Grilled Mandarins for Chesty Cough

Mandarin and tangerine peels have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.

They are added to medicines and recipes for their properties in:

• Stopping cough
• Dissolving phlegm
• Stopping vomiting and diarrhoea (minor effect)

As mandarins come into season, and coughs start spreading through the community, this can be a great and easy “food-medicine” to get back to good health. It’s also a yummy snack to have warm.

Grilling the mandarins will release some of the oils in the citrus peel into the fruit. This way, you can eat the fruit and benefit from the phenolic compounds found in the peel.

Grilled Mandarins for Chesty Cough in 3 simple steps:


1. Grill mandarins over a naked flame for 2-5 minutes


2. Allow to cool for 5 minutes



3. Peel and eat the fruit


Research has shown that citrus oils contain phenolic compounds that:

• Reduce blood triglyceride levels (great for managing diabetes)
• Reduce total blood cholesterol levels (great for heart disease)
• Contain antioxidants (to fight cancer causing damage)
• Contain a wide range of other functions that can be anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

Written by Dr. Christine Lee 

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Dr Christine Lee has been practising as an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist since 2008. She graduated RMIT with a double degree in Applied Science (Chinese Medicine and Human Biology) and has completed further studies and a hospital internship in Nanjing, China.

Christine has extensive experience working in acupuncture general practice. She has worked with a broad range of patients: from children to seniors, from athletes to people with severe disability or complex chronic illnesses. She has special interest in treating women’s health, senior’s health, digestion, mental health and pain conditions.

Click here to read more about Christine or to book in.



Beef, Vegetable & Barley Soup

Hearty & Nutritious!

Serves 8


2 tbs olive oil,

500g beef check steak, cut into 2 cm cubes

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes

2 swede, peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes

2 sticks celery, thinly sliced diagonally

8 cups chicken stock

1 cup pearl barley



  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef (in batches if needed) and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add remaining oil and onion to pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, swede, celery,, stock, 6 cups water, barley and beef. Bring to the boil. Skim any scum. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 75 – 90 mins or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: This soup is freezing friendly. Can freeze it for up to 3 months. Handy for a quick, filling meal in winter!


Do You Have PADI?

Pressure. To perform in your daily work and family life? Or are you just on autopilot? Going from one place to the next to get things finished in the day.

Always on? Is your mind switched on all of the time? Thinking about what you have to do next?

Distraction? Do you have addictions to sweets, sports, TV, video games, music, computers, work, alcohol, sex?

Information Overload? On the phone all the time, Facebook, or Google to help you with a problem?



Yes we can all experience these during periods of higher stress. That’s fine. But is it an ongoing situation for you? If this sounds like you most of the time, you are certainly not alone. These are common problems in our society. They can lead to a myriad of health problems though. We can help.

Try this. Turn everything off and go inward f0r 5 minutes. Is this hard to do?

Stop, sit down, close your eyes and deeply breath into your lower abdomen (or Dan Tian as we call it in Chinese Medicine).

Sit with yourself and breath and feel into your body and what it has to say to you.

As you do this you may feel aches and pains come up. Or the mind racing on what you have to do next. Simply keep breathing and it will subside, sooner or later. We forget to just be. We are human beings not human doings.

We have all the answers within us, and we can learn to stop and calm the mind by listening to the bodies responses which can give us clues into how to change our lives and come from our highest potential and live in peace and harmony.

If this is something you would like to try, book an appointment with Sue and find out how Reiki helps mind and body connection and can bring about balance and harmony in your world. Mention this article for $20 off your session with Sue, this month (June 2017) only. Limited spaces available.  

Contact us on 9486 5966 or click here to book online easily.

