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

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.

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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


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.



 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.

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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.



 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.



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.



 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.



 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.



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 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


A simple and easy guide to how acupuncture works


Today, I was trawling through Facebook looking for ideas for another blog. When I came across an excellent short 3min video simply describing how acupuncture really works. It was so easy to understand that I decided to just simply post the link to the video, (link at bottom of this blog), as well as copy out its salient points. I have done this more as an easy reference. Rather than having to scroll back on your device which I know can be painful.


how does acupuncture work quay health sydney cbd acupuncturist Darren Geer

I have posted blogs and articles written by others including Dr’s and scientists but this one was much easier to grasp. I hope you enjoy and it gives you a better understanding of this amazing therapy.





How does acupuncture work? A simple and easy guide.


The mistranslations of ancient Chinese texts into English have given acupuncture a very mystical, esoteric and some say spooky reputation. Which has completely missed the mark of what it really is.


Acupuncture, does not enhance some strange universal power using divine intervention that helps you recover from your ailments. Even though some acupuncturists would like you to believe that.


Acupuncture is actually a real type of medicine or medicinal theory that is based on actual anatomy and physiology. Concentrating on the improving the flow of Oxygen (Qi), Blood (Xue) and Nutrients (Ying Qi).


The impairment of blood flow or blood stagnation is the number 1 cause of disease. Which makes sense, if there is a problem with blood flow to any area of the body there will be impaired function. 


The body cannot heal without blood flow to the affected area so this make sense,  as acupuncture helps the body heal itself.  Acupuncture does this by causing the blood vessels to dilate or constrict to either; increase or decrease blood flow to specific areas of the body. This is done to relieve pain and improve organ function.


It also works by stimulating the nervous system by activating nociceptor sensory nerves and proprioceptor fibers that travel from the skin, to the spine and to the brain. Acupuncture does this by improving nerve signals to your brain to realise opioids (natural painkillers) to shut off the pain signal eliminate the pain.


The combination of these two effects is what helps the body heal itself while reducing any pain. This is done by treating the 5 main factors that influence your health:

  1. The flow of oxygen (Qi)
  2. The flow of blood (Xue)
  3. The health of your blood vessels (Xue Mai)
  4. Health of your organs (Zang Fu)
  5. The health of the nervous system (Jing Mai)


Acupuncture can treat an endless number of conditions. Either on its own or in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine or other therapies.


So if you are looking for a solution to your problems, without drugs or side effects, give Acupuncture a try.


Contact Quay Health on 02) 9252 2825 or at


Acupuncturist Darren Geer Quay Health Sydney CBD Acupuncture


Darren Geer


BASc Acup



The Age of Anxiety; Stress and Hypnotherapy



anxiety hypnotherapy, self hypnotis, antonella franchini, quay health sydney cbdSome have called this the “Age of Anxiety”. The demands that we are struggling to meet in our everyday lives are increasing alongside our levels of stress. The sources of stress are numerous and inevitable. Hypnosis is a stres management tool that can help build relaxation skills and a sense of self-control through the use of self-hypnosis techniques. Managing anxiety effectively increases concentration, self-esteem and quality of life by improving sleep patterns and overall sense of wellbeing.



Simply knowing that you have the ability to relax deeply and re-organise your thoughts, feelings and behaviours can have a profound and powerful effect.


Imagine the freedom of feeling this way.



Too good to be true?




“How can Hypnosis help me? I’ve always been curious but don’t want to lose control and definitely don’t want to do anything against my will. How does Clinical Hypnotherapy differ from Stage Hypnosis?”


Our Clinical Hypnotherapist Antonella Franchini is offering a great opportunity for everyone who would like to ask questions and get an overview of how Hypnotherapy and Self Hypnosis skills have helped many people solve their issues. If you are struggling to quit smoking, feeling stressed and anxious, not sleeping properly or struggling to lose weight, then this is a perfect opportunity to come into a relaxed environment with no pressure, share a few nibbles and listen to Antonella explain Hypnosis, debunk some of the myths surrounding this enormously beneficial therapy and answer questions.  Antonella will also demonstrate a few simple hypnotic self-help skills that she is certain you will find useful and enjoyable.


WHERE: Quay Health, level 6, 10 Bridge Street Sydney
WHEN:    24th March 2016
                  5 – 6 pm
Simply book your place by calling  9252 2825

Gut Health – You are what you eat

Approximately 6-7 years ago I attended a seminar on “Gut Health”. Ever since then I have been a big advocate of the importance of gut health and the overall wellbeing. In health circles there isn’t a more important quote than; “you are what you eat”!

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What I am happy to see is the amount of press the results of the relevant studies have received. Just last week a documentary appeared on SBS, The Diet Myth.

