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We aim to bring you interesting and helpful information about osteopathy and complementary medicine within Bristol and beyond.......

Monday 15 December 2014

The Summer Solstice just got better!

The United Nations on Thursday declared that June 21 will be International Day of Yoga, adopting a measure proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said yoga lets people "discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." 
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly approved by consensus a resolution establishing a day to commemorate the ancient practice, which Modi called for in September during his inaugural address to the world body.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the International Day of Yoga would bring attention to yoga's holistic benefits.
"Yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases. Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect," Ban said in a statement.
"Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress," he said.
Source: Reuters.
If you'd like to bring yoga in to your life, then do consider practising with Mala at The Chandos Clinic on a Saturday morning. Full details on our website.

Monday 8 December 2014

Many of you may already have met Nikki at The Chandos Clinic, but in case she's slipped your notice, here's an article by her which appeared in our latest newsletter. Nikki offers Thai massage one Saturday a month and she currently has availability on Dec 20th. So if you are interested in a bit of pre-Christmas pampering for yourself, or as a Christmas present for someone else, then please ring the normal reception number to book in. (0117 9745084)

Introducing Traditional Thai Massage – By Nikki Berridge

As well as all the other Massage Therapies I offer at Chandos Clinic I am now delighted to be offering Traditional Thai Massage which has been my passion for over 12 years. I also teach these simple techniques for couples be it friend or family at Bristol Folk Hse for the last 6 years. So for those of you, who may not have come across this form of Massage before, below is a bit of information.

Traditional Thai medicine has remained pretty much unchanged in the last 1000 years. Its recent world-wide spread has been quite phenomenal. This ancient system of massage and manipulation has its roots in Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhist spiritual practice. This unique and complete system of Yoga therapy combines rhythmic massage, acupressure, gentle twisting, deep stretching and meditation. Performed on a floor mat fully clothed I use thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows, feet knees and even shins to press and stretch your body.

“Thai’s believe that good health and freedom from pain result from the unhindered flow of vital energies (Sen) through the body's tissues.”

‘Pressing’ is the mechanical process used to prepare the muscles for stretching and stimulate energy flow in the Sen, which release blockages or stagnation, which can result in pain. A full session is very thorough with every muscle and joint treated, and when I am satisfied that all soft tissues have been adequately ‘pressed’, stretching begins, gradually progressing into the elegant large scale stretches that Thai massage is renowned for. The manipulations are designed to stretch the muscles a little more than would be possible unaided through Yoga and although the Muscles are the masseur's ultimate target, fibrotic connective tissue and weak circulation are also treated during the massage.
Thai’s have long recognised that most musculo-skeletal pain and lack of mobility of the joints is the result of muscles shortening under the influence of repetitive strain. Tension and spasm in a muscle are the result of a vicious circle of events involving the muscle and its sense organs; those muscles that are antagonistic to it and the brain. The more tense the muscle the shorter it gets, and the brain interprets this as contraction, so inhibiting the function of the antagonistic muscles, which weaken as a result.

Regular* Thai massage stretches the muscles back to their normal resting length,
 which deceives the brain into 'thinking' that all is well and it stops inhibiting the
antagonists. Before long, tension disappears and joint mobility is restored.
Benefits of regular* Thai massage are all positive and can include relief from
constipation, IBS, headaches, sciatica, back and neck pain. Almost all feel relaxed,
refreshed and much more flexible afterwards, and those again who choose regular
Thai massage come to enjoy the deep pressure techniques and spectacular

 Who can have it?

 There are some contra-indications to this kind of massage - very much those that
 apply to massage in general. For those in reasonably good health - regardless of
 age, lack of flexibility and obesity - Thai massage is highly beneficial. So much of
 feeling 'old' can come from what is often regarded as the inevitable stiffening of
 joints with advancing years. Regular* Thai massage can restore long lost mobility
 to the joints quickly and proves that this is not so. Perhaps you may be shocked
at the degree of stretching your body can achieve!

* Regular massage, can range from 2 weeks, monthly, bi-monthly, even 6
monthly sessions, but the body will familiarise & recognise the style and respond
positively in an accumulative manor.
I hope this article has informed you a little but do feel free to contact me.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Beware the Baby Bumbo Seat!

New parents can often be overwhelmed by all the new "must-haves" available on the market. It's often difficult to recognise what is truly necessary or valuable. Here is something that looks like it should be given a very wide bearth! This article was flagged up by Brony in Oz. She's flourishing with her new young family, and I'm sure she wishes you all well. Here at The Chandos Clinic, we certainly miss her!

