6 things to look for in an Acupuncturist

japanese acupuncture

Not all Acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine practitioners are the same. Just like not all GP’s are the same. Some are much better than others. And with something as mysterious as Chinese Medicine, it’s not easy to know what to look out for. Here is a list to help you find the best Acupuncturist/ Chinese Medicine practitioner for you.


1. Qualifications

In Australia, a person can advertise themselves an an Acupuncturist only if they’ve completed a 4-5 year degree. Beware of Dry Needling! Practitioners use this term because they are underqualified to stick needles in you. Click here for more information.

2. You feel cared for and put at ease.

Actually this could be said for any health practitioner. From specialists to Reiki Healers. If they don’t demonstrate care, thoroughness and leave you feeling at ease or confident in their care, see someone else.

3. They get results.

You should feel a positive change in your health within 4 acupuncture sessions. No matter what your having treatment for. Sometimes it’s an improvement that you don’t expect like better sleep, digestion, periods or feeling more calm. Note: 4 sessions need to be no more than 2 weeks apart to be effective initially.

4. They teach you something

Your Acupuncturist/ Chinese Medicine Practitioner gives you advice or you learn something. Every great Chinese Med practitioner knows that prevention is better than cure. It’s their job to help you get better and stay better. Whether if be stretches, nutritional advice or stress management tips. You should be learning something from your Acupuncturist. Even if you don’t want to 🙂

5. They do’t use the same points in every session.

A great acupuncturist know that there are subtle changes happening in your body all the time, and how to work with these changes. Hence, they’ll use different acupuncture points accordingly.

6. They are healthy!

Your practitioner appears well and calm. Yes, we all have bad days but a great Chinese Medicine practitioner will have better health than most.


If the person sticking needles in you doesn’t tick all these boxes. I suggest you consider seeing a different practitioner. Don’t know where to look? Here is a directory of qualified Acupuncturists by locality. . And yes, I run a clinic in Ivanhoe, Inner North East Melbourne which has 5 excellent Acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine Practitioners. Click here to read more about us.


What is Shiatsu?

The Japanese word ‘Shiatsu’ means‘finger pressure’. Shiatsu is a form of hands-on bodywork that restores energy & balance throughout the body focusing on meridians and acupressure points. Shiatsu combines different techniques of pressures and assisted stretches designed to activate the body’s natural healing system.

Shiatsu is conducted with the client fully clothed lying on a futon mattress. So please wear loose comfortable clothing.

A comprehensive treatment usually lasts 1 to 1½ hours, and leaves you with a feeling of relief and relaxation.

Therapeutic exercises may be prescribed to assist you further. Simple dietary and lifestyle advice may also be given.

What to Expect

Each treatment is especially designed to meet your individual needs, taking into consideration your state of health, and any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Treatment will consist of a variety of shiatsu techniques using thumbs on acupressure points, palms of the hands, elbows and knees along with yoga-like stretches.  Moxa, cupping or spooning may also be used if required.

Benefits include:

Improved circulation
Sense of wellbeing
Increased energy
Improved sleep
Emotional stability
A profound effect on posture
Better digestive function

For Relief of

Neck & shoulder tension
Back pain
Headaches and migraines
Tiredness & fatigue
Mental health issues
Women’s health
Menstrual irregularities
Digestive difficulties Hypertension

By working on the meridians & acupuncture points using a variety
of techniques, balance is restored to
your body, mind & spirit, giving you a feeling of peace and relaxation.

Shiatsu available on Tuesdays & Thursdays at Freedom Chinese Medicine. $20 off Shiatsu Massage sessions with Andrew in April! Not available with any other offer.

Call 9486 5966 or click here to book:

Flower Essences for Emotional Balance

AUSTRALIAN BUSH OR BACH FLOWER ESSENCES – restore the balance between the mind and body

The Indigenous people of Australia have been using flower essences to heal emotional imbalances and physical injuries for thousands of years while the earliest recorded European use of flower essences was in the 12th century.  We now know that cultures on all continents around the world have used this traditional method of healing for centuries.

