Acne relief with Acupuncture

Tired of dealing with acne? Tried everything and it’s not improving? Chinese Medicine can help. 

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of acne (1,2). In my professional experience the powerful combination of herbal formula and a course of acupuncture sessions can be successful in minimising breakouts, clearer skin and a general improvement in wellbeing.

What to expect?

During our first consult I will determine what the root of the cause is as every individual case of acne is different. This will then allow me to form a treatment plan and method tailored specifically for you, in which I can target the symptoms and the root of the acne. In Chinese medicine some of the common causes of acne are hormone imbalances, digestive issues, excessive heat and toxins in the body. (3) A selection of acupuncture points will then be needled and an individualised herbal formula will be prepared. I will also be going through various dietary and lifestyle tips on how you can facilitate the recovery of your skin and also decrease breakouts. That way, your skin can get better and stay better.

How long will it take?

As acne differs from case to case, the time needed for results will vary. Chronic cases will require more time in comparison to acute cases. However from my observations in the clinic most experience improvements for their acne within 1-3 months of receiving continuous acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

Unlike many forms of treatment for acne, acupuncture has very minimal side effects and can be combined with other forms of therapy without any negative interactions. Acupuncture can be safely used alongside prescription medication for treatment of acne. It can decrease the harsh side effects of the body, reduce the toxicity on the body as well as accelerating recovery of lesions (3).

Want to try Acupuncture for your Acne? $20 off your initial acupuncture session with Dr. Rebekah Loh (in September 2017 only). You must mention this special when booking.

Written by:

Dr. Rebekah Loh

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Rebekah is a super qualified and enthusiastic practitioner. She has a double degree in Health Science and Chinese Medicine she also has a degree in Biomedical Science. Rebekah completed further study in hospital internships in Nanjing, China and Taichung, Taiwan. She speaks English (fluent), Mandarin Chinese (intermediate) & Cantonese (beginner).

Rebekah can help with a whole range of conditions, and she is particularly passionate about women’s health, obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility.

In her spare time, Rebekah likes to play Futsal, Badminton and Viola.



1. Wang Xiugang. Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment of Acne. Asia-Pacific Traditional Medicine. 2011, 07(5):41-42.
2. Cao, Hui-juan, Guo-yan Yang, Yu-yi Wang, and Jian-ping Liu. “Acupoint Stimulation for Acne: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Medical Acupuncture (2013).
3. Gao Yang, Qin Qingguang, Jin Yujing. Professor Liu Huisheng in Treating Acne with Acupunc-ture. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2010, 25(4):663-664.


Warming Herbal Tea

Does winter chill you to the bone? Warm yourself with ginger and cinnamon,
or make a Chai (instructions in packet available at Freedom Chinese Medicine)

Ginger and cinnamon are very warming. They can be added (in small portions) to slow cooked stews, soups and broths.  According to Chinese medicine, fresh ginger brings the body’s heat to the
skin’s surface. It invigorates the immune system and helps us feel protected from the winter’s chill. Dried ginger produces a much stronger, more intense
heat. Cinnamon warms from within, and is especially helpful for people who suffer from pain in the lower back and cold arms and legs during winter.

Winter Warming Tea packets & recipe available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $11.50.

Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

Goji & Chrysanthemum tea

Light and golden taste, the Goji & Chrysanthemum tea is served as a fragrant
herbal tea. It is traditionally taken in Chinese homes to soothe hot or dry eyes.

This tea is now available at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $13.

Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

Cough Relief Tea

Luo Han Guo (Monk fruit, siraitia grosvenorii) is commonly used in south Chinese homes. It is a sweet fruit that has properties to soothe coughing, reduce lung inflammation and dissolve phlegm. It features heavily in natural Chinese cough syrups – due to these abilities and also it’s lovely taste. Recently it has also been used as a natural, low-calorie sweetener.

Cough Relief Tea ingredients & recipe available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $11.40.