Monday 10 November 2014

Happiness: "... a deep sense of flourishing".

Do read this article from The Guardian. There's so much more to happiness than we thought.

Monday 3 November 2014

Attainable Health! (no magic pill necessary)

Do read this fascinating article from Medscape about the transformative power of regulay exercise.


Saturday 1 November 2014

Despite the unseasonably mild weather of late, these days between Halloween & Bonfire Night always feel special. Here's a lovely seasonal recipe from Thomasina Miers of The Guardian. Serve with sparklers!

Autumnal slaw

Thomasina Miers slaw
‘The sweet sharpness of the apples makes it very moreish.’ Photograph: Johanna Parkin. Food styling: Maud Eden/Guardian
We make a slaw similar to this at DF/Mexico, our new restaurant in east London. The sweet sharpness of the apples makes it very moreish, and it is also exceptionally pretty. When I’m not eating it out under the stars and fireworks, I love it with grilled chicken and lots of mayo on the side.
2 Granny Smith apples
2 carrots, peeled
½ small red cabbage
¼ small white cabbage
½ bunch radishes
½ small red onion
3 spring onions
2 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds (optional)
1 handful coriander leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
The juice of 1-2 limes
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar
Wash the apples, peel the carrots and coarsely grate both into a large bowl, avoiding the apple core. If you have a mandolin, use it to slice the cabbages, radishes and red onions wafer thin; otherwise use a sharp knife to cut them as thinly as possible. (If you cut the vegetables too thickly, the salad will taste quite coarse, crunchy in an uncomfortable way and the flavours won’t get a chance to shine through.) Top and tail the spring onions, then slice very thinly. Toast the sesame seeds.
Toss the whole lot with the coriander leaves and the dressing ingredients, seasoning generously. It should taste quite sharp, vivid and bright, but by all means add extra oil or a dash of mayonnaise if you prefer a salad with more creaminess. And if you like heat, there’s nothing to stop you adding a touch of hot sauce, too.

Friday 31 October 2014

Homeopathic remedies for the winter months

 – By Gosia Gray

As we are getting closer to winter, I have highlighted some of the remedies to help you combat colds. Hopefully, those colds should last no longer than a few days!

GELSEMIUM – feeling drowsy, achy, shivery and weak.
ACONITE – taken at the onset of a cold, may reduce development of a cold or flu.
PULSATILLA-  intermittent  thick  catarrh without thirst, feeling better outdoors.
ARSENICUM ALBUM – watery catarrh with very sore burning nostrils.

Dose30c  chosen  remedy  twice daily for 3-4 days

Gosia is a highly experienced homeopath. 
If you would like to see her at the Chandos Clinic on Thursdays or Saturdays, 
please ring reception on 0117 9745084.

Saturday 25 October 2014

When brighter certainly isn't better!

Here's an article from The Guardian, revealing how 24 hour artificial light is hugely damaging to our health. Even at a household / local level, we are able to help keep the night light at bay, and how certain towns and cities are now seeing sense in the dark!


Monday 20 October 2014

Tuesday 14 October 2014

How to help support a healthy brain!

Here's an interesting article from The Guardian discussing the many mysteries of the brain and what we can do to try and keep it healthy.


Saturday 11 October 2014

WALKING is the super star!

This article from Medscape suggests that the answer to sustained fitness can be a lot simpler than gruelling hours at the gym. Read on...


Tuesday 30 September 2014

WATER: Simply the Best!

Here's an article from The Guardian which, unsuprisingly, re-affirms that simply drinking water is always preferable and more beneficial than drinking sugar-loaded sports drinks.


Friday 26 September 2014

Introducing WaterBumps!

For a long time at the Chandos Clinic, we have supported and advertised Water Babies www.waterbabies.co.uk , the award-winning baby and toddler swimming programme. Now the same lovely team have introduced WaterBumps www.waterbumps.co.uk ,"gentle exercise and relaxation for mums, mums-to-be and bumps" . In addition they are also offering stunning water-based photography. Also emergency first aid workshops, to help you feel confident in handling the most common emergencies among babies and small children. So do look them up and find out more about this exciting new local (Bristol & Bath) venture. We certainly wish them every success!

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Is there a link between a sedentary lifestyle and depression?

Here's an interesting article from Medscape that discusses whether sedentary behaviour is linked to depression.


Tuesday 23 September 2014

A Guide to Foraging!

Now autumn is here and the hedgerows are full, have a look at this article from The Guardian to see what you can harvest for free!


Thursday 18 September 2014

Mindfulness over Migraines!

