The Importance Of Sleep

Posted by Dr. Beau Billett – Chiropractor

Did you know there is such a thing as sleep debt?  It’s where you owe your body more sleep than you gave it the night before. Even if you get the proper amount of sleep the next night, you still need to make up for the sleep lost the previous day, otherwise your body will exact its vengeance upon you by making you tired and drowsy. This is your body’s way of telling you and getting what it wants. It wont tell you exactly what it wants, only give you hints or subtly coax you into doing its will.

Sleep is the body’s way of healing, preparing for the day ahead, and consolidating information learned throughout that day. It also sets up new pathways in the brain that allow for better learning and creative thinking, so it’s vital for any student (I’m looking at you teenagers).

With lack of sleep comes an increase in many other chronic health illnesses such as depression and cardiovascular disease. In children it has been well documented that the less they sleep, the more likely they are to develop obesity, and from an age as early as 30 months, if they aren’t getting enough sleep, we can predict that child to have obesity at seven years of age!

This is just a brief summary, however it clearly highlights the importance of sleep to our health and performance. So how can we improve our sleep? How much sleep should we be getting? And if it’s so important, why do we often view it as an inconvenient, unconscious, horizontal waste of time that gets in the way of our real lives?

There’s no magic number regarding number of hours of sleep but there are a few ranges to consider. As adults we should be getting 7-9 hours sleep, teens 8.5-9.25, school age children 10-11, preschool 11-13, toddlers 12-14, infants 14-15 and newborns 12-18 hours – the bludgers!

To be honest we really need to start respecting sleep as an important part of repairing and preparing to be fully equipped for the day ahead. We let our busy lives dictate our sleeping habits, even though it’s likely more important than whatever it is we are doing when we should be counting sheep.

Here are some things you can do to have better sleep;

  • Establishing a regular bed time and time to wake is really important for our biological clock, or circadian rhythms, even on your days off.
  • Having a relaxing ritual before you go to sleep, such as; having a warm shower, listening to some relaxing music or practicing your stretches and/or exercises your chiropractor has prescribed, is a great way to wind down.
  • Having a cool and dark bedroom that you feel comfortable in without any distracting devices, such as a TV, and as little noise possible.
  • And finally exercising during the day is a great way to make sure you go out like a light when you hit the pillow.

A lot of people also find chiropractic helps with their sleep too. This could be because if you’re feeling good, no aches or pains, you’re more likely to be comfortable when trying to get to sleep and whilst asleep. Also, it is my opinion that, if one has nervous system stress, especially in the upper cervical spine which supplies the sensation to the head and neck, this can interfere with getting that good restful sleep that one needs to recharge, and hence people often wake feeling tired even after having what they thought was a full nights sleep.

So tonight before you hit the sack, have a think about the things motioned above and if you’re truly giving your mind and body the best chance to carry out your busy schedule for tomorrow.

To see if one of our chiropractors can help with your sleep, call us on 07 3367 0337.


Kale Chips Recipe

Kale is a bounty of good nutrition – being high in calcium, magnesium, iron and many other trace minerals. Kale is also very alkaline (antiinflammatory) and has a decent amount of protein too. Happy snacking!

  • Soak 1 cup of nuts (cashews/walnuts) in water for minimum 1 hour
  • Wash 1 bunch of kale then remove the stalks and tear leaves up into small pieces (approx 1 inch size)
  • Dry the kale with a clean tea towel or paper towel
  • In a food processor blend the nuts (and soaking water), 1 cup of steamed diced pumpkin, 2 medium sized carrots (or 1 carrot and 1 zucchini), 1 tablespoon of garlic, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour the puree over the kale and stir until well covered
  • Spread the kale over dehydrating machine trays, trying to flatten the leaves where possible
  • Dehydrate overnight or until crisp and dry

Note: This may also be done in an oven on very low setting – put your oven on the lowest temparature and leave the door ajar. Timing will vary depending on ovens but is usually between 4-6 hours.

Insulin Resistance And Weight Loss

Part 2 of ‘Problems losing weight or keeping it off?’

By Kareen Nagel Naturopath

Is Insulin Resistance preventing you from losing weight ?

Insulin Resistance is the precursor to Type 2 Diabetes and may cause resistant weight loss and weight gain especially around the middle.

Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas and helps glucose from your blood to enter your body cells for energy production, insulin also acts as a primary fat storing hormone.