Acupuncture is Effective for Migraine

The other day in the clinic, a patient and I were discussing the recent ground-breaking hospital trial media release about how acupuncture is as effective as drugs for relieving pain in people’s lower backs and from sprained ankles and migraines.1And I was telling her that in my 20 years of clinical practice, I’ve always been able to help a migraine sufferer. I realised what a statement that was, but the truth of it struck me. I have never seen a migraine sufferer that I couldn’t help. The latest case being a woman with chronic migraines who now has been migraine-free and drug-free for 3 weeks, a record for her. I got to thinking that if more migraine sufferers knew that Acupuncture was an effective treatment option for them, there would be more happy people in the world, and that’s gotta be a great thing right?


Acupuncture can be effective at reducing migraine symptoms immediately, and also for treating the cause of the migraines in the first place. It is this holistic effect that makes acupuncture wonderfully effective, even more so than drugs in my experience. Migraines often have multiple triggers, whether it be hormonal, fatigue, stress, dietary, sinus, or muscle tension related. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can alleviate these triggers, and the migraine pain, at the same time!

One of the best things about seeing a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine that specialises in Acupuncture, like myself, is that you get the best outcomes. Holistic treatment AND drug-free rapid symptom relief. An experienced practitioner can treat 2-3 problems effectively in the one session, so you get significant value for your spend. Of course, it usually takes more than one session to alleviate the migraines, and their triggers for the long term.

Depending on the individual case, a course of treatment can be as short as 4 sessions to more like 6 if hormones are a problem. The cost of each session can vary from $60 to $120, depending on the clinic. You can click here to see our fees Freedom Chinese Medicine. We also offer low cost/ community acupuncture sessions, click here for more info. Once you’re experiencing less migraines, then you need to maintain the balance. A great Acupuncturist will advise you about how you can best maintain your health and prevent a migraine, in your particular case.

If you’re in the Ivanhoe, Melbourne area, come and see me & my team of excellent practitioners. I’ve helped lots of people over the last 20 years, and I can help you.  I run a private practice in Ivanhoe and am honoured to be the trusted family physician of many. We have friendly receptionists to answer your questions and HICAPS facilities so if you have private health insurance with acupuncture extras, your benefit is claimed on the spot. Click here for more information about our practitioners or simply click here to contact us.

If you are not in the Melbourne area, find a great Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine specialising in Acupuncture near you. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend someone. To find well qualified practitioners, you can do a locality search here: And if you’re worried that acupuncture might be painful, don’t be! A good practitioner can control how much sensation you feel, and it is usually nothing unpleasant! Most of my patients don’t feel the acupuncture needles go in.. new patients often ask “is that it?! That was nothing to worry about at all!” So don’t let the fear stop you. And if you don’t feel comfortable with the Acupuncturist you chose to see, chose another one! Just like finding the right GP for you, it can take some searching to find the perfect fit..

Nothing can replace the help of a great practitioner, while you are waiting to be able to see one, here are some general, natural, drug-free tips for migraine relief:

1. Increase the room temperature slightly

2. Take a break from light and noise

3. Sleep

4. Do Acupressure here:migraine-pressure-points-C4press

5. Do Acupressure here:

Acupressure for migraine
Liver 3

6. Do Acupressure here:

Acupressure for migraine
Gall Bladder 41

7. Inhale Peppermint oil

8. Inhale Woodlock Liniment (contact us for more information or to buy)

9. Take the Chinese Herbal pills Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan (contact us for more information or to buy).

10. Take the Chinese Herbal capsules Headache Relief. (contact us for more information or to buy) (No unpleasant taste and all plant-based herbs)

If the above suggestions don’t help you, don’t despair, you just need more specific treatment and relief. Every migraine sufferer knows how debilitating a migraine can be, how it can be impossible to function, let alone work during a migraine and its recovery phase. Don’t resign yourself to suffering from migraines. Try Acupuncture!

At Freedom Chinese Medicine, we address the symptoms as well as the cause. We can help relieve your migraine quickly, reduce the severity and frequency of your migraines and remedy your triggers.

