June 9, 2017

Dr Michael Hall Part 1: Brain Diversity – How The Sexes Differ

Diversity and equality are two buzzwords often heard in conversations about pay, human rights, and more – and for good reason. In many areas, the human race has such a long way to go. But according to Dr Michael Hall, a world-leading chiropractor and functional neurologist, the healthcare industry is one where diversity has not yet been fully acknowledged or catered for. In the majority of healthcare practices, we don’t acknowledge and understand the sexual dimorphism of the human brain, or how this in turn affects stress, physiology, and symptomology. Spinal Research caught up with Dr Hall, friend of the […]
June 1, 2017

Why Be Behind The Science That Is Consistent With Our Philosophy?

At the recent Dynamic Growth Congress, we asked some leading voices in chiropractic why it is important to invest in quality research into the vertebral subluxation. Here, Dr Mark Postles talks about some key questions that underpin our approach to the profession and the knowledge base that we need to back it: are we an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff or a fence at the top? Are we subscribers to ‘Theory X’ in which there is no order in the universe, and no innate intelligence operating in the complex organism that is the human life? Or do we […]
June 1, 2017
Walk

Go For A 90 Minute Walk In Nature. Science Says So.

An increasing percentage of the modern population is housed and surrounded in an urban area, and this is trend is tipped to continue. While there are many benefits to urbanization, there is one curious downside. It has been associated with increased levels of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, though it’s not yet clear why [1]. A group of researchers got together to examine a simple premise: does getting back to nature help?  The premise behind their study was simple. They sent one group of participants out for a 90 minute walk/hike in nature, and sent a control group out […]
May 30, 2017
Kinematics Hip

Study Examines Impact Of Patient Position & Procedure Selection On Spine Kinematics For The Low Back

Procedure selection is an important part of every chiropractic adjustment. Knowing which procedure will stabilise or mobilise more is a significant consideration, depending on the patient’s needs. But until now, no 3-dimensional angular kinematic analysis had been done for spinal manipulation applied to HVLA for the lumbar spine – only to the cervical spine. A recent study published in JMPT in the March/April edition represents the first important step in filling that knowledge gap. The study saw 24 participants undergo a series of 6 HVLA (High velocity low amplitude) adjustment procedures directed toward the L4 vertebra. The procedures included 2 […]
May 25, 2017

Vagus Nerve Stimulation, Cytokines And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Of all the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve is perhaps the most fascinating. It’s the longest of the class, containing both motor and sensory fibres, and has the widest distribution through-out the body. It is said to influence many aspects of physical function, from speaking and swallowing, to muscle control, taste and many other aspects of physical and psychological health [1,2]. Science is still uncovering this nerve’s abilities and applications, and a study released in 2016 detailing the impact of the vagus nerve on cytokines and inflammation is an exciting addition to this body of knowledge.  Previous research on the […]
May 25, 2017

Chiropractic Care For Plagiocephaly Cohort Study Released

Plagiocephaly has been called “The most common craniofacial problem today,” by the Royal Children’s Hospital [1].  The disorder is that of a misshapen or asymmetrical head shape often seen in newborns and infants as the thin, flexible bones of their heads are affected by lying on one side more than the other. A newly released cohort study on chiropractic care for the condition has something to say on the issue. Interestingly, the prevalence of Plagiocephaly has increased significantly over the last 20 years, possibly due to the SIDS recommendation for babies to sleep on their backs. Although this recommendation has […]
May 23, 2017
Volunteer

Volunteerism Linked To Improved Health

Volunteerism has long been touted as ‘a great thing to have on your CV.’ It also reaps many rewards in terms of contribution, which is recognised by success coach Tony Robbins as a critical human need. But a recent study looking at 40,000 European citizens highlighted another benefit: volunteering is associated with better health outcomes too. In fact, the research indicated that volunteers are as healthy as non-volunteers five years their junior.  The research, which ensured it had adjusted for other determinants of health, found that, “volunteers are substantially in better health than non-volunteers [1].” In fact, the direct association […]
May 18, 2017

Update The Textbooks: There’s A New Organ In Town

Scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland have conducted a review which has resulted in a strong proposal for the reclassification of the mesentery. That’s right: it appears there’s a new organ in the body. Whilst it hasn’t officially been reclassified yet, momentum is underway with reputable publications such as Gray’s Anatomy jumping aboard the reclassification bandwagon.    Once upon a time, the mesentery was treated as a fragmented structure. Parts of this structure included the ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid mesocolons, along with the mesoappendix and the mesorectum. These tissues were individual structures that bore similarities in that […]
May 16, 2017

Optimising Mental Performance – The Chimp Theory

The science of human performance is a fascinating area spanning many disciplines. From sports and exercise to nutrition, neural-plasticity and mindset, there seem to be many roads to go down if you are interested in this area. Where does one begin in order to understand it all? The human brain, the master controller of the body, seems like a good place to start. Dr Steve Peters is a psychiatrist who has spent many years working in the field of elite sport. His twist on the issue of optimising human performance is an interesting one; he calls it The Chimp Model, […]
May 16, 2017

