Post partum hairloss

POST BABY HAIRLOSS… HOW CAN ACUPUCTURE HELP?

A friend of mine mentioned to me that she had noticed significant hair loss a few months after having her second child & it got me thinking about why this occurs and how acupuncture can help. What I discovered was that hair loss in pregnancy is closely linked to the hormonal changes in pregnancy & that acupuncture can assist with the body transitioning back to normal hair growth rates and give those baby hairs that pop up a boost!..

Post partum hairloss

 

We all know that hormones play a big role in how we feel day-to-day and pregnancy changes & disrupts these hormonal balances. Acupuncture can assist with fine tuning the bodies fine hormonal balances by balancing cortisol levels to relieve stress, regulate adrenal function, and normalize your stress response (doesn’t this sound like what every new mum needs). Acupuncture is considered safe to use in pregnancy, but there is always risk involved with using acupuncture needles, however small. Some people are more sensitive than others but most people find acupuncture gentle. If acupuncture seems like the treatment for you and postpartum hair loss is affecting you,  why not give it a try?

In the meantime… try these tips to help support hair growth postpartum

  1. No harsh styling or wearing tight hair styles that nay break new hair growth.
  2. No harsh combing while hair is wet
  3. Warm oil massage to stimulate hair follicles, adding 5 drops of peppermint & lavender oil to a base oil such as jojoba or almond oil will help stimulate hair follicles (providing you don’t mind the oily residue it may leave on your hair)….

When massaging your scalp, use fingertips only and use both hands applying medium pressure to your scalp, moving in small circles across your scalp.

Try to massage your scalp for at least 5 minutes daily…

Remember, you got this,mamma..

Yintang

Anxiety during pregnancy

Pregnant & overwhelmed?

You are not alone, with an estimated 1 in 5 women reporting anxiety symptoms throughout their pregnancy & anxiety prevalence peaking during third trimester, anxiety is more common than we think. Expecting mother have also had to face many changes and restrictions to their care delivered during Covid-19 and these unique times have added to the prevalence of perinatal anxiety.

Now, one well known therapy that can assist with anxiety and slow down the parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and silence those bust thoughts is acupuncture. Acupuncture that is considered safe to use in pregnancy, although there can be risks involved, such as localised redness at the needle insertion point. Most women find acupuncture gentle, although some are more sensitive than others, as the needles used are very fine. But acupuncture and can provide support for perinatal anxiety and permission to stop and rest when life can be overwhelming…

If you want to test & see if this is the right therapy for you try massaging this point directly between your eyebrows for 3 minutes and see if this acupuncture point helps.

Yintang

Hope this helps!  Remember, you got this, mamma.

Healthy Women

12 Habits of Healthy Women

I believe great health is every woman’s birthright. Why is it that some women are glowing with health and vitality, while others are in a daily battle with headaches, bloating, acne, PMS or overeating?

I believe the difference often comes down to the day to day routine. Some women radiate good health because of simple everyday choices based on a deep understanding of what their mind, body and soul need to maintain good health.

From working with women for many years and asking them about their health, these are 12 habits I’ve uncovered:

1. She makes time for herself

What is life all about if it’s not to explore and do the things that you love?

Healthy women know that life is meant to be fun, and they seek out fun and adventure each day, even if it’s in their own backyard, or on the couch reading a favourite novel.

Making time for yourself everyday helps you to feel positive about your life and interact with others in a confident and cheerful manner. Having fun and feeling positive is very good for your health.

2. She educates herself about health

Healthy women understand the importance of regular menstruation, keep a track of their cycles, know which foods can cause PMS and which nutrients can improve periods.

Healthy women stay away from fad diets because they know they’re not sustainable over the long term. Nutrition can be a confusing topic, so it’s important for you to discern what’s advertising and what information is from a reputable source.

Remember that not all foods suit everyone, so it’s always best to seek out information that is specific to you and your health condition. It doesn’t make sense to take health advice from your best friend or from a instagram influencer.

3. She prioritises sleep

Sleep is essential to our wellbeing and healthy women make sure they stick to a regular bedtime and get 7 to 8 hours sleep most nights. When we’re asleep our body is doing essential work in digestion and repair.

Stress causes poor sleep in women of all ages. So many women put off sleep to get more things done in their day. Insomnia lowers quality of life day to day. If you are experiencing insomnia 2 or 3 times per week it’s essential to get to the source of the problem and restore healthy sleep.

Poor sleep can contribute to brain fog, obesity, heart disease, irritability, low mood, mistakes and accidents.

4. She knows that exercise doesn’t have to be painful

Bootcamp anyone? If that’s what you love, then go for it! But you don’t have to push yourself, and strain and sweat to be healthy. Too many women think of exercise as a punishment for enjoying food.

