Scoliosis - no problem for Usain Bolt

Article by Dr. Aaron Martin

Usain Bolt has been declared the “fastest man in the world.” While this hasn’t always been technically true, he has won so consistently at the 100 meter distance throughout his career that the nickname “lightning bolt” seems like a pretty good fit.

He has won 6 Olympic gold medals, never placing for silver or bronze.

“When I was younger, the scoliosis wasn’t really a problem. But you grow and it gets worse. My spine was really curved bad. The early part of my career, when we didn’t really know much about it, it really hampered me because I got injured every year.”

Instead of using a brace or enduring dangerous surgery to correct the abnormal curvature of his spine, Usain Bolt used chiropractic treatments.

"I’ve worked hard over the years. I’ve been injured and I’ve worked hard through it, and I’ve made it.”

Bolt uses chiropractic not only to bounce back more quickly from injuries, but also to enhance his performance while healthy. “As long as I’m in great shape, nobody beats me, for sure.

How would you describe kinesiology?

Kinesiology is very commonly used in natural therapies as a way for working with a person’s system to restore more normal function.

Kinesiology uses muscle testing or distortion analysis as a means of accessing information about your physical body and its systems. This information assists Rod to know:

  • When to adjust
  • Where to adjust and importantly
  • When to leave things alone

This means that the treatment you receive is designed to be compatible with what your body needs on the day you are treated.

Why should dads be careful when they give their child a skate board?

If you’re an active skateboarding dad yor & your child are in good hands and this blog is not for you.

But if you hung up your skate board 10 years ago and you have given your child their 1st skateboard and you intend to show them a few tricks – BEWARE!

Lots of dads end up in emergency with broken arms and sometimes broken heads when things don’t go to plan because if you don’t use it (practice) you lose it.

Seriously, if you retire an activity the movement patterns that you created in your brain start to erode through neglect and if you leave it long enough the pattern will be gone. You can think that you have the moves but you risk being hurt as you find you haven’t.

Suggestion -  if you want to skate board with your child, become a beginner with them (this means that you start again).

If you are in your 30s you may find that your child learns faster, is quicker, less fearful and starts to run rings around you.

Don’t be shy. Your child will be quietly impressed that you skate board with them and that you are cool, even for an oldie.

Why I switched to Activator Chiropractic Technique 30 + years ago and haven’t ‘cracked’ anyone’s back since

All chiropractors are well trained in spinal adjustments (manipulation).

However, there is a great range of chiropractic techniques which can 'look' and 'feel' very different from each other.

As a chiropractic student, I worked for Dr Shirley George, a Sydney chiropractor, massaging patients in her clinic.

Shirley was a ‘non crack' chiropractor. She worked with SOT and Activator Methods (both ‘crack free chiropractic techniques) and used a great deal of Applied Kinesiology in her practice.

Kinesiology and Activator Technique particularly appealed to me and since attending my 1st Activator Technique seminar during my 1st year in practice, I haven’t ‘cracked’ a back since.

Activator Technique is;

  • good to use with the very young, the old and the frail, plus everyone in between.
  • Activators deliver a thrust that is light but extremely fast and it is the speed of the activator’s impulse that ‘adjusts’ the spine.
  • While at the same time, the patient experiences a relatively gentle experience.
  • Children especially seem to be relaxed while being adjusted with an activator.  

I keep an Activator in my car so I don’t leave home without one.

Activator II  (manual)                     Activator III  (manual)                  Activator V (electronic)

Sitting is said o be the new smoking... What does this mean?

It is now recognised that inactivity is dangerous for your health

and that sitting for long periods is should be avoided. It has been suggested that the long term health impact from sitting may well be as serious for us as smoking.

protect yourself by;

  1. Notice what you do and don't do in your work day. What patterns do you have and do they lock you into inactivity?
  2. buying a tracker such as a fit bit to see how many steps a day you actually take
  3. put some things out of reach such as your printer so that you have to get up to use them
  4. set an alarm on your phone to remind you that it is time for you to get up and stretch
  5. have a buddy agreement so that you both get up when your phone reminds you

What is the age range of people who come to Rod for chiropractic?

I work with people of all ages.

The youngest baby was 4 days old and I often work with people in their late 80s and early 90s.

The impulse of the Activator instrument is adjusted to match the size and health of the patient and which part of the body is being treated.

The strongest settlings are for the pelvis and low back in adults and lightest for the upper neck and base of the skull.

For children, babies, the elderly and the frail I use Activator settings that are appropriate and, because of the speed of the Activator's impulse, surprisingly light settings are all that is required.

Is it important to allow your children to crawl?

Beware of bounders & walkers for little ones.

As children develop they stretch their boundaries and struggle to be able to do the thing that is just out of their reach. This struggle is an integral part of their development. If you make it easy for your child to bypass this (struggle) developmental process they miss out on a part of their integrative development.

It is important to let your children crawl before they walk.

What can you do that’s good for your joints?

What can you do that is beneficial for your joints?

Check out these don’ts and Dos


  1. Run in worn shoes.
  2. Pound protesting joints. For example' running with sore ankles, feet or knees. Get yourself checked out by a qualified person.
  3. Eat junk food or consume a high sugar diet.


