Welcome to the March issue of BackChat! our clinic newsletter. Keeping you up to date with events in the clinic, news from the world of Chiropractic and general Chat. If you have anything you would like to see featured in BackChat! please contact the editor-in-chief, i.e. Jacqui.

Changes – Data Protection & GDPR

There are some big changes afoot to the data protection laws and the way we hold patient information as new legislation is being implemented in May.   This will affect those of you who have signed up for the clinic newsletter.  Anyone who wants to continue receiving the newsletter will probably have to sign up again.  Hopefully this will be clarified by next month.  I will put a link on the April issue which will take you straight to the sign up page or let me know in the clinic as it can be done manually.  I do hope you all stay with me. Thanks  Jacqui

World Health Day

World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7th April, a date that marks the founding day of the World Health Organization.  Established in 1950 this event has a theme each year to draw attention to a current world health issue.  The WHO puts together regional, local, and international events on this day related to that theme.  Local governments also tend to jump on this band-wagon, after all, global health means everyone!   On this day you may take some extra steps to care for your health, consider getting a gym membership (and going!), start healthy eating  or start taking those vitamins that we all buy and then forget to take!

Knitting for Me!

I found an interesting article on the BBC website by Micheal Moseley which questions the health benefits of the 10,000 steps target curently being adovacated. I will confess I do have a Fitbit which I love, even though it does shame me saome days with the low figures I attain.  Some days are better than others!   Am I falling for a very cleveer marketing ploy? Let’s see what Mr Moseley has to say about it!

“These days it is hard to walk the streets without running into someone who is anxiously looking at their wrist to see if they are on target to reach the magic 10,000 steps.  Is it really a goal worth striving for, or might there be something better?  And where did that figure come from?   You might be surprised to hear it was the result of a 1960s marketing campaign in Japan.  In the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a company came up with a device which they started marketing to the health-conscious.  It was called a Manpo-Kei. In Japanese, “man” means 10,000, “po” means steps and “kei” means meter. So it was, literally, a 10,000 steps meter.  The device was an early pedometer, based on the work of Dr Yoshiro Hatano, a young academic at Kyushu University of Health and Welfare.  Dr Hatano was worried that the Japanese were busy importing a slothful American lifestyle, as well as a love of watching baseball, and wanted to help them get more active.  He reckoned that if he could persuade his fellow Japanese to increase their daily steps from 4,000 to around 10,000 then they would burn off approximately 500 extra calories a day and remain slim.  That, apparently, was how the “10,000 steps a day” regime was born.  It was clearly a great marketing success. “

“But is it still the most effective way to improve our fitness? For the truth about getiing fit, I went to a factory in Sheffield with Prof Rob Copeland from Sheffield Hallam University.  Our aim was to do a small experiment in which we would compare the benefits and ease of doing 10,000 steps against something called, “Active 10”.  With Active 10 you don’t need to count steps. You simply aim to do three brisk 10-minute walks a day.  Our volunteers all had different reasons for wanting to get fitter.  Dave said: “I’m very aware that I’m not as fit as I used to be and I’ve put a lot of weight on,” while Judy confessed: “My only activity at the moment is knitting.”  And Nathan, who has a six-year-old daughter, said: “She runs so fast, and I run so slowly, I can’t catch her up.”  Our small group of volunteers was fitted with activity monitors so we could not only monitor what they did, but also how vigorously they did it.  First, a normal day’s activity was measured.  Rob then split them into two groups. One was asked to hit the 10,000-step target – around five miles – in a day, while the other group was asked to do three sessions of “Active 10” – which adds up to around 1.5 miles – more like 3,000 steps.  The Active 10 group were also told that their aim was not to amble but to get their pace up so that they would be working their heart and lungs. Prof Copeland told them: “You are aiming to walk fast enough so that you can still talk but not sing.” When we looked at the volunteers’ results, two out of the three asked to do 10,000 steps had managed to hit their target. But they had all struggled.  The Active 10 group, on the other hand, had found it relatively easy. They had formed a small walking group and met together at convenient times during their working day to go for a brisk walk together.  So 10,000 steps was harder to achieve – but which activity was better for health?  Prof Copeland had analysed the data from their tracking monitors and he said the findings were very clear.  “The Active 10 group actually did 30% more ‘moderate to vigorous physical activity’ than the 10,000-step group, even though they moved for less time.  “And it’s when you are doing moderate intensity activity that you are starting to get the greatest health benefits.”  So even though the Active 10 group spent less time actually moving, they spent more time getting out of breath and increasing their heart rate.  Prof Copeland told the group: “What we really wanted you to do was to get your heart beating faster. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that by doing so you can lower your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.”  So three short brisk walks were easier to fit into the day and better for health.