Exercise should be a joyful part of your everyday routine. Walking with friends, dancing, tennis, a gentle cycle around your suburb or nature path are all fun ideas. What is your favourite exercise? Do more of that!

5. She pays attention to her symptoms

Healthy women ask themselves what’s caused their headache before reaching for a painkiller. Often a neck stretch, fresh air, some slow deep breathing, or a glass of water will soothe a headache.

It’s important to know what triggers symptoms in you. Did you notice that you felt bloated after lunch today but yesterday you felt OK? What could be the difference? Is it something you ate, or have you had a stressful morning? Our body sends us messages all the time.

Some common symptoms are headaches, bloating, gas, pain and constipation. Understanding how to interpret those messages can be life changing. Once you start to pay attention to your body, you can start adjusting the way you eat, drink, sleep, move and rest.

6. She knows when to push herself and when to rest

Stress! In a world where we revere people who seem busier and more successful than us, the healthy woman understands balance. She is not fanatical about her work, health or exercise and enjoys time out and treats in moderation.

From working with many women in my clinic I can report that most women have far too much on their plates and their stressful lifestyle is a major contributor to their illness.

Women commonly deny that they are stressed because it’s important for us to believe that we are comfortably juggling everything. Do you feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get through everything on your list? Do you experience brain fog? Do you feel anxious when you’re running late? These are signs that you are doing too much!

Constant stress leads directly to adrenal overload, insomnia, digestive problems, hormonal conditions and autoimmune conditions. When I work with women with any health complaint, I always start with assessing the amount of stressors in their day to day lives.

Balancing your to do list with time for rest is an important step towards good health.

7. She eats fresh, home-cooked food

The healthy woman loves to cook and invests time finding new healthy recipes. Recipes don’t have to be complicated, meals that are simple to prepare can be just as healthy.

Cooking is an important life skill and thankfully also an art that is becoming popular again through cooking shows and celebrity chefs. If you don’t love cooking it might just be that you haven’t learnt how. Cooking is a very satisfying way to use your creativity and put smiles on the faces of your family and friends.

Investing in, or borrowing a great cook book is a good way to begin your knowledge of cooking and healthy eating. There are even flavour thesauruses to explain which flavour combinations work well together.

I don’t have one myself, however many women swear by the Thermomix for quick, easy, healthy midweek meals.

8. She is organised

Eating well is easier when you’re prepared. Healthy women are organised and have a wide range of nutritious foods on hand in the kitchen.

I often hear women say that they don’t have time for breakfast. This really just comes down to being more prepared. Making breakfast takes no time at all if the ingredients are at your finger tips.The healthy woman has her fridge and pantry stocked with ingredients to make muesli, porridge, omelettes or mushrooms on toast for breakfast.

Take away meals are great for those nights that you just don’t feel like cooking, however eating take out for dinner is rarely a nutritious option.

9. She doesn’t snack

Whenever I ask a women who is at a healthy weight what she snacks on, the answer is pretty much always the same: “I don’t snack”. Instead she eats 2 or 3 satisfying meals per day. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the occasional treat, however cutting out snacking for the majority of the week has many benefits for your health.

Snacking leads to health problems such as weight gain, type II diabetes and other conditions related to blood glucose regulation such as PCOS, psoriasis, eczema and acne.

Snacking between meals slows down your digestive system and can cause constipation and a host of digestive symptoms.

10. She has a strong support network

Relationships are important and healthy women prioritise strong relationships with friends and family. It’s the quality of relationships that’s important and not the quantity. Hundreds of likes on a facebook post can’t compare with an hour with a good friend.

Loneliness is a big factor in poor health. Loneliness is a risk factor for many mental health conditions, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia.

If you don’t have many friends, consider joining one or two community based activities such as volunteering, tennis, lawn bowls, business networks, community gardening, P’n’C, or a choir. Meeting people who share common interests is a great first step to making friends and building a support network.

11. She is comfortable in her own skin

A healthy woman embraces her body because she understands that no matter what it looks like on the outside, it’s the vehicle that she uses to get around in every day.

I highly respect the work of Taryn Brumfitt who is behind the Body Image Movement and is bringing the idea of ’embracing yourself’ to the world. Taryn’s message is “your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams”.

12. She seeks help when she needs it

There’s an old Dutch proverb “sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot”. This is a reminder that it is much easier to fall sick than it is to get well again. Healthy women are all about prevention and that’s why they look after themselves every day.

If something is worrying you, don’t wait for it to become a big problem before you ask for help. It is not normal to have symptoms every day. Your body should feel light and energetic. You should sleep well and wake up with excitement for the day ahead. You should be able to eat a wide range of foods without experiencing digestive symptoms.