Here's an intersting article from Medscape on how Mindfulness (non-judgemental, moment-to-moment awareness) has helped in reducing the occurence and severity of migraines.


Monday 15 September 2014

Simply Stand Up!

One of the down sides of having such a lovely scooty chair behind the clinic reception desk, is that it makes it quite hard to get out of it. I often scoot across to the filing cabinets, and could even scoot across the room to feed the goldfish! Here's an article from The Guardian which I must take on board... to not just lazily scoot, but stand up, whether I need to or not. As the majority of us are now sat reguarly at desks and screens, this is something we should all read and remember!


Saturday 13 September 2014

The benefits of hand sanitisers while travelling.

Although the summer hols are now officially over, many of you may still be planning a trip now that the silly season of high fares is behind us. Here's an interesting article from Medscape, showing that taking a small container of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, may well prevent you suffering from avoidable D&V.


Friday 5 September 2014

Choose the diet that fits your lifestyle!

Here is an interesting article from BBC News, suggesting that it's not any one particular diet that is key, but sticking to it! Basically, they're all the same, so if weight is an issue, simply pick the one that you'll find easiest!


Tuesday 2 September 2014

A New Season Welcome!

Yesterday was the 1st day of September, which the Met Office consider to be the first day of autumn, though we are managing to keep the front door open to the last rays of summer sun. Here at The Chandos Clinic, we hope that everyone has enjoyed a happy, healthy summer and that all the children starting or returning to school today, do so with confidence and excitement. Whether you're an existing or new patient, we look forward to welcoming you at the clinic during this new season.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Horizon: Allergies

For any of you who missed it yesterday, you might like to watch this Horizon programme on allergies. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04g507y

Tuesday 26 August 2014

The Growing Problem of Antibiotic Resistance.

Please read this article from the Longitude Prize about GP practise with antibiotics.

Tuesday 5 August 2014

World Breast-Feeding Day!

Do have a look at this article from the Guardian. The Chandos Clinic is always breast-feeding friendly, both in reception or in a quieter room if you prefer. (Nappy changing facilities too, if ever you've come to see us without the necessaries!)

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Saturday 19 July 2014

Talking sense about statins.

Statins have been given such hallowed status and are frquently dished out like sweets. We suggest you read this article from Medscape to gain a counter-view to this so-called wonder drug.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

When it's not possible to make breast best.

Most people agree that "Breast is Best" when it comes to our newborns, but if times arise when this may just not be possible, you may find this article of interest.

Monday 30 June 2014

You just can't beat that  newborn baby smell!

It's pretty well known that when people are asked their favourite smell, they often reply "my newborn baby"! I'm sure most of you know that our former receptionist Brony now has a beautiful baby daughter, and here's an article she came across to confirm that babies really do beat freshly baked bread when it comes to our noses!


Monday 23 June 2014


Here at the Chandos Clinic, we have been keeping all the paper shreddings, for Giles' wife, Anna, to use them to make a sculpture for Glastonbury Festival 2014. So if you've visited the clinic in the last 8 months or so, its likely that a sliver of your name will have been used to make this incredible piece of work. Do have a look at the video link, showing its installation.

To see more of Anna's work, visit: http://www.annagillespie.co.uk/

Monday 16 June 2014

The pollen count is very high at the moment, and many of you are coming into the clinic suffering with hayfever. We hope you find some welcome relief with this advise from our allergy specialist, Gosia Gray.

Spring has come much earlier this year than expected, bringing with it many sensitivities and allergies to pollen of trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses and fungal spores.  As the blossom appears, hay fever begins, increasing through spring and summer. The symptoms of hay fever may vary from year to year; it all depends on the weather and pollen count.

Here are some suggestions for homoeopathic remedies for some of the common symptoms of hay fever. If you are experiencing lots of sneezing with burning watery nasal discharges and itching eyes, take Allium Cepa 6c. With lots of sneezing and sinus pain and itchy throat, take Sabadilla 6c. For sneezing with burning red eyes, swollen lids and headache, take Euprasia 6. Finally, for itching of the roof of the mouth, throat and ears, with sneezing, take Arundo 6.  The dose for all these remedies is 1 tablet 4 times a day. 

