Images that show what it feels like to suffer from mental illness. Bringing the inside to the outside.

Headaches – how can physiotherapy help?

Headaches are one of those things that most people suffer from at some point in their life. I know I’m someone who does.

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Do you ever find  yourself thinking about how much you have on your plate at the moment? How many bills have suddenly popped up and need paying? That work project that you’ve left to the last minute and know full well you will regret that decision? Adding up all the time you’re about to spend at your desk and feeling that headache start?

Images that show what it feels like to suffer from mental illness. Bringing the inside to the outside.

It’s not just you. Around half to three-quarters of adults have had a headache in the past year. That is MASSIVE. And it has been suggested that a large proportion of those suffering from headahces are not seeking any treatment.

I find it hugely frustrating the number of people that don’t know that physiotherapy can help for some types of headaches. Even just among people that I know, so many of them go with “I have a headache, let me take some pain killers and wait for it to go away”. Quite often these headaches are related to stress, posture and injuries – which means physiotherapy can help.

If you think about the last stressful day you had at work or home when you felt a headache starting, chances are that your posture had started to look like this:

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When you start to sit in this position it changes the way all your muscles have to work, putting extra pressure on them in funny positions and they start to hurt. This causes muscles to tighten, joints to stiffen and pain to increase, commonly resulting in headaches.

Now I’m definitely not saying that all headaches are caused by this, – there’s a big proportion that aren’t, BUT a large number are affected by stress and posture and can absolutely be helped by physio treatment and a bit of assistance to work out what you need to do including positioning, exercises, regular movement and hands on therapy.

So ditch that irksome ache and take a physio break!!

Megan x

Need advice about your work station set up? Contact us on (08) 9583 5165 for a comprehensive ergonomic assessment.

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You say cocoa – I say cacao?

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What’s the deal with cacao? Has half the world got their ‘a’s and ‘o’s mixed up? Or is it a case of you say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to; you say cah-kayo, I say co-co? Certainly in the powdered form they look the same. And they smell and taste pretty darn similar too. So why does everyone rave about the health benefits of cacao but no one has much to say about good old fashioned cocoa? What’s the difference? And what are the health benefits of cacao?

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So to get back to basics, cacao and cocoa are derived from the same plant, specifically the Theobroma cacao tree which is native to South America (pictured above) which produces cacao pods full of cacao beans.

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What is the difference between cacao and cocoa?

The difference lies in the method of processing. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing (yes just like the best quality olive oils!) unroasted cacao beans which removes the cacao ‘butter’ without subjecting them to extreme temperatures and processing. They are considered to be ‘raw’ and a ‘superfood’ due to their high nutritional content. Cocoa on the other hand is produced by roasting the beans at very high temperatures (thus they are not ‘raw’) which changes their molecular structure and apparently reduces the nutritional content. Cold pressed lamb anyone?

What are the health benefits of cacao?

According to a great paleohacks blog the health benefits of cacao include:

  • High levels of anti-oxidants which protect your cells against oxidative damage from free radicals (rad!!)
  • Mood and cognitive performance boosting
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Protects your heart
  • Regulates insulin levels
  • Rich in nutrients

I don’t know about you but I’m sold!! Of course therein lies the catch! Gram for gram, raw organic cacao powder will inevitably cost more than your standard box of Cadbury Bournville cocoa powder! However, market competition has seen prices of ‘health foods’ reduce of late, so you can actually find a reasonably priced 500g bag of cacao in most supermarkets for around $12. Well worth it for the health benefits and that extra richness of flavour in my opinion.

Looking for chocolatey inspiration? Here are 3 super simple recipes perfect for spring that will have you ingesting all those fabulous nutrients on a daily basis!

Michelle x

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Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

Is it politically incorrect to love peanuts these days? Well I’m sorry (I really am, you are missing out!) but if you can’t eat peanuts this recipe is definitely not for you! But if you are like me and consider a handful of delicious salty peanuts to be one of life’s great guilty pleasures, then these yummy bliss balls are up your alley!

Ingredients:

  • 110g medjoul dates
  • 20g unsalted peanuts
  • 20g 100% peanut butter
  • 7g raw organic cacao powder
  • 2 generous pinches of good quality sea salt (or to taste)
  • dessicated coconut for rolling

Note all measures are approximate and can be changed to suit your taste (ie. it’s not like baking where if you don’t measure properly your cake won’t rise) so don’t be afraid to make them your own!

Method:

  1. Process peanuts into small pieces/chunks and set aside
  2. Process dates, peanut butter and salt until it forms a thick paste (you may have to break it up in a bowl and re-process a few times depending on the power of your food processor).
  3. Add the peanuts and process briefly until combined.
  4. Roll into balls and coat in dessicated coconut.
  5. Bliss!!
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Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

Looking for a way to have chocolate for breakfast without, well, eating chocolate? This smoothie for one is full of superfood goodness and tastes too good to be true (except it is true!)

Ingredients:

  • Handful of kale (minus the tough stalks)
  • Half a frozen banana
  • Handful of frozen blueberries (affordable bags available at your local supermarket)
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • Generous tablespoon of raw organic cacao powder
  • 1 cup of coconut water

Method:

Blend in a good blender (or even better in your Magic Bullet so you can enjoy straight from the blending cup!) and enjoy!!

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Simple Hot Chocolate

There is still enough chill in the evenings to enjoy snuggling up with a mug of this decadent hot choccie and a good book! Yes dates have sugar in them. However, they have a lot more nutritional value than plain old white processed sugar! Too simple for anything more than the one liner below!

Heat 1 cup of your milk of choice on the stove top or in the microwave, blend with 2 medjoul dates and a generous tablespoon of cacao powder until smooth, frothy and divine!

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Tradies Health

Tradies National Health Month!

August each year is Tradies National Health month – an opportunity for the community to recognise the risks involved in being a tradesman or labourer. Many tradies and labourers work long hours every day in a job that is not only physically taxing, but often repetitive in nature, which increases the risk of fatigue, acute injury, repetitive strain and chronic over-use injuries.

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The trade industry accounts for less than a third of Australia’s workforce, yet alarmingly according to Safe Work Australia, it accounts for 58% of serious claims for worker’s compensation. The impact of needing time off work due to injury can be significant in terms of financial stress and mental health issues, as it may be related to a loss of identity and role as breadwinner in the family. Currently, the majority of tradies and labourers are men, who are generally thought to be less pro-active in seeking health related advice and treatment compared to women.

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Don’t ignore the niggles!

It is not uncommon for tradies to ignore those niggles and aches, pushing through the pain thinking it will just go away. Unfortunately, the longer you leave it, the harder it can be to solve the problem down the track. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, seek professional advice and treatment from your doctor and your physiotherapist. Physiotherapists can assess and diagnose your injury. They can provide treatment to relieve your pain and guide you through a rehabilitation program that will help to prevent the injury from worsening or recurring.

Are you an employer of tradesmen and/or labourers? Physiotherapists can help you to be pro-active in reducing the risk of injury in your workplace.

Click here to find out more about our Workplace Early Injury Prevention Programs, Workplace Early Intervention Programs and Corporate Pilates Programs.

For more information check out www.tradieshealth.com.au

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