February 2016 update from Melbourne Natural Medicine Clinic 
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What's to come in this issue.....
  • Article by Chiropractor Dr Kate Adler on the impact of heavy school bags on developing bodies
  • Quick and easy  Lunch Box Recipes
  • February Special Offers on delicious Pana Chocolate and Pana Chocolate Birthday Packs!
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Article by Dr Kate Adler

Backpack Burden

The new school year means children are back at school sitting for long periods at the desk and constantly burdened with heavy backpacks. Uncorrected postural issues, heavy school bags and poor lifestyle choices can all lead to spinal health problems as a child grows. Spinal health problems related to childhood often go unnoticed, as initial poor posture, back pain, “growing pains” and headaches can unfortunately develop and be an accepted part of everyday life.

School can be a challenging time for children, so ensuring they are as comfortable as possible is important to their physical and mental development.

According to the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA), the peak body representing chiropractors, 90 per cent of school children have bad posture when carrying their bags and could experience unwanted spinal stress and damage as a result.

While 75 per cent of school kids are not wearing their school backpack’s properly and ignoring the ergonomic features in some backpacks which are designed to provide better support and comfort.

What’s more, many Aussie kids are exacerbating the problem by wearing their backpacks too low on their backs (33 per cent) or slinging them over one shoulder (20 per cent). These alarming findings emerged from a CAA ‘under cover’ observational study conducted by chiropractors on high traffic school commute routes in late 2011.

Putting too much stress on a child’s back at such an important stage of growth and development will result in serious spinal problems immediately and later on in life. Some of the problems caused by bad posture at an early age can include reduced mobility, possible early degeneration of bones and joints, increased vulnerability to injuries and unhealthy pressures on a child’s nervous system.
Chiropractors are uniquely positioned to educate parents, teachers and students about spinal health care through their minimum five years university training. Each week, there are over 215,000 visits to Australian Chiropractors1 for a broad range of reasons. Chiropractic care has been proven to be effective, and can restore correct function and relieve symptoms associated with the carrying of heavy backpacks.

At MNMC we recommend these tips for carrying backpacks:
  • Backpacks should be ideally no heavier than 10 per cent of a student's weight when packed.
  • Put comfort and fit at the top of the priority list, rather than good looks.
  • Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized - no wider than the student's chest, with broad, padded shoulder straps.
  • Use both shoulder straps - never sling the pack over one shoulder.
  • Use waist straps attached - they are there for a good reason.
  • Don't wear the backpack any lower than the hollow of the lower back.
  • Don't overload the backpack - use school lockers and plan homework well in advance.
  • Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of the weight.
Dr Kate will be offering complimentary spinal health assessments during February to any client wishing to see how Chiropractic care can assist them and their families.
For further information on how chiropractic can assist with your health complaints and well-being please contact us at the clinic on 9686 2566 or 

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004-2005). National Health Survey: Summary of Results. (No. 4364.0). Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Avocado & Chicken Rice Paper Rolls

Soften 1 x 21cm rice paper wrapper in a shallow dish of warm water and shake off excess water. Place on a board, in the center add small lettuce leaves, sliced avocado, shredded carrot, thinly sliced snow peas  and shredded cooked chicken. Fold in sides and ends to enclose the filling.

Repeat to make 2 rolls. Serve with your favourite sauce for dipping. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and pack in a chilled lunch box. Team with an apple and a small tub of organic yoghurt.

*Recipe and image courtesy of

For more recipes like this make sure you click the button below!
MNMC Recipes

For the month of February:

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 Pana Chocolate Birthday Gift Packs now $25 each!
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Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Muesli Bars

An easy and tasty lunch box snack that is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, nut free and refined sugar free!
They technically aren't "muesli" bars as they do not contain oats! But you can use oats instead of quinoa if you prefer.

1/2 cup organic quinoa, dry
1 cup dried apple
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup dried figs
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 organic, free range eggs
2 tblsp organic maple syrup (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract

*Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a slice tray with baking paper.
*Rinse the quinoa well and cook in a saucepan with 1 cup of filtered water. It will take about ten minutes. You will know it’s cooked because it becomes translucent.
*Cool the quinoa right down (you don’t want scrambled eggs)!
*Chop the apple and figs. You can use the food processor or thermomix to do this.
*Mix all the ingredients together well (easiest using your hands).
*Press it firmly down into the slice tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked.
*Cover the slice halfway through the cooking time with some baking paper so it doesn’t burn on top.
*Cool on a wire rack before slicing with a bread knife into bars.
*These freeze really well, so make a double batch and you will always have some on hand!

Makes about 12 large bars.

*Recipe and image courtesy of
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