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January 9, 2020 Niseko life0

Just a courtesy note to let current and future clients of Niseko Chiropractic that we are unavailable to provide consultations until the 12th of Jan as we are on a family visit to the amazing Sapporo city.


We will resume usual hours from Monday the 12th of Jan.

Wishing you all a happy 2020 and for those that are skiing niseko we hope some more of that famous Niseko powder falls soon.



November 7, 2019 ClinicalNiseko life0

So what exercises work ?

A very interesting article was recently published in the British Medical Jounal.

They examined the important question of which type of exercises work best for chronic lower back pain ?

Should we be doing yoga, pilates strength training or Mckenzie extension exercises to help our lower back pain. We don’t have time for everything so what works the best ?

Lower back pain that last more than 12 weeks ( Chronic lower back pain ) is a huge burden to society. Although chronic lower back pain only makes up 20% of cases that present to us practitioners it makes up over 80% of the costs for the direct costs of low back pain and if you have chronic lower pain you know you would be happy to try anything for meaningful result.

Each week there seems to be a new ” miracle cure ” or celebrity exercise program that is going to cure all and make all our flabby bits go way. Should we be doing kettle bells squats or swiss ball situps ? what is really going to help ?

And The Answer ?

Well according to authors the good news is that almost all exercise programs that you can choose from tend to make a significant improvement but not 1 thing seems to be so much better than anything else (1) .

So if you already drawn to pilates and yoga and enjoy the social aspect of these programs then pick one of those and stick to it. Niseko has some great yoga and pilates programs running such as Powder Yoga and Yoga with Marika.

If doing some lower back exercises at the gym is more your thing then some good news there. They also seem to help so again there are some great options at the local Kutchan gynamisium or also I believe we know have a Niseko Crossfit opening in Kutchan.

Stretching by itself seemed to have very little improvement so if you are trying to treat your back pain just with stretches you watched from youtube you may have work cut out trying to get a good result.

The Mckenzie method which seemed to be darling child of rehab for few years got poo pooed in the study (1) My thoughts on this is that the Mckenzie method really seems to shine when you are dealing with a disc issue and much of non specific lower back does not really have a firm diagnosis so perhaps we may be making the sample size a little to general here. (1)

And The Winner ?

This study seemed to indicate that the pilates method seemed to yield the highest results but only by small margain against the others. The authors also sound significant improvements for mental health so if we can get off just looking at pain for a moment there are far higher reaching benefits to choosing an exercise activity that works for you.

Just my hunch but one reason I think the mat classes do so well is the social interaction and support you get from them. There is a big plus to exercising where you have friends waiting your attendance and have somebody to share a coffee with afterwards.

Even simple old arerobics seemed to get some positive results so even joining a fitness class or taking up light jogging my useful.

Us manual therapists also received a kick up the bum. It’s hard when research does not always agree with your clinical experience but if you are going to have some faith in the science then we are going to have to eat humble pie sometimes. As therapists we must try harder to incorporate exercise therapy into our treatments and also help hold the patients accountable for commitment to their chosen exercise program.

We must be a little cautious here. the beauty of the meta-analysis is that it allows a bit more power in finding what really works but the downside is that by throwing so many studies everything can get so generic that it can loose relevance to the actually condition.

This study only looked at ” non specific lower back “. If your therapist is confident of a structural diagnosis for your symptoms then some of the conclusions here may not be relevant for you. I’m thinking disc herniation or chronic SI ligament problems etc.

So the take home message for those in Niseko experiencing chronic lower back is that what is important is to pick an exercises intervention that works for you and stick to it.

In conjunction with a trial of manual therapy you will be well positioned to give yourself every chance of an active and enjoyable recovery.

If you would like to make an appointment with an English in speaking chiropractor in Niseko Japan you can do so on the link below





  1. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2019/10/28/bjsports-2019-100886



November 5, 2019 ClinicalNiseko life0

It’s long been established that snowboarding carries a slightly greater risk of injury that alpine skiing. A recent study found snowboarding carrying a risk of around 345 days of injury free days over season compared to 400 days for skiing (1).

You can see what injuries are more likely from each sport on a previous article here. But in a nutshell its wrist and upper extremity injuries that you are most likely to experience on the Niseko slopes.

The good news is that helmet use is now well over 60% with no significant difference between skiers and snowboarders and skiers and surprisingly the study found that both skiers and snowboarders were taking about the same level of risky lines and challenges.

But there still seems to be a difference in their injury rates !


But why ?

Some recently published from Austria ( it figures ) has shown there may be a more interesting reason snowboarders are more prone to injuries.

Some of them may be ” on the turps ” as us Australians may say. Snowboarders reported that 45% of them had been on the booze at least once over the previous 5 skiing days ( only 25% for skiers reported to be drinking ) (2).