Dr. Bach rediscovered and popularised the use of flower essences in UK in the 1900’s, while the use of Bush flower essences in Australian has never been forgotten by the indigenous people, it is only relatively recent that they have become used for health treatment by non-indigenous people.

Both Bach and Bush flower essences can be used to cast out negative emotions and help restore peace and wellbeing.

Our Naturopath Andrea Mallett is now offering 30 minute consults that will focus on providing you with a specialized blend of ‘Herbal Tea’ or a ‘Bush or Bach Flower’ remedy that is specific to your individual needs.


Call us on 9486 5966 or click here to book:

Healing Herbal Tea

Want simple solutions for stress, insomnia, colds, IBS or period pain? Do you prefer Natural Remedies? Did you know that Herbal Teas can provide many health benefits?

Some of the health benefits that can be gained from drinking herbal tea include:

• Relief from stress and anxiety, improved sleep, calming of nerves
• Improved immune health, quicker recovery from colds, nasal congestion and infections
• Relief from digestive issues IBS, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, gas and bloating
• Relief from pain associated with the menstrual cycle
• Assist in labor, childbirth, recovery and breast feeding
• Treatment of headaches and migraines

Our Naturopath Andrea Mallett is now offering 30 minute consults that will focus on providing you with a specialized blend of ‘Herbal Tea’ or a ‘Bush or Bach Flower’ remedy that is specific to your individual needs.


Call us on 9486 5966 or click here to book:

Healthy Pregnancy Help

Starting a family is an exciting time in people’s lives and we all want to do the best we can for our baby.

The body’s requirement and demands for specific nutrients increases during pregnancy for the health of both the growing baby and mother as well as post pregnancy recovery and breast feeding to ensure a good supply of milk.

But optimal nutritional intake and lifestyle changes are also required prior to conception for both partners. Ideally preconception care should start at least 4 months prior to conception.

The production of a bountiful, mobile supply of healthy sperm and a healthy follicle (egg) that result in successful conception and pregnancy requires an adequate intake of certain nutrients.

Changes to certain lifestyle factors that may be affecting the health of the sperm and egg such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption are also important.

Being under or overweight can affect conception as can a poor level of fitness.
Stress and environmental toxins such as household cleaners and cosmetics are other factors that may affect conception and pregnancy.

Our consultation with our Naturopath will include a thorough assessment of your diet and lifestyle and provide recommendations and advice for:
• Preconception health
• Pregnancy health for mother and baby
• Labour and birth
• Post birth care
• Breastfeeding care and support
• Different stages of your growing baby

Diet and lifestyle changes alone can make a huge difference to our health in most cases but sometimes additional help may be required in the form of herbal medicine and or supplements.

Find out how we can help regardless of what stage you are at.  Our Naturopath, Andrea Mallett will know what to do. $20 off initial consults with Andrea this January 2017 only. Call 9486 5966 today to book today.

Cosmetic Acupuncture

The Natural Link To Beauty!

If you are looking to enhance your looks with a natural and holistic approach, cosmetic acupuncture is for you.

Cosmetic Acupuncture Elle MacPhersonWhether you’re looking for improved complexion, smoothened facial lines, or healed scars and blemishes, cosmetic acupuncture lets you bring out the best in yourself, quickly and naturally.

Cosmetic Acupuncture is a holistic, natural, gentle way to rejuvenate your skin. Cosmetic acupuncture enhances your health and radiance by boosting the circulation of blood and lymph to the skin, face, and muscle, leaving you looking and feeling refreshed. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve the moisture, elasticity and tone of the skin and muscle.

More and more people are turning to acupuncture for rejuvenation techniques, to look and feel well, inside and out.

Cosmetic acupuncture is a fantastic way to rejuvenate and refresh your skin, face and body naturally. This wholistic anti-ageing therapy helps to improve beauty and radiance by addressing your inner and outer health. It was once employed by the ancient Chinese royalty to prolong youthfulness. It can now be used to compliment any modern beauty and anti-ageing regime.

