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Chinese Pulse Diagnosis Special

Have a niggling health issue? Not sure how to tackle it? Nothing worked so far?

We understand. We see people in that boat every day. Some have tried everything and feel frustrated that they’re still not better.. So we’re used to helping people navigate this.

One of the best things about Chinese Medicine is that we can assess your basic state of health without fancy equipment or expensive tests. We can give you and idea of what is going on and what may help.

No BS. No “you need to come weekly for a year” spiel..

.. Just an educated assessment. And good advice.

Another great thing about Chinese Medicine is that if it’s going to work, it’ll work fast. 4-6 sessions at the most. And by work, we mean noticing a significant change in your symptoms. Your practitioner can elaborate on this once they’ve seen you.

So… let our practitioners assess your health the Traditional Chinese Medicine way.  15 minutes is all it takes for our skilled practitioners to get an overall picture of what your main health problems are.  Put us to the test.  No medical history required, just let us take your pulse & look at your tongue.  Your practitioner can then amaze you with their accuracy and give you advice.  Simple & inexpensive…

Only $17* Until 30th July 2019 only!

 Click here to book (select Chinese Medicine then 15min assessment) or call us on 03 9486 5966

* Not available with any other offer or discount. For new patients only.

Dr. E’s Top 11 Breastfeeding Tips

Most of you may have heard that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of your baby’s life. That breastfeeding reduces the chance of SIDS. That it promotes long lasting health affects in mother and baby..

However, most of us Mums aren’t achieving this 6 month breastfeeding milestone. Not usually through lack of effort. Lack of information and support more likely.  It’s OK of course if you choose not to..

.. Whatever the reason, here are the top 11 things I found most helpful in my breastfeeding journey.. (emphasis here on my journey. Based on my experience. Many other mothers have different experiences and advice).

1. Learn how. Study the dance steps before you try to dance. Read about breastfeeding while you’re pregnant. I found the Australian Breastfeeding Association to be a great resource. Easy to understand info. Most early breastfeeding issues stem from incorrect position. Of mother and baby. So study and practice those positions. Make sure that you’re in a comfortable position before you start feeding.

2. Understand that your baby then needs to learn the dance steps and how to do the dance with you. Be patient. Have faith that it’ll come together. 

3. If it isn’t working out for either of you, reach out to a lactation consultant. They are the best qualified to help you. Some midwifes and maternal health nurses will give you good advice, but some will not. And it can be difficult to sort the conflicting advice, especially when you’re tired or fragile. Talk to the most qualified re breastfeeding. And trust your instincts.

4. Don’t believe the breastfeeding hurts mantra. Yes in the first few weeks there can be tenderness for a moment at the start of each feed. Apart from that, If position is correct, latching is correct, then breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. I bought nipple cream as recommended but never needed to use it. Nipple biting can hurt, sure, but that usually comes later 😉 In my experience 95% of the time, breastfeeding doesn’t hurt.

 

5. Learn about the amazing feedback loop your baby & your breasts are in. Learn about the benefits of breastfeeding. Educate your support people so that they can better support you.

6. Have support. Take it when it’s offered. Ask for it. Especially in the first few months when your establishing your milk supply. As much as possible focus on looking after & feeding your baby. Ask your partner or friends to bring you food & water, to fetch you a cushion, to help you be comfortable feeding.

 

7. Co-sleep or bed share if safe & possible. Yes I know clinicians & government departments don’t recommend bed sharing in this country these days. But if you read the research, like I did, (links below) you’ll see that if done safely, bed sharing can actually benefit the health of both mother and child. Safe bed sharing is also linked with higher rates of breastfeeding. Which alone reduces the incidence of SIDS.

“One Australian study found that 80% of babies spent some time co-sleeping in the first 6 months of life.8 We simply don’t talk about it. The fact is that new “babies need to be fed during the night and many new mothers fall asleep while feeding their baby. Co-sleeping helps to minimise disruption to sleep for both a mother and her baby.

