fcm logo 5b
elaine hickman

  (03) 94865966

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.

Natural tips for hayfever relief

Spring is disliked by many as the season brings allergies and hay-fever that makes noses run much like, you guessed it; a spring. Pollen are about amid the full blooms and the general movement of things in the often windy spring can see other allergens such as molds, dust and animal dander travel effortlessly to new homes in reluctantly hospitable upper respiratory tracts. Irrespective of allergen there are many ways to lessen the severity of symptoms and regulate your bodies allergic response; in this article the causes will be explained along with several proven drug free techniques that help you to smell the flowers.

Pollens, mold, dust and animal dander can all provoke an immune reaction. If your immune system isn’t functioning appropriately it may respond by producing histamine and cytokines that can in turn lead to a runny nose, facial pain, itchy eyes and other symptoms. Antihistamines are a temporary fix but can cause fatigue, inhibit the immune system and increase the likelihood of further hay fever episodes as well as other conditions. This coupled with the fact that people are often run down and a little immune-compromised after winter can lead to a very unsatisfactory state of affairs in the spring.

Improving your general immune function can be achieved by keeping your stress levels as low as possible, insuring that your dietary requirements are met and that you get adequate sleep. Reducing stress can be achieved with the taking of an oral B-vitamin complex and with active relaxation such as mediation, tai chi, qi gong and yoga. For immune support and symptomatic relief take grape seed extract, vitamin C, aloe vera and eat honey and garlic. Additionally, drinking several glasses of water when hay-fever strikes can help to flush histamine out of your system and ease symptoms.

The Traditional Chinese medical approach to hay-fever generally involves a course of acupuncture (usually for one to several months; and a variable herbal prescription to be taken daily for a portion of the period) The primary goals are to boost general health, reduce stress, aid sleep and support immune function. Various styles of acupuncture can be used that range in their degree of bodily sensation. All of the practitioners at Freedom Chinese Medicine are very familiar with the treatment of hay fever and we also run regular Qi Gong classes to assist with stress management and general health.

NOVEMBER SPECIAL: FREE hay fever herbs or Hayfever Relief Tea for any new patients who mention this article in an initial appointment in November 2017.

Click here to book today.

Written by:

Click on the photo to watch a Video Interview with Daniel

Dr. Daniel Gibbs

Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Massage

Dr. Daniel Gibbs has been practicing Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Massage since 2005. He has experience in treating a wide range of conditions and has specialised in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, working both as a independent therapist and adjunctively alongside physiotherapists.

Daniel is one of the most experienced Acupuncturists in Australia for smoking cessation treatments; assisting hundreds of people to quit cigarettes. Daniel also has a thorough understanding of psychology and neuro-chemistry. And extra skills in Cosmetic Acupuncture.

Daniel is a very relaxed person with excellent skills, so is able to help you on many levels.  He is also a veteran skateboarder & an enthusiastic snowboarder.

 

 

References

Braunwald et al, 1987, Principles of Internal Medicine 2 (eleventh edn.), McGraw Hill Book Company; New York, pp.1412-1414

Anshen, Shi, 2003, Internal Medicine, Bridge Publishing Group,Walnut California, pp.3-19

Bath Bliss

A carefully selected blend to relax you mind, body and soul.

Bath Bliss has been carefully hand selected here at Freedom Chinese Medicine to get you to your blissful place. These ingredients will help you take the edge off by reducing your cortisol levels and increasing your serotonin levels, allowing you to relax and let go of all your troubles.

Contains

Epsom Salt also known as magnesium sulfate. It’s a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, a different compound to table salt. When introduced to water it dissolves and releases magnesium and sulfate ions, which allows the body to absorb magnesium and sulfates through the skin. Epsom salts aid in muscular pain and cramping, promotes sleep and reduces stress¹.

Rose buds which can reduce tension and increase skin tone².

Jasmine flower induces a mild sedative effects that helps reduce the effects of nervousness and insomnia. This flower also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that also aids in the protection against free radicals in your body³.  

Lavender flower beautifully scented to complement its therapeutic effects of relieving anxiety. Helps induce sleep, relaxes muscles, alleviate headaches and reduces stress levels.4

We use quality ingredients for you & packaging with the planet in mind. We package our Herbal Range in brown paper bags made in Australia from recycled paper and lined with 100% compostable corn based film.

