There are green smoothies and then there are green smoothies. I have made some that I have poured down the sink, and then others have had so much fruit in them my sugar levels would be sky high.
But, I think I have perfected it and now I have my personal favourite combo. Not too sweet and not too chewy!
This is my all time favourite and I have been having this every morning in Spring. This way I know that I have had my dose of green veggies at the start of the day and I it takes the pressure off throughout day because I am already ahead! I can feel the cleansing and purifying benefits. This is soooooo good!
Let's get started. You will need a juicer and a blender! This is key!
2 stalks of celery
1 green apple
2 cups english spinach
Juice celery, cucumber, apple and lemon.
Add juice to blender with spinach and ice if you prefer.
Blend and enjoy!
So refreshing, revitalising and nutritious!
When you’re in pain, it can take away from every other aspect of your life.
Time with family, your social life, hobbies, even your work—it’s so hard to focus, to really get through the day.
Not to mention, well… it hurts. And neck pain is its own special sort of suffering. We know how hard it can be, and we’re here to help you. Let’s run through it: why you’re in pain, what’s causing it, and what you can do.
Here’s how you can start feeling better right now.
Let’s Talk About Your Pain.
Do you work a desk job? Have you been in a recent car accident? Maybe you just text a lot and you’re constantly looking down at your phone.
Depending on the cause, neck pain can come in a variety of different forms and severities—from a pinched nerve to whiplash or postural problems to major injury.
If you’re reading this guide, chances are you know this kind of pain well, and it’s not just central to the neck, but can affect the shoulders and even cause headaches. It can be relative to one spot or it can radiate and fan across your whole upper body, including the arms. You may also experience numbing of the arms, muscle weakness and mobility issues.
Sound Familiar? Here are some of the most common neck pain instigators:
How Do I Know if It’s Serious?
When you type “Neck Pain” into Google, one of the most frequently asked questions that pops up is “Is a sore neck a sign of cancer?” Rest assured—that’s actually pretty rare. In fact, neck pain is something that will likely affect most adults at one point during their lifetimes. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but… that doesn’t make it normal.
Simply put: It’s serious. Any amount of pain is serious.
That nagging tension? That knot on the top of your shoulder? It’s all a big deal, because the truth is that we’re not meant to live in pain.
Natural Ways to Ditch Neck Pain.
So, what can you do to feel better? A lot of people reach for those muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories, which can actually do more harm than good. Here are some all-natural methods that may be able to help you out.
Not only does inflammation make your muscles more susceptible to pain and injury, but it can also slow down the healing process. When your neck is inflamed, it limits your range of motion, overall strength and flexibility. Since food fuels the body, and can be some of the best medicine around, consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that will do the body good.
For tension and muscle soreness, ice therapy is a great form of pain relief! Cold restricts blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling. Whenever there’s bleeding in underlying tissue—think sprains, strains or bruising—ice may help! But keep in mind, too much cold can hurt you. Don’t put bags of ice or packs directly on the skin, because that could risk skin, tissue or nerve damage. Instead, wrap it in a soft towel and set it on the area in question. And remember—no longer than 20 minutes a session!
Note that if you have bad circulation, then cold therapy probably isn’t for you. People with cardiovascular disease should always consult with their doctor before using cold therapy.
Many people find success using essential oils topically when they’ve got sore or strained muscles—and it’s definitely worth looking into for natural pain relief. Depending on what kind of pain it is, there are a variety of options to choose from. Here are only a few!
Bedtime Neck Support
The kind of pillow you use absolutely has the ability to hurt or strain your neck. It’s time to invest in a quality pillow. Look for one that’s made of firmer foam and materials that press back, effectively supporting the head. It’s also crucial that your pillow contours to your head, neck and shoulders, offering built-in cervical support.
Pillows that support your cervical spine actually look a lot different than the ones you’re used to seeing. The center cavity provides support for both your head and neck. This can help you avoid experiencing or exacerbating headaches, neck sprains and strains, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands and more.
The Text Neck Stretch
A common reason for neck pain? Excessive texting! As you look down at your phone, it can push your head forward and hunch your shoulders. This puts strain on the spine and may result in headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and loss of lung capacity. Of course, working on your posture is key, but stretching can be important too! Let’s open it back up with a quick stretch that may help you find relief:
What If It’s Not Enough: Fixing the Root Problem
The tips listed above will help you manage your symptoms, and they’re great for temporary relief, but honestly, they won’t fix anything. In order to eliminate your symptoms for good, a thorough examination and diagnosis of the cause will ensure effective and safe treatment can be recommended. The neck houses the uppermost part of your spine (the cervical spine) and has the important job of holding up your head. Not only does it have this constant weight placed on it, but it’s one of the most utilized parts of the body.
