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.

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:

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Acupuncture for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a condition that can occur after a traumatic event (or a series of events) when a person hasn’t completely processed the experience. Events generally include serious accidents, disasters, abuse or warfare.
Over time, the person may be able to rationally understand the series of events. However, they haven’t been able to holistically process the trauma – in the mind, body and spirit. As a consequence, symptoms can continue:
insomnia medium
  • flashbacks, memories, bad dreams
  • extreme feelings like anger, shame, fear or guilt
  • anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • nausea, diarrhoea, recurring pain
Ear acupuncture (or auriculotherapy) can be used to help the person process these events, put the past behind them and move on with life.
Auriculotherapy is based on ancient Chinese maps of acupuncture points in the ears. It has been further developed by European physicians and neurologists.  The current map of ear points have been mapped out by observing effects ear acupuncture points on the brain via MRI scans. It is successfully used by American military for treatment of PTSD.
Treatment with Ear Acupuncture generally doesn’t involve counselling or discussion of the trauma. We feel the person’s pulse, and focus on lifting physical and emotional symptoms.
Christine Lee
Ear acupuncture is available at Freedom Chinese Medicine with our 4 excellent Acupuncturists. Dr. Christine Lee has extra skills and experience using Ear Acupuncture for PTSD and is available on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Contact us on 9486 5966 for more information or to book.

Paleo Coconut Pancakes


paGluten Free!

Protein boosters: Coconut flour, eggs, flax meal

Yield: About 18




½ cup coconut flour (72g)

¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut (30g)

2 Tbsp. flax meal

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

6 large eggs

¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more for griddle

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

3 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 200ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, coconut, flax, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, coconut oil, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Pour egg mixture into coconut mixture and stir until combined. (Mixture will be a bit thicker than traditional pancake batter, but if it seems too thick to spread, add more milk 1 Tbsp. at a time to thin.)

Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush with coconut oil. Drop batter (use about 3 Tbsp. per pancake) onto griddle and cook until top is bubbling and sides are beginning to firm, about 1 minute. Flip pancakes and cook until bottoms are golden and pancakes are cooked through, about 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. Place on a plate, keep warm in oven, and repeat with remaining batter. (Batter may continue to thicken as it sits. Stir in more milk 1 Tbsp. at a time if needed.)

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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