Ageing can occur when the circulation of blood and lymph to the skin decreases, allowing the skin surface and underlying muscle to become deprived of essential nourishment. In turn the skin and muscle loses its moisture, firmness, elasticity and tone.

The Natural Choice for a Beauty Lift

Our focus is to look after you and your skin so you feel your best inside and out. Services are created for every one of all ages and all skin types. We achieve results by designing our treatments to suit your needs whilst soothing your mind, body and soul.

Cosmetic AcupunctureWhat is Cosmetic Acupuncture?

Also known as an acupuncture facelift, Cosmetic Acupuncture or Mai Zen, which means “beautiful person”, has been used for thousands of years by China’s powerful and wealthy.

Cosmetic acupuncture is the use of oriental techniques to improve the beauty and vitality of the face and body. It is more than a cosmetic procedure, rather it is a rejuvenation therapy designed to help the face and body look and feel younger. Cosmetic acupuncture is based on the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Renew Skin, Restore Health, and Boost Confidence

Your skin will improve in texture, softness, clarity and firmness to reveal a healthier, more vibrant you.

Cosmetic Acupuncture is beneficial for:

– wrinkles – shadows
– fine lines – scarring
– discolouration – tone
– complexion – wellbeing
– blemishes – anti-ageing
– puffines

Cosmetic Acupuncture addresses the underlying physiological changes that lead to ageing. It promotes circulation, bringing blood and oxygen to the skin, muscles and underlying tissue. Thus facilitating healing, rejuvenation and replenishment.

Once a thorough understanding of your health status is made, a cosmetic acupuncture program is established to begin your journey of healing and rejuvenation.A combination of ancient and modern techniques may be used. Extremely tiny needles are inserted into the superficial layer of the skin to stimulate your own body to produce collagen and elastin, which are the key factors to filling in those fine lines, leveling out those wrinkles. Organic rose hip oil is then applied to your face to enhance the benefits of the treatment and to leave your skin fresh, hydrated and silky smooth.

All treatments are tailored to your needs on the day.

It involves no injections, chemicals or pain.

Cosmetic acupuncture is a less invasive, less risky and less costly alternative to many other rejuvenation techniques.

With this acupuncture, there’s no risk of scarring, no pain involved, no recovery time and in fact, you will leave feeling better than when you came in!

The length of time the results lasts is specific to each individual, their lifestyle and the problem treated. Your practitioner will be able to advise during your initial session.

How long has cosmetic acupuncture been used?

Thousands of years!

Can cosmetic acupuncture be combined with other products and procedures?

Yes. Just tell your acupuncturist which products or procedures you are using so that they can tailor your treatment for the best combined results.

Are there any side effects?

No adverse lasting side effects! Mild bruising or bleeding can occur during a treatment. Most people feel an intense sense of relaxation and well-being!

We have an excellent practitioner experienced in the art of Cosmetic Acupuncture, Dr. Daniel Gibbs.

All services are designed to provide maximum results in a minimum amount of time.

For best results we recommend a series of ten treatments.

Monthly maintenance sessions are highly recommended for longer lasting results, to keep you looking and feeling your best.

Initial session:

Includes full health history, diagnosis, goal setting, cosmetic acupuncture and holistic acupuncture, herbal prescription if required, diet and lifestyle guidance.

Investment: $135 Summer special 20% off* until Feb 28th 2017 only. Spaces limited so call us on 03 9486 5966 to book today.

*Not available with any other offer or package discount.

Subsequent sessions:

Includes cosmetic acupuncture and holistic acupuncture

Investment: $135 (on a casual basis) Summer special 20% off in December 2016 only. Spaces limited so call us on 03 9486 5966 to book today.

Introduction Course

Sample the experience and benefits at a discount! Includes 5 Cosmetic Acupuncture sessions with holistic acupuncture, herbal, diet and lifestyle advice if required.