With the main aim of the documentary to explain obesity and how the new theories of gut health, relate.


As it turns out, the amount of microbes (bacteria) that live in the gut has a massive effect on your ability to lose weight and why the theory of “eat less do more”, does not work!


But before you “non activity lovers” get too excited. Exercise, is a very important aspect of a healthy body and mind. The human body is supposed to move. Our evolution has not caught up with our lifestyles yet and don’t expect it to any time soon.


Now, back to the track…


The main points of the documentary that relates to human health are:


·      The more gut microbes you have, the leaner you are.


·      If you still can’t lose weight even though you are doing all the right things. The reason is you don’t have enough have a board enough variety of gut microbes.


·      One reason for this is an over use of antibiotics. Use of antibiotics can cause havoc on the gut microbes which can take up to a year to sort themselves out after their use. Use of antibiotics in children increases their chance of becoming obese.


·      Poor diets, if you mostly consume sugar and saturated fat. Your gut microbe diversity becomes limited, at best.


·      Your diet has to be: clean, unprocessed and diverse.


·      Think of your gut microbes like a complete ecosystem. If you pollute an ecosystem what happens?! Species die!


·      Serotonin, our “happy chemicals” are produced in the brain by our gut microbes. If they are unhealthy it can make you depressed and anti-depressants will not work.


In conclusion, as you can see from the few examples I have given. Your gut is you!


If you require more advice on this subject. Book in for a consultation at 


Darren Geer Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist Quay Health Sydney

Darren Geer / Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Expert



Why is Women’s Health suffering?

Women’s health is suffering terribly, and it’s time for something to change.


women's health naturopath quay health sydney cbdIn our fast-paced, modern society, we are seeing ever-greater incidence of challenges to women’s health, including infertility, chronic PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, burnout, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and sheer exhaustion.


At the very root of such issues, is the chronic and constant stress that the majority of women face. For many women, life is just one big, frantic, double shift – tending to their careers during the day, and their loved ones at night and on the weekends.


Consequently, women have little to no time for themselves – to rest, recuperate, and tend to their own basic needs. This is taking a huge toll on our health.


The pace of modern life, and the stress and pressure that this has created for so many women, drives the constant production of stress hormones. When not addressed, this leads to chronic nervous system depletion, and a stress-related condition known as adrenal fatigue.


When a woman is experiencing adrenal fatigue, it is next to impossible for her delicate reproductive hormones to be balanced. Stress hormones are extremely dominant, and drastically interfere with a woman’s ability to experience a healthy monthly cycle.


Contrary to what we have been taught, PMS and other female hormonal conditions are NOT normal. And unfortunately, there’s no ‘quick fix’ for overcoming them. However, with a commitment to addressing stress, nutrition, and lifestyle, it is more than possible to get your hormones back in balance.


As a naturopath, I often work with women to get their hormones back in shape. To begin with, we work to get a holistic picture of what’s going on in the body, through a thorough case history, and often with a variety of hormone testing. This gives me a clear understanding of exactly what is happening for each woman, so that I can tailor a treatment plan that is precisely indicated for her individual needs.


In the course of treatment, we work to address BOTH stress hormones and reproductive hormones, in a way that is long-term and sustainable. The ultimate aim is to get these hormones back in balance, and keep them that way – for good!


Because hormonal imbalances often occur as the result of many years of constant stress, it can take a number of months to get them back to their normal, balanced state. However, the dramatic change in health and wellness that women experience as a result of doing this, makes it well worth the effort.


As women, nothing is more important that our hormonal health. Our hormones literally have the ability to change our entire experience of life. They affect how we feel on a day to day basis – how much energy we have, whether we can jump out of bed in the morning, how we interact with the people we love, and whether or not we suffer each month with our cycle. Our hormonal status also dramatically affects our digestion, often resulting in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Of course, all of these signs and symptoms can be drastically improved once hormones are addressed.


There is SO much that can be done to help your precious hormones get back to balance. Please don’t feel helpless – come and see me for a consultation, and let me help you change your health (and consequently, your life) for the better.


Book Your Online Appointment


Beth Bridges Naturopath Quay Health Sydney CBD

Beth Bridges | Naturopath

Is Posture the Window to Your Health?

Is Posture the Window to Your Health?

We all want better health, and the ability to thrive day to day. Well into February and the motivation for some that began at the beginning of the year towards better health is still reasonably high. So before we get to burn out stage, and lose motivation due to our bodies just ‘not feeling right”, let’s shift our focus to our physical health.