Breastfeeding and co-sleeping mutually support each other. The convenience of co-sleeping for breastfeeding at night is the reason parents most commonly give for choosing to co-sleep.9 Mothers who bed-share with their baby tend to breastfeed longer and maintain exclusive breastfeeding longer than those who do not co-sleep.10–12

I didn’t plan to bed share BTW. I bought one of those co-sleepers that you can attach to the side of your bed. Set it all up before the birth. Our daughter however, had other ideas. Even in the hospital, she would not settle to sleep unless she was right bedside me, skin to skin. So in the bed she came. It makes night feeds a breeze. Neither of us needs to fully wake up for her to feed. And waking up to a smiling baby is a lovely experience:).

8. Learn to hand express

Super handy for expressing colostrum, or milk. Boosting milk supply. Working out a blocked milk duct. Here’s a how to video. There are quite a few other videos on Youtube also.

Express colostrum. Otherwise known as liquid gold for your baby. Nutritional and medicinal.
I started at week 36 as recommended by my midwife. Within minutes I had uterine contractions. Freaked out and stopped as I didn’t want the baby to arrive early! So I waited until I was ready, about 39 weeks. And expressed every day until she arrived, finally at 41w+6 ! Here’s some more info about Antenatal expression of colostrum.

 

9. If you plan on going back to work in the first 6 months or would like your baby to be able to take a bottle of expressed breastmilk, which can be a great thing, then get a double electric breast pump. And a hands-free bra like the Arden bra. Makes it heaps easier!

And teach them to take a bottle in the first 4 months, ideally soon after you’ve both mastered breastfeeding. But not before that mastery.

10. Don’t give up. There are bound to be breastfeeding hurdles to overcome. Ask for advice. Do what you can. Persevere. In the first 6 months of my baby’s life, I’ve had to move house & had a parent diagnosed with a terminal illness. Both reduced my milk supply. So I had to prioritise breastfeeding; expressing, resting & working to build it back up.

11. Keep going if possible, even if you need to supplement with formula, which I’ve had to do at times. Every drop of breast milk benefits your baby. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Breastfeed as much as you can manage.

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 has particular expertise in Women’s Health, Children’s Health, Family Medicine and Wellness promotion. She brings extra understanding and knowledge to the table having been through infertility herself.

Dr. Elaine Hickman consults at Freedom Chinese Medicine on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays.

Call 03 9486 5966 or click to book online.

 

References

https://rednose.org.au/downloads/Breastfeeding-Safe_Sleeping-Information_Statement_Nov_2017_WEB.pdf

https://cosleeping.nd.edu/

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/breastfeeding-and-co-sleeping

Ball, H.L 2003, Breastfeeding, bed sharing and infant sleep. Birth. 30(3): 181-188.

Blair, P.S., Heron, J., Fleming, P.H 2010, Relationship between bed sharing and breastfeeding: Longitudinal, population-based analysis Pediatrics 126(5): e1119-e1126.

McCoy, R.C., Hunt, C.E., Lesko, S.M., Vezina, R., Corwin, M.J., Willinger, M., Hoffman, H.J., Mitchell, A.A 2004, Frequency of bed sharing and its relationship to breastfeeding Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004, 25(3),141-114.

What are the benefits of Qi Gong?

Qi Gong (pronounced chee goong), is a health practice that has stood the test of time. Many fads come and go, but like Yoga, Qi Gong has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally in China.

Qi Gong involves movements, postures, breathing methods and has meditative aspects. There are many different types of Qi Gong, each having a specific benefit. But what are the main benefits of Qi Gong? Why has it been practiced for so long?

Personally, I’ve found the main benefit of Qi Gong to be increased energy levels. Significantly. Tangibly. And within 24 hours of practicing it.

While teaching Qi Gong in the last decade, the most common benefit that students report is improved sleep. Even after their first one hour class.

Benefits of Qi Gong:

  1. Builds energy
  2. Promotes circulation
  3. Calms the mind
  4. Soothes nerves
  5. Boost immunity
  6. Improves sleep
  7. Connects you with your self
  8. Facilitates emotional stability
  9. Promotes flexibility
  10. Stimulates metabolism
  11. Builds muscular strength

Much more research about the benefits of Qi Gong has been done in recent years. Such as:

Managing Stress & Anxiety
Physical Health Benefits
Qigong For FibromyagliaI
Depression
Why don't you try it and feel the benefits for yourself? The benefits can come very quickly.

 

We have regular Qi Gong classes and workshops at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe, Melbourne. Click here to read more about them.