If your body has become Insulin resistant it means that your body cells have lost the ability to respond to insulin and its ability to assist glucose to enter your body cells and as a consequence your blood glucose levels begin to rise, but not getting into your cells to provide you with energy, so you become increasingly fatigued and crave more carbs and sugar. As the pancreas produces more and more insulin to try and clear the excess glucose from the blood, the elevated insulin also begins to store more fat, especially around the abdomen.

An enlarged waist may be the first sign of insulin resistance.

Some of the symptoms a person with insulin resistance and blood sugar irregularities may experience are:

  • Increased fatigue
  • Mental fogginess
  • Mood changes
  • Shakiness
  • Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
  • Increased hunger
  • Resistant weight loss
  • Increased weight gain especially around the middle

Contributing factors or aggravating factors can be:

  • Irregular meals or skipping breakfast
  • Consuming processed foods
  • High sugar snacks, beverages, juices, alcohol
  • Refined low fibre carbohydrates, pasta, bread, rice, potatoe, bakery goods…
  • Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with Insulin Resistance

In the early stages of insulin resistance you may just experience only problems with blood sugar irregularities and weight gain, if not corrected your body will gradually show signs of Metabolic Syndrome the precursor to Type 2 Diabetes.

Signs of Metabolic Syndrome may be:

  • Elevated insulin
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar
  • Increased LDL Cholesterol (the bad type)
  • Decreased HDL Cholesterol (the favourable type)
  • High Triglycerides (fat in blood)
  • Elevated Uric Acid
  • Waist measurement > 102 cm Male , > 90 cm Female

Our Naturopathic weight control programs will include a thorough medical and dietary history, further pathology testing if indicated and a Bio-Impedance Analysis Test to provide an accurate record of your body composition (body fat, muscle, hydration), cellular health, fluid balance, cellular energy production and ideal targets specific to you. Once your naturopath has collected infomation about your specific health, they can then prescribed effective treatments to target the issues that apply to you.

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3367 0337 or click here.










Cashew Yoghurt

This yoghurt is great for those that are dairy intolerant. Cashews are an excellent source of protein, iron, calcium and magnesium. There is a naturally occuring bacteria on the outside of the cashew which allows it to naturally ferment overnight – giving you health promoting probiotics.


Raw cashews

Filtered water

How to:

In a blender, place cashews and enough water to cover and a little more. You can adjust water amount depending on how thick you’d like your yoghurt.

Blend well and leave in blender or another container overnight.

In the morning you will have some cashew yoghurt! If you live in a cool climate you’ll need to leave it a little longer – just taste it to see if it has gone sour enough yet.

You can blend dates or other fruit in as well to change the flavour. This will last a few days in the fridge.


What Is Reiki / Energy Healing?

What is Energy Healing?

There are various different modalities of Energy Healing and these include, but are not limited to Reiki, Spiritual Healing and Emotional Freedom Technique, known as EFT, Prayer, Acupuncture and Massage.

The objective of Energy Healing is to re-establish equilibrium within the human energy system through touch, enabling the energy field to restore health within body/mind/spirit.

Energy healing is used in all ancient cultures throughout the globe. Energy healing taps into the universal life force energy that flows through every living thing in the universe which is known as Prana (India), Chi/Qi (China) and Mana (Polynesia). and Ki (Japan).

Although energy healing may seem unbeleivable to some, there is mounting scientific evidence that our energy systems effect us and can be influenced by many things.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is Universal Life Energy, is natural, profoundly and completely powerful and a safe method of spiritual, physical, emotional and body healing and self-improvement. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness in body, mind and spirit and always creates a beneficial effect, promoting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing. It works in combination with all other medical or corrective systems to relieve side effects and promote recovery, health and healing. It works quicker than most ‘hands on’ treatments and the results can often be instant too

Reiki, pronounced ‘ray key’, is a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Energy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “Life Force Energy”.

Reiki is not a religion and one is free to continue to choose and make their own decisions concerning the nature of their religious or spiritual practices.  Reiki is spiritual in nature, reconnects one to Universal Consciousness and has no dogma, nor is it dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.

How does Reiki work?

Reiki is a non-invasive hands-on gentle technique, compliments conventional medical healthcare and can be used in collaboration to relieve side effects. It is usually administered by “laying on hands”. If one’s “life force energy” is low, we are more prone to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

What can I expect during my first session?

