A strong immune system – 5 top tips for you and your family

A strong immune system – 5 top tips for you and your family

Check out our top tips below to ensuring your family’s immune system is as strong as it can be!

Right now, there is a lot of information in the media about viruses, illnesses and how to protect yourself and your family. The susceptibility to these with a weakened immune system is widely studied and reported. We’ve put together 5 simple steps for a strong immune system.

Work on those stress levels

Work on those stress levels

When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system

Catch up on your zzz’s

Catch up on your zzz's

A study recently conducted by a team from the University of Tübingen in Germany has found a mechanism linking sleep to the functioning of the immune system.
The researchers who led this study found that a good night’s sleep can boost the effectiveness of certain specialised immune cells called T cells.

Schedule your next adjustment

Schedule your next adjustment

Studies show that following a Chiropractic adjustment, the response of white blood cells taken from blood collected 15 minutes after the adjustment is significantly higher than blood collected 15 minutes before. This research demonstrated an, ‘enhanced respiratory burst’ following the Chiropractic adjustment. Such a ‘burst’ is specifically needed for our immune cells to destroy invading viruses and bacteria.

Take your Vitamin D!

Take your Vitamin D

Vitamin D is responsible for a number of functions within the body. It helps regulate calcium, ensuring it enters the bone to maintain healthy bones and teeth as well as supporting a strong immune system.
BetterYou DLux 3000 is an optimum strength vitamin D oral spray. Specially formulated to deliver vitamin D through the soft tissue of the mouth for optimal absorption. Each spray delivers 3000IU (75μg) of vitamin D3 for an optimal dosage.

Don’t forget your Probiotics!

ProbioticsThe use of probiotics has been shown to modulate both innate and adaptive immunity in the elderly. But is also shown reduce the length of infection in children and adults.

See what we can do to help you today.

The drug free way to manage headaches and migraines

The drug free way to manage headaches and migraines

No one wants to take drugs, but headaches/migraines can be so debilitating sometimes it feels like there are no other options.

Having been in Chiropractic for 20 years nearly, next to back pain, headaches/migraines are the most common symptoms I see. Most people’s only advice is to just pop more pills so they can get through the day. This can be to make it through work, get the kids to school do our hobbies. Unfortunately, the truth is long term use of drugs like aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, naproxen etc leads to liver, kidney and stomach damage. Accounting for thousands of deaths a year in the UK alone. This can’t be the only way to manage your symptoms!

The best ways and advice I’ve given to patients over the years to manage the problem, is always look to the root cause of the problem. It’s not a shortage of the above-mentioned drugs in our body! Modern day stress is huge, we are all under more constant pressure than ever. Work pressure, financial, children, trying to fit in an exercise regime, good nutrition and a social life at the same time and often failing!

So, here are some simple tips…

  • Dehydration is probably the number one cause of headaches, that’s why we all have headaches when we get carried away on a night out. The average adult should be drinking 2.5 Litres a day and more when exercising. If you struggle to keep track, you can get a large reusable bottle that contains the full days’ worth.

  • Reduce mobile media especially before you go to bed and get your screen at eye level so you’re not looking down, even better get a standing desk!

  • Get enough sleep, go to bed earlier the hours before midnight count as double to the ones after. Don’t sleep on your front either worse position to cause neck stress which can cause Headaches/migraines. Try to sleep on your back or side with 1 firm pillow that keeps your spine aligned. Ask us in the clinic for the best pillow and mattress recommendations.

  • Stretching and massage is a great way to relieve tension and stress in the neck muscles and shoulders again a very common cause of symptoms. Ask for our neck and shoulder exercises at reception or book a massage with our in house therapist.

  • Get out in the fresh air and walk more, try to look straight ahead with your chin away from your chest, making sure you’re not carrying a bag on one shoulder (Use ruck sack with the straps tightened instead).

  • Try to cut junk food with artificial colours and flavours another very common cause. Also high levels of sugar and caffeine will cause headaches and migraines and obviously alcohol.

