Claridge Naturopathics Blog

May 30, 2016


Author: Emma Wisbey


Winter is a more sedentary season however a simple walk can be more than just keeping active. Believe it or not the health benefits of walking are scientifically proven. And to make it even easier for you, I’ve analysed some recent research to show you just how healthy walking can be:
• Reduces your risk of stroke
-A study published in 2014 found a direct link between time spent walking and a reduced risk in the onset of stroke.

• Improves sleep and mood
-A study published last year linked increased physical activity with better sleep and mood.

• Lowers risk of diabetes
-A study in China published this year found that subjects who walked regularly had better glucose control than participants who were inactive. And furthermore walking may be superior to ameliorating insulin sensitivity than extreme exercise.

• Strengthens your bones
-In 2015 a study conducted on 120 female patients concluded that walking amongst other healthy behaviours resulted in an increase in bone density furthermore lowering osteoporosis risk.

• Drastically lowers risk of obesity
-A recent study of children found that the prevalence of obesity was significantly lower in those that participated in a walking program than those that did not.

So I think the results are conclusive, at any age or stage of life you can't doubt the benefits of a nice long walk. Don’t let Winter deter you… why not go for a walk today?

May 19, 2016
Nutritional Supplements


If you’ve been watching television this week you may have noticed the barrage of anti- supplement sentiment being aired on the ABC (Four Corners) and Channel Ten (The Project). Given that there was no nutritional expert interviewed in either shows, we feel that it is only fair that we have a right of reply. Given her 15 year experience at Bioconcepts, a leading Australian Practitioner only Supplement Company, we thought one of our Naturopaths Emma Wisbey was suitably qualified to comment:

It was disappointing to note that sensationalism once again trumped the truth in both of the TV shows. Before you become caught up in the hysteria of the information presented it is important to qualify some important facts.

• The program and interviews were adapted from an American report and this is a very different country when it comes to manufacturing and regulatory controls of supplements. In the US such products are regarded as foods and do not adhere to the strict guidelines that we have here in Australia set out by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration). In Australia we must adhere to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and this ensures that strict quality and safety regulations are enforced. Our products here in Australia are listed as therapeutic goods and it must be highlighted that these are very different to food supplements.

• The TGA here in Australia oversees the manufacturing of supplements as therapeutic, pharmaceutical like substances and they ensure that all suppliers are fully accountable for everything including the health claims that can be made about a product. Research must be supplied to the TGA to make any type of health claims and these claims are registered with the product. This ensures that reliable evidence based natural medicines are available to be prescribed by practitioners.

• In fact the Australian regulatory regime is so strict that we are viewed as an industry consumer protection benchmark by many countries worldwide.

• It is true that natural medicines are powerful and need a fully qualified practitioner to determine whether or not it is appropriate for you to take. Many factors play a role in the prescription process including not only your presenting condition but also other medications you may already be taking as well as your overall health etc. Therefore it is true that it is not wise to self-prescribe. In clinic we also carefully select which products we range based on their synergistic formulae, the research behind it, as well as being supplied by a brand that we know and trust. So you should always refer to your practitioner when determining if and when you need supplementation.

• Purchasing products online and having them shipped to you from overseas is dangerous in that different countries have different regulations. And as previously mentioned those regulations here in Australia are second to none meaning our products are by far superior.
Overall it is not fair or realistic to form opinions on the efficacy of supplements based on the very biased rehashed American story. We are only too happy to assist with any questions that you might have. But in the meantime I hope we have assisted in giving you knowledge about our industry here in Australia.

Kind regards, 

Emma Wisbey 


A little extra from Rob:

I wasn’t going to get caught up in the whole injustice of the biased reporting in these two shows, however, I do have just a couple of points to make. As mentioned in Emma’s reply we are lucky in Australia to have a world leading regulatory body to oversee all Australian made supplements. Furthermore, we Naturopaths apply an even higher standard to the quality of our “practitioner-only” products so that you can receive the remedies most aligned with the scientific evidence and your specific needs. The implication that supplements have no value and are not backed by science is in short a lie. It is true however, that due to the cost of scientific studies and the inability to patent plants*, where the majority of our supplements come from, there have been less studies completed on natural remedies compared to drugs. Out of curiosity I went to PUBMED to see the comparative number of scientific studies on herbs compared to drugs. (I particularly chose herbs due to the insinuation of their dangers by the TV reporters). The ratio was 1,239,591 drug studies : 9786 herb studies or 127 : 1. If the historical risks showed that herbs were dangerously impacting our health this discrepancy in the studies would’ve been of concern. However, a 2012 study from the UK put risk of mortality from herbs at less than 1:10,000,000 compared to deaths from adverse pharmaceutical reactions at 1:1000. In other words, the risk of dying from adverse pharmaceutical reactions was 10,000 X greater!!! 

So the good news is that your risk in taking supplements is minimal and despite the fact that the scientific evidence is still lagging behind the empirical evidence, you are not being scammed. The truth around supplements is that they are safe and effective when they are indicated. In other words, if they are prescribed in the correct forms, in the correct doses and in the correct circumstances they can appear magical. The problem is that when you use them and test them according to the “Drug Model” - where one size tends to fit all - there will be some discrepancies. Our Naturopathic doctrine is to appreciate the uniqueness in all and to therefore, custom build our prescriptions factoring in everything from genetics to lifestyle and past history to environment. Only then can you see the predictable and health promoting effects of supplements and how their short term inclusions can bring about long term effects!

Yours in good health,

Rob Claridge

*-leading to a much lower return on investment.

May 16, 2016


Last month Specialist Naturopath held a wellness workshop Taking Your Power Back. She shared her wisdom around the topic of energy and put together this helpful checklist. 