It’s essential for all women to seek out a great female doctor who has a good understanding of women’s health. If possible, take the time to find a GP who is willing to work alongside your naturopath and is open to taking a natural approach to your health.

Women’s Wellness Program

When we work together as part of my Women’s Wellness Program, I explain these healthy habits to you in more detail and make them specific and relevant to you. I endeavour to help you enmesh these habits into your day to day life, even if you feel you don’t have the time or money to make changes.

We work on these habits over 14 weeks, while having 5 one on one consultations to look for the root cause of the health challenges you are experiencing. I work with women with a range of digestive conditions, menopause and hormonal conditions and offer a free discovery session for those who want to find out more.

I’d love to see you soon!

Simone 🙂

Hi! I’m Simone Jeffries. I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach.

I welcome men and women to consult with me at my Surry Hills clinic, or online from anywhere in Australia.

The information in this blog is from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, experience from working with women in my clinic, and continuing research.

This blog is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek assistance for any medical concerns.

Could your painful bloating be SIBO?

The pain and discomfort from digestive bloating and gas can really spoil your day. If you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you might be interested to hear that research is showing us that at least 60% of IBS is actually caused by SIBO.

So what is SIBO?

SIBO is an acronym for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. This is a condition where normal bacteria that usually live in the large intestine can become trapped and cause havoc in the small intestine.

Our food spends roughly 2 hours in the small intestine after leaving the stomach. This is where the nutrients we have eaten are absorbed into the blood stream, sending nourishment to our cells.

Bacteria living in the small intestine snack on our food, producing fermentation and gases that causes bloating. The gas isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s damaging to the microvilli of the small intestines.

Left untreated, SIBO can lead to a host of other symptoms due to malabsorption and inflammation. Complications of SIBO may include histamine intolerance, leaky gut, food intolerances and allergies.

How do I know if I have SIBO?

There are a number of symptoms that can provide clues that you are experiencing SIBO. Bloating approximately 2 hours after eating is the most common symptom, other symptoms may include constipation or diarrhoea (or alternating between), belching or burping after meals, abdominal cramping, flatulence, brain fog, and/or fatigue.

SIBO is diagnosed by a lactulose breath test performed over a 3 hour period. The test measures the gases produced over this time line to determine which parts of the intestines the bacteria are present.

How do naturopaths treat SIBO?

The first step in treatment involves temporary diet restrictions and herbal medicine to reduce symptoms and kill off the bacteria in the small intestines. This usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Herbal medicines are changed and rotated throughout this time to maximise their effectiveness against the bacteria.

It is important to remember that anything that kills bacteria in the small intestine will also affect the balance of bacteria in the large bowel. It is advisable to work with a qualified herbalist to ensure that the treatment is of short duration and not harmful to the many beneficial bacteria that inhabit the rest of the gut.

It is common for people to experience recurring SIBO. Therefore the next step in the treatment process must be to uncover the reason why the SIBO occurred, addressing this issue so that the SIBO won’t relapse. SIBO can be caused by a number of things including chronic constipation, low levels of stomach acid, antibiotics, medications, or bouts of food poisoning.

Some people can have a sluggish migrating motor complex, which is a system of contractions that keep food moving through the bowel. Lifestyle factors such as stress can play a major role in SIBO, or regular snacking, which switches the migrating motor complex off. Naturopaths will look at all these factors, and many more, to decide on a layered approach to treatment.

When will I feel well?

You may feel well after just one round of treatment, which takes 6 to 8 weeks. After the treatment we want to get you back to eating regular foods as quickly as possible, so you can enjoy pain free eating and benefit from a wide range of nutrients.

For many people it can take another one or two rounds of treatment to feel back to their healthy and energetic best. Some will remain on herbal medicine to assist with digestion and bowel movement until they feel 100%. Please get in touch if you are interested in learning more about SIBO and how a naturopath can help you.

Simone Jeffries

I am a naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist, and certified wellness coach.

I welcome people to consult with me in my clinic at Surry Hills, Sydney. If you’re not in Sydney then I am able to provide online and after hours consultations Australia wide.

This blog contains information from my B. Health Science degree, continuing research, and experience gained from working with men and women in clinic.

This blog is not intended as individual health advice. You should seek assistance for any medical condition. Herbal medicine does not replace medications prescribed by your doctor.

FERTILITY MASSAGE – WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

If you have been trying to conceive you will know how much it takes its toll on you, both emotionally and physically.

You may have been trying naturally to conceive or gone through the channels of IVF. Either way, the longer this cycle of trying goes on, the more your mind can panic emotionally sending you into overwhelm and distress.