Wishing you improved health and that you can reap the benefits that Qi Gong can bring.

I love that once you know some simple Qi Gong exercises, you can practice it anywhere, anytime, for no cost. It’s a skill that can keep on giving..

Written by Dr. Elaine Hickman

Acupuncturist at Freedom Chinese Medicine

Benefits of Herbal Teas

Herbal tea is so delicious and has the added benefits of helping many conditions. In Chinese Medicine we use lots of different ingredients to make up teas that can then treat specific problems. I drink herbal teas daily and feel so much better for it.

Green Tea is fantastic for people who feel the heat and want to cool down. It can calm agitation, relieve nervousness and headaches. But if you experience any nausea, avoid this tea.

Ginger is great at helping nausea and stomach upsets. Just slice a couple of pieces of fresh ginger, put them into a mug and add boiling water. Voila! An instant anti-nausea fix. It is a very warming tea and works well when you have chills or a cough with white phlegm.

We stock Ginger Root Tea here at Freedom Chinese Medicine, it is great for helping with menstrual issues, cold hands and feet.  

Peppermint Tea is a helpful digestive, it is great for having after a meal, especially if you have a stomach ache.

Additionally, it is cooling so this is the tea to drink on hot days. It can also be useful for when you have a cold with a fever, cough, sore throat, headache, irritability and premenstrual bloating and pain. Once cooled the tea bags can be placed over the eyes to relieve redness as well.

Fennel is also helpful for digestion, just put some fennel seeds in with your mint tea and you can get relief from bloating, indigestion, flatulence and vomiting.

Licorice root tea tastes amazing and has a natural sweetness to it, so if you crave sweets, sugar or chocolate, then a cup of licorice tea is fantastic for stopping you reaching for the unhealthy snacks.

It can help ease a dry cough and helps fight fatigue too. If you experience high blood pressure this tea is best avoided.

A great combination for helping your periods flow easily is rose and goji berry. Put 2-3 rose buds (these can be found at Asian groceries) and about 7 goji berries into a tea pot, steep for 10 minutes and drink throughout the day, just keep topping up the water in the pot. Drink this before your period to help with pain and to improve your mood.

Here at Freedom Chinese Medicine we stock Dandelion Root Tea; this can be used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises, to increase urine production and as a laxative. It is also used as a blood tonic and digestive tonic1.

We also sell Raspberry Leaf tea to our pregnant clients. Raspberry Leaf is a uterine tonic, meaning that it can help promote a smoother labour.

We have a many delicious combinations of herbal tea here at Freedom Chinese Medicine. They have been formulated to help with specific conditions such as a Hayfever Relief Tea, Super Cooling Tea for headache, eye ache and inflammation, Balancing Tea (my favourite) to alleviate hay fever and calm irritability. The Calming Tea and Energy Boosting Teas are two brews that we could all have in our cupboards at different times throughout the year!

Come in and speak to one of us and find out which tea is best suited to you.

Written by Dr. Kate Howden

Acupuncturist at Freedom Chinese Medicine

References

1https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-706/dandelion

BMI chart for Adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Note About BMI

However, BMI is not always the best measure of your overall health. It’s not even the best way to measure whether you’re carrying too much or too little fat on your body.

 

For example, an athlete may have a very high BMI, one that indicates being overweight. Despite having an “overweight” BMI, they may be very lean and fit. This is because muscle weighs more than fat.

 

Another example, you can have a normal BMI, but if you’re very muscular, you may have too little fat on your body. This can cause fertility problems.

 

Yet another possibility, your weight may be in the normal range, but you may carry more fat, and less muscle, than is healthy.

 

If you’re concerned about your weight (or lack of fat, or too much fat), talk to your doctor. They can do a full evaluation. This will give you much more information than BMI numbers alone.

Workshop FAQ

Qi Gong Workshop ~ Frequently Asked Questions

What is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong is an ancient art, which is thought to have given birth to many of the Chinese sciences, such as Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbalism.  The word Qi Gong simply translates as “Energy Work”.  Qi Gong is a way to cultivate and circulate internal energy.