This is kind of important as research from the Dolomite mountain seasons in 2009 showed that of 200 snowboarding accidents that presented to the local hospital for snowsports injuries a whopping 43% had high blood alcohol levels. So getting on the booze increases your risk of a snowsport injury substantially ( 3).

It’s so tempting to booze up here in Niseko where some of the sweetest tasting beer in the world is available icy cold and cheap from every vending machine all over the slops but with the added risk of dehydration you are really much better off leaving your drinking and partying down below.

There are no good easy or cheap accidents on the snow and an off piste injury can leave you in world of physical and financial pain, even if you have travel insurance.

So stay safe and do your partying in Hirafu or Kutchan. And do some for me too.




  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0363546511433279

2. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201916(20), 3807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203807

3. Gaudio, R. M., Barbieri, S., Feltracco, P., Spaziani, F., Alberti, M., Delantone, M., … Avato, F. M. (2010). Impact of alcohol consumption on winter sports-related injuries. Medicine, Science and the Law, 50(3), 122–125. doi:10.1258/msl.2010.010007


“The wise rest at least as hard as they work.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana


Something interesting happened on the 28th of May 2019.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially recognized and classified workplace burnout as a Occupational phenomena but they did stop short of classifying it as full disease (2).

For those interested ” Burnout ” is now officially defined as by the WHO as

Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy

If you are suffering from 3 of the above criteria it’s possible you may actually be suffering from burnout.

It’s important to note that burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” (1) This is important to note as there is a lot of overlap between burnout and other conditions such as depression so i think the WHO got this right in seeking to limit the definition of burnout to just the workplace.

This is still a significant step forward as clearer terminology leads to better studies and hence better solutions to this perplexing problem. It’s likely as this important topic gets more attention we can better manage burnout and its implications.

Let’s talk more about Burnout

Having experienced a burnout last year I now have more than academic interest in the topic.

The movies like to depict a sudden snap where all of sudden you are wearing your pajamas to work and making goodbye speeches standing on your desk.  The reality is far more boring. And depressing.

You find yourself tired all the time, growing increasingly disconnected from you work and meaning that you attributed to it. Your coping mechanics such as a quick holiday or a few cheeky bevies on the weekend that used to see you through no-longer seem to be effective and in some cases just make the problem worse.

In his classic “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About ItMichael Gerber talks about another peak in business failure rates around 5 years. It’s not because the the business was unsound, it was financially viable and had found a niche to service and generate income. It had survived the dreaded start up phase. But it failed for another reason. The owner simply burned out from exhaustion.


Five things not to miss in Niseko

I can’t help feeling a little proud of where I have chose to call home. It’s hard not to want to play tour guide sometimes but thankfully I do get asked what people should try and and see whilst they are here.

This is only a start but if you do visit Niseko here are 5 things in no particular order that I would try and see whilst you are this beautiful part of the world. All these places can be accessed in both winter and summer.


January 28, 2019 ClinicalNiseko life0

Staying in safe whilst out and about in Niseko

Recently I have been treating a number of injuries that occurred not on ski slopes but either on the way to ski slopes or more likely from the way home from the bar !

This brings us to an important and overlooked topic.

How to walk safely on ice and snow.

Ice falls in Niseko can be nasty.

It’s very easy to fracture a wrist or collarbone as you instinctively brace yourself from going over. Ice is an incredibly hard and unforgiving substance and with temperatures often sitting well below zero here in Niseko for most of the winter you are going to see a lot of it. Lower Hirafu can be particularly treacherous.

Sure you think you can walk. You probably a great walker and been doing it without thinking since you were a baby.  But millions of years of evolution has led to humans having a truly remarkable gait that is not well suited to snow and ice.

What do I mean by this ?

Walking is essentially falling forward and catching yourself each time. To do this safely we rely on the friction generated from the back foot to drive all the the front foot to launch forward and catch us before we fall flat on our face.  This gait is very efficient and one of the reasons it allowed our ancestors to move and spread to all continents of the globe using far less energy than our four legged friends.

When we are dealing with the ice and snow the rules should change.


January 23, 2019 Niseko life0

Niseko Chiropractic just had the pleasure of meeting Kei Takeyachi head of the Japanese chiropractors association here in Niseko.

Kei has been instrumental in driving registration and self regulation of the chiropractic profession in Japan and worked tirelessly to lobby government for higher standards.

Whilst Chiropractic in Japan is currently not a protected term Kei is driving reform to introduce a regulated profession that will bring standards up to international level for properly registered and insured Japanese Chiropractors.

Hopefully this may lead to better collaboration between health professionals in Japan and better access to diagnostic imaging and medical reports for Japanese Chiropractors.

Well done Kei !



