Keep your Spine Healthy this festive season – December Patient Newsletter 2014

Keep your Spine Healthy this festive season!spine-health-during-festive-season

With the festive season fast approaching, it is a time for celebration, relaxation and letting your hair down. Unfortunately this period can also take a toll on our bodies in some cases effecting our spine and nervous system. This could be the result of indulging in a little too much alcohol, lugging around those heavy parcels full of Christmas presents, or even just the stress of getting things organized for the holidays. Whatever the reason it is important to take care of your body throughout the festive season.

So here are a few tips for staying safe and healthy over the holiday period:

  1. For the ladies, with all the events the Christmas calendar brings often women find they are spending more time than usual wearing high heels. Even if these shoes don’t bring you discomfort it is important to remember the effect they are having on your spine. Essentially this increases the normal forward curve of the lower back and causes the pelvis to tip forward. Our advice is to always take a pair of flat shoes with you, wearing them to and from events can reduce the amount of time spent in heels. Also opt for shoes with a thicker heel, these provide more support than stilettos.
  2. Be conscious of what you are carrying. Whether you have gone crazy at Christmas shopping, moving the furniture around to prepare for an event or even just carrying that overly packed handbag or brief case, it is vital that you don’t over exert yourself. Opt for a trolley when doing the shopping to avoid unnecessary strain on your back and only carry with you items of necessity. If you are lifting heavy objects like tables or lounges ensure you lift them using the correct technique (see last months newsletter for more details)
  3. Pace yourself. Be it drinking or eating, take it slowly. Give your body the chance to digest food. It takes about 20 mins from the time of eating for your body to recognize the feeling of fullness, so keep this in mind at the Christmas Buffet this year! Also when drinking it is important to stay hydrated, drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages and your body will thank you for it the next day!


Don’t Stress!stress-management-naturopath

Stress is the single, often silent and underhanded obstacle to the success of any treatment program. Many patients present with an awareness and readiness to address their stress concerns; however, many are unaware that the root of their persistent health problems is a long-term over active stress response.

Alterations to the stress response system (SRS) function are usually a product of long-term psychological stress or biological disturbance. SRS disturbance results in a disjointed cortisol cycle, where the constant exposure to high levels of cortisol results in desensitisation of cortisol receptors – a condition known as cortisol resistance. This resistance results in impaired serotonin and noradrenaline production, predisposing the patient to cognitive dysfunction, insomnia, emotional instability, depression and/or anxiety disorders.

Reduced immunological responsiveness to cortisol also results in increased immune activation and inflammation, which can lead to the development of chronic inflammatory, allergic and/or autoimmune diseases. Metabolically, cortisol resistance and hypercortisolaemia may contribute to obesity, high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. Impaired digestion and diarrhoea and/or constipation are also seen in patients who are cortisol resistant.

Our expert Naturopath Therese Lew has over 30 years clinical experience and can help you overcome the ill effects of stress. Book in a consultation with her today!

Gluten–Free Xmas Muffinshealth-glutenfree-recipe-muffins

Our expert nutritionist Dinielle combines her background as a chef with her nutrition expertise to bring you these scrumptious yet healthy Christmas muffins!


  • 300g of any dried fruit – I have used blueberries, apricots, prunes, Medjool dates, figs, and mango- small dice, or chopped in food processor
  • 1 ¾ cups (175g) of blanched almond flour
  • 2 tsp of gluten free baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 clean, whole orange, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger


Preheat oven to 180c and grease well a 12 holed muffin tin. It’s easier to line them with paper muffin cases as they do tend to stick.

In a food processor put in orange and blitz until mostly smooth, add coconut oil or butter, eggs and vanilla and pulse briefly. Add in almond flour, spices and baking powder. Add in dried fried and just stir them through. Spoon into 12 muffin holes and bake for 12-15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

For the honeyed brandy cream

For each ¼ cup of double cream I have used ½ tsp honey and 1 tsp brandy. You can use more if you want, just taste it!

You can do whipped cream if you wanted, just add honey and brandy as you whip your cream.


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