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How to have healthy feet this winter

Winter is officially here and there a few things that you can do to keep your feet healthy this winter!

healthy feet in winter quay health podiatry sydney cbd circular quay

Footwear

Remember to make sure that you are wearing the correct footwear. In the colder months we are usually wearing more enclosed footwear so making sure that they fit correctly in key.

If your toes are being pushed together or out of position in shoes, then your shoes are too narrow for your feet.  Wearing narrow shoes can cause ingrown toenails, corns and calluses

Try to keep your footwear and socks dry. Damp footwear can increase the risk of skin infections as the moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for an infection to spread.

Moisturise

The winter season also brings dryness, especially for the heel areas. Moisturising daily with a thick moisturiser can help prevent heel fissures and dryness.

Warm Feet are Happy Feet

It is very important to keep your feet warm in the colder months. The drop in temperature can also bring with it extra foot conditions, one of these are Chilblains.

Chilblains are itchy and/or tender red or purple bumps that occur as a reaction to cold. The condition is also known as pernio or perniosis, and is a localised form of vasculitis.

Chilblains are caused due to blood vessel shut-down in cold conditions and humidity. The cold exposure damages capillary beds in the skin, which in turn can cause redness, itching, blisters and inflammation. The cold causes constriction of the small arteries and veins in the skin. When these areas are warmed up again, it can result in leakage of blood into the tissue and swelling of the skin. This “bruising” is called a chilblain.

If you are prone to develop chilblains then you should keep warm in cold weather and avoid excessive exposure to the elements.

Diabetic Patients

Winter months require a little extra foot care for everyone, but diabetics especially need to keep feet healthy. Decreased circulation, dry skin, and spending time exposed to cold and wet conditions put diabetic feet at a higher risk for developing an infection or foot condition.

Regular visits to your podiatrist will keep on top of any problems that may occur. Call Quay Health today to arrange an appointment.

Sam Towers Podiatrist Quay Health Sydney CBD Circular Quay Sam Towers, Podiatrist

Bupa Member's First Provider Quay Health Sydney CBD Chiropractic Podiatry Bupa Members First Podiatry Provider

Quay Health sydney cbd chiropractor massage acupuncture podiatry circular quay

To book a podiatry appointment with Sam Towers call 9252 2825

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Eat your way calm – psychobiotics and the gut brain connection

A new and exciting era in the treating of mental illness could be upon us!

I have blogged before about the gut and its affect on our mental state. Though, now money is now being put into research of this fascinating subject.

With the gut-brain connection is now very well established a new wave of research is now being done into psychobiotics.

Healthy Eating gut health acupuncture chiropractic Quay Health circular quay sydney cbd

These are, in short; biotics for the gut. Were as antibiotics are designed for the killing of bad bacteria. Psycho-biotics will be used for the increasing of good bacteria. Resulting in a much more diverse gut flora and better moods.

 

 

So far, the research on psychobiotics is still preliminary. Studies have shown that increasing the amount of “good” bacteria in the gut can curb inflammation and cortisol levelsreduce symptoms of depression and anxietylower stress reactivity, improve memory, and even lessen neuroticism and social anxiety. However, most of these studies were conducted on mice, and more research on humans is needed.”

The unfortunate thing is that approval for this new type of treatment is approximately 10 years away. But there are things that can be done in the meantime.;

 

1) Consuming probiotic foods

Yogurt

One of the best known probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Read your labels, as many popular brands are filled with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors and are way too close to being a nutritional equivalent of ice cream. As with most food, the most health claims made on the packaging means more marketing, not more nutritional value.

 

Miso Soup

 Miso is one the mainstays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup.

 

Sauerkraut

 Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.

 gut brain health food health wellbeing acupuncture quay health sydney cbd circular quay

Kefir

Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants. Look for a good, organic version at your local health food store.

 

Kombucha

 This is a form of fermented tea that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your wellbeing, and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those who’ve had problems with candida.