Friday 13 June 2014

This coming Sunday 15th June, please come and join us at
From 11am to 5pm, the road will be closed to traffic and filled with market stalls, live theatre & music, and fantastic food! From 1pm to 4pm, some of the practioners at The Chandos Clinic www.chandosclinic.co.uk will be giving free consulations, so come along and find out more about the benefits of osteopathy. Children can have fun playing pin the bone on the skeleton! The forecast is looking wonderful so do come and join us for a festive day in the sunshine in this lovely street in the heart of Redland. For a full programme of events, go to www.chandosvillage.weebly.com

Monday 19 May 2014

Parent Hub

Parent Hub

For essential advice, plus workshops and courses for new parents and parents-to-be, run by an inspirational team, including our own practioner Xavier Decup, we would like to recommend www.parenthub.org.uk
Home Slide 1

Friday 2 May 2014

May is National Walking Month

In the UK, May is National Walking Month.


Walking is a luxury in the West. Very few people, particularly in cities, are obliged to do much of it at all. Cars, bicycles, buses, trams, and trains all beckon.

Instead, walking for any distance is usually a planned leisure activity. Or a health aid. Something to help people lose weight. Or keep their fitness. But there's something else people get from choosing to walk. A place to think.

"There is something about the pace of walking and the pace of thinking that goes together. Walking requires a certain amount of attention but it leaves great parts of the time open to thinking. I do believe once you get the blood flowing through the brain it does start working more creatively," says Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking.

He says that our senses are sharpened and it is also a great form of problem solving."I'm far more likely to find a solution by going for a walk than sitting at my desk and 'thinking'."

People should go out and walk free of distractions, says Nicholson. "I do think there is something about walking mindfully. To actually be there and be in the moment and concentrate on what you are doing."

To enhance your walking pleasure, follow these tips: 

Walk further and with no fixed route
Stop texting and mapping
Don't soundtrack your walks
Go alone
Find walkable places
Walk mindfully

Original source: BBC News.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Green Tea's Impact on Cognitive Function

Green tea appears to boost memory by enhancing functional brain connectivity. A new imaging study suggests that drinking a green tea extract enhances memory performance, a finding that researchers suggest may have important clinical implications for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including cognitive impairment.
This is "the first evidence for the putative beneficial effect of green tea on cognitive functioning, in particular, on working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections," the investigators write.

Boosts Brain Plasticity
Several studies have suggested that green tea enhances cognitive functioning. However, until now, the neural mechanisms underlying these putative benefits have been unclear.
To determine whether green tea extract modulates effective brain connectivity during a working memory task and whether connectivity parameters are related to task performance, the investigators recruited 12 healthy male volunteers who consumed either a milk whey–based soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract or a similar drink without green tea.
Participants were given working memory tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
fMRI results showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain with the green tea extract, and these neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance.
"Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain," Dr. Borgwardt said in a statement.
"Modeling effective connectivity among frontal and parietal brain regions during working memory processing might help to assess the efficacy of green tea for the treatment of cognitive impairments in neuropsychiatric disorders such as dementia," the researchers conclude.

Source: Medscape.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

CoconutOil.com is the Internet’s oldest resource for published research on the health benefits of coconut oil. Beginning in the year 2000, we have been the main source of information linking to peer-reviewed research on coconut oil as well as publishing coconut oil testimonials showing how coconut oil has changed people’s lives!
Coconut oil is an edible oil that has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the modern diseases of western nations where coconut oil is seldom consumed anymore.
Coconut Oil Health Benefits Infograph

Coconut Oil Health Benefits

So how are people using coconut oil? What are some of the health benefits of coconut oil being reported? Some of the most recent research has come from people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, with reports of people improving or even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s by using coconut oil, as drug trials on Alzheimer’s drugs continue to fail. Alzheimer’s is now seen as a type 3 form of diabetes, and for years we have seen positive results from people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in using coconut oil. We have also seen a lot of reports of coconut oil health benefits from those suffering from hypothryroidism, as coconut oil helps boost metabolism and raise body temperatures to promote thyroid health. Restricting carbohydrates and increasing coconut oil in the diet has also led many to report losing weight with coconut oilCandida sufferers also report health benefits with coconut oil as research now confirms, and those suffering from various skin diseases are also seeing tremendous health benefits by applying coconut oil directly on the skin. The benefits of coconut oil for healthy hair are also well known, and other healthy benefits of coconut oil included fighting off bacterial infections and viruses. Coconut oil is also increasingly being seen to benefit athletes and fitness trainers giving them an advantage in sustaining energy levels longer without drugs or stimulants.

Coconut Oil Research

While some people falsely accuse coconut oil of being a “fad,” the fact is that it is a traditional oil that has been consumed for thousands of years in tropical cultures, and the research on the health benefits of coconut oil has existed for a very long time. Lauric acid, for example, has a long history of use in combating pathogens, and this research has been around for more than 50 years. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid. So while we do publish a lot of people’s experiences with coconut oil, the evidence is not strictly anecdotal.  We have a very extensive section on this website dedicated to peer-reviewed studies on the health benefits of coconut oil that are accessed primarily through Pubmed. This section is updated frequently as new research is published.