As well as doing all of these healthy habits get your spine checked. The vast majority of patients I’ve seen over the years with chronic headaches and migraines respond great to Chiropractic care.

We analyse the neck through range of motion, postural tests, nerve scans and x-rays. I often find the neck has lost its natural C curve, putting pressure on the cranial nerves and causing a lot of referred symptoms. We identify exactly where the spine/nerves are under pressure, remove it and restore natural function back to the spine allowing people to live their life as normal and pain free.

Don’t let headaches/migraines rob you of the quality of life you deserve, it affects everything from your efficiency at work to enjoying and doing your hobbies to the quality of relationships you have with friends and family. So, don’t let you and your loved ones keep popping the pills get checked by your Chiropractor today!

Dr Jason O’Connor

Chemical stress how we start the day

Chemical stress how we start the day

In my last blog, I looked at physical stress and our lack of movement/exercise in the winter months. I wanted to cover some chemical stress and how a lot of people start the day wrong which can lead to poor energy, motivation, weight gain and sickness.

My mornings like most are very hectic. We often wake not believing it’s that time already. Often a broken night from children and knowing there is so much to do in the next hour or so before I even think about getting to the clinic. We can then often compromise the most important meal of the day our breakfast.

So many people will either skip breakfast completely or chuck down some sugar laden caffeine injection before shouting at the kids to hurry up their going to be late for school!

I touched briefly on stress hormones in the last blog. Cortisol is an important hormone that keeps us alive, it drives the fight or flight response, however too much over long periods of time leads to chronic stress and illness. It’s not a solution to have a high carb/sugar breakfast to give us a boost, the same with caffeine. I compare this to dipping into your overdraft. It will provide you with a short-term boost in energy, but you’re going to have to pay it back later with interest. Therefore, simple carb or sugary cereals, toast and jam, fruit juices etc don’t help you. As the sugar hits your blood stream your brain then sends your pancreas a message to increase insulin production this enables your body to utilise that energy quickly. You will then feel more awake and gives you that artificial boost. Now if this is done on a regular basis to provide energy it can lead to insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue and even type II diabetes. Interestingly this used to be known as adult onset diabetes but is now growing at its most rapid rate in the young of the population hence called type II.

Also as the boost wears off, lucky if it lasts an hour or two you get a sudden slump called an insulin spike, this is where you will feel even more tired/sluggish and then crave more sugar caffeine before its even 10am, hope that’s not sounding familiar.

The other option of skipping breakfast is often worse as this really slows your body’s metabolism down, as the body can go into an almost starvation mode. This can create more cravings and research shows people often gain more weight when doing this and certainly have less energy/productivity at school/work.

A better approach is providing a gradual release of energy that lasts until lunch. To do this it needs to be a varied supply of energy. So, a mixture of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat. This can be in limitless combinations but I’m going to concentrate on what I do on a particularly busy morning when I’m running late, or more likely Jake is!

Scrambled organic free range eggs, sliced avocado and mackerel (usually straight out of a tin is fine try to get it in olive oil). The mackerel can easily be replaced with bacon/sausage or cold meats. It’s fine to have vegetables for breakfast, in fact it’s ideal as it slower release carbohydrates and will keep you full for longer.

Organic porridge oats again I add almond nut butter, tahini for protein. Personally I use coconut milk, chopped banana and add cinnamon, pink salt and either honey/maple syrup for taste.


New year new Blog

New year new Blog

I’ve been meaning to write a blog for years, working in natural health, competing at several different sports and raising a young family (my biggest achievement to date!) has given me a great insight into many aspects of health and well-being. This has also created a very hectic life opening 4 Chiropractic clinics in the past 15 years, getting married to my beautiful wife and starting a young family, which is probably why I haven’t written a blog earlier!

The aim of the blog is to share as much knowledge and personal experience as I can as both a natural health provider, Chiropractor, sports enthusiast, father and researcher.

