Could High Histamine Food be causing your Headaches, Itchy mouth, Anxiety or Bloating?

What is histamine?

Histamine is a compound that is released from immune cells as a normal part of a healthy functioning immune system. It helps us communicate with the brain, alert the immune system to a potential threat, and launch an inflammatory response.

Histamines can be released in response to environmental triggers such as pollen, animal fur and dust but can also be released in response to the foods and drinks we consume, as well as digestive imbalances, and enzyme deficiency.

What happens if I have too much histamine?

When there is toomuch-circulatingg histamine we can feel an increase in allergic-like symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes and nasal congestion, but also symptoms that aren’t as easily identified as being related to histamine – such as migraines, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, and difficulty regulating temperature, amongst many others.

There are 3 main reasons we can have elevated histamine levels:

  1. We’re eating too many foods high in histamine, and/or
  2. We’re consuming too many histamine liberating foods or drinks and/or
  3. We lack enough of the enzyme that helps us break down and eliminated histamine from the body.

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can occur when your body is unable to break down the histamine efficiently. One of the ways the body does this is through the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme which inactivates and metabolises histamine.

If you don’t have enough DAO or its ineffective, histamine can be absorbed through the intestines causing a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms such as those listed below can often occur following the consumption of foods and drinks that contain a large amount of histamine like bananas, avocado’s, spinach, tomato’s, fermented foods, aged cheeses, and alcohol.

Histamine content of foods increases as the food ages. For example, aged cheeses tend to contain higher histamine levels than fresh cheese. A boiled egg left in the fridge for 1 day would have higher histamine than a boiled egg eaten immediately.

We know that fermented foods are extremely beneficial for our gut health but as they are fermented, they may also be high in histamines and therefore not tolerated by some people when their histamine balance is compromised.

What are the Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance?

Because histamine is released into many body tissues its effects are far-reaching. Some of the more common symptoms may include:  

  • Digestive issues like abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting 
  • Nervous system issues like fatigue, anxiety, difficulty or light sleeping
  • Vascular issues like headaches and migraines, tissue swelling, vertigo, dizziness, high blood pressure, difficulty regulating temperature, irregular heart rate, or flushing after histamine-containing food and drink – especially wine and beer
  • Immune issues like sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy mouth
  • Skin issues like hives, rashes or itchy skin
  • Reproductive issues like irregular menstrual cycles

How can I find out if I have high histamine or histamine intolerance?

Our Naturopaths at Brisbane Natural Health can take a thorough case and diet history from you, and if appropriate can organise a lab test for histamine and DAO enzyme levels. A high ratio of histamine/DAO signifies that you may be consuming too much histamine and that you may not have enough DAO to break it down.

How can I recover from symptoms of histamine intolerance?

Our Naturopaths at Brisbane Natural Health would look at your Lifestyle and diet factors, aim to boost your enzymes, minimise the histamine load, and regain balance to your body.

Most importantly, working with a Naturopath will enable you to find out what is your root cause for your histamine intolerance, and will be able to design a personalised dietary or supplement protocol to help restore balance to your body and to your symptoms.

If you would like to investigate this area of your health further, please call our Naturopaths at Brisbane Natural Health on 07 3367 0337.

 

5 Things to Think About Before you Order your Triple Shot

We looooove coffee, right? And if you talk to the right people, you will hear that caffeine is very good for you. It has, in fact, been shown to improve cognitive performance, mood and alertness and protect against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimers Dementia – which sounds pretty amazing right? Well, it is! For most people, it really is. What we forget sometimes when exciting research comes out touting the benefits of our favourite hot beverage is that the world is complex and that individuals (that’s you!) have individual reactions and often these are not accounted for in clinical trial results. There are a few things that will affect the way that your body responds to caffeine and it is important to keep these in mind whether to order your daily triple shot or not. 