When trying to conceive, the physical body and hormones are tested, examined, poked and prodded, your BMI, weight and age is recorded and your physical body is relied on to get you pregnant. However very little is paid to the emotional side of your journey and this can be the biggest key to falling pregnant. The pressure and expectations to conceive can be cripplingly stressful and this is where fertility massage and be of great assistance.

Fertility Massage Therapy

Fertility Massage Therapy is a deep, yet gentle and non-invasive therapy that works by bringing the organs within the abdominal area back into alignment, releasing pressure and strengthening the surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Some of the benefits of fertility massage

  • Fertility Massage Therapy aims to re-position your internal abdominal organs, including the uterus, as the positioning of your uterus helps optimise your chances for fertilisation and implantation.
  • Improves organ function by releasing physical & emotional congestion from the abdomen.
  • Improves circulatory, lymphatic & nervous systems by encouraging more blood flow to reproductive & pelvic organs by resolving any congestion & misalignment to these organs.
  • Helps to tone & strengthen the uterus & surrounding ligaments to optimise fertilisation & implantation.
  • Breaks down scar tissue or adhesions surrounding reproductive, digestive & pelvic organs which improves organ function & health.
  • Helps to subdue parasympathetic nervous system & induce rest & relaxation….which is always welcome.

WHEN TO HAVE FERTILITY MASSAGE

If you are trying to concieve naturally…

….the ideal time to have fertility massage is the end of menses to ovulation. This is commonly from day 7 to day 14 of your cycle.

If you are undergoing fertility assistance…

….with IUI the ideal time for fertility massage is from menses to ovulation & insemination.

…. with IVF then the ideal time for fertility massage is from suppression of your cycle to embryo transfer is recommended, as long as no tenderness is felt.

Our Fertility Massage Therapist

Kyla Mayer is our skilled and experienced fertility massage therapist. Kyla has a special interest in pregnancy & remedial massage, lactation support, pregnancy, women’s health, fertility, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and you can read more about her here.

To book an appointment with her you can call (02) 9211 3811 or book online here.

What do you mean my pain can be coming from my internal organs?

This blog follows on from the blog: Why are my pains/injuries always on one side?

 

Fascia/Connective tissue connects every part of the body. It’s in its name!

Fascia or connective tissue is the human equivalent of the internet, it connects everything and there is no central control. Fascia surrounds muscles/nerves/blood vessels and every organ, and every cell. Fascia is a part of the extracellular matric and, as such, is involved in every body function and in every body system in some way. As stated in James Oschman’s book ‘Energy Medicine – The Scientific Basis’, science has shown that fascia and extracellular matrix are part of the environment of every cell. In fact, every cell cannot be separated from its envirnment, which includes its connections to its local capillary and extracellular matrix, including the fascia.

This means every body system can be affected by the fascia. 

Within the skin there is the superficial fascia which influences the lymphatic system, adipose-metabolic systems and thermoregulation and perceptions of pressure/temperature/chemicals etc. These link up via the autonomic nervous system to the internal organs and the fascia surrounding them.

Fascia/connective tissue is not just for muscles

More evidence is also cited from the fascia researcher, Robert Schleip, who demonstrates practically the known fascia functions. Robert Schleip in his book ‘Fascial Fitness’ describes four function of the fascia.

 

  1. Shaping: supports, protects, wraps and gives structure
  2. Movement: transfers and stores power, maintains tension, stretch
  3. Communication: receives and forwards stimuli and information
  4. Supply: metabolises, transports fluid and carries food

 

The fascial lines coming from the musculo-skeletal system can intersect and blend with the fascial tissue from the internal organs within the abdomen, thorax, head and neck and so the possibility of cross-referral or potential influence are obvious, especially if there is an abnormality in one area or the other. The fascia surrounding the organs have attachments sites on the anterior and posterior aspects of the trunk.

 

Fascial Manipulation Ⓡ

Fascial Manipulation Ⓡ technique, developed by Luigi Stecco, demonstrates how you can assess whether the physical dysfunction is causing an effect on an internal structure/organ symptoms, or if the internal organ is contributing to the physical pain, which may appear to have a musculo-skeletal cause. If a thorough history is taken, listing the chronology of all symptoms and dysfunctions both musculo-skeltal and of the internal systems, a picture can be built which allows the examiner to determine which way the symptoms are being influenced. Is it a somato to a visceral issue or is it somato to visceral or maybe even visceral -visceral or somato-somato influence between symptoms and thus this will determine how the assessment and treatment are conducted.

Using Fascial Manipulation Ⓡ technique, the visceral dysfunctions can be treated without touching the viscera. Because each organ has fascial connections or attachment points both anteriorly and posteriorly into the trunk wall, these attachments points allow for the fascial tension to be released. The tension along a line does not have to be fully released to obtain a reduction in symptoms, due to the body’s amazing capacity for compensation.

