctor of Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine has been shown to be an effective treatment as both a stand-alone treatment or as a supporting “complementary” therapy for addictions. 

Ranging from sugar cravings and coffee addictions, to cigarettes and tobacco, to alcohol and harder drugs; and even compulsory behavior such as shopping and gambling. In addictive behavior a dependency develops on a substance or activity that produces a rush or euphoric state, followed by a withdrawal or depressive state. 

In Australia, Chinese Medicine practitioners are now registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the same governing body that registers General Practitioners, Nurses, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and other Medical and Allied Health Practitioners. This means that you get a safe and effective treatment that has proven efficacy.  Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine has been gradually gaining scientific credibility in the Western Medicine community due to more clinical and hospital trials being conducted, ‘providing the evidence’ to back the wisdom and traditional health care practices developed from cumulative observation over the last 3000 years (not all practices from 3000 years ago are practiced today in modern clinics: Traditional medicine does evolve with continual practice, as has “Western Medicine” with new discoveries and knowledge!). 

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can offer an exciting opportunity to integrate these effective traditional observations and relatively safe treatments into a modern health care environment.  One such rapidly growing area of interest is the field of Addictive substances and behaviours. For example: Integrative hospital trials are currently being conducted in Australia using acupuncture to reduce the post-operative effects of Anesthesia[1].

The beauty of the Oriental system of diagnosis is that it relies on the skills and intelligence of the Chinese Medicine practitioner to ask appropriate questions regarding the presenting condition and patient history and combine this with observations about the patient’s body and body system function. It is a combination of all the pieces that determines the overall pattern and allows the practitioner to be able to treat with a multifaceted approach: whether that is treating the ‘end result’ physical symptoms, balancing the psychological side or ‘emotions’, and / or tracing the patterns back to major organ ‘disharmony’ and improving digestion, endocrine and nervous system support.  This root (cause) and branches (effect) approach can have a dramatic effect in identifying the reason or the ‘need’ for the addictive behaviour.

In Western society habits and additions can be tackled in several ways: from ‘cold turkey’ quitting which takes strong will power (and potentially suffering withdrawal symptoms), to over-the counter support such as patches, or stronger pharmaceutical drug support to wean off an addictive substance as part of a supervised withdrawal program. In 2003, The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report[2] reviewing Acupuncture and analysis of performance in controlled clinical trials and has found Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine) to be an effective treatment for opiate addiction in clinical trials. In particular Acupuncture can support:

  • Physical withdrawal,
  • Psychological withdrawal,
  • Boost willpower, and,
  • Return homeostasis (provide systemic balance).

A qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner has unique knowledge and training to make an oriental diagnosis and provide support and treatment to reduce physical symptoms by identifying patterns of adaption and returning homeostasis to body systems.  Physical symptoms can range from cravings through to muscular tension, nausea, headaches, sweating and / or exhaustion and fatigue. A combination of Acupuncture and Herbal medicine can provide physical support to lessen the effect of withdrawal.

There are also other ‘tools’ or extra points that an Acupuncturist can utilise such as the auricular system (ear acupuncture) with protocols developed in America by the National Acupucture Detoxification Association (NADA) and the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders (ACACD).  These protocols have been shown in a variety of clinical settings to be beneficial in the process of detoxification from substance abuse as well as to help with the emotional, physical and psychological attributes involved with addictions.[3]

Unlike dry-needling, Acupuncture can also provide emotional support by ‘needling’ carefully selected acu-points which are exact locations on the body that have been observed to exert a particular influence. This effect has been demonstrated through MRIs of brain activity when stimulated by acupuncture.  Emotions such as anger and frustration can be reduced and willpower enhanced, supporting the desire not only to want to give up the addictive behavior, but also to “calm the mind” and “settle the emotions” allowing time for the habit to be broken.  Addictive behavior is often influenced by chemical or hormonal imbalances in the brain, for example: levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. When dopamine levels fluctuate this can create the ‘craving’ and ‘fix/reward’ part of the cycle.  Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate release of dopamine and encephalin (feel good hormones).

While Chinese Medicine can be described as a subtle medicine (its primary aim is to restore balance) it is also very safe.  So whether it is as simple as needing a boost to willpower to break bad food choices, or providing support to quit smoking, through to addressing psychological factors that encourage bad habits that can lead to addictive behavior, your Chinese Medicine practitioner might be able to help piece the picture together and provide a safe form of treatment to help break the patterns.

