10 ways to boost your fertility naturally

PregnancyDo you need to boost your fertility? Would you prefer to do so naturally? Is your fertility affected by suspected Low Ovarian Reserve, Low Antral Follicle count or advanced age? If yes, then these tips are for you: (which follow on from tips 1-10 which you can read here)

Of course, specific professional advice tailored to your unique situation is the best way. Seeing an experienced Chinese Medicine practitioner or Naturopath is the best way to obtain guidance to optimise your health and Natural Fertility. The health tips below can complement your care and is based on the science of minimising factors which can result in the premature recruitment or destruction of your follicles and ageing.

  1. Sleep more and better. The average adult needs 6-9 hours. Easier said than done right? Try going to sleep even 30 minutes earlier. Wind down before getting into bed to encourage deeper sleep. Click here for more sleep tips.
  2. Relax more and better. Practice meditation, yoga, qi gong, tai chi or the like. There are many guided meditation apps and videos available these days. Or find a local class. We hold Qi Gong classes here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe. See which method works for you and practice daily, even five minutes can help. Stress increases oxidative damage. Stress decreases sex hormone production due to an increase in cortisol production. Stress decreases digestive capacity by activating the sympathetic nervous system. Reduce your stress to boost your fertility.
  3. Avoid coffee.  Yes, you might love it but your follicles won’t unfortunately.
  4. Avoid alcohol. Yes, alcohol damages ovaries8. Here are some handy juice recipes to boost your fertility instead.acupuncture for fertility
  1. Avoid smoking. Smoking increases your FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). Potentially increasing the rate of ovarian follicle damage and the speed at which your follicles diminish.
  1. Remove any mercury dental amalgams. Mercury is an environmental toxin. Sources of mercury include dental amalgams, seafood, personal care products such as preparation H, spermicides, vaccines, makeup, skin creams, etc. Levels of excreted mercury were inversely proportional to progesterone levels, increasing miscarriages.10  Methylmercury denatures DNA and can induce chromosomal aberrations.11
  1. Take supplements, via a qualified practitioner is by far the best way to work out which supplements are best for you. It is much more safe and effective that way. Supplements that may help, depending on your individual presentation include:
  • Vitamin C is very important for implantation, prevention of miscarriages, protection against cell damage, ageing, and to help facilitate ovulation.12
  • DHEA may be useful in diminished ovarian reserve13
  • Vitamin D is associated with longer telomeres – reducing ageing14
  1. Take herbal medicine. There are many many herbs which can enhance fertility. For slowing or reversing ageing eggs we can look to:
  • Astragalus (United States Patent 20070122501 (research conducted by applicants).
  • Ginseng
  • Chinese herbal formula Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (which contains astragalus, ginseng, cimicifuga, etc). Consult your Chinese Medicine Practitioner for advice.
  1. Have acupuncture. It’s relaxing and works! Acupuncture:
  • improves ovarian response to gonadotropins 15
  • normalises hormone levels (E2, FSH, LH, PR) 16
  • improves ovarian blood flow 17
  • increases Growth Hormone levels18
  1. Keep your feet warm. Ask any Chinese Medicine practitioner about the importance of keeping your feet warm when trying to get pregnant or when you’re pregnant. Now research in rats provides some evidence that ovarian blood flow improves when the hind paws are heated.19 

P.S. Don’t forget to enjoy sex (if you’re trying to conceive via sexual intercourse). I realise it can be tricky if you’ve been trying for a while, but try to keep it as fun and enjoyable as possible. Have sex every second day during your fertile period. Or every second day regardless if it suits both of you, then you don’t need to overthink the timing. Talk about what you can do to make it more enjoyable for both of you.

Enough to think about & implement for now? I understand that can be a lot to take in. Try introducing one change per week or even a month so the habit sticks. Then stay tuned by liking our Facebook page or subscribing to our newsletter here for other ways to boost your fertility naturally.

Also be aware that the lifespan of your egg, from what we call a primordial follicle to ovulation is 150 days. Yes, 5 months. So boosting your fertility in this way can be gradual process but it needs to be sustainable and consistent over months to really make a difference to your fertility. The added bonus of following this advice is that it can improve your health overall.

