LISMORE PAIN CLINIC, (02) 6622 6966
Questions we get asked about SCENAR often include:
  1. Does this work like Ultrasound? or
  2. Is this a TENS machine?

When I launch into one of my dissertations about how it works I can’t help notice how eyes glaze over.  I would love to be a fly on the wall when you try to describe your SCENAR treatment to family and friends.

In a nutshell, this is it….

It’s NOT ultrasound.  In ultrasound the machine transmits high-frequency (1 to 5 megaHertz, that is 1 – 5 million cycles per second) pulses into the body using a probe.  As these sound waves bounce off tissues within your body the machine measures distances and intensity of echos and projects these on a screen.

It’s NOT a TENS machine. TENS stands for Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator.  In simple terms a TENs stimulates nerves via an electrical current applied to your skin.  Its main mode of operation is thought to interfere with the transmission of pain signals by blocking the neural ‘gate’ through which pain travels.  This is called the “Pain Gate Theory”.   It can be moderately effective in reducing pain but its effects are short lived because the body adapts around the TENS to eventually block it off.

SCENAR stands for Self Controlled Electro Neuro Adaptive Regulator and is also called Non Invasive Biofeedback Neuro Stimulation. Like the TENS, SCENAR applies an electrical current across the surface of the skin.  It similarities end there.  Rather than “shouting” at the body to cause a temporary pain-gate block, it coaxes the entire system to make subtle changes.  It achieves this using a biofeedback system.  Between each of its impulses (nano seconds) it listens to how the brain is responding to its signals.  It then changes its waveform to continue to encourage the body to make change through dialogue.

This electrical two-way communication process enables the body to make changes in real time to not only reduce pain, but also to restore function.

Now you know how it works … its time to make an appointment:

Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years. Probably since humans discovered it felt good to have someone rub their sore shoulders. It’s thought the term ‘massage’ originates from the Greek word massein, meaning “to knead”. Not every massage you’ve had in the past has met your expectations. How then do you choose a massage that meets your needs?

Know your objectives.

What are you looking to achieve from your treatment? Is it

  • pain relief in a particular region of your body?
  • treatment for a medical condition such as “Tennis elbow” or “carpal tunnel”?
  • Or are you just wanting to relax and feel good?

The different modalities of massage aim to achieve different results and outcomes. If you have have been to a few different massage therapists, you would have realised different therapists are trained in any number of modalities. They also specialise in different techniques.

If you are a sports person you may be interested in seeing someone who is trained in dealing with injuries or reducing recovery times so you can improve your performance. On the other hand, you may be living through particularly stressful times and would like some general tension relief.

Learn about the different modalities available

When people call here for the first time looking for a massage I often ask them what they are looking for. The terms they most often use are:

Remedial Massage:literally, a massage that affects, or moves towards, a remedy
Sports Massage:Massage that helps achieve particular objectives in line with sports. This may be a pre-even stimulating massage or a post event massage to normalise the body tissues . It may be a restorative massage given during training to allow harder training with less injury. Then there is rehabilitation massage, which is aimed at alleviating pain from injury.
Deep Tissue:Actually, this is a popular term but there is no such thing as “deep tissue”. Usually, those seeking “deep tissue” massage are looking for something they can feel, as opposed to a soft fluffy massage.
Relaxation:This is often what is described as Swedish massage. Basically it is a whole body rub using oils, which may or may not contain fragrant essential oils. Ultimately, all massages are relaxing.
Pain Relief:This massage describes the objective of getting some relief from pain. Pain relief can be achieved using many different methods and styles of massage.

All are massage. I may use several different techniques and technologies in the performance of these massaged so as to achieve our mutually agreed upon goals.

How much does it cost?

I can remember, in another life, looking for relief for tight shoulders while I was studying at Uni. As I rang around looking for a massage my first question was always “How much do you charge?”. While ‘costs’ are important, it shouldn’t be the first question. You get what you pay for. Don’t fall into the trap of selecting a massage provider only because they are the cheapest.  They may not be qualified and may not belong to a governing association.  That may leave you unprotected.

If an hour’s massage is out of your budget then ask to make it shorter.  Discuss your objectives with our therapist to  settle on mutually agreeable objectives that are affordable to you.

When was your last massage?