[1] Research collaboration between RMIT University and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine & Health Innovations Research Institute.

[2] World Health Organization. 2003, “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.” Geneva: World Health Organization.

[3] David J. Kuoch, 2009, Auricular Points, Acupuncture Desk Reference, Acumedwest Inc. P236 

Headaches: nutritional advice and tips

Headaches: nutritional advice and tips

by Dr. Natasha Hagger



Are you a headache sufferer? 

It is suggested that up to 48% of the population will suffer from mild to moderate headaches throughout their lifetime.


For the vast majority of individuals headaches are due to non serious causes and are suggested to be linked to variety of lifestyle issues such as poor diet, poor work ergonomics, sleep posture, tight muscles and joints, eye strain, sinus congestion or triggers such as stress and alcohol. 

Changing your diet can have a dramatic effect on your symptoms. Increasing the ratio of essential fatty acids in Omega 3, 6 and 9 can prevent heart disease, improve mental function and reduce chronic pain. A good source of anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, sardines, eggs, linseeds, soy products, green tea, turmeric, ginger, garlic and coconut oil. Avoid or limit the amount of pro-inflammatory foods such as sugar, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, gluten and red meat. 

A study published in the annual pain journal states that a study of 67 patients suffering from daily chronic headaches implemented a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods noted that they had a dramatic improvement in their headache intensity and frequency.  

Exercise has a dramatic effect on boosting metabolism, relieving stress, increasing feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. So try to engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, that’s as simple as going for a relaxing walk along the beach! Try yoga or pilates to de-stress whilst also conditioning and improving the strength of your body. 

Your Osteopath could help manage your headaches by being able to reduce the intensity of pain and frequency of headaches where tight muscles and restricted joints in the neck and head may be compromised. Your Osteopath may improve the mobility of your ribs, cervical and thoracic spine as well as reducing muscular tension, nerve compression and therefore also inflammation. Improve the blood supply and drainage from your neck and head, advise you on posture and improving ergonomics whilst also providing you with stretches and exercises to help prevent the recurrence of your symptoms. 

Many headaches can be complex and as mentioned there are many different triggers such as foods, stress or hormones.. so keep a headache diary to help identify some causes. Osteopathic treatment could assist by realigning the spine and relax those tight muscles! For preventative maintenance: consider joining our clinical pilates program to increase stability and strength through the upper thoracic girdle and neck region to help reduce tension headaches. 


Further reading: Research and evidence

Spinal manipulations for tension-type headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Posadzki P, Ernst E.

Published in Complement Thera Med. 2012 Aug;20(4):232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

The evidence that spinal manipulation alleviates tension type headaches is encouraging, but inconclusive. Further research is needed.


Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review

Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB.

Published in J Headache Pain. 2011;12(2):127-133.

The random controlled trials suggest that massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and spinal manipulative therapy might be equally effective as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine. However, these had many methodological shortcomings and therefore, future, well-conducted trials are needed.

Mango, Lychee and Coconut Pseudo "Cheesecake"


Mango, Lychee and Coconut Pseudo "Cheesecake"

Great healthy base recipe to add / change ingredients to create different variations!  Dairy free, sugar free, gluten free. Go Nuts (literally).





Base / Crust Ingredients

1 cup dates (de-pipped)

1 cup hazelnuts (or other nuts e.g walnuts, almonds) – finely chopped

1 tsp coconut oil



1.     Pulse dates and nuts in a blender for a few seconds until sticky breadcrumb consistency.

2.     Press into a lined (baking paper) spring form tin base. 

3.    Either leave in fridge to 'set' or bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 10-15 minutes to form a 'crust'. 


Filling Ingredients

1 cup soaked cashews (soaking makes a 'creamier' consistency)

1 cup fruit of choice (mango and lychees)

1/2 cup coconut cream



1.      Blend all filling ingredients in a blender for a few seconds until smooth.

2.     Pour into pre-prepared crust base. 

3.     Set in freezer overnight. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.  (Can store leftovers (if any) for another day!)

4.     Garnish with fresh fruit, yoghurt or nuts. (I used mango jam, lychee and dragon fruit with coconut yoghurt (will upload recipe for coconut yoghurt next batch).

5.    Enjoy!  

Wendy’s Paleo Balls

Wendy’s Paleo Balls

Great base recipe to add / change ingredients to create different variations!

(We love them so much we just had to ask permission to share this recipe with you!)