Written by

Elaine in room2

Dr. Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc. TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing)

Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Freedom Chinese Medicine

261 Waterdale Road

Ivanhoe, VIC 3079

Ph. 03) 9486 5966

Email: reception@freedomchinesemedicine.com



P.S. I appreciate that trying to conceive is a deeply personal process and you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the practitioner who is helping you. That is why we offer an initial health assessment, in which we do a brief assessment of your health 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.

Call today on 03 9486 5966 or click here to book.



  1. Adv Ther. 2005 Nov-Dec,22(6):548-58).
  1. Hum Reprod. 2007 Apr;22(4):1175-85. Epub 2007 Jan 29.
  1. Hormone reproduction update, 1998, Vol 4, No.3 pp301-309.
  1. Environmental Mutagenesis Volume 5, Issue 5, Pages 679-686. Published Online 14 July 2006.
  1. Life Sc. 1998;63(11):935-48.
  1. Hum Reprod, 2006 Nov:21(11):2845-9. Epub 2006 Sep22.
  1. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5);1420-5).
  1. Qintero. Fertility and Sterilit Volume 81: Supplement 3 April 2004.
  1. Shen. J Tradit Chin Med 2005 Mar:25(1):3-6.
  1. Stener.J Appl Physio. 2006 Jul:101(1):84-91. Epub 2006 Mar 2.
  1. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1991;16(1-2):45-51.
  1. J Physiol Sci. 2007 Aug: 57(4);227-33, Epub 2007 aug 2.

Immune Boosting Tea

Need a health boost? This tea is specifically made by us for you. To support your immune system, especially during Autumn.

It’s an easy to digest tea. The ingredients in our immune boosting tea have been used for hundreds of years to strengthen immunity and energy levels. Helping our body to fight off any nasties ..


Huang Qi (Astragalus) is used often in Chinese Medicine to increase energy levels. Also can improve the immune, digestion and respiratory systems.

Bai Zhu (Atractylodes Rhizome) works together with Da Zao (see below) to support digestion. Traditional Chinese Medicine describes a working relationship between digestion and immune function; the combination of these 4 herbs promotes that relationship.

Fang Feng (Saposhnikovia Root) has warming properties that strengthens the immune system by pushing out pathogens. Fang Feng is gentle on the body whilst supporting health. It also aids in alleviating headaches and general body pains.

Da Zao (Chinese Dates) commonly used in Chinese cooking to add a subtle sweetness in savoury dishes. These dates are used to build energy, iron levels and are calming.

Immune Boosting Tea packets & recipe available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $8.34.

Contact us if you’d like us to put some aside or even post to you 🙂

11 ways to boost your milk supply naturally

It can be very stressful when you’re not producing enough milk for your baby. Especially if your baby is fussing & crying. You’re certainly not alone. Many women face the possibility of insufficient milk supply. I’ve been there. Here are 10 things that you can try:

