What’s all the fuss about Sandwiches?

The sandwich was apparently named after John Montagu who was the 4th Earl of Sandwich in the UK. There is some conjecture around the exact circumstances of how the sandwich came about.

Lord Sandwich was espoused as being a regular gambler and apparently spent many, many hours playing cards. He was so entrenched in his gambling, he didn’t even want to take time out to eat meals, which in the 18th century would have been taken at the dining table – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

montagu-earl-of-sandwichIn order to combat his hunger, he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread allowing him to continue playing cards, particularly cribbage, while eating and without having to use utensils. The bread also prevented the cards from becoming dirty or oily from eating meat with his bare hands. His gambling mates became accustomed to Montagu’s eating style and soon they too, began to ask for the “the same as Sandwich!” Hence, the name arose and stuck for the past 2 centuries.

Fans of the Earl have provided a more sober alternative to the story stating that Sandwich’s dedication to his naval career, to politics and contribution to the arts, would make the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his work desk. You can draw your own conclusion

Others claim that Sandwich was not the first to invent the sandwich at all. It would make sense that sandwiches have existed since the first bread became available. It’s a convenient and quick way to eat, that’s for sure.

Sandwiches are now part of the staple western diet. Sadly, though, with bread’s high carbohydrate content, it’s not the healthiest way to consume food, made even worse now by the way most grains are prepared for harvest using poisonous chemicals and have been genetically modified, making bread a poor nutritional choice for most people. Even without the harmful, non-organic practices of today, high carbohydrate intake was never a great idea. Just look at the images of Lord Sandwich himself – with a bit of mid-body bulge!

Want to know more about ‘Life without Sandwiches’ (and other high carb foods), be sure to come along to Dr. Ben’s workshop this Monday 17th October at 6.45pm. He will give us a run down on why we might want to make some different choices to improve our health and how to make healthy eating easy and delicious. Book Here

How does the health of my Spine effect my Happiness?

Our spine and its purpose, is something that most of us never pay any attention to unless we experience a problem with it.

However, without a healthy functioning spine, life as we know it would be reduced, instantly, to a sub-standard version to the degree that our spine was no longer functioning optimally.

However, without a healthy functioning spine, life as we know it would be reduced, instantly, to a sub-standard version to the degree that our spine was no longer functioning optimally.

Our spine has 3 main functions. Support, mobility and most importantly,  protection of our central nervous system. It provides us with the ability to stand upright (support) and has a shock absorbing, suspension system built in which allows us to walk, run and be active comfortably and without damage. It provides us with our posture. As such, our posture is a window to our spinal health. How’s your posture?

Whether we stoop over or stand tall is dictated by the health of our spine and our posture, which has a significant bearing on our overall physical and mental health. When we are deprived of a health in either or both of these areas of our lives, to that same degree we are deprived of the happiness that is otherwise available to us.

Our spine provides us with a ‘suit of armor’ which protects the Central Nervous System of our body. Your Central Nervous System is what allows your brain to communicate an enormous number of moment-to-moment functions required to take place in the body for it to stay alive and function optimally, among many other things. If the spine is not able to move properly or becomes inflamed, the nerves that exit the spine to convey the messages to and from every cell in your body are unable to transmit the signals clearly. This leads to a communication error and then things can get a bit out of whack in terms of your health. And if your health is off, your happiness is off!

Many times, these things happen so slowly, we don’t even notice how much energy we’re no longer feeling or we convince ourselves that we’re just ‘getting older’. Often, once we have had our spine assessed and start getting adjusted, we are astounded at how much better and more vital we feel. It’s like someone has switched the power back on!

Once you begin to understand the important roles the spine plays in your overall health, it becomes much easier to understand how the health of your spine directly impacts your ability to experience happiness and fulfillment in your life.

 

Nalu and the 30-Day Dare!

Get Moved!