 

Mircoalgae

Although this isn’t a food per se, it’s great to add to your morning smoothie. Microaglae refers to superfood ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae.

 

Pickles

 Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. The less commercialized the better, but most pickles will have some microbial value.

 

Tempeh

 I wouldn’t necessarily call soy a health food any longer as it’s mostly GMO. However, tempeh can be a great substitute for meat or tofu. Tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans. A great source of vitamin B12, this vegetarian food can be sautéed, baked, or eaten crumbled on salads.

 

Kimchi

An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.

 

Poi

 Poi is a staple food of Hawaii, made by mashing cooked taro plant until its consistency is liquid to dough-like. Poi hasn’t been officially recognized as a probiotic food like these others, even though it contains more beneficial bacteria that yogurt. While poi is loaded with good germs, it’s stirred up some controversy as there’s currently no way to mass produce it in a way that’s 100% sanitized. (In order to pass health and hygiene standards in America to prepare and sell anything, everything has to be 100% sanitized.) Too bad, because fresh, fermented poi is teeming with bacteria. In order to reap these benefits from po, you might have to fly to Hawaii to get it, which sounds fine to me!

 

2) Meditate

wellness quay health sydney cbd circular quay chiropractor, acupuncuture, massageMost people “don’t think” they have time for this. Though, all you need is a quiet room. If you don’t have one I suggest purchasing some noise cancelling headphones. Put and turn them on, sit in a dark room and just concentrate on your breathing. Start trying to do this for only 5 minutes per session and then gradually increase the time as you get better. Meditation is like exercise, you get better with practise.

 

3) Exercise

for at least 30 minutes per day. You don’t have to train like an Olympian to get the benefits. Though, you have to make the sessions as intense as you can handle to get the benefits in full.

 

Darren Geer Acupuncturist Quay Health Sydney CBD Circular Quay traditional chinese medicineDr Darren Geer, Acupuncturist

Quay Health

To book an appointment with Darren click here

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/gut-bacteria-mental-health_us_581770a7e4b064e1b4b3a842

 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9331/top-10-probiotic-foods-to-add-to-your-diet.html

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I feel stable, should I keep getting adjusted?

I feel stable, should I keep getting adjusted?

 

The short answer is of course! Chiropractic adjustments are much more than just getting rid of pain. Whilst pain is what gets most people through our door, it is usually not the greatest issue. Pain in itself can be addressed with other modalities that may not be quite as effective as seeing a professional but will work for the short term.

 

posture balance chiropractic Quay Health Sydney CBD

When I set out with my patient on a journey of chiropractic care we talk about the reason “why” they decided to start care.  Whilst pain is a big one for most, the pain feeling is not the problem as is the inability to function, think and move to do the things that are most important to them.  That is what gets me excited about how chiropractic can add to each person’s life…by optimizing their function and increasing their wellness.

 

“Wellness did you say?” Yes, wellness!  Because in addition to getting rid of musculoskeletal pain via correcting posture, what happens in addition to that is much more amazing.  When we stand straighter without interferences along our spine, information from our brain to the rest of our body and organs travels better with a lot more clarity and less “fog”.  As a result, organ function improves. As does hormonal changes, breathing capacity, our focus and confidence in our thoughts. (See my pervious blog on how this works)

 

Chiropractic can be experienced and used as part of your regular wellness lifestyle.  Just like eating healthily, and exercising, maintaining proper spinal alignment is crucial to optimizing every other health journey you go on.

 

“What about maintenance Doc? What does that mean?”

 

Well, as long as we live and move we will twist and at times, cause joints to strain or lock in certain directions that are not necessarily painful at the time!  They just happen, and if left as they are without a release, it can linger and create problems further down the track.  So getting an adjustment as part of a maintenance schedule reduces the chance of that happening and allows you to continue to reap the benefits of your initial groundwork when you began chiropractic care.

