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.


How Acupuncture Works

The art of acupuncture involves the insertion of fine sterile needles into specific locations, to stimulate the body to heal itself. Traditionally, explanations involve its effect on improving the flow of Qi to balance Yin and Yang; a paradigm of health and disease similar to the Western biomedical concept of homeostasis. In recent years, much attention has been focused on elucidating how acupuncture works in terms of Western physiology. We now know that “Qi flow” equates to nerve transmission, extracellular communication, connective tissue planes, metabolic components of blood, and the functional energy of organ systems. Acupuncture, therefore, regulates and improves function. This is achieved, largely, via its effects on the nervous system that stimulate the body to produce chemicals that relieve pain, reduce inflammation, stimulate tissue regeneration, and induce a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing.

One of the mechanisms that may describe how acupuncture works is known as Purigenic Signalling. When an acupuncturist inserts needles into the skin, the body begins to self regulate (self-dose) using adenosine and ATP for signalling and regulation in tissues and organ systems. This is important and very significant as the incorrect balance can cause dysfunction.

This isn’t the only suggested mechanism under which acupuncture has an effect, however, I find it the most intriguing.

Acupuncture originated in China and is now practised throughout the world. Although acupuncture has been practised for thousands of years, evidence of its effectiveness is still controversial.

Sadly acupuncture was developed in a pre-scientific culture before anything significant was understood about biology, the normal functioning of the human body or disease pathology. The healing practices of the time were part of what is called philosophy-based medicine, to be distinguished from modern science-based medicine. Philosophy-based systems began with a set of ideas about health and illness and based their treatments on those ideas. The underlying assumptions and the practices derived from them were never subjected to controlled observation or anything that can reasonably be called a scientific process.

In Australia, we are fortunate to have an organisation working towards recognition for acupuncture on the world stage, The Acupuncture Evidence Project. Taken from their published paper in 2017, “Our study found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions, with stronger evidence for acupuncture effectiveness for some conditions than others. Acupuncture is considered safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner and has been found to be cost effective for some conditions. The quality and quantity of research into acupuncture’s effectiveness are increasing”.


McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017.


ATP Signaling Acupuncture Burnstock

Can Fertility Acupuncture help your Egg Quality?

As an integrative acupuncturist, I understand the importance of looking into your menstrual cycle health and recognising imbalances such as irregular cycles, painful periods, PMS, excessively heavy or light menstrual flow, and of course the big one…your AMH. By now most of you are probably aware of your egg quality and would like to know how to improve it.

To improve egg quality, we need to establish if there is an imbalance of hormones, review your intake of nutritional supplements and have a look at your diet. It’s also important to look at your stress levels and assess how these may be impacting you. As an acupuncturist, I use palpation to assess the circulation to your ovaries and uterus by examining your abdomen. All of these things help paint a picture of your reproductive health.

So what can you do?

In TCM, we describe the process of ageing by how the kidneys are functioning. We look at how you live, whether you are getting enough rest, eating well, reducing stress, not abusing drugs/alcohol, having sex (but not too much!) etc – all of which can have an impact on how you preserve this material. TCM is an excellent way to help protect and preserve this material and to help it to be best expressed, particularly during the time while you are trying to improve your egg quality.

It’s important to give your body the necessary time for any changes you make to take effect.

You probably know that you are born with your eggs and that these numbers naturally decline as you age. However, the follicles sit in hibernation until around 100 days prior to ovulation. This means that those 100 days before the month you conceive are critical in the quality of your eggs.

An easy way to have a day to day impact on the quality of your eggs is by including some of the following foods into your diet:

  • Salmon
  • Broccoli
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Berries (such as Blueberries)
  • Maca
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Dark leafy greens (and lots of them)

(Where you can, make sure your fresh veggies and fruit are organic and your salmon is wild caught and not farmed).

And of course, just as it’s important to work towards including more of the foods listed above into your diet, it’s equally as important to understand which foods will damage the quality of your eggs.

Try to eliminate or avoid as much as possible the following:

  • Sugar
  • Processed foods (consider anything in a packet as dead food.. You only want to be eating live foods)
  • GMO’s
  • Low-Fat Foods (they contain a whole lot of nasties)
  • Trans fats
  • Non-organic meats and dairy
  • Soft drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Unfortunately, our modern day world contains a plethora of toxins that are not fertility friendly. Look out for BPA, phthalates, and pesticides. These are all common offenders that are well known to disrupt hormone levels in our bodies.