 

Qi Gong is similar to Yoga and Tai Chi in that it involves postures, movements, breathing and meditation for healing and health promotion.  Qi Gong is unique in that it is more energy focused than most forms of Yoga, and does not involve holding difficult postures.  Qi Gong science is the foundation from which Tai Chi was developed, the focus is on fundamental wellbeing and self-healing.

 

At last count, there were over 450 forms of Qi Gong being taught in China.  It is generally said that it has five major schools, Medical, Martial arts, Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian. Another way Qi Gong is classified is into Active and Passive Qi Gong  – the latter being mainly still postures emphasising meditation.

 

What style of Qi Gong will be taught in this workshop?

Medical Qi Gong will be taught and practiced in this workshop.  It is a style of Qi Gong focused on self-healing, and is a Passive, stillness-orientated practice.

 

What will we be doing?

Learning and practising:

  • 4 stillness postures: sitting, standing, lying down
  • A gentle active, outdoor form
  • Loosing exercises to benefit your joints
  • An acupressure routine to follow sitting practice
  • How to implement practice in daily life
  • Relaxing & possibly sleeping at times 😊

 

Who is the teacher?

Qi Gong is such a powerful practice, it is important to learn from somebody who thoroughly understands Qi Gong.  Many claim to, but few actually do.  Dr Elaine Hickman will be teaching this Qi Gong workshop.  Elaine Hickman is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine who has specialised in Acupuncture for over 20 years.  Elaine has been studying Qi Gong since 1994 and learnt Medical Qi Gong from Qi Gong master Dr. Bisong Guo, author of “Listen to Your Body”.  Elaine practiced with Bisong intensely for five years, travelling to China on a Qi Gong study tour in 2006.   Elaine is passionate about bringing you an authentic, empowering and enjoyable workshop so you can experience the amazingly relaxing and healing benefits of Medical Qi Gong.

 

How many people will there be in the workshop?

The workshops will have a maximum number of 10 participants to ensure high quality teaching and practice.

 

What do I need to wear?

Loose fitting comfortable clothing and shoes with socks.

 

What level of ability is required?

The ability to lie down, stand, sit and be quiet is all that is essentially required.   The workshop is tailored to beginners, although the more experienced are welcome.

 

Are the workshops suitable for pregnant women?

Yes, the activities in the workshop are gentle. Please just advise your teacher.

 

What are the benefits of Qi Gong?

Regular Qi Gong practice:

Builds energy

Promotes circulation

Calms the mind

Soothes nerves

Boost immunity

Improves sleep

Connects you with your self

Facilitates emotional stability

Promotes flexibility

Stimulates metabolism

Builds muscular strength

Book your place in the next workshop

Lemon And Coconut Bliss Balls Recipe

This recipe makes 15 delicious balls and melt in your mouth with a zesty twist. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of ingredients or time to make it. Perfect.
Ingredients:
– 2 and a half cups desiccated coconut
– 1/2 cup raw almonds
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 80 ml coconut oil
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Method:
1. Place 2 cups of the desiccated coconut in a food processor, add the almonds, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice and lemon zest and blend for 1 minute. Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
2. Form the chilled mixture into 15 small balls and roll them in the remaining desiccated coconut. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or freeze for up to a month. One bliss ball is one serve.
Source: The Busy Mum’s guide to Weight Loss by Rhian Allen.

Why Meditation is Good for You

If you experience anxiety or stress you may have been recommended to try meditation. But you may not be completely clear on why.

You might wonder how “sitting with your eyes closed and doing nothing” is meant to help you. But in truth, mindfulness meditation is much more than sitting quietly. It is the active training of the mind to increase situational and self-awareness. Meditation focuses our awareness on the present moment and helps us to accept and release thoughts without judgement. We don’t need to believe every thought that we have, and we can train our minds to be less attached and reactionary to a passing idea.

If you’ve seen an acupuncturist for anxiety or pain you’ve probably had a conversation about deep breathing and mindfulness meditation.

Here’s why: People that meditate are shown to have reduced stress hormones.

Cortisol is the stress hormone. Cortisol prompts inflammation in the body and where there in inflammation there is pain, and often anxiety.

Research suggests that mind and body practices, including meditation, reduces inflammation and helps to regulate the immune system.