Think about it—not a day goes by where you don’t actively use your neck. It bends, twists and moves in every way you need it to, and that really opens up its susceptibility to injury, strain and wear and tear.
Visiting a Health Associates Chiropractor will ensure you get to the root of your problem and fast track your recovery. Chiropractors are experts in the spine. They offer a variety of options to help you recover for soft tissue, exercises, dry needling and manipulation if recommended and with consent. Spinal manipulation is very safe and effective but is only on tool in their tool kit.
If you or someone you know is suffering from neck pain please consult a professional to get a clear and accurate diagnosis first.
To make a booking with a Health Associates Chiropractor contact 9542 3330 or book online today.
Health Associates is an allied health practice located in Loftus. Surrounding suburbs include Sutherland, Yarrawarrah, Engadine, Kirrawee and Jannali of the Sutherland Shire.
Our services include chiropractic, podiatry and remedial massage. Common concerns we deal with include neck pain, back pain, sciatica, disc bulge, sports injuries, pregnancy, flat feet, high arches, bunions, plantar fasciitis.
As the weather begins to heat up and summer is almost upon us, it's customary for people to put away their enclosed shoes in favour of more comfortable, summer-appropriate footwear like sandals and flip-flops. However, whilst people are often so focused on enjoying the beautiful summer days, they can often forget that the hotter weather and bad choices in footwear can wreak havoc on your feet. So to ensure that you make the most of the summer ahead, below are some things to be wary of and to take into consideration as the days get warmer.
Common foot problems encountered during summer
Although not exclusively seen during summer, the combination of increased outdoor activities, unsupportive footwear, and temperature changes means that podiatrists will commonly see a number of foot concerns come in through the treatment rooms. Some foot issues that we commonly see include:
Above all, consistency and good forward planning is the best strategy for ensuring that you enjoy everything that summer has to offer. For any footwear advice or general skin or nail maintenance, our team are always here, so let us help you make the most of this summer season!
Anel Kapur (Podiatrist, Health Associates)
Once in a while you meet people that leave a big imprint on your heart. They have that special something that leave you inspired and fulfilled. Jo is one of those people. At Health Associates we are so fortunate to have such amazing and inspiring patients who put their greatest asset, their health, in our hands.
Jo has had some significant health hurdles to jump through. At one point her future was looking very grim. As she built her strength back she was looking for ways to get strong again and rebuild her ability and confidence. Her resilience, determination and never give up attitude has helped her go from strength to strength.
She signed up for the Health Associates Walk2Run program 12 months ago and since then she has completed
amazing hikes through Australia and New Zealand, she runs regularly with the Gingerbread Runners and she lives life to the max.
Jo never gives up.
Jo is proactive and positive.
Jo gets the right health advice
Be like Jo!
Name: Jo Devlin
What does health mean to you?
Taking care of yourself by being active, thinking positively and eating well
How do you prioritise your health?
I make sure I take time each day to do something active and inspiring
How do you keep motivated and committed to your health?
I continually embark on new adventures with positive and energetic people
Advice for others wanting to improve their health:
Visit Health Associates at Loftus to get your body aligned and relaxed and then sign up to walk, run or roller with them for improved fitness and positive encouragement to keep you going.
Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
Join the next wave of runners!
Health Associates Walk2Run Program starts on the 23rd October!
Click here to find out more and to register!
When asked recently to write an article on knee pain and injury prevention and give my top three tips or exercises to treat or prevent knee pain - my response was typical as an expert in any field - how can I distill down a massive topic to three exercises? The truth is you cannot. So I came up with six of the best.
I frequently call the knee - the naughty middle child! Why?
The knee is a modified hinge! The knee is capable of flexion and extension and some small amounts of internal and external rotation only. However - the joint above (the hip) and the joint below (the ankle) have many directions of movement available - especially the hip - and therefore require lots of stabilisation. Indeed one could almost solely focus on the hip to treat the knee.
Top Six Exercises for Knee Injury Prevention
Here is my pick for strengthening exercises to prevent knee injury: Exercises shown here should always be demonstrated and supervised before they are performed to ensure correct technique and therefore optimal outcomes. Consult your local strength and conditioning expert, chiropractor or physical therapist for further instruction.
Always remember - every exercise has a regression to something easier, and a progression to something more difficult. If you need further help here please feel free to leave us a message and we can post an option to demonstrate. And again I can't reiterate enough - seek professional guidance before beginning any exercise program.
