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.



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


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.



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!

Book an appointment with Freedom Chinese Medicine


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.