We understand that migraines can be very unpleasant. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the practitioner who is helping you. That is why I’m offering a FREE initial health assessment this month, in which I do a brief assessment of your health (15 mins) and advise a treatment strategy for you. It gives you the opportunity to see if my team and I are the right people to help you. Contact us today to book or enquire on 9486 5966.

Yours in great health,


Dr. Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc. TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing)

Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine




Natural Beauty Therapy

We now have a Beauty Therapist working upstairs at Freedom Chinese Medicine.  We believe that holistic health care includes what we put on our skin. Naturally, we have a beauty therapist who only uses skin care products that are health promoting.  She’d like to introduce herself to you:

Hi, my name is Yukie. I have been working in the beauty industry for over 10 years. My specialty area is facial treatments. I have carefully selected high-quality cosmetics and beauty equipment, made both in Australia and Japan, to ensure the best possible treatment for my clients regardless of their particular skin type or condition.

Recommended for anyone who…

  • needs to relax and unwind
  • is concerned about blemishes, wrinkles, sagging and dark circles
  • wants to turn back the clock
  • is looking for high quality anti-ageing skincare to use at home
  • does not want to undergo cosmetic surgery but wants to rejuvenate naturally

Uses vegan, organic, natural cosmetics

The treatment solutions used at Hint Beauty are carefully selected from organic and natural materials from around the globe, and do not contain mineral oils, harmful chemical ingredients, or parabens (preservatives).

The salon’s original skin care brand “Hint” is free of seven types of additive (artificial colour or fragrance, mineral oils, petroleum-based surfactant, alcohol, parabens, and UV absorber), and is a plant-derived, natural cosmetic product developed and manufactured in Japan. They are effective home-care cosmetics to ensure the “long-lasting effects of your salon treatment.”

Hint Beauty is located upstairs at Freedom Chinese Medicine. 261 Waterdale Road, Ivanhoe.

Introductory special:

Refreshing facial 45 mins usually $78 now $48.

On offer until 30/6/17. For appointments, contact Yukie direct on 0488 501 337. For more info visit


Easy Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

Healthy, tasty & easy! You just put it in the oven and let it do the rest.

Serves 4


1/4 cup olive oil

1 leek, halved, washed, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g button mushrooms, sliced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock

2 large chicken breast fillets, trimmed

1 lemon, rind finely grated

2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped (we have a huge tarragon plant out front of the clinic in Ivanhoe, feel free to take some!)


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, garlic and mushroom. Cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in rice and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to the boil. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Cover and back for 20 minutes or until stock is almost absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until just cooked through.. Transfer to a plate. Cover and stand for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain.
  3. Stir chicken, lemon rind and tarragon into risotto. Cover and stand for 5 minutes. Season with pepper. Serve.


10 ways to recover from a cold

Suffering with a sore throat? Dealing with a congested, heavy head? Yup the season is upon us. We’ve seen many people in the clinic with sore throats & coughs in the last few weeks.  Here are some ways to help recover quicker:

1. Get more sleep & rest – simple right? Not always I know, but you’ll get back to full functioning quicker if you rest well.

2. Drink 2 litres of water daily when you’re sick. Increased water intake can help reduce nasal symptoms by flushing/diluting mucous and histamine. Water is also needed for metabolic processes that can increase with fever.

3. Try to keep your temperature stable. Not easy with our heated buildings. But you can dress warmly for outside and take of layers when in a heated room. Avoid overdressing in bed.

4. Reach for the salt water. If you have a sore throat, a simple saline gargle can help. And if you have blocked sinuses, regular saline rinsing (ie. A saline nasal spray) can help.

5. Inhalation can also clear congestion. Whether it’s the head over a bucket of steam variety. Adding some Peppermint or Eucalyptus oil to a hot shower, or your pillow case. Inhaling Vicks, Tiger Balm, or Woodlock Liniment can also help.