  1. Time of day – if you drink your coffee first thing in the morning, chances are that most of the caffeine will be out of your system by the time you want to go to bed and your sleep will not be ill affected. If you have your second latte at 3 pm to get you through the afternoon – you may find yourself twiddling your thumbs at 10 pm when you want to sleep or tossing and turning throughout the night. Note: the 3 pm slump is a sign that your adrenal glands might be a little tired or that you suffer from low blood sugar – both are things your naturopath can help you with.
  2. Your unique metabolism – there are fancy tests you can do to determine how your body metabolises caffeine, but there are some simple tests you can do at home (or in the café) too. If you get anxiety, palpitations, sweaty palms, diarrhoea or insomnia, there is a good chance that your body has a stronger than usual response to caffeine or clears caffeine more slowly than other people’s and you may need to take it easy on the coffees and drink them in the first half of the day. Caffeine is a strong stimulant and if you are prone to anxiety or are a highly-strung person, it might not be the best morning treat for you.
  3. What else is in your coffee aside from caffeine? Coffee is not just made up of caffeine and (almond) milk. The coffee bean contains a complex array of substances that will affect the way the caffeine works in your body. Coffee can also contain a high level of mould and many non-organic coffee beans will also contain pesticide residues. Again, doing some home sleuthing and paying close attention to how you feel after coffee from certain coffee shops will give you an idea of which bean is best for you.  I suggest finding a coffee shop or two that serve organic coffee that doesn’t make you feel horrible and sticking with these.
  4. Whether you have eaten or not. If you have food in your belly, you will absorb the caffeine more slowly than if you grab a coffee before breakfast. For many people who experience blood sugar issues (those of you who get ‘hangry’ will know what I’m talking about), a coffee will exacerbate low blood sugar and make you feel extra hungry and extra jittery as your body kicks in the stress response to help deal with the low blood sugar. It’s best to have something substantial in your belly before heading to your favourite café.
  5. What else you put in your coffee. Having your coffee with milk or a milk alternative will often be a little gentler on your gut and your nervous system than if you order a long black. This is because the fat and the protein in these ‘milks’ will slow down the absorption of caffeine. Also, consider how much extra sugar or sugar alternative you add to your coffee. Not that these will necessarily make you feel very different, but can have a profound impact on your health. If you are adding 2 sugars to your coffee and you have 3 coffees per day, that’s a total of 6 teaspoons of sugar every day. Which is a lot! Consider slowly cutting back, your body will adjust as you reduce your sugar intake and soon you will only need a sprinkle. If you use artificial sweeteners, then I suggest you consider switching back to the original sugar. Studies show that artificially sweetened drinks are associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer and are not recommended for regular intake.

Gemma Martin, a naturopath with over 10 years experience in natural therapies and is experienced in treating all kinds of conditions – from the simple to very complex.

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3186 5676

10 Essentails to Falling Pregnant

If you and your partner have been ‘kind of trying’ for the last couple of months or even years with little luck but have now decided that this is your year to fall pregnant, listen up…

  1. No more doctor google. Stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet- forget forums and get in to see a real live person who can give you individual advice and treatment.

  2. Two words- clean eating. Stop making excuses about your diet. No matter what anyone tells you, your diet and the nutrients that both you and your partner absorb are incredibly important for your fertility.

  3. Visit your GP. Get some basic blood tests done, request sperm testing (semen analysis) and a pelvic ultrasound to eliminate serious causes to your infertility so you can either seek natural treatment or chat to a specialist about your next move.

  4. BBT (basal body temperature) charting. Start charting your basal body temperature and show it to the real live person you are seeking treatment from in step 1. Learn how to tell when you are fertile and when you are not, learn about your body and start building a better relationship with it.

  5. EXERCISE – get your body moving !!! Walking or yoga are two great options that everybody can do. Moving blood around your body helps deliver nutrient to your growing eggs or developing sperm for the males.

  6. Review your health. Sort out your ‘minor’ health complaints – if you suffer from bloating, poor digestion, frequent headaches, tiredness, skin complaints, low libido, insomnia, painful periods, short or long menstrual cycles get these treated. They may be related to your difficulty in falling pregnant.

  7. Look at your ‘stuff’. Seek emotional support. See that hypnotherapist, psychologist or counsellor and surround yourself with people who love and support you.

  8. Water, water and more water. Drink water – the simplest tip BUT for some reason, the most difficult. Keep hydrated. You want full, luscious reservoirs of eggs for ovaries, not prunes.

  9. RELAX. Falling pregnant can take time. Stress can negatively impact on ovulation and your ability to conceive so do the things that bring you joy.

