Written by admin on 27th June, 2013   |   Comments

Energy drinks don’t energize you – they stimulate you and this comes with a range of harmful effects.

Research shows that aside from a short caffeine high, there are actually no health benefits to energy drinks. In fact, the combination of different chemicals is likely to do more harm than good, especially for children.

The sad thing is that it all boils down to common sense. These products get on the market, and they have flashy colors and cool commercials. The advertisers are specifically targeting kids.

Energy drinks are beverages that contain large amounts of caffeine and sugar, although sugar-free versions of some energy drinks are available, and in some cases the sugar free versions are even worse for harmful side effects.

Most energy drinks also contain additional ingredients like B vitamins, amino acids and herbs. Energy drink manufacturers often advertise the energy producing benefits of these additional ingredients, but there's little scientific evidence to support many of the claims. Most of the energy from energy drinks comes from the caffeine and sugar.

Side Effects of Energy Drinks
Heart palpitations/Tachycardia
Chest pain/Ischaemia (lack of blood to body tissues)
Respiratory Distress
Increased blood pressure
Gastrointestinal disturbance (diarrhea)
Increase urination
Dizziness, irritability, nausea, nervousness, jitters.
Allergic reactions
Headache and severe fatigue from withdrawal.
Breast shrinkage in females.
Painful withdrawal symptoms if not consumed.

If you're consuming energy drinks because you're frequently tired, there are better ways to boost your energy: get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet. You also need to stay well hydrated, as dehydration is a common cause of tiredness.

Water is the best type of fluid to drink to stay well hydrated because water is processed by the body differently than other types of fluids. Water also has plenty of health benefits.
Caffeine: This is the most common energy drink ingredient and one of the most widely consumed substances in the world. Caffeine tolerance varies between individuals, but for most people a dose of over 200-300mg may produce some initial symptoms: restlessness, increase heartbeat, insomnia. Higher dosages can lead to more serious effects. See the link below.

Caffeine can be found in other ingredients such as guarana, green tea extract, and coffee extract. So read your labels.

Over consumption of caffeine can lead to adrenal fatigue. These people may experience reverse effect of deep tiredness. The answer is to reduce caffeine intake, detox, and get the adrenal glands back to a healthy state. Drink responsibly, use energy drinks only when you need a boost of energy occasionally or chose coffee as a healthier option but never substitute either as a replacement for water.

Sugar: Most energy drinks are high in sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup and/or cane sugar. Some use creative names to make their version of sugar seem healthier, like “natural cane juice” or they’ll call it “glucose”.

High sugar drinks are linked to the obesity epidemic, tooth decay and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. The sugar in energy drinks causes blood sugar and insulin spikes which later result in a “crash like” feeling.

Drink responsibly, use energy drinks only when you need a boost of energy occasionally or chose coffee as a healthier option but never substitute either as a replacement for water. Over consumption of energy drinks can also easily lead to a sugar and caffeine addiction, causing it to be difficult to cut out or cut down. Slowly cut down to avoid serious and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, drinking plenty of water during this process.


Written by admin on 20th June, 2013   |   Comments

The season for live music festivals has started and despite the unpredictable summer weather there are still hundreds of us who have the urge to flock to these events. With many of us choosing to camp overnight we don’t necessarily first and foremost think about our health and the impact a few nights away sleeping under the stars can have on our backs. With an estimated four out of five adults experiencing back pain at some point in their lives, you may want to consider some of the following tips:

• Don’t over pack your rucksack
• Invest in a good quality rucksack with padding and wide shoulder straps and ideally a waist strap – you may have to stand in large queues!
• Always bend knees to lift gear and get help lifting a heavy pack onto your back
• Set up your tent on a flat surface – ensure it is free of bumpy objects such as rocks or tree roots
• Use an inflatable sleeping pad; they are light and very easy to roll up.
• Think ahead - Book an appointment with your chiropractor before and after the event

Festivals are a time to unwind, so enjoy the experience.

Written by admin on 17th June, 2013   |   Comments

Whilst most of the country has just experienced the hottest weekend so far this year, some people may have gone a little crazy and overdone the sun without wearing sun protection. Sun burn is not pleasant, however, if you are unfortunate enough to have got sunburnt you may want to try Aloe vera.

Aloe vera is touted as the “burn plant,” the perfect natural remedy for a bad sunburn, and according to some studies aloe vera can help. Initial research has shown aloe vera aids the skin in healing from sunburns and mild burns. In addition, aloe vera oil can moisturize the skin, helping you avoid the peeling normally associated with sun damage (*See Footnotes Below*). For more severe sunburn we would recommend seeking medical advice from your GP.

Remember, the next time we have lovely sunny weather always wear sun protection, suitable clothing including a hat and drink plenty of water to avoid sunburn and dehydration.

Thamlikitkul V, Bunyapraphatsara N, Riewpaiboon W, Theerapong S, Chantrakul C, Thanaveerasuwan T. Clinical trial of aloe vera Linn. for treatment of minor burns. Siriraj Hosp Gaz. 1991;43(5):313-316.