6. For a dry, irritated cough, taking honey can help. Raw, Organic honey is best as it has more anti-bacterial potency.

7. Apply white Tiger Balm. The Easts equivalent to Vicks. Without the petroleum products. Apply to your temples for a headache, under your nose to clear your nasal passages. Apply to your chest for a cough.

8. If you have a fever below 38ºC, don’t suppress it by taking Panadol or similar. A fever is your body’s way of fighting any invading microorganisms. A fever stimulates your immune system into producing more white blood cells, antibodies, and a protein called interferon, all of which work to protect your body against harmful microorganisms. By raising your body’s temperature a few degrees, a fever makes it harder for invading bacteria and viruses to survive and flourish. The higher your core body temperature is, the harder it is for harmful microorganisms to survive in your body. Click here for more info.

9. For Sinusitis or a headache with a cold, press on Acupoints Colon 20, Colon 4 (Li4) & Gall Bladder 20.

Col 20

GB 20



10. Have Acupuncture and/ or take Herbal Medicine. Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture have been used to treat infections such as these for millennia. Many of our patients come in at the first sign of a cold. Because we can often stop the progression and help them recover much quicker. There are simple herbal remedies which can also work very well. So, if you’d like some extra help, come in for a treatment or a herbal prescription. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Haven’t got sick? Great. Here‘s some tips on how to keep your immune system robust. Prevention is better than cure right?

Written by Dr. Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc. TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing)
Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

@ Freedom Chinese Medicine




5 ways to relieve Neck Pain

Neck & Shoulder PainTired of ongoing Neck Pain? Do you find yourself trying to get a neck massage all the time? Here are 5 things that can help you:

1. Check your pillow. Is your pillow the right shape, height & firmness for you? The right shape depends on your sleeping posture. If you sleep mainly on your back then a thin, flat pillow is usually best. If you sleep mostly on your side, then a concave pillow is best. The pillow’s job is to support your head in alignment with the rest of your spine. If your neck is tilting on an angle to compensate for an incorrect pillow, then it will be putting strain on your neck. Your neck on the pillow should be in a “neutral” position, meaning the slight curve of your neck is not changed or is bent at an odd angle.

Before you go to sleep, just remember to check your neck. If you’re a side sleeper, is your pillow taking up the space between your head and mattress without tilting your head? If so, you have a supportive pillow. If you’re a back sleeper, you shouldn’t feel any sort of incline or decline when you lay your head down, otherwise, your pillow isn’t doing its job.

A few more tricks to try:
* Try a memory foam pillow that will shape itself to the contours of your head and neck.
* If you’re using a feather pillow, make sure to replace it every year, as the feathers will become less supportive over time.
* Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach, which can be rough on your spine, because it arches the back and keeps your neck turned to the side.


2. Check your driving posture. Are you craning your neck forward as you drive? This can cause a great deal muscle tension. Your neck should be in a neutral position, that is the back of your head in line with the rest of your spine. Your car head rest ideally supports your head in this position. We just need to remember to use it. If you keep forgetting, place a sticky-note on the back on your sun visor to remind you to use your head rest.


3. Do Range of Motion exercises. They are simple, quick and effective. All you do is take your neck gently through it’s usual range of motion That is, slowly looking over your right shoulder, then your left. Tilting your head to look at your feet, then slowly upwards to look directly above your head. Then moving to place your right ear to your right shoulder, then your left. Make sure you’re not pushing through restriction or pain. Stop the movement at that point. These exercises are quick and you can do them anywhere, multiple times a day if you like. A simple time to remember to do them is when you stop at a red traffic light.


4. Check your sitting posture. Yes, most of us have our heads tilted for too long looking at devices and screens. You would benefit from checking how your head is tilted, and looking straight ahead most of the time. Yes, that may mean holding a screen at eye level and look strange, or not looking at the screen for a time. But you won’t suffer for it. Your neck may suffer if you don’t though.


