Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted in Studio News, Studio.Homoeopathy

Treatment of Middle ear infection (Otitis Media)?

Treatment of Middle ear infection (Otitis Media)?

Is antibiotics effective in the treatment of middle ear infection ?

(By: Dr. Chantell Groenewald M.Tech Hom (UJ), Studio.Homoeopathy)


Otitis Media is most commonly caused by either a viral or bacterial infection of the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum). The infection may result from a cold or flu, which causes swelling and congestion of the eustachian tubes (the narrow tube that connects the middle ear to the throat). The swelling and congestion in the eustachian tube causes the accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum and it is the infection of this fluid, which causes the symptoms of middle ear infection.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Crying more than usual
  • Acting more irritable than usual
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite


Until recently, antibiotics was the most commonly prescribed treatment for middle ear infection in children. However, the efficacy of antibiotics in the treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) is being questioned, with more and more evidence suggesting that antibiotics is in fact, of little value.

In an article published in Paediatric and Preinatal Drug Therapy (Vol.4 , Issue 2, 2000), Dr. Damoiseaux (GP) concluded, children between 6-24 months should be managed by watchful waiting, as antibiotics seems to have little effect on the symptoms at this stage. Furthermore he stressed the importance of symptomatic treatment in relieving the child’s discomfort.

Another article in The British Journal of General Practice (Br J Gen Prac. 1998) compared antibiotic treatment with non-antibiotic treatment in acute otitis media in children aged under two years using a systematic literature review and a quantitative analysis with an assessment of the methodological quality of published trials. Their conclusion was that the high prescription of antibiotics in children under two years of age in the treatment of middle ear infection is not sufficiently supported by evidence from published trials.

Symptomatic treatment of AOM (middle ear infection):

Homeopathy plays a great role in the symptomatic treatment of AOM.  A Remedy is chosen based on matching the child’s symptom picture to the remedy symptom pictures, some common middle ear infection remedies include:

  1. Aconite: Rapid onset of attack, high fever, sharp pains with bright red ears
  2. Belladonna:  Sudden onset of violent pain and high fever, inflamed right ear, worse 3pm.
  3. Chamomilla: Otitis during teething. Ears red and hot, violent pain which makes the child irritable, child wants to be held.
  4. Ferrum phos: First stage, before exudation, throbbing pain, membrane red and bulging.
  5. Pulsatilla: Otitis with every cold. Copious thick, yellow-green discharge.
  6. Silica: Chronic discharge from repeated infection.

Treatment is further aimed at building up the immune system to allow the body to heal itself. Also of vital importance is treating the gut, often previous antibiotics leaves the gut devoid of the good bacteria, which in itself can cause inflammation and poor immune function.


There is a time and a place for antibiotic treatment in AOM in infants and babies up to two years of age, especially in infants less than 6 months, or high risk cases, however, 6months- 2years, watchful waiting and symptomatic treatment is the most commonly accepted treatment plan. Children older than two years, there seems to be very little evidence to support treating AOM with antibiotics in children older than 2 years of age. Homeopathy offers an alternative especially for symptomatic treatment of AOM.



Damoiseaux, R. (2000), Antibiotics for Acute Otitis Media in Infancy: Based on fears or facts? Peadiatric and Prerinatal Drug therapy, Vol 4, Is 2, pp 58-60

Damoiseaux, R., van Balen, F., Hoes, A., de Melker, R. (1998), Antibiotic treatment of Acute Otitis Media in children under two years of age: Evidence Based? The Brittish Journal of General Practice, 48(437), pp 1861-1864

Mayo Clinic (2014), Ear infection (middle ear). Available from:

Middle Ear Infection

Read More

Posted in Studio News, Studio.Stretch

Stretch Therapy

Stretch Therapy

What is stretch therapy?

Stretch Therapy SA

Stretch Therapy is the name we give to the special work being done by Aaron L. Mattes. Mattes developed this therapeutic assistance technique due to the continuous demand on specific mobilization of polio patients in the late 50’s and 60’s. Earlier than that patients where immobilized, while the contrary proved to be the better option, mobilize.