Visuthikosol V, Chowchuen B, Sukwanarat Y, Sriurairatana S, Boonpucknavig V. Effect of aloe vera gel to healing of burn wound a clinical and histologic study. J Med Assoc Thai. Aug 1995;78(8):403-09.

Akhtar MA, Hatwar SK. Efficacy of aloe vera extract cream in management of burn wound. J Clin Epidemiol. 1996;49:24

Written by admin on 24th May, 2013   |   Comments

Did you know that 1 out of 4 people aged 65 and older fall each year, receiving injuries serious enough to require medical help.

Some people believe that falls are a normal part of aging, and as such are not preventable. Although no single risk factor causes all falls, you can make simple changes to your lifestyle to reduce the risk, which could threaten your independence.

Falling is not an inevitable part of aging and by increasing your mobility you can reduce the risk of a fall. By exercising regularly you can increase your muscle tone, increase your strength and flexibility.

  • Regularly walk or swim for 15 minutes at a time (every day if possible or every other day).
  • When reaching or bending take your time and allow for time to recover your balance when rising from a chair or bed.
  • Wear proper fitting, supportive shoes with low heels or rubber soles.

You are only as young as your spine is flexible

Along with regular physical activity, routine chiropractic care can help to maintain spinal mobility. Chiropractors who practice health promotion and wellness can offer significant assistance to older adults seeking to maintain and improve mental and physical fitness. Fitness is not a fad, but a goal to pursue by older adults as well as the middle-aged

Written by admin on 28th April, 2013   |   Comments

Many times people wonder whether to use ice or heat for a condition like neck pain or lower back pain. This can be a controversial topic. In general, when pain is present there is inflammation so your Chiropractor would recommend using ice or cold to reduce swelling and pain. If heat is inappropriately utilized during this inflammatory phase of healing, an increase in blood supply to the already swollen, injured area often results in an increase of pain.

As long as pain is present, ice is usually safer and more effective.

A bag of frozen peas or gel filled packs are ideal, however, they are too cold to put directly on the skin, so make sure you use at least one layer of cloth cover between the ice pack and the skin. Flannel is a great material to use between the ice pack and skin, but any comparable cloth cover will do. Never put the ice pack directly on the skin.

Depending on where your pain is located will determine how long the ice or cold pack should be applied:

Neck pain for 5 to 10 minutes,
Mid back pain for 10 to 15 minutes,
Lower back pain for 10 to 20 minutes,

It’s also important to apply the ice or cold pack with enough frequency. Three applications of ice per day will typically bring desired results.

Keeping a couple of ice packs ready and available in your freezer will make it easy and convenient to use should an unfortunate mishap arise.

Written by admin on 18th April, 2013   |   Comments

Good posture is the gateway to great spinal and bodily health. But what happens when we alter our posture in the name of fashion. Wearing sensible shoes, i.e.. shoes that are supportive to your feet, Allows the spine to rest and move comfortably in its optimal position for nerve transmission and proper articulation of the joints of the entire spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

High heels create an image of appeal, toning of the calf and thigh muscles, creating the effects of being taller and the ability of being fashionable. However the cons far outweigh the pros when wearing heels constantly and not adhering to the warnings that usually come as pain in the joints of the spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

It has been found that 59% of women wear high- heeled shoes for between one to eight hours a day. With the feet and ankles in constant elevation, high-heels change the way the feet are loaded, which affect the way the spine responds from the point of view of muscle toning and balance and nerve stimulation, pelvic movement and change in gait. High heels raise the centre of mass of the body, thus affecting postural stability which can lead to changes in muscle timing and activity resulting in discomfort and fatigue. Other consequences include swelling and/or limited movement, promoting fibrosis (the formation of excess fibrous tissue) which affects the normal architecture of the muscles and alters joint loading thereby increasing the risk of repetitive low back strain injuries. you get susceptible to ankle injuries, hammertoe or bunions if not wearing comfortable shoes. Knee joint pain increases also over time depending on how high the heels are.

Though the disadvantages are great, there are some things that will help you to enjoy the fashion of wearing heels while taking care of your spine. Here are a few simple things to put in practice so that we will still care for our body and look fabulous.

Wear shoes with thicker soles, so they absorb the impact of your steps whilst walking, thus allowing comfort for longer.

If you are going to be walking, standing or travelling for a long time, take a comfortable pair of shoe with you. to change when your feet our body becomes tire or achy. Alternatively flat shoes and low heels are great such as the cute and stylish ballet flats.

Keep some sneakers in your car, for driving or as back up if need.

Variate between low and high heels, limiting the time you wear them. You won't get too used to either of them, and we'll avoid the muscle ache.

See a chiropractor regularly to promote movement and stimulation to the muscles and nerves affected from chronic high heels wearing.

Both flat, low and high heeled shoes have their pros and cons, but if we can prevent health issues, then no matter which ones we choose, we can use them with confidence and be stylish!

Wearing a supportive shoe can be very beneficial to your posture, and in order for this to happen you need a shoe which will allow you to move your foot as freely as you wish without any difficulties or complications. Also with regards to your spine, minimise the time in which heels are worn to allow your spine back into its neutral position as often as possible.