So this means that some gut issues, cardio-thoracic problems or hormonal issues can cause pain/unpleasant sensations to be felt either in the trunk/abdomen or even along the limbs via fascial chains. So yes, your pain can be coming from your gut! And other internal organs.

Some symptoms like bloating, a sensation of tension, coughing, gastritis, constipation etc can be common causes of fascial tension issues which can be treated using Fascial Manipulation Ⓡ technique. Of course true pathology cannot be changed, only symptom reduction can occur, in these cases. But in cases where medical testing has ruled out pathology, then the fascial system may be the culprit.

If you want to know if your symptoms may have a fascial component then book in to see me for an assessment.

Wholistic Medical Centre, 1/17 Randle St, Surry Hills. Phone 9211 3811.
Book online now at www.wholisticmedicalcentre.com.au or www.johadleyphysio.com

Why are my injuries/pains always on the right side of the body?

Why are my injuries/pains always on the right side of the body?

Why are my issues always on the same side of my body?

These are questions I have asked myself and have heard from patients over the years. As a wholistic fascia physiotherapist I now have better answers to these questions.

 

Everything is connected.

Everything in the body is connected. Growing research is demonstrating that the systems we name as musculo-skeletal, circulatory or immune systems are increasingly being shown to blend into each other and it is getting more difficult to know where one system begins and ends.

Everything in the body is also connected via fascia/connective tissue. (Yes! The nervous system and circulatory systems also travel to all areas of the body but they are also surrounded by lots of protective connective tissue. You cannot get to a nerve or blood vessel without having to remove the overlying connective tissue/fascia.)

Fascia or connective tissue is part of the extracellular matrix and so connects and contacts every cell in the body and that this ‘living matrix’, as described by James Oschman in his book, ‘Energy Medicine- A Scientific Basis’, has been demonstrated by scientists to be composed of semiconductor molecules capable of forming a body-wide electronic circuit and possibly processes sensory data faster than nerve and chemical signals. This may be why complex movements such as dance, sports or martial arts movements can be performed at speeds faster than could be controlled purely by the nervous system.

Fascia/connective tissue is around every cell in the body, so it can be the link between injuries/dysfunctions in the head and the arms, or between the head and the foot etc.

The body is great at healing itself and some post injury tension/scarring changes can be easily worked around. So healing does not have to be perfect to return to previous levels of function. The fascial/connective tissue system allows for a lot of compensation within the body but when there is no more room for compensation, due to too many injuries or abnormal environments, different areas of the body can be overloaded. Then new injuries can occur at more distal sites or previous ones can reoccur.

More about fascia

Fascia is composed of many different cells/tissue types. Adipose tissue(fat) & cartilage are special forms of connective tissue. So are ligaments and tendons. All the internal organs are surrounded by connective tissue. The skin is composed of loose fibrous connective tissue (a.k.a superficial fascia) and within this there are receptors and cells involved in the perception of chemical, touch and temperature. There are also cells linking the immune system and the metabolic system within the skin/superficial fascia. See, it does connect every part of the body!

Fascia/connective tissue is not just for muscles but also has other known functions. Robert Schleip in his book, “Fascial Fitness” describes four functions of the fascia.
1. Shaping: supports, protects, wraps and gives structure
2. Movement: transfers and stores power, maintains tension, stretch
3. Communication: receives and forwards stimuli and information
4. Supply: metabolises, transports fluid and carries food

Fascial ManipulationⓇ

Luigi Stecco has developed an assessment and treatment technique called Fascial ManipulationⓇ which involves assessing the areas of dysfunction to determine if the issues are from the superficial and/or deeper fascial systems. Stecco also acknowledges the role of fascia in movement dysfunctions as well as its internal organ connections and roles in the cutaneous-thermoregulatory, adipose-metabolic, lymphatic-immune systems.

Stecco’s Fascial ManipulationⓇ technique utilises a specific series of points, similar to acupuncture or trigger points, to determine IF there is a fascial line or fascial plane connection to the number of symptoms or pathologies presenting.

So even if we only consider the biomechanical or physical connections between fascial and muscle layers, it is easy to see how forces can be transferred from one part of the body to another and how it is possible for an area distant to the site of pathology to be the cause of the problem. It is also easy to see how internal organs can also be the source of somato/musculo-skeletal symptoms or conversely how musckulo-skeletal symptoms can transfer abnormal forces to the internal organs and thus create dysfunction within the various internal systems. But that is a topic for another blog.

Let’s stay with the musculo-skeletal side – Muscles are surrounded by and infiltrated by connective tissue/fascial networks.The endomysium/perimysium & epimysium surround muscle fibre/fibre bundles/muscles respectively. The muscle forces are transmitted along these bundles and are also transmitted and communicated via fascial links to antagonist/opposing muscle groups.