12 medjool dates (de-pipped)

12 dried apricots

1 cup almonds (or walnuts / brazil nuts) – chopped

½ Cup coconut oil

½ tea spoon vanilla bean paste

1 dessert spoon organic honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds

3 tablespoons almond meal

Qty shredded coconut or carob powder to coat.



1.     Soak dates, apricots and nuts in a bowl of water for 20 mins.

2.     Melt coconut oil and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Then add vanilla bean paste and honey – stir / mix.

3.     Combine all ingredients in a blender (process for 10 seconds).

4.     Dust bench / kitchen board with excess almond flour (as dates can make the mixture very sticky) or wear disposable gloves to keep hands clean.

5.     Roll heaped teaspoon of the mixture into balls and coat in coconut / carob.

6.     Chill in the fridge for 2 hours to set the coconut oil.  Enjoy!

What is Electroacupuncture and its application in Pain Management?

What is Electroacupuncture and its application in Pain Management?

By Dr Amelia Hagger (CMD)

Acupuncture / Chinese Medicine





  •       Pain
  •       Drug withdrawal
  •      Tissue repair
  •      Modulating organ function

Regulatory effects on:

  •      Autonomic function
  •      Immune system.

Electroacupuncture works through electro-neuro-modulation. Explained in simplified terms, this means that a machine transmits a pulse or ‘frequency’ that enters the body through the acupuncture needles to have a desired effect on regulating nerve impulses and conduction. Essentially likened to reprogramming or rebooting a computer to default settings when programs get scrambled and stop functioning properly.

A 2014 study of fMRI data acquired during acupuncture stimulation showed “an extensive increase in neuronal activities” and “brain regions that were activated by real acupuncture stimulation [as opposed to sham points] included the somatosensory cortex, limbic-paralimbic system, visual-related cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum”.[i]

From a human anatomy perspective: the nerve fibres that can be affected by electroacupuncture are:

1.     Large diameter nerve fibres (group II) - sensory group,

2.     Motor neurons (i.e. movement),

3.     Small diameter nerve fibres (groups III and IV and are associated with pain).

Studies support that acupuncture produces analgesic effect and that electroacupuncture (EA) is generally more effective than manual acupuncture.[ii] Neuromodulation also has a relationship with frequency! The frequency selected is important to targeting the effect of the treatment.


When used at appropriate nerve endings, dermatomes, spinal segments, relevant local areas or specific acupuncture points:[iii]

1.     Low frequencies (eg 2 Hz) will stimulate release of:

  •       endorphins in the brain.
  •       large amounts enkephalins in the spinal cord (presumed also in the brain).

2.     High frequencies (eg 100Hz) will stimulate release of:

  •       large amounts of dynorphins in the spinal cord region.

3.     Thus it is understood that mid range (eg 15-30Hz) may release a small amount of both enkephalin and dynorphins.


The other factor that can influence the desired effect of electro treatment is Impedance: (AC) decreases as needle depth increases as muscle is more conductive than fat. Therefore, resistance affects the frequency needed:

  •         Less needed if using needle / electrode;
  •        More needed if using a pad / electrode.

Consequently, a machine must be custom designed for electroacupuncture use. For example using high frequency TENS machines (common in physiotherapy and home-based use) where current is not charge-balanced, electrolysis may occur[iv]. This is the undesirable effect where a chemical reaction occurs in the body and the needles begin to dissolve / react with surrounding tissue.

Stimulation ranges – ALS and TLS[v]

1.     Acupuncture-like stimulation:

  •         LOW frequency (2-6 Hz)
  •         HIGH amplitude
  •         LONG pulse duration

2.     TENS (transcutaneous) -like stimulation:

  •             HIGH frequency (50-200 Hz)
  •             LOW amplitude
  •             SHORT pulse duration


So what does this basic neuromodulation and anatomy mean in a real clinical context with increasing frequency?

1.     First the patient will report sensory (group II fibre sensation) of paraesthesia;

2.     Motor fibres are recruited next causing contraction;

3.     Finally, nociceptor (group III and IV) evoke pain (Sharp pain first, followed later by burning/aching pain later).