Study Shows Neurofeedback And HRV Have Robust Effect On Anxiety And Depression

In fields like chiropractic, we talk a lot about the brain and neuroplasticity. In many chiropractic clinics, tools such like HRV (heart rate variability) are used to measure and mitigate sympathetic drive. Practitioners of this particular technique will be fascinated to know that that on March 16, the journal NeuroRegulation published a ground-breaking study that showed just how robust a combination neurofeedback and HRV can be when applied to anxiety and depression symptoms.  While many of us in chiropractic circles may be familiar with HRV, the issue of neurofeedback may be a little less familiar. It is a ‘non-invasive brain […]
May 11, 2017

Furry Pets Impact Infant Microbes

They say a dog is man’s best friend. But new research emerging from the University of Alberta claims that they may also be infant’s best friends when it comes to the risk of allergies and obesity.  Researchers have discovered a link between the presence of a pet in the household, and an infant’s microbiome. Their research reveals a decrease in risk for overweight and allergic disease.  The study might seem somewhat unique in its subject matter, but it adds to a fascinating area of investigation as we are only just beginning to understand the impact of the human gut microbiome […]
May 9, 2017
Men's Depression

Men’s Depression Is Different

The more time and research march on, the more we understand about depression. We now know there are implications for gut health and that there may be immune system links, along with the more commonly known symptoms such as persistent low mood, sleep problems and changes in appetite and interests. Adding to this understanding is something that might not be rocket science, but that we should all pay attention to; depression symptoms can be vastly different in men and women, and research starting to support the distinction. According to the American Psychological Association, men are far less likely to seek […]
May 9, 2017

Flame Retardants: A Safety Perk Or Health Hazard?

Since they made their first tentative forays into the textile world in the 1970’s, flame-retardants have become so common they are almost implicit. We rarely see ‘low fire danger’ tags announcing the presence of this chemical cocktail. Rather, we see tags announcing ‘high fire danger.’ What would you rather buy to put on yourself or your child? It’s an obvious choice, that is, until you know what studies are beginning to reveal. It turns out flame-retardants might not be so innocuous, especially for children and babies. Flame-retardants are in our upholstery, electronics, soft furnishings, mattresses, car seats and even clothes. […]
May 4, 2017

What to Watch: Wellness Trends In 2017

Every year, health trends develop and change. Among them are fads worth discarding, a touch of common sense come back to visit us, and often a nutritional gem or two. What are you likely to hear from your practice members and friends this year in terms of health trends? Here’s the scoop. In recent years, we have seen a few interesting trends emerge. Among them was the resurgence of the fermented food category – think kombucha, sauerkraut, and the like. We started to see them pop back up on store shelves and Instagram feeds as people started to pay attention […]
April 13, 2017

Listening Better – Enriching Communication In & Out Of The Clinic

“We are losing our ‘listening’,” says sound and communication expert, author Julian Treasure [1].  “The world is now so noisy, with this cacophony going on visually and auditorily, it’s just hard to listen; it’s tiring to listen. Many people take refuge in headphones, but they turn big, public spaces… shared soundscapes, into millions of tiny, little personal sound bubbles. In this scenario, nobody’s listening to anybody.” In a busy world, full of noise and clutter, it’s a valid concern. If we are losing the ability to be present and intentional in the way we listen, what is slipping through the […]
April 11, 2017

Synthetic Oxytocin Exposure May Increase Risk Of Postpartum Depression

Oxytocin has long been hailed as the love hormone – a feel-good  chemical released when we hug or kiss a loved one. It plays a significant role in bonding, and is released in larger amounts during sex, birth or breastfeeding [1]. Recent studies have lauded the possibilities for oxytocin to be used in treating depression and anxiety. However, research recently published in the Journal ‘Depression and Anxiety’ has revealed an interesting paradox. The study looked at the administration of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) and post-natal depression and anxiety within the post-partum year, and it held some concerning results. Synthetic Oxytocin has […]
April 11, 2017

Big Decision To Make? Eat First

We know not to do the grocery shopping when we are hungry, as such timing is likely to ensure a whole lot of junk food makes it into the trolley. But research shows that it isn’t just food related choices that could suffer when we are peckish. It turns out we are best to avoid making decisions on an empty stomach. This fascinating little titbit of wisdom all comes down to the actions of a hormone called Ghrelin. It is produced in the stomach, released before meals and known to increase appetite [1]. The only problem is that in a […]
April 6, 2017

Research Report Examines Meniere’s Disease And Upper Cervical Subluxation

They say Meniere’s Disease is to dizziness what a Migraine is to a headache. It has the potential to be far more intense and life interrupting, with sufferers dealing with vertigo, tinnitus, in-ear pressure and even hearing loss [1]. This has the potential to greatly impact the way they carry out day-to-day tasks during episodes. What has chiropractic to do with an inner ear problem? A recent research report has looked at one specific cause: an upper cervical subluxation complex as a result of whiplash trauma.  The paper, published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, looked at 300 […]