Gut Health Seminar

abdominal painSomething not quite right with your gut? Are you experiencing gut symptoms that won’t seem to go away? Don’t know where to start? Come along to this seminar for some expert information & suggestions. Learn:

  • What is gut health?
  • How gut health affects our physical and emotional health
  • Stress and gut health – gut brain connection
  • What we can do to improve our gut health

When: Monday the 24th April, 6.30pm – 8pm

Where: Upstairs @ Freedom Chinese Medicine

261 Waterdale Road, Ivanhoe

Cost: $30 or $15 if you bring a friend.

Spaces are limited. Give us a call on 9486 5966 or click below to book today.

Can’t make it and prefer some written info from our Naturopath? Enter your email address on the right hand side of this page where it says Free Information & we’ll send it to you!

Tennis Elbow Relief

Lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow” as it is commonly know is a painful condition experienced by many people. In most instances the condition is caused by overuse or strain of the small muscles and or tendons that connect to the outside of the upper forearm (the lateral epicondyle). When injured pain tends to be further experienced when grasping objects and/or rotating the forearm. Neck pain and dysfunction can also be involved.

There are several approaches to correcting lateral epicondylitis. At Freedom Chinese Medicine in Melbourne, we apply some combination of acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbal medicine and mobility exercises depending upon the nature of the case. In a majority of cases the condition is vastly improved with between 3-6 acupuncture sessions over the course of 1-2 months. Usually gentle toning, stretching and mobility exercises are required to correct biomechanical imbalances and lessen the chance of re-injury through enhanced function. Some massage can also be useful; particularly in more muscular or tensile individuals, those with heightened inflammation or those with poor circulation.

Inflammation can be reduced by drinking at least 2L of water per day, taking anti-inflammatory Chinese herbs and/or prescribed supplements and if tolerated a topical anti-inflammatory cream can also be an effective adjunct to therapy; the shallow depth of the muscles, tendons and fascia in the region allow these creams to penetrate to an effective level easily.

When rehabilitating this condition it is important to ensure that it is not re-injured before it is fully healed; if care is not taken such can lead to pain becoming a nagging chronic problem. Placing a piece of tape on the elbow can act to alter your sensory awareness of the area and provide a reminder to prevent movements that aggravate the problem.

All the acupuncturists at Freedom Chinese Medicine have experience with this condition, but for initial consultations it is recommended that patients visit either Daniel Gibbs, Shiro Akiyama or Andrew Chambers so that massage can be performed if necessary.

Written by Dr. Daniel Gibbs

Acupuncturist & Remedial Massage Therapist @ Freedom Chinese Medicine

Mention this article for 20% off you initial consult with Daniel, Andrew or Shiro in March 2017 only.

Hair Loss Help

Hair thinning commonly happens in both men and women. It can happen gradually with age, but it can also occur more noticeably after a series of hormonal changes, medical procedures (surgery or chemotherapy) or some other trauma.

Patients who are looking for help often report that they have recovered from a significant health-deteriorating period. They have settled back into their routines and responsibilities. They feel comfortable in their bodies again. But for some reason, their hair thickness hasn’t returned. Sometimes, they are still experiencing excessive hair loss.

Looking more deeply into the details often shows that health and vitality may not have returned to the previous levels. While people are managing their day to day activities, they can report more subtle signs:

  • Being prone to viral infections that take longer to clear
  • Having lower energy levels than previously
  • Indulging in sweeter or “easier” foods more often (in this case, it’s a symptom)
  • More frequent skin problems, or consistently dry skin
  • More frequent digestive irregularities or bloating
  • More easy to bruise

These are all signs that a couple more steps need to be achieved before the
body is ready to allocated precious resources to growing a headful of shiny, luscious hair.

With Chinese Medicine, after looking at individual specifics, I usually treat hair thinning by:

  • Strengthening the digestive system – to get the most out of food and improve metabolism
  • Improving circulation – to get blood to the scalp
  • Strengthening the immune system – to better combat infections, but also to improve the quality of skin, scalp and hair
  • Ensuring sleep is restful and restorative – looking at internal temperature control, pain problems and relaxation.

When theses aspects are back in balance, it’s nice to see layers of “baby hairs” start growing back. (It’s frizzy at the start, but that gets better). This can take 3-4 months of treatment and herbal medicine. But patients seem happy to have their hair back. Not to mention resolving the other subtle problems holding them back.

Written by Dr. Christine Lee

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

At Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe, Melbourne.

Mention this article for 20% off your initial consult with Dr. Lee this March 2017 only.

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.

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.

Fermenting Fundamentals Workshop

3801806658_61d8b2420c_zHave you been hearing a lot about fermented foods lately but are unsure what they are and why you should include them as a regular part of your diet?

Not a fan of popping pills?
And what about prebiotics – what are they and what do they do?
Would you like to learn more?

Come along to our upcoming seminar where our expert Naturopath Andrea Mallett will share with you the health benefits of including fermented foods in your diet. And how to increase your pre and probiotic intake naturally.

You will take away with you some simple recipes for making fermented foods at home and tips on increasing your intake of these beneficial foods in your diet.

Where: Freedom Chinese Medicine

261 Waterdale Road, Ivanhoe

When: Wednesday 23rd November, 6.30pm – 8pm

Cost: $30 or 1/2 price if you bring a friend

Call us on 9486 5966 or click below to reserve your seat. Spaces limited so get onto it today!