October is set to be a super-special month for us at Elemental Parkwood. We are running our ever-popular ’30-Day Challenge’ but this time we’re doing it with a difference. We’re doing it because we want to make a difference! Not just to you – our members but also those less fortunate than us.

nalu
A few months ago, I found out a project that touched my heart. A friend of mine has been going to India every year for quite a while to run a free chiropractic clinic (with his beautiful chiropractor wife and their 2 kids) for the poor. Each year they would arrive and his children attended school with the local kids. But they noticed as they returned, less and less of their friends were there each time. It became apparent that many children were no longer able to attend school beyond the age of 12 as the Indian government did not suppy uniforms beyond that age. And the rule is, no uniform, no school. Unfortunately, these children were then forced to work (or be married off) to survive. In India, education is your ticket out of the hard life and these kids weren’t getting a chance to get ahead.
So, that being known, Dali and Finn – the kids of my friend, set up and started running thier own charity to fund uniforms for the kids. Nalu was born where anyone who purchased a T-shirt from their online store, in turn provided a uniform for a child in a third world country. Not only that, but they sourced local women to make the uniforms thus providing a further economic boost to the local Indian communities. Talk about donating up to great causes!!! Anyway, to date, they have donated thousands of uniforms and are well on their way to their goal of 20,000. That’s a LOT of educated kids!
We hope you are just as excited to support this cause. It always helps to add something a little more to your challenge. In fact, it has been deteremined that you are 60% more likely to acheive a goal if your are doing it to help someone other than yourself. So, let’s give back to India – the birthplace of yoga – and get healthier at the same time. To find out more about the story of Nalu, check out their website HERE. Find out more about their ‘Give to Get’ program on there as well.

We’ll be raising more funds at the end of the challenge via an Auction at the Celebration Night on November 4th.

 

Is your device destroying your hormones?

Hormone imbalance used to be something your neighbour’s Grandma complained of and seemed a pretty rare ‘medical condition’. These days, you may have noticed everyone has some sort of hormonal issue. Whether it be menopause, andropause (yes, men’s version!), thyroid issues, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impotence, lost libido, weight gain, weight loss, diabetes etc.most likely you have a hormonal issue.

When we look these chronic health problems, most people dash to the ‘excuse’ of their genetics. “Oh, it runs in my family.” is the catch-cry. Which seems to elicit some sort of vindication (or even sympathy) but it also costs us our control over the situation. Don’t become a victim to your genes!

Genes are just a filing cabinet of information essentially. They are either switched ‘on’ or switched ‘off’. It’s not harder than that. But it’s the things we DO that determine whether any particular gene is switched on or off. Of course, there can be many environmental reasons for adverse genes being switched on. The most obvious (and discussed) is of course nutrition. We are strong advocators of ‘food as thy medicine’ (to quote Thomas Edison) and there are many experts out there who can give you the lowdown on how to use nutrition to support good hormonal function. But what about other factors?

One big issue of which very little is known or talked about as yet, is the use of screens and devices. Now it’s not time to run off and make yourself a tin-foil hat and live in the rainforest but it is important to know some of the information that is coming through the research channels at the moment in regards this relatively new assault on human health. Let’s face it, 20 years ago most of us did not carry around a mini entertainment device in our pockets 24/7? If you were ‘lucky’, you had a Motorola flip phone that was the size of a can of soup and it really just was a phone. No screen to watch for hours on end (unless you were into ‘Snake’). But now, we can’t even stand in a queue for 2 minutes without dragging out the smartphone.

phone-nightNow, I’m not going to tell you to throw the device away but I will start to enlighten you on one thing that could make a world of difference to your overall health and hormonal function. Let’s have a little biology lesson….

For 50,000 years the human species has adapted to the natural environment. We rose with the sun and went to bed not too long after sundown. Our whole biorhythm was developed around the amount of light we were exposed to (and the type of light – depending on what season we were in). We use firelight (or other forms of contained fire) for thousands of years so we could stay up a bit later but essentially that light was soft on the eyes and very yellow in the light spectrum. Fast-forward to about 150 years ago when we became the masters of our own destinies following the invention of the light bulb! All of a sudden, we didn’t have to go to bed at all if we didn’t want to.