5. If you still have neck pain after following the above advice for at least 2 weeks, it’s time to see a professional. If you’re not keen on chiropractic, osteopathy, physio or myotherapy. Or if you’ve already given those therapies a good try and still have neck pain. Or want to try something else. It’s time to try Acupuncture. An excellent acupuncturist may be able to help. At Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe we have 5 excellent acupuncturists. We are open 6 days per week, til 8pm every weeknight and 9am – 5pm every Saturday. Click here to read more or book online.

Written by:

Dr Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac. (Beijing)

Elaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China.  She has over 20 years experience in treating many health problems.  Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable.  Elaine’s acupuncture treatments are gentle, powerful, amazingly relaxing and incorporate Japanese & Chinese techniques, as well as Medical Qi Gong if appropriate.  Elaine has a particular interest in Gynaecology, Fertility, Obstetrics, Family Medicine, Wellness promotion and Mental Health.

She runs a private practice in Ivanhoe and is the trusted family physician of many. Elaine is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She completed a Bachelor of Health Science – TCM, specialising in Acupuncture, and a hospital internship in China in 1998. Elaine is the Principal Practitioner at Freedom Chinese Medicine, managing a dedicated team of practitioners & staff, and supervises many TCM students in clinical training. Elaine’s passion for Chinese Medicine has her regularly furthering her education, Qi Gong training and sharing knowledge.




Recipe by

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins

TOTAL TIME: 30 mins


Serves: 10


2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice or ground ginger
3 tbsp Natvia stevia
1 tbsp molasses (optional)
50 ml rice bran oil (can use light olive oil or grapes oil)
180ml almond milk (or any milk of choice)
½ cup finely chopped dried figs
½ cup chopped 70% cocoa dark chocolate (approx 100g)
melted dark chocolate, extra for the crosses.


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Mix up the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, spice and stevia in a large bowl until combined.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add in the molasses, oil and milk. Stir until just combined then add dried figs and chopped chocolate.
  4. Mix it all up until combined. You should have a soft, slightly sticky dough at this point. If it’s too sticky add a little more spelt flour.
  5. Sprinkle a little flour onto a large chopping board or clean bench top and tip out dough. Knead very briefly then pat the dough into a 2-3cm thick rectangle.
  6. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 10-12 pieces. Place the pieces onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes until just cooked.
  7. Allow to cool then drizzle over extra melted chocolate to create the crosses – I just used a spoon to do this but you can use a piping bag if you want it to be neater.
  8. Enjoy slightly warmed and try not to eat them all yourself. Best enjoyed on the day made.

Baked Risoni with Wild Mushrooms


1¼ cups chicken/veg stock,
30g dried porcini (boletus) mushrooms,
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped Spanish onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
250g fresh porcini or shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and julienned,
1½ tbsp plain flour
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
375g risoni, cooked al dente and drained
60g parmesan cheese, grated
fresh parsley (Italian) for garnish


1. Preheat an oven to 190ºC . Warm ¼ cup of the chicken stock in a small saucepan, and soak the dried porcini mushrooms in it for 20 minutes.

2. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, and sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the remaining stock, and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes more.

3. Remove the mushrooms and onions with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Reserve the stock for sauce.

4. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking stock and set aside.

5. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and whisk in the flour. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes, stirring, to cook the starch from the flour. Do not brown. Add the reserved stock and strained stock from the dried mushrooms. Stir well, and continue to cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

6. Chop the soaked dried mushrooms, and add them to the fresh sautéed mushrooms. Add the risoni, and mix well

7. In a medium casserole dish, spoon in a thin layer of sauce. Set aside ¼ cup of sauce; mix the remaining sauce with the mushroom-risoni mixture, and spoon it into the casserole. Top with the reserved sauce, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

8. Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley, and serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional breakdown per serving:
1640 Kilojoules, 9g Protein, 27g Carbohydrates, 3g Fibre, 12g Total Fat
(3g Saturated, 8g Monounsaturated, 1g Polyunsaturated), 10mg Cholesterol, 280mg Sodium.