Chair Squat / Single leg sit to stand
A superb exercise almost every body can do to improve leg and hip strength. Place feet in a wide comfortable position hands in front of you like a genie, spine neutral position and sit back to touch your buttock on the chair. Stay leaning forward and rise from the chair (nose over toes) to stand up tall.
If this movement is to easy - it can be performed with a weight - or changed to a single leg option as demonstrated
A simple exercise to build strength below the knee. Start with two legs and simply raise up and down avoiding rolling ankles - keeping the knee slightly bent and the feet nice and straight. Once you are able to perform 30 easily - progress to single leg calf raises - supported - and then progress to single leg unsupported. Once you can perform 30 single leg calf raises unsupported you get a high five from me - but then you can add weight with a dumbell or kettlebell etc.
Bridge - Hamstring Bias
Performed laying on your back like a normal bridge - but with your feet further away from your buttock than normal. Work up to 30 second holds. Once this becomes too easy progress to single leg lifts alternating sides. Progressions can be achieved by moving the feet further away from the buttock or lifting up and down from the ground repeatedly.
A brilliant exercise for targeting the gluteals and the buttocks. Place the rear foot on a chair and lower down within your limits towards the ground over three seconds. Drive back up to the start keeping the knee in alignment with the foot minimising any deviation or twisting. Work up to 20 each side. Progressions.
Aimed at the muscles in the lower back and the lateral hip. Perform with the bottom knee bent at first and then progress to feet stacked, legs straight, knees in alignment, hips stacked, shoulders stacked all directly above each other. Please be careful if you have a history of shoulder problems and seek supervision first.
A tough exercise and should be progressed from the easiest version first. Provides strength for hip and knee stability in your adductor and groin muscles.
Progression (a) knee on chair with knee bent, bottom leg straight, lift and hold.
Progression (b) both legs straight thigh on chair
Progression (c) foot on chair bottom foot on floor
Progression (d) foot on chair with lower leg raised to chair
Perform 30 second holds before progressing to the next option
Chiropractic is a practice that treats problems with the musculoskeletal system with specialised focus on spinal care.
The musculoskeletal system is made up of a person's muscles, bones, joints, cartilage, and tendons. It supports a person's body, allows them to move, and protects their organs.
Traditionally, chiropractic was based on the belief that problems with the musculoskeletal system caused disease through the central nervous system. This belief is no longer officially part of the practice.
Chiropractors apply hands-on therapy for musculoskeletal conditions.
The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words cheir (hands) and praxis (practice). As the name suggests, it is a hands-on therapy.
Chiropractic manipulation is the application of pressure to a person's spine or other parts of their body by a qualified chiropractic doctor, or chiropractor. This pressure allows a chiropractor to adjust and correct alignment.
Chiropractic manipulation aims to reduce pain and improve mechanical function, or the way a person moves.
Modern chiropractic is based on a spinal care model. But chiropractic manipulation has its roots in less scientific theories.
Historically, chiropractors believed that a misaligned spinal column could cause disease. This was thought to happen via the central nervous system and something called "innate knowledge".
The theory was called "vertebral subluxation complex". Early practitioners believed 95 percent of diseases were caused this way. They believed that chiropractic manipulation would correct problems in the musculoskeletal system and, in turn, cure disease.
Skeptics and scientists found this belief to be lacking in scientific basis. Early chiropractors also rejected the germ theory of disease and immunization. As a result, chiropractic lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the scientific community.
Chiropractic theory has since evolved. It is becoming more accepted as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain.
In 2009, a study published in the journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy explored the theory behind vertebral subluxation complex. It concluded that there was a lack of evidence to fulfil the basic criteria of causation. This meant it was unscientific for chiropractors to claim disease was caused this way.
In 2014, The International Chiropractic Education Collaboration put out a position statement making it clear that the profession no longer supported the vertebral subluxation complex theory:
"The teaching of vertebral subluxation complex as a vitalistic construct that claims that it is the cause of disease is unsupported by evidence. Its inclusion in a modern chiropractic curriculum in anything other than an historical context is therefore inappropriate and unnecessary."
The statement also clarified that a number of chiropractic education institutions do now support the World Health Organization's (WHO) immunization mission.
In 2016, an article in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies advocated for a new approach to chiropractic that would leave behind its "bad" unscientific elements. Aspects of the profession to be left behind included:
· adherence to a flawed chiropractic ideology focusing on innate intelligence and vitalism
· claims of cures for visceral and other non-musculoskeletal conditions
· anti-vaccination propaganda
· anti-drug and anti-medicine propaganda
· an unhealthy disregard of clinical research, evidence-based practice, and non-specific treatment effects including natural history and the placebo effect
The article went on to lay out a ten-point plan for modernizing the profession. This notably included the need for chiropractors to become "solely musculoskeletal practitioners with a special emphasis on spinal pain".