Although polio is not such a life threatening disease in our modern day society anymore, the principles of AIS has stood the test of time, and is now an internationally renowned therapeutic technique.

There’s numerous advantages to incorporate the work of a stretch specialist (stretching therapist) in your current medical preventative and population assessment programs as well as incorporating stretch therapy into orthopedic surgery prevention programs.

Stretch Therapy SA

In the USA, Medicare spending for inpatient back surgery more than doubled over the decade. Spending for lumbar fusion increased more than 500%, from 75 million dollars to 482 million dollars. In 1992, lumbar fusion represented 14% of total spending for back surgery; by 2003; lumbar fusion accounted for 47% of spending.


Dr. Rosomoff M.D. was discussing “failed back surgery syndrome” of which there is a documented 50,000 cases, every year. While lecturing at the American Academy of Pain Management symposium, it was his opinion that surgery should only be performed in 1 in every 500 low back cases. He felt that that would eliminate 99% of all surgical cases.

In the South African based stretch therapy practices the majority of patients benefiting the most from this treatment are those suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain. Including muscular atrophy, joint pathology, spinal degenerative conditions, pre surgical rehabilitation & mobilization, sport injury and professional sports performance.

Getting assistance during stretching is very crucial in achieving maximal results and minimal injuries. The therapist will exactly know where to take you and where to stop, working each muscle individually until a complete uniform balance is achieved.  Stretching has been scientifically proven to have an ‘analgesic effect’ making patients feel better immediately while still having the full advantage of a very precise and isolated rehabilitation session.


Stretch Therapy spans the entire technique called ‘active isolated stretching’ and ‘active isolated strengthening’. This technique is very useful right from rehabilitation to performance enhancement. Stretch therapy comprises the following main elements:


We use hundreds of different isolated techniques to improve the Range of Movement (ROM) of the body; nerves, fascia and muscles. Stretching all these structures individually we can use them as ‘gateways’ to change the functional patterns of the brain.


Inactive muscles are made active; knees, shoulders, and elbows are stabilized; posture and alignment are made more efficient.


The capacity of the whole body to exert force is the emphasis here; most of our techniques are body-weight only, and all involve the working one muscle as precisely and accurately as possible.


The forgotten part of any health optimization program. Here, ‘relaxation’ is used in two ways: the first as a shorthand for techniques that enhance speed (any force-producing agonist needs its antagonist to relax equally quickly so that a limb, or a whole body, can move faster), and the second sense, the fundamental part of rejuvenation and regeneration practices.

Together, the Stretch Therapy elements enable anyone to improve flexibility, and to perform ordinary and extraordinary tasks with greater ease and better performance, and for longer in life.

Stretch Therapy is the safest, most efficient method for anyone to achieve grace and ease in daily life, whether as an office worker, or an athlete. Stretch Therapy is used by pregnant women, teenagers, sports people, coaches, employers, and men and women of all ages.


What is active isolated stretching?

Over the past two decades, many experts have advocated prolonged stretching up to 60 seconds. A prolonged stretch up to 60 seconds means that a person would move into a stretching position and keep it there for a longer period. For many years this was used as the gold standard for all individuals and athletes. However, after 30 years of research by Aaron Mattes, it was found that a stretch greater than 5 seconds actually decreases the blood flow within the tissue thus creating localized ischemia and lactic acid build up.

Stretch Therapy SA

This also increases irritation and change of injury of local muscular, tendonous, lymphatic as well as neural tissues, similar to the effects and consequences of trauma, overuse syndromes, and metabolic disease states. This phenomenon indicates that there has to be a better technique for proper stretching. And indeed it was found, now called Active Isolated Stretching.

Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a stretching method developed by Aaron L. Mattes. AIS utilizes precise movements to isolate a specific area to be stretched. Once in the proper position, the stretch is held for 1.5 to 2 seconds, released, and then repeated 8-10 times in a set. AIS has been used by hundreds of thousands of professional and amateur athletes and chronic patients to increase flexibility and performance and reduce pain while reducing the risk of any further injuries. It is also effective in reducing pain in the human body caused by incorrect posture, degeneration, injury, and inactivity.