  1. Make sure that low milk supply is actually the issue. It’s actually a common misconception. Many women fear that is low (it’s hard to tell when your breastfeeding!), but often it isn’t.  Fussy babies can fuss for many reasons, check out 14 tips for colic here.
  2. Breastfeed on demand and express, especially after their first morning feed & after baby’s bedtime.
  3. Look at your baby whilst feeding. I understand that looking at a screen might be preferable at times. But looking at your baby whilst feeding can stimulate the hormones which increase your supply. And can bring you happiness & fill your heart with gratitude. Much more than any screen can.
  4. Eat well. I understand that it’s not always easy, cooking & eating while juggling the needs of your baby. But there are ways. ie. Ask someone to cook something for you. Or stock the pantry with quick healthy foods like fruit, veggies, nuts & seeds. Avoid stocking the pantry with foods of little or no nutritional value.
  5. Lower your stress. The learning curve with any baby is hard enough. Avoid additional stress in the first year if possible, ie. moving house. I had to move house during my babe’s 4 month sleep regression and it wasn’t fun. Unfortunately my Mum was diagnosed with aggressive terminal cancer & subsequently passed in that first 12 months also. So I saw first hand what extreme stress can do to one’s breast milk supply.
  6. Cultivate Calm. It’s amazing what 5 minutes of downtime daily can do for your mental health. Just 5 minutes. No screens, no responsibilities, no demands. Simply breathe, listen to some relaxing music, guided meditation, sit in the back yard & watch the birds, jump in the shower, whatever works for you. You just need to commit to this downtime daily. It’s worth it.
  7. Let your baby nipple fiddle if you can tolerate it. Or your partner. If that’s what they want to do. Or do it yourself. Excuse my bluntness, but it will stimulate milk supply.
  8. Get more sleep. Or just rest. Sleep when baby sleeps. I know you’ve probably heard it before and dismissed it. Look at the state of the house right? Maybe you’ll feel better if you put that load of washing on. Maybe. But if you’re sleep deprived, there’s only one thing that will improve your mental and physical health, including your milk supply. And that is sleep. So go to bed early and sleep during one of their naps. Try it for a day or two. See for yourself how much better you can feel. Then you can do the housework in half the time..
  9. Try Herbal Medicine. There’s a long history of using herbs to promote breast milk. I found blessed thistle & fenugreek to work well.
  10. Try Chinese Medicine. Chinese Herbs such as Si-Wu-Tang was originally listed in the Prescriptions from the Great Peace Imperial Grace Pharmacy and has been used as a basic formula in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of women’s illnesses since the 12th century..¹ However, talking to a Herbalist first for a prescription specific to your situation will give you the best results. And to make sure they’re OK to take with anything else that you’re taking. At Freedom Chinese Medicine, you can have a 30 min Telehealth/ Video consult with one of our experienced herbalists, then have the herbs posted to you.
  11. Make lactation cookies. Better still, get someone else to make them for you. Or buy them, but they tend to be overpriced unfortunately.. They’re simple to make; once you find brewer’s yeast, add oats, ground linseed or LSA & a bunch of other goodies for your nutrition. Limiting the refined sugar is a good idea.

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.

Elaine is available

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
Call (03) 9486 5966


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586461/.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 790474. Published online 2013 Feb 14. doi: 10.1155/2013/790474
    Use of Herbal Dietary Supplement Si-Wu-Tang and Health-Related Quality of Life in Postpartum Women: A Population-Based Correlational Study. Pei-Jen Chang, 1 Ching-Chun Lin, 2 Yi Chun Chen, 3 Chao-Hua Chuang, 4 Yu-Ching Tseng, 2 Wu-Shiun Hsieh, 5 Shio-Jean Lin, 6 and Pau-Chung Chen 2 , 7 , 8 ,*

10 Ways to Boost Fertility Naturally

Pregnancy1Do you need to boost your fertility? Would you prefer to do so naturally? Is your fertility affected by a low egg count or advanced age? If yes, take heart, you’re not alone. I was there and I’ve seen many women in that situation. There are many things that you can do..

Of course, specific professional advice tailored to your unique situation is the best way. Seeing an experienced Chinese Medicine practitioner, Naturopath or Integrative Medicine practitioner is the best way to obtain guidance to optimise your health and Natural Fertility.

Your Western fertility specialist can help of course. But most of them don’t teach you how to improve your fertility naturally, to improve your chances of success with or without IVF.

These tips below can complement your care. They are about minimising the factors which can result in the premature recruitment or destruction of your eggs.

Now, I realise that some of these tips can seem like hard work. Too much effort. I do understand. But coming from someone who went through years of trying to conceive, I will say that it’s worth it. Having a baby in your arms is wonderful, but it also hard work..

..And, I feel the best we can do when TTC is to do our best, try everything that we can, so we have no regrets. Whether you successfully conceive or not at the end of all this, you want to know in your heart that you did everything you could. Not be left wondering 5 years down the track whether you should have tried this or that..