Modern chiropractors have, for the most part, left behind the belief systems that claimed spinal therapy could cure unrelated illnesses.
Although the chiropractic profession has evolved, there are still some chiropractors that believe in unscientific theories.
Chiropractors who hold on to beliefs that the rest of the profession has left behind are referred to as "straights".
Before making an appointment with them, it is a good idea to find out whether a chiropractor takes a modern or straight approach. This way, a person can make an informed decision about the sort of treatment they are due to receive.
Treatment from a chiropractor will often focus on the spine and use massage, heat/cold, and relaxation techniques.
When a person first visits a chiropractor, they may ask questions about musculoskeletal pain. The chiropractor will then examine the person physically, focusing on their spine. The chiropractor may also perform other tests, such as X-rays, to determine the necessary treatment.
If treatment is needed, the chiropractor will develop a treatment plan. Treatment normally involves using the hands or a device to quickly apply controlled force to a joint. The aim of this is to improve the quality and range of physical movement.
Other treatments the chiropractor may offer include:
· heat and ice
· electrical stimulation
· relaxation techniques
· counselling around lifestyle factors that affect musculoskeletal health
· dietary supplements
There is growing evidence to suggest that chiropractic manipulation may be an effective treatment for:
Neck pain: According to a 2017 literature review, chiropractic workplace interventions may reduce self-reported mechanical neck pain among office workers.
Lower-back pain: A 2016 study found moderate evidence that chiropractic care may be as effective for lower-back pain as physical therapy. A 2017 systematic review found that spinal manipulative therapy was associated with modest improvements in pain and function for those with lower-back pain.
Chest pain: A 2016 study found chiropractic care to be more cost-effective than self-management for chest pain. It can be seen as a good primary care approach for those with non-specific chest pain.
As the profession has evolved, chiropractic has gained legitimacy as a complementary medical practice. In some countries, it is now considered to be part of mainstream medicine.
In Switzerland, chiropractic is now considered a primary medical profession. According to a 2016 article, the training programme chiropractors go through in Switzerland sets them up to become experts in primary spine care.
There is no evidence that chiropractic works as a treatment for health conditions that do not relate to the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractic adjustment involves manipulating the spine. This may cause mild side effects such as:
· increased pain
· muscle stiffness
A 2007 study looked at the safety of chiropractic care for neck pain. It found that although side effects were common, they were rarely severe or long-lasting.
The study concluded that the benefits of chiropractic care for neck pain outweigh the potential risks.
Research also suggests chiropractic manipulation is safe for those with lower back pain. A 2016 study found no serious side effects of chiropractic care for lower back pain.
Name: Hayden Smith
Goals & aspirations: Compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea
Training requirements: Training consists of 8 training sessions (2 x pushing, 2 x sprints and 4 x weight lifting) and 2 recovery sessions per week. Generally a total of 15-16 hours/week.
Biggest challenges: Unfortunately I had a training injury in September 2015 where I broke my fibula and tore all of the ligaments in my ankle. The injury has been a big challenge with consistent treatment and follow up surgeries. I'm confident I am now back close to 100% with the help of a great team of health professionals and still consider myself somewhat lucky to still be competing.
How do you stay focused? I stay focused by keeping my eyes on the end goal of the games next year. I cascade overall goals down to daily training goals each day which allow me to focus on doing the right things now.
What do you love most about your sport? I love the speed and the adrenaline but also the camaraderie that you get from a close knit team that lives and trains together all season.
Personal highlights? A couple of podium finishes (top 6 for bobsleigh) in Park City on the North American Cup Circuit last season would have to be my highlight so far. We had a great crew down there that worked together really well and that showed in our results. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come next season!
Advice for young athletes? Definitely to stick with it and keep working hard, with the right attitude and commitment to training you can reach your goals. Too often athletes with buckets of talent throw it all away with the wrong attitude.
How did you get into Bobsleigh?
I come from a rugby and sprinting background. After competing in a 100m race back in 2014 another coach told me that I was probably on the "too heavy" side of being a successful sprinter and recommended that I give bobsleigh a try.
What were your first thoughts about the sport?
I just remember getting to the bottom of the track after my first run and thinking "oh no, I just quit my job to do this". The only way I can describe that first run would be like being in a frozen washing machine on spin cycle going >100kph. I ended up going back to the top of the track for another run and liked it a whole lot more the second time round. It isn't a comfortable ride in the back, there are a lot of bumps and unfamiliar pressures; nothing can really prepare you for your first run.
