Dr Jennifer encourages families to establish a collaborative team of wellness oriented practitioners who will support and guide their health choices, and who will honour the innate intelligence of the human body. There is great comfort in having these practitioners available in times of both health and ill-health.
There are many different Allied Health Practitioners and therapies available. It is often best to ask around and source a recommended practitioner. This applies to all health practitioners, when you are searching for a family chiropractor or even a skilled masseur. Here is a brief explanation of just a few Allied Health Professions and what they focus on.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Naturopathic Herbs
- Nutritional Medicine
- Blood Analysis
- CranioSacral Therapy
- The Alexander Technique
CHIROPRACTIC please see A Clear Nervous System
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (extracted from the Australian Acupuncture and Chines Medicine Association website)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of primary health care that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, remedial massage (anmo tuina), exercise and breathing therapy (such as qigong), and diet and lifestyle advice. In Australia, the most popular forms of TCM health care are acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
ACUPUNCTURE as part of TCM
Acupuncture is part of an integrated system of primary health care, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has an uninterrupted history of development dating back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia.
The origins of acupuncture in China can be traced back at least two thousand years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world.
Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is being used by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.
When healthy, an abundant supply of qi (pronounced chee) or “life energy” flows through the body’s meridians (a network of invisible channels through the body). If the flow of qi in the meridians becomes blocked or there is an inadequate supply of qi, then the body fails to maintain harmony, balance and order, and disease or illness follows. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, weather and environmental conditions, and other lifestyle factors and becomes evident to TCM practitioners through observable signs of bodily dysfunction. TCM practitioners look carefully for these signs of health and dysfunction, paying particular attention not only to the presenting signs and symptoms, but also to the medical history, general constitution, and the pulse and tongue.
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of qi through the individual. The practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, including moxibustion, cupping, laser therapy, electro-stimulation and massage, in order to re-establish the flow of qi.
Acupuncture may offer relief for some of the symptoms of pregnancy, including high blood pressure, insomnia, oedema and fatigue. This technique amy also effective for helping to turn posterior and breech babies. ‘Tune up’ treatments can be given to promote good energy flow to the uterus and cervix, while during labour, acupuncture can be given for pain relief, failure to progress, exhaustion and retention of the placenta.
In fact acupuncture may help with an array of health issues.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE as part of TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of healing that bases diagnosis on an individual’s pattern of symptoms rather than looking for a known condition. Chinese herbalism is one element of TCM. A qualified practitioner is able to prescribe a Chinese herbal formula that specifically matches an individual’s health problem.Herbs are not taken singularly but together as a formula to address the pattern of disharmony. Counteracting and minimising the unwanted effects of an individual herb.
Today, there are over 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine – most are of plant origin though some animal and mineral substances may also be used. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden! Many of the substances used will be unfamiliar to you and have names like chai hu (bupleurum), di huang (rehmannia), and huang qi (astragalus). Some substances that were used traditionally are no longer part of modern professional Chinese herbal medicine practice. For example, traditional remedies that are derived from endangered species have been replaced by other substances with similar actions.
TCM is a holistic and safe therapy that can effectively address many maternal health issues. As some herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy, always refer to a registered therapist. Chinese herbs are also particularly beneficial post-birth.
In addition to providing effective support for a wide range of general health disorders, Chinese herbal medicine may also be used to assist with general health maintenance and disease prevention. By strengthening and enhancing normal body functions, the immune system is boosted and a general sense of well-being promoted.
HOMEOPATHY (written by Dr Isaac Golden Ph.D, D.Hom, N.D., B.Ec (Hon), Head of the School of Holistic Medicine, Endeavour College of Natural Health. Author of Vaccination & Homeophrophylaxis and Vaccine Damaged Children.)
Although it was first described by Hippocrates 2500 years ago, homeopathy as it is practiced today evolved 200 years ago. The founder, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, named the medical system “homeopathy” which means “similar suffering”. Homeopathy is based on the “Law of Similars”, which is a law of nature describing how similar and dissimilar influences interact.
For treatment, this law states that a substance that can produce symptoms in a healthy person can relieve similar symptoms in a sick person. For example, Ipecac can cause nausea and vomiting in healthy people, but in homoeopathic potency can relieve nausea and vomiting in sick patients.