So here goes my first 10 tips, in order of priority:

  1. Eat well. Avoid genetically modified food, plastics (which we eat & drink from), alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and refined sugar. Eat whole, recognizable food. Raw food is generally not well digested, so mostly cooked foods is best.For some of you this will be difficult, for others not so. Start with cutting out one thing, the most damaging to fertility, which is either alcohol, caffeine or refined sugar. The thing to remember here is that it’s not forever. 5 months tops if you have egg quality issues. And that eating well improves your health, and the health of your pregnancy, your potential child and their children. It’s worth it. And it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
  1. Improve your digestive function. Poor nutrient absorption and/or availability can result in many problems. Including fertility problems. Some examples include DNA transcription errors, high levels of oxidative stress, poor mitochondrial function (this all basically has to do with how well your cells function), poor circulation, poor metabolism of toxins, weakened immune system and poor hormone synthesis.  Contact us if you need help to improve your digestion.

abdominal pain

  1. Eat Organic. Including any animal products and their feed. Yes it’s worth it. You can reduce the cost of organic food by growing some of your own. Even sprouts on a window sill. And it’s certainly cheaper than an IVF cycle. Let’s look at the specific affects of environmental toxins on our fertility:

– HCB is one such toxin which is sprayed on grains as an antifungal. HCB can reduce ovulatory estradiol levels (basically your estrogen levels when you’re ovulating), causes degenerative changes in primordial follicles (your eggs at the start of their lifespan) and may induce premature ovarian failure¹

– Cadmium is another environmental toxin found in food and fertilisers which decreases the number of growing follicles (your young eggs), alters mitochondrial structure, disrupts progesterone synthesis², increases miscarriages and reduces gonadotropin binding³. This all basically means that Cadmium affects you negatively on a cellular and hormonal level in terms of getting pregnant.

– Arsenic is also found in insecticides, fungicides, chicken, pork, wine, tobacco and seafood. Arsenic causes oxidative damage to ovaries.4

  1. Eat a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables and naturally fed lean meats, seeds and nuts. In particular, if you have indicators of a low egg count: Eat carrots, sweet potato, tomato, liver, beets, apples, avocados, purslane, kiwi fruit, parsnips, dill, celery, coriander & parsley. These foods aid the recruitment of your follicles (to become an egg to ovulate), and improve cellular function related to energy production and anti-ageing processes. Here are some handy juice recipes to boost your fertility.

Spinach, whole eggs, poultry and lamb help improve egg maturation, follicular recruitment.

Blueberries, bilberries, black berries and raspberries are also helpful. Minimising intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage is a good idea as they contain aflatoxins, which can work against getting pregnant when you’re older.


  1. Don’t use bleached products, especially those used to wipe or insert into your vagina. Bleached products contain dioxins which are an industrial pollutant. Dioxin exposure can promote endometriosis, reduces FSH receptors (our cells ability to respond to this hormone which stimulates our follicles), can cause no ovulation and ovarian dysfunction.5
  1. Chew your food thoroughly. The extra saliva will help to break down some of the toxins that may be in your food. Yep, simple saliva can help. Try counting to 20 whilst chewing before you swallow each mouthful.
  1. Reduce your radiation exposure. Yes radiation can affect your ovaries and DNA. You can reduce your radiation exposure by not putting your mobile phone near your pelvis, ie. in your pocket. You can also turn your mobile phone, ipad or tablet off at night.


  1. Drink filtered water and shower in filtered water if possible. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are found in plastics, adhesive and flame retardants. We are exposed to them through eating fish, duck and tap water. PCBs cause complete reproductive failure in mink. PCBs reduce the number ovarian follicles, may cause premature ovarian failure and reduces fertilised eggs.6
  1. Remove toxic chemicals from your home, including what you wash in and put on your face. Mercury is found in some personal care products such as preparation H, spermicides, contact lens solutions and makeup.
  1. Avoid green tea. Yes green tea has many health benefits, but not when we want to optimise our egg count. Green tea reduces VEGF production and inhibits granulosa cell proliferation,7 which basically means that it doesn’t help your ovaries.


Enough to think about & implement for now? I understand that can be a lot to take in. Try introducing one change per week or even a month so the habit sticks. Please like our Facebook page or subscribe to our newsletter for more tips and resourceful information about health.

Also be aware that the lifespan of your eggs, from what we call a primordial follicle to ovulation is 150 days. Yes, 5 months. So boosting your fertility in this way can be gradual process but it needs to be sustainable and consistent over months to really make a difference. The added bonus of following this advice for pregnancy is that it can improve your health overall. And your future child’s health. And their children’s health..

