Working adults (ages 18 to 64) represent 63% of the population and account for 72% of all low back pain (LBP) health care visits.1Low back pain has been identified categorically as acute, subacute, or chronic, depending on the onset, duration, and severity.1,2 Risk factors have included occupational posture, depressive moods, obesity, gender, and age, and risk is most likely affected by a combination of several of these variables.2 Low back pain is not a disease but rather a group of signs and symptoms that affects all age groups across the lifespan. It has been shown to be more common from age 35 to 55, with a higher prevalence in women.2,3

The World Health Organization anticipates that as the world population ages, the incidence of LBP will increase substantially and become 1 of the leading conditions for which the aging population will seek out medical intervention.2

Acupuncture may help improve quality of life as well as reduce lost workplace productivity through more effective and sustained pain relief.4,5 Stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues with the application of fine needles may lead to the release of endorphins and other neuro-humoral factors.The expected result is a change in pain processing between the brain and spinal cord.

Acupuncture has demonstrated efficacy in reducing inflammation by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors and increasing local microcirculation.6-8 In turn, this may support better joint movement and relief of muscle stiffness as well as aid the healing of swelling and bruising.6,7

While the evidence for acupuncture remains inconclusive, there are a growing number of studies offering clinical support for the benefits of using acupuncture to address LBP.6-10  (See Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine)

Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine

  • Looking at physical attributes such as the face, eyes, gait, and tongue is the first pillar. We examined the map of the tongue as it laid out the internal viscera and details of the tongue such as shape, color, texture, moisture, coating thickness and color, size of the papillae, and movement, as these features can be very revealing.
  • Listening is a second pillar in the evaluation. The patient’s voice might offer evidence of a disturbance or irregular pattern.
  • Palpation is the third pillar. For example, the pulse, like the tongue, presents a blueprint of a patient’s condition. The left and right side of the radial pulse is laid out into 3 sections (from proximal to distal): qi, guan, and cun. Each pair of organs can be recognized within each of these positions. Palpating the pulse is an extremely detailed task requiring complete focus to feel for the quality. The pulse has several attributes that serve as a window between the practitioner and the patient, including the depth, strength, consistency, and even the specific movement in which the blood travels through the vessel.
  • Asking is the final pillar, which revolves around 10 essential questions that directly correlate to the patient’s overall being and constitution. These questions journey from the chief complaint and project to other life behaviors and inclinations that may encompass tendencies to be either hot or cold (or neither), sweating, gastrointestinal (ie, digestion, urination, bowel movements), sleep quality and quantity, emotional status, energy levels, and pain quality and consistency.

Source: Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine. Available at:

In this case review, the pain relief achieved by fascial manipulation was demonstrated through the release of superficial stagnation in the tendinomuscular channels that are responsible for pain; this process has been correlated to benefits in the deeper muscular layers and related meridians.11,12 We used Master Tung points in a special 3-needle arrangement called Dao Ma, in conjunction with a method called Dong Qi (movement Qi) in which the needle is manipulated as the patient exercises the affected area.13

We found that acupuncture’s overall therapeutic effects help in reducing the use of medication for back complaints, providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time (eg, at least 2 years).5,6,9



Bountiful Beauty: It’s a few weeks into a new year, and the perfect time to embrace some sustainable and healthy habits – simple and effective ways to create positive change in your diet and lifestyle for a healthier you. Make the commitment and reap the rewards of looking and feeling beautiful and energetic in 2018 and beyond!

Become a Commitment Junkie

One common pattern that many people lack is a commitment to themselves. Ageing gracefully starts with a healthy mindset and clarity on what you’d like to achieve for your body and health. Here are some tips to help you commit:

1.     Set small, achievable health-promoting goals.

2.     Prepare what you need. For example, have your running shoes or yoga mat ready; leave your prescription and supplements on the bench; allocate yourself time for you.

3.     Visualise achieving your goals, mentally repeating the process in your mind. You can do this!

4.     Then…just do it! Remember, new goals take time to become habits; so if you are concerned you might slip, don’t stress – just start again the next day. Practice makes perfect!

The Secret to Healthy Ageing

When it comes to healthy ageing, antioxidants are your body’s secret weapon to preventing disease and keeping you healthier. The following may be considered the Rolls Royce of healthy ageing nutrients:

·        Resveratrol: Found in red grapes, blueberries and the herb polygonum, this effective antioxidant helps with longevity by protecting your cells from free radical damage.

·        Curcumin: The main constituent of turmeric has been used traditionally for skin and wound healing; and may also aid in chronic disease prevention due to its valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

·        Quercetin: This potent bioflavonoid may help support the integrity of blood vessels and help keep your cardiovascular system healthier.

Talk to your Practitioner about healthy ageing and the best herbs and phytonutrients to help you increase your antioxidant status.

Simple Solutions

Long-term goals can be achieved with simple steps. Help yourself to age gracefully by following these five simple dietary tips:

1.     Enjoy two serves of fresh fruits and at least three cups of colourful vegetables daily – to give you the nutrients that will promote a healthy body.

2.     Include protein-rich foods with every meal and snack – to aid tissue repair and help stabilise your energy levels.

3.     Include healthy oils, nuts and seeds in your diet – to support healthy memory and glowing skin.

4.     Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily and avoid excessive alcohol, as hydration is essential for healthy skin as well as optimal brain function.

5.     Enjoy a ‘freedom meal’ once a week. Allowing for an occasional treat helps create a balanced lifestyle.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live” – Jim Rohn


The Evolution of Wellness

Here are some helpful tips to help you achieve lasting results when optimising your food choices:

·        Plan – Use a shopping list and organise your fresh food choices on what you will use that week. Utilising the fresh produce in your fridge ensures it is nutrient-rich (as longer food storage reduces nutrients), minimises waste, and therefore saves you money!

·        Purchase – Shop at your local farmers markets where possible for the freshest options.

·        Prepare – Use weekends to cook extra batches of food to eat during the week or freeze. This saves you time and ensures you have healthy options easily available.

These tips help you evolve even better health and wellness habits – a much better choice than following fad diets that may see your health fluctuate.

On-board the Wellness Wagon

Your Practitioner is a great source of information when it comes to Wellness and Health Ageing, and offers a program that can be tailored to your unique needs. Alternatively, you may already be implementing some healthy lifestyle changes but find there is a small hurdle hindering your ability to feel your best. Your Practitioner can help empower you to achieve your best and support you to move from feeling ‘just ok’ to ‘amazing’ with lasting energy and lifelong wellness.