 

So get our there and get well people!  Tell your friends and family the positives you’ve felt in your own bodies from chiropractic and share the love.  Take care of your spine today, and live optimally later.

Dr Aline Dahdah Chiropractor Quay Health Sydney CBD Circular Quay

Dr Aline Dahdah

Chiropractor

Click here to book your appointment

Quay Health

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If only I could get some sleep

Michelle always felt tired and sleepy in the day time, because she could not sleep at night. It usually took her more than 1 hour to fall asleep, and sometimes even the whole night until 5-6am, even though she was really sleepy.

Daniel a 12 years old, used to lie down on his desk at the school, due to his dreaminess at night.

Ben also has a sleeping problem. He always wakes up very early around 3-4am. After waking up, he would not be able to go back to sleep, no matter how sleepy he was.

insomnia treatment acupuncture Quay Health Sydney CBDInsomnia is one of the most common health problems in the world. From research, there are one out of three people who will suffer from some form of sleep disturbance during their lifetime. For some they would continue for many years, and they would try many ways to deal with it, including having sleeping medication or drugs, but these would not work when they stop taking it.

 

Clinically, insomnia may occur individually or be accompanied by the manifestations of headaches, dizziness, palpitations, amnesia, etc. Insomnia is a disease, and long-term lack of treatment or mitigation will inevitably lead to a series of adverse consequences, such as reduction in the quality of work and life, reduction in the body’s immune system, endocrine disorders, easily leading to and aggravating infectious diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases and so on.

 

In Chinese Medicine, insomnia can be divided into three different types according to the pattern of the sleep problem.

 

The first type of insomnia is that people try hard to fall asleep. If it takes over thirty minutes to fall asleep, it is defined as insomnia, but in some cases it can take hours and in several cases people just will not fall asleep until the sun comes up. This pattern in Chinese medicine is associated with a deficiency of the heart yin energy. The yin energy is the energy that calms, cools and moistens. Its function is especially important at night time. When the yin energy is deficient, our mind cannot calm down, and we would feel irritable and hot during the night and cannot have good quality sleep. This condition is associated with long term stress or overworking. Commonly associated symptoms are: night heat or night sweats, palpitations, dizziness, tinnitus, poor memory and concentration, constipation, dry mouth at nights and red tongue. The treatment for this type of insomnia is with Acupuncture points that nourish the yin energy reducing heat and calming the spirit. In addition to sleeping better the patient should also feel an all-around improvement in his physical and emotional health. Acupuncture for Shenmai(BL62), Zhaohai(KI6), Taixi(KI3), Dalin (PC7), Shenmen(HT7), Taichong(LR3) can help for that.

 

The second type of insomnia is when sleep is easy but the quality of sleep that follows is poor. The person feels that the sleep is very light and often wakes up. Sometimes it feels as if no sleep has been had at all. This type of insomnia is usually due to over work and over thinking which weaken the energies of the heart and the spleen; the digestive system. The heart in Chinese Medicine is in charge of sleep and mental activities and needs sufficient nourishment to function properly. Other symptoms often associated with this pattern are palpitations, fatigue, poor appetite and digestive problems. The treatment is by using acupuncture to nourish the heart and strengthen the digestive systems and improvement in sleep should soon follow. For acupuncture, we usually use: Xinshu(BL15), Pishu(BL20), Baihui((DU20), Shenmen(HT7), Sanyinjiao(SP6), Neiguan(PCC6). If dreaminess, can also use Pohu(BL42), Yinbai(SP1), lidui(ST45), Daling(PC7).

 

The third type of insomnia is when the problem is waking up early in the morning. The person will wake up some time between 3 and 6 in the morning and will not be able to go back to sleep. In Chinese medicine this problem is related to the liver and it is usually caused by emotional problems, stress or worry. Like worrying about what will need to do during the daytime. Other symptoms often associated with this type of insomnia are: irritability, tearfulness and sometimes light headedness. The treatment is with Acupuncture points that treat the liver and calm the mind. You can expect an improvement in your mood and general feeling, in addition to sleeping better. For the acupoint, we can use: Xinjian(LR2), Zuqiaoyin(GB44), Fengchi(GB20), Shenmen(HT7), Sishencong(EX-HN1) etc.