  10. Have loads of sex. One of the biggest cause of infertility is timing and how much sex you are having. Knowing and understanding our cycle (step 4) can help target the best ‘window of opportunity’ but regular sex (every couple of days) is our best chance of conceiving. Try to make the increase in sex about your relationship and intimacy and NOT about conceiving. Have fun with it and try something new to spice up your sex life.

…And finally, regular acupuncture.

Why? You may ask…..well, clearly I am a fan but acupuncture can help affect your stress levels by calming the mind. It increases the blood flow to your uterus which in turn helps our lining and then the chances of implanting an embryo. Acupuncture won’t stop there, once pregnant will help with morning sickness, aches and pain and the anxiety of becoming pregnant and the hormonal changes (your partner will thank me).

 

To make an appointment with a Brisbane Natural Health acupuncturist or naturopath call us on 07 3367 0337.

7 Tips to Support Mothers After the Birth of their Baby

In many cultures, post-partum care is considered a normal and essential part of care for a new family, in particular, for the new mother. Here in Australia though, there is a very different focus – we invest a lot of energy and time into falling pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby and then once the baby is born, the mother and her new family are on their own with a new little creature on their hands, a new dynamic in their relationship, seriously disrupted sleep and a barrage of family and friends who want to visit. The post-partum time is arguably the most challenging times in one’s life, yet for many of us, we forget to seek help at this time. The good news is that there is so much that can be done to help the mother’s body get back on track and support her and her family through this crazy time.

Let’s have a look at a few common ailments for new mothers and how we can support them with natural remedies:

  1. Keep taking your pregnancy multivitamin – your body has just given its all to your infant and is going to continue to whilst you are feeding her. Take your multivitamin throughout breastfeeding and don’t forget to start taking it again 3 months prior to trying to have another baby (if you can even think about that yet!)
  2. Eat lots of highly nutritious (loads of vegetables and organic meat if you eat meat) cooked foods including bone broths. You will need to build your iron stores back up – so good quality red meat and dark green leafy vegetables will help here. Bone broths are a great source of collagen and gelatine which provide the building blocks for connective tissue – this will help your body to rebuild after the marathon of delivery, support breast milk production, and repair of any loose ligaments or diastasis of the rectus abdominus muscle. Cooked food is easiest to digest and considered warming and nourishing from a Chinese Medicine perspective. For best results try and get someone else to cook for you!
  3. Support your adrenal glands – Your adrenals control your stress response and sleep-wake cycles. The stress of parenting, combined with a lack of sleep takes a huge toll on your adrenal glands.  You can mitigate this toll by supporting your adrenal glands with herbs such as Rhodiola and Withania as well as nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium.
  4. Support your immune system with probiotics and Echinacea – getting sick when you are breastfeeding and parenting is less than ideal and adds to the difficulty of the already difficult task. We suggest that you take a good quality probiotic (ask your naturopath) as well as some Echinacea (high quality is also essential here) will help to support both you and your babies immune systems and help to reduce the risk of mastitis (if mastitis does occur, please contact your naturopath – it can be dealt with naturally with the right remedies).  
  5. Get your iron levels checked with your GP – ideally, you will have been supplementing your iron throughout pregnancy. If you haven’t that’s OK – when you see your GP, ask her to test your iron levels and iron stores (ferritin). Talk to your naturopath about ideal levels and supplement with a non-constipating form of iron if needed. Low iron will make you feel tired, cold, give you brain fog and lower your immunity, so getting your stores back up can be a real game-changer for new mums.
  6. Deal with any structural issues for yourself or baby as soon as possible – see your chiropractor or osteopath if you are experiencing skeletal issues and take baby along to a practitioner who specialises in infant care to deal with issues such as tongue-tie, breastfeeding issues or to rebalance after a difficult birth (for both of you). Do your pelvic floor and diastasis exercises! The sooner your body is back to being strong again, the sooner you can get out and enjoy some of the activities you have been missing out on during pregnancy (like dancing, running or sneezing in public!) 
  7. If you are having any more specific issues such as depression, thrush, urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, mastitis, sugar cravings, poor milk supply, insomnia or any issues with your babies health, please book in to see your naturopath as soon as possible – there is no need to go through this difficult time without support.

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Do you have a Histamine Intolerance?

Do you have a Histamine intolerance?

