Category: blog

History of the Easter Egg, Easter Bunny & Chocolate April 17, 2019

The ancient historical meaning of the Easter egg is the symbolism of new life. The Easter egg is believed to have originated in America in the 1700’s with German immigrants settling in Pennsylvania transporting their tradition of an egg laying hare called “Osterhase”, now more commonly known as the “Easter Bunny”. The German children would often construct nests in which the hare could lay its coloured eggs. Christianity, however, uses the Easter egg to resemble Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection with the eggs often dyed red to represent Jesus’ blood. Other sources suggest that the tradition of decorating Easter eggs dates back to the early 13th century with some people believing eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season. Therefore, people would paint and decorate eggs to signify the end of the period of fasting, then eat them on Easter to celebrate.

The more commonly accepted chocolate Easter egg is a sweet treat introduced by the Europeans in the early 19th century as a marketing tool. The Americans consume the most Easter sweets each year spending $1.6 billion each year. Chocolate has been historically appreciated beginning in Mesoamerica in 350BC with cacao seeds being used to produce fermented beverages. The Aztecs considered the seeds to be a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom with the seeds being used as a form of currency because of their extreme value and importance. The chocolate commonly seen on the grocery store shelves was founded by Joseph Fry in 1847 by adding melted cacao butter with Dutch Cocoa to produce a chocolate bar. Furthermore, that sparked the evolution of a small business named Cadbury in England.
Written by Kaleb Wilden
References
Violatti, Cristian. “Easter.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. March 31, 2014. Web Accessed March 26, 2019.
Dominguez, Trace. “What Does the Easter Bunny Have To Do With Easter?” Discovery News, March 26, 2019.
Orgill, Kelly. “Easter: The nation’s second biggest candy selling holiday.” The Digital Universe, April 5, 2012. Web Accessed March 26, 2019.


Headaches! A pain in the neck February 15, 2019

Nearly everyone has experienced the discomfort of a headache and the effect it can have on everyday life. Have you ever noticed that headaches appear at your busiest or most stressful times? There are multiple factors that influence headaches such as muscle tightness or joint stiffness, hormone levels, stress, medications and lifestyle choices. Identifying and addressing these issues is important in treating headaches and preventing their return.

Stress is a factor that can contribute to headaches as when we are stressed we can subconsciously tense our muscles or adopt poor postures. Poor posture with rounded shoulders and a forward poking head can cause muscle imbalances and tightness which can contribute to a headache. For example your head weighs about the same as a bowling ball. Imagine if you were to carry around a bowling ball all day, would you carry it close to your body or hold it out in front of you with your arms straight? …. Of course you would keep it close to your body. Similar to if your head is sitting forward due to poor posture imagine the extra strain this puts on your neck muscles.

Headaches originating from the cervical spine and neck muscles are known as cervicogenic headaches. Assessment by our physiotherapists to identify any issues with posture, neck tightness, muscle weakness and any other contributing factors can assist with finding a way to manage your headaches.  A range of manual therapy techniques can be used to relieve and treat headaches in the short term. Longer term solutions can include an individualised exercise program by one of our physiotherapists or exercise physiologists to address any of the above contributing factors.

Tips to avoid headaches:

      • Staying hydrated
      • Eating a balanced diet
      • Avoid food that can trigger headaches such as citrus fruits, some dairy products and MSG
      • Participate in regular exercise
      • Engage in activities to reduce stress

A method to reduce stress and improve posture is participating in exercise such as walking, cycling or pilates. We have got you covered! So why not participate in one of our stretch up classes to loosen your muscles or a pilates class to help with posture, strength and muscle endurance? So the next time you experience a headache don’t go for a short term fix but instead consider the benefits of finding a long term solution.

References:

Headache Australia – https://headacheaustralia.org.au/

Gwendolen, J et al. 2002, A Randomized Controlled Trial of Exercise and Manipulative Therapy for Cervicogenic Headache, Spine, Volume 27, issue 17.

Jull, G., Sterling, M., Falla, D., Treleaven, J., & O’Learly, S, 2008, Whiplash, Headache and Neck Pain: Research-Based Directions for Physical Therapies. Elsevier Limited

         – Written by Hannah Zwar