1.       Make sure that spinal and limb joints are not jammed or restricted – this is a chiropractor's skill area

2.       Exercise so that you

  1.   Stretch and maintain joint flexibility
  2.   Load your joints with light to moderate weight - regular loading is good for your joints
  3.   Cross train or vary your exercise on consecutive days

3.       Eat nutritious food. Avoid sugar which some nutritionists claim can acidify your system and lead to joint pain

Sleep well – your body repairs during sleep

What shape are you in?

What shape are you in?

How do you know?

How often do you have your spine checked?

These are a very important questions for your health!

If we’re talking about your teeth, blood pressure, liver function, PAP smears, for example, you are presented with results because an expert has specifically checked the normality of your system for you.

By law, your car is checked each year, but what about your spine? BUT... When was the last time that your spine was checked?

Your mechanic will check for joints in your car that are too tight or too loose and adjust them back to a normal. Similarly, chiropractors check your spine for normal or abnormal patterns of movement and adjust joints that are too tight so these joints can move more freely. This allows joints that had been moving excessively to settle back into a normal pattern.

This is very important if you want to ensure that you keep good spinal health with smooth joint surfaces and healthy discs.

If you want to find out what shape your spine is in have it checked by a qualified practitioner who works with spines every day. 

for more information phone 0402156373 or email

Food for Health

7 simple suggestions about Food for Your Health

Simply incorporate any or all of the following 7 suggestions;

1.       Food prepared from scratch with fresh ingredients

2.       Organic produce is better

3.       Shop as locally as you can and be mindful or the origin of your food

4.       Rainbow foods – eat the full spectrum of coloured fruits and vegetables such as               purple carrots

5.       Unrefined foods – use cold pressed oils, wild caught salmon

6.       Give sugar in all its forms a miss

7.       Reduce / avoid fruit juices – they are very high in sugar and are NOT HEALTHY for             children 

Start with the easiest options and build towards better health.

Can your physical pain ever be a reflection of inner pain?



The short answer is YES… and we have all experienced this.

This is often referred to as the body mind connection, where emotional stress shows up as a body symptom.

When people are stressed they may experience; tightness in their shoulders, increased/decreased appetite, difficulty in sleeping or headaches for example.

Working with people to manage or reduce underlying stress or anxiety has been an interest of mine for many years and I have frequently worked with people who describe living with complex trauma and/or experiencing significant loss and grief.

I completed a Master of Social Work Qualifying and worked concurrently with my chiropractic practice for several years as a family worker with a Newcastle NGO.

I recommend you an excellent 30-minute podcast from the ABC’s All in The Mind Program titled the Science of Mind over Body broadcast March 20th 2016

Click here to listen or download the audio file

Flexibility & Stiffness - It's up to you

It’s true! If you don’t use it, you lose it  

You must use the FULL range of your joints regularly or your flexibility will slowly but surely diminish without you knowing.

As children we were active, constantly stretching our bodies. But, as adults, responsibilities and demands accumulate and we simply move less.

We contract but we don’t notice the slowing down.


So it may come as a shock to realise that you are becoming a stiffer, less inflexible person.

To help yourself and improve your flexibility requires;

1.         A PLAN OF ACTION

  • are you better in a class or prefer to be doing your own thing?
  • are you interested in yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, swimming, body balance for example?
  • it is important that you have fun while you exercise
  • having a buddy or partner can be very encouraging


  • results take time and it can be a little tough at first
  • doing things that you used to be good at but are not so good at now can be hard


  • small is safe – pace yourself in the class – you’ll improve if you persist
  • it is better for your body and your confidence to start ‘small’ and then slowly build both the duration of your exercise and then the intensity of your exercise.




Try this: (STAY SAFE - have someone there to catch you)

  • Stand on 1 leg with your eyes open. How long can you do this for each leg?
  • Now stand on 1 leg with your eyes closed. How long can you do this for each leg?
  • Compare yourself to the table below.

One-Leg Balance Test (Bohannon 1984) shows the time a person can balance with their eyes open and closed:

Age 20 – 59      eyes open = 29.5 secs      eyes closed = 21-28 secs

Age 60 – 69      eyes open = 22.5 secs      eyes closed = 10 secs

Age 70 – 79      eyes open = 14.2 secs      eyes closed = 4.3 secs

With older age our balance reduces.

Importantly, with your eyes closed, balance drops dramatically because our ability to sense our body position (without visual input) has eroded largely because of disuse.


1.       Use your proprioception pathways regularly by performing balance exercises with your
a.       eyes open and
b.       eyes closed

Simply practicing the One-Legged Balance Test above will improve your eyes open and eyes closed balance (be sure to do both sides).

2.       The (pictured) woman on the coloured blocks of foam is heel toe walking on an unstable surface
a.        Try heel toe walking on the floor with your eyes open -this is good for your balance
b.       Try heel toe walking on a spongy floor with your eyes open – the instability is good for your balance
c.       Try heel toe walking on the floor with your eyes closed – this can be quite challenging and is very good for your propioception

Do balance exercises often – several times a week for a safer older age.