Are you interested in a fertility Telehealth consult? To get tailored expert advice for your unique situation? Click here to read more about what that involves & how to book.


Written by

Dr. Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc. TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing)

Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Freedom Chinese Medicine

261 Waterdale Road

Ivanhoe, VIC 3079

Ph. 03) 9486 5966

Email: Elaine@freedomchinesemedicine.com





  1. Environ Health Perspec. 1995 December; 103(suppl 9) 63:69.
  1. Toxicology, 2007 Oct 8:239(3):204-12. Epub 2007 Jul 13.
  1. Reproductive Toxicology Volume 21, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 179-185
  1. Food ChemToxicol. 2008 Mar; 46(3):1138-42.
  1. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 July; 105(7): 750:755.
  1. Environ Health Perspec. 1995 December; 103(suppl 9) 63:69
  1. Biofactors, 2005;23(1):25-33).


15 Ways to stay sane & well during lockdown

It can  be challenging to be in lock down. To be isolated. We understand why it’s important, but how can we do it without losing our minds or our physical health? Whether you’re working from home or not. It’s all too easy and tempting to hit the sugar-rich comfort food. Or the alcohol. Whatever your pleasure.

.. But staying well can be done. And that’s exactly what you need to do during this time. Stay as well as you possibly can. We all know now how to avoid our exposure to COVID-19. But what about the bigger picture? How do we not gain weight? How do we avoid being consumed by COVID news & memes..? How can we boost our immune system? Here’s some ideas:

  1. Swap your commute time (if you don’t do it anymore) for a health promoting activity that you enjoy. ie. meditation/ yoga/ exercise / stretch.
  2. Wake up early at sunrise or soon after & get exposure to sunlight. Your melatonin and cortisol levels will thank you for it.
  3. Have a siesta if possible in your household. 20 minutes has been shown to be the optimal time for ultimate refreshment:)
  4. Limit screen time. This is a big one. Most of us know that screen time has a negative impact on our mental health. But there’s so much to read right now hey? I suggest you set limits. Schedule yourself non-screen time doing something else pleasurable. The phone screen time reminders are all too easy to discard. Try an alarm on your phone that is more annoying perhaps. Or simply decide your going to put the screen down 1-2 hours before bedtime. And stick to it.
  5. Then choose your screen time wisely. Excluding any work, I suggest that other screen time is best focused on giving you a sense of community. Connecting with groups of like-minded people. Chatting to friends and family. Rising above the physical barriers of isolation.

  1. 6. Avoid increasing your food intake or bad food intake. It’s all too easy and can be a slippery slope. Before you know it you’ve gained 2 kg, then might feel depressed about it, emotional eat and gain more. It’s a common scenario. Understandable in these times. But, in these times we need to be as well as possible. Gaining weight or eating poorly is going to hinder your health. Most of us have a unique opportunity at the moment to give more time to our health. More time to food planning, trying new recipes, exercising. Embrace that as much as you can.

7. Plan at least a few meals per week. It reduces fresh food waste and gives you some structure. Try at least 1 new recipe a week.

8. Find a new daily rhythm as soon as you can. Including waking time, meal times, work & play. The new rhythm will shorten the period of transitional stress that most of us are facing right now. The stress of adapting to a big change.

9. Open your windows to let fresh air circulate through the house every day.

10. Consider buying an air purifier. One with a HEPA filter which eliminates bacteria and viruses from the air.

11. Gargle with salt water. Coronavirus cells have been found to accumulate in the throat before causing an infection. Wash those nasties out! Gargling every night before bed is simple and inexpensive.


12. Maybe set a health goal for the next 4 weeks. Only if it doesn’t cause major stress. Make it a SMART goal. An achievable one. It might be as simple as flossing your teeth every day. Eating dark leafy greens every day. Or doing some muscle building exercises. Or meditating for 5 mins daily.

13. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time. Painting on canvas? Growing some herbs or vegetables? Learning a language maybe. Knitting? Whatever your heart desires..

