Quarterly Email - August 2023

8 March 2024

Otago Family Chiropractor


Yes sleep, glorious sleep. 80% of your body’s restoration and healing occurs while you get a restful nights sleep. Of late we have had a few patients asking about which pillow is best and what the best sleeping position is.

A recent post from ‘Chiropractic.org.nz’ stated the easiest position to maintain proper spinal alignment is back sleeping, followed by side sleeping. What position is worst for sleeping? Stomach sleeping. Yes sorry to upset a few of you who so dearly enjoy it but the simple fact is, stomach sleeping compresses the body’s organs along with adding sustained rotation to the cervical spine. This in turn put excess strain on the spinal cord and vertebral artery which feed the brain’s blood supply.

What can be done if you are a tummy sleeper? Placing thick pillows along side your body and draping half our body over them to create a semi side lying posture will help. We have also had patient express surprise that while under regular chiropractic care they no longer wish to sleep on their stomachs.

Next lets tackle pillows. To maintain proper spinal alignment while sleeping your pillow needs to be the appropriate ‘thickness’ for your sleeping style. We understand not everyone sleeps in only one position during the night. To determine the best style of pillow, you need to figure out what position you predominantly sleep in.

  • If you are predominately a back sleeper you will want a thiner pillow as for most of us when we lie on our backs our head is reasonably inline with the rest of our spine.
  • If you are predominantly a side sleeper then you will want a thicker pillow to fill in and support the gap between your shoulder and your head.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper then either a thick pillow to help prop your body up or a donut style pillow to help keep your head neutral and unrotated would be best.

“What about a pillow between the knees? I’ve heard that helps to maintain alignment?”  We are often asked this question and yes a pillow between the legs can be beneficial for some people. The key, if you are sleeping like this, is to ensure the pillow its between both your knees and your ankles. If it is only wedged between one of these areas you will inadvertently add rotation into your pelvis.

If you have any questions regarding your sleeping position or pillows talk to your chiropractor at your next appointment.

Life’s not a sprint… it’s a Marathon!

Strap on ya running shoes and get ready for not one, but two marathons happening in our local cities. The Dunedin Marathon, is happening on the 10th of September, it is a great way to create some movement into your daily routine by starting training now.  For those of you in Balclutha and looking for a break from calving, the Balclutha Half Marathon is on the 14th of October. There are multiple options available from 5km right up to the full marathon distance. Kid friendly, its sure to be a day of fun and memories.  Click the links to register, we will see you there!!!

Mid Winter Whereabouts

The first week of July saw a fun facebook competition held by OFC to support other local businesses in Dunedin. It was really great to see the buy-in from so many of you and others within our community.

Each day we showcased a local Dunedin business that Paddy was visiting - the winner received a voucher for both themselves and a friend from that business.

The competition was such a success that we even had someone attempt to impersonate us and requested people follow a link to enter their bank information.

We would never request this kind of information from you in such a way. If you are ever in doubt about the validity of something that may be associated with us. Please send us a private message on social media or give us a call.

WATCH THIS SPACE in the future as we a planning to make this a regular thing and due to the traction it had we hope to have bigger more amazing prizes and show case more incredible businesses in both Dunedin and Balclutha.

Otago Family Chiropractic is Expanding

A big congratulations to Drs’ Chad and Aidan, we are very excited to announce the arrival of a new member to our chiropractic family expected to arrive in November.

Dr. Aidan is planning to take maternity leave around the end of October. However if you are regularly seeing Dr. Mahoney do not fear, we have both Dr. Chad and Dr. Mahoney to cover her patient base while she is off.

You read that right! - Dr. Mahoney.

Yes Quinn (Aidan’s) brother will be graduating in October and we are very excited to have him as part of our team for the duration on Dr. Aidan’s maternity leave. The soon to be Dr. Quinn is top of his year for both Chiropractic practice and Clinical Diagnosis. We are looking forward to having him on board to share his training and care for our amazing community.

NB *Please be patient with us during November as we will be on “baby watch” and there may be one or 2 shifts where Dr. Chad will be on leave also.

Hospice Bingo Fundraiser

September the local Dunedin BNI’s (Business Networking International) will be hosting a Bingo fundraiser for Hospice. ‘BNI Dunedin City’ approached Hospice with the idea and it is safe to say, they loved it. It will be held on Wednesday 13th September 2023 at the Green Island Rugby Club.  Tickets are $20 a head but be sure to bring more cash as there will be plenty of raffles and silent auction's during the night.  Bring your family, bring your friends and help show some support for a great charity. It is sure to be an incredible event full of great prizes, a lot of laughs and all proceeds going to such a wonderful charity.   For more information or to book please get in touch with Amy Ruthven at: Amy.ruthven@hospice.co.nz

What’s happen’n Balclutha?

We are so happy to be a part of the amazing southern community in Balclutha and to now have a permanent place makes us feel like we are finally ‘home’. During OFC’s week off Dr. Chad and his mate Dean Turner at DLB Signage put the finishing touches on the practice.

What do you guys think? Looks pretty sharp right! And yes, there are even doors now Dr. Aidan.

Come October our amazing receptionist Amber will be stepping back to continue to focus on her business at Mask Beauty and Hair. We are so grateful to have had her help while we settled in to Balclutha and the new space. She will be missed but don’t worry you will still see she her gorgeous face around from time to time.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting us through the process. Your support has meant we can continue to serve the incredible community!

What’s New with Research?

Adjusting the spine changes the brain!

Ever wondered why you feel better after an adjustment? And we are not just talking about pain reduction. It’s almost like the colours seem brighter, your mood lifts and life is good!

Why is that?

Well two studies performed right here in New Zealand looked at what effects chiropractic adjustments had on the body and the brain. What they found, was when you receive a chiropractic adjustment it changes the way your brain processes sensorimotor information and then subsequent motor control patterns providing you with better adaptability to your environment.

In other words, after a chiropractic adjustment your brain is able to more accurately interpret the world around you. It is then able to appropriately control the body’s motor control system (muscles) to ensure you are best able to adapt to your current situation.

When we have spinal dysfunction or ‘Chiropractic Subluxations’ as we call them. It’s like putting a blindfold over different areas of your brain and it is unable to get the whole picture of what is happening. Because most of the time subluxations occur due to chronic habits such as poor posture you don’t notice the gradual detrimental affect.

When you get adjusted, it’s like effectively removing the “blindfolds” and your brain gets a rush of new sensory information which can lead some people to feel like they are seeing the world differently.


Lelic, D., Niazi, I. K., Holt, K., Jochumsen, M., Dremstrup, K., Yielder, P., ... & Haavik, H. (2016). Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the prefrontal cortex: a brain source localization study. Neural plasticity, 2016.