Book an appointment with Freedom Chinese Medicine
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Reading and understanding food labels whilst shopping can be very confusing – below are some tips to help you decipher them:

  • All ingredients must be listed by ingoing weight or quantity from highest to lowest
  • All labels must contain a Nutrition Information Panel that shows the amount of certain nutrients ‘per serve’ and ‘per 100g or 100ml’
  • Nutrients listed will include:
  • Energy kJ
  • Fat – Total and Saturated
  • Carbohydrates – Total and Sugars
  • Sodium
  • Fibre


  • When comparing similar items always compare the 100g/ml columns as serving sizes can vary per product


Deciphering Food labels

Identifying added salt or sugar can be difficult as the food label guidelines do not enforce that they be listed separately from natural sources, although some manufacturers will clarify this information willingly. There are also many different names that sugar and salt can be listed under.

The source of sugar and salt may be from a natural wholefood in the product such as lactose in milk or fructose in fruit, others may have been added to the product by the manufacturer. Bear in mind that lactose and fructose can also be added extras as well. AAAAARRRRHHHH

Sodium and not salt will always be listed on the panel as many foods naturally contain sodium but also contain other nutrients such as potassium and are therefore balanced, unlike table salt which is mostly sodium. If it is added the word Salt may be in the ingredients list but will not show quantity.

We must look to the listed ingredients to try and identify the source – is it natural or is it added?

Below is a general guide for the recommended intake of certain nutrients:

Total Fat Less than 10g per 100g
Saturated Fat Less than 3g per 100g
Sugars If more than 15g per 100g – check the source of sugar from ingredients
Sodium Less than 400mg per 100g is good

Less than 120g per 100g is best

Check source of sodium in ingredients

Fibre 3g or more per serve

(This is a guide only and will vary depending on the product type and source of the nutrient).

Written by Naturopath, Andrea Mallett from Freedom Chinese Medicine

Need more help? Andrea is available for sessions in Ivanhoe on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Call 9486 5966 today to book your session.



10 Ways to Relieve Hay Fever Naturally

sneezeDo you feel like an itchy, sneezy, snotty mess? Hay fever can be debilitating. Whether it’s the sneezing fits whilst you’re trying to drive. The incredibly itchy eyes, or congestion making it difficult to breathe. Or the sleepy, vague feeling that the allergic reaction can bring.

Hayfever can be unpleasant. I totally understand. Seriously, I’ve suffered all those symptoms. I had severe hay fever for decades. It’s only in the last few years that it doesn’t get me anymore. Why? Because I did what I’m about to share with you. Do you find anti-histamines not effective enough or prefer not to take them? Then you may benefit from these 10 tips:

1. Rinse Your Nose and Eyes Before Going to Sleep

Using a saline nasal spray such as Fess or a Neti pot to rinse the pollen particles out of your nasal passages can help. Those little hairs in our nostrils are there for a reason. Truly. They trap foreign particles like pollens. If you’re allergic to pollens, and they stay in your nose for hours on end, your immune system will start fighting them. Firstly by producing more mucous to flush them out. So give your immune system a helping hand and flush them out without having to go to the mucous party.

2. Reduce Your Exposure to Pollens.

13586829673_1e1c558164_mYes I know, most of the time it’s not possible, unless you want to live in a bubble. But simple measures like not hanging your bed linen to dry outside can help. If you’re hanging your bed linen out to dry, you’ll be capturing heaps on pollen particles on those sheets then going to bed with them. Sleeping with your bedroom window closed can also help.

3. Reduce Your Stress

Yes, excessive stress can affect our allergic response too. A strong allergic response is like a stress response. We need to calm it. Slow down. Take a breath, exhale slowly. Do something which relaxes you every day; meditate, listen to music, go for a walk, whatever works for you.. Even if it’s for only 5 minutes each time, it will calm your nervous system & immune system. You need to be disciplined with this to make progress. But it’s worth it.

Meditation & Qi Gong

4. Try Inhalation.

If you’re congested, inhale Peppermint or Eucalyptus oil. Try putting a drop of these oils on your pillow case. You can also inhale Vicks, Tiger Balm, or Woodlock Liniment.

5. Try Acupressure

Use your fingers to press on Acupoints Colon 20, Colon 4, Yu Yao & Gall Bladder 20. Click here for images to help you find these acupoints.

6. Drink Elderflower Tea

3203256457_0b7870d2e1_mThis herbal tea can minimise excessive mucous production from your nose. You need to drink 2-3 cups per day.

 7. Avoid Dairy Products

If you have even a mild allergy to milk protein or lactose, like many of us do, this extra allergen load can tip your hay fever response over the edge. Try avoiding dairy products for 2 weeks and see if it makes a difference for you. You can obtain adequate calcium from food such as dark green leafy vegetable, sesame seeds and sardines.

8. Take Vitamin C

This vitamin can help your immune system cope with the hay fever challenge. Go for a high potency, powdered formula to maximise effectiveness.

9. Take Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbsThere are several tried and tested herbs that can alleviate hayfever. It is best to consult a herbalist to find which would be best for you. Anything else is just hit and miss. And a potential waste of money. And don’t forget that herbs can cause harm, especially when mixed with other herbs or medications. I have two excellent herbalists working with me here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe. They could help you, especially if you’ve tried the above steps and are still suffering. Give us a call on 03 9486 5966 to arrange a consultation.

10. Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture can settle your allergic response, unblock your nose and help your immune system. It can work. And it doesn’t hurt. Seriously. We have 4 experienced Acupuncturists here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe who could help you. We are qualified, friendly and professional practitioners. Click to read more about us. Four sessions is the most it would take to know if acupuncture would significantly relieve your hay fever. We also have a low cost acupuncture option to make treatment more affordable. Please give us a call on 03 9486 5966 to arrange a consultation with one of our acupuncturists and let us help you with your hay fever problem. Flash special ~ 20% off your initial consult if you mention this offer. For November only! Expires 25/11/16 

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