Bath Bliss now available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $13.90. Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

 

References:

1 Lixandru, M (2016) www.natureword.com/tag/jasmine-side-effects/

2 RFI Media Ltd (2017) www.herbwisdom.com/herb-lavender.html

3 Grant, A (2017) www.rosemagazine.com/pages/therapeutic.asp

4 Elliot, B (2016) www.healthline.com/nutrition/epsom-salt-benefits-uses#section4

 

Hay fever Relief Tea

Does hay fever affect you in Spring? Keep this Elderflower Tea in your pantry to relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion, sinus inflammation, runny nose, headache and itchy eyes. Ironic perhaps that this flower can help reactions to pollens..

Hayfever Relief Tea contains

Elderflower has been used in traditional medicine all over the world in many different cultures due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The most common uses are for, sinus infections, respiratory disturbances and colds and flu. Elderflower has antibacterial and antiviral properties and may also help alleviate some allergies and boost the functioning of the immune system. Topically, elderflower might help reduce pain and swelling in joints due to some forms of arthritis and is used to stop bleeding. As an oral rinse, elderflower can be used for its antiseptic properties as a mouthwash and gargle. Elderflower also reduces blood sugar levels, very similar to the way insulin works¹.

We use quality ingredients for you & packaging with the planet in mind. We package our Medicinal Tea Range in brown paper bags made in Australia from recycled paper and lined with 100% compostable corn based film.

Hay fever Relief Tea now available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $11.50. Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

 

References:

1 RFI Media Ltd (2017) www.herbwisdom.com/herb-elderflower.html

Cleansing Tea

A gentle detox to cleanse your body!

This Cleansing Tea has minimal ingredients for maximum effect. Supporting the liver to remove toxins, release bile (needed for digestion) and removing oxidants. A tea to clean your body!

Ingredients

Lemon Balm is a powerful antioxidant that also supports the liver to detoxify the body. Lemon Balm is also calming encourages a restful sleep. More sleep allows a decrease in cortisol that uplifts a low mood¹.

Calendula flowers have a positive effect on the immune system by having anti inflammatory properties. Calendula is also detoxifying, used to promote functioning and detoxification of the liver and gallbladder, which is helpful for some digestive problems².

Dandelion leaf improves liver function by removing toxins and reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance. It also increases the release of bile. It is rich in antioxidants that prevent free-radical damage to cells and DNA, slowing down the aging process in our cells. It is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A as beta-carotene and increases the liver’s production of superoxide dismutase³.

We use quality ingredients for you & packaging with the planet in mind. We package our Medicinal Tea Range in brown paper bags made in Australia from recycled paper and lined with 100% compostable corn based film.

Cleansing Tea now available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $9. Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

 

References:

1 Group, E (2015) www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/9-benefits-of-lemon-balm/

2 Sturluson, T (2017) www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/calendula-herbs.html

3 Pulsipher, C ( 2015) https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/11-health-benefits-of-dandelion-leaves-and-dandelion-root

 

Calming Tea

A Tea to calm the mind and promote relaxation by soothing the body, mind and spirit.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart and the mind are connected. The spleen and stomach’s role in digestion help aid the heart in calming the mind by providing it with qi and nourishment. This tea is the perfect blend to supplement the Heart, Spleen and Stomach Qi to resolve anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and irritability.

Ingredients

Rose Buds which boost circulation and flow in the body. Can relieve tight chest or flanks¹.

Black Dates (Hei Zao) is darker and sweeter than the Chinese Red Date as it is steamed, dried then smoked to give its characteristic smoky fragrant flavour. Black Dates boost energy, benefits digestion, relieves abdominal distention and nourishes blood².

Licorice (Gan Cao) is sweet tasting yet the small amount provided, doesn’t have an overpowering licorice taste. It can promote circulation, soothe irritability, alleviate pain and diarrhoea. Licorice is anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, antiviral, eliminates toxins, helps the endocrine system, protects the liver and is an immuno-stimulant³.

Sprouted Wheat nourishes the heart to calm the mind and spirit. It can alleviate irritability, restlessness, insomnia and anxiety.4

We use quality ingredients for you & packaging with the planet in mind. We package our Medicinal Tea Range in brown paper bags made in Australia from recycled paper and lined with 100% compostable corn based film.

