March 31, 2016

Book Review: The Brain’s Way Of Healing By Norman Doidge

Norman Doidge’s first book, The Brain that Changes Itself, was a game-changer. It shone light on the revolutionary discovery of neuroplasticity: that the brain was not hardwired as previously thought. This new idea stood in stark contrast to centuries worth of thinking that told us we were born with all the brain cells we would ever have, hence those with a mental limitation, traumatic brain injury or neurological problem were essentially stuck with it.  The book was fruit of years invested into researching the issue, and comparing notes with other movers-and-shakers in the world of neurology. It offered hope to […]
March 29, 2016

Motion Sickness: More Than Nausea And Vomiting 

Few of us haven’t had some sort of encounter with motion sickness. Some suffer aboard boats or carnival rides, while others have had to pull the car over on a drive through sweeping hills so a partner or sibling can ‘have a talk to Mother Nature.’  Motion sickness is a fact of life for many people –one may be tackled with medication.  So what exactly is it? Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, colds sweats and malaise while travelling, but some claim the definition should be a little broader than that. In fact, an article recently published in the Journal of […]
March 24, 2016

The Art Of Changing Your Mind 

“When you turn on the stress response, and you can’t turn it off, now you are headed for disease,” said chiropractor and author Joe Dispenza in his recent Ted Talk [1]. But Joe wasn’t talking about tangible, real-time stressors. He was talking about the human capacity to turn on the stress response by thought alone.  As chiropractors, we are very much acquainted with the sympathetic nervous system that activates during fight or flight. We know that stress has the potential to knock the body out of homeostasis, and that mindset can have an important role in this. But often, changing […]
March 22, 2016

Research Outcomes – The Impact Of Your Support

March 17, 2016

The Science Of Happiness  

Robert Waldinger has presided over a 75 year Harvard study that looked at a simple yet oh-so-complex topic: what keeps us healthy and happy over the course of our lifetime? The results throw an interesting light on health, happiness, relationships and priorities.  At a recent Ted Talk, Waldinger spoke of a survey of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). The survey asked them what their most important life goals were. An astounding 80% of respondents said one of their major life goals was to get rich. Another 50% said it was to get famous. “We are constantly told to […]
March 15, 2016

Ground-Breaking Study Approved For Publication: Chiropractic And Pelvic Floor Control

A couple of years ago, Spinal Research got an exciting funding application that we were all too keen to get behind. At the time, debate was raging around the use of chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy and infancy. Dr. Heidi Haavik and her co-investigators, Dr. Jenny Kruger and Professor Bernadette Murphy were keen to investigate whether adjusting vertebral subluxations would alter pelvic floor muscle function.   The results are in and the research report has been approved for publication, but as these things take time we thought you’d like the scoop. This is big news for women and chiropractors alike!  The study […]
March 10, 2016

Margie Smith – Gene Genius

Over the last decade or so, the world of genetics has undergone quite a paradigm shift. The new science of epigenetics has emerged, and with it our health realities have started to change. We were no longer doomed to the health pitfalls that lurked in our family tree. In fact, there are many things we could do to influence our health, wellness and genetic expression.  This is all well and good. But often the question lies in the ‘how’.  How do we change our health future? How do we target the hypertensive gene, or the diabetic gene? What specific actions […]
March 1, 2016

Autism And The Case For Chiropractic

Autism diagnoses seem to have sky-rocketed in recent history. At present, autism is thought to affect four times more boys than girls and current statistics estimate that in Australia alone, 1% of people are on the autism spectrum [1].  To some this might sound like a low percentage but it represents some 230,000 Australians and amounts to a massive cost for families.   Authorities on the disorder claim that it is a lifelong developmental condition. However, encouraging studies could place a question mark over the idea that, in all cases, it is lifelong. We are learning more and more about […]
March 1, 2016

Spinal Research Collaboration Wins Parker Vegas Award

We are excited to announce that another project that received funding from the Spinal Research Foundation has won international acclaim. The study, undertaken by Heidi Haavik, Kelly Holt, Bernadette Murphy and the amazing team from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, took out first place in the Parker Las Vegas Research awards and will soon be published in the Journal of Neural Plasticity.  The journal, which boasts an impact factor of 3.5, is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes on a range of neural plasticity related disciplines. These include basic neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, biological psychology, and biological psychiatry [1]. […]
February 25, 2016