Coconut oil was once prevalent in western countries like the United States. With a long shelf life and a melting point of 76 degrees, coconut oil was a favorite in the baking industry. But a negative campaign against saturated fats in general, and coconut oil in particular, led to most food manufacturers abandoning coconut oil in recent years in favor of hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils that come from the main government-subsidized cash crops in the US, particularly corn and soy. These hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids. The polyunsaturated oils were not a big part of the diet of previous generations, so how has the health of Americans changed now that polyunsaturated oils are for the most part all one finds on supermarket shelves across the US? We encourage you to take an honest look at the research presented on this website, and consider the “other side” of the story, whether it be coconut oilsaturated fatscholesterol, or the new vegetable oils!

Coconut Oil Testimonies

The CoconutDiet.com website contains the Coconut Diet Forums, which is a compilation of discussions of people discussing the health benefits of coconut oil over a 10+ year period. This was the first Internet discussion group started back in 2001 by Brian Shilhavy, while still living in the Philippines at the time. There are over 17,000 messages covering a wide range of coconut oil health topics, with contributions from many of the early leaders of the coconut oil movement that brought coconut oil back into prominence in the early 2000s. There are currently over 100,000 subscribers.
With today’s social media, however, you will find many of the the most current testimonials about the health benefits of coconut oil by following the Coconut Health Twitter account, the top Twitter account covering the health benefits of coconut oil, or by following the discussions on the Coconut Health Facebook Page, the top Facebook page discussing the health benefits of coconut oil.

Coconut Oil News

You can find all the latest coconut oil news published throughout the Internet at Health Impact News, in the Coconut Health section. Brian Shilhavy is the editor of Health Impact News, and he tracks the news throughout the Internet each day to cover the top stories related to the health benefits of coconut oil, as well as other alternative health news. Published studies that appear in peer-reviewed journals will be logged here, on CoconutOil.com, on our peer-reviewed coconut oil research page. We have also added a coconut oil news section here on CoconutOil.com that can be tracked via an RSS reader to stay up to date on all the latest news regarding coconut oil.

What is the Best Type of Coconut Oil?

There are many different types of coconut oil currently in the market, using a variety of different terminology by the vendors to describe their product. We sort it all out for you here: What Type of Coconut Oil is Best? How to Choose a Coconut Oil.

Coconut Oil Recipes

FreeCoconutRecipes.com has the largest collection of coconut recipes found anywhere on the Internet. There are recipe sections for Coconut Oil recipesGluten Free Coconut Flour recipesCoconut Cream Concentrate recipes, and many others. There are hundreds of coconut recipes, all kitchen tested and submitted by coconut users who love coconut. There are many cooking and baking video demonstrations as well, helping you to learn how to use coconut oil in your everyday cooking and baking. Here is one video overview showing many of the ways one can use coconut oil in a healthy diet:

Thursday 3 April 2014

Changes at the Clinic

Our receptionist and Complemntary Therapst Bronwyn is leaving us to go on materinty leave. In her place we have two new faces at the clinic. Deb will be working on reception, many of you will have met her over the last few months as she helped out whilst Pat was away. Nikki is a Massage Therapist who will be taking over Bronwyn's patients. If you would like to book an appointemnt to see Nikki she works at the clinic Wednesdays and Saturdays.

A warm "hello" from Deb to all the Chandos patients I have yet to meet, and to those I have already come to know from working on reception since early November. I came to be behind the clinic desk through a rather unusual back door! For over 12 years, I have been a close friend and artists model to Anna Gillespie, Giles' wife, who is a sculptress. We met in the life room at the Queens Rd School of Art and Design where I model for art students. This is what I have done for 18+ years, and what I continue to do when I am not behind the Chandos Clinic desk! As well as the art school, I model at the Bristol Drawing School, which resides in the RWA, (brochures by the fish-tank!) and many other art establishments and schools in Bristol & Bath. Unlike most models, I am not an artist myself, but I am an avid collector! So my receptionists hat is all very new, and I would like to send a huge thank-you to all of you who watched me learn the ropes so patiently under Brony's inspirational care. As Brony now goes on maternity leave, I will be on reception for 2.5 days a week, sharing the desk with the lovely Pat. I look forward to welcoming you to the clinic!