Calming Tea now available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $9.30. Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

 

References:

1 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 242

2 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 322

3 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 323

4 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 323

Balancing Porridge Mix

Add this nourishing fruit blend to your porridge to balance the body and help digestion

Ingredients

Longan Fruit with its sweet taste, it eases heart palpitations, insomnia, dizziness and abdominal fullness¹. In Western Medicine it is believed to have antibacterial and immunostimulant properties².

Goji Berries benefits vision, fluid metabolism & hayfever³.

Chinese Red Dates benefit digestion and nourish blood4. This ingredient is used consistently in Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas as well as stocked regularly in homes for cooking. In Western Medicine it has anti-allergic and antioxidant properties5.

We use quality ingredients for you & packaging with the planet in mind. We package our Medicinal Tea Range in brown paper bags made in Australia from recycled paper and lined with 100% compostable corn based film.

Balancing Porridge Mix Packets & Recipe available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $12.90. Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

 

References:

1 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 335.

2 Mercola, J (2017) http://foodfacts.mercola.com/longan.html

3 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 333

4 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 322

5 Mercola, J (2017) http://foodfacts.mercola.com/jujubes.html

Balancing Tea

Balancing Tea does just that. Balances your body & mind as we contend with the changeable weather.  This tea can alleviate dry eyes, runny nose, headaches, fatigue, irritability and anxiety.

Balancing Tea ingredients:

Rose Buds which boost circulation and flow in the body. Can relieve tight chest or flanks¹.
Peppermint which has cooling properties with an aromatic flavour. It can relieve sore throat, dry itchy eyes, irritability and headaches².

We use quality ingredients for you & packaging with the planet in mind. We package our Medicinal Tea Range in brown paper bags made in Australia from recycled paper and lined with 100% compostable corn based film.

Balancing Tea now available in store at Freedom Chinese Medicine for $12.30. Contact us on 9486 5966 if you’d like us to put some aside for you.

 

References:

1 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 242

2 Bensky & Gamble (1993) Materia Medica, pg 40

 

 

Neck Pain Relief

Neck pain is something we see increasingly more of in the clinic. Of course, with many jobs requiring long periods of sitting in front of a computer and our smart phone habits, it’s not mystery why a lot people are experiencing it. What you may not know is the neck’s critical role of innervating and supplying blood and nerve vessels to the head, shoulder and arm. So you will find that neck pain tends to be involved with shoulder, wrist, elbow pain, and headaches.

There are a variety of causes for neck pain. The most common I see are poor posture. Whether it’s from prolonged sitting or standing in an awkward position, or sleeping posture. Other causes may be from trauma, injury or arthritic degeneration of the spine.

If neck pain is something you suffer from, acupuncture has been shown to be an effective method of treatment¹. In fact it has been shown that it can be even more effective than painkillers².

Acupuncture works in various ways to help reduce pain and increase mobility in the neck.
It causes the release of endorphins that have natural pain relieving and relaxing effect³. It increases the blood flow to muscles which can increase healing of micro tears within the muscle fibres and decrease inflammation4. It also has been shown to aid muscle loss and atrophy which can happy when there is a lack of blood flow certain muscles5.

Neck pain can be unassuming at first starting with just a small ache. However, if left untreated for a period of time it can grow and affect surrounding structures that can cause greater dysfunction. Most of the time it is simply about correcting your posture, breaking bad habits and learning to move your body in the correct way. Whether it’s acute or chronic pain, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be effective in relieving your pain, and regaining your mobility.

Flash special: Come in for your initial Neck Pain Relief appointment in October 2017 to receive a $20 discount!* Contact us on 9486 5966 or book online via: https://freedomchinesemedicine.com/booking/

Written by:

Dr. Rebekah Loh
Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Rebekah is a super qualified and enthusiastic practitioner. She has a double degree in Health Science and Chinese Medicine she also has a degree in Biomedical Science. Rebekah completed further study in hospital internships in Nanjing, China and Taichung, Taiwan. She speaks English (fluent), Mandarin Chinese (intermediate) & Cantonese (beginner).

Rebekah can help with a whole range of conditions, and she is particularly passionate about women’s health, obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility.