November 30, 2018 Niseko life0

More good snow falls in Niseko

Our family awoke to another 20cm overnight at the Country Resort but really showed up straight away was the sub-zero temperatures that make Niseko snow some of the best powder snow on earth.

With chilly -10 at the top of the mountain this was not a good day not to be able to locate my balaclava. We have more cold days forecasts so rug up and drive safe on the icy roads.

Niseko chiropractic cold start

It was great to dust of the the gear, strap on a brand new board and hit the slopes for the first time this year. Harifu is still only operating the number Ace number 3 lift both for those that got amongst it today there was still some great powder to to be had, particularly on the first runs.

Fingers cross for more lift openings over the next few days but I as I type this it’s absolutely bucketing down snow right now.

Get out there, and if you find my balaclava please let me know 🙂




November 21, 2018 Niseko life0

Snow begins to dump in Niseko

Niseko Chiropractic is very excited to finally see a good dump of snow for the 2018 season. It came it late afternoon on the 20th of November and moderate snowfalls fell all night ensuring that there is some cover on most of the Ski runs. We did originally hope that lifts would open this friday and according to Niseko 360 that is still a good possibility.

With cold temperatures and moderate snow forecast all weekend I am sure many ski businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief as they gear up for the 2018/19 season.

Stay safe on the roads and there is still  lot of ice just hiding under the small dusting of snow on the roads and daytime temperatures are still causing the old melt/freeze oscillation that makes driving in Niseko a little more challenging. Just a few Km’s less makes all the difference.

Onwards and upwards and wishing all Ski operators a fun start to the season.



November 14, 2018 Niseko life0

Where is the best coffee in Niseko ?

Living in Japan used to mean giving up some of the great things about western life and great coffee had to be in the sad panda mix. That is now well and truly in the past. Many boutique roasters and great cafes are now popping up in the Niseko area.

Sprout Niseko

The best coffee in Niseko Chiropractic’s opinion has to be Sprout located just a minutes walk up Kutchan main street towards route 5 from Kutchan Station.

Sprout mixes a variety of tropical sourced beans with the darker Bolivia roast being my personal favourite and being the closed match to a good old fashioned Aussie flat white.


October 30, 2018 Niseko life0

Niseko Chiropractic wakes up to snow this morning

Harifu village woke up with a reasonable snow fall this morning on the upper levels so this marks the start of the snow accumulation for the 2018 season. Better start booking your accommodation and getting those legs ready for some more time on the Niseko Pow.

Word from inside the industry is that we are on target for a November 23rd ski lift opening.


Niseko Chiropractic is wishing all visitors to Niseko a great 2018 and safe ski season.


October 24, 2018 Niseko life0

The debate about which country has the best ski slopes will continue to rage around alpine fireplaces well after the Moscow Mules run dry ( It’s Japan by the way) but one thing not up for debate even from the Canadians is who rules the after slope hot-tub experience.  That is safely in Japan’s and also probably Niseko’s hands.

Thanks to sitting on one of the world’s largest fault lines Japan is blessed with an endless supply of mineral rich volcanic water and they make the most of with their very rich onsen culture. The history of onsens dates back to at least 712 AD with the first recorded use being on the small island of Shikoku down near Osaka. Word spread quickly of their health benefits and onsens maintain their rightful place as an important aspect of Japanese culture.

The average 40 degree temperatures and rich mineral content are the perfect combination to relieve tired stressed and sometimes cold bodies and and I’m sure you will agree any story told in an onsen becomes infinitely more interesting.

If your new to onsens to worth taking the time to get to know some of the etique around their use and remember to be a little quiet in your conversation and manner once inside. The website below has some great tips on how to get the most out of the onsen experience.


So here is Niseko Chiropractic’s Top 5  onsens around Niseko selected for their amazing views, value for money and likeness to a true Japanese onsen experience.

You will need a car for most of these and winter conditions can make some journeys are little challenging so check the local weather often and seek advice from your hotel reception before heading out.

The following are in no particular order.


October 16, 2018 Niseko life0

For those waiting for the pow they may be pleased to know that Mount Yotei received it’s first dusting of snow today. Things get cold pretty quickly from here in Niseko and an unusually long and summer has meant that we are probably in for short Autumn.

Winter is coming.



October 5, 2018 Niseko life0

If you are looking for a great english speaking yoga teacher right in the heart of Niseko look no further than the Asthanga classes lead by Niseko’s own Marika.

Marika’s classes run out of many locations but the highlight has to be trying to get down your downward dog as mount yoeti towers above you and urges you to try to breath into that stretch that little bit more.

Contact us

Please do not hesitate to contact Niseko Chiropractic if you have any questions.We apologize in advance if there is some delay in our response during peak periods. You can contact Niseko Chiropractic at info@nisekochiropracic.com


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