Reiki Healing sessions create a deep sense of peace, calm, and joy as well as a feeling of deep relaxation. The experience of Reiki is subjective, changeable, and sometimes very subtle. People often experience heat or warmth in the practitioner’s hands, but sometimes the practitioner’s hands feel refreshingly cool or even cold. Other common experiences are subtle pulsations where the practitioner’s hands are placed and feelings of lightness and weightlessness.

Clients comment how uplifting they find the experience of Reiki to be. Some patients report they recipients frequently feel that they are hovering in a threshold state of consciousness, concurrently aware of their surroundings and deeply indrawn. Some people fall into a deep, sleeplike meditative state. Sometimes the experience of Reiki is dramatic, while for other people, the first session in particular may be uneventful, although they feel somehow better afterward. The most common experience is an almost immediate release of stress and a feeling of deep relaxation.  Clients may have visions and experience colors in this relaxed and healing state.

Reiki is cumulative and clients who don’t notice much the first time usually have increasingly deeper experiences with further sessions. Further to the immediate experience of the Reiki, you may notice other changes that carry on to unfold as the day goes on, maybe improved digestion, a sense of being more centered and poised and less reactive, and sleeping deeply that night. Relationships miraculously improve, demonstrating the oneness and one mind of all.

What kind of problems can Reiki help with?

Reiki supports healing with any condition whatsoever, for example, virtually every known illness and injury including serious problems like, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, chronic digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, improving circulation, skin problems, cuts, bruises, broken bones, headache, insomnia, impotence, lack of confidence, etc. Reiki is pure Unconditional Cosmic Love.

It works alongside other therapies and Reiki will improve the results of any medical treatment or procedure, acting to reduce negative side effects, shorten healing time, reduce, manage or eliminate pain, reduce stress, and help create optimism and wellbeing.

Reiki, being Universal Life Energy is completely powerful, has no boundaries, is unlimited healing energy and can be sent as distant healing to anyone and anywhere across the universe and can be sent to experiences both past and present and future.

How do I know that I need energetic healing or balancing?

When one acquires an injury, becomes unwell or under duress or stress, the natural flow of energy between the energy centres of your body become congested. Since we are integrated beings, of mind, body, and spirit, the congested flow of energy negatively impacts both the way one feels and the body’s ability to heal itself.  Some of the results of imbalances in the energy system lead to experiences such as, lethargy, negativity, pain, anxiety, depression, etc. The whole system then requires rebalancing and reenergizing to restore the equilibrium and unleash the body’s own powers to create health.

How often do I need to receive a Reiki treatment?

There are layers of imbalances within the system. While some energy medicine disciplines suggest that one treatment is enough, most suggest a number of sessions to work through layers of imbalanced energies. The level of healing you want to acheive is up to you, but the more sessions you have the deeper you will be able to heal and grow. Atma will be able to give you specific recommendations of how often it might help for you to come in for sessions.

How is a Reiki treatment given?

In a standard treatment Reiki energy flows from the practitioner’s hands into the client. The client is usually resting on a massage table but treatments can also be shared while the client is seated. The client remains fully clothed. The practitioner places her or his hands on or near the client’s body in a series of hand positions. These include positions around the head and shoulders, the stomach, and feet. Other, more specific positions may be used based on the client’s needs.

How does Reiki work?

Universal life force flows within and through our physical body through channels called chakras, meridians and nadis.  The energy also flows around us in a field called the auric field.  This life force nourishes our entire systems and when this is interrupted or disrupted, it reduces the energy flow through the pathways.  Negative feelings and emotions attach themselves to the energy field, interfering with the life force in a negative way.

Reiki heals by freely moving through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. Reiki healing energy flows through the distressed areas of mind, body and spirit within the energetic field with its positive powered energy. It unblocks, stabilizes and replenishes the field, thus allowing the universal life force to revitalize and heal.

In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way.

Can a Reiki practitioner’s field of energy be depleted?

Since Reiki is guided by Higher Supreme Intelligence and is a channelled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never exhausted. In fact, the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and client to be in need of healing, so both receive treatment, knowing exactly where to go. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one’s energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of health and well-being.

Does one have to stop seeing a medical doctor or psychologist in order to receive a Reiki treatment?