Contact on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

Energy Boosting Tea

This tea (available at Freedom Chinese Medicine) benefits the immune system, digestion, metabolism and increases energy levels.


Dang Shen (Codonopsis) used in Chinese Medicine to boost Qi, improves metabolism, decreases fatigue, strengthens and regulates the digestive system.

Huang Qi (Astragalus) used in Chinese Medicine to increase energy levels
and improve the immune system. Huang Qi very significantly improves energy
levels and assists the digestion and respiratory system.

Hong Zao (Chinese Red Dates, Jujube) commonly used in Chinese cooking to add a subtle sweetness in savory dishes. These dates are used to tonify Qi, improve Blood quality, and calm the spirit.

Gan Cao (licorice root) used in Chinese Medicine and cooking to promote qi
levels and harmonise the digestive system.

Energy Boosting Tea packets & recipe available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine.


Winter Moisturising Tea

This tea helps soothe a sore dry throat and reduce lung inflammation during winter.

Traditionally, seasonal teas are prepared as a response to the change in seasons. They make take a little longer to prepare than a regular tea, but contain ingredients that allow our bodies to adjust to the changing environment around us.

The Winter Moisturising Tea is available at Freedom Chinese Medicine and contains:

● Xue Er (snow fungus) – contains iron, Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous. Contains immune stimulants to fight chronic infections, promotes anti-tumor activities, protects the liver and decreases inflammation. Xue Er is traditionally used in Chinese Medicine to hydrate and nourish the lungs, ease dry cough and decrease inflammation (heat) in the lungs.

● Nan Xing Ren (Southern apricot kernels) – is used in Chinese Medicine to stop cough and calm wheezing. It reduces sore throats and can also assist in regulating bowel movements. Research has shown that Nan Xing Ren can inhibit the respiratory centre to stop cough and calm wheezing. It reduces the level of blood triglycerides, reduces inflammation and pain and contains anti-tumor properties. Nan Xing Ren is non-toxic when properly prepared.

● Bai He (Lily Bulb) – is used in Chinese Medicine to stop cough, hydrate the respiratory and digestive systems, reduce lung inflammation and calm the spirit. Research has shown that Bai He contains small amounts of calcium,
phosphorus and iron. They also contain Vitamins B1, B2 and C.

● Chen Pi (Tangerine peel) is used in Chinese Medicine to assist the digestive system. It also stops cough and dissolves phlegm. Research suggests that Chen Pi has mild properties, as an expectorant, antiemetic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.

● Hong Zao (Chinese Red Dates, Jujube) commonly used in Chinese cooking to add a subtle sweetness in savoury dishes. These dates are used to tonify Qi, improve Blood quality, and calm the spirit.

Ingredients (in packets sold at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $14):
Xue Er (snow fungus) – 2 pieces
Nan Xing Ren (apricot kernels) – 20gm
Hong Zao (Chinese red dates) – 3 pieces
Bai He (lily bulbs) – 20gm
Chen Pi (tangerine peel) – 1 piece

Ingredients (add at home):
1x pear (preferably nashi pear) cut into pieces, core removed and
skin on
1L of water
Sugar or Stevia to taste


1. Soak the dried snow fungus in warm water until it is
completely covered. Let it sit for about 15 minutes until it has
become soft and large. Using a pair of scissors, cut it quarters
while removing the hard yellow middle.

2. In a separate bowl, soak in warm water the dried tangerine
peel for 5 minutes.

3. Once the tangerine peel softens, using the face of a knife,
scrape off the darker side of the peel (this is the bitter part)
just slightly.

4. Start to boil your tea water

5. When the water boils, add all the dried snow pear, apricot
kernels, tangerine peel, dried dates, dried lily bulbs together.

6. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour.

7. Serve and enjoy! Ideal to drink hot in the winter time!

Winter Chinese Chicken Soup

Used to support the body for cold winter weather. It warms digestion and boosts the
immune system. Chicken soup is very nutritious, easy to prepare and easy on the
digestive system. It’s a great meal to dig into on a cold winter’s evening.