Whenever you can, eat organic, avoid plastic food containers, avoid canned foods, avoid cleaning products and cosmetics that are full of chemicals, ditch perfumes or products with artificial fragrances and make the switch to organic essential oils.

Mayan abdominal massage is a non-invasive, external, massage technique that guides internal abdominal organs into their proper position for optimum fertility health and organ function. The main action Mayan has with improving egg health is that it is fantastic at improving blood circulation to the ovaries, providing optimal nourishment for growing follicles. Mayan therapy is also great at reducing menstrual and ovulation pain, menstrual blood irregularities and improving pregnancy outcomes.

So often the modern approach to health concerns is a symptomatic plan, which can offer short-term relief but fail to address the core issue at hand. We can learn from Chinese Medicine in this instance and our symptoms as a further opportunity to explore and dig deeper to make long-lasting changes towards our health.

The quality of your sleep has an impact on your hormones, mood and fertility. For those of you who find it challenging to fall asleep or have a good night’s sleep, Acupuncture has been consistently proven to be effective for the overall improvement of sleep quality, without the side effects of prescription medications. The use of diaphragmatic breathing can also be enough to switch us from t

he “being” and “doing” state of mind to a more relaxed and calm state, setting up for a good night’s sleep. Taking five big deep breaths before bedtime can help set the tone, allowing the body to relax.

If you’re not already, I cannot state the importance of ensuring you are taking a quality prenatal vitamin. It’s the first thing I recommend to anyone trying to conceive, or even to those considering it in the next few years. Prenatal vitamins are not just for when you’re pregnant, they contain several nutrients that improve how the ovaries function and therefore can improve egg quality.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are so effective for a number of reasons. They help to balance hormones, improve circulation to the uterus and ovaries, reduce stress, inflammation, and curbside effects of hormonal medications. Unlike many other treatments, acupuncture and herbal medicine are completely customised to each individual client and are able they are able to best address what the individual body needs.

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

Acupuncture for Emotions and Moods

Emotional strain may hamper your ability to lead a normal and active lifestyle, becoming an inhibiting factor in daily life and further perpetuating the likelihood of associated mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Emotional stress is commonly associated with one or more of a combination of the following factors; poor dietary habits, sedentary lifestyle, being an emotional over thinker ( a common stress response), sudden or long-standing emotional trauma, and the link between a deeper and more complex hormonal imbalance.

Pain, stress, anxiety and depression impede, to varying degrees, our ability to connect with ourselves, preventing us from feeling happy.

Chinese Medicine has a number of modalities that fall under the broader scope of the tradition including; Acupuncture, Tui Na (massage), Chinese Herbal Medicine, dietary and lifestyle therapy, and exercise therapies such as Taichi and Qigong. All of these present each individual client with the necessary tools required to help attain a healthier, happier and more gratuitous state of physical and emotional well-being. And it’s the task of the Chinese Medicine Practitioner to effectively diagnose any imbalance within the body and the mind; while planning and delivering an effective treatment protocol, most suited to each individual, on a case-by-case scenario.

Regular acupuncture treatments enhance the body’s ability to better cope with both physical and emotional stress and strain, allowing the body to more readily relax, release, detoxify and unwind. It does this by stimulating and regulating the hormonal distribution within the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis while calming the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response); inhibiting stress-enhancing chemicals within the body, while reducing inflammation and providing pain management in a drug-free environment.

Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce potential stress-related health risks. It does this by protecting the body’s internal organs from over-strain and over-use, preventing a decline in their natural function, and reducing the likelihood of developing associated diseases such as hypertension and heart disease.

Acupuncture aids in the reduction of stress, while placing emphasis on stress management. Each client is expected to be proactive in their personal efforts toward improving their daily lives; addressing their emotional health through the shedding of any accumulated and unwanted stress and strain.

Undertaking regular weekly Acupuncture treatments, attending regular massage to reduce stress, along with the addition of concurrently taking supplements; aims at addressing the underlying cause of the illness, seeking to positively affect the outcome, being the mood disorder itself. Dietary and lifestyle changes may also be addressed and a nutrition plan was undertaken to complement the individual’s unique constitutional makeup.

