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 happen 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 and mention this article to receive a $20 discount!* For a limited time only. Contact us on 9486 5966 or book online via: http://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

 

Qigong for Anxiety and Depression

How can qigong help anxiety and depression?

by David Shepherd

Qigong practice naturally conditions to heal not only the body, but your spirit as well. The gradual cultivation and circulatory of energy (qi) is an achievement or skill (gong). This ‘qigong’ teaches you to patience and unattached determination, , which in my professional opinion and personal experience as a long term qigong practitioner and teacher, will lead to a mastery over one’s psychological makeup through a spiritual state of surrender and acceptance.

Through gentle internal guiding of the breath or qi, you can develop the ability to breathe in a more profound way, deeply down to your center, the original essence point. This important area lies below the navel and inside the body, where the qi is collected, stored and used for beneficial effects for the health of your body and mind.

This action of deep controlled diaphragmatic breathing in unison with specific moving postural positions and twisting, holding and release techniques, you experience a palpable and profound sense of well being and happiness. Your spirit feels lifted up and unencumbered. There are many forms of qigong and l also employ moving and still self acupressure and sitting meditation practices with my students.

The combined health benefits of practicing qigong are many and well documented as well as scientifically tested. Recent studies have yielded important proof that anxiety and depression do indeed respond and improve with the intervention of qigong therapy, bringing back quality of life and feelings of self esteem to recipients.

Tuesday night classes 

Tuesday nights 7.30pm – 8.30pm – New Term starts 9th October 2018. Only 8 places left available.

$160 for a 8 week term (best way to learn)

Casual students are welcome ~ $22 per class

David Shepherd has over 35 years experience in these arts & will be teaching this class.

Call us on 03 9486 5966 to inquire or book online here.

Written by:

David Shepherd: Tai Chi & Qi Gong Instructor

David has been practicing and teaching the practices of Wu Dang Fu style Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Wu Shu, Hsingyi, Bagua and Meditation for more than 37 years. He is well equipped and passionate about the authentic teaching of these ancient arts. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge with you at Freedom Chinese Medicine. David teaches our Qi Gong/ Tai Chi class on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm. We welcome beginners, term students & casual students. Click here to learn more about Qi Gong or simply come and check it out!

 

References:

1. Wang, F., Man, J., Lee,E., Wu, T., Benson, H., Fricchione, G., Wang, W &Yeung, A. (2012). The effects of qigong on anxiety, depression, and psychological well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Volume 2013, Article ID 152738.

2. Oh, B., Choi, S., Inamori, A., Rosenthal, D & Yeung, A. (2013). Effects of Qigong on Depression: A Systematic Review. Volume 2013, Article ID 134737.

6 Ways to Ease Sinusitis

Sinusitis, a term that Melbournians love/hate to use particularly in the spring & summer seasons when the pollen count is off the charts and hay fever is wreaking havoc. For those who are unaware of sinusitis, it is very simply the inflammation of the sinuses which lead to symptoms like congestion, mucous build up, headaches and facial pain.

Sinusitis may be a secondary symptom of hay fever, or the common cold. For some sinusitis may be a chronic condition which is extremely debilitating causing constant fogginess in the head, congestion, and breathing difficulties. Conventional treatments offered are nasal decongestants, antibiotics and surgery.

Here are 5 ways in which you can help or decrease your sinusitis symptoms naturally:

1. Acupressure 
Try massaging these points 4-5 times a day, applying gentle pressure lasting 30 secs on each point:

2. Cut out or decrease dairy in your diet.

In Chinese medicine theory, dairy foods generate phlegm in the body and can lead to excessive mucous production. I always get my patients struggling with sinusitis to cut out or decrease their cheese, yoghurt, milk intake which helps to improve their symptoms.

3. Decrease foods that increase inflammation

Foods like sugar, saturated fats, refined flour can increase inflammation in the body and exacerbate your symptoms.

4. Increase foods that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods like ginger, turmeric, blueberries, and green tea have been shown to have fantastic anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties so next time you’re planning what to eat don’t forget about these!

5. Steam

This is an easy and relaxing way to ease your sinus symptoms. Add a few drops of peppermint and rosemary oil to a bowl of hot water. With a towel draped over your head position your face over the bowl and take nice deep breaths.

