Ribollita. A great winter soup. Italians swear this helps fight the flu/colds, at least that’s what we have been told!

One of my favourite dishes during winter is the ribollita. Perfect for using up old, stale but good quality bread, and easy to put together with seasonal veggies for next to nothing. It’s not minestrone, it’s a beautiful thick, bread-based soup with no pasta in it. You’ll love it even more with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, and mark my words, make enough for the next day because the flavours are even better! as it isn’t brothy and it has no pasta in it.

It’s very much Italian peasant food and would have been eaten a lot in the days of no central heating and lots of hard manual labour. This recipe embraces the heart and soul of what peasant cooking is all about cheap, tasty power food that warms your soul and keeps you well.

Dr Shane Heslop

Osteopath.  City Osteopathy

INGREDIENTS

                     1 pound dried cannellini beans

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large sweet onion, small-diced
    • salt
    • 2 large carrots, small-diced
    • 3 celery stalks, small-diced
    • 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and small-diced (2 cups)
    • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and thinly sliced
    • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes, drained
    • Bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves plus a couple sprigs each of fresh sage, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and thyme, tied together with twine
    • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 pound cavolo nero (a.k.a. dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale), leaves torn into small pieces, stems finely minced
    • 3 cups torn country bread, toasted
    • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Place the beans in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Cover the bowl and soak the beans in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, pour the beans and their soaking liquid into a slow cooker. Add enough fresh water to cover the beans by 2 inches, cover with the lid, and cook on the high setting for 4 hours.
  3. Place a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and when the oil shimmers, add the onion. Season with salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until softened. Add the carrots, celery, butternut squash, and garlic, and cook for 5 more minutes, until starting to soften. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, crushing each one in your hand as you add it. Add the bouquet garni, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of the red pepper flakes. Cook on the low setting for 3 hours.
  4. Uncover the slow cooker, remove the bouquet garni, and add the kale, bread, 1 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes. Stir the soup well, season with more salt to taste, and serve with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top.

FLU VACCINE, some info from your Osteopaths…..

FLU vaccine. When should you get it? Why should you get it? Who should get it? How do you get the flu?!
Flu is front and centre at this time of the year. Each year there seems to be more and more strident calls that its going to be the worst flu year, that the strains are hyper virulent.


The flu vaccine is working at its peak in your body about TWO weeks after your vaccination. But the vaccine effects slowly reduce over time unfortunately, in particular it seems after a few months. Peak flu season in Melbourne is July, August and into September. Hence for your own protection, its best to have your vaccine working well in these months. We believe its best then to get your vaccine later than April and probably best in late May.
Those who are younger, or older than 65 yrs, immuno compromised, or in contact with these people should get vaccinated.
People forget how dangerous the flu can be! Its the greatest cause of death for a disease that has a vaccine! Spanish flu, bird flu etc were all communicable diseases. And we get different flu strains every year. Best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands regularly, avoid densely packed space like trains, keep exercising, sleep well. Natural products we have heard great things from patients are Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin C, and Echinacea. Do they work? We dont know, but our patients believe they do!
Osteopathy may also play an indirect role. Moving fluids, keeping you loose and pain free. Why wouldn’t it!?

Dr Shane Heslop

Melbourne Osteopath

City Osteopathy

What Goes on at a Melbourne Osteopath Clinic?

Image of a Businesswoman suffering from backache in office

Osteopaths in Melbourne offer a non-invasive alternative therapy that aims to improve not only an individual’s musculoskeletal system, but is also beneficial across vital body systems through manual therapy.

Individuals who wish to treat injuries as well as strengthen and condition the musculoskeletal system should look into obtaining services from the best osteopaths Melbourne has to offer.

 

What do osteopath clinics in Melbourne focus on?

An osteopath has three main focal points during treatment:

  • Muscles
  • Spinal column
  • Joints

 

The following organ systems are directly influenced by osteopathic manipulative treatments:

  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Nervous system
  • Lymphatic system
  • Circulatory system

 

The manual medicine utilised by osteopathic doctors during both treatment and diagnosis is what separates osteopathy from other complementary therapies disciplines such as chiropractic medicine and physiotherapy.

 

The most common problems that osteopaths in Melbourne diagnose, treat, and manage are as follows:

  • Acute and chronic back pain
  • Headache and migraine attacks
  • Tennis and golfer’s elbow pain
  • Hand, shoulder, and elbow pains
  • Postural problems
  • Neuralgia
  • Insomnia

 

During an initial consultation, an osteopathic practitioner will assess your condition and listen to your primary complaints. Once an interview is completed, an osteopathic professional will then perform manual manipulation to diagnose the condition as well as discuss solutions to achieve pain relief. Referrals will be made to other members of the healthcare team if and when additional treatment interventions are deemed necessary.

Osteopathy centres on  the delivery of effective and fast relief and comfort to its patients. If you wish to schedule an initial consultation with the best osteopathic doctors practicing in Melbourne, please give us a call on 03 9663 5450 today.

What Services Does the Best Osteopath in Melbourne Offer?