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

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

5 Signs You’re Being Affected by a Past Life

1. Recurring dreams of an event

Sometimes when you keep dreaming of the same event over and over, it is your spirit’s way of bringing a traumatic or troubling event to a conclusion. The purpose is to make meaning of it so that the issue can be let go and you can move on. Otherwise, if we can’t make meaning of it then the situation may repeat itself in this lifetime. Dreams are where we bring up what is in the subconscious, and they can provide great clues about our behaviours, even if those behaviours were created in a past life!

2. Repeating patterns

If you have any issue or situation that keeps happening in this lifetime such as maybe you keep attracting the same kind of partner, then it can be a clue that there is a particular belief you have about that person or the relationship that keeps you stuck in that pattern. It is even possible you were actually that type of person you’ve been attracting back in your previous life and the fact you are attracting them to you is a way for you to experience what you may have done in the past so you can learn a lesson from it.

3. I feel like I’ve known you my whole life 

Many of us have had this experience when you meet someone for the first time and you feel like you already know them. This can be with significant others, friendships, colleagues, anywhere in life you come across people really. You can’t quite work it out, have you met them before and just forgotten? It’s highly likely you were in each other’s lives before this one! We can play different roles each lifetime and in one life your brother can come back as your mother in this life, then your best friend in the next one, then maybe the neighbour you can’t stand in the lifetime after that! If you have someone in your life that you just can’t seem to get rid of though, then there’s a possibility that you have unfinished business that needs to be acknowledged or there’s a soul contract that you need to bring to an end because it no longer serves you both. This is very common with divorce as marriage is an eternal contract, perhaps your husband from your last lifetime comes around into your life again in this lifetime as an affair, but it’s not the right circumstances and the agreements need to be properly broken for you both to move on.

4. Panic attacks only in certain situations 

Every so often I see people who have anxiety or get panic attacks that occur only in a given location or situation but at no other times. They differ from people who suffer general anxiety issues because the problem is only inhibiting them from doing that specific thing. Invariably, this issue goes back to a trauma they experienced in a past life doing that same thing or being in that same place and with no memory of it, the trauma gets triggered when they are in a similar place or situation this lifetime and they have no idea why.

5. Significant life trauma occurs to you before the age of 3

When it comes to karma, it is important to understand that reciprocated effects can continue lifetime to lifetime and need not only be felt in this lifetime. This can be hard for people to accept because children are such innocent beings. Which is exactly why the issue most likely goes back lifetimes, because by age 3 and sometimes even up to age 7, the little being has not had enough time to accumulate present life karma. There can be issues passed down genetic hereditary lines that arise in this age bracket as well, but generally, that is because the spirit of the being has chosen that genetic line to come into for its lesson through time. Some significant events can still occur after this age and into adulthood and still be linked back to a past life incident, of course. If you think this may be the case, you can always have an energetic healing session to allow your own spirit to reveal the priority issues affecting you so that you can shift them off your timeline and move on from them.

Make an appointment to have a Holographic Kinetics session with Makensi at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3106 8790 or click here to book online now.

Hypnosis and Habits

Whenever we find ourselves embarking on a new journey towards our goals, it always seems to begin with a set of intentions that mirror the very best part of ourselves and our greatest hopes and dreams. Often these steps can start strong but life can get in the way and it can be easy to sometimes let these best intentions fall by the wayside and we blame a lack of motivation or busy-ness or another external factor getting in the way.

While setting a clear intention is a critical step for achieving goals and even manifesting desires, in order to make this intention an action and then turn the action into an ingrained healthy habit that serves us well, we need to practice repetition.  It is here that the skilled use of hypnosis can greatly speed up the process of forming new healthy habits.

Experiencing a mental rehearsal    

Your subconscious cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is vividly imagined. This means if we are able to be guided through a mental rehearsal of the steps required to reach our goals, then we have already been able to practice how it might play out and how good you can feel.

Hypnosis plays with time distortion. I can help somebody acquire the virtual experience of how they would feel had they followed the steps towards creating a healthy habit and then sustained this healthy habit for a period of time. If we are able to visualise how we would think, look and feel as if we had already achieved our goal then we start feeling the emotional benefits immediately. This might be linked with pride and achievement, gratitude, satisfaction, and building self-esteem.