6. Try Acupuncture!

If you’ve tried conventional treatments and home remedies haven’t helped, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be a great option. Studies have showed its effectiveness in treating the symptoms such as nasal congestion and providing long term relief.

I’ve seen many patients who have tried conventional treatments and yet received very little relief but responded positively with a course of acupuncture treatment.

With our treatments we use a combination of acupuncture, herbal formula, cupping, moxibustion and dietary advice. The number of treatments an individual needs will depend on the duration and severity of their sinusitis. However in my experience some people can receive immediate relief and most people will notice positive changes within 4-6 treatments.

Regardless of how long you’ve had sinusitis you can come in and have a chat to us to see how we can help!

You can click here to book, call us on 9486 5966 or email us at reception@freedomchinesemedicine.com

 

Written by Dr. Rebekah Loh

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

rebekah lohRebekah 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.

Click Rebekah’s image to watch her video interview!

You can click here to book, call us on 9486 5966 or email us at reception@freedomchinesemedicine.com

 

Sweet Potato Power Brownies

If you ever needed a reason to work out, this pre-workout snack is it! These brownies are light, fluffy and sweet. With the perfect combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein, as well as a little kick of energy from the cacao, this snack is not only great for your workout but will also help assist you in a quick recovery.

 

Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes

6 eggs

2/3 cup (53g) raw cacao powder

1/2 cup (170g) raw honey or maple syrup

1/2 cup (130g) almond butter

1/2 cup (56g) almond flour

1/4 cup (55g) plus 2 tablespoons (for greasing), butter, softened

1/4 cup (48g) coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the sweet potatoes until soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.

Reduce the heat to 180°C and grease a 23 x 33 cm baking dish.

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend well. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Once they have cooled for a few minutes, cut into squares and refrigerate. They can be stored in the freezer as well.

Yield: about 24 brownies.

Source: Super Paleo Snacks, Landria Voigt

 

Easy Tasty Parsley Soup

I love a tasty, healthy recipe that’s simple & easy to prepare. This one ticks all those boxes, so I’m sharing it with you:)…

Ingredients
Serves: 4

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large bunch (about 150g) fresh parsley, thoroughly washed and chopped
1 litre water
1 1/2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions
Preparation: 5min › Cook: 15min › Ready in: 20min

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the sliced potatoes and cook gently over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until they are slightly cooked and golden coloured.

Stir in the parsley then pour in the water and add the stock cubes.

Bring to the boil, the reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 to 10

minutes.
Remove from heat. Use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup.

Enjoy:)

Source: http://allrecipes.com.au

 

Spring Vegetable Risotto

8d03fd4c-2a9c-4988-bbf1-999f40319b95Serves 4

Ingredients

6 cups (1.5lt) reduced salt chicken stock

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1.5 cups (300g) Arborio rice

1 cup (120g) frozen peas

100g green beans, trimmed, blanched & halved

1 zucchini, sliced

½ cup chopped parsley leaves

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Bunch of baby rocket

Method

1. Heat stock in saucepan until simmering.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan on medium. Cook leek & garlic for 5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Stir in rice and cook for 1 minute until rice is translucent.

Add ½ cup of stock, stirring until absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, ½ a cup at a time, stirring, for 15-20 minutes, until stock is absorbed. Fold through peas, beans & zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes until rice is tender & creamy.

3. Remove from heat and stir through parsley and parmesan. Stand covered for 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve with baby rocket (or similar).

4 Ways to Help Ease Psoriasis

This common skin condition is an autoimmune disease characterised by abnormal patches of skin over the body. 85-90% of sufferers present with silvery plaques with red lesions typically found on the forearms, navel, shins and scalp. [1]

 

Due to it’s complex nature there is no known cure for psoriasis but there are many treatment options available. This includes aspects of your life that you can change to ease the symptoms..

  1. Look at your diet.

So commonly overlooked in many sufferers. In my experience I have seen people who have been adding fuel to the fire just by eating the wrong foods.

Since it is an autoimmune disease, it is important that you are not increasing the immune response by consuming inflammatory foods.

These foods include sugar, high fructose corn syrup,[2] vegetable oils (peanut, corn, sunflower etc)[3], refined carbohydrates (white flour, white bread, white rice, pasta) [4] and excessive alcohol (daily recommended intake is 2 standard drinks for males and 1 standard drink for female) [5]

  1. Get enough sleep

Sleep! Making sure you are getting enough quality sleep can be a game changer. Research has shown that sleep deprivation leads to an increased inflammatory state in the body. [6] One should aim to be in bed at 10pm to facilitate deep sleep by 11 and 7-9 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep time is optimum.

