Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How Fascia works in the human body

Fаѕсіа is thе body’s connective tіѕѕuе.  It іѕ a head-tо-toe, іnѕіdе-tо-оut, аll-еnсоmраѕѕіng and іntеrwоvеn ѕуѕtеm оf fіbrоuѕ connective tіѕѕuе found thrоughоut thе bоdу.  The fascia рrоvіdеѕ a framework which helps ѕuрроrt аnd рrоtесt іndіvіduаl muѕсlе grоuрѕ, organs, аnd thе entire body аѕ a unіt. Fascia consists primarily of collagen, which is a structural protein.  It looks a bit like plastic cling wrap.  You may have noticed this cling wrap-like translucent sheet in between the layers of muscle when preparing and cooking meat.

thoracolumbar fascia

 

HOW DOES FASCIA AFFECT ME?

 

Fascia provides thе рrоtесtіvе ѕhеаth around our entire body аѕ a whоlе аnd аlѕо surrounds each organ and muѕсlе for рrоtесtіоn from outside trаumа.  Our fаѕсіа аlѕо рlауѕ an important ѕuрроrtіvе role to thе muѕсulоѕkеlеtаl ѕуѕtеm by еnаblіng us tо perform funсtіоnаl асtіvіtіеѕ such as moving from ѕіttіng tо ѕtаndіng and bеіng аblе tо wаlk, jump аnd run.  Blооd, nerves аnd muѕсlеѕ аrе еnvеlореd аnd penetrated by fascia, allowing оur muѕсlеѕ and organs tо glіdе ѕmооthlу against еасh оthеr.  Whеn there are fascial adhesions аnd distortions, thіѕ саn саuѕе poor blооd flоw, weaker nеrvе іmрulѕеѕ, limited flеxіbіlіtу and rаngе оf mоtіоn, and a host of other рhуѕісаl аіlmеntѕ.

back muscles and fascia

PAIN AND FASCIA

 

Distorted fascia can cause раіn, tіghtnеѕѕ, and much dіѕсоmfоrt as well as pulling, torquing and compressing the body into mаl-аlіgnmеnt.  Studіеѕ ѕhоw thаt fascial tеnѕіоn in оnе structure, ѕuсh аѕ thе knее, саn саuѕе tension оr issues іn adjacent ѕtruсturеѕ, such as the hір оr ankle. Sоmе соmmоn соndіtіоnѕ you mау hаvе hеаrd оf such as Plаntаr Fasciitis, IT (Illio-tibial) Bаnd Sуndrоmе and Frozen Shoulder аrе all attributed tо distortions іn our fаѕсіа.

fasciaplantar-lateral

NERVES AND FASCIA

When thе fаѕсіа is tіght, it саn соnѕtrісt the nеrvеѕ and асtuаllу blосk off thе nеrvе signal. Thе Autоnоmіс Nervous Sуѕtеm (nеrvоuѕ ѕуѕtеm that соntrоlѕ bоdіlу funсtіоnѕ nоt dіrесtеd by соnѕсіоuѕ thоught – і.е. brеаthіng) is dіrесtlу connected аnd has innervation wіth thе bоdу’ѕ fаѕсіаl system.

SKIN AND FASCIA

Thе condition of our ѕkіn саn bе аffесtеd bу thе state of our fаѕсіа. Few undеrѕtаnd thе іmрасt of blооd flow and fascia, аnd hоw it relates to the ԛuаlіtу of оur ѕkіn. Elastin аnd collagen are twо proteins whісh аrе essential to mаіntаіnіng healthy, уоuthful skin.  Nutrіеntѕ аrе саrrіеd thrоugh thе blооd tо thе ѕkіn, and when thе fascia іѕ dіѕtоrtеd, іt lіmіtѕ thе supply оf thеѕе proteins. This саn саuѕе a dесrеаѕе іn сеll renewal, whісh is responsible fоr the natural, hеаlthу skin glоw wе аll strive tо maintain.

When fаѕсіа іѕ dаmаgеd оr traumatized it can become tоо tіght and cause a numbеr оf рrоblеmѕ such аѕ:

-Hеаdасhеѕ

-Muscle pain аnd ѕраѕmѕ

-Chronic bасk аnd neck раіn

-Rесurrіng injuries

-Sсіаtіса

-Brеаthіng difficulties

-Sensations ѕuсh аѕ numbnеѕѕ аnd pins аnd nееdlеѕ

-Poor posture and rеduсеd flexibility

The following are risk factors that may reduce the flexibility of facsia:   

-Inflаmmаtіоn

-Traumas, ѕuсh аѕ a fаll or саr/bike accident

-Wоrk іnjurіеѕ

-Pооr posture

-Lасk оf ѕtrеtсhіng due to рrоlоngеd sitting or standing

-Emоtіоnаl/рѕусhоlоgісаl stress

-Rереtіtіvе mоtіоnѕ, such аѕ factory work, kеуbоаrdіng or prolonged computer mouse use

 

Mуоfаѕсіаl Release Therapy is a treatment thаt can be helpful.  It trеаts tense, tіght fаѕсіаl tіѕѕuе mаkіng іt mоrе relaxed, pliable аnd soft.

Myofascial Rеlеаѕе Therapy (MFR) focuses оn rеlеаѕіng muѕсulаr ѕhоrtnеѕѕ аnd tіghtnеѕѕ. Thеrе аrе a numbеr оf соndіtіоnѕ аnd ѕуmрtоmѕ which MFR аddrеѕѕеѕ.  Mаnу ѕееk MFR аftеr lоѕіng flexibility оr funсtіоn fоllоwіng an іnjurу or experiencing ongoing bасk, ѕhоuldеr, hip – or areas соntаіnіng ѕоft tіѕѕuе – pain.

MFR is a massage and manipulative technique.  It is a slow, relatively gentle traction and stretching of the muscle.  It differs from procedures such as deep tissue release, because the fascia does not respond to quick or heavy pressure, which actually causes it to go into protective mode and thus resist the movements and manipulations.

Acupuncture, yoga and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuro-muscular Facilitation) stretching are also good ways to achieve fascial release.  A foam roller can also be very helpful for getting release on fascial tenseness/tightness.  It is also something you can do on your own in the comfort of your home.

Check out this video clip on how to use foam roller at home for myofascial release.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Clinic closed from 30th Jan – 15th Feb 2017

Leif japan alps

 

Happy 2017, may it be a wonderful year full of happiness and abundance.

I will be taking some leave and enjoying one of my life’s big passions – snow sports!

I’ll be away for a little over 2 weeks and enjoying the fluffy snow tops of the Japanese alps. A journey to the mountains is an amazing opportunity for me to reconnect with nature as well as enjoying the thrills of powder boarding/skiing.

Exploring the alpine backcountry is an incredibly grounding experience; with mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. Here is where I find my place of self-reflection, perspective and Zen.

The clinic will be closed from the following dates:

Closed from: Monday 30th January 2017

Re-opens: Thursday 16th February 2017

The online booking calendar will continue to be available to take bookings before and after these dates:

https://painreliefwellness.youcanbook.me

I will also check my email periodically while away: info@painreliefwellness.com.au

Looking forward to seeing you all on my return

Kind and warm regards

Leif Tunell

matsumoto castle

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Does alcohol turn into sugar? Well, not really. But there are calories. Metabolic pathway explained.

2-beer-bottles
The Christmas party/New Year festivities and the silly season is here, and it usually involves a few drinks.  You might find it interesting to know how your body processes alcohol, and why it might pack on a few extra kilos.

– Alcohol (ethanol) is a toxin and is given metabolic preference by the body, to be broken down before other foods and drinks.  The liver can break down, on average, a standard drink an hour.  Any more than this, we get a little tipsy, and then drunk.  This is because the liver can’t keep up with the intake, and the alcohol starts making its way through our body.–

– Food eaten with booze takes second place. The body will break down the alcohol first and then the food.

– If there is a lot of booze consumed with food, the body will breakdown the food you have eaten into fat and store it in your body – common storage areas are tummy and hips!