In summarising: the sensation should between the sensory threshold and pain threshold to achieve the desired effect of paraesthesia or pain reduction. Low frequency stimulation (such as Electroacupuncture) stimulates release of endorphins and enkephalins – the “feel good hormones” (the body’s own ‘opiates’-bind to morphine receptors); whereas high frequency stimulation (such as TENS) is more likely to evoke a dynorphin response[vi] and can more easily stimulate the nociceptor / pain receptors as dynorphin can elicit multiple effects on both Kappa opioid, and non-opioid pathways, to modulate analgesic responses[vii] (both switch on and off depending on location in the body).  The frequency that Electroacupuncture machines use can elicit the same effect as Manual Acupuncture (hand stimulation of needles by the practitioner, however, is far more regulated and consistant output over the entire treatment time). Therefore, using Electroacupuncture stimulation is generally able to achieve greater consistency in response and effectiveness in reducing pain levels.[viii]



[i] Shan Y, Wang ZQ, Zhao ZL, Zhang M, Hao SL, Xu, JY, Shan BC, Lu J, Li KC. 2014 "An FMRI Study of neuronal specificty in acupuncture: the multiacupoint siguan and its sham point", Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal. 2014; Ed 103491. PMID: 25525442 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4265514

[ii] Ulett GA, Han S, Han JS, 1998, “Electroacupuncture: mechanism and clinical application” Journal of Biological Psychiatry. Jul 15, edition 44 (2). Pg 129-38. Pubmed: PMID: 9646895

[iii] David Mayor and Sean Walsh, 2015, “The practical application of electroacupuncture,” AcupunctureProfessional Webinar.  [David Mayor: Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. Sean Walsh: Program Director in Chinese Medicine at the University of Technology]

[iv] David Mayor, 2007, “Electroacupuncture” A practical manual and resource”. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. Pg31-32.

[v] David Mayor, 2007, ibid. Pg 37, 71.

[vi] Han JS, Xie GX, “Dynorphin: important mediator for electroacupuncture analgesia in the spinal cord of the rabbit.” Pain Journal, 1984. April edition, 18(4). Pg. 367-76. Pubmed PMID 6145139

[vii] Ren MF, Lu CH, Han JS, 1985 “Dynorphin-A antagonizes morphine analgesia on the brain and potential morphine anangesia in the spinal cord.” Journal of Peptides. Vol 6, issue 6, Pg 1015-1020.

[viii] Ulett GA, et al, 1998 (ibid). Pg 129-38.


Exercise is Medicine!

Exercise is Medicine! 

By Jess Griffin

Exercise Physiologist

Physical activity and exercise are important to health and the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.

Did you know that...

  •  1 in 5 Australians are affected by multiple chronic conditions
  • 280 Australians develop diabetes every day- that’s 1 person every 5 minutes
  • Over 2 million Australians have hypertension
  • Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability- 1 in 6 people will have a stroke in their lifetime
  • 3.85 million Australians have arthritis- this is 18% of the population or 1 in 5 Australians
  • Coronary Heart Disease affects around 1.4 million Australians- which kills 54 Australians each day, or 1 Australian every 27 minutes
  • Over 2 million people suffer from asthma – that’s around 10% of the population

As we get older our bone density decreases and starts declining after 30 years of age and is greatest 3-6 years after menopause. Our muscle mass and strength will start to decrease around 40 % between the ages of 20-70 years old, and will reduce 6-10% each decade after 50 years. Our movement time and reaction time decreases as well as our risk of falls and fractures. We can also expect impaired cardiovascular and respiratory function and decreased cognitive/ mental function.

However, many of these conditions can be prevented or reduced by being physically active!

There is lots of evidence about the health benefits gained by older adults doing regular and varied exercise. Exercise is extremely important for ongoing functioning and independence!

As we get older, we need to reduce the risk factors for developing high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular heart disease and many other chronic conditions. However, being physically inactive will increase these risk factors.

Some of the benefits of exercise…

  •        Increased muscle strength
  •        Improved cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  •        Increased bone density
  •        Reduction of weight
  •        Improved sleep
  •        Improved mental outlook
  •        Increased energy levels
  •        A reduction in cholesterol levels
  •        Improved immunity
  •        Better digestion
  •        Better circulation
  •        AND fewer pills to take!

Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience!

You are not alone when it comes to being physically active for the first time or if it’s been a while since your last walk, jog or swim. That’s why it is important to seek assistance and advice from an Exercise Physiologist. They can assess and prescribe individual exercise programs, to prevent or manage chronic disease or injury and assist in restoring your optimal physical function, health or wellness. Exercise Physiologists will ensure that the exercise program is both safe and effective to achieve your required health goals, as well as providing education, motivation and support.