I feel there is so much information out there we often get overwhelmed by it all, so hopefully I can provide guidance and maybe even a little wisdom.

So, where do I start, I’ve been studying health for over 20 years and being the new year I think many people want/need to give themselves a healthy boost to get over a hectic Christmas and new year period.

The biggest reason we feel sluggish and negative this time of year is due to a dedication to poor habits for at least the past month. What do I mean by this? In Chiropractic, we talk about stress in 3 main component parts, physical, emotional and chemical.

First on the list physical stress, let’s be honest most of us have found every excuse over the past couple of months why we shouldn’t exercise. It’s too cold, wet, damp, icy, foggy or whatever we can think of not to make our usual exercise habits. Most people think their joints ache more in the winter due to the cold, but the biggest factor is that we all tend to move less. This isn’t just bad for our muscles and joints but the research clearly shows it effects our brain too! Over 50% of brain activity is driven by movement and is processed through a part of the brain called the cerebellum. Therefore, as we live a sedentary lifestyle half our brain is shutting down. It also changes the hormone balance in our brain, to produce less endorphins (feel good chemicals) which we naturally produce with exercise. This can be a real trap as we are less likely to exercise when we feel demotivated. Less daylight also drives this process further. Personally, I have found this year the most challenging ever, with Brooke (9-month-old baby girl) my 2nd child, deciding to be a nocturnal species! Which was a complete shock. Jake my 7-year-old lulled my wife Debbie and I into a false sense of security. He was one of those perfect babies that could sleep through an earthquake and would often need to be woken in the morning. This has all changed and 2 is definitely more than twice the work and has stretched myself discipline to its limit. However, sticking to the plan and my habits has got me through.

I’m not saying I’m perfect but, the only way I could overcome these challenges was to have a plan and stick to it. I feel if people would approach their health like they do their work or social life they would have more consistent success. It’s like booking an appointment or meeting at work, we wouldn’t dream of cancelling or missing those but are quick to cancel on ourselves. Our most valuable commodity is our health. Everything is easier and more enjoyable when you are healthy and the opposite when you are sick. I have always made my health a priority.

I also pack my gym bag the night before if I plan on exercising first thing in the morning, it’s just one less hurdle to overcome when your debating on hitting the snooze button!

Have your nutrition planned, I will be doing a full blog on good breakfast habits, especially towards starting the day right! Our daily habits are determined by our daily self-talk. So what is influencing this, again this is a huge subject but I feel so much time and motivation can be lost on social media. How many hours to we waste especially laid in bed scrolling through Facebook etc. Wouldn’t that time be better spent planning your next day or week ahead, or better still sleeping to give us the energy to exercise the next day!

This might not be revolutionary but try not using your phone as your alarm, mobile phones are not only a big temptation to waste time and lose sleep, but can interfere with our brain wave patterns as our phones are constantly getting messages and updates throughout the night, at least put it on flight mode. A great investment I made was on special alarm clock which wakes you by slowly getting lighter and the sound of bird tweets. This is supposed to mimic how we should naturally wake, and the research shows lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels for the rest of the day when woken like this as oppose to the usual shock of our phone alarms! Obviously, Brooke can often wake me before the birds!

We often feel burnt out, so don’t start the year with high intensity, high impact exercise in an effort to lose weight quick. Start by creating long term healthy habits and commitments to yourself. Just going to bed earlier, waking earlier and get moving. This could be a walk to work instead of driving, some stretching, yoga or Pilates. We are happy to provide you a simple stretching or core strength routine you could implement. This doesn’t sound like much but if you make this small change consistently maybe not after a week or a month but in time you will massively change your health and energy levels.

So, these are the first of many tips to get your new year to a healthier start. Your health effects everyone you know and love.

It isn’t being selfish finding time for yourself and prioritising your health. Think about putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. Please find time for you and your health so you have energy and time for your family. In my next blog I want to look at chemical stress and what we put in our body especially that first meal of the day!