A packetful of herbs (available in store) is added to the simple recipe to boost nutrition value:

● Dang Shen (Codonopsis) used in Chinese Medicine to boost Qi, improves metabolism, decreases fatigue, strengthens and regulates the digestive system

● Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) used in Chinese Medicine to strengthen the digestive system, hydrate the digestive and respiratory systems

● Hong Zao (Chinese Red Dates, Jujube) commonly used in Chinese cooking to add a subtle sweetness in savoury dishes. These dates are used to tonify
Qi, improve Blood quality, and calm the spirit.

● Gou Qi Zi (Goji berries) is high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. Gou Qi Zi is traditionally used in Chinese cooking and medicine to nourish and hydrate.
Ingredients (in packet):
Dang Shen – 2 sticks
Shan Yao – 5 pieces
Hong Zao – 6 pieces
Gou Qi ZI – small handful

Ingredients (add at home):

1 Fresh large chicken (preferably organic)
10cm chunk of fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 good pinch of salt
2 large carrots, sliced
2L of water

1. Rinse and soak all the herbs
2. Add all herbs (except Goji berries) into a large pot of cold water and bring to
the boil
3. Quarter the chicken and give the pieces a good rinse
4. When the water boils reduce to low heat and add all the ingredients
5. Cook with the lid on (slightly ajar) for 45 minutes
6. Skim off excess fats and scum before serving

● Traditionally served on the bone, but meat can be removed and shredded beforehand
● Feel free to add veg/barley/pasta to suit yourself (at Step 4)
● Traditionally, the scum that floats to the top is scooped off every 15-20 minutes – leaving a clear broth without impurities. If this is inconvenient, make sure you use your hands to give the chicken pieces a thorough rinse before cooking. Remove all internal organs and excess fat deposits.


Herb packets with recipe are available at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $10.50. Contact us on 9486 5966 to put one aside for you.


Hay fever Prevention Is Now

Have you noticed the wattle blooms in the last few days? Have you seen the bare trees with buds forming? Did you feel that wind and afternoon sunshine? Yup, Spring is around the corner.

Now is the best time to treat hay fever with Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture to prevent an itchy, sneezy springtime. That’s right. Before you have symptoms.

Want some more information and evidence? Here is some.

Did you suffer with hay fever last spring? Well you needn’t. We can help and we have a special on!

All Initial Acupuncture session for hay fever prevention with Dr. Shiro Akiyama are $20 off (in August 2017 only). You must mention this special when you book.

Dr. Shiro Akiyama

B.Sc Musculoskeletal Therapy & Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture

Dr. Shiro Akiyama graduated from Endeavor College of Natural Health with a Bachelor of Science (Musculoskeletal Therapy) and Bachelor of Science (Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture).

He has a special interest and excels in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries. Shiro enjoys a challenge! If you have a difficult problem that nobody has been able to help you with, come and see Shiro.

He incorporates gentle Japanese Traditional Medicine and acupuncture techniques, such as Japanese-style Moxibustion and Japanese fine needling.  Shiro is also an active member of Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA).
Outside of Freedom Chinese Medicine, he is a 2nd black belt Judo competitor and teacher. He is an active member of Judo Victoria (JVI).  He also plays soccer in his spare time.

Acupuncture for anxiety – what it’s all about

Emerging – by a very local artist; Mary Caia

It takes some work to recognise the feeling of anxiety. That’s because it’s different for different people. Some people think too quickly and jump from one fear into another, some people take themselves to the Emergency department for suspected heart attacks, and some people just need to go to the toilet – every ten minutes.

Acupuncture treats anxiety effectively for two main reasons. Firstly, it can calm down the sympathetic nervous system – taking us out of the flight-or-fright response. Secondly, it looks at the bigger picture that is the individual picture of the person.

What happened inside the person

During a consultation, an acupuncturist will ask how anxiety is affecting the individual. We take the pulse and look at the tongue, and if that’s not enough, we ask a bunch of other questions to gauge “what happened” to keep the individual stuck in this heightened state of worry, fear or negativity.