For prevention, the Law of Similars states that: (i) a substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy person can prevent similar symptoms in a previously uninfected person (for example, the use of Nosodes), or that (ii) a substance that can cure symptoms of an infectious disease has the potential to prevent similar symptoms in a previously uninfected person
HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES ARE USED FOR:
1. Prevention of targeted infectious diseases;
2. Treatment of disease;
3. As a cleanser to detoxify side-effects of orthodox vaccinations, taken before and after vaccination.
Homeopathics prior to birth and during labour can be extremely useful. Remedies are selected on the basis of the best match with the ‘totality’ of each person’s assessment.
KINESIOLOGY (Kinesiology Connection – Australia)
Kinesiology is defined primarily as the use of muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical, emotional or other energy, to establish the body’s priority healing needs, and to evaluate energy changes brought about by a broad spectrum of both manual and non-manual therapeutic procedures.
Kinesiology, therefore, may be understood as a system of natural health care which combines muscle monitoring with the principles of Chinese medicine to assess energy and body function, applying a range of gentle yet powerful healing techniques to improve health, wellbeing and vitality.
A fundamental premise of Kinesiology is that the body has innate healing energy and is at all times doing its best to care for itself, but that sometimes it needs to be helped into a better position to achieve this care.
Kinesiology also recognises that there are flows of energy within the body that relate not only to the muscles but to every tissue and organ that go to make the body a living, feeling being.
These energy flows can be evaluated by testing the function of the muscles, which in turn reflect the body’s overall state of structural chemical, or emotional balance.
In this way, Kinesiology taps into energies that the more conventional modalities overlook. Kinesiology looks beyond the symptoms. Kinesiology does not treat named diseases. Nor does it diagnose them. Kinesiology is concerned with imbalances in the body’s energy. In this respect, Kinesiology has close links with the acupuncture concept of energy flow.
“Kinesiologists use gentle muscle testing to help access the unconscious wishes, doubts and fears which hinder our experience of life. Pre-natal kinesiology is a beautiful process and is wonderful for people who may want to deepen their awareness of their baby, manage stress and move forward with clarity. Using essential oils, acupressure and a variety of other nurturing tools, kinesiology can support expectant mothers to be fully prepared for their new roles.” Tiffani Clingan Kinesiologist
NATUROPATHIC HERBS (the following sections are taken from the Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association website)
Herbal Medicine is a treatment modality using the inherent healing properties of plants as medicine. Herbal Medicine is the oldest medicine. It has been used in all cultures of the world for millennia. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 75% of the world’s population use herbal remedies as part of their primary health care. Dispensing herbal medicine requires specialised knowledge which may take a number of years to achieve.
Modern Herbal Medicine or Phytotherapy, combines the wisdom of ancient traditions, the clinical experience of modern practitioners, published literature and increasingly, is being validated by current scientific research.
Herbal remedies are suitable for both acute and chronic conditions. They are individually prescribed and dispensed based on the presenting symptoms and the underlying causes determined by the practitioner from a detailed case history and thorough consultation. A herbal formula can be individualised, is able to simultaneously treat a variety of symptoms or body systems, and therefore is cost effective for the individual. Many herbs are tonics to specific organs or body systems. Adaptogen herbs are unique. They are not found in conventional pharmacy. They support generalised wellbeing and create resilience in times of stress. There are several other classes of herbs. These include herbs for the gastro-intestinal system, nervous system, urinary system, immune system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system etc.
Treatment is designed to moderate or alleviate symptoms and strengthen body systems. Its aim is to help prevent disease and support the body in its ability to heal itself by restoring balance and increasing vitality. This then brings about increased energy, improved health and a greater sense of well being. Herbs prescribed correctly are extremely safe. If a patient is taking pharmaceutical medications they need to seek the advice of a well trained naturopath or herbalist.
Naturopathy utilises a combination of diet and non-invasive therapies to stimulate the healing process and recreate body equilibrium. Rather than treating symptoms directly, naturopaths work to improve underlying health so an individual is less susceptible to illness. Most naturopaths draw on a wide range of techniques.
Common ailments that naturopathy may assist with during pregnancy include iron deficiency, fatigue, leg cramps and poor circulation.
Nutritional medicine is a holistic approach to the interactions of both nutrition and environment on human health. Nutrients are the building blocks of our physical body. When the body is supplied with the correct balance of foods, vitamins and minerals we remain healthy. All humans are unique in terms of biochemistry, metabolism, anatomy and genetics. Our internal environment differs in gut flora, integrity of the intestinal wall and the immune system. All of these affect our ability to process foods, absorb nutrients and detoxify and expel wastes.