Active Isolated Stretching: How it Works


Stretch Therapy:  How it works

There are two primary principles that provide the basis for how AIS works. The first is called reciprocal inhibition, which means that if you want to lift your arm, your nervous system has to shut off the muscles that bring your arm down. This means that AIS involves your nervous system in the stretch, making it easier for the muscles to elongate. The second principle is to hold the stretch for 1.5 to 2 seconds, and no longer. Research shows that holding a stretch for longer than 2.5 to 3 seconds will cause your body to engage a protective reflex. This stretch reflex will cause a muscle contraction in the muscle you are trying to stretch. It is therefore important not to hold any stretch to long, not even 3 seconds.

By not “tripping” the stretch reflex, you are able to get a gentle stretch, without the body fighting itself. The stretch is repeated 8 to 10 times in a set. The repeated “pumping” action of the muscle allows for increased circulation to the area. Because the stretches target highly specific areas of the body, AIS provides an efficient and effective stretch.

These specific movements also help relieve symptoms of stress. Stress touches all of our lives. Gentle stretching movements can invigorate the circulatory, respiratory and neuromuscular systems, which help alleviate many of the symptoms of stress.


Benefits of Active Isolated Stretching:

Improves flexibility

Helps to relieve muscle soreness

Reduces muscle spasm

Helps to address and reduce chronic pain

Reduces the risk of muscle strain and tearing

Helps recovery from injury

Helps to increase athletic performance

Helps to relieve stress

Improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells

Helps stimulate lymph circulation and elimination of cellular waste

Helps to maintain good posture

Helps to regain and maintain the full range of motion of a joint

Promotes balance in the body

Promotes healthy growth in children and youth

Prevent postural problems in pre-adolescent growth spurts


Author:  Hans De Wit




Read More

Posted in Studio News, Studio.Lean, Studio.Stretch

5 Core strength and stretching exercises

5 Core strength and stretching exercises


Only time for 5 exercises a day? 

Here’s why these 5 strength and stretch exercises will give you the edge.


Movement 1 – Diaphragm breathing’s

Due to our busy lifestyles, too many people (bodies) are under immense subconscious stress. Increased stress levels reduce the lungs’ ability to breathe properly. This can have a serious impact on one’s ability to heal from injury, performance in sport and work as well as concentration and fatigue.

Breathing properly involves using the diaphragm (Pic 1) and not the upper back and neck muscles (Pic 2).










Diaphragm Breathing

  • When changing your breathing pattern, start by placing your hands on the bottom of your rib cage (Pic1).
  • Breathe in through your nose.
  • Push your bellybutton forward and your rib cage down.

If this is done correctly your fingers should separate, moving sideways away from each other (Pic 2).

When breathing out, your fingers should return to starting position (Pic 1).


PIC 1                                                           PIC 2

Biokineticist CenturionBiokineticist Centurion

If you find no movement between your fingers, you are probably using the incorrect muscles as discussed above.  Try again and focus on moving your rib cage and not your shoulders.


Movement 2 and 3 – Stretches

Stretching is essential as it prepares the body for movement. By stretching you are allowing your joints to move through its full range of motion in a controlled fashion. This increases the blood flow to that specific joint which in turns allows for healthy cartilage production.

You can choose any stretches. If you have enough time, stretching your whole body will prevent injuries and improve activities of daily living.

I have chosen two stretches for people who struggle with lower back pain and two for people who struggle with upper back and neck pain. Almost all of us sit in front of a computer at least a few times a week, this seated position can exaggerate back and neck pain.


Stretches for lower back pain.

Pic 1 – Lying down hamstring stretch

Lie down on your back. Bend one leg. Hook a towel around your foot. Lift leg straight up. Hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Pic 2 – Lower back neutral stretch

Biokineticist Centurion

Repeat hamstring stretch. When leg is completely straight, pull toes down and release. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.


Stretches for upper back and neck pain.

Pic 1 – Ear to shoulder neck stretch

Ear to Next Stretch

Sit up straight. Drop your ear down toward your shoulder. Increase this stretch by using your hand to pull your head lower down. Hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat on other side.


Pic 2 – Upper back neural stretch

Upper back neutral stretch

Sit up straight. Lift arms up to 90 degrees. Bend both elbows so that your hands touch your shoulders. Keep your elbows up and straighten arms out away from you. Open your hands and stretch your fingers as far away from you as possible. Hold position for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Stretching should be done every day for results.


Movement 4, 5 & 6 – Strengthening exercises


When time is limited, full body exercises are ideal as it provides you with maximum results in a small period of time.

Strengthening exercises are just as important as stretching and cardiovascular exercise. When doing strength training, it’s best to start off by using your own body weight. This allows you to increase your strength steadily and it minimises the chances of injury. Own body weight exercise can be just as demanding and even more so than going to the gym and lifting weights. By using your own body weight you will improve joint mobility, range of motion and functionality.


Sit to stand (Squat) – Lower body strengthening


Sit to stand exercise


Everyone needs to have strong core, abdominal and back muscles. This allows for good posture when sitting and standing for long periods which will prevent back and neck pain.

Start by standing on your hands and knees. Tilt your pelvis forward so that your bum is tucked in underneath you, forcing your back to round. This will allow your stomach muscles to activate more effectively and prevent your back from taking over the exercise. Once your stomach and bum muscles are activated, straighten your knees out. Focus on maintaining your starting position throughout the entire time.

For beginners, do this exercise 3 times 20 seconds. Intermediate, 3 times 45 seconds and for advanced, 3 times 90 seconds.


Push up – Upper body strengthening


core, abdominal and back stretch


Everyone needs to have strong core, abdominal and back muscles. This allows for good posture when sitting and standing for long periods which will prevent back and neck pain.

Start by standing on your hands and knees. Tilt your pelvis forward so that your bum is tucked in underneath you, forcing your back to round. This will allow your stomach muscles to activate more effectively and prevent your back from taking over the exercise. Once your stomach and bum muscles are activated, straighten your knees out. Focus on maintaining your starting position throughout the entire time.

For beginners, do this exercise 3 times 20 seconds. Intermediate, 3 times 45 seconds and for advanced, 3 times 90 seconds.


Push up – Upper body strengthening


Upper body strenghtening


When initiating your push up position, get into the same posture as you did with the plank. By maintaining this posture you ensure that your back is well supported by your core muscles. Maintaining a straight body position, bend your elbows dropping your body down in a straight line. Keep your elbows close to your body to ensure that you use your shoulder and mid back muscles. Do not let your elbows go above 90 degrees as this will force you to use your upper back and neck muscles. This can lead to injury. Push up and focus on maintaining proper straight body posture.

For beginners, do this exercise 1 times 10. Intermediate, 2 times 15 and for advanced, 3 times 20.

Whenever you start any new exercise routine ensure that you start off slowly and continuously focus on maintaining proper posture. This will prevent injury and ensure that you get maximum results.

If you struggle with any pain or discomfort in your neck, back or knees before, during or after exercise make sure you consult your Biokineticist for advice and guidance.

By taking a few minutes every day to do the above mentioned 5 movements you will ensure that you stay injury and pain free. You will also combat the bad habits we pick up from our busy lives which are essential in living a healthy life.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Anca Wessels



Read More

Posted in Studio News, Studio.Homoeopathy


What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder is a collection of traits that reflects a child’s natural neurological nature. These traits may be positive or negative and include the following:

·         spontaneity,
·         creativity,
·         selective attention,
·         distractibility,
·         impulsivity and sometimes
·         hyperactivity.

Most children can display these symptoms some of the time, what differentiates these children from those suffering with ADHD, is that ADHD children display these symptoms MOST of the time. Their behaviour is irrespective of who they are with, or what they are doing. A child that is described as having attention deficit at school, but functions normally when they are removed from a particular circumstance, is most likely NOT suffering from ADHD.

Disorders that may look like ADHD:
It is very important to acknowledge that various disorders could display symptoms that looks like those displayed in ADHD. Children are often misdiagnosed as having ADHD, while the actual disease process goes undiagnosed. Some of these disorders that might mimic ADHD include:

  • Mood disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Learning disability
  • Lead poisoning
  • Thyroid abnormalities
  • Sleep disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Visual impairment
  • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Substance abuse
  • Medication side effects

ADHD is a clinical diagnosis, which means that all other possible diagnoses should be eliminated before one can diagnose a child with ADHD. If a child is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, each possible cause of these symptoms should be investigated.

How do I know if my child suffers from ADHD?
A complete assessment involves:

  • clinical interview;
  • medical tests;
  • checklists;
  • observations;
  • a social history;
  • and objective measurements;

Assessment involves not only determining if a child has ADHD, but also determining the type of ADHD, the likely causes and measures the amount of the symptoms.

Diagnosis  isbased on a series of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms outlined in DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition-Text Revision). To be diagnosed with ADHD, the symptoms must have lasted for at least six months, and be severe enough to disrupt school life and other aspects of the individuals life.

Symptoms of ADHD 
According to the DSM-IV-TR, we categorise symptoms into Inattention and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity.

Inattention Symptom:

  • Not paying attention to detail
  • Making careless Mistakes
  • Failing to pay attention and keep on task
  • Not listening
  • Being unable to follow or understand instructions
  • Avoid tasks that involve effort
  • Being distracted or forgetful
  • Losing things that are needed to complete tasks

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Symptoms

  • Fidgety
  • Squirming
  • Getting up often when seated
  • Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble playing quietly
  • Talking excessively or out of turn
  • Interrupting
Subtypes of ADHD 
Dr. Daniel Amen, MD, a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who serves as medical director of Amen Clinics in the USA, describes 6 subtypes of ADHD, based on the clinical symptoms as well as SPECT imaging. .Shortly after he began brain SPECT imaging work in 1991, Dr. Amen realized that ADHD was not a single or simple disorder, and it is important to understand that to really know what ADHD is. Just as there are many different causes of chest pain, he noticed there were different brain SPECT patterns in his ADHD patients. Over the next several years, he described 6 different types of ADHD, based on a combination of symptoms and brain scans, that responded differently to different treatments.

“One treatment does not fit everyone.” — Dr. Amen

The 6 subtypes based on symptoms and SPECT imagery include:

·         Syb-Type 1: Classic ADHD- “Tigger”

Primary ADHD symptoms plus hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity

Low prefrontal cortex activity while the person is concentrating

·         Subtype 2: Inattentive “pooh”


Primary ADHD symptoms plus low energy and motivation, spacey, and internally preoccupied. Type 2 is diagnosed later in life, if at all. It is more common in girls. These are quiet people, often labelled as “lazy,” “unmotivated,” and “not that smart.”

Low prefrontal cortex  activity while the person is concentrating . Low cerebellar activity.

·         Subtype 3: Over-focussed “Rabbit/Piglet”


Primary ADD symptoms plus cognitive inflexibility, trouble shifting attention,

stuck on negative thoughts or behaviours, worrying, holding grudges, argumentative, oppositional, and a need for sameness. Often seen in families with addiction problems or obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

High anterior cingulate activity.Low prefrontal cortex activity while the person is concentrating

·         Subtype 4: Temporal Lobe ADHD, “Tazmanian Devil”

Primary ADD symptoms plus a “short fuse,” difficulty distinguishing helpful corrections from insults, periods of anxiety, headaches or abdominal pain, history of head injury, family history of anger management problems, dark thoughts, memory problems, and difficulty reading. Often seen in families with learning disabilities or anger management problems.

Low temporal lobe activity. Low pre-frontal cortex activity

while the person is concentrating.

·         Subtype 5: Limbic ADHD “Eeyore”

Primary ADD symptoms plus chronic mild sadness, negativity, low energy, low self-esteem, irritability, social isolation, and poor appetite and sleep patterns. Stimulants, by themselves, usually cause problems with rebound or cause depressive symptoms.

High deep limbic activity.Low prefrontal cortex activity at rest

and while the person is concentrating.

·         Subtype 6: Basal Ganglia ADHD “Ring of fire”

Primary ADD symptoms plus extreme moodiness, anger outbursts, oppositional behavior, inflexibility, rapid-fire thinking, excessive talking, and high sensitivity to sounds and lights. “Ring of Fire” refers to the intense ring of over activity that Dr. Amen has observed in the brains of affected people. Note: this type of ADHD is often worsened by stimulants.

Noticeable overall increased activity across the cortex. Low pre-frontal cortex activity (less common)

Treatment options
There is no cure for ADHD. Many professionals agree that medication should be used as a last resort. Most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD include

  • Ritalin
  • Adderal
  • Concerta
  • Metadate
  • Dexedrine
  • Strattera
  • Wellbutrin
  • Catapres
  • Tofranil

A Holistic approach to treatment includes various modalities,  including:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavioural Modification
  • Counselling
  • Play therapy
  • Exercises
  • Support groups
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic Treatment
  • Homoeopathic treatment
  • Nutrition
  • Supplementations

It is of cardinal importance to tailor a treatment option based on the child’s specific needs. To use medication as an example, to give a CNS depressant to a already depressed “eeyore” type constitution would surely only aggravate matters. Nutrition wise, to feed an already hyperactive type child “Tigger”, a stimulant rich food would surely exacerbate already hyperactive symptoms.

Nutrition and Supplementation
Nutrition is KEY. Most hyperactive children would surely have to remodel their diet to exclude stimulants, while specific supplementation can further aid in bringing about calm.  A diet tailored to each specific child’s needs is fundamental in the treatment of ADHD, furthermore, the correct supplementation can correct certain hormonal/chemical deficits, which will aid in alleviating most unwanted symptoms of ADHD.

Below is my ‘quick guide’ to the do’s and don’ts of Nutrition when we look at ameliorating hyperactivity:
Foods most likely to cause problems:

  1. 75% Salicylates
  2. 60-70% Preservatives
  3. 55% Colorants
  4. 40% Amines
  5. 40% Antioxidants- synthetic: synthetic antioxidants e.g. TBHQ (319), BHA (320),BHT (321)
  6. 40% Flavour enhancers
  7. 10% Diary
  8. 1% Gluten

You will notice, sugar is not even mentioned in this list. This is because common believes that sugar causes hyperactivity, is now replaced by theories that hyperactivity is more closely associated with the additives and preservatives usually accompanied by the sugars children eat, than the actual sugar itself. This however does NOT mean sugar is not causing other problems such as gut dysbiosis, which is often related to food allergies. Cultivating the gut with the necessary good bacteria, will allow for healthy gut symbiosis, which is often affected in children with ADHD. Furthermore, food allergies and ADHD are closely related, children suffering from attention deficit are 7x more likely to suffer from food allergies than the general population.

Article by Dr.Chantell Groenewald
Registered Homoeopath
Special interest in food allergies and ADHD

Read More

Posted in Studio News, Studio.Lean

Anti.Inflammatory-Diet Competition Entry

Anti.Inflammatory-Diet Competition Entry


1.  Like our facebook Page

2. Complete the entry form below




1.  This is an 8-week programme

2.  You must be able to come in on a weekly basis for a weigh-in and injection

3. Competition ends 30 October 2013.

4.  Prize not exhangeable for cash

5.  Winner will be selected via random draw.

6.  Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

7.  Prize must be claimed by 10 January 2014.



Send us an email and we will send you an information pack.



Even if you do not win, you and a friend will still qualify for a 15% discount if you sign up together.






Read More

Posted in Studio News, Studio.Stretch

Relieve back pain

Back pain is such a common occurance these days, with us sitting hours a day in front of our computers, in our cars to work and back and then infront of the television at night.  All this sitting puts immense stretching on our backs, even more so if we are sitting incorrectly.

A few simple things that we can do to help alleviate back pain is highlighted in an article on Stretching SA.

Read full article here

Read More