Investment: $600

Rejuvenation Program

Includes 10 cosmetic acupuncture sessions with holistic acupuncture, herbal*, diet and lifestyle guidance. Essential for best results.

Investment: $1000 ($100/session for 10 sessions)

* Note: Herbal products, if required, are an additional small cost.

Maintenance Program*

Includes five monthly cosmetic acupuncture sessions, holistic acupuncture, modified herbal prescription if necessary, diet and lifestyle guidance.

Investment: $600

*Only available to those who have completed the Rejuvenation Program

Health rebates apply (if you’re covered for acupuncture).  Yes we have HICAPS! Please call us on 03 9486 5966 or if you want to book online, please click the Book Now below.

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Help with Quitting Smoking

Has your New Year’s resolution to quit smoking failed already? Feeling frustrated that you can’t seem to kick it on your own? Well, you’re not alone. And Dr. Daniel Gibbs can help you.

First of all, don’t give yourself a hard time. Most people find quitting smoking to be a difficult endeavour. It is common to resume smoking several times before the time is right. If you feel that 2017 is the right for you to quit, read on…’

Yes, you may have tried every method under the sun so far. You may have already tried acupuncture even. But have you had help from one of the most experienced acupuncturists in Australia for smoking cessation? Someone who also has a thorough understanding of psychology and neuro-chemistry?
Dr. Daniel Gibbs has this unique skill set and works here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe, Melbourne. He talks about the fact that smoking can be a multifaceted and personalised habit often interwoven into various aspects of life such as socialisation, solitude, work breaks and stress/anxiety management. Although people can differ in regard to the reasons why they smoke, there are several principles and actions that usually provide for an easier quitting process. Here is one of them. Daniel says that:

Most people find that quitting is easier if they make a plan. Ideally it is best to choose a time that is not too stressful and that allows you to get away from your usual routines that involve smoking: If you don’t have this luxury then simply thinking of the typical times when you smoke and coming up with some strategies or alternative activities can go a long way.
An important thing to appreciate is that cigarettes and nicotine have key functions in people’s lives and these often need to be accounted for via some technique or replacement: For example brief periods of deep breathing or meditation can alter brain chemistry in a way that is similar to smoking when it is used to manage stress or anxiety, and similarly, any brief activity that you find pleasurable can be done routinely on your breaks from work or other key times.

How Acupuncture Can Help in Smoking Cessation

smokingAcupuncture assists people to quit by helping to regulate the actions of endorphin and other neurotransmitters that are thrown into disarray when one stops smoking; it is in this way that it can assist with lessening the frequency and duration of physical cravings; Generally acupuncture is given every 2-5 days, depending on the level of addiction, over the first 2 weeks after ceasing the consumption of nicotine. Dr. Daniel Gibbs has many years of experience in this arears and has helped hundreds of people to quit. Are you ready for some expert help to quit?

Flash special: Start a smoking cessation program by the 28th February 2017 for only $267*. Usual cost is $335.

*Includes 4 acupuncture sessions twice weekly and expert advice with Dr. Daniel Gibbs.

Can’t afford it? We also offer Open Room/ Community Acupuncture sessions for $40 (or $30 concession). You’d just need an initial session with Daniel first so he can make the best treatment plan for you. Please give us a call on 03 9486 5966. For private/ closed room sessions you can click the Book Now icon below:

Written by Dr. Daniel Gibbs

Carr, A. (1985) The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, London; Arcturus Publishing Limited
Deadman, P. et al (2007) A Manual of Acupuncture, 2nd ed., The Journal of Chinese Medicine, Hove;UK

Herbal Remedy for Asthma on Special

Ancient Herbal formula Sheng Mai San is helpful for:
Chronic Cough
Congestive Heart Failure
Anginaasthma relief

This herbal formula is a simple one, comprised of three ingredients; the original specification for a single dose was (1):
Ginseng 1.5 grams
Ophiopogon 1.5 grams
Schizandra 7 fruits
Sheng Mai San is widely used in Chinese Hospitals for many conditions. Ask your Chinese Medicine practitioner if it could help you.
20% off Sheng Mai San in December 2016 only. Limited Stock.