Who do you compete with?
I first started the sport pushing Heath Spence but moved over to push Lucas Mata last season as Heath took on a coaching position with the Chinese team. We currently have 3 other brakemen in the team; David Mari, Lachlan Reidy and Gareth Nichols.
What does the road to the Winter Olympics look like for you?
We leave for Calgary in August and complete a training block using the Ice House. We will start sliding on the tracks once there is ice in October and will have races from November to January.
How do you qualify etc.?
To qualify as a team we will have 8 races from November to January where we accumulate points which add to our IBSF ranking. If our ranking is high enough we will be given the quota to nominate a sled (hopefully in both the 2-man and 4-man formats). Once we have the quota spot it's a matter of selecting the best team of 4 to go and compete.
Have you been to Korea? Seen the track?
I didn't get to travel to Korea last season for the test event. Unfortunately I had to have surgery on my ankle In February so I was still recovering from that. I watched the team race from back home and it looks to be a great facility with a pretty challenging track.
What's your goal for the Olympics?
Our goal is to start times that are in the top half of the field. Obviously we are challenged with the equipment we use compared to other well-funded nations but it's not really an excuse. Hopefully we can get a good start then have our pilot weave some magic.
What do you do off the ice?
Off the ice I work as a Risk Assurance Analyst for Lion (a dairy and drinks company) here in Sydney. They are extremely accommodating to my schedule and always flexible with my training requirements. It's a rarity to be able to compete overseas for a few months each year and keep a job that continues my career development, so I can't thank them enough for that!
Can you tell me a little bit about your swimwear company?
The swimwear company is a bit of a side project. I really don't believe in asking for handouts from people without giving anything in return so it's a good way to help me fund my sporting endeavours.
Favourite Quote? No quit, all hustle!
Barbs experience is nothing less than inspiring. Not only did she complete the C25K successfully, she went on to finish a life long goal of hers to run the Sutherland to Surf!
Take the next step and sign up for the Health Associates Couch 2 5km! What are you waiting for!
Often the simple things are overlooked. Health is advertised and marketed as products or services that are outside of our control. Pills, potions, lotions and programs all created to improve your quality of life. There are places for these in ones overall health, but often coming back ourselves, looking at our lifestyle, habits and behaviour is where we will experience the greatest benefits.
According to the Sleep Health Foundation Australia is on the grip of a sleep deprivation epidemic which has a staggering impact on our nations productivity, risk safety and mental health. Research conducted by the Sleep Health Foundation revealed that 33 to 45 percent of adults sleep either poorly or not long enough most nights, facing each day with fatigue, irritability and other negative side effects of sleep deprivation.
If you are suffering side effects from poor sleep, the Sleep Health Foundation recommend these tips:
Stick to a routine
Try to go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at the same time every morning.
Take care with food and drinks
Avoid all stimulants like caffeine and alcohol for at least an hour before bed and finish eating at least two hours before bed.
Wind down and relax before bedtime
Have a buffer zone before bedtime to, review the day's activities and work out a plan of action for the next day.
Lower the lights
Your body clock is affected by light, so turn off bright overhead lights and lamps and put aside your smart phone, computer or iPad at least an hour before bed.
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable
Keep your bedroom quiet and dark with comfortable bedding suitable for the season. No TV in the bedroom!
Don't lie awake watching the clock
Staring at the clock when you can't sleep actually increases the stress hormone known as cortisol in your body, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Try turning your clock away from you.
Of course, there can be many reasons why you may be having poor sleep and seeking help from a professional is always recommended.
Start with the simple things and get back to basics. Eat well, sleep well and live well.
Congratulations to our Couch 2 5km runners!
You did it!
Twice a year Health Associates organises a Couch to 5km program. A low cost, high quality learn to run program to encourage our community to not only move more, but to move well. As experienced runners and running coaches, Chris and Alana have built a strong program and strong team to deliver what we believe to be one of the most comprehensive running programs for beginners in the shire at affordable prices.
This month we had over 20 runners complete the Menai Park Run, completely redefining what they thought they we capable of. Some have never run, some never visioned themselves as endurance runners and most are juggling the millions of commitments that comes with working age and parenthood.
We are so proud of all our runners and the effort you put into the program. It has been a hard season with so much illness that set many of our runners back. But they persevered and have achieved outstanding results.
Thank you to all our participants for taking part in the program and allowing us to support and guide you. We really love to be able to encourage an active and healthy community and we are really grateful for your belief in us.
See you at the next C25K in 2018
Chris and Alana