– That “beer belly” is not really beer causing the bulge.  It’s the food that the body hasn’t needed to use for immediate energy, as it was too busy breaking down the alcohol.

 

wine-glass

Alcohol, at no stage of being broken down, turns into sugar!
This is in reference to pure alcohol.  Wine and beer do contain small amounts of sugar from the fermentation process of the raw ingredients used to make it. I.e, wine is made with grapes that contain fruit sugars.

Keep in mind too, that soft-drinks added to liquors for long drinks, do contain high levels of sugar, as well as undesirable chemicals.

 

Below is the main chemical pathway for breaking down alcohol.

Ethanol (alcohol)  -> Acetaldehyde  -> Acetate  -> water and CO2

  • Acetaldehyde is a toxic by-product and known carcinogen. Thankfully this by-product is short lived
diagram-of-alcohol-metabolism

image source : http://hams.cc/metabolism/

At each stage of the reaction, bonds are broken and energy released.  Alcohol does provide calories, which is probably why it dulls the appetite.  For example you may have come home starving for dinner, had a beer and then not felt it was so urgent about eating after that.

Energy value of:

Alcohol (ethanol):            29 kilojoules/gram

Fats / Lipids:                    37 kilojoules/gram

Carbohydrates:                 17 kilojoules/gram

Protein:                             17 kilojoules/gram

 

Alcohol is often referred to as “empty calories”.  Meaning, it has no micro-nutrients in it.  Micro- nutrients are things like vitamins and essential amino acids.  Alcohol does provide energy, however, on its own it is not enough to sustain life for any length of time.  Too much alcohol will damage the body in a number of ways, as well as not providing the basic nutritional needs.

Everything in moderation.  Good food and good drink.  Just not too much.
Except fun and laughter; it’s priceless and calorie-free!

 

“One martini is just right; two is too many, three is not enough.”    James Thurber

“Moderation in all things, especially moderation.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reference: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA72/AA72.htm

Friday, October 7, 2016

So, what conditions does the World Health Organization (WHO) think acupuncture has benefit?

WHO

The World Health Organization showed an impressive list of conditions it felt acupuncture would have therapeutic effect. The was review entitled “ Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of reports on Controlled Clinical Trials” (http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/pdf/s4926e/s4926e.pdf)

It was a 81 pages document looking at clinical acupuncture trial data and results. It is worth noting that constructing effective clinical trials for acupuncture is difficult and some of the conclusions of the results have limitations.

“It must be emphasized that the list of diseases, symptoms or conditions covered here is based on collected reports of clinical trials, using the descriptions given in those reports. Only national health authorities can determine the diseases, symptoms and conditions for which acupuncture treatment can be recommended. “

Dr Xiaorui Zhang: Acting Coordinator Traditional Medicine (TRM) Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) World Health Organization

 

Conditions to which acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment:

 

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

Dysentery, acute bacillary

Dysmenorrhoea, primary

Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)

Headache

Hypertension, essential

Hypotension, primary

Induction of labour

Knee pain

Leukopenia

Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, correction of

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

Periarthritis of shoulder

Postoperative pain

Renal colic

Sciatica

Sprain

Stroke

Tennis elbow

 

Conditions for which acupuncture has shown a therapeutic effect but further proof needed

 

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

Acne vulgaris

Alcohol dependence and detoxification

Bell’s palsy

Bronchial asthma

Cancer pain

Cardiac neurosis

Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation

Cholelithiasis

Competition stress syndrome

Craniocerebral injury, closed

Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent

Earache

Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)

Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

Female infertility

Facial spasm

Female urethral syndrome

Fibromyalgia and fasciitis

Gastrokinetic disturbance

Gouty arthritis

Hepatitis B virus carrier status

Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)

Hyperlipaemia

Hypo-ovarianism

Insomnia

Labour pain

Lactation, deficiency

Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic

Ménière disease

Neuralgia, post-herpetic

Neurodermatitis

Obesity

Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence

Osteoarthritis

Pain due to endoscopic examination

Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

Postextubation in children

Postoperative convalescence

Premenstrual syndrome

Prostatitis, chronic

Pruritus

Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

Raynaud syndrome, primary

Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Retention of urine, traumatic