 

Those suffering from insomnia understand how important a good night’s sleep is in order to feel great and be productive the next day. Acupuncture for insomnia is one treatment that can help to alleviate insomnia without the need to take potentially harmful prescription sleeping aids. It focuses on treating the whole body and not just the symptoms, the root cause of the insomnia will be addressed, be it stress, pain, dietary irregularities, etc. By resolving the underlying imbalance, the insomnia will effectively be treated, and the individual will enjoy a better overall quality of life.

 

To find relief from your insomnia book an appointment to see Quay Health’s accupuncturist’s Si Chen and Darren Geer.  Call 9252 2825 to book an appointment.

Si Chen Acupuncturist Quay Health Sydney CBD

Si Chen
Acupuncturist
Quay Health Sydney CBD

 

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Ever wondered why your pain or symptoms may keep recurring despite having regular therapy for it?

this is for testing

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Preventing Work-Related Foot Stress

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Physio Running Assessments – Outdoors!

If you are a runner and are often injured or you are new to running and suspect your form could be improved, often a running technique assessment can identify possible problems and offer ways to correct them.
 

Having your running form filmed and then analysed can be a valuable form of feedback to improve your running and hopefully minimise your injuries.

 

There are two ways to perform a running assessment:

 

1. On a treadmill inside – this is easy and convenient but running on a treadmill is different to running outdoors where the speed is usually not kept constant and often outdoor runners are not very comfortable running on a treadmill, so they may take up time getting used to this method of running.

 

2. Outside – this way of assessing the running technique is not so convenient but can be beneficial for keeping the running form as close to the runner’s natural form as possible.

 

At Quay Health, our physiotherapist, Jo Hadley likes to perform running assessments outside in a park close to Quay Health in Bridge St. She utilises two camera positions for filming:

 

1. Front and rear views – runners are filmed as they run towards and away from the camera to determine for example, how the legs are positioned on landing and take off and also how stable the core and pelvis are as the runner moves.

 

2 Side/semi-circular views – runners run in a semi-circle in each direction for about 50m to give video details of foot placement on landing and other information.

 

What does a Running Assessment show?

 

Jo uses an app on an iPad that is able to use slow-motion to reveal important components in the running cycle:

 

  • Where does the foot land? In front of the body or under the hip?
  • Does the foot land across the body in a scissoring action or not?
  • Is the foot on the ground for too long before the next phase?
  • Is the pelvis controlled or does it drop or twist?
  • Is there too much or too little rotation in the pelvis/thorax?
  • What are the arms doing? Do they cross the midline?
  • What is the cadence?
  • Is there too much bounce?

 

Some flaws are very obvious and others may require closer inspection of the videos after the assessment. But all runners will receive an email with their running assessment video and some advice on improving the technique and some strengthening exercises or stretches suggestions to work on.

 

With the more obvious flaws, Jo can give immediate tips to try for changing the technique flaws discovered and she can then re-film the runner to see if instant changes can be implemented. The runner will have some ‘take-home’ tips to keep working on. The runners whose techniques are either good or need very close inspection to discover any flaws will receive tips and advice via email.

 

After you have discovered your running flaws and received some tips to work on changing these flaws, it is a good idea to re-book in 6 weeks for a follow up video assessment, to see if you have improved! This second or subsequent videos can be compared to the initial video and further tips can be given if required.

 

Some people who are either beginners or have several aspects/flaws to work on may require 1-2 more follow up sessions to progress their improvements – unfortunately changes are slow to implement sometimes and only 1-2 areas can be changed at once, otherwise our brains get over loaded and become unfocused.