This might be activated by creating a virtual experience. For example, I once helped a woman whose habit of drinking a bottle of wine every night was impacting her health and happiness.  It took around thirty minutes with her deeply hypnotised to help her see herself in her evenings feeling cool, calm and confident without a glass of wine. We then worked on the ‘virtual’ experience of weeks and months of exercising daily, waking up feeling fresh and motivated, clear and happy. I talked about how, “one day, this day will be months and years ago”. I then got her to feel as if he had already experienced all this future time as a natural and easy light drinker. I suggested he experience seasons, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, all as a light drinker, going through typical days without even thinking about it. By the time she came out of the trance, she felt as if his new habit wasn’t ‘new’ at all, and she had been free of this old habit and it’s debilitating side effects. And this is how we can encourage new healthy habits in an amazingly accelerated way.

It is a surprisingly powerful technique to practice hypnotically how a ‘typical day’ in your mind might play out with this new positive habit, and then many such days until we reach the point where the habit is truly ‘second nature’.

At Brisbane Natural Health we are deeply committed to supporting our people on a health journey that is much more than symptom reduction – it is about holistic care that includes the emotional support to take enables people to transcend their old stories and believe they feel different and be different. I like to offer my clients the experience inwardly of what it’s like to feel that a new positive habit is long-standing and deeply embedded.

This approach has been validated by research as well as our own clinical experience.

A famous piece of research showed that mental rehearsal wires the brain in the same way as actual rehearsal. Basketball players who practised a new move in their minds, without actually doing it for real, were able to accomplish the move as well as – and often even better than – players who only practised it for real. This is because you can always do something ‘perfectly’ in your mind. So the new habitual skill was acquired purely through hypnotic means.

So practising that new basketball move or that new piano piece in your mind, with your eyes closed, even though you might be miles from a basketball court or a piano keyboard, can help you get better at those activities because you are deepening the right neuronal pathways. A new habit, any new habit, can and (I think) should be practised mentally to speed up the process of making it automatic. And the best way to practise something mentally is to learn how these habits can be real while under hypnosis.

Rebecca Brewsterregistered Counsellor and Hypnotherapist practicing strategic psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis. 

To make an appointment with a Hypnotherapist at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3186 5605 or click here to book online now.

5 Signs that You Are Chronically Underhydrated and What To Do About It

As we enter the warmer months, it is increasingly important to pay attention to staying well hydrated. The hot weather means that you lose more water through your pores as you sweat to cool down. Acute dehydration is a serious condition and requires medical attention. Symptoms of acute dehydration include: dark coloured urine, reduced urine output, feeling dizzy, confusion, sleepiness and rapid breathing and heartbeat). If you think you have acute dehydration, please see a doctor. Chronic dehydration occurs when you consistently consume less water than your body needs to function optimally, or when the body doesn’t hold on to the water that we do drink. We see this with many of our patients as they do not consume enough fluid or consume the wrong type of fluid to remain well hydrated. Even inside in the cool, you can become dehydrated – air conditioning works great to cool your body temperature down but also strips moisture from the body. Signs that you may be chronically underhydrated include:

  1. Feeling tired – your cells need water to carry out basic functions – if you are dehydrated, even producing energy will be a chore;
  2. Muscle fatigue or cramping – you will feel poor energy production first in your muscles and your brain with tiredness (mentioned above) and muscular fatigue. Muscle relaxation requires energy production, so if you can’t produce energy, your muscles will cramp;
  3. Headaches – brain volume can shrink due to dehydration. When this happens, it pulls away from the skull causing a headache;
  4. Hunger – often your body mistakes the thirst sensation for hunger. If you are feeling hungry all the time, try increasing your water intake;
  5. Constipation – a large portion of the contents of your poo should be water. If you don’t have enough in your body, your poos will become dry and hard to pass.u

OK, so now you know if you could be chronically underhydrated, what are to do about it. Drink water I hear you say. Of course! But how much, what type and what if water isn’t enough.

  • You should be consuming about 1500-2000mL of water per day. If you take in most of your water as cordial, juice, soft drink, tea, coffee or alcohol, then you are going to remain dehydrated as these drinks actually require that you drink more water to process them.
  • Choose filtered, still water. Filtered water removes some of the chemicals that can damage your body such as chlorine which negatively affects your gut flora. Carbonated water is acidic which can lead to tooth decay and is associated with weight gain and type 2 diabetes (yes, even the plain, unflavoured, non-sweetened carbonated water such as San Pellegrino).
  • You may need to add some electrolytes to your water if you are having a hard time staying hydrated. Choose an electrolyte that doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners – these are bad for your health and replaces sugar in electrolyte formulas which are added to improve fluid uptake. The other minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium also help to draw water into your cells and thus improve hydration.
  • Start your day with a large glass of room temperature, filtered, still water – this will improve your hydration throughout the day as well as allow your body to more easily recognise if it is starting to become dehydrated.