The Health Benefits of Chocolate

Good heart food:  Several recent studies have examined the role that chocolate may have on heart health.  Cacao beans are full of phytonutrients, which act as antioxidants and provide additional benefits. Furthermore, cacao beans are rich sources of iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dark chocolate contains two to three times more beneficial flavanols than milk chocolate because milk chocolate’s cacao concentration is diluted with milk and possibly more sugar. While most studies have found some correlation between chocolate consumption and reduced risk of heart problems, the amount and type of chocolate needed requires further study.

A 2017 meta-analysis of the effects of chocolate on coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes published in the journal Nutrients concluded that the most benefit was associated with moderate chocolate intake. The authors found little benefit in heart disease or stroke reduction among people who consumed chocolate more than three times a week. Protective effects against diabetes emerged at two servings a week, but that benefit disappeared if people had more than six servings a week.

Chocolate may also help prevent the development of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of heart failure, stroke and more. A study, published in the journal Heart in 2017, found that adults who ate chocolate at least once a month had 10 to 20 percent lower rates of developing atrial fibrillation than those who never or rarely ate chocolate.

Good brain food:  Chocolate may be good for the brain. Some studies have focused on chocolate’s ability to improve cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016 found that chocolate consumption might lower the risk of cognitive decline in older people.

The study looked at nearly 400 Portuguese citizens over age 65 and saw that those who ate a moderate amount of chocolate — on average, one chocolate snack a week; the study did not differentiate between milk and dark chocolate — decreased their risk of cognitive decline by 40 percent over two years. Those who ate more chocolate, or those who had more caffeine, saw fewer cognitive benefits. 

Good mood food:  Chocolate is often associated with positive effects on mood, but the reasons why it makes some people feel good are debatable.

Chocolate contains substances that stimulate the brain in the same way cannabis does, such as anandamines, and substances that have similar effects as amphetamine, such as tyramine and phenylethylamine. However, these substances are in very low concentrations — too low to induce an antidepressant effect. Chocolate may interact with neurotransmitter systems that contribute to appetite, reward and mood regulation, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, according to the 2013 article in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. However, the authors noted, the effects may have more to do with chocolate’s taste and smell than its chemical effects.

Kinesio Taping

Dr Beckett was on a course this week on Kinesio Taping.  This can be used for all sorts of problems not just for sports injuries. If you have any questions about this treatment speak to either Colin or Georgie.

Swimming Memories of Infirmary Street Baths

The Infirmary Street Baths were the first public baths in Edinburgh, built in 1885 by Robert Morham. Following the enactment in 1846 to Encourage the Establishment of Public Baths and Wash-houses, baths were built in Scotland from the 1850s to provide accessible washing facilities to improve public health. Until the 1870s women had to attend at different times from men. In the Ladies Baths space at Dovecot, we see an example of their needs being considered in the building design. 

Dovecot was originally located at the site of the Corstorphine Castle, before moving in 2008 to Infirmary Street following a 2 year renovation and restoration project of the former Victorian baths building. 

Celebrating 10 years of weaving in the Infirmary Street Baths, Dovecot will share some memories on the Tapestry Studio Viewing Balcony. The display titled Baths to Bobbins will explore memories of those who attended the Baths, the stories of the old Studio in Corstorphine, the saving of the Infirmary Street building and its conversion to a modern tapestry studio. 

The display opens on 28th March in the Tapestry Viewing Balcony, Mon-Fri 12-3pm, Sat 10.30-5.30pm.