Research shows that combining massage with chiropractic treatments is more effective than either alone.
Remedial massage as a healing tool has been around for thousands of years and usually utilises a variety of slow and deep strokes to unwind and release adhesions and tension in your muscles and fascia, and to open up and decompress constricted joints.
Having a massage does more than just relax your body and mind. The benefits of massage range from treating chronic diseases and injuries to alleviating the growing tensions of our modern lifestyles. Remedial massage is effective and corrective for muscular pain and stiffness as well as for rehabilitating injuries, and is a good way of preventing long term pain.
Remedial massage can also help to reduce inflammation related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis. Some of the other immediate benefits of massage include increased blood flow, improved range of motion, and structural re-balancing.
Top 10 health benefits of massage:
What are the health benefits of massage? Well there are many and here's my top 10 list:
To find out more visit helouchiropractic.com.au or to book an appointment call us on 9484 1521.
With today’s sedentary lifestyle and its effect on our health, we need to look once more to the importance and positive benefits of good posture.
Read on to learn more about how you can improve and maintain good posture for life.
Posture has been found to have an effect on both the body’s physical function as well as our overall health. The effects of poor posture are well documented, ranging from physical symptoms, such as muscle pain, restricted breathing and digestion, through to the effects on our mental and emotional well-being.
When posture becomes stuck in a position the body can’t self correct, there is the potential for the various automatic body processes to be impacted. A slouching posture can put pressure on the internal organs. A compressed rib cage can restrict breathing, oxygen flow and blood circulation, which in turn can affect your metabolism too.
Not only does having your body in a more upright position allow you to breathe more fully and easily, but as you get more oxygen into the blood, it helps you to burn calories more efficiently, as well as to think more clearly. All this has a positive flow on effect for mood, concentration and energy levels in general.
In my practice, I see patients every day, who can’t believe the effects good posture has on their health. They not only look better, but feel freer and more able to cope with the stresses of everyday life – and their outlook is generally more positive.
Research shows that when your body is in a slumped over posture with the head in a forward position, this puts greater pressure on the muscles of the neck and back to hold it up. If your muscles are tensed all the time, this can negatively impact on your overall range of motion, and often pains and aches will eventuate, physical activity becomes more difficult and you become susceptible to injuries.
So what can we do to improve posture?
If you do experience pain as a result of poor posture, help is available. ABC chiropractic adjustments can help to release bodily injuries, effectively unwinding past trauma, enabling the body to move free from pain, and re-establishing a natural upright posture. Once posture has been corrected, it’s important to maintain an upright posture for optimal health. Here’s a few tips to maintain a good posture:
If your office chair seat is adjustable, tilt your seat so it’s lower at the front and higher at the back. If not, place a foam wedge or folded towel at the back of your seat. This lifts your bottom above knee height and positions the spine in a relaxed normal S-curve resulting in a good upright posture.
It’s also important to have good posture while standing or walking. We recommend a shoe with a slight heel to ensure the body is kept in an upright alignment.
Even sleeping with a good posture has health benefits for the body. A firm mattress and the right pillow can help encourage your spine to go back into a neutral position – allowing your spine to rest from the day’s exertions.
To help support your good posture, be sure to also build in regular exercise during the week (e.g. walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, pilates etc.), This will help to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Hasan Helou
If you’re feeling run down, stiff or you just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep, or if you find yourself tossing and turning with legs that ache, there’s a good chance you may be deficient in magnesium.
Magnesium is the single most important mineral for maintaining electrical balance and metabolism in our cells. It is responsible for over 300 critical enzymatic actions in our body!
What would happen without magnesium? Essentially, our brains would simply stop working. Magnesium is a highly conducive metal… and our brain works because of electricity. Our nerve impulses (how our brain talks to our body) would stop transmitting. Our bones weaken, and our joints and muscles stiffen. This is because you need magnesium to move the calcium in your body. One of magnesium’s many jobs is to move calcium from tissue to your bones. This makes your bones (and teeth) strong. So when calcium is not moved… it starts to calcify your muscles and joints. So, essentially if calcium gets ‘stuck’ in your body except your bones, this could lead to osteoporosis and fractures.