14. Laugh it up. Can laughter really boost your immune system? Results of some studies suggest it can. In a study of healthy males, watching a funny movie boosted natural killer cell activity while watching an emotionally neutral movie did not. Belly laughs feel great. They can’t hurt and they might help boost your immune system and reduce the likelihood of illness.

15. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. Remember that it’s only temporary. Try to see the opportunity to live differently.



Written by Dr. Elaine Hickman



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.

Elaine is available

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
Call (03) 9486 5966

18 Ways to Look & Feel Healthier

HappyAs the days begin to get warmer and longer we all want to look and feel our best for summer. Some of us may want to get lighter body too. At this time of year we naturally feel the need to swap our warm cosy clothing for lighter, brighter items. This is also the time to be swapping the warm comforting foods like thick soups, casseroles, bread and pasta for much lighter meals. Such as fresh salads with lightly cooked fish, chicken and meats. And to also enjoy the abundance of delicious summer fruits.

Here are 18 Tips on Looking and Feeling Healthy for the Summer Months:

1. Include fresh raw salad vegetables with every meal

2. Add nuts and seeds to salads for an extra protein boost

3. Add beans and legumes to salads to make them more hearty and healthy

4. Steam or poach fish and chicken and lightly cook red meats

5. Steam or lightly cook greens such as spinach and Asian greens with some garlic and drizzle with lemon juice

6. Eat your fill of fresh vegetables – they will not cause weight gain – in fact the additional fibre in vegetables will help you lose weight by increasing the excretion of built up toxins in your system and improve your gut health


7. Enjoy the seasonal summer fruits – a wide variety of fruits are available throughout the summer months – make the most of them

8. If you are worried about the sugar content of fruit, include tart fruits such as lemons, limes, pineapple, grapefruits, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and granny smith apples in your diet – these foods are naturally lower in sugars than the sweeter fruits

9. Tart fruits are also beneficial to the liver and gallbladder and the most detoxifying of fruits

10. Add fruit to natural yoghurt with some added chia or nuts and seeds for crunch as a yummy desert – the protein in the yoghurt will help balance the sugar from the fruit

11. Throw all kinds of fruits and vegetables into your smoothie – a mix of both will balance out the sugar and add many more nutrients to your diet

12. Remember that we don’t need to eat bread with every meal – or even every day

13. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume – enjoy a wine or beer if you like to – just not every day

Liquid Food14. Move more – aim for at least a 20-30 minute walk most days of the week – the more you move the better you will feel – both physically and emotionally

15. As the days get longer a 30 minute walk after dinner will help the digestion of your meal

16. Get some sunshine to increase your Vitamin D levels after winter – aim for 15-20 minutes sun exposure on your arms or chest every day if possible – avoid the hottest part of the day and be careful not to get burnt

17. Vitamin D will help you feel good emotionally and aids the absorption of nutrients such as calcium

18. Drink lots and lots of water to keep hydrated and help detoxify your system – your body will thank you for it and your skin will look great

At Freedom Chinese Medicine we don’t follow a one size fits all approach. We tailor an individualised health plan to you, in achievable steps so you can get more well and stay that way. And we will be honest with you, setting realistic health goals that you can achieve and maintain with your current state of health & lifestyle.

Please give us a call on 03 9486 5966 to book in for a pre summer consult  if you would like some additional help with feeling great this summer..

Silly Season Survival Tips

Dr. Elaine’s top tips for stress relief

It’s that time of year when life can seem to speed up, get much busier. Do you feel more stressed this time of year? Here’s 8 things that you can do to help.

First, accept it; there is no need to fight with stress. It can be used as a creative energy. Accept the feeling, it is perfectly okay. Stress is simply an indication that the body is getting ready to fight with the situation. Enjoy the challenge! There is no need to be worried. Work it out, use the energy that is coming up: walk up and down, go for a run, go for a long walk. Plan what you want to do, what the mind wants to do. Rather than trying to relax, which is sometimes not possible. In fact if you have worked through the stress totally you will come to relaxation automatically; you can go on only so far, then the body automatically relaxes.

cat with hat

If you are overwhelmed, having trouble focusing on what you need to do to next to work through the stress, try these:

1. Stop & breathe, even for 30 seconds. Stop what you’re doing, focus on your breath, elongate your breath out, ideally make it twice as long as your breath in. Breathe through your nose if you can. This one of the quickest ways to decrease your sympathetic (excitatory) nervous system activity.