We all know tGood-health-good-posture-300x300hat regular exercise and eating right is the way to go to stay feeling better. But have you considered yet the health of your spine? Everyday we see clients who can’t believe the effects that posture has on their health, and the huge impact it has on their everyday life. They feel more free and better able to deal with the stresses everyday living. Their outlook is generally more positive and their immune systems are stronger. Elite athletes never have slumped posture, whereas anybody with a serious system illness will not have proper structural integrity and almost certainly have a forward posture. We see that the body cannot perform at a high level if the body structure is not correct.


Chiropractic adjustments aimed at correcting posture, will allow you to to feel stronger in your own body. Truly feeling as you were created to feel, which is your spine holding you upright without effort on your part. Leaving you ready and able to tackle all of life’s daily changes with one less stress on your back.



Dr Aline Dahdah, Chiropractor

Virtual Gastric Banding – Regain control of your eating habits

Do you constantly deny yourself certain foods, only to find yourself eventually caving in and then feeling like a complete failure, again and again?

Would you like to be able to trust your own body signals and know the difference between real hunger and head hunger?

Do you wish you could stop “eating your feelings” and regain control of your eating habits?

Hypnotherapy at Quay Health


As the name suggests, the system combines the concept of a ‘virtual’ gastric band and clinical hypnotherapy. It successfully harnesses the power that every individual holds within them to make changes to their lives. Many clients have benefited from Virtual Gastric Band therapy.

So, what is Virtual Gastric Banding?

The Virtual Gastric Banding is a non-surgical technique which uses the power of hypnosis to retrain you to be satisfied with smaller amounts of food. It changes how you think about food and gives very safe, very predictable results. The clinical hypnotherapy convinces the brain that the stomach is full after a certain level of intake and that there is no need for more food. It is most definitely NOT a diet – we know that diets only work in the short term and most often result in overall long-term weight gain.

The Virtual Gastric Banding allows you to eat what you want but will enable you to eat smaller portions and because it’s not a diet, you won’t feel deprived, miserable or hungry which are the issues that cause most diets to fail.

The Virtual Gastric Banding effectively negates these issues and you are left with a sustainable long term solution to your body size and shape. The medical procedure reduces the physical size of the stomach and may achieve the same result
but the Virtual Gastric Band can be undertaken quickly and privately, without the lengthy delay of hospital waiting lists and of course carries no costly invasive surgery, no risks and no on-going medical treatment.

Quay Health’s resident Clinical Hypnotherapist Antonella Franchini is a fully certified practitioner of Virtual Gastric Banding.

Virtual Gastric Banding tricks your mind into believing your stomach is smaller so you naturally eat less.

Regain control of your eating habits


[button font_size=”16″ color=”#23c9b8″ text_color=”#ffffff” url=”” target=”_blank”]Book your appointment here[/button]


Antonella Franchini Clinical Hypnotherapist Quay Health SydneyAntonella Franchini, Clinical Hypnotherapist


Diets Don’t Work

All diets are based on food restriction in many different variations but nonetheless – restriction is the norm.

diets don't work clinical hypnotherapist quay health sydney
In a recent article featured in the journal Scientific American , August 2015 author Charlotte Markey points to recent studies which have consistently revealed that dieting leads to weight gain.

Yes, weight gain.

Why is this so?

The unconscious mind will not be ignored and what we restrict using sheer willpower alone can and often will, lead to the “what the hell effect”. This is the thinking that says “I blew it by eating that one biscuit, so I may as well eat the pack and start again another day”. Research shows that the belief that one has violated their restrictive diet is enough to allow the abandonment of self control.
In hypnotherapy we call this the law of ‘positive attention’. This means that what you restrict or have to constantly think about will end up obsessing your thinking – you may even dream about whatever it is you are trying to eliminate. This leads to craving.

Try this little test –
1. Think of a monkey.
2. Don’t think of a monkey.
Still thinking of a monkey??

This can also be enormously stress inducing, as recent studies have also shown that dieting or even having to ‘watch’ your food or calorie intake can increase cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in our systems. This can also result in weight gain. Dieting appears to be counter-productive.
What should you do?
Slow and gradual changes work best, alongside positive mental affirmations. Gradual and sustainable change is what the latest research recommends.
This is where hypnotherapy with a Clinical Hypnotherapist can be enormously beneficial.

Clinical Hypnotherapist Antonella Franchini Quay Health Sydney CBD Circular QuayQuay Health’s Clinical Hypnotherapist, Antonella Franchini offers a very effective weight loss program using the power of hypnosis and encouraging gradual and lifetime behavioural changes without dieting.

NO DIETS and gradual sustainable weight loss is possible.

Make an appointment with our hypnotherapist Antonella Franchini if you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can help you achieve the size and shape that you desire.  Click here to make an appointment or call 9251 3411

Quay Health Sydney Chiropractor massage acupuncture podiatry
9251 3411
15 Young Street, Sydney