ImmuneboostHow is your immunity?  Is your body coping with the seasonal changes? This Winter has seen an increase in the number of flu admissions to our hospitals. Gut bugs have also been rampant. As Winter gives way to Spring we are told to expect more flu cases. If its not flu then hay fever is next.
Air borne pollen should normally be harmless. Sometimes our immune systems mistakenly identified the pollen as dangerous, and this leads to an over-the-top immune reaction. This causes antibodies to respond, and our mast cells which form part of our immune system, release histamine which inflame and irritate the mucous membranes. This results in the itchy, sneezing, congestion and sore eyes so typical of hay fever.

Pollen is not the only irritant. Other common culprits are house dust, animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches and mould spores.

What can you do to help prepare for this onslaught?

Food …

  • Reduce the inflammatory burden on your body by avoiding processed and junk foods like sugar and trans fatty acids
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables, which are full of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Flavonoids
  • Include more seafood in your diet. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, so increase fish consumption or take fish oil supplements.
  • Reduce dairy products to three times per week. These that can increase mucus production.
  • Cut back on alcohol and coffee as these deplete essential nutrients needed by the immune system.
  • Drink two litres of water daily

Stress …

Sustained high levels of Cortisol, which is produced by our bodies to handle stress, over time will have a negative effect on your immunity. To keep this in check:

  • Make it a priority to take time out to do things you enjoy.  This counters stress.
  • Ensure you are getting adequate, good quality sleep.  For most people this is 7 – 8 hours.  If you find it difficult to get to sleep or if you wake frequently through the night, you need to fix this. Make an appointment now.
  • Light to moderate exercise counters the effects of stress but you don’t have to be a gym junkie.
  • We use both massage and SCENAR therapy in this clinic to fight the effects of stress in people’s lives.  Which is most effective?  The jury is still out!


Fortify your immune system …

Several herbs are well-recognised for having immune-building properties, whereas others can help reduce congestion and restore mucus membranes function. Our herbal dispensary is full of evidence based traditional medicines. See our herbal practitioner to find which ones are more suited for you.

Other supplements that can help boost your immune system are Vitamin C, Bromelain, Garlic, Quercetin and Zinc. Vitamin C and Quercetin also act as anti-histamines, and Bromelain and Garlic can help breakdown excess mucus.

We all know that health bodies will have health immune systems. If you are like most people (and especially if you are a mum) you’re the last one you look after.  Its time to put yourself first.  Why not avail yourself of our online booking system now.


Though ragweed is common across many parts of the world, we probably grow more of it on our 100 acres than I’ve ever seen anywhere!.

When I take the tractor out to slash weeds I need to dress up like a World War 1 vet, donned in full suit and gas mask

I get hay fever so bad, I itch and sneeze for days after a mow!

Ragweed is well known in the Northern Rivers and pollenates here (when the seasons behave themselves), in March, April & May.  Not only does ragweed seem to grow anywhere, each annual weed produces It produces copious amounts of pollen – usually in the millions of grains.  Designed to be aerodynamic, this pollen can travel thousands of kays from a parent plant. The pollen grains are released in clumps, held together with a sticky substance called pollenkitt. These clumps break apart in the air, allowing the grains to be distributed far and wide. Ragweed’s florets have a bottlebrush-like mechanism to ensure the plant pushes out every last irritating pollen grain.

Unfortunately for those of us with environmental allergies, ragweed pollen grains are also potent, able to turn human beings into wet tissues.

So is it war?

Before you beat a path to your local pharmacist to purchase crates of the latest pharmaceutical sneezagon tablets that you see advertised on TV, have a think about possible healthier options.  If you are like me you are so keen to breathe more clearly you don’t bother reading the leaflet in the box.  Even if you did see the words “Side effects”, you probably wouldn’t consider they could apply to you.

Check out these side effects published by one popular allergy medication:

  • This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this product, especially excitation and agitation
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this product, especially dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, constipation, fast/irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, or urination problems. Dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
  • During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
  • This medication may pass into breast milk and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

The packet warns if you take it too much or for too long you may suffer hallucinations, seizure and even death.  Then there are all the warnings to not take the medication at all if you present with any of a list of conditions.

Old school gardeners and herbalists may have the answer

Its a secret kept by many. Gardeners know that by picking off the top of a ragweed and chewing it they avoid all ragweed’s horrible symptoms.  I am not recommending we all go out and eat the stuff, but it does highlight an age old principle in traditional homeopathic medicine.

With just a few drops of a tincture of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (that’s Latin for Ragweed) in my mouth and I can ditch the mask, the itches and the sneezing.

Now I have to come up with another excuse not to mow!