“Exercise is medicine, and you need it everyday.” – Dr. Jordan Metzl



Osteopathy for pregnancy, babies and children


Osteopathy for Babies and Children

By Dr Natasha Hagger





Osteopathy recognises the particular stresses on the body undergone by children as they grow from babies to teenagers and has developed an approach to work with children of all ages.

Osteopaths treat babies, children and teenagers for a range of musculoskeletal conditions. Early treatment may minimise the discomfort for your baby and prevent further problems from occurring.

A range of problems may interfere with the normal development of a child. Trauma during pregnancy and birth, childhood accidents and falls, or simply the rapid changes of the body’s growth can create or contribute to problems associated with bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves.

Your osteopath will work with you and your child to plan the best way forward. Your osteopath will examine and diagnose problems and before treatment commences will prepare a comprehensive case history of your child. They will complete a physical examination to determine which type of osteopathic treatment is suitable and if a referral to other health care practitioners is needed. Your osteopath will also offer advice on nutrition, general health, posture and exercise.

Osteopathy is generally considered to be safe but occasionally (as with all health treatments) may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases. Treatment may assist the young body to adapt to growth related changes which can prevent other health problems from occurring. Conditions that osteopaths treat in children and teenagers include: back pain and headaches, growing pains in muscles, bones and joints, postural problems including curvature of the spine as well as sports injuries. 

Prenatal and post natal: 

The latest research suggests that approximately 50-80% of women will suffer from low back pain at some stage during their pregnancy and most are unaware of the benefits osteopathic treatment may provide. Regular osteopathic treatment can play an integral role in your prenatal and postpartum stages.

Pregnancy and post natal conditions that can be treated include sciatica, neck and back pain, postural changes and pubic symphysis dysfunction. 

Many woman suffer with neck and shoulder pain during the postpartum period due to breastfeeding posture, lifting, carrying and holding the baby for long periods. Women may seek treatment for low back and hip pain.  Your osteopath will offer advice for feeding posture, carrying and lifting techniques and provide you with postural exercises and clinical Pilates to assist your body to return to optimal functioning.



Open Day's Spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe


Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Approximate cooking / preparatory time: 1 hour.
Due to popular demand, here is our soup recipe from our Open Day: The original version was made using a thermomix and no recipe (I prefer cooking to taste / experimenting!) So have adapted to a stove-top version. Enjoy! 


 Soup Ingredients:
1 Spanish or Brown onion – diced
3-4 Cloves of garlic - crushed
500g pumpkin – cubed
1 carrot – cubed
Caraway seeds - qty
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Tamari sauce (gluten free soy) - qty
Sesame seed oil (organic, cold pressed) – qty
500g Water
Pickled pumpkin- 50 g
Olive or Coconut oil (virgin, cold-pressed, organic)- qty
Greek style yoghurt (optional)
Corriander (Cilantro)
Whole salt (e.g Celtic sea salt, Himalayan salt or Murray River salt flakes)  
1. Place onion and garlic in a fry-pan or saucepan and sauté with olive oil or coconut oil on medium heat until browned.
2. Add pumpkin, carrot and caraway seeds and water to the sauté mixture and cook / simmer in a saucepan for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally on medium heat or until soft.  Add more water if needed.
3. Add pickled pumpkin, tamari, sesame oil (1-3 drops) and mustard seeds – to taste/ balance flavours.
4. Blend with a food processor or blender (caution hot).
5. Serve with garnish as desired.
Ingredients for Pickled Pumpkin recipe (made several weeks in advance):
Pumpkin – approx.. 1kg (cubed)
4-5 garlic cloves (crushed)
Sultanas – 1 cup
Curry powder – 1 tsp
All spice / mixed spice powder (or fresh cinnamon, clove and cardamom = preferable) – 1 tbs
Apple cider vinegar – 4 cups
Water – 2 cups
Whole Salt (see above) – 1 tsp
1. Place vinegar, water, salt and spices in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
2. Add pumpkin and cook for 30 minutes until able to be pierced with a fork.
3. Add curry, sultanas and garlic and mix.
4. Pour / pack pumpkin chunks into a sterilised jar and cover with remaining brine / vinegar liquid. Ensure pickle mixture comes to top of jar. Seal lids (airtight). 
5. Allow to cool, then store on a cool / dark shelf for at least 3 weeks prior to consuming.
(N.B. Can keep up to 1 year (sealed) if jars are sterilised properly and sealed immediately when hot (creates a vacuum). Keeps for approx. 1-2 weeks refrigerated after opening.