It can sometimes help to know the circumstances that led to the anxiety, but what we are really interested in, is what happened inside the person. We are interested in where the imbalance occurred inside the person, that wore down their resilience and prevented them from moving forward.

Different ways anxiety affects people

Symptoms we might monitor from week to week are broad, and can include:

  • Inability to relax, circular thinking, aversion to social situations
  • Irritability, anger, obsessive thinking, fears and phobias
  • Heart palpitations, sweaty palms, chest tightness, breathlessness
  • Insomnia, restless sleep, nightmares
  • Pain
  • Irritable bowels (diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, indigestion)
  • Urinary frequency and incontinence
  • Hair loss, fatigue, social withdrawal

How many acupuncture sessions required to treat anxiety

We usually recommend a course of 4-6 sessions for significant improvements.

Each session usually takes between 30-45 minutes. We prefer patients to feel more relaxed during and immediately after each treatment. We prefer for that relaxation to extend for longer periods after each session.

Patients report “feeling like themselves again”. A little bit at a time, people start to access optimism and confidence. They smile more often and laugh more genuinely.

Generally, patients find that looking after themselves (eating well, exercise and setting boundaries) becomes easier when the feelings of anxiety are reduced.

How effective is acupuncture for anxiety?

Ongoing studies continue to show that acupuncture is significantly useful in reducing anxiety across a broad range of situations and conditions.

Studies looking at women undergoing IVF[i], patients heading into surgery[ii] and students heading into exams[iii] all benefit from acupuncture for anxiety. Results were based on anxiety surveys, heart rate, blood pressure and skin electrodermal activity. Acupuncture results were significantly better than sham acupuncture in all cases.

Paul Keating, former Prime Minister, was also big fan of acupuncture for anxiety. He would receive acupuncture treatments weekly and also immediately before important events. In this interview, he discusses how “acupuncture makes you be relaxed, but brighter…. It just calms you down”.

Want to try Acupuncture for your Anxiety? $20 off your initial acupuncture session with Dr. Christine Lee (in August 2017 only). You must mention this special when booking.

Written by:

Dr Christine Lee

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist @ Freedom Chinese Medicine

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.

Christine is passionate about open room (multi-bed) style acupuncture. She has been involved in this style for the past eight years and is convinced the positives are more than financial. She has developed a gentle touch that will allow patients to experience a full acupuncture treatment in a shared room, and also tap into a larger group relaxation.



[i] Isoyama D, Cordts EB, de Souza van Niewegen AMB, et al

Effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a prospective randomised controlled study Acupuncture in Medicine 2012;30:85-88.

[ii] Klausenitz C1Hesse T1Hacker H1Hahnenkamp K1Usichenko T1.

Auricular acupuncture for pre-exam anxiety in medical students: a prospective observational pilot investigation. Acupunct Med. 2016 Apr;34(2):90-4. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2015-010887. Epub 2015 Oct 5.

[iii] Shayestehfar M1Seif-Barghi T2Zarei S3Mehran A3. Acupuncture Anxiolytic Effects on Physiological and Psychological Assessments for a Clinical Trial. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:4016952. doi: 10.1155/2016/4016952. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


The Paul Keating interview hyperlink:

Healthy Apricot Chicken

A simple slow cooker apricot chicken that has big fresh flavors and an intoxicating aroma – your house will smell amazing!

Preparation 15 minutes
Serves 4-6 servings


  • teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • teaspoon dried thyme
  • cup sliced onion
  • cup dried apricots, halved if desired


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, until browned, turning once.
  3. Combine chicken broth, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic and thyme in slow cooker and whisk to combine. (Or you can stir it all together in a small bowl and add to your slow cooker.)
  4. Add onions, apricots and seared chicken thighs to the slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  6. Serve chicken thighs and plenty of sauce over brown rice or whole wheat couscous.