No. Reiki works in alliance with medical or psychological treatment. If one has a medical or psychological condition, it is suggested that one see a licensed health care professional in addition to receiving Reiki treatments. Reiki energy works in harmony with all other forms of healing, including drugs, surgery, psychological care or any other method of alternative care and will improve and enhance medical results.


Naturopathy For Weight Loss

Problems losing weight or keeping it off ? Many patients we see at Brisbane Natural Health for chronic health issues also suffer from excessive weight and its detrimental influences on their physical and psychological wellbeing. Often having been on countless diets only to regain all or more weight resulting in overwhelming frustration and often depression.

There are numerous reasons as to why you may have gained excess body fat, have problems losing weight, or maintaining your weight after dieting, other then lifestyle and eating habits. This article written by our Naturopath Kareen Nagel will be followed by other editorials exploring some of the issues that can influence your body weight and well-being. Naturopathy is based on treating the cause of health issues and not just the symptoms; the same approach applies when addressing weight problems, the cause needs to be found and treated before adequate and life long weight control can be achieved.

Some of the causes for resistant weight loss, regaining weight after dieting or why you may have gained excess body fat in the first place are :

  • Insulin Resistance
  • Thyroid Gland Dysfunction
  • Sex Hormone Imbalances
  • Fatty Liver
  • Toxicity
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Genetic Influences
  • Abnormal Appetite Regulation
  • Medication Related

Not only can these have an impact on your body composition, but also affect your health and wellbeing, thus treating your weight issues often will also correct any other health issues you may be suffering from at the same time. Our Natural Weight Loss Programs include an assessment of your medical history, dietary habits and pathology testing to find out what may be the cause of your weight problems. A (BIA) Bioimpedance Analysis and Report will be included and used to monitor your progress. BIA via the VLA (Vitality, Longevity and Healthy Ageing Program) is a highly accurate tool for measuring your body fat, muscle mass and cellular fluid levels, it can also provide information in regard to possible inflammation, your cellular health and cellular energy production, ideal body composition, hydration and your biological age.

Moreover it will assist us to set targets based on figures calculated by the computer program. If your weight gain is purely caused by over eating around Christmas or during Holidays then this can usually easily be corrected with a gentle detox/cleansing program and some extra physical activities with the guidance of our Naturopaths, to be completed ideally at least once or twice per year. Beware of quick weight loss programs or detox options from a retail shop or chemist as these generally only make you lose lots of water weight and muscle, which can initiate the commonly experienced cycle of weight loss followed by more weight gain. Our subsequent articles will explore some of the specific health issues mentioned above in detail and how they can influence or affect your body weight.

To make an appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3367 0337 or click here.

Crossing your legs – how bad is it really?

Posted by Dr. Tressa Fuss – chiropractor

People often ask me if crossing your legs is really bad for you.  They have been told that crossing your legs can lead to varicose veins. This is the case.  But it’s worse than just the vein damage… Your whole body is affected.


Your arteries (the blood vessels from your heart to the body) have the very powerful heart to pump your blood down the the feet. The veins (the blood vessels from the body to the heart) however use your calf muscles, which aren’t as strong, to push the blood back up.  They also have little valves inside to catch the blood as your leg muscles pump it up, to stop gravity taking it back down to the feet. The weight of one leg on the other compresses the tiny veins in your legs. Your body needs these veins open to ensure that the blood is able to be pumped back to your heart.  If they are squashed then the blood pools in your feet and calves which stretches the veins. The veins not only become more visible through the skin as they become bigger, crossing the legs makes the poor valves work way too hard and can cause irreversible damage.


Your spine can also be injured by crossing your legs. To understand how, give this a try:

1. Sit down with the feet flat on the ground and put one hand on each hip.

2. Cross your legs with one knee over the other and feel what happens to your hips.

One hip will elevate and the other hip will lower as the pelvis twists to allow you to cross the legs. The more you sit like this, the more the body gets used to it and muscles will begin to hold you in that position even when you uncross the legs. The pelvis is a bit like the floor of your house, if it’s twisted or tilted, it’s hard to expect the walls will be straight and the roof on flat. Except in the case of your body, the walls are your spine and the roof is your head. If the pelvis is tilted the spine will curve and twist trying to keep the eyes parallel to the horizon.