2. Be present. Focus on one thing at a time and give it your full focus. Let yourself be immersed in this one task, letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it, that you need to get on to the next task. There will always be a next task — the nature of task lists is that they’re neverending. So let those other tasks come later.

3. Make space between appointments. Rushing is a common stress trigger so minimise rushing by allowing space between appointments. Allow time for the unexpected to come up, as it often does. Be a master of your time, not a slave to it.

4. Laugh. It’s one of the quickest ways to get those happy chemicals flowing. And it’s fun. Take 5 mins to watch a funny video. Ask the person next to you to tell you a joke. Try laughing at yourself or the ridiculously busy day you have planned. It can be liberating:)

5. Rest if you’re tired. Ah so simple but we often find this one challenging. “But I’ve got so much to do” says our programming. The simple truth is that you’ll be able to complete any task much more efficiently after you’ve had even a 5 minute rest.

6. Take a brief walk. When things are getting stressful, take two-three minutes to take a walk and clear your mind. A short walk does wonders.

7. Let go. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with tasks, work out What you can delegate or simply drop it for now. Ask yourself~does it really matter right now?

8. Drop the sugar. Seriously. Sugar is a stimulant, will send your blood sugar high which will soon come back down, this can affect our mood and stress response.

You can also come in for a relaxing Acupuncture, Massage or Qi Gong Class 🙂 Don’t have time? Even calling into our clinic is a relaxing experience, come for 5 minutes, sit down & enjoy a cup of tea. Pick up some calming herbal remedies. Do your Christmas shopping at the same time! Yes, we have gift vouchers, lovely herbal teas, bath salts, organic skin care products and detox patches which make wonderful gifts.

11 tips to promote an Overdue Labour.. Naturally

Having a reluctant labour? That is.. a baby that’s taking their sweet time to arrive? Medico’s talking about induction dates? It can be a stressful time. I understand, I’ve been there 🙂  Now looking back, I think of it as a lovely time.

There are so many things one can do to enjoy this time & help promote labour. Here are my top 12 tips:


  • Cook and freeze healthy meals and snacks. You’ll need them soon. Lots of food. Food that’s convenient, highly nutritious, middle of the night snack friendly. I even bought an extra (2nd hand) freezer for a few months:) Then sold it at the same price!

  • Express and freeze colostrum. Otherwise known as liquid gold for your baby. Nutritional and medicinal. Really helpful for those few days after the birth until your milk comes in and feeding is established. Learning how to hand express is also a handy skill to have. And expressing can encourage labour!

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.

  • Go for long walks. Stress relieving and labour encouraging. Include some steps if you can. The hip movement/ position can encourage optimal baby position.
  • Go swimming and do exercises to encourage optimal baby position. As baby’s position is key to your child-birthing experience. And now you have (relatively more) time to do it. Check out spinningbabies.com for exercises.
  • Have sex! It can encourage labour and your recommended not to do it for a period of time soon. So.. make the most of it now:)
  • Eat out! It won’t be as easy or relaxing to do soon. With one (additional perhaps) big distraction. So now’s the opportunity:)


  • Eat spicy food. If you like to 🙂  Is recommended to encourage labour. And it’s not recommended during early breastfeeding. So now is the perfect time to hit the chilli.



  • Acupuncture to encourage labour has a long history of safe use. However, current evidence is not sufficient to claim the benefits of Acupuncture for labour induction in our advertising according to our Health Regulators.
  • Learn about breastfeeding.  Now is the best time if you haven’t already, even if you’ve done it before. Most Mum’s need memory joggers. Read my Top 11 Breastfeeding Tips here.


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.