Monday 17 March 2014

Safety When Swaddling: A guide for Parents

Parents should be aware that injuries, including deaths, have occurred with swaddling, including some incidents where no improper use of swaddling or unsafe sleep practice could be identified. An insecurely applied swaddle wrap or wearable blanket can unravel during sleep, and (as demonstrated by the infant deaths in a recent study by McDonnell and Moon), can end up obstructing the infant's airway or even strangling the infant. The plain truth is that the safety of these products, even when used as correctly as humanly possible, has not been established, and people who use them do so at their own risk.

Considering the resurging popularity of swaddling, parents need to ensure that they use swaddling as safely as we know how, within the context of a safe sleep environment. This includes the following:

• Learn about safe swaddling and the alternatives to swaddling (eg, standard infant sleepers/clothing of appropriate weight for the ambient temperature that can be worn without the need for additional wrapping).

• Ask health care professionals about appropriate layering and thermoregulation; some parents believe that infants need more layers than they really do. It would also be good practice to bring in what you plan to use at home for swaddling, and be tought how to swaddle properly to prevent damage to hips.

• Discuss with your health care professional when to discontinue swaddling. Although some physicians disagree about how long swaddling can safely continue, Dr. Rachel Moon, who is also lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep guidelines and chair of the Task Force on SIDS, believes that babies should not be swaddled past 2 months of age.

• If you are taking your infant to day care or a babysitter, you  need to ensure that these caregivers know how to swaddle properly (if swaddling is permitted at all) and follow all other rules of safe sleep. If you have stopped swaddling, caregivers should be instructed to stop swaddling as well.

• If you continue to use a wearable blanket or wrap beyond the recommended age (2 months), you must carefully watch for signs that the infant is close to being able to roll over, in either direction. You should observe the infant's movements during supine and prone play; an infant who seems close to rolling in either direction (a "partial roll") or who can roll from prone to supine should no longer be swaddled using any method. Even if the infant can't accomplish a roll by him- or herself, the movements that the infant makes in attempting to roll could unravel the swaddling wrap or blanket.

• Reinforce the other elements of the safe sleep environment.

The study by McDonnell and Moon illustrates a couple of very important points. First, it shows how very far we are from achieving the kind of consistent, safe sleep environments for infants that we hoped would exist by now in homes across the country, with or without swaddling. Second, it shows that swaddling has introduced another variable to this environment that poses risks for at least some infants, although we might not yet have a handle on who those infants are. Despite criticism from those who believe that swaddling is no riskier than hugging and singing lullabies, we have to treat swaddling with the caution that it has shown it deserves, as another element in the already overcrowded message about safe sleep that healthcare providers must repeat to all new parents before they leave the hospital and again at every well-baby visit.

More information on safe swaddling:

Read the full research findings here:


Thursday 13 March 2014

The Brain Has It's Reasons

By Xavier Decup

Days are decreasing, as is the sunlight now that winter has come. During this time of the year, it is common to feel less happy, to feel less energy in our body and in our mind. The cold weather perturbs our health and we struggle to fight the tiredness and bugs. We start to have more soreness in different parts of the body. Sleep and other main functions of the body are affected. The usual explanation is the lack of sunlight during winter time affecs the level of serotonin. This molecule affects the mood and is one of the four main elements of the brain’s biochemistry.

What if the brain is the key? We usually forget that it is the mastermind of the body. The rest of the body is literally connected to the brain by the spinal cord. Everything starts from the brain and spreads through the nerves in the whole body. It is like a computer dealing with different software. The ability of this software to run depends on the heart of the computer. Having a good computer means having a high speed processor (the heart of the computer), that allows very fast exchange of information. Our body is the same. We need the brain to exchange information with the rest of the body in an easy and fast way in order to process the millions of functions. 

The brain is made of billions of neuron cells. They communicate with each other by electricity and chemicals called neurotransmitters. The four main chemicals in the brain are serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine and GABA. The more balanced these chemicals are, the more the brain is able to maintain the health in the body. Unfortunately, stress, poor food and age are aggravating factors of unbalanced levels of neurotransmitters. Optimising the capacity and use of these chemicals is key for protecting our body from all these little disorders we suffer from in winter time. There are different ways to improve the function of the brain, such as medication, diet and supplements. 

The brain biochemistry defines the personality! 
Our natural dominant neurotransmitter is one of the components which make up our personality. The more our natural neurotransmitters are missing, the more our body struggles to fit with our way of life. Sometimes we can have a lack of other neurotransmitters (not the dominant one), that shows a different pattern of disorders. The treatment must be adequate to the symptoms and the personality. 