Click here to read more about the herbs.

Acupressure Help for a Hangover

Excellent Acupressure points to Ease the Excesses of the Xmas period

The abundance of food and/or alcohol during Christmas and New Year festivities can leave one feeling a little less than celebratory. However, there is no need to wishfully request that Santa grants you pain free indulgences as self massage of several acupuncture points can be used to relieve headaches, nausea, bloating and indigestion; usually within 10 minutes.

The descriptions below may not be absolutely clear if you aren’t particularly familiar with anatomical terms but the locations should become apparent in conjunction with the respective diagrams. All of the following points have an active area of at least a few millimeters so they can be found with minimal searching and confirmed by the presence of a tender sensation when pressure is applied: When pressing these points it is customary to use the thumb, index or ring finger, and to apply fairly firm pressure to the point for a minimum of 3 minutes so that the tender sensation is felt through this time.

Bladder 2. Located on the medial extremity of the eyebrow; in the supra-orbital notch. This point has an almost immediate effect for the relief of headaches. Use both points with an index finger on each.



. Located between the first and second metacarpals, in the high point of the muscle; at the midpoint of the second metacarpal. This point is one of the most commonly used by acupuncturists in the treatment of headaches and facial conditions: It has a relaxing effect and is especially useful in cases of frontal headaches.

Stomach 36. Located approximately one finger breadth lateral to the lower border of the tibial tuberosity in the superior portion of tibialis anterior. This is a very useful point for sluggish digestion, bloating and stomach ache.


. Located one sixth of the distance from the anterior wrist crease to the cubital crease between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis. This point is frequently used to treat nausea and stomach pain.


Located half way between the umbilicus and the bottom of the sternum. Use this point to ease stomach pain and indigestion.

If you feel you need a little extra help to remedy these holiday induced ailments drop in to Freedom Chinese Medicine for some acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs; and of course the traditional water and vitamins will ease the return to normality.

Written by Dr. Daniel Gibbs


Anshen, Shi, 2003, Internal Medicine, Bridge Publishing Group,Walnut California

Xinnong, C. et al. 2009, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Foreign Language Press, Beijing China

How does your Gut Garden Grow?


gut issuesDid you know you have a garden growing inside your digestive system?
You may have heard the word ‘Microbiome’ being used in relation to our health lately.
Microbiome is the collective name for the many trillions of bacteria that live on our bodies and inside our gut – essentially our gut garden.

For a garden to be at its best it needs to be tended, fed, watered and cared for. Without loving care the plants and flowers die and the weeds and pests take over.
It is the same for our microbiome garden when we don’t care for it – the good bacteria suffer while the bad flourish.
This imbalance can contribute to a multitude of health issues including:
• Digestive system – IBS, IBD, weight gain abdominal pain
• Immune system – colds, viruses, allergies
• Emotional – moods and sleep
• Vitality – fatigue
• Skin conditions – acne, eczema, rosacea

There are many factors in our modern lifestyles that upset the balance of our good gut bacteria by affecting their growth and diversity and thus allowing the bad bacteria to thrive.
Some of these factors include:
• Poor diet – processed and refined foods
• Additives and chemicals in our food
• Medications especially antibioticsabdominal pain
• Chemicals in cleaners, skin and hair products
• Environmental toxins and pollution
• Antibacterial cleaners
• Lack of contact with dirt and nature
• Lack of exercise

If you would like to learn how to improve your health by restoring the balance and nourishing your precious microbiome, our Naturopath Andrea Mallett can help.
Andrea will thoroughly asses you diet and lifestyle to identify factors affecting your bacteria imbalance and create a plan specific to your needs.

Andrea is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Freedom Chinese Medicine. Call 039486 5966 or click below: