Hataitai Osteopaths is fundraising for KidsCan during #OAW2019

Hataitai Osteopaths for KidsCan
Osteopath Week.png

Osteopath Jane Barber and her associates Kate Henderson and Ciara Broderick will be fundraising for KidsCan from the 14th-20th April. “For every patient we see we will donate $5 to Kids Can.” says clinic owner Jane. “The charity is close to our hearts because of our careers. In Osteopathy we believe a good start in life will have a profound effect on a  person's life. It's like straightening a bent sapling that would have grown into a bent tree.”

Jane Barber may be relatively new on the Hataitai block but she has a long history in Wellington.

She started City Osteopaths 29 years ago then left New Zealand for London and Sydney... now back for 12 years with her family, she has branched out from her sole practice in Miramar. Its amazing to think we have been open in Hataitai for 2 years on the 1st April! 

“I was too busy and I didn't like not being able to fit people in. I'm so thrilled with my associates Kate Henderson and Ciara Broderick, I am so lucky to have found two excellent Osteopaths full of enthusiasm and knowledge...the local community is realising this too - We are getting many referrals not only from doctors and other practitioners, but patient's friends and family.”

She said people often did not realise the range of problems treated by osteopaths. Osteopathy is a hands on approach to healthcare that heals by focussing on how the musculoskeletal system, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function together. “Not just back and neck ache, but headaches, sinus congestion, constipation, period pain, asthma to name a few.”

All three osteopaths have training in treating babies and children who come with problems such as birth trauma, colic, recurrent ear infections, sleep problems, developmental delay, growing pains and feeding problems. “We love the work we do and very much enjoy serving our local community”.

From sports injuries to breathing disorders, osteopathy is safe and gentle enough to treat a wide variety of presentations and is suitable for newborns to the elderly. National Osteopathy Awareness Week #OAW2019 is from April 14th until April 21st.  Phone 04 972 8123 for Hataitai Osteopaths or book your appointment online.


Treating babies

Hataitai Osteopaths | Wellington Osteopath Treatment for Babies.jpg

Take a look at this fabulous clip by Johnathan Evans below to see how gentle Osteopathic treatment can be!

Osteopaths treat babies for a range of conditions including:

  • Birth trauma, flat shaped heads.

  • Colic, constant crying

  • Spilling/ reflux

  • Sucking difficulties/breastfeeding

  • Glue ear & ear infections

  • Blocked tear ducts, sticky eyes

  • Learning difficulties

  • Developmental delays

  • ADHD

  • Behavioural problems

  • Sleeping problems

  • Growing pains

  • Wry neck (torticollis)

  • Balance & walking problems

Come visit us if we can help treat any of these conditions.


Better symmetry, better muscles

Hataitai Osteopaths in Wellington | Tight muscles, weak muscles, how osteopathy can help.png

Yes tight muscles can be weak muscles but why are they tight or weak? Asymmetry in weight bearing causes asymmetric, poor functioning muscles.

Osteopathy can fix this.

The principle of our treatment is the re-establishment of your symmetrical midline, your spine, and all that is attached to it. (You know, 'the thigh bone's connected to the hip bone... ') 

Your natural, innate, self healing wisdom is waiting, in the fully formed embryonic midline you were born with!

Come visit us and see how we can help. Book your appointment online!


Irritable Bowel Syndrome


At Hataitai Osteopaths we regularly meet patients who are suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We find that each case we come across differs greatly. Our practitioners always look at the whole picture, and in the case of IBS this is particularly important.

IBS – The basics

It is a common condition that affects the digestive system. Symptoms include: stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, which tend to come and go over time. The exact cause is unknown, but it has been linked to food passing through the gut too slowly or too quickly, oversensitive nerves in the gut, stress, and family history of the condition. It is a lifelong condition which currently has no cure; however there are steps you can take to relieve your symptoms.

IBS and Osteopathy

Our osteopaths encounter IBS from a number of different perspectives:

1. A patient may come to see us for the bowel complaint itself.

The practitioner would carry out some manual techniques that may help to improve blood flow and nerve supply in the gut, which reduces tension in the surrounding muscles, providing relief from abdominal pain. This method may also help reduce susceptibility to constipation and diarrhoea.

Osteopathy can gently stimulate muscles around the gut, loosen surrounding tissues and reduce local swelling. Your practitioner may also offer dietary advice to be used in conjunction with manual treatment.

2. A patient may come to see us with another issue that we find is caused by IBS.

A patient may come to us with a back problem, or tension headaches. After a thorough consultation that encompasses the whole person, a practitioner may discover that the big stressor is actually the bowel. The problem isn’t always in the area where we feel the symptoms. In this case, the osteopath would incorporate the gut into the treatment plan.

3. There may be a seemingly unrelated structural abnormality in another area of the body.

The physical structure of the body governs function. This means that a structural anomaly can alter the function of a system such as the digestive system. As an example, your osteopath may discover an abnormality with your spine. As the nerves which supply the gut originate from the spine, a problem in this specific area may have an effect on the gut.

4. Stress is known to make IBS worse.

Osteopathic treatment may have a secondary effect of relaxing the body to help alleviate stress, thus reducing the severity of IBS symptoms.


If you would like to be seen by one of our practitioners or if you have any further questions, then please get in touch with us. You can call us on 04 972 8123 or book online.

Reference: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/


10 Things You Need To Know About Bone Density

Bone density | Hataitai Osteopaths | Wellington Osteopath

Are you concerned about your bone density? What you need to know.

1. Fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid, which interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to osteoporosis, cavities, and bone softening. Phosphoric acid also interacts with stomach acid, slowing digestion and blocking nutrient absorption.

2. Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is important for blood clotting and that contributes to a healthy heart, bones and immune system.

There are several different forms, mainly K1 and K2 -

  • Vitamin K1– (or phylloquinone) is natural form found in greens and nettle that is used by the liver for proper blood clotting.

  • Vitamin K2– (or menaquinone) is a more absorbable form of Vitamin K found in certain fermented foods and supplements is used by soft tissues and is helpful for bones, heart tissue and controls proper utilisation of calcium.

  • Vitamin K3– (or menadione) is a synthetic form of Vitamin K. This is typically the one injected into infants at birth.

Estimates are that over half of the adult population is deficient in Vitamin K. While the effects of Vitamin K deficiency can show up in more serious problems like cardiovascular disease, bone loss and tooth decay, it can also manifest in smaller symptoms like easy bruising, heavy periods, or nosebleeds.

Those with digestive problems or with a history of antibiotic use are the most at risk for these problems.

How I Take Vitamin K2

Since there are no known side effects from K2 consumption, even at high levels, I take 180 mcg (two 90mcg capsules) per day on most days (consuming a small amount of Natto would also work). I also consume Fermented Cod Liver Oil Daily, which is a natural source of K2 (and other fat soluble vitamins). 

Some experts recommend as much as 500mcg per day, but I would only consume high levels like this under the guidance of a practitioner to make sure that cofactors (D3, calcium and magnesium) maintained proper levels as well. Of course, since K2 is a fat soluble vitamin, it is important to check with a doctor before taking, especially at high doses if pregnant or nursing. I also recommend this book for learning more about Vitamin K supplementation and safety.


Food Sources of Vitamin K1

  • Kale

  • Dried Basil

  • Spring Onions/Scallions

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Asparagus

  • Cabbage

  • Cucumbers

  • Prunes

  • Most greens

Food sources of K2

  • Natto – fermented soybeans -you can make this yourself (best source)

  • Grass fed butter (raw)

  • Grass fed cheese (raw)

  • Egg Yolks

  • Chicken livers

  • Grass fed Beef

  • Chicken


3. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D regulates mineral concentration in the blood (including calcium). When we are exposed to ultraviolet-B light from the sun or artificial sources, our bodies create vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol photochemically in our skin. Food sources like fatty fish, eggs, and meat also provide D3.

How to Get Enough Vitamin D

  • Spend a safe amount of time in the sun, but optimize your diet and lifestyle to prevent burning and get out of the sun before skin has a chance to burn.

  • Use a cover-up or a safe sunscreen for long sun exposure.

  • Deficiency of magnesium can inhibit vitamin D function, so make sure you get that too!

  • Getting blood levels of vitamin D tested in NZ is difficult and expensive – however in the UK the NHS has recommended Vit D supplementation as many studies have shown low levels in most of the population.

  • If necessary, use a vitamin D supplement. You need about 10-20 micrograms (400–800 IU) per day of vitamin D intake with a safe upper safe limit of 100mcg (4000 iu per day) for healthy bones; 90% comes from the action of sunlight on our skin and 10% from diet (such as oily fish). People who rarely expose their skin to sunlight or have a restricted diet need vitamin D supplements. The NHS recommends that breast-fed babies up to one year old and all children aged one to four should have a daily supplement, while children over five and adults should consider one in the winter months.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is vital for hundreds of functions within the human body and especially so for bone health. Many of us are deficient in this master mineral . There are several different ways to get Magnesium - In powder form or tablet form - work up slowly to full dose to ensure against diarrhea. This will be available at our practice soon. Ionic liquid form can be added to food and drinks and dose can be worked up slowly, or transdermal form by using Magnesium oil applied to the skin (this is my favorite method). Topical application is often the most effective option for those with a damaged digestive tract or severe deficiency. This is available at our practice in cream form.

5. You don’t need calcium supplements.

A healthy, balanced diet should provide the recommended 700 millgrams a day of calcium that you need to make new bone as old bone is replaced. There is no good evidence that calcium supplements are needed if you are at low risk of osteoporosis. There has been some concern that taking extra calcium may lead to harmful deposits around the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack. The consensus is that dietary sources are preferable to supplements, except if you can’t get enough calcium from your diet because you have a condition such as Crohn’s disease that prevents adequate absorption of dietary calcium. 

6. Walk quickly for 10 minutes, three times a day

Weight-bearing exercise (walking, running) helps to keep bones strong. Ideally, you need a mix of “feet on the ground” activity and muscle resistance such as weights, press-ups and swimming. No one knows precisely how much exercise is needed; the NHS says adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Three 10-minute periods of fast walking every day is a good target. There is little evidence that exercise prevents fractures once you have weak bones (called osteopenia if it is mild and osteoporosis if more severe), but people who keep active into old age are less likely to fall – and if you don’t fall, you are less likely to break a bone.

7. Don’t smoke – especially when you are young

Smoking has an impact on bone-building cells, especially in people younger than 30, who are still accumulating bone. Smokers are at increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures and stopping smoking is likely to improve bone strength. It is a complicated association: smokers may also be thinner than the healthy weight range; if you fall but have no padding, you are more likely to fracture a bone. After the menopause, women make some oestrogen – which keeps bones strong – in their fat layer. Once your ovaries stop producing oestrogen, you can’t make much of it if you don’t have any fat.

8. Don’t get too thin

No one is saying that it helps to be overweight; you need to be able to keep moving, of course, and the heavier you are, the more force will land on your bones if you fall. But small-framed, low-weight people have less total bone mass. As a result, losing even small amounts of weight may result in bones that break easily.

9. HRT can help some women

Women are four times more likely than men to get osteoporosis, since their levels of oestrogen fall after the menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can help maintain strong bones and prevent fragility fractures (fractures that occur on minimal force). But note once you have osteoporosis, though, it is not very effective.

10. Don’t trip up

The main risk of having thin bones is fragility fractures. Elderly people who fall and break a hip may never regain their independence. Vertebral fractures may be silent initially, but tend to recur and can become multiple and extremely painful and disabling. One of the most useful things you can do for a frail relative or friend is check their home for potential hazards such as loose carpet. Occupational therapy assessment, to fit hand rails to steps and baths, can be accessed via local authority websites or a GP referral.

11. Know your risk

You are at increased risk of osteoporosis if you are elderly, female, underweight or immobile; if you have had previous fractures; and if you smoke, drink a lot of alcohol (more than 30 units a week) or take steroids for a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. You can do your own risk assessment (there is a useful risk calculator on the University of Sheffield’s website). In some cases, a bone density scan is useful. This can be arranged by your GP, but the scan needs to be taken in context of your overall risk. If you are at high risk, you will probably be advised to have treatment to build up your bones, even if the scan is normal.

12. Probiotics

Last week an important new research study came out in the press supporting the use of probiotics in reducing bone loss. Supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri could lead to a paradigm shift in the prevention of osteoporosis. Previous studies in rodents have suggested that treatment with specific bacterial strains can improve bone density (1,2,3).

Sources : The Guardian and Wellness Mama

1.Britton RA, Irwin R, Quach D et al. Probiotic L. reuteri treatment prevents bone loss in a menopausal ovariectomized mouse model. J Cell Physiol 2014; 229: 1822–30. Wiley Online LibraryCASPubMedWeb of Science®Google Scholar

2 Collins FL, Irwin R, Bierhalter H et al. Lactobacillus reuteri 6475 Increases Bone Density in Intact Females Only under an Inflammatory Setting. PLoS ONE 2016; 11: e0153180. CrossrefPubMedWeb of Science®Google Scholar

3.Hsu E, Pacifici R. From osteoimmunology to osteomicrobiology: how the microbiota and the immune system regulate bone. Calcif Tissue Int 2017; 102: 512–21. CrossrefPubMedWeb of Science®Google Scholar


11 Ways To Deal With Acute Pain

Acute pain | Hataitai Osteopaths | Wellington Osteopathy

What to do when theres no one to call... and how your Osteopath can help.

Sudden pain

Sudden pain is scary! Often the pain is far worse than the force that caused it. Often people are frightened - stay calm and grounded, notice your 5 senses so you can concentrate on what you need to do to help yourself.

Suggestions for pain symptoms

Management of musculoskeletal disorders varies considerably depending on the severity and duration of symptoms. Here's some good suggestions:

  • How to relieve pain

Anti inflammatories and pain relief – It is important to reduce your pain to a bearable level so you can move and sleep. Nurofen, Voltaren and Paracetamol are common favourites – follow instructions on the box or consult your pharmacist or doctor. Long term use can be contraindicated.

  • Shock

Shock can be an important part of your injury Arnica 30c or 200c and Rescue Remedy can relieve the shock in your musculoskeletal system and allow faster pain relief and healing to occur. Start with oral form and then use cream if needed.

  • Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatories

These are usually more useful in less severe pain situations but can help take the edge off:

  1. Avoid stimulants - alcohol, coffee, sugar etc. 

  2. Eat healthy - whole foods and plenty of vegetables

  3. Take tumeric - a heaped teaspoon in water 2 x per day or in supplement form

  • Rest and movement

Pain needs rest (20 mins minimum) but also movement such as walking and simple exercises.

Good rest positions:

  1. Semi-supine position – this is a fantastic position after falls or travelling and experiencing different beds , it is also an exercise to correct and train posture

  2. Lie on your back on the floor with lower legs on sofa

  • Hot and cold packs

Cold packs are especially useful for recent injuries because it limits the amount of swelling and tissue damage and allows healing nutrients to get to the injury. Hot and cold packs (alternating 5 mins of hot then cold) are useful after 24 hours to encourage healing.

  • Splinting

Today there are fantastic neck, ankle, knee, wrist etc braces available from larger chemists. Also google to rent wheel chairs, crutches and other mobility aides short term.

  • Strapping

There are now many easy to follow diagrams available on line - ask your chemist which tape to use for limb injuries but leave spinal injuries to the trained practitioners.

  • Sleeping

Get as much sleep as possible! If you need pain relief to sleep take pain it. To get comfortable try a pillow under your knees if lying on back and between knees if lying on your side.

  • See your osteopaths

At Hataitai Osteopaths we have decades of experience treating acute pain and can diagnose and manage conditions arising from the musculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, tendons, cartilage, bones, ligaments and other connective tissues, and the nerves controlling them. Ring us or book your appointment online. Some injuries need a hospital or doctor visit first but call us if you are unsure as we can advise you on this. We are also able to refer for x-rays, ultra sound and apply for ACC cover.


7 Ways To Treat Repetitive Strain Injury


Have you got RSI (also called Oos) or commonly known as repetitive strain injury? Osteopathy is one of the 7 ways you can help yourself.

10 tips to create a stretching habit

Several years ago I had a patient who completely transformed her own spine. She presented with thoracic back pain that was getting worse. On examination she had a severe kyphosis (forward bending curve) of her thoracic spine. I treated her several times but most importantly I introduced her to STRETCHING. She was a model patient and took on all my suggestions, taking weekly pilates lessons and daily at-home sessions. I was stunned, she had created a magnificent, 'straight' spine. After 25 years of Osteopathy here was the power of good habits personified! It is obvious to the Osteopath when a patient regularly stretches. The specific nutrition to the joints created by stretching causes vitality in the musculoskeletal system.