When assessing nutritional status we need to include the impact of the external environmental factors. These include exposure to toxicity from heavy metals, fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic chemicals including pharmaceutical and recreational drugs. In addition, food additives, flavorings and colorings or particular foods themselves may lead to sensitivities, allergies and intolerances. Chronic parasitic, fungal, bacterial and viral infections can disturb our internal environment. Poor sleep and psycho-social stresses also affect and our ability to cope effectively and impact on our health.
To determine a person’s nutritional status a number of tests and observations may be employed. These include blood tests, urine tests, hair samples, muscle testing and tongue and nail assessment and a dietary assessment. Generally the more activity a person engages in the higher their requirement for nutrients. Therapeutic nutrient doses are required if there is a diagnosis that includes the following: stress, on medication or contraceptives, physical or mental illness, recovery from surgery, those on restricted diets, smokers or those that consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Recommended daily allowances of nutrients are designed to prevent disease states and maintain health, higher therapeutic levels are required to optimise recovery from illness.
Importantly, vitamins and minerals can be synergistic or antagonistic. Therefore it may be dangerous to supplement with a single vitamin or mineral as each one acts as a catalyst for the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. To be safe it is always advised that supplements be prescribed by a qualified practitioner.
Nutritional medicine supplements can be effective used alone or therapeutically combined with a variety of other nutrients. For example probiotics, herbal medicines, homeopathics and fish oils. Taking the correct nutrients at appropriate doses can increase or decrease the levels of important chemicals in the body’s biochemistry. Nutritional medicine has evidence for reducing inflammation, toxicity, managing oxidative stress, correcting hormonal imbalances, improving immune function, altering genetic expression and reducing coagulation of blood. In effect, nutritional medicine may assist in the correction of many underlying biochemical problems that contribute to chronic degenerative disease states
Iridology (pronounced eye-ri-dology) is the art and science of analyzing the color and structure of the iris to determine tissue integrity throughout the body, thereby gaining valuable health information regarding strengths and weaknesses. Iridologists study the iris, particularly the color, markings, changes and other aspects, as they are associated with tissue degeneration. Iridology is one form of analysis that is non-invasive to the body…requiring no cutting, x-raying or use of any other invasive technique to complete the analysis.
By studying the iris of both eyes, a qualified iridologist can obtain information about all parts of the body simultaneously. The iris reveals our inherited health disposition, our tendency towards health problems, our current health conditions, and gives advance warning of what may occur in the future. This is powerful knowledge and can help us take care of our bodies so these tendencies do not become reality. Today, early detection of health imbalances and prompt correction is vitally important. Iridology is a tool of assessment for current conditions and for preventive healthcare.
The Buteyko method or Buteyko Breathing Technique is a practice used for the treatment of asthma and assist with other respiratory relate conditions. The method takes its name from the late Ukrainian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko who first formulated its principles during the 1960s. The method is a physical therapy and several small clinical trials have shown that it can safely reduce asthma symptoms and the need for rescue medication, as well as increasing quality of life scores. However, improvement takes time and commitment, requiring daily exercises over a period of weeks or months.
At the core of the Buteyko method is a series of breathing exercises that focus on nasal-breathing, breath-holding and relaxation. Buteyko’s theory was that asthmatics “chronically overbreathe” and the exercises are designed to teach asthmatics to breathe less. The goal is to retrain breathing to a normal pattern, akin to certain forms of Yoga.
The British Guideline on the Management of Asthma 2008 grants permission for health professionals in the United Kingdom to recommend Buteyko, stating that the method “may be considered to help patients control the symptoms of asthma”. The guideline also grades clinical research on Buteyko with a ‘B’ classification – indicating that high quality supporting clinical trials are available. No other complementary therapy has been endorsed by this body for the treatment of asthma.
Hemaview is a form of live blood screening which is based on one of the oldest and most highly developed of medical sciences, hematology. It is a quick and easy test which enables you to view the health of your cells.
Blood is a connective tissue which circulates through our capillaries transporting nutrients, oxygen and immune particles around our body. Hemaview can assess many parameters that indicate pathological changes that occur much earlier in the processes of disease, than those available through standard tests. Variations in the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, as well as parasitic, bacterial and yeast forms, can all be observed by the hemaview microscope.
You may have had blood tests before, but nothing compares to seeing your own blood live on a screen in front of you.