Image of a young woman with back pain sitting on the bed at home

Osteopathy is a hands-on diagnosis and treatment offered to patients that suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. It is a complementary medicine subspecialty that aims to treat the musculoskeletal system, which will also have the effect of influencing other organ systems, too. It explains the relationship across all organs with the purpose of enhancing one’s health and wellness as well as prevent diseases and injuries in patients.

 

Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy

Osteopaths in Melbourne CBD primarily makes use of osteopathic manipulation therapy or OMT in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders. This unique approach of osteopathy was designed to restore optimal functioning as well as improve health and wellness with the use of hand manipulation techniques.

During an OMT session, manual pressure and/force is applied to affected regions. Through the application of manipulative therapy techniques, problems that arise from the spinal column are identified as well as organ systems that are related to it.

 

The most common complaints of patients who visit the best osteopaths in Melbourne are as follows:

  • Sports-related injuries
  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Recurring stress injuries
  • Headaches and migraine attacks

 

Let’s focus on the most common concern of patients visiting an osteopath clinic:

  • Arthritis
  • Neck and back pain
  • Tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • Sciatica pain
  • Headache and migraine attacks
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Vertigo
  • Postural problems

 

The Different Types of Osteopathic Manipulation Treatments

Osteopathic doctors make use of the following hands-on technique in the diagnoses and treatment of conditions:

  • Counterstrain technique
  • Manipulation or thrust type technique
  • Muscle energy technique
  • Soft tissue technique

 

If you wish to gain in-depth knowledge about the osteopathic manipulation therapies mentioned above, set an appointment with us today. You may reach us on 03 9663 5450.

Dr Nia May discusses SLEEP, why, how, what to do…

Sleep!  For many, an elusive thing that is often not making a large enough appearance through the week, for others it comes easily … for most it is rarely prioritised and is put to one side for that extra half hour of Netflix, that late night phone call, or just bumbling about because of an active mind after a demanding day.

Many hours of study and research have gone into sleep – sleep quality, sleep length, the effects of sleep deprivation, this list goes on.  Out of this, it is still very difficult to treat people with lasting sleep disturbances, however there are some clear guidelines about why we might want to begin re-prioritising our sleep health, and how we can help ourselves to get better quality sleep when our head hits the pillow.

Below are some interesting pointers to the why’s and how’s of sleep – you may be a tired new parent, or a late-working accountant who to some extent is not able to fully control the reasons they are not getting their regular rest hours.  Even if this is you, or a near match, there is often small things that can help to make the most of what we can get.  Remember, more important than the quantity of sleep in hours, is the quality of sleep – meaning what happens within us when we are sleeping.

5 things you may not know that sleep is important for

  • Weight loss via fat loss (what?! Yes!)
  • Recovery and repair
  • Mental agility, focus and performance at work
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Long term health

5 tips to help your sleep quality

  • Turn off your screens at least two hours before bed – this includes kindle on the tablet, games on the mobile phone, texts, internet browsing … the lot.  Why? – the blue light from screens is the worst culprit for ruining a good restful sleep.
  • Keep your bed as a sleep space, not a work space. – your osteopath will give you ‘the look’ anyway if you reveal that you have been doing all your assignments, reports, and admin on the laptop whilst sitting on your bed … not good for your spine, not good for your aching muscles, not good for your eyes, not good for your concentration … and not good for getting to sleep once you get back into bed to attempt some shut-eye.  This includes watching television in bed.
  • Get a routine rolling! – our bodies looove routine, we are a creature of cycles – hormonal cycles, blood pressure cycles, and yes, sleep-wake cycles.  Having a regular routine before bed helps to align your physiological state with your wish to sleep. This can be as simple as a calming hot drink an hour before bed; a gentle movement routine if you are enjoying your yoga or other type of practise; reading (not on a screen!) for a set amount of time – the list really is endless of what you could incorporate into your (short or long) evening routine.
  • Support your thinking-mind to switch off – the power of lists.  Busy lives are aligned with busy minds, and thoughts of things to do and not to forget have a habit of fighting for attention and disturbing sleep.  Try keeping a notebook next to your bed and, perhaps as part of rolling out an evening routine, try writing a list of things of things to set down out of your mind, with the comfort that having written them down in your list you will be able to come back to them at a more realistic time.  Even if you wake up during the night and think of yet another pressing thing, writing this down can help you to get back to sleep. (meditation has also been shown to improve sleep quality, lower stress and improve cognition over time – it can help to reduce that ‘mental chatter’)
  • Is what you eat helping or hindering you? – As a rule, independent of your chosen way to eat, certain foods will not help your sleep life.  Caffeine disturbs your normal sleep cycle meaning that even if you think you sleep normal hours after that post-prandial coffee, you will not get the benefits of a full night’s sleep.  Caffeine even six hours before sleep can make you lose up to an hour of sleep quality even if you are asleep.  Have a caffeine curfew, I recommend stopping having caffeine at least eight hours before bed.  Other things to think about are MSG, as well as getting enough of the ‘goodies’ such as potassium, magnesium, etc.

Look out on our City Osteopathy blog for more information coming about how to support healthy sleep, as well as lots of top information on many other interesting and worthwhile topics!

Dr Nia May Osteopath Melbourne