Schizophrenia

Sialism, drug-induced

Sjögren syndrome

Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

Spine pain, acute

Stiff neck

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Tietze syndrome

Tobacco dependence

Tourette syndrome

Ulcerative colitis, chronic

Urolithiasis

Vascular dementia

Whooping cough (pertussis)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Green tea cognitive dysfunction

maxresdefault

A small study didn’t find any signification change in cognitive function at the end of a 12 month trial. However, it did show the reduction of oxidative stress in the elderly.

If you need an anti-oxidant and you like tea, go green.

http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0168-7

Monday, April 18, 2016

Heart and mind – a closer link than you think

Aorta and the heart

brain

 

Dementia is a disease of the brain.  It’s the slow decline of the brain’s ability to remember and process complex tasks.  When severe, cognitive impairment limits memory and language to a point where daily living tasks can no longer be performed.

Research has found that the heart has some influence over this.  The aorta, the biggest artery in the human body, is found to be a buffer from the pulse of the heart as it sends blood up to the brain. This protects the small and intricate blood vessels of the brain.  Damage to the blood vessels will reduce the oxygen and nutrients from reaching the vital parts of our white and grey matter.

For most of us the aorta functions beautifully through our lifetime.  It has a fantastic elastic quality that swells about 15% with each heartbeat.  In the cases where the blood vessels are damaged by plaque and other wear and tear, the aorta loses some of this elastic quality.  The pulse from the heart then travels more directly to the brain and can cause slow damage to the small blood vessels. It makes sense that dementia affects the older population more than the younger.  Our vital structures gradually wear and become less efficient over a lifetime.  The more you invest in your health now, the more it pays off later in life.

So look after your heart.  Eat unprocessed foods, rich in vitamins and fibre, avoid smoking, and exercise regularly.   A few alcoholic drinks are ok, but remember that large amounts can cause necrotic damage to the heart tissue.  Enjoy everything in moderation.

Look after your heart and look after your brain.

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02645.x/full

Sydney Alumni Magazine: issue 03 – semester one 2016. P.26

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bread can be ok

bread

*Gluten doesn’t necessarily need to be the bad guy. Fructans in wheat and other carbohydrate products seem to be more of an agitator the gut.

*Modern bread making is accelerated and with lots of additives thrown in.

*A large number of people avoid gluten that don’t necessarily have an intolerance or celiac disease (auto-immune condition resulting in inflammation of gut)

*Traditional long sour dough bread making lets the fermentation process happen in the way it was traditionally done for centuries. A large part of the population can tolerate this.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/going-against-the-grain-why-breaddenial-is-bad-20160411-go3f6c.html

 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dried fruit and nuts are great

“Trail Mix” (dried fruit and nuts) is very good for you. Research is suggesting cadiometabolic benefits, reduce cardiac risk factors and improved glycemic control. Dried fruit and nuts have a long shelf life and very portable. Next time you need a snack – reach for the bag of almonds and sultanas and not the chocolate bar.

http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0142-4

 

 

trail mix

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Acupuncture for back pain

Acupuncture is a complete healthcare system with a proven record of success for many physical as well as emotional imbalances.  With the ability to target specific pain areas, whilst addressing the overall symmetry of the body, it is the treatment of choice for many patients suffering from back pain.

The beginning of the New Year is a great time to get off to a healthy, balanced start. Contact us at the clinic today for your body tune up.

BACK PAIN IN THE PHYSICAL BODY

Over our lifetime – illness, poor posture, accidents and over-exertion – can lead to sudden, persistent and long lasting back pains.   According to recent reports, back pain is the number one cause of job disability all over the world.  It has also been reported that Australians alone spend more than $1 billion every year on back pain treatments, not to mention indirect associated costs, such as loss of wages and productivity.

Common causes of back pain:

  • Facet Joint Syndrome
  • Displaced Intervertebral Discs
  • Poor Posture

Facet Joint Syndrome:

Facet or zygapophyseal joints

 facet joints

Facet joint syndrome is a common culprit of back pain. The facets joints are synovial joints* located between the vertebrae of your spine and are responsible for the elasticity of your back.  Nerves from the spinal cord feed through these facet joints to other parts of the body.  They enable the movement of the spinal column and when swollen and irritated become painful.

A common symptom you may have experienced is a sharp, focused, stabbing pain in the muscles next to the spine, often intensifying when you breathe in deeply. These joints can also become inflamed from over-use.  Or, like other joints in the body, suffer from degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. Once the joint has been released and has regained movement, the pain will dissipate and it can recover.

* A “Synovial Joint” is a joint that is surrounded by a flexible, membrane-formed sac containing fluid that lubricates the joint.  These joints are highly innervated by nerve fibers, and can become very painful when restricted, caught or stuck.  When you get a “pop” or “crack” in the joint, it is an indication the joint has been mobilized, and range of motion has been regained.

 

Displaced Intervertebral Discs:

Intervertebral Discs

vertibrae disc

Displaced intervertebral discs are another common cause of back pain.  The intervertebral discs are spongy cushions that connect the vertebrae of the spine.  These discs are responsible for important tasks including; shock absorbing, keeping the vertebral column stable and providing flexible points to allow movement.  Made up of two parts: An outer shell and a jelly-like contents, they are able to tolerate a lot of pressure, but over exertion can compromise the outer shell, pushing the jelly-like contents out, causing pain.

Over time, the discs will suffer some wear and tear. They can lose height; from compressive loading of standing upright, or bulge out; from side bending or torsional loading from twisting, often from incorrectly lifting a heavy load, resulting in a sudden, sharp, debilitating pain.  The good news is that even with disc injury, the body can repair itself to a great extent and become healthy again.

Poor Posture:

Back pain can be the result of poor posture: body and spine misalignment while standing, sitting in chairs that are not supportive, shoulders hunched over looking at a computer screen, incorrect or no exercise, even wearing the wrong types of shoes can cause back pain.  It may be worthwhile to address Lifestyle factors and consider changes to reduce the risk of injury and increase the opportunity for a balanced body.

Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain:

targeted needling

It is estimated that a person will experience severe back pain at least once if their lifetime, and most sufferers of back pain will recover completely. Given time and the right treatment plan, back pain can be resolved in days to, if extremely chronic, several months.

Acupuncture and massage aid greatly to speed up the healing process, by targeting the specific dysfunctioning joints and addressing the overall symmetry of the body.  It’s also important to identify any underlying disharmonies that may be contributing to the condition. For example, a weak immune system may be hindering the clearing of inflammation of a joint.  Acupuncture also assists in treating these underlying disharmonies, and when used in conjunction with massage, reduces tension, clears inflammation, and promotes healthy alignment of the spine and overall balance of the body.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Acupuncture or Alexander Technique both proved clinically significant in the reduction of neck pain

347295143_9f289230a7_b

Acupuncture or Alexander Technique both proved clinically significant in the reduction of neck pain.

A randomised controlled trial of 12 acupuncture sessions or 20 one on one Alexander Technique lessons proved a better reduction in pain and associated disability vs usual care (physical therapy and drugs).

Criteria for trial inclusion was neck pain for more than 3 months . Median duration for neck pain was 6 years. 517 Participants were requited and randomly assigned into the 3 groups.

 

At the 12 month follow up the results were:

Acupuncture = 3.92 % reduction in NPQ pain questionnaire (Northwick park questionnaire)

Alexander Technique = 3.79 %  reduction in NPQ pain questionnaire

As compared to usual care of physical therapy and drugs.

 

Compared to baseline measure at the start of the study they were

Acupuncture = 32 % reduction in NPQ pain questionnaire (Northwick park questionnaire)

Alexander Technique = 31 %

12 month follow up

 

What is Alexander technique:
A form of postural training that teaches people how to avoid unnecessary muscular and mental tension during every day activities.

Read more

Sourece : http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/853883
http://annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M15-0667&an_fo_ed#