Hemaview can assess the following factors: High fat diets, Poor nutrition, Stress, Immune system health, Oxidative stress and free radical damage, Inflammation, Liver health, Parasites, bacterial or viral infections, Blood clotting potential
The equipment used is a microscope with dark field illumination, a TV monitor where the image is seen by the practitioner and patient, a laptop to enter necessary information regarding the patient’s blood and slides to place a single drop of blood for inspection.
A hemaview consultation requires a drop or two of blood from one of your fingers, which is then placed on a slide and viewed underneath a microscope. Your practitioner can then investigate the size, shape and ratios of the red cells, white cells and platelets in your blood.
The red and white cells we look at are still alive and moving about the screen. It provides a fascinating insight into your own body. Several photos are taken to highlight certain deficiencies or possible signs of illness. These are a great tool to allow us to follow your progress and alter treatments if necessary.
With hemaview, results are available immediately as you are able to see your blood cells on screen within a few short seconds of sample collection. There is no waiting, and no need for the expense and inconvenience of a second visit to collect the results. You not only feel healthier but you can see the improvement in your cells with each visit.
Hemaview does not replace the mainstream blood tests performed by your GP, it is just a different way of looking at the blood and the quality of its constituents. It obviously has its limitations. It is not a tool for diagnosis. It enables us to see signs of possible deficiencies, inflammatory markers, toxicity and oxidative stressors. Therefore it is a fantastic preventative tool.
Through a viewing of your blood, we are able to develop more effective strategies which are tailor made for you. The great advantage of hemaview is that it can show the degenerative effects of ageing (oxidation, inflammation etc.) on the blood and therefore the body.
OSTEOPATHY (taken from the Australian Osteopathy Association website)
Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit. Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues.
Many Osteopaths also use what is known as “Osteopathy in the Cranial field”, which is a gentle release technique particularly suited to young children and the physically frail.
“Visceral” techniques are used in the management of conditions affecting internal organs. These involve gentle and rhythmical stretching of the visceral areas.
Osteopathic treatments are tailored to the requirements of the individual patient, and techniques are selected which are appropriate to the patient’s needs.
Massage is the practice of influencing soft tissue by physical, functional, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals by accredited professionals. Massage involves acting on and inspiring the client’s body with pressure (structured, unstructured, stationary, and/or moving), tension, motion, or vibration done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, and/or organs. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, and feet.
There are over eighty different massage modalities. The most cited reasons for introducing different massage modalities have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness.
Because of its influence on many body functions, CranioSacral Therapy is used by a wide variety of healthcare professionals including osteopaths, medical doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, psychologists, psychotherapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists.
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive manipulative technique. Seldom does the therapist apply pressure in excess of five grams or the equivalent weight of a British 5p piece. Examination is done by testing for movement in various parts of the system. Often, when testing is completed, the restriction has been removed and the system is able to self-correct.
Trained therapists are able to palpate the motion of the craniosacral system anywhere on the body. CranioSacral is most easily palpated at the feet as the distance from the craniosacral system tends to amplify the motion via the foots related motion. It is directly palpated via the bones of the skull, sacrum and coccyx because they attach to the membranes which actually enclose the cerebrospinal fluid. Palpation is also possible via all of the other bones of the spine and pelvis, and via the facial bones and temporomandibular joints but, because of their less direct connection with the hydraulic system, it is more difficult to detect the motion.
In newborns, infants and children colic, hyperactivity, feeding and sleeping problems and faulty development are often helped by CranioSacral Therapy. Routine evaluation of newborns often reveals and permits the easy release of subtle strains and restrictions that may, if left, lead to chronic dysfunction later in life. This applies not only where birth has been difficult, but also with ‘normal’ deliveries.
THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
The Alexander Technique is a simple and practical method for self-improvement and self-help.
Anyone can benefit.
Poise, vitality and coordination improve.
Breathing and speaking become easier. Movement becomes freer, lighter and more enjoyable.
Many nerve endings from various parts of the body terminate in the feet. This ancient practice helps relieve a wide variety of health-related problems and can boost the body’s natural healing and pain relieving process. Scented oils are massaged into the feet creating a wonderful and therapeutic treatment.
OTHER PAGES IN THIS SECTION:
Well Adjusted Babies Book
The Well Adjusted Babies Website
A Clear Nervous System
Diet: Is Food Your Friend or Foe?
Wellness Oriented Practitioners
Proactive Health versus Disease-Oriented Health
Improving Health Literacy