So be sure to include plenty of magnesium rich foods in your meal plans each day.
Yours in good health,
Did you know that not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can actually contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure and a poor immune system?
With Daylight Savings in play, it's a great time to think about the importance of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep should be at the top of your to-do list. Sleep is critical to good health and is important to not only feeling good, but also in making good decisions, performing well at work, driving safely and even with feeling happy.
So how much sleep is enough?
Adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. For some people sleep can be one of the most elusive of health goals, even more so than exercise. Many people accept this as a way of life and find that their health declines, but you need to understand that sleep is crucial to well-being We require sleep in order to heal and restore mental acuity. Sleep is when our bodies focus on making new cells to keep us going. Without it we lower our immune response and increase our risk for chronic disease.
Top six reasons to get your sleep
According to Harvard Medical School, here are the top six reasons to get your sleep.
So, what can you do to help improve your sleep? Here are our top 10 tips to help you get a good night's sleep.
Stay on schedule and say no to all nighters
Try to develop a regular sleep and wake schedule (even during the weekends). A consistent schedule will reinforce your body's sleep-wake cycle and help you to fall asleep more readily at night. Missing one night of sleep can take up to 2 weeks to recover.
Unwind and de-stress
Stress is the worst culprit limiting sleep, and yet it is so ingrained into our daily lives that many of us simply don’t notice it anymore. Decreasing it can be as easy as taking a few minutes of “me time” every day. This could be as easy as 30 minutes of TV, a quick angry bird’s break, or your favorite exercise.
Regular exercise can promote good sleep. A good time to exercise is in the morning or early afternoon. If you exercise in the evening, be sure to finish at least two to three hours before bedtime. If the only time you have to exercise is just before bed, do some stretching instead. Stretching will help your body reconnect and unwind.
Limit caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why many of us love it. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise they’re addicted until they try to stop drinking it and experience symptoms like mood swings and headaches. If you do drink coffee, or caffeinated beverages, try to limit them to before noon to allow the body adequate time to metabolise it.
Watch what you eat before bed time
Eat a light dinner a minimum of 2-3 hours before going to sleep. Eating proteins at dinner, such as fish, chicken or certain vegetables will prevent hunger pains at night. Protein is required to make new cells and is pivotal in the rest and digest process so consuming protein a few hours before bed is very important. Be sure to avoid carbohydrates before those 2 hours before bed as they’re used for energy and we don’t want to be amped up before bedtime.
Avoid sleep aids
Medications that are marketed to promote sleep are shown to actually decrease REM sleep. REM sleep is where we sleep our deepest and heal and it’s vital to maintaining our health.
Limit your daytime naps
Sleep primarily at night. Try to avoid excessive napping during the day. If you feel the need to rest, keep your naps to 20 minutes or less.
Create optimal sleeping conditions
Always sleep in a dark room. Having lights on during sleep or a brightly lit alarm clock interferes with the amount of melatonin produced naturally in the body. Also, keep technology away from your bed. Computers and TV use causes rhythmic image hypnosis which prevents sleep from coming easily. Limit technology use to 15 minutes before bed and use the 15 minutes to read instead.
Adopt proper sleep posture
It's important to take strain off your back by making simple changes to your sleeping posture. The healthiest sleeping position is on your side. If that’s how you sleep, draw your legs up slightly toward your chest and put a pillow between your legs. Be aware that sleeping on your stomach is generally bad for your back. In this position, the cervical spine undergoes considerable strain, which can cause nerve compression, muscular imbalance and muscle pain.
Need a new pillow?