Greater Strength, Muscle Function And Less Fatigue

Spinal Research Partnership enables breakthrough study. “Research shows that Chiropractic care can increase strength, decrease fatigue and improve the brain’s ability to drive muscles.” “What we can say based on this study is that when we adjust subluxations, we improve strength, we prevent fatigue and we change the way the brain drives our muscles. That’s pretty cool” said Heidi Haavik, one of the brains behind a recent study examining changes in H-reflexes and V-waves following spinal adjustments. Haavik isn’t referring to ‘subluxations’ in terms of the now out-dated bone out of place, squashing a nerve view. Instead, she is viewing […]
February 23, 2016

Subluxation And Chronic Inflammation

At this point in time, we don’t know for sure what causes Rheumatoid Arthritis. Researchers believe there may be a familial link in the disorder, but they still search for reasons as to why the body has decided to attack its own joints. For sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis, often the first line of defence is the use of Corticosteroids, pain-relievers or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (or DMARDS). The role of the corticosteroid is to mimic adrenal hormones and assist in handling inflammation, whereas DMARDS are designed to stop the body from attacking and destroying its own tissue [1].  But is pharmacology […]
February 18, 2016

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Can Inhibit Ovulation

For many people, the first sign of pain sees them reaching for the medicine cabinet. Among the drugs that so often line these shelves are a class of medications known as ‘Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs’ or NSAIDS. Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Diclofenac are three common members of the NSAID family. Used to treat inflammation and other ailments such as migraines or period pain, these drugs have become a common fix for the pain problem.   Inflammation is part of the body’s innate intelligence, a method by which damage is repaired. But when this gets painful, it can be difficult for some people […]
February 16, 2016

Migraines And Magnesium

New studies have revealed a link between Magnesium deficiencies and migraines, prompting some researchers to recommend that magnesium be included in the treatment plan for all sufferers of the debilitating neurological condition. The reasons behind the link include the impact of magnesium on a number of brain structures and chemicals “suspected to be important in migraine [1].” The studies showed that magnesium levels impacted serotonin receptors, had an effect on nitric oxide synthesis as well as nitric oxide release, and affected NMDA receptors [2,3]. All of these are thought to be significant factors in the development and recurrence of migraine. […]
February 11, 2016

Science: The Good, the Bad and the Retractable

A concerning trend has emerged over the last few years, and it’s one that should make us sit up and think. “Retractions for all reasons, from honest error to plagiarism to the outright faking of data, are on the rise [1].” Perhaps it’s the pull of the academic career path, the pressure to publicize or even lowered barriers to retraction that’s driving this change, but it presents us with some valid and valuable questions. What is good science? How do we insulate ourselves from the damage of retraction? It’s something Spinal Research takes seriously, because we have a cause to […]
February 9, 2016

Self-Control In Adolescence – How It Decreases Stress And Increases Coping

They say that the only constant in life is change. During adolescence, change becomes very constant. Not only is the teenager faced with a steep social and emotional learning curve, but also with a rapidly changing biological reality that represents a constant challenge to homeostasis. Impulsivity is high during adolescence. Neuroscientists can tell us why that is. But interesting research is showing that the simple art of self-control may not only decrease stress but also increase the adolescent’s ability to handle it. Impulsivity and risk taking seem to be hallmarks of the adolescent years. From learning to drive, to navigating […]
February 4, 2016

PTSD, Adaptation And Chiropractic

In terms of stress and adaptation, few examples are so emotive as the currently-topical issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is estimated that 1.4 million Australians have PTSD at any one time, this number making up 6.4% of the population. Not all of these cases are combat related either. In fact, they come from all walks of life [1]. Common flow-on effects of the disorder include depression, suicide or suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol problems and many social, economical and functional impacts. Current research and practice is taking us away from the idea that mental illness is ‘all […]
February 2, 2016

Enhancing Neural Plasticity – Max Cynader

“Neurons that fire together, wire together,” says Max Cynader, a well-regarded Canadian Ophthalmologist and Neuroscientist, as he takes the TED Talks stage. It might be a common phrase to anyone who studied psychology at school, but to scientists and researchers, its applications are far from academic. It’s all rooted in the idea that “Contiguity breeds connectivity.” We often say that the Nervous System is contiguous, that it is a vast but interconnected system where the actions of one part of it somehow touch the other aspects of the Nervous System. For Max Cynader his life’s work has meant an incredibly […]
February 2, 2016

Epigenetics: Why Your Genetic Future Isn’t Set In Stone

For decades, the central dogma of genetics told us that our DNA dictated our future, that at the moment of conception our health destiny was set in stone. We believed that DNA was the molecule that controlled our life, programming us towards certain health realities. It was an inheritance that shaped our future. The DNA passed information down to the RNA which passed information to the protein. We were the protein and the expression of our genes. We couldn’t pass information back up the chain, therefore we could not impact our DNA. The implication was that we could not improve […]