Initially, the light bulbs were also very yellow and dim and so, as humans we still managed to fall asleep quite naturally and there was less impact on our health. Nothing to worry about then! But still, we added improvements – whited lights, TV Screens, energy saving fluoros and LED bulbs of epic proportions. And the mini screens…. the phones, tablets and laptops. The can of worms has been opened!

So, what’s the issue? The big issue is that the lights we use today and the screens we have partnered up with as our new electronic ‘soulmates’ don’t care too much for our health. Our retinas are seeking blue-free light from about 1 hour after sunset, just like the old days! But the screens beckon with their bright and sparkliness “Watch me! Play with me! I’ll be your best friend!” …and so we do.  All the while bombarding our retinas with high levels of blue light and confusing the heck out of our hormonal system. And not just one of the hormonal pathways…. ALL of them! Little wonder we’re seeing a massive rise in prescriptions to help with thyroid, fertility and impotence! (That’s a whole ‘nother article just there.)

In the utopian world, we would throw away all the screens and go meditate in the Himalayas but that is not possible in this day and age but there are a few things you can consider putting into your health regime should you consider your hormonal homeostasis (aka healthy balance) to be of importance to you and your family.

  1. You could consider limiting, reducing or removing screen time from one hour after sunset. Yes, this is going to change with the seasons. It’s meant to. That is how your million-year evolutionary cycle has been programmed.
  2. If that is not possible (or probable), consider installing software that reduces the amount of blue-light emitted from your devices. If you have a PC, laptop, smart TV (that you can surf the web on) go to f.lux and download the free. It will gradually ‘un-blue’ your screen over time after sunset and limit the impact on your hormonal system.
  3. On the iPhone (I think from models 5 upward as long as you have the latest software installed), there is a feature in the daynighttoolbar called ‘Nightshift’ that also controls the amount of blue light emitted during the 24-hour period. It’s not perfect so no screen is better BUT it’s better than nothing! It’s accessible by dragging up the options from the bottom of the screen and ensuring that the “sun/moon” symbol thingy is lit up (See Picture)  [I’m not an Android phone owner so I am unsure if this feature is available to you.]
  4. Switch to more yellow lighting in the house – lower wattage or yellower-hued bulbs, soft lamps or even better candle-light. You will notice in a very short period of time that you will start to feel sleepy earlier. Don’t be concerned! This is a healthy response. It’s what’s supposed to happen. Going to bed earlier will set you up for a more consistent and healing sleep and you’ll wake up with the sunrise (usually quite naturally) feeling refreshed and energised.
  5. Teach your kids about the dangers of late-night tech. They learn from you – monkey see, monkey do. So be sure to live by example for them. The foundations you set now, set them up for life!

 

Keep it simple to start with. Just like with anything that makes us feel ‘happier’, it takes a while to change the habit but the benefits are well worth it. The sad thing is that this lifestyle is very new to the human genome and we have not had time to adapt to it. Even sadder, we know that it takes at least 17 years for new thoughts in research to start to reach the general population. If you are still destroying your hormones in another 17 years, it’ll most likely be too late for you! Be smart whether it’s about the food you consume or the tech you use. Make good choices and you minimise the risks of poor health (and poor happiness) outcomes.

 

In health & happiness,

Dr Linda

Spring Timetable Starts September 19

sm_spring_timetable_web_optimised_file-2

After polling, asking, bribing and cajouling our community to see what you all really wanted, we are proud to announce the latest version of the ‘Spring Edition’ Timetable.

Be sure to check out Eunice’s amazing VinYin on a Tuesday night and the new Elemental Yin on Fridays – crank out the ever-powerful Elemental Series over 55 minutes and move straight into Yin mode. Such a great way to bring on the weekend – feeling refreshed and revitalised.

Best way to find, book and manage your favourite class schedule? Use our free app. You can grab them here:

iPhone App Link

Android App Link

October 30-Day Dare & 4th Birthday

smpreview_a-2

The Elemental 30-Day Dare is back! And this time, we’re not just doing it for ourselves but for Nalu as well. By participating in our 30-Day Dare, you’ll be helping to provide Uniforms for school children in India and provide work for the women in their local community as well. As we get healthier and happier, we will be empowering the lives of women and children through education and employment!