Gemma Martin, Naturopath with over 10 years experience in natural therapies and is experienced in treating all kinds of conditions.

To make an appointment with a Brisbane Natural Health naturopath call us on 07 3186 5702.

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.

Myotherapy Massage for the Treatment of Back Pain

There are many different types of back pain that can affect the way your body works, and the reality is that most of us will experience one form or another at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, we have been programmed to think that back pain is ‘normal’ and we just have to soldier on and cope with it. Whether it’s a short-term injury or a long-term issue, it can be debilitating and stop us in our tracks. But that doesn’t have to be the case.  

While back pain is common it definitely isn’t ‘normal’, nor does it have to be something that is a problem for us on a daily basis. Pain and movement restrictions we experience are our bodies way of telling us that there’s a problem that needs attention. If we only focus on pain management then the pain is going to return, or show up somewhere else in the body because we left the cause untreated.



Going deeper into the cause of back pain

Let’s look at it like this, imagine you wake up one night and your smoke alarm is going off. You aren’t going to go and open a window just to stop the alarm and leave it there? No, you will go and find the source of the fire and put it out (or at the very least call the fire brigade) because otherwise, your house is going to burn down. It is exactly the same with back pain.

Even if you have a chronic or long-standing injury or back condition, a myotherapist can help you live pain-free (or at least significantly reduced) and manage that condition so it has less effect on your daily life and capabilities. The aim of myotherapy massage is to get you back into enjoying life with less restrictions and less pain, rather than just existing and coping. Having back pain can be completely debilitating and impact every area of your life. The better tools you have to assess and treat problems with your body, the better and healthier your body will be now and long into the future.

Myotherapy vs. massage

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good massage and usually, when I am on vacation it is one of the first things I hunt down. Massage therapy can be effective in giving temporary relief where back pain is concerned and allow you to relax overall, giving your body some space from the pain for a few days. The real magic happens when you go deeper into finding the cause of the problem, that’s what myotherapy does. Myotherapists have the diagnostic skills to assess your body and work out where the problem is originating from, not just where the symptoms and pain is occurring.

By understanding the cause we can work with you to provide relief from back pain, but also assist to help you understand your body and help you create changes to support your body back into balance and better working condition. While massage can make up part of your treatment, the real key difference is that a myotherapist takes the time to assess your body and find the treatment that will work for your situation.

I have seen so many clients over the years that thought their back pain was just something they had to live with and just get on coping with the pain. Most clients that I treat have a huge spectrum of trauma, pain, and injury to their backs and all of them have seen a significant change in the first session, with lowered pain, better movement capability and most importantly, hope.

A look into Myotherapy

In a myotherapy session, you can expect some initial assessments both in the form of questions about your movement and injury history and the type of pain you are experiencing. There will also be some orthopedic testing, all to understand the origin of the underlying problem.

Then a treatment plan is made to assist your body to address this dysfunction using a mixture of different techniques including; remedial massage techniques, Myofascial release, trigger point therapy, dry needling, cupping, taping, corrective exercise and education. These techniques are combined to achieve relief but also long-term change so you don’t have to experience chronic back pain coming back time and time again.

Back pain can be caused by many different things and can impact people uniquely, which is why treatment plans and outcomes are all tailored to the specific person and problem. The length of time and number of myotherapy treatments is typically determined in the initial consultation.

Myotherapy massage can assist your body to become better balanced and more stabilised, letting your body move more effectively and reduce the forces and problems that cause pain. Most of the solutions are simple, and through your treatment, we work with you to find the best ones for your body.

There is nothing better than the look in clients face when they realise that they don’t have to live with their chronic back pain any more. The realisation that they don’t have to live with their condition forever, that there is another alternative… This is the most rewarding feeling and what it’s all about.


Sarah Kenner, Remedial Massage Therapist and Myotherapist (musculoskeletal therapist) with over 9 years experience. 

To make an appointment with a myotherapist at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3367 0337 or click here to book online now.