 

Jo’s Initial Running Assessment session should take about 60 minutes and she will analyse and email your video and suggestions afterwards. (There will be a 5 minute walk to the park and +/- on return)

 

Jo’s Follow Up Assessment should take about 45 minutes. (There will be a 5 minute walk to the park +/_ on return)

 

Book Your Online Appointment

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Running…a fine line between better performances and injuries

I am a physiotherapist and a runner. As a runner I know there is a fine line between better performances and injuries.
 

shutterstock_230939503Running is a quick, natural, cheap, flexible way to keep fit. Yet, so many people suffer injuries from performing their running training or competitions. There are a number of reasons for this:

 

1. Over training – or doing too much too soon

 

The body has amazing abilities to compensate and cope with the demands we place on it. But there are limits. When we exercise our body basically breaks down with the exercise and then is rebuilt but better and stronger…UNLESS we go beyond our body’s ability to adapt.

 

For each of us there is an individual range of activity performance where if we do too little our bodies will never improve; but if we do too much they break down more than the repair process can heal it and create positive adaptations. If this imbalance is prolonged it can result in an injury or illness. For example: someone just beginning an activity, like running, has to increase their volume or intensity at a much lower and slower level than a seasoned performer of the same task.

 

Generally the rule is: do not increase volume/distance more than 10% per week or increase intensity more than 2-3% in a week…speed increases, including too many hills, can cause quicker breakdown and maladaptations than increasing volume/time/distance.

 

I have treated many people who have started training for the City to Surf by running lots of hills the week before….they did not make it to the start line! Hills like speed and distance need to be progressed at a rate that the body can adapt to. The body adapts amazingly well but it has limits that need respecting.

 

Over training can also mean running too much, especially if you do not have a good nutrition base or are not sleeping enough. The body needs good healthy food to help heal the body and contribute to positive adaptations that well planned training provides and enough sleep to give the body a chance to repair and recover. Most healing occurs during sleep. Never underestimate the power of sleep. I saw a great quote on line recently it said’ if you have to choose between more sleep or an extra training run…choose more sleep!’ Adaptations from training occur when we sleep!

 

Many runners run fast all the time, but research is showing that the optimal training ratio is 80:20 i.e. 80% done at aerobic heart rate level and 20% at medium or high intensity….the higher the intensity the more stress on the body and too much stress leads to overtraining syndrome or illness or injury.

 

2. Technique errors

 

Many runners do not think technique is important – they think anyone can run. But like in every other sport or activity there are techniques that help to minimise stress on the body.

 

If you have never been injured then I would NOT change a thing, but if you constantly suffer injuries looking at technique may be very beneficial.

 

There are some facets to running that research is showing to be less stressful for our bodies. These include:

 

a) Cadence – how many steps we take per minute

 

Quicker, shorter steps are better than over striding and landing with the foot in front of the body. This causes a braking effect. Longer slower strides tend to have this pattern with a cadence around 160 steps per minute. Research is showing that around the 180 steps a minute is more optimal.

 

b) Landing with our foot as close to under our hips as possible with our lower legs vertical helps to minimise forces. Hard to know if you do this or not…so maybe get a running assessment.

 

3. Pre-existing weakness or tightness/muscle imbalance

 

Sometimes injuries we have had years ago may be affecting how we are moving today. Previous traumas and illnesses can also have an effect. Sometimes by correcting these imbalances the restricted body part can then be free to move correctly and thus be strengthened or trained to move in a more optimal pattern.

 

Book in today for your running assessment or assessment of your past injuries and how they might be affecting your running today!

 

Jo Hadley

Phyisotherapist

Quay Health

jo-hadley_profile

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Stress!

 

Stress – the ultimate buzz word associated with modern living and many of us experience it at some time with stress symptoms presenting in many forms.