You can choose to undertake either 20 classes in 30 days or 30 classes in 30 days…. set your goal, get registered and prepare to feel incredible by November.

We’ll top it off with some awards for those who have completed the ‘Most Classes’ (there are always a few over-achievers),  ‘Most Improved’ and a random “Lucky Challenger Prize’. All presented at our 4th Birthday and Challenge Celebration on the 4th of November. We’ll have more prizes for auction to raise even more for Nalu!

Registration is just $35 with $5  going straight to Nalu. If you don’t have an unlimited pass for the challenge, we recommend getting the registration and pass package for just $134 – $35 rego and $99 for unlimited yoga during the 30-days – great value!)

You can register HERE

You can register AND grab a special $99 30-day Dare Pass HERE

Why do I sometimes get headaches after yoga?

As you can imagine, we get a lot of questions about yoga. One of the great things about Elemental is that we are a team of highly educated health professionals and yoga teachers, so we can really hone in on your health and wellbeing issues. One question we hear occasionally is, “Why do I sometimes get a headache after yoga?” I thought I would share my answers to the whole community.

There can be a few reasons for getting a headache after yoga. As we practise hot yoga, the most common reason for us is dehydration or magnesium (or other electrolyte) deficiency. Of course this can be easily rectified by making sure we’re drinking enough water (2 litres per day) even on days when we’re not practicing yoga. To replace the electrolytes we sweat out you can use coconut water, ‘Restore’ or some other high quality electrolyte replacement (I don’t recommend the chemically laden Gatorade/Powerade type drink) and eating quality vegetables and fruit – organic will have a higher mineral content. Bananas are a great source of potassium. We also use Himalayan Salt with each meal to assist with replacement of 84 minerals. If you’re practising a lot of hot yoga, we recommend a high potency magnesium such as ‘Bioceuticals Ultra Muscle-eze Night’ which not only replaces magnesium but also contains choline bitartrate which assists rehydration of the central nervous system. Ask one of our health team if they think that product might be right for you. We have plenty in stock and it is classed as a ‘Practitioner Only’ item – so be sure to ask about it first.

But this is not the most common reason behind post-yoga headaches and the real reason just might surprise you. The most common reason is actually due to the structure of your neck. If we took an x-ray of your neck from the side, we need to make sure you have a curve that goes forward, like an arc. This is the structure that is the most stable and needs the least amount of muscle support or protection.

Normal Neck Curve

Normal Neck Curve

No neck curve

No neck curve

If the curve is missing (which is very common) the neck becomes tight and you have a stretch on your spinal cord and brainstem (Not good – remember, this is your lifeline for your entire body and it is responsible for carrying all of the messages to control and regulate every function in your body. So you don’t want any undue tension on your spinal cord!!!) When we do yoga, we are using the muscles differently and they can become easily aggravated and the headache can be either what we call ‘cervicogenic’ which is primarily due to muscle tension OR due to the stretch on the spinal cord itself in different positions. Either way, the cause is most likely a lack of neck curve.

If you then add in some advanced postures such as headstands, then you can make the problem even worse.

All is not lost however. This curve can be restored if caught early enough (i.e. before the spine degenerates or becomes arthritic) At Elemental, our chiro team have an amazing track record of cervical curve restoration. We use a combination of adjustments, specifically tailored exercises and stretches, regular re-measurements and modification (if needed) of your yoga practice. Now, some people are just not too sure about chiropractic and we understand so we have a couple of options available. You can come in for a free, no-obligation chat with our doctors to find out if your may have a case that chiropractic can help or you can come along to one of our free half-hour evening workshops – just ask one of our team members for the details of the next one. Most of our team is under regular chiropractic care, so we’ll be able to answer most of your questions. But the greatest thing about getting onto this issue early is that if it can be sorted, it can prevent pain, degeneration and arthritis in the spine as you get older. That way you’re unlikely to need future neck surgery or to be on long-term pain/anti-inflammatory medication. A far rosier outcome than just hoping that nothing will go wrong!

