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Gut instinct

If you’re healthy on the inside,

you’ll be healthy on the outside!!


As the title implies, this is blog is about gut health. But what does gut health have to do with Osteopathy and the treatment of aches and pains, you may ask?

Well, science knows that around 80% of the human immune system forms around our digestive tract (gut). As such, when our gut is irritated by such things as sluggish function (constipation), bloating, food intolerance etc. the very sensitive and thin bowel lining gets inflamed and this sets off an immune system response.

This causes our whole body to shift into a more inflammatory state, thus any aches and pains such as arthritic joint pains, are well and truly magnified. This is especially the case when folks suffer with conditions like chronic headaches; I don’t think I have ever seen a chronic headache patient with healthy bowel function.

The effect of this increased bodily inflammation from gut irritation is not limited to pain conditions either. Recent intense scientific research has now directly linked poor bowel function to a vast range of medical conditions from allergies and depression to diabetes, obesity, and beyond.

One of the ancient Greeks, I think it was Hippocrates, said that all disease begins in the gut. The explosion of research into bowel function over the last few years is certainly starting to bear out this generalization as being closer to the truth than we could have imagined.

Fundamentally it’s not possible to consider oneself to be a healthy person if there is poor gut function. From the effective breaking down and absorption of nutrition to waste disposal, it all happens there. As such, poor bowel function will affect every other aspect of health.

But where to start?

Gut well-being is dictated by what we call The Microbiome (capital letters for emphasis only!). The microbiome is the name for the ecosystem of bacteria that live in our bowel. Think of it as a massive team of little minions working together to keep you alive!

The microbiome do everything from help you process food and breakdown waste to maintaining the integrity of the gut lining and the manufacture of vitamins; and much more.

Here is a number to consider; 9 out the 10 cells in the human body are actually the microbiome we live with!

For the last 60 or so years Medicine has practiced from the point of view that the only good bacteria are dead bacteria;, however science never looked at it that way. A healthy gut flora is square and center of a healthy body.

A diet rich in vegetables, fruit, wholegrains etc. is an excellent starting point because these foods nourish our vital gut flora. But whilst the public are aware of that aspect of diet, the missing component has been the inclusion of fermented foods into our diets, especially in the English-speaking world.

gut healthFermented foods (such as yoghurts, sour creams, kefirs, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegars and (yay) red wine as examples) replenish the stocks of the vital healthy flora in our bowel. Yet this is not a food group that most of us are very conscious of.

If you are deeply interested in exceptional wellbeing this is where the science is at, and our knowledge is increasing exponentially due to the work being done by many research facilities around the world, especially The Human Microbiome Project in the U.S.

I used the think the whole gut flora/probiotic thing was A significant part of health; it may well be that it is The single most important aspect of it!

It has taken two and a half thousand years, but it looks as though Hippocrates was on the money!

Want to know more about the importance of gut health and food as medicine ?

My very good friends at R.I.S.E Wellness ( ) run courses in fermented foods, and food as medicine. I can’t overstate the value getting across this knowledge; it can be life-changing for every aspect of your health.

Rob Knight,  professor at UCSD and the co-founder of the American Gut Project, has been exploring the vital role micorbes play  in the body. Key research finding can been found via  Rob’s  TED blog ‘How microbes could cure disease’

At Sth Melbourne Osteopathic Clinic (in Middle Park) we prescribe an integrated strategy to our clients for their health and  wellbeing.  As such,  I’m  more than happy to assist folks with the nuts and bolts of how to renew and rejuvenate the internal workings!

Be well,

Dr. Joshua Brohier 

Next Food as Medicine & Fermented Foods Workshops:

Friday 13th November at Grow Your Heart.

Sunday 15th November.  More details: Wellness Workshops page.

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Whilst I was making a seed biscuit stack (homemade seed biscuit topped with avocado, tomato and sauerkraut) I began to ponder about our up and coming Fermented Foods Workshop (Saturday 3rd October at RISE Wellness) my inner history buff mind began to wander about the origins and benefits of Sauerkraut.