If you want to have a better idea of your nature, try the Dr Braverman Test (you can  find it on internet)

Monday 10 March 2014

More Sleep for NICU Newborns

Sleeping like a baby is an oft-used cliche. But while sleep is crucial for sick and premature babies to grow and recover, it can be difficult in a bright, noisy hospital.

However those in a specially-designed ward in Bath can be confident of getting plenty of rest.

When we try to soothe a baby at home we keep the bedroom dark and quiet. Yet many sick babies are cared for in hospital wards that are neither particularly restful, dark nor quiet.

"There's not usually any controllable light in a hospital, it's very brightly lit and noisy - a technical environment," says Bernie Marden, a consultant neonatologist at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

The new neonatal ward he runs has been designed with the needs of the families, babies and clinicians in mind - resulting in a fifth more sleep for the infants. A senor on the baby’s nappy recorded movement to determine how much each baby slept.

The nappy sensor

The parents appear to benefit also from the light and space in the new unit - the bar stools they used to sit on have been replaced with reclining comfortable chairs.

"I used to get called down to parents in a panic - as if they'd had 17 espresso coffees. Now they're less anxious and tense and I sometimes have to wake them up to talk to them."

Breastfeeding rates have gone up - in the new unit 90% of the babies go home breastfeeding, compared with 64% in the old unit.

Source: BBC News

Monday 24 February 2014

New Research Directly Links Stress to Increased Headaches

Results of a new study may come as no surprise to headache sufferers: More stress means more headaches.

"The results add weight to the concept that stress can be a factor contributing to the onset of headache disorders, that it accelerates the progression to chronic headache, exacerbates headache episodes, and that the headache experience itself can serve as a stressor," Sara H. Schramm, MD, from University Hospital of University Duisburg-Essen in Germany, said in a statement.

"Our results underline the need for stress management strategies in people with headache, independent of the headache subtype," she added in comments to Medscape Medical News.

"Research suggests that mind/body treatments, including meditation, yoga or tai chi, and behavioral treatments such as stress management, coping skills, biofeedback and relaxation training may decrease headache frequency by 35% to 50%," Dr. Schramm noted.

The study team investigated the association between stress intensity and headache frequency in 5159 adults aged 21 to 71 years in the prospective, population-based German Headache Consortium Study.

Participants were screened quarterly from 2010 to 2012 about their stress levels and headaches using validated questionnaires. The researchers estimated the effects of stress intensity on headache frequency (days/month) for different headache subtypes, using a visual analogue scale from 0 to 100.

Tension-type headache (TTH) was reported by 31% of participants, migraine by 14%, and migraine combined with TTH by 11%. For 17%, the headache type was unclassifiable.

Those with TTH rated their stress at an average of 52 out of 100. For migraine, it was 62 out of 100; for migraine and TTH, 59.

For each type of headache, an increase in stress was associated with an increase in the number of headaches per month, the researchers found.

This indicates that Complementary Therapies, know for reducing stress levels, could be beneficial for all types of chronic headache sufferes. Cranial Osteopathy, Massage and Aromatherapy, all available at the clinic, could all be worth considering if you are suffering.

Source: Medscape

Monday 17 February 2014

Warm it up with Winter Spice

By Bronwyn ward

It's miserable out there and with the weather comes colds, stuffy noses, lethargy and general grumpiness. So what can be done? Including more chillies into your diet can have benefits for all of these common winter problems. They improve circulation, ease sinus congestion, help you sleep better and encourage the release of your body's natural feel-good chemicals. Try this simple, healthy mid week meal to give you a boost, also makes brilliant lunchbox meals with some brown rice or in wrap breads and freezes well so give it a go!

My Mum's 'Refried' Bean Taco

Serves 2-4 (depending on greediness!)

1 Tin black beans (drained)
1 Tin kidney Beans (drained)
2-3 carrots, diced
1-2 red onions, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chilli (hot or mild as you like)
1 dried whole chipottle chilli*
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 Cups water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 Tsp red wine vinegar
Tabasco to taste
Seasoning to taste

To serve:
Taco shells
Diced fresh tomaotoes
Grated cheese
Gem lettuce
Greek yoghurt

In a large, heavy-based pot put the beans, carrots, onions, garlic, chillies, water and cumin seeds. Bring to the boil and then simmer with a lid half on for 20-30 minutes, add extra water if needed.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 10 minutes. The mixture should be fairly reduced and thick, add more water if sticking to the pot. Taste. If it's spicy enough, remove the chipottle chilli, if you like it hot, leave it in.  Blizz everything with a wand or food processor to a thick chunky consistency. Taste and season.

Serve in taco shells topped with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and maybe a little greek yoghurt to soothe younger palets.