The other problem is that if the floor is tilted, it usually means the foundations (your legs) are dodgy too. When the pelvic bones tilt, the muscles tighten and one leg gets pulled closer toward the body. This gives you a shorter leg on one side.  When you stand up, the body leans over that side causing even more change to the spinal curves, even up as high as the neck.

Any changes to your spinal curves causes an altered load bearing to the joints and increases your risk of wear and tear as well as pain and inflammation.

See the three pictures below.  The first is with uncrossed legs, the second is with legs crossed at the knees and the third is with one foot up on the opposite knee.  You can easily see how much the poor body has to try and compensate.  Hips are tilted, the spine is twisted and leaning off to the side, the neck is rotated and the head and shoulders are not level.  It affects the body the whole way up.  Imagine the imbalanced muscles, the uneven joint pressure, none of which is at all good!

chiropractor brisbane


Crossing the legs at the ankles is better but anything higher than that causes damage long term.  If you do need to cross the legs for a brief period (eg. modesty reasons when wearing a short skirt) make sure it is for as little as possible, get up often and make sure you swap legs consistently so that it’s not always the same leg on top.

Do you cross your legs much? Are you suprised to learn the effects?

What Is The Perfect Poo??

Posted by Katherine Maslen – Naturopath

Whether you understand the concept or not, I’m sure that this headline has grabbed you. There’s a perfect poo? What could be perfect about a bowel movement? Well a lot actually! If you’ve seen a naturopath you would have had a lovely discussion about all things poo and why it’s an important marker of your health. For those less educated on the topic – let me enlighten you! The colour, shape, smell, frequency, lack of frequency, ease of passage and even if it floats or sinks gives us clues about your digestive function, food intolerances and more.

So what makes a perfect poo? Without much variation – this is how your bowels should be moving if they are healthy…

Frequency – You should be passing 1-3 bowel movements each day – 2 to 3 is optimum.

Shape – Your bowel movements should be formed, firm but not hard and shaped like a log.

Colour – Colour can change depending on what is eaten (is that blood or beetroot?) however generally most of your bowel movements should be a dark brown colour. This is due to the presence of bile which breaks down the fats in your food.

Smell – Believe it or not – your poo should not be noticeably smelly – so if you’re reaching for the air freshener you best make an appointment with a naturopath.

Passing – You should be able to pass your bowel movements quickly and easily – without pain, discomfort or straining. If you need to read a book while you’re on there it’s taking too long!

Floating or Sinking? – The perfect poo will most likely land on the water then slowly sink to the bottom. A diet high in fat or fibre however can cause it to float, but sometimes a floating bowel movement means that you’re not digesting your fats properly (due to liver insufficiency). A heavy poo (splashing anyone?) can mean that it’s too dense (caused by maldigestion or an imbalanced diet).

Other things – You shouldn’t notice any undigested food, blood or mucous in your bowel movements either.

So there you have it. How do you measure up? If you’re feeling ‘not so perfect’ you may want to make an appointment with a naturopath – who can quickly sort things out.

Anyone brave enough to comment? Which poo are you?

Want a health solution that will make you feel good again?

At Brisbane Natural Health we offer you health solutions that can have you feeling good again in no time, and may even change your life! You may need a relaxing massage to soothe your corporate woes, a visit with our chiropractor to help relieve pain, some naturopathic treatment to increase your energy or a hypnotherapist to help you quit smoking.

Our clients come to us for help with a wide range of conditions to utilize our full range of services and advice.

At Brisbane Natural Health we are here to help all of you – making it convenient to look after your body with a massage or an acupuncture session and your mind with Hypnotherapy in just one visit.

We are conveniently located in the inner Brisbane suburb of Milton, with easy parking nearby.

Call us on 3137 9617 to discuss treatment options with our team.

Conveniently located to take Chiropractor Brisbane and Massage Brisbane appointments

Orange Chia Seed Pudding

This delicious raw pudding is so delicious you’ll be coming back for more! The chia seeds swell like tapioca to give a yummy pudding like consistency.


1½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice

½ cup raw cashews

1 cup water

½ tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp honey or xylitol

2/3 cup chia seeds


1. In a blender, place all ingredients except for chia seeds.

2. Blend until a smooth consistency.

3. Put chia seeds in a bowl and pour liquid in.

4. Mix thoroughly with a spoon and place in fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is preferable).

5. That’s it! Serve with fresh

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!