Connective tissue/fascia is what determines how effective and powerful your movements are, as muscles blend into fascia and create seamless continuations, so the forces generated can be spread along the chains. Thomas Myers has documented in his book, “Anatomy Trains” how the fascia creates links between the various musculo-skeletal elements and thus movement can be observed to affect parts of various chains. E.g a downward dog pose in yoga stretches the posterior chain.

So with this background on how the connective tissue/fascia is interconnected to the whole body, if you have an injury to one part of the body, these links can have increased tension and altered information spreading along them and thus can lead to injuries at more distant places. The body is very good at compensating for injuries but if enough tension is altered within the system, symptoms eventually will appear.

I use Fascial ManipulationⓇ as my main diagnostic and treatment tool as it has a very precise method for assessing which fascial links are connected and also gives a way to then treat the driver/s of the dysfunctions. Of course other techniques can also be used and I can use these too if needed.

Yoga, Pilates, all martial arts techniques and exercises that utilise more functional use of the body e.g. Kinetic Link Training or Fascial Fitness exercise classes, all help to strengthen or maintain the fascial strength and functions. Much more so than traditional weights/gym exercises.

So if you want to see if your left/right sided symptoms are connected and influencing each other, come in and see me for an assessment and treatment at the Wholistic Medical Centre, 1/17 Randle St, Surry Hills.

Phone 9211 3811 or book online at with this link Jo Hadley   or  www.johadleyphysio.com

We are pleased to introduce you to Simone Jeffries who joined our team at the Wholistic Medical Centre in March 2020.

Simone is a naturopath who has a special interest in digestive disorders and women’s health. Simone combines functional testing, herbal medicine and nutritional recommendations to support improvements in a wide range of health conditions. She is also a certified wellness coach and loves to inspire her clients to be the healthiest version of themselves.

Many women in their 40s and 50s chose Simone as their naturopath because she has focussed on building proficiency in supporting women with menopause and digestive conditions.

As a mother of 3 grown up children, Simone also enjoys working with children and teenagers. She has experience working with common childhood illnesses, ADHD and skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

Simone also loves to educate teenage girls about their menstrual cycle and teach them how to manage PMS, PCOS, anxiety and digestive problems using nutrition and stress management techniques.

As a lifelong herb gardener and foodie, Simone brings her passion for herbs and vegetables into the clinic and loves to inspire people to maintain a healthy balance by understanding how to use food as medicine.

To read more about Simone and the conditions she works with, click here.

We holistically look after mother and baby at WHolistic Medical Centre

After the Birth. What now? Tips to help you through the Golden Month.

The Golden Month after your baby is born

Many women feel exhausted & overwhelmed after the birth of their baby and their recovery is overshadowed by the desire to ‘bounce back’. In modern society women are praised and admired for how quickly they are up and at ‘em and looking great post the birth of their baby. This modern day phenomenon is contrary to many traditional cultures where it is common place for the new mother to do nothing more than rest, feed and bond with her baby. In traditional Chinese medicine this is known as the Golden Month and new mothers are given special care, food and support until they feel recovered. This month is seen as providing valuable health benefits and allowing a new mother to adjust to her new role regardless if this is her first or third child. As every child, pregnancy & childbirth will be different, the needs of every new mother will differ. This is a time to recuperate and it is important to promote a mothers physical & emotional wellbeing. This is an opportunity to address any health needs that the mother may experience in the recovery from childbirth and start the journey to motherhood supported and confident.

What assists a new mother in her recovery in the postpartum period can be simplified in four basic tips:

Rest

Every new mother is told to sleep when your baby sleeps. This is essential for recovery as newborn babies will breastfeed at all different hours and sleep when you don’t think they should. Lie down for a day sleep with your baby as this will not only encourage bonding but will provide you with some valuable rest.

Nutritious food

New mothers need good nutrition. A combination of carbohydrates, protein & good fats to encourage a good milk supply & provide the needed nutritional needs that are amplified while breastfeeding and recovering from childbirth.

Hydration

New mothers need at least 10 -12 glasses of water each day to satisfy their fluid requirements in the postpartum period. This is to promote lactation as well as assist the heart and kidneys to flush all that extra fluid and interstitial fluid that accumulates in the final weeks of the pregnancy.

Reach out to your tribe & accept help

It is so important to create a supportive circle of people. They can assist in providing nutritious meals during this time that can be easily frozen and eaten anytime, especially when cooking cannot be managed. This is essential for your physical and emotional recovery. Reach out to your mothers group & local breastfeeding support groups in your local early childhood centres as this can be a great source of support & connection with other local mothers. Remember you are not alone and don’t hesitate to ask for and access the help you need.