People who meditate have reduced Cortisol because when they practice mindfulness their bodies experience the “relaxation response”. This relaxation response reduces the output of stress hormones and changes our brain wave patterns. In fact, it’s been found that regular meditators have a larger hypothalamus than non-meditators. Mindfulness literally changes the brain.

Does meditation help with anxiety?

Johns Hopkins University researchers found that 30 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation had similar antidepressant and anxiety reducing effects to commonly prescribed medications. Mediation is helpful for people in high pressure work roles too. Eight weeks of semi-regular mindfulness meditation was found to be effective in influencing the quality of life, job satisfaction and psychological symptoms of health care professionals.

Does meditation help with high blood pressure?

Results of a trial run in 2009 suggest that practicing meditation lowers the blood pressure of people at risk of developing high blood pressure. The findings of the same study also supported the use of meditation to manage psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger & hostility, and general coping ability.

Does meditation help with cravings?

Meditation can even help you to quit smoking and stop overeating. Results of a 2013 brain imaging study suggest that mindful attention reduces the craving to smoke, and that it reduced activity in a craving-related region of the brain.

Essentially, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Meditate at home today. Just 20 minutes daily will be enough to benefit from the practice! You could sit or lie quietly alone and focus on your breath. Or you could try one of these free meditation podcast, click here to access them.

Written by:

Dr Heather Dowall

Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist

Dr  Heather Dowall is a warm, intuitive and enthusiastic practitioner. Heather graduated from Endeavour College of Natural Health with a Health Science degree majoring in Acupuncture.

Heather is passionate about fertility and pregnancy support, pain relief, cancer support, and providing relief for anyone experiencing anxiety, depression, emotional trauma or PTSD.

Heather simply loves helping people. And also offers Massage Therapy, Cupping & other Oriental Therapies, with our without Acupuncture.

References:

* Goldstein CM, Josephson R, Xie S, et al. Current perspectives on the use of meditation to reduce blood pressure. International Journal of Hypertension. 2012;2012:578397.

* Nidich SI, Rainforth MV, Haaga DAF, et al. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the transcendental meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. American Journal of Hypertension. 2009;22(12):1326–1331.

* Rubia K. The neurobiology of meditation and its clinical effectiveness in psychiatric disorders. Biological Psychology. 2009;82(1):1–11.

* Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2014;174(3):357–368.

* Tang Y-Y, Tang R, Posner MI. Brief meditation training induces smoking reduction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013;110(34):13971–13975.

Healing through Reiki

Reiki healing

By Sue Wellwood

Reiki is a spiritual healing art with its roots coming from Japan. First developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. Coming from the Japanese word (Rei) which means “Universal” and (Ki) which means Energy. Therefore Reiki can be defined as the Higher Intelligence Life Force that guides the creation and functioning of the universe.

Reiki & Energetic Healing tap into the universal life force that we are surrounded by. This is a gentle and balancing way to restore harmony within the body. This hands on healing generates life force that we all have around us. We are abundant with energy; it comes to us in many ways, through light, the sun, the wind, the breath.

These energies nourish the organs and cells of the body and support them. When out of balance or when the life force flow is disrupted, it causes the organs and tissues to block, this can stop the flow of blood and energy, which can cause pain in the body.

This life force is also responsive to thoughts and feelings. When we have negative thoughts and feelings they can attach to the energy fields and cause disruption in energy flow. Reiki helps heal the flow of the affected areas and gives a positive charge to the fields. It raises the vibration of the energy body and can cause negative energy to break apart and fall away.

Reiki is a simple and safe way to help balance and bring awareness of how the body feels. With regular Reiki one can begin to feel the difference in the self and may then like to look at lifestyle habits and conditions to make changes that are beneficial to their health.

Reiki can help ease depression, stress and anxiety, muscle tension, adrenal glands, emotional trauma; it works on all levels – physical, mental and emotional.

If you’d like to try Reiki to ease depression, muscle tension and restore balance to your body, contact us on 9486 5966 or click here to book online. You will receive a $20 discount if you mention this offer and have your appointment by the 12th of October 2018.

Written by:

Sue Wellwood: Massage Therapist

Sue Wellwood specialises in a number of healing techniques that help bring balance and calmness to the body. Reiki

treats the whole person with “Universal life force energy” reducing stress and being relaxation that promotes healing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

1. Lee, W (2018): www.reiki.org

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