Most commonly patients need Osteopathic realignment (after trauma or repetitive strain) in conjunction with stretching and strengthening exercises. With the majority of patients, within a short amount of time, they can do their own (stretching) body maintenance with little or no Osteopathic assistance.

Yes, your body needs strength- but it also needs length, regularly.


  1. Start with small amounts. In your busy life 5-10 minutes every day may be all you can squeeze in (to start) . At busy times I have alternating stretch routines over the week.

  2. Best time of day is the morning when there are less distractions. Research has shown this is best time for forming new habits.

  3. Add interest – listen to music or podcasts. Follow a video if you have a good one. https://www.gaia.com/yoga/practices

  4. Multitask – use primitive techniques – sit on the floor and put your laptop on the coffee table, walk barefoot: https://nutritiousmovement.com/

  5. Make it easy – do it at home, have your equipment absolutely ready and your gym clothes beside your bed for the morning.

  6. Book a pilates or yoga class – be accountable, pay in advance to increase your commitment and take a friend. Acknowledge that learning to move your body is a life long, ongoing lesson – better learnt in person than on a screen. Try Pilates Flow in Hataitai.

  7. Show self compassion – If you slip up – be kind to yourself and you will be much more likely to succeed. Problems arise when you beat yourself up for not doing it the 'right way'.

  8. Spot your loopholes. - plan in advance for holidays, house guest disruptions

  9. Know yourself. Use what works for you! When it comes to creating a stretching habit, there is no right way, only whats right for you. Read Gretchin Rubins 'Better Than Before'. https://www.fishpond.co.nz/c/Books/q/Better+Than+Before+%E2%80%A6

  10. Concentrate – Focus on your moves! Breathe in your tight spots. Remember what your teacher said…


Lower Back Pain Being Treated Badly On A Global Scale, Study Says

Lower back pain treatment | Wellington Osteopath | Hataitai Osteopaths

Do you have ongoing back problems? We can help, get in touch to see one of our Osteopaths. Osteopaths New Zealand shares:

Osteopaths use a variety of hands-on techniques involving stretching muscles, mobilising joints and more gentle release techniques to help the body achieve its inherent state of homeostasis. There are better solutions to your back pain.

"The experts call for health professionals and patients to adopt what they call a “positive health” approach, defined as “the ability to adapt and to self-manage, in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges”.

Read more about how lower back pain is being treated badly on a global scale.

Photograph: Tom Merton/Getty Images via The Guardian article


Six Fermented Food Recipes

Fermented foods - healthy gut - gut issues | Hataitai Osteopath | Wellington Osteopath

Did you know looking after your gut flora can help your joint pain? How is your microbiome? I'm loving these recipes!

Inflammation is a natural bodily response to stress, infection, or injury. However, prolonged inflammation caused by a self-destructive lifestyle is a harmful response that affects your musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular system, vision, and hormone balance. It’s crucial to control inflammation (there are pain medications of course) but it’s even smarter to prevent inflammation. You can do this through daily exercise, stress management, healthy eating and avoidance of smoking and drinking. But there are many fermented foods and drinks that help reduce inflammation.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods contain natural probiotic's which have both direct and indirect effects on the GI tract, including modulation of resident bacterial colonies and vitamin production. There are also indirect effects exerted at sites outside the GI tract, including the joints, lungs, brain and skin. Indirect effects most likely result from an impact on immunity, via changes in inflammatory mediators such as cytokines. Modulation of inflammatory responses may be related to regulating or modulating the immune system both locally and in the GI tract.

For example it is speculated that inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis may be modulated by the use of probiotics (Marteau et al. 2001). When inflammed, the GI tract becomes permeable and serves as a link between inflammatory diseases of the GI tract and extra‐inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. Modulation or downregulation of the immune system and subsequent reduction in GI permeability can result from consuming probiotics. (Yukuchi et al. 1992; Vanderhoof 2000).

So eat up fermented foods people!


NCBI - Evidence of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics in Intestinal Chronic Diseases 
Clinical Evidence for the Microbiome in Inflammatory Diseases 

Photograph credit: Jonathan West for the Guardian