RECIPE FOR NONNA’S CHICKEN SOUP

This brings such memories from watching my grandmother skim the pot of her chicken broth & one that will bring you nourishment, warmth, health & happiness.

 

BRODO DI POLLO – ITALIAN CHICKEN SOUP

For stock and soup:

  • 1 whole chicken

For stock:

  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 3 celery stalks, rinsed and trimmed with leaves removed, then quartered
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, then quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved widthways
  • Rind from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese *
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 handful continental parsley and stalks
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

For soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/3 cup dried risoni pasta
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (to serve)
  • 1 handful fresh continental parsley (to serve)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (to serve)

STOCK
Place chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Top with cold water till just covered (don’t add too much water or the stock will be weak in flavour). Add remaining stock ingredients and let it slowly come to the boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour, partially covered. While simmering, skim the surface of the liquid once or twice to remove any impurities that rise to the surface. Top with more water if required to keep the chicken just submerged.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool for a few minutes. When it has cooled, discard the skin and bones and shred the meat with a fork. Set aside in a covered container.

Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove the vegetables and aromatics and set aside. Then, wash and dry your stockpot.

SOUP
Heat olive oil in the stock pot over medium high heat, then add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and sauté till the onion is translucent but before the mirepoix browns. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the stock to the pot with the shredded chicken and the risoni. Simmer until the risoni is cooked (about 11 minutes, but follow the timing on the pasta packet).

Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through the cheese and finely chopped parsley then divide between four bowls.

*I keep the rind from finished Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese segments in the freezer for whenever I need to add flavour to simmering soups.

https://chewtown.com/2014/07/brodo-di-pollo/

Many of the WHolistic Medical Centre practitioners use traditional and western herbal medicine

Where are we up to with medicinal cannabis?

 

Is it legal?    

Medical practitioners in Australia can legally prescribe medicinal cannabis through regulated pathways such as the Special Access Scheme Category B and the Authorised Prescriber Scheme. These pathways are typically used by doctors for unapproved medicines.

Dr Vicki Kotsirilos, Victorian GP and Integrative Medicine Practitioner, became Australia’s first authorised GP prescriber of medicinal cannabis in May 2018. She said recently that GPs currently have ‘a large demand’ for knowledge about the use of medicinal cannabis. Dr Kotsirilos says there is a lack of knowledge about the clinical usage of medicinal cannabis which stems from a lack of formal education and upskilling available to GPs.

‘We need regular top-ups of education because the science actually changes every day and there’s new studies that come out all the time,’ she said. ‘Because it is a plant medicine, it’s not part of our curriculum, so all the learning is self-taught.’

 What is it currently prescribed for?

The main medical conditions for which medicinal cannabis is prescribed in Australia to date are:

  • chronic non-cancer pain
  • epilepsy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • palliative care including cancer pain management
  • cancer-related nausea and vomiting.

Is it available at Wholistic Medical Centre?

We are very fortunate that Dr Amy Gajjar, who had already begun upskilling in the use of medicinal cannabis, has been invited to participate in a conference in Montreal, Canada, taking place as this newsletter goes to ‘print’. So, watch this space if you believe that you have a need for medicinal cannabis.

Medical cannabis for period pain? Would you like to have your say?

Development of a clinical trial on medicinal cannabis for primary dysmenorrhoea: Co-Design.’

Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute would like to invite women who suffer from ‘primary dysmenorrhoea’, that is period pain not due to endometriosis or adenomyosis, to participate in an on-line focus group to have your say in how clinical trials should be designed to be relevant and well-structured. Read the participant information at https://nicm.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1615795/Participant_Information_Sheet_MC_and_Period_pain_V2.pdf

Or ask our wonderful Reception Team at the Wholistic Medical Centre for more details.

We treat pregnanct mum at the Wholistic Medical Centre

When your baby is breech in the final weeks of pregnancy …. Acupuncture, TCM and massage may help.

Turn baby, turn….

Most women hope for a natural birth, but what happens when a persistent breech baby puts a spanner in the works?

As your pregnancy progresses, your baby naturally turns into the head-first position. However, a small number of babies will not turn and remain in a persistent breech position, or bottom first, in the final weeks of pregnancy. There are a variety of reasons for this ranging from placental location, fibroids or uncommon-shaped uterus, laxed uterine muscle tone from multiple pregnancies or lots of fluid around baby in utero.

This can be a source of great stress and anguish for a woman in those last weeks of pregnancy as discussions around turning baby (External Cephalic Version) and alternative delivery plans may arise.