As far as posture is concerned, ensure that you are standing straight with your head upright; shoulders back and try to make sure you distribute your weight evenly around your feet. The disadvantages are less visible, however we can feel them every time we stand too much time in those favourite heels of ours or take them off at the end of the day. There are the problems that we cannot see, however, those can be serious ones, causing changes to our body that may be irreversible.

Feet need a surface which allows them to bend, grip and roll as you walk, which is difficult to do when constantly wearing heels

Written by admin on 14th March, 2013   |   Comments

Courtesy of Sun Gazing on facebook - http://www.facebook.com/sungazing1

Written by admin on 7th February, 2013   |   Comments

We know that regular physical activity is an important part of enjoying a healthy lifestyle. But it’s frequently hard to be physically active when our lives are so busy.

For many of us, our natural reaction is to press the elevator button or take the escalator. But, just as we are thinking differently about the food we eat and changing our habits, taking the stairs should be a part of our everyday routine.

We often overlook this easy (and free) way to incorporate physical activity into our lives.

Written by admin on 13th November, 2012   |   Comments

I thought it would be timely to write on this subject as we plan to enjoy some well-deserved time off as summer holidays begin.

Many people I speak to tell me they have "no time to take holidays". Some business owners even claim they can't afford to take them. I would argue that if you are self-employed you can't afford not to. Let me elaborate: Studies over the years on productivity have shown that there is a sharp drop-off in efficiency after a certain number of hours of work. There have even been suggestions that a 4 day week is more productive than a 5 day week.

Imagine your body's energy and health to be like a bank account. The holidays and breaks you take allow the balance to accumulate or recharge. So imagine how far into overdraft you'll be if you don't take holiday! Life these days is so far removed from 60 years ago when holidays were considered a luxury. From a mental standpoint we owe it to ourselves to take a break once in a while.

Try taking some time out and see how much fresher it all feels. And how much more you enjoy your working week

Ed Groenhart - Chiropractor

Written by admin on 13th November, 2012   |   Comments

Guess what? Sitting is bad for you. I mean really bad.

As it turns out if you sit for more than 6 hours per day you are alot more likely to die sooner than those people who sit for less than 3 hours per day.

Guess what else? 'Experts in risk calculations' say that sitting for less than 3 hours a day is an 'unrealistic target". Really? Were they sitting down when they wrote that?

This sitting down being bad for you thing is not new news, but it does come back around into the popular press every now and again, so it is probably worth looking at. Especially if you can extend life for a couple of yearrs by getting off your ass more regularly.

This time it has popped up due to a large scale (more than 167,000 people) population study. The authors of the study admit that they can't really state tha their findings are reliable and decisive, but they are a guide.

You see observational studies can make some pretty outlandish claims at times. A good example of this was recently postulated as follows:

There is less small pox in the world than there was 100 years ago; and there are less pirates in the world now than there were 100 years ago, therefore by reducing the number of pirates in the world, this also reduces the incidence of small pox.

Yep, you heard that right, pirates caused small pox.

No, not really, but that could be the conclusion of an observational study of pirates.
So what can we gain from this tome of work? Alot really.

For starters, getting off your butt is better than sitting on it for ages. That is not really a revelation I will grant you, but wait for it, the real news is that, a more active lifestyle can lead to less incidence of heart disease and diabetes.

Adding years to your life can be easy as 1, 2, 3.
1 - Move whenever possible. If you have to sit for work stand up and move, even if it is just standing to read an email, every 20-30 minutes
2 - Sit with your hips at an angle greater than 90 degrees. That is open up your hips by sitting with your legs angled down
3 - Walk more, and sit on public transport, or in your car less. Find a way to park further away from work and walk or get off a stop or two earlier.

The take home (or to work) message here is plan your life around movement. All humans need movement to thrive. There are parts of your body that do not have a blood supply of their own, therefore you need to move to feed your cells nutrients.

Take the discs in your low back for example. They work a bit like sponges when it comes to nutrients. Across the day when you are vertical and weight bearing the fluid content gets slowly wrung out, and the discs compress a little.

When you sit down, you double the pressure on the low back discs compared with standing. So it stands to reason that this fluid can be wrung out quicker when you sit, rather than when you stand.
Then nighttime comes and you get your 8 to 9 hours sleep right?
Sleep usually reduces the pressure on your lumbar discs and allows the fluid to seep back in, but movement helps this process too.

So what is ideal in terms of movement?

Current evidence suggests that a mixed effort is best. Stuff like, being active each day, even if just for a little bit. My suggestion is to move steadily and regularly, like walking 40 minutes or more per day, then mix it up with some High Intensity Interval Training twice per week (more on this in another post).

Both men and women should do some muscle-strengthening exercises each week, however women should not be concerned about 'bulking up' because they don't have the testosterone for that. My suggestion is body weight exercises like those demonstrated by Mark Sisson (here).
Oh, and while we are at it, TURN OFF THE TV it is robbing you of valuable time and it encourages you to sit more - which we know takes years away from you.
So, move your ass, save your butt.

Dr Adam Smith - Chiropractor