Do you experience unexplained headaches, migraines or symptoms like a runny nose or itchy mouth? How about hives, abdominal cramps or irregular menstrual cycles? Does your face flush or do you have difficulty regulating your body temperature? Are your symptoms improved after taking anti-histamines like Zyrtec? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could have a histamine intolerance.

What is histamine?

Histamine is a chemical compound that is involved in the immune system response. It is often associated with seasonal allergies, food allergies, and symptoms like headaches, nasal congestion, sneezing and difficulties with breathing. Sometimes you may experience symptoms that aren’t associated with the environment, such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching after wine or certain foods like bananas, avocados or tomatoes.

Histamine has an important role where it helps the body to communicate with the brain, alert the immune system to a potential threat, and launch an inflammatory response. 

 

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can occur when the body is unable to break down histamine properly. One of the ways the body deals with histamine is through the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme which inactivates and metabolises histamine. 

If you don’t have enough DAO or its ineffective, histamine can be absorbed through the intestines causing a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms such as those in the list below can often occur following the consumption of foods and drinks that contain a large amount of histamine. 

Common Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance: 

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches/migraines, Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep/easily woken
  • Sneezing, itching, nasal congestion
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Hives, tissue swelling
  • Difficulty breathing, vertigo, dizziness
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Vertigo/dizziness
  • Hypertension, 
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Irregular heart rate
 
There can be many reasons that cause an increase of Histamine or difficulty breaking down Histamine. Some of these include allergies, digestive imbalances or damage, enzyme deficiency, or a diet too high in histamine-containing foods. 

Can you test for Histamine Intolerance?

The good news is your Naturopath can organise a lab test for histamine and DAO levels. A high ratio of histamine/DAO signifies that you may be consuming too much histamine and that you may not have enough DAO to break it down.

How do you reduce Histamine Intolerance?

To combat this, your Naturopath would look at your lifestyle and diet factors, aiming to boost your enzymes and minimise the histamine load. 

 

Working with a Naturopath will enable you to find out what the root cause for your histamine intolerance is, and your Naturopath will be able to design a personalised dietary or supplement protocol to help restore balance to your body and to your symptoms.

Natural Treatment for Hypertension

If you have been told you have high blood pressure or Hypertension you may be concerned about taking medication long term. There are several strategies you can take to help get your numbers down which may help you avoid or reduce the need for medication.

Many of the strategies involve lifestyle and diet factors which you can do yourself but a Naturopath can also help you with herbal and nutritional therapy to assist further if needed.

7 Tips to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

1. Check your weight. Blood pressure can increase as your weight does, and getting your weight into a range suitable for your height can be effective in getting your blood pressure normalised. Carrying additional weight around your middle can also put you at greater risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease so employ healthy eating with exercise to assist you in reducing your weight if needed.

2. Exercise regardless of your weight. Exercise can help prevent elevations in blood pressure as we age, but can also be a great way to decrease elevated blood pressure. Aim for the exercise to be regular and enjoyable. Try for 30 minutes daily even if you start off walking until you increase your fitness. Ideally, a combination of aerobic and strength exercises across the week will help your weight control and help to reduce high blood pressure.

3. Look at your diet. What you want to aim for is a diet high in fresh food and low in processed food. Fresh food includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, good quality oils such as cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Avoid fried and fatty foods, anything high in salt and low in fibre. Start looking at the labels on your food if you are consuming packaged foods – you’d be surprised how much salt can be in these foods, and this can cause blood pressure to elevate.

4. Address lifestyle factors that can increase blood pressure like alcohol and smoking, and excessive intake of caffeine. Some research has shown that a small amount of alcohol can potentially reduce your blood pressure, however, the protective effect can be lost if too much alcohol is consumed. One drink daily for women and two for men would be maximum. Smoking increases blood pressure for some time after each cigarette and increases your risk of heart disease overall. Some people are also sensitive to caffeine and experience increases in blood pressure after consuming it.

5. Check your stress. Along with diet and exercise, stress is one of the major factors to consider in managing your blood pressure. Identify where your stress comes from – look at areas work, financial pressures, illness or family concerns. Once you do this you can implement strategies to help manage your stress.