Amy’s story

Amy* was 35 weeks pregnant with her third baby when she came to see me with a persistent breech baby on board. She had been discussing her choices and delivery plan with her Obstetrician and was wanting to wait and see if her baby would turn head first within the following weeks. A normal birth was what she really wanted and an External Cephalic Version did not appeal to her.

Her Obstetrician agreed to give Amy three weeks to see if her baby would turn. This is when she came to see me. Her Obstetrician was informed that Amy was seeking my assistance and was not resistant to her trying massage or acupuncture.

Baby’s head needed room

I approached the consultation as I always do with a thorough medical history and background of Amy’s condition. I had discovered that Amy had suffered from pubic symphysitis with each of her three pregnancies. This prompted me to thoroughly assess Amy’s hips and pelvis position and function as these may lead to a narrowing of the pelvic outlet thus reducing the baby’s ability to turn headfirst. They can also be the source of severe pain.

I commenced my assessment by comparing both hips for symmetry, movement and position and observed that Amy’s right hip was sitting slightly higher and turned toward the front when compared to the left hip. When I observed Amy walking, there was a tendency for her to raise her right hip higher than her left when taking a step forward. This confirmed my suspicions that the hips had been drawn out of alignment during pregnancy while under the affect of pregnancy hormones.

This was placing strain on Amy’s pelvis and making her gluteal muscle groups work hard to support her when she was walking.

I began the treatment by massaging her lower back and hips, focusing on the gluteal muscles to improve blood circulation and movement of smooth muscle tissue. This was aimed at reducing discomfort and allowing the hips to move more freely as well as targeting hip alignment.

Very motivated to help the baby to turn

After discussion with Amy and understanding her commitment to turning her baby to the head first position, I decided to introduce acupuncture and moxibustion into the treatment to amplify the focus on turning baby and realigning the right hip.

Acupuncture was applied also to reduce the pubic symphysitis pain. I have found this to be very effective over my years in practice. Acupuncture is complementary medical practice that involves stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin to alleviate pain or to help to treat various health conditions.

The final layer to the initial treatment was moxabustion and this was applied while Amy was comfortable lying on her side and the acupuncture needles were in place. Moxabustion is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to stimulate specific therapeutic effects and is the practice of burning a herb called Artemesia vulgarisacross certain acupuncture points. The application of moxabustion increases blood flow creating an environment of movement and activity in the growing baby promoting optimal positioning in utero. The key point to stimulate to assist with turning the baby is BL67 located on the outer corner of the fifth toe.

The recommended application of moxabustion is 20 mins daily for 10 days in succession. I performed the initial application so that Amy was confident to continue using it at home independently and tolerated the treatment. As with burning any substance it was important that Amy knew exactly where to place it and how much heat the moxabustion should generate on the skin.

After this initial treatment Amy felt confident to continue using the moxabustion treatment and tolerated this therapy well. Her baby did move around a lot during the treatment and I was hopeful that baby would settle head first over the next 9 days. At the conclusion of the appointment I also gave Amy instructions on postural techniques that she could adopt at home to encourage baby to turn into the head first position. I included some instructional videos for her to follow.

Another postural technique that I recommended to Amy was the cat stretches which help with pelvic pain and strain by again tilting baby off the lower back and pelvis to relieve pain. Once again I gave her some resources to support her doing the technique correctly. I explained that she should attempt these techniques daily for at 10 mins at a time to achieve optimal results.

Amy returned to see me after the 10 days of moxabustion application and postural techniques. She was very happy to report that the baby had turned head first. This was a testimony to her commitment and compliance with the treatment. Her Obstetrician was pleased.

Amy proceeded to a natural birth of her baby – head first!

* Name has been changed

By Kyla Mayer – Pregnancy and Remedial Massage, Lactation Consultant, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine – Red Tent inside Wholistic Medical Centre

Tasty green soup

Healthy Green Soup recipe

Ingredients

1 Fennel bulb

1 Head of broccoli

1 Zucchini

1 Bunch of English Spinach

1 Bunch of Parsley – keep a little parsley to garnish.

4 Cloves of garlic

1 Tbspn olive oil

1 Tin of Chickpeas 440g

2-3 cups of stock (Vege or chicken – you choose)

Salt & pepper to taste

Optional – Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan

Method

Chop garlic and fry gently in olive oil, add roughly chopped vegetables and stock. Ideally stock should just cover vegetables – I put everything in except the spinach then add stock to cover vegetables. Throw the spinach in on top as it reduces quite dramatically in size.

Simmer until tender. Add chickpeas, salt & pepper to taste. Blend.

A stick blender is ideal to create a fabulous green soup.

I like to add nutritional yeast just before serving or you may like to add parmesan.

Garnish with parsley.

By Lucy Bella – Wholistic Medical Centre Office Manager