Pain and Inflammation – how chiropractic and acupuncture can help

Is poorly managed pain and inflammation slowing you down and impairing your quality of life? The feeling of pain is your body’s way of telling you that there is inflammation present. Inflammation is associated with the classic symptoms of pain, redness, heat and swelling. Pain Quay Health Sydney Chiropractor AcupunctureIt frequently accompanies injury and tissue trauma, such as sprains, strains, cuts, bites and stings. However, what you may not realise, is that inflammation can be a contributing factor to many health conditions and is a key component in the joint pain of arthritis, back pain and muscular aches, digestive disorders such inflammatory bowel disease, period pain, and many types of headaches.

The Firefighters Within  The term inflammation comes from the Latin word, ‘Inflammatio’ which means to set on fire. Inflammation is like a small biological fire designed to ‘burn away’ harmful stimuli such as pathogens, allergens, injury or other irritants. It is a protective mechanism designed to remove these causative factors and initiate the healing response. Inflammation can also be the result of diet, lifestyle factors and stress which can ignite, and keep this fire burning.


Here Dr Marti and Dr Darren talk about Pain and Inflammation and some natural ways you get deal with it

Inflammation Inside and Out  Inflammation can be easily identified when there are external signs of pain from arthritis, or joint and muscle injuries. However, inflammation can be occurring inside the body even when the warning signs are less obvious. For example, did you realise that obesity is an inflammatory state? Many digestive disorders such as food intolerances, irritable bowel disease, and coeliac disease are inflammatory conditions.

Putting Out the Body’s Fire  For optimal health, it is important to dampen down the inflammatory response and put out this fire. Pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories are commonly used to help relieve pain and inflammation, however many of these carry risks such as causing damage to your digestive tract. Fortunately there are some safe and effective natural anti-inflammatory and pain relief solutions available: • Turmeric – This Ayurvedic herb has been used traditionally for the treatment of traumatic injury, and to reduce swelling and pain in arthritic conditions. • Boswellia – Has analgesic, anti-rheumatic and antiinflammatory actions, as well as being effective for arthritis and traumatic pain, it may also assist with inflammatory conditions of the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and skin. • Omega 3 essential fatty acidsfrom fish oil containing EPA and DHA, may reduce acute and chronic pain and inflammation.

Food Can Produce or Reduce Inflammation  The typical Western diet may actually promote inflammation; high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates break down quickly into glucose and have been shown to induce inflammatory changes that are linked with many chronic diseases. In some susceptible people, foods such as dairy products and gluten-containing grains can trigger an inflammatory response within the digestive tract and throughout the body.

Foods that decrease inflammation; fresh fruit and vegetables, good fats from fish, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices such as ginger and tumeric, organic foods where possible, eat mostly wholefoods

Foods that increase inflammation: High intake of sugar and processed foods, trans and saturated fats, Artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, Excess coffee and alcohol, Allergenic foods – dairy, wheat and gluten

Simple Tips to Reduce Inflammation  As well as taking the right herbs and nutrients, there are simple diet and lifestyle changes that you can make that can help to reduce your inflammatory load:

1. Eat a diet plentiful in fresh fruit, a variety of vegetables and good fats from fish and nuts.

2. Minimise your intake of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, white rice, cereals.

3. Minimise your intake of red meat and opt instead for fish, chicken or vegetarian protein sources such as chickpeas or tofu.

4. Reduce your intake of alcohol, coffee, sugar and salt.

5. Avoid foods you may be reactive to, such as wheat and dairy foods.

6. Quit smoking.

The End to Inflammation Don’t let pain and inflammation reduce your quality of life! Talk to your Quay Health practitioner today about safe and effective natural medicines and simple dietary and lifestyle measures to reduce pain, and address the underlying causes of inflammation.

Dr Marti Harris, Chiropractor and Dr Darren Geer, Acupuncturist

Dr Marti Harris, Chiropractor, Quay Health Sydney Circular QuayAcupuncturist Darren Geer Quay Health Sydney CBD Acupuncture

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Acupuncture, how does it work?

Almost everyday I will get a new, (and sometimes old), patient that asks, “How does acupuncture work?” Then I have to explain to the patient that to answer that question is not as easy as a + b = c.


Under our western understanding, the way acupuncture works borders with the esoteric to the religious, but the difference is, the results are tangible and measurable. Though, how those results are attained, isn’t. In other-words, western science has no idea how it works. I remember when I was at university approximately 20 years ago and my neuroscience professor tried to explain the theories that western medicine had for how acupuncture works and they were flawed at best. Now, all these years later there is still no explanation on exactly how it works. However, there is now at least science to show that it does.


The Chinese theory on how acupuncture works is based on the concept of “qi”.


For the sake of brevity, I am not going to go into a deep explanation of this concept, as it is a long winding road that seems to potentially have no end. But I will say the best way I can describe it is this; qi is matter on the verge of becoming energy and energy on the verge of becoming matter. Qi is said to be in everything and is what keeps us human beings upright and functioning. Sickness, in acupuncture/tcm theory is considered an imbalance and or a stagnation of qi.


One difficulty that most people have and even most acupuncture students is,  why is it that our society is so far advanced with technology with smart phones, stem cell research and amazing advancements in prosthetics, however, we still cannot explain how acupuncture works? My only answer is, we just haven’t developed the right machine yet. Though, I have a strong feeling that it isn’t to far away.


The simplest way to explain how acupuncture works is this. It helps the body to heal itself, by increasing and or balancing the blood circulation. The body’s ability to heal itself is well documented. Especially, when it is given the right tools to accomplish this task.


You maybe thinking, this is a very vague answer and I would have to agree with you. Though, it is the simplest way to explain an non-scientifically unmeasurable concept. To really get into the deepest of understanding would be to either study Taoism and Buddhism. The other option is to read the first ever book I read on acupuncture theory. “The Web That Has No Weaver” By Ted Kaptchuk.

Acupuncturist Darren Geer Quay Health Sydney CBD AcupunctureDarren Geer,  Acupuncturist


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Acupuncture, stick out your tongue, please

Usually when you go to the Doctor with a sore throat the Doctor will put on some gloves, pull out what looks like a huge paddle pop stick, get you to open your mouth and stick your tongue. The Doctor will then press the tongue down, make you say, “ahhh” and look at your throat.


tongue diagnosis for Acupuncture at Quay Health Sydney

On the other hand, as an Acupuncturist and  traditional chinese medicine practitioner, I will ask to look at your tongue every time you visit and without the tongue depressor. Many people, rightfully so, think this is so strange ask me why I do this?


Those unfamiliar with the principles of traditional Chinese medicine may be surprised when an acupuncturist asks to see their tongue. However, this tongue inspection plays an important role in  acupuncture diagnosis, developing a treatment plan, and gauging progress. The tongue can be a window into your health and is connected to the meridians and organs.


To answer this question I found an article posted on,, which explains it best.


The article covers the basics, though there are other aspects of the tongue which indicate body imbalances such as: veins under the tongue, spots and raised surfaces. Though I think this article will cover enough to tweak your interest.

Happy Reading!

Acupuncturist Darren Geer Quay Health Sydney CBD Acupuncture

Darren Geer, Acupuncturist, Quay Health Sydney CBD

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