6. Hook into your support system. Allow family and friends to help support you in making changes to your diet, exercise program or lifestyle. Ask them for encouragement and assistance in helping you to reach your goals. Try embarking on some of the changes with a friend, family member or colleague to help support one another, keep you accountable and make it enjoyable.

7. Seek Professional Help. A Naturopath can help to look at these areas of your life and help you to plan strategies to improve not just your blood pressure but your overall health too. Naturopaths can also use a variety of herbs and nutrients to help to naturally support the cardiovascular and nervous system to help you reach your goal.


To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Natural Cures for Constipation

Health begins in the gut, and constipation is just one of many signs that your digestive system is out of balance. A healthy bowel motion consists of waste products from digestion, bacteria, undigested food particles, salt, bacteria, toxins and other compounds. The colon is a key organ of detoxification and elimination which is critical to the function of almost every other system in the body.

Imagine if you didn’t empty your garbage bin regularly; waste would overflow into the surrounding room, scraps could putrefy and release unpleasant odours and gases, and undesirable creatures would be attracted to the mess. A similar analogy can be applied to the bowels. If wastes are not removed effectively and efficiently, they can putrefy, damage the integrity of the lining of the gut, and cause a recycling of some toxins back into the body creating an increased workload on other organs such as the liver.

Constipation is by definition, infrequent or incomplete bowel motions. Constipation can mean hard, dry and small bowel movements or bowel motions occurring less than three times per week. If your bowel motions do not fit this checklist for what is considered normal and healthy, then you may be constipated and need to become a “poo detective” to make some changes.

Healthy Poo Checklist:
✓ You empty your bowels 1 to 2 times daily.
✓ No straining.
✓ No pain.
✓ Smooth, sausage-shaped log or a few smaller pieces.
✓ Takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete.
✓ Brown to dark brown in colour. (Red or black stools require medical attention)
✓ Consistent in its characteristics from day to day.

While constipation may be caused by irritable bowel syndrome or some gastrointestinal infections, it is most commonly caused by a lack of water intake and low fibre intake.
Constipation can also be caused by the overuse of laxatives, leading to a “lazy bowel”. The bowel walls have muscles which contract and relax rhythmically to move bowel contents along. If they are not looked after correctly, just like the other muscles in your body, they too can lose tone and become weakened, leading to constipation.

Some natural ways to relieve constipation include:

Water in adequate amounts is critical to healthy bowel motions. You want to aim for roughly 8 glasses of filtered water everyday.

Fibre is the indigestible part of plants that can act as an intestinal broom. Insoluble fibre draws water to itself as it passes through the bowel, softening and bulking the stool supporting regular bowel motions. Resistant starches also fall in the fibre category and are essential for supporting healthy microbial balance in the digestive tract. Eating approximately three handfuls of vegetables with your main meals and including nuts, seeds and legumes are all good ways to get enough fibre in your daily intake. Partially hydrolysed guar gum is a water-soluble fibre that shows promising results in clinical studies for improving the frequency of bowel motions, reducing straining, and reducing abdominal discomfort.

Good Gut Bacteria are critical to our health. They have many important functions in the body, including assisting in digestion and breakdown of foods, absorption of nutrients, production of energy, vitamins and other important compounds for the body. To help support a healthy gut colony or microbiome, including fermented foods in your diet such as yoghurt, saurkraut, kombucha, kimchi or pickles. Foods containing resistant starches such as bananas, onion, garlic, jerusalem artichoke, asparagus can also help to feed the microbes in your gut, creating a healthy environment in which for them to flourish.

Rest and digest. We often underestimate the importance of chewing our food properly, and taking time away from work to switch our body into digestion mode. Eating consciously and mindfully allows your body to send the right signals to the stomach to break food down properly, pass it successfully through the digestive tract, trigger nutrient absorption and healthy waste elimination. Eating at work or on the go detracts from these messages getting through to your digestive tract, slowing the whole process down.

Your naturopath and acupuncturist can also assist you to resolve constipation by discovering the underlying causes and creating a specific treatment plan to suit your unique circumstances. Our toolbox includes herbs, nutrients, and functional foods to enhance the overall digestive process, allowing for an adequate breakdown of foods, optimal absorption of nutrients and effective elimination of toxins. The goal of treatment is to return the bowel to natural healthy function and avoid the use of laxatives.