As a Chinese Doctor I like to think that most amazing theories, food concepts and of course fermenting would come from Asia! Ok don’t get too up in arms, I’m not that narrow minded I know that Pavola originated in Australia……


In fact Sauerkraut did originate in Asia over 2,000 years ago, made with Rice Wine. It is thought most likely that as Gengis Kahn raped and pillaged all the way to Europe he brought this delicious gut healing fermented food with him, 1,000 years after it’s recorded inception.


As each culture adapts concepts to make them their own the German people use water and salt to make the brine instead of the Rice wine. Sauerkraut was also widely used by the Dutch at Sea to prevent scurvy.

Enough about history what are the health benefits you may be asking. Well as a fermented food sauerkraut holds inside the jar the ability to heal the gut as it contains lactobacillus bacteria, boost circulation and immune system, strengthen your bones, reduce cholesterol levels, protect heart health, decrease to eliminating inflammation, improve vision and skin health, lift energy and protect against certain cancers. It is also packed with essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins in each jar.


So at this point your probably asking yourself why aren’t you eating this amazing food, or if you are already eating sauerkraut you must be sitting pretty and pleased with all the health benefits you are providing yourself with! Sauerkraut is just one of the Fermented Foods we will be making in our up and coming Fermented Foods Workshop, Saturday 3rd October, click her to find out more.

Book a tix online here


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By Jemima typing away at RISE Wellness.

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A little more about Affordable Healthcare

With the cost of healthcare on the seemingly endless rise, we decided to offer some services in addition to our private practice treatments that can be accessed by anyone.  We provide affordable cupping:

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What is Cupping?  What you might know about cupping: it leaves plunger type marks on your back and if your glamourous you might be able pull them off in public with style:images

What you might not know is that cupping can relive muscle pain, help with disc misalignment, increase blood circulation, help vent out colds and virus’, assist lymphatic flow, reduce fluid build-up, reduce cellulite and help to move Qi resulting in a balance mental health outlook.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion:


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How can sticking fine needles into random points into my body help?  Well for starters all acupuncture points were carefully researched some few thousands years ago in Eastern culture and many other modalities utilise the same energetic system that acupuncture follows such as Pranic healing, Reiki, Shiatsu, Chakra healing and to a lesser extent myotherapy, Kinesology, Lifeline technique and probably some newer modalities even I haven’t heard of!

The theory of energy is based from the concept of Yin and Yang where all things start and end.  Energy or Qi is a form of Yang and if you don’t have enough well you can top up with acupuncture to give vitality, if you have too much and your a little manic, well you can just sedate that Qi for mental balance, if your Qi is stuck and your grumpy, stuck or in pain well Acupuncture and can just get that Qi on the move again to restore your balance.

Blood is a form of Yin, if your Blood is deficient  than you might be light headed, twanging tight muscle, stressed, have a Vitamin B or Iron shortage or just be plain tired.

Regular Acupuncture can help create inner balance and help you shine out with vitality.



And Chinese Herbal Medicine:



Which you probably think of as bark, flowers and leaves which can be boiled up into a medicinal tea.  We use this method when the you have the time to soak,boil and drink as it is the strongest and most effective way to use Chinese herbal medicine.  But for those who are a little time poor we have a range of pills to slam down fast, which might not be as impressive, but very effective for the peeps on the go go go!

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Session Times:

Wednesday 2-6pm

Saturday 9-Noon


Rear 15 Mooltan Ave, St Kilda East, 3183.

Affordable Investment:

$20 Herbal Consultation for Raw Herbs

$30 Acupuncture (may include moxibustion and/or Chinese Medicine herbal recommendations)

$30 Cupping

$50 Acupuncture & Cupping

$8 per bag for Raw Herbal Medicine

$15 – $45 Chinese Medicine Herbal Pills


0417 573 316  Jemima  (Call or Message for Affordable and Private Consultations)