You need to also think about the position your head and neck are in when you sleep. The most important thing to do is find a pillow that keeps your head in a neutral position. At Helou Chiropractic we recommend Technogel pillows. These pillows are specially designed to help your neck stay in the proper position while sleeping. It might take a few days to get used to them, but once you do, you will notice a major difference in how you sleep and how you feel in the morning! If you would like to find out more about these pillows or if you are interested in purchasing one, send us an email.
Yours in good health,
The team at Helou Chiropractic.
A stroll down the potato chip aisle at your local supermarket, right next to the regular fried chips, you will see several varieties of the ‘baked’ kind. These baked chips are advertised as the ‘healthier’ alternative to the traditional fried chips – with less fat and fewer calories. So, are baked potato chips healthier than fried ones? If we examine the ingredients for a popular brand of baked and fried potato chips and compared them, here’s what we will find out...
Fried potato chips
The ingredients for the fried chips are very simple: potatoes, oil, and salt. The oils used are very unhealthy as you can’t fry in sunflower, corn, or canola oil without completely denaturing them. Furthermore, frying the potatoes would ensure exposure to the carcinogen acrylamide. So, are the fried chips heath damaging? Absolutely!
Baked potato chips
Most consumers associate the word ‘baked’ with ‘healthy’. And while this may be true with respect to home cooking, what about processed junk foods like baked potato chips? What comes to my immediate attention is that there are actually more ingredients for the baked chips compared with the fried. The ingredients include: dried potatoes, corn starch, corn oil and soy lechitin and corn sugar. Looking at these ingredients, the baked potato chips are more heavily processed and contain MORE health-damaging ingredients than regular old fried potato chips.
Now, in case you don’t know why those ingredients are SO bad, here’s a quick run down of each one:
Dried Potatoes: These are highly processed potatoes…not even fresh, and most likely “dried” using high heat, which makes them even worse. You see, when starch is subjected to high heat, it forms acrylamide, a potent cancer causing agent.
Corn: Corn appears in three ingredients (corn starch, corn oil, and corn sugar). Unless its stated to be organic, around 90% of corn is genetically modified. And corn that has been genetically modified has been shown to lead to liver and kidney damage in rodents and the jury is still out on humans. Do you really want to take that risk?
Soy Lecithin: If you think soy is healthy – think again. You should be avoiding soy at all costs. Soy contains high levels of phytic acid and phytoestrogens which withdraw nutrients when processed by your body. Soy consumption in adults may also disrupt normal hormone levels, affecting the reproductive system in women (heavier periods, infertility) and decreasing testosterone levels in men (which decreases libido and lowers sperm count). In fact a Japanese old wives’ tale says that women punish cheating husbands by feeding them a lot of tofu!
Corn Sugar (also known as high fructose corn syrup or HFCS): This is the worst ingredient of them all. HFCS has been heavily linked to obesity, weight gain, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
There isn’t much difference between the calorie count either. While a portion of baked chips amounts to around 120 calories, the same portion of regular fried chips are 160 calories. But what’s more worrisome is that based on FDA data in the U.S, baked chips shows that they contain more than three times the level of acrylamide – which is a type of carcinogen compared to regular chips. Slightly fewer calories traded for 3 x the potent cancer causing agent? – No thanks!
The bottom line
Our advice would be to skip out on the potato chips…baked or fried, and eat more produce and less products. Buying the baked chips is essentially swapping one set of toxins for another. In fact, the baked chips may actually be the more unhealthy choice as they are more heavily processed and contain more health-damaging ingredients than traditional potato chips fried in oil.
So, if you want a snack, remember to pack fruit - not spare change for yourself - and your kids!
Yours in good health,
The team at Helou Chiropractic
Which oil do you use when cooking? You might be surprised to learn some misconceptions about cooking with oil—especially when it comes to oil’s smoke point. Read on to learn more about the different oils and their smoke points, before choosing the oil for your next dish.