Elaine is available

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
Call (03) 9486 5966

Acupressure for Labour Induction

How to do Acupressure:

  • Use deep firm pressure to massage every point.
  • Usually acupressure points are more sensitive than surrounding area.
  • The points are bilateral (the same on both sides of body).
  • Apply the acupressure for as little or as long as you like.
  • You do not need to massage all active points included below. Some active points produce stronger effect than others. You may choose to limit the exercise to massaging these high potency points only.
  • You can repeat active points massage as often as you want. There is no limit on number of exercises per day.
  • When applying deep pressure the active point is expected hurt initially. In this case reduce the pressure to a “comfortably” painful level and persist with massaging the active point. Increase the pressure as the initial painful sensation begins to subside. Continue the massage until a feeling is produced
  • When massaging acupressure points sit comfortably or lie down, close your eyes and breath deeply.
  • It is not necessary to massage points on your own, you can ask somebody else to massage your active points.


Which Acupressure points to Induce Labour?:

Colon 4

Point Colon 4 is located between thumb and index finger, in the centre of fleshy part of webbing. Apply firm deep pressure. It’s usually tender.




Spleen 6

Located 3 finger-breadths up from inner ankle bone, as indicated in the picture..



Gall Bladder 21


Located at mid-point on top of shoulder muscle:





Urinary Bladder 31 & 32     

Urinary Bladder points 31 and 32 are found in the


1st & 2nd depression in sacrum (bony plate at base of spine)




Esoteric & Advanced Energy Healing

Esoteric means something that is not readily known, as a mystery or hidden. The energy fields of the body can be referred to as Esoteric.

Esoteric & Advanced Energy Healing can raise the vibration of our state of being. It can help to quiet the mind, to develop Inner Stillness, and to strengthen your Higher Heart Centre.

This ancient healing method emphasizes the awakening and expansion of our spiritual centre (not the same as religions).

Esoteric & Advanced Energy Healing enables the understanding of the vibrational frequencies of all that we do, think, feel and ingest becomes and shapes our multiple energy fields. It is important to discern the higher vibrations around us.

In traditional Meridian Therapy there is an understanding y that “Shen” is stored in the heart. The “Shen” of the heart lead to the pathways of various stages of awakening. To address the most fundamental level of imbalance, we go to the Heart. “Shen” can be translated as both Mind and Spirit. By aligning the various levels of the Heart, we will be strengthening the Spiritual Centre which assists in various levels of Awakening.

Esoteric Advanced Energy Healing is a technique of introducing our consciousness through spin or acupuncture points a New Encoding Pattern of sequenced sacred geometric patterns that allow, if the timing is right, the recipient to strengthen and access higher frequencies of expanded consciousness.

Esoteric Advanced Energy Healing
emphasizes Wellness versus merely addressing disease or physical imbalances.

Your Truth is not deduced from your Logic
Your Truth,
Your Knowing,
Is Felt in the Heart

Written by Sue Wellwood

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

• Shiatsu & Oriental Therapies
• Remedial Massage
• Advanced Energy Healing
• Reiki
• Esoteric Healing
• Chi Nei Tsang (stomach massage)
• Cupping and Moxibustion
• Bach flower Remedies
• Essential Oil Energy Balancing
• Chakra Cleansing

Sue is available:

Call (03) 9486 5966



Dr. Mikio Sankey www.esotericacupuncture.com
Barbara Brennan www.barbarabrennan.com

We remain open & here for you.

We have increased our  infection control standards.  Some of these practices include:

          • Frequent disinfecting and wipe down of treatment surfaces
          • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of equipment and rooms
          • Practitioners wearing medical face masks
          • Frequent cleaning of all high touch areas with high grade disinfectant, including reception surfaces, door handles, light switches and treatment areas.
          • Requesting all patients to use the hand sanitiser provided upon entry into our reception areas
          • Disinfecting all used linen every day
          • Screening every patient before arrival for COVID exposure
          • Thorough screening of every patient for respiratory symptoms/ COVID risk
          • Asking patients to use elbows/ feet/ paper towel for door handles/ taps etc
          • Social distancing in our waiting area
          • Removal of all waiting room magazines & books
          • Asking patients to wait in their cars until their booked appointment to avoid extra people in the waiting area
          • Asking people to pay via PayPass

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us on (03) 9486 5966.

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