 

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Natural Treatment for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a complex and chronic skin condition characterised by an increase in the life cycle of skin cells causing them to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin and resulting in inflammation and elevated scaly plaques that can be itchy or painful. It is commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back, hips and scalp but can often affect the legs, trunk, eyes, and nails as well.

The cause of Psoriasis isn’t fully understood as yet, however, it is thought that genetics, environmental and lifestyle triggers, and immune dysfunction can all play a role.

Environmental and lifestyle triggers could include:

  • Digestive factors such as poor digestion, liver, and bowel function
  • Emotional stress
  • Toxins, alcohol use, smoking
  • Sunburn or trauma to the skin
  • Infection
  • Food intolerances such as gluten
  • Some medications

Immune dysfunction or an autoimmune reaction can also occur whereby some of your immune cells usually responsible for defending against viruses or bacteria can attack your healthy skin cells by mistake. These immune cells can also be overactive which triggers a rapid increase in the rate of production of healthy skin cells, causing them to build-up on the surface of the skin in thick, scaly patches.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The symptoms experienced can be different for

each person but commonly include:

  •  Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  •  Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  •  Itching or soreness
  •  Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  •  Swollen and stiff joints

Psoriasis can come and go in cycles, sometimes flaring up for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time.

A Naturopathic Approach

Because Psoriasis is multifactorial and complex, it is important that all the triggers and exacerbating factors are identified, and these are likely to vary from person to person as we are all unique and individual. A comprehensive Naturopathic approach will take these factors into consideration, addressing the big picture and the underlying causes that are specific to you.

Our Naturopathic approach takes into consideration all the physical and emotional impacts for the patient, addressing the skin health as well as identifying strategies for stress management, diet and lifestyle changes as appropriate.

Psoriasis and the impact on Emotional Wellness

A recent report that looked at the emotional wellness of 120,000 people across 184 countries suffering from Psoriasis revealed that 40% of women and 30% of men experienced significantly greater negative impact on their emotional wellness than those without Psoriasis. It was found that the loneliness, isolation, and stress associated with living with Psoriasis was a major driver for significantly lower levels of happiness.

The participants also felt that the impact that Psoriasis has on your mental wellbeing is often overlooked by mainstream health professionals.

Supporting yourself with a caring team of health professionals that will address the not only the physical but also your mental and emotional well-being can provide the support network that is often missing in the management of Psoriasis.

What to do next?

If you are looking for support with Psoriasis our Naturopaths, Acupuncturists and Emotional Wellness team can work together with you to provide this big picture approach, and help support you in achieving improvements in your health and wellbeing.  Call us on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment at our Brisbane clinic.

 

To make an appointment at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling specifically treats musculoskeletal pain. A fine, single-use needle is inserted into a dysfunctional muscle with the aim of returning it to its optimal state. Studies have shown there to be a localised increase in blood flow and a release of endorphins as soon as a needle is inserted; both positive reactions to reduce pain and dysfunction.

What is a trigger point?

A trigger point is a contraction in a tight band of muscle which causes pain when palpated or squeezed, in a specific site and/or referring to other areas of the body. Trigger points can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or lack of normal range of movement.

Dry Needling Vs Acupuncture?

It is important to know that Acupuncture and Dry Needling are two very distinct modalities. Dry needling is based upon the western medicine paradigm.

It is used for soft tissue correction, which involves inserting extremely fine and painless needles into muscle fibres, causing a local twitch response. This, in turn, helps to deactivate and resolve trigger points in the muscle and release constriction. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and the stimulation of Qi (pronounce Chi).

Acupuncture diagnoses using complex theories, meaning only a qualified and registered Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine practitioner can treat with Acupuncture. Many health professionals utilise Dry Needling as a method for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, including Myotherapists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists and even some GP’s.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture began in China more than 2000 years ago and has been a major part of their health care system ever since. It involves fine, single-use needles being inserted into very specific points along the body’s meridians which are found on every corner of the body including the hands, feet, and head. The individual points have a specific function and are chosen depending on the condition being treated.

Acupuncture helps conditions based on symptoms using ancient Chinese theories. These theories aim to achieve wellness and to restore balance throughout the body.
The techniques are gentle and the practitioner spends quality time with the client to ensure a positive experience occurs.