Extra-virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oil choices available. It is rich in antioxidants and 1 or 2 teaspoons go a long way (on a salad or in a sauté). When buying olive oil, look for oil that is cloudy (indicating that it has not been filtered) and has a golden yellow color (which means that it was made from fully ripened olives). Organic is best.
The long list of benefits of this oil include lowered risk of heart diseases, healing and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of bile flow, activation of liver enzymes, antioxidant activity, stimulation of pancreatic enzymes, anti-cancer effects, anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity, membrane development, cell formation and cell differentiation. Virgin olive oil has also been shown to improve brain cell maturation and function.
Grampians Olive Estate Australia produces certified organic (NASAA) Olive Oil at the base of the Grampians in North-Western, Victoria Australia. This wonderfully balanced fruity olive oil is best used as a dressing (in ample amounts) to enhance the flavour of your meals, vegetables and salads. Olive oil should not be used to cook with as heating will destroy a lot of the valuable nutrients and change unsaturated fatty acids into trans-fats.
Smoking point: Extra virgin olive oil is best consumed raw (e.g. on salads and veggies), or used for light sautéing over medium heat. It’s not a good choice for high temperature cooking.
Many Australians don’t think about coconut oil when it comes to cooking, but it’s a one of the healthiest options. Although it’s high in saturated fats, these fats occur naturally and aren't created into a saturated state through hydrogenation, like other less healthy options. Studies show coconut oil can amp up the body’s immune system, promote healthy thyroid function and blood sugar levels and reduce levels of bad cholesterol, called LDL. Coconut oil is also stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage and many studies show it may promote heart health, improve thyroid function and even help with weight loss by helping to increase the body’s metabolic rate. Look for the following statements on the label:
• certified organic
• no chemicals (including hexane) added
• not deodorized
• not hydrogenated
• made from traditional coconut palms only (no GMO varieties)
• cold-pressed (no heat used in the extraction process).
Smoking point: Coconut oil has a high smoke point of 350 degrees and does well for low to medium temperature cooking. So for high-heat cooking, coconut oil is one of the best choices.
Butter (or Ghee)
Some of you may find it difficult to believe, but butter is one of the healthiest whole foods you can include in your diet. Yes, butter contains high levels of saturated fat; but remember, saturated fat is not the culprit behind weight gain and high rates of disease. Trans fats like margarine (hydrogenated oils) are the bad guys. Like coconut oil, butter is high in lauric acid, which the body uses for energy.
The BEST butter is raw butter from grass-fed cows, preferably organic. Next is pasteurised butter from grass-fed cows, followed by regular pasteurised butter from supermarkets. Even the latter two are still a much healthier choice than margarine. Make sure the ingredients on the label are simply: Organic cream (or milk) with or without salt.
Smoking point: You can use butter for high heat cooking, in recipes or on top of vegetables.
Hydrogenated oils like canola and vegetable oils
You should never use hydrogenated oils like canola and vegetable oils for cooking and baking. These oils, which actually comes from the rapeseed, goes through heavy processing and refinement, including high heat, chemicals and deodorizers which can transform its Omega-3 fatty acids into trans fatty acids.
Oils and their smoke points
Oils (and fats) have different smoke points. This is the temperature at which it begins to smoke, become discolored, and decompose (i.e., when the fatty acid content is damaged). Never heat a fat to its smoke point if you want to avoid turning it rancid and toxic. Refer to the list below to choose the best oil or fat for each type of cooking.
High-heat fats should be heated to no more than 375°F (frying or browning):
· coconut oil
· Avocado oil
· ghee or clarified butter
Medium-heat fats should be heated to no more than 325°F (light sautéing):
· extra virgin olive oil
· sesame oil
Low-heat fats should be heated to no more than 212°F: [convert to Celcius
· pure safflower oil
· pure sunflower oil
No-heat fats should never be used for cooking:
· borage oil
· flax seed oil
· hemp seed oil
And remember, like anything, oils are only healthful in moderation.
Yours in good health,
The content of Peak Health for Every Body blog are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.