In her spare time, Rebekah likes to play Futsal, Badminton and Viola.

 

References

1 Chen XP, Liang Q & Zhou SM. (2014). Controlled Clinical Studies on Treating Neck Cervical Spondylosis with Combination of Point-to-point Auricular Acupuncture along the Skin and Body Acupuncture. Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine. 6(36).

2 Zeng R & Huang HF. (2015). Clinical observation on treating cervical spondylotic radiculopathy by floating-acupuncture, electro-acupuncture plus TCM medicine. Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine. 7(29).

3 Han JS (2004) Acupuncture and endorphins. Neuroscience Letter 6;361(1-3):258-61.

Yun-Kyoung Yim et al (2006) Electro-Acupuncture at Acupoint ST36 Reduces Inflammation and Regulates Immune Activity in Collagen-Induced Arthritic Mice, 4, no. 1 (August 18, 2006)

5 Onda A et al (2011) Acupuncture ameliorated skeletal muscle atrophy induced by hindlimb suspension in mice. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 24 May 2011

 

Weight Loss Help

Do you lack a sense of general fitness and overall well-being?

Do you easily fatigue or experience shortness of breath upon physical exertion?

Would you like to shed some additional weight, toward living a richer, fuller and healthier life?

Traditional Chinese medicine can help you…

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary adjustments and lifestyle advice may be the answers that you seek.

Ask us how we can help support you along your journey of rediscovery, toward the restoration of your physical health…

There are a few considerations that need to be addressed when undertaking a weight loss regimen. Namely, the underlying cause/s of why the additional weight has been able to accumulate, and the mechanisms associated with preventing the body from metabolising and shifting this additional weight.

Commonly weight gain is associated with one or a combination of the following factors; Poor dietary habits (over consumption and irregular eating habits), leading a sedentary lifestyle (energy intake vs. expenditure), being an emotional eater (commonly a stress response), and the link with a deeper and more complex hormonal imbalance within the body.

 

Addressing weight gain can have a variety of positive effects upon reducing any associated health risks. Namely, protecting the body’s internal organs from strain, over-use and decline in function, reducing the likelihood of developing weight associated diseases such as Hypertension and Diabetes, and reducing pain in individuals with weight associated joint dysfunction.

Excess weight may also hamper ones ability to lead a normal and active existence, due to weight becoming an inhibiting factor in daily life. Perpetuating the likelihood of many associated mood disorders.

Healthy Weight-loss is the result of ones efforts to improve their daily lives by addressing their inner-health through the shedding of any unwanted additional weight.

Weight loss treatment involves undertaking regular Chinese medicine treatments (weekly/fortnightly), with the addition of concurrent herbal medicines; specifically tailored to suit the individual and to aid and bolster the treatment regimen. Lastly dietary and lifestyle changes will be addressed and a nutrition plan will be undertaken to help aid the individual’s specific requirements, to compliment their unique constitution.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle changes are the leading ways to attain this change. If you would like further information on what this involves, please contact us here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe

Flash special: Come in for your initial Weight Loss appointment by 30th November 2017 to receive a $20 discount!* Contact us on 9486 5966 or book online via: https://freedomchinesemedicine.com/booking/

Written by

Click image to watch video on Andrew

Dr Andrew Chambers

Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Shiatsu & Oriental Therapist and Qigong Instructor

Andrew was mentored by Dr. Elaine Hickman (amongst others) in 2014. Andrew is a skilled & passionate practitioner of his craft; holding both a health science degree in Chinese Medicine & an Advanced Diploma in Shiatsu & Oriental Therapies.

Andrew describes his approach to health and well-being as that of a holistic General Physician. Achieving and maintaining good health by way of a holistic balance between both the body and the mind.  Andrew has a long-standing interest in the areas of: Musculoskeletal and pain associated conditions, respiratory health concerns, autoimmune conditions, psychological health & cancer support.

Andrew is an advocate for the holistic approach toward health and well-being. As well as being the Chief instructor of Qigong, Taiji and Kungfu at the LiuHe-ZiRanMen Kungfu Academy. Andrew presents weekly Qigong classes here at Freedom Chinese Medicine.

* Not available with any other offer and you must mentioned this special to receive the $20 credit