From Sydney Nutrition, Fiona Workman is a clinical nutritionist and Bowen therapist based in Sydney. She is passionate about enjoying great food and a sunny lifestyle, all in the name of good health. But she is also realistic about the pressures of an increasingly fast city life so flexibility is a big factor in her advice.
As we have become a nation of grazers snacking all day (and night) long, it's invaluable to know the effect our 'fuel' is having on our blood sugar levels, our stress hormones, our bone structure and so many other aspects of our 'vehicles'.
The link between diet and dental health are well researched fields and most people recognise the value of good dentition for improved digestion. Chewing is the only time that food is mechanically broken down in your body. From the saliva in your mouth onwards, food is exposed to digestive enzymes and acids to complete the de-construction process (before re-construction can occur). When we bolt our food down without sufficient mastication (chewing), the digestive system struggles to thoroughly reduce food particles to their smallest chemical bonds. This is commonly experienced as leaky gut/intestinal dysbiosis, allergies, food intolerances, fatigue, poor concentration and a myriad of other symptoms 1.
Likewise a good diet contributes to healthy gums and teeth. Beta carotene/vitamin A is just one nutrient to build and maintain intact and nourished mucous membrane throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin C is essential not only to prevent old-fashioned scurvy, but to ensure wounds remain healed (even after years) and teeth stay in place within the gums.
Stress is an ever-present concern in our busy lives and zinc, magnesium and vitamin C are markedly depleted by both psychological and physical stress 2. While some people enjoy a strenuous sprint or hard workout at the gym for stress-relief, the level of oxidative stress created in the body can be counterproductive to good health. Magnesium is one of several minerals required for muscular relaxation and muscle cramping is a clear sign of magnesium deficiency. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are also foolproof ways of depleting the body of magnesium, and finding the cause of these unnecessary repetitive actions is a speciality of Dr Charlotte's.
We are all (even vaguely) aware that dietary sugar contributes directly to dental plaque, cavities, fillings and even loss of teeth. What we might not all know is that sugar intake increases acidity.
Back in 1911 Dr William Hay introduced the concept of combining foods according to their pH. Dr Hay discovered that foods consumed in combination contributed to either an acidic or alkaline state of the body. While acidity and inflammation are closely linked, overall alkalinity promotes health. By eating alkaline-promoting foods, it is possible to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and leucotrienes, thus addressing common inflammatory conditions such as gingivitis.
In fact, even depressed or negative thinking has been shown to skew the body towards acidity. Medical research has also shown that insufficient sleep contributes to both acidity and DNA damage 3. While escaping an acidic lifestyle may be difficult to correct, increasing dietary sources of alkalinity can be achieved relatively easily.
All of Dr Charlotte's chronic pain patients see a Nutritionist and Bowen Therapist to evaluate their dietary and digestive status while under her care. At the time your appliance is fitted, you are introduced to alkalising and anti-inflammatory eating and lifestyle patterns to maximise your results with Dr Charlotte. The immediacy of a Bowen and Nutritional consult following fitting of your jaw joint appliances ensures the most successful outcome possible.
In addition to dietary concerns, all pain patients are treated to Bowen Therapy to relax and re-align your whole musculo-skeletal system. Bowen therapy is a balancing, total body treatment to specifically treat states of muscular tension, tendon stress and poor lymphatic drainage. Bowen is extremely gentle which is why it is so effective in helping ease your jaw joint into it's new corrected position.
2. Takeda, A. Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2010 Dec 20;2012-491597
3. Huang et al Preventive Medicine 48 (2009) 383-388