*Found in the dried herbs section in most supermarkets. They have a wonderful smokey flavour and well worth getting. Great in soups, casseroles and all things tomato-ey!

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Lavender Oil: Improves Sleep in Hospital Patients New Research Shows

By Bronwyn Ward

A recent study on the possible effects of pure Lanender oil on patients in hospital has shown that this oil may well be an effective way to improve sleep in an intermediate care environment.

Sleep deprivation in hospitalised patients is common and can have serious detrimental effects on recovery from illness. Lavender aromatherapy has improved sleep in a variety of clinical settings, but until now the effect has not been tested in the intermediate care unit.

The objective of the study was to determine the effect of inhalation of 100% lavender oil on patients' vital signs and perceived quality of sleep in an intermediate care unit.

A randomised controlled pilot study was conducted in 50 patients. Control patients received usual care. The treatment group had 3 mL of 100% pure lavender oil in a glass jar in place at the bedside from 10 PM until 6 AM. Vital signs were recorded at intervals throughout the night. At 6 AM all patients completed the Richard Campbell Sleep Questionnaire to assess quality of sleep.

The findings from the study were very interesting. Blood pressure was significantly lower between midnight and 4 AM in the treatment group than in the control group. The treatment group had a decrease in blood pressure and the control group had an increase; however, the difference between the 2 groups was not significant.  Mean overall sleep score was higher in the intervention group (48.25) than in the control group (40.10).

If this is the benefit for pateints in a hospital environment, imagine how helpful it may be for your own sleep issues or for family members. A few drops of neat lavender oil on a tissue and tucked into your pillowcase could provide a similar effect. It is safe to use with small children and babies but best to avoid direct contact with the skin.


Monday 3 February 2014

Overweight in Kindergarten, Obese by Eighth Grade?

Children who were overweight when entering kindergarten in 1998 in the United States were 4 times as likely as their normal-weight classmates to become obese by age 14 years, according to an article published in the January 30 issue of theNew England Journal of Medicine.
Almost half (45.3%) of obesity cases that developed between kindergarten and eighth grade occurred among the 14.9% of children who were overweight when entering kindergarten in 1998. "The annual incidence of obesity during kindergarten among these children was 19.7%, as compared with 2.4% among children who entered kindergarten with normal weight," write Solveig A. Cunningham, PhD, from the Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues.
The authors analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999, a nationally representative database with information on 7738 children who entered kindergarten in 1998 and were followed-up through 2007.
The researchers estimated the annual incidence of obesity during the 9 years according to sex, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, birth weight, and kindergarten weight. They used Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thresholds to define obesity and overweight by body mass index quintile.
When the children entered kindergarten at a mean age of 5.6 years, 12.4% were obese and 14.9% were overweight. By eighth grade, at a mean age of 14.1 years, 20.8% were obese and 17.0% were overweight. Most of the occurrence of obesity, however, occurred in early grades, and the annual incidence of obesity declined from 5.4% during kindergarten to 1.7% between fifth and eight grades.
The researchers defined incidence as the occurrence of new cases of obesity in children not previously obese, as compared with prevalence, the proportion of all children in each age group who were obese. Understanding incidence "helps us identify the ages of vulnerability and to identify the groups at greater risk. It's a bit of [a] different perspective on how obesity affects us and on where we might want to focus," Dr. Cunningham told Medscape Medical News.
"Among the kids who would become obese by the time they were middle-schoolers, most of that happened early on in elementary school. That helps us focus on these early years of kindergarten, first, second, and third grade, when a lot of obesity may actually occur."
"Those kids who came to kindergarten already overweight had about 4 times greater risk of becoming obese during the subsequent years," Dr. Cunningham said. "That tells us that some component of the risk of obesity may be set in motion by the age of 5 already. Kids who were born large and overweight at entry to kindergarten were at the highest risk of obesity."
In an accompanying editorial, Steven L. Gortmaker, PhD, from the Harvard School of Public Health, and Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, from Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, write that the new study "adds clear evidence" to previous research that early excess weight is a key risk factor for obesity.
"Given the limited evidence for effective treatment of obesity among children under 6 years of age, the limited resources of most clinical settings, and the limited predictive value of the 95th percentile of [body mass index], severe obesity may be a more useful cutoff for referral to more intensive, multidisciplinary treatment," they write.
"[W]ide-reaching, cost-effective policy and programmatic changes aimed at improving nutrition and physical activity among broad populations of children are key if we are to reduce early childhood weight gain and the risk of incident obesity throughout childhood."
Source: Medscape
This research was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The authors and editorialists have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.