Of course, headaches can also be a sign of something more rare and sinister so if you’re getting them regularly, they don’t respond well to pain medication or you’re noticing a change in their type/frequency/severity don’t hesitate to contact your health professional for an assessment.

If you want to find out if you have a normal neck curve, or if you suspect you don’t, just call the Chiro Team today for a chat on 0499 00 33 88.

Why is the Avocado so trendy?

Okay, is it just me or are avocados on nearly every breakfast menu around?

Surely I’m not the only one that’s noticed this?

They’re becoming so popular and so trendy, I’m thinking that going as an Avocado for Halloween may actually be a possibility.

Avocados have become so popular that they’re being stolen and sold illegally when there’s shortages, such as what we saw in New Zealand in June!

So why are we eating them all?

Well firstly, they taste great and go with everything! People are even making chocolate mousse out of them! But eating avocados also brings LOADS of benefits:

1. Avocados are SO diverse!avo
As we mentioned, avocados aren’t just being limited to salads, sandwiches and guacamole, they’re being used in desserts with raw cacao!

2. PACKED with essential vitamins and minerals
This includes vitamins A, E and K, plus vitamins B and C. PLUS magnesium, potassium, iron and copper! Fun fact, you need to eat two bananas to meet the potassium content in just one whole avocado!

3. Great source of fiber and protein!
Avos are actually on the list of top protein foods and because they’re high in fiber, they can help shift the balance of bacteria in the gut, increasing healthy bacteria!

4. Avos help improve heart health!
Avos promote heart health by balancing blood lipids because of their fatty acid composition.

5. They promote healthy skin, eyes and hair
Because of the rich fat-soluble vitamins and monounsaturated fats, avos are fantastic for glowing skin, bright eyes and shiny hair (both when eaten or used topically).

6. Avos help with weight loss
Fats are super filling and increase satiety hormones that help you eat less overall. Avos are full of GOOD FATS. This means you’re getting loads of nutrients plus will feel fuller for longer!

Stay trendy. Eat more Avocados.

Do your kids need a ‘digital detox’ these school holidays?

Does your child constantly like to pester you for an iPad or your iPhone?

Do they LOVE playing on their tablet instead of playing outside?

Would you believe that these days most children have some level of screen addiction?

And why wouldn’t they? Screens are designed to be mesmerizing and have such an affect on the brain that it makes our kids want more and more. With the continuously evolving and growing world of technology, there’s no way we can ignore screens entirely (or not easily anyway!).ropeswing

Instead, it’s time take control of the screens these holidays to ensure your kids have the happiest and healthiest holidays.

The Australian Government guidelines suggest that children five years and older should only be on screen time for a maximum of two hours per day. Considering some children are spending four hours or more on these digital devices each day, this is a figure we should definitely be aiming to lower. Spending hours in front of a screen can take its physical toll on children such as poor posture, stress on the eyes, reduced fitness, increased blood pressure and obesity. These hours can also lead to poor social connection and decreased friendships, reduced self-esteem and can affect cognitive development. Definitely something we should be changing!

It’s all about balance. It’s time to take control. It’s time for a challenge.

Each week of these school holidays aim for the kids to have one technology-free day each week! Then try to reduce their time on technology for the remaining days. Once they get a taste of their technology-free world, we think they’ll head to the backyard instead of to the iPad.

monopolyBoredom actually fuels creativity. Let their imaginations run wild!

Let them build indoor cubby-houses, let them run free in the backyard, encourage other parents to join in so the kids can play together, bring out the old monopoly board or UNO set!
Let’s show the kids how we all used to entertain ourselves before we were surrounded by screens and stimulation.

Kate Squires

Kate believes that yoga is meant to be fun! Her classes are a joyful space where students come to learn, grow and laugh. Kate also maintains that yoga is perfect for every body type. No matter your build, size or flexibility, Kate’s calling as a teacher is to guide you in the practice that best suits you. Meet her on the mat for a vibrant powerflow, a soothing yin, or an inspiring Elemental express.