May 16, 2016


Author: Emma Wisbey 

According to beyondblue, mental health is about wellness as opposed to illness. Further, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

As far as anxiety goes, it is normal for the body to at times feel stressed, worried or anxious, usually in response to an event or circumstance. However, if the event passes and these feelings don’t subside you may be suffering with some ongoing anxiety. According to Australian authorities in mental health, 1 in 6 Australians are currently suffering with anxiety. And it can be caused by various ongoing life stresses such as grief/loss, employment, financial strain, family, relationships the list goes on. But did you know that ongoing ill health may also contribute to your anxiety? For example hormonal imbalances (eg. thyroid issues), diabetes, asthma and heart disease have all been linked to anxiety.

There is much that can be done in the clinic to address anxiety and these days we are spoilt with numerous resources that all assist us in supporting your mental health and wellbeing. But of equal importance is teaching YOU how to cope with the pressures of modern day life. The following strategies might assist in getting you started:

This sounds so much easier than it really is, especially if you are prone to anxiety. My advice would be that relaxing could be as simple as doing something you enjoy such as taking the kids to the park or a hobby that you love. Relaxation is defined as “the state of being free from tension” so basically anything that allows you to switch off and enjoy life in the moment can certainly be considered as a form of relaxation.

Ensure you give your body what it needs to get through each and every day. Too often I hear that people are too busy for lunch or cant stomach breakfast. But you would never drive your car without petrol so don’t do it to your body! In times of stress your body actually has a greater need for nourishing food. Without the required fuel (nutrition) your nervous system risks going into overdrive and this will increase secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol, which in itself can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety. Also eating balanced nutritious meals makes you less likely to lean on stimulants such as coffee or sugar as quick fixes for energy. Both of which also have a detrimental effect on the body’s ability to cope with stress.

Be active each and every day and also be aware that this is different for every individual. For some this will mean daily exercise (eg. going to the gym or for a run), for others it can simply be daily movement (such as a leisurely walk or practicing yoga).

Children can teach us so many things about dealing with life. I love that kids will run until they can't breathe, laugh until they fall over and even cry or throw a tantrum when they are upset. And if truth be told these are all valid outlets for stress, tension and even anxiety. Therefore it is important as adults that we don’t lose the ability to do some of these things. So make sure if you are upset you have an outlet and don’t bury your feelings, or conversely ensure you regularly spend time with friends to ensure you have a good laugh or at the very least a chat.

Ensure you get adequate sleep every night. Again just like children we need to teach ourselves to sleep. If you’ve suffered with insomnia as part of your anxiety don’t worry it will take time to retrain your body how to sleep. Try going to bed just a little bit earlier each night and create a night time ritual that allows you to start to unwind before you get into bed. Darkness is also important in ensuring the body makes melatonin (our sleep chemical), so also be sure to sleep in a dark room and refrain from bright lights including TV and computer screens in the lead up to going to bed.

Finally, start to listen to the clues your body is giving you. Constant worrying thoughts, insomnia, shortness of breath, ongoing confusion or brain fog, hot sweats, daily headaches (the list goes on) are not normal in a healthy person. These are all signals from your body that something is not quite right. And you don’t need to put up with these things no matter how minor you think they are. If you think you are suffering with anxiety and have any of these symptoms on an ongoing basis it might be time to speak to a health professional that has the tools to help you live a happier and healthier life.

Anxiety can be overwhelming and hopefully these strategies will assist in moving you in the right direction. At the clinic we are more than happy to assist you in eliminating your underlying health issues that might be leading to symptoms of anxiety. And if you feel your symptoms require additional support beyondblue is an excellent national support service and resource for anxiety patients. In the meantime look to the sky, take a deep relaxing breath and remember that although “everyday may not be good there is something good in everyday.”

May 16, 2016
Mind, Body and Soul


Author: Emma Wisbey 

Contrary to this mild Autumn weather, Winter is on its way. And with this transition into the colder months sometimes our mind, body and soul can suffer. Here are some of my favourite tips to embrace the cooler weather and ensure you are feeling resilient throughout the season.

• Mood – with shorter days and more darkness during winter the human brain can be prone to depression and changes in mood. If you are prone to feeling flat in the colder months try to avoid over sleeping and over eating. Limit time spent on computer screens. And curb your consumption of refined carbohydrates. All of these things are more easily habit forming in winter. And all of these things may have a negative impact on different chemicals in the brain that deal with your mood.

• Let food be thy medicine 
-Winter is lovely time to experiment with cooking, and soups and broths are an excellent way of packing a nutritious multivitamin into your body by way of a meal. Even better if you can use immune boosting ingredients such as garlic and turmeric. You can also cook batches in advance for an easy midweek meal. 
-Use herbs and spices. There are many herbs and spices available to us that naturally have a warming nature. Things such as chilli and ginger promote circulation and by improving circulation in the colder months (when the cooler temperature can cause your blood vessels to constrict), allows for a more generous blood supply to every part of your body including all of your vital organs
• Move – just because its cold wet and windy doesn’t mean your body stops needing to exercise. Being active ensures optimal circulation but also has both immune and mood boosting benefits. All things that we need to ensure throughout the winter months.

• Smile – even if you are not a fan of winter, find things you enjoy in the colder months. For example you may love going to the beach in summer and guess what…that doesn’t need to stop. Sure you may not want to swim or surf but why not go and enjoy a walk in that place that makes you happy.
• Fresh Air – so many people complain of cabin fever in the winter months but if truth be told a bit of rain never hurt anyone. Pull on your boots, grab a brolly and go outside. Its remarkable what getting outdoors and breathing in the fresh air can do for the soul at any time of year.