 

shutterstock_132130631Stress symptoms may include:

  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • hyperinsomnia (sleepiness during the day)
  • nausea
  • depression
  • high blood pressure
  • unstable emotions
  • craving sweet foods
  • weight gain
  • headaches
  • lower back pain
  • indecision
  • tense muscles

 

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, many of these symptoms are separated into issues of the organs that are being affected. Below I have identified some of the basic ways a TCM practitioner is looking at your body when diagnosing. I have kept it brief to avoid confusion and acknowledge that there are other signs and symptoms that may be present however, only the ones above are discussed below. Also, in considering the particular organ affected, this is not being looked at from a western medicine point view even though TCM accepts western medical understanding of internal organs.

 

1. Fatigue: the only symptom that shows a problem with virtually all organs, blood and oxygen (Qi) flow.

2. Insomnia: heart, your mind is too busy; kidneys, you’re so rundown that you cannot stay asleep for a whole 6-8 hrs; spleen, too much worrying; and the liver, you want to break out of your current situation but can’t.

3. Hyperinsomnia: liver, you’re so stressed that your circulation has become blocked; spleen, a heavy daytime tiredness usually associated with stress and a diet of mainly fatty and sweet processed foods.

4. Menstrual problems: liver and gall bladder have blockages.

5. Nausea: when the liver becomes blocked, it can attack the stomach causing nausea.

6. Depression: a major problem within our society, as are all mental health issues. TCM theory has many reasons for depression including; kidney deficiency, blocked liver, oxygen (Qi) deficiency, blood deficiency, stomach dysfunction and heart deficiency.

7. High blood pressure: as with western medicine, heart and kidneys.

8. Unstable emotions: depends on which emotion is either excessive or deficient, as to what organ is affected.

9. Craving sweet foods: liver and spleen (pancreas).

10. Weight gain: kidneys (including fluid retention), poor diet, inactivity and spleen deficiency. There are obviously many western medical reasons for this and 100% of them are accepted by most TCM practitioners.

11. Headaches: liver, kidneys, gall bladder, bladder, lungs, spleen, stomach, large intestine and heart.

12. Lower back pain, without a physical reason: kidneys, bladder and gall bladder.

13. Indecision: gall bladder.

14. Tense muscles: liver and gall bladder

 

As you can see there are many ways that stress can affect our body and organs. If you are interested in finding out how I can help with your stress, contact us to make a booking.

 

Acupuncturist Darren Geer Quay Health Sydney CBD Acupuncture
Darren Geer, Acupuncturist
BASc ACup
CMR0001715102

To make an appointment with Darren click here

Quay Health 9252 2825

Level 6, 10 Bridge Street Sydney

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Click..ouch! Was that my jaw?

Jaw pain is no laughing matter!

 

p1040971The jaw, also known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is one of the most frequently used joints in the body. It is used for talking, eating, sucking and yawning. The TMJ muscles activate and oppose gravity to keep the mouth closed. When the mouth is slightly open, the TMJ is relaxed.

 

If you are experiencing pain in the TMJ, this is usually caused by an imbalance in joint movement because of poor bite, bruxism (clenching or grinding), or joint problems such as inflammation, trauma and degeneration.

 

The following may be indicative of TMJ dysfunction:

  • Headaches in the temporal region
  • Point tenderness in jaw muscles on the sides of the face
  • Pain on full open or full close
  • Lateral deviation of the jaw during movement
  • Pain while eating
  • Chewing food on one side instead of evenly across both sides
  • Waking from sleep with jaw pain
  • Breathing from the mouth instead of the nose
  • Clicking during jaw movements
  • Jaw locking
  • Malocclusion, missing teeth or dental decay
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth (bruxism)
  • Bad habits such as chewing gum, biting nails, leaning on the chin and smoking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Stomach sleepers
  • Poor cervical and thoracic alignment
  • Dizziness

 

Everyday tasks such as sleeping, brushing your teeth or eating tough foods can be become difficult and painful.

 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, physical therapy such as chiropractic adjustments, massage and acupuncture can decrease pain, restore function and limit degenerative changes.

 

Dr Rebecca Squire
Chiropractor
Quay Health
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