  1. Target stress

Whether it be psychological or environmental stress, it plays a big role in inflammation.[7] Try implementing stress management techniques whether it’s via meditation, going for walks, or simple breathing exercises. Also, you can reduce environmental stress by identifying whether there are elements at work or home that your body may be reacting to, such as excessive dust, chemical cleaners or air pollutants.

  1. Have acupuncture and herbs

You can book yourself a session to get Acupuncture and/or a herbal prescription. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in decreasing inflammation as well as initiating the body’s ability to heal itself.[1] Having acupuncture can also cause the release of the feel good hormone serotonin which gives you an opportunity to de-stress.[2]

In addition, herbal formulas can be taken orally or topically to help ease the symptoms and work in conjunction with acupuncture.[3]  Finally, as Chinese Medicine is a holistic modality, your practitioner will also make sure to address the many facets of your lifestyle to facilitate better relief of your symptoms.

Wanna try Chinese Medicine? We’re offering $2o off your initial consultation.  Mention this article when booking to receive discount. For a limited time only.

Written by:

Dr. Rebekah Loh

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

rebekah lohRebekah 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.

Click here to make an appointment with Dr. Rebekah Loh.

 

References

[1]Boehncke, WH; Schön, MP (26 May 2015). “Psoriasis”. Lancet. 386: 983–94.

[2] Schultz A, et al  (May 2015) “ Differences and similarities in hepatic lipogenesis, gluconeogenesis and oxidative imbalance in mice fed diets rich in fructose or sucrose”  Food func May;6(5):1684-91

[3] Okręglicka K (2015) “Health effects of changes in the structure of dietary macronutrients intake in western societies.” Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2015;66(2):97-105

[4] Spreadbury I “Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity.” Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:175-89

[5] Oliveira A1, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Lopes C “Alcohol intake and systemic markers of inflammation–shape of the association according to sex and body mass index.”Alcohol Alcohol. 2010 Mar-Apr;45(2):119-25.

[6] Mullington J (2010) “Sleep loss and inflammation” Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct; 24(5): 775–784.

[7] Yun-Zi Liu, Yun-Xia Wang, and Chun-Lei Jiang (2017) “Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases” Front Hum Neurosci. 2017; 11: 316.

8 Freek JZ et al (2003) “Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture” Mediators Inflamm. 2003 Apr; 12(2): 59–69.

9 Yoshimoto K et al (2006) “Acupuncture stimulates the release of serotonin, but not dopamine, in the rat nucleus accumbens. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2006 Apr;208(4):321-6.

10 Shikang M et al (2018) “Psoriasis therapy by Chinese medicine and modern agents” Chin Med. 2018; 13: 16.

Chinese Medicine for Cough Relief

Having a cough can really change your day, or night! And sometimes the standard remedies don’t help. We see many people in our clinic with shortness of breath, sore muscles, and tiredness from being woken by a coughing fit during the night. The most common causes of cough are smoking, asthma, acid reflux, post-nasal drip, and a common cold or flu that just won’t go away. In my clinical experience, many people present to the clinic with a cough after a recent personal loss too. Thankfully, we can often help cough, no matter what the cause.

Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture can help. Regardless of whether the cough is ongoing or recent. Dry or productive (phlegmy).  Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture addresses the underlying cause (or “root”) of the condition. Coughing is often considered a symptom (or “branch”) of a deeper condition in the body. The root and the branch conditions are what your Acupuncturist is assessing when they take your pulse and look at your tongue.

Your Chinese medicine appointment for cough

The use of acupuncture alone to moderate asthma in adult patients is supported by the recent findings of the Acupuncture Evidence Project. And the treatment of cough has a long history in Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture can help you with your cough by:
– Relieving the cough
– Opening your airways more
– Loosening phlegm
– Relieving muscle pains that can follow a bout of coughing.

Your practitioner may also choose to use cupping therapy to relieve your cough by increasing blood circulation and encouraging phlegm to leave the lung. They may also prescribe Chinese herbal medicine, give you dietary advice, or provide you with herbal teas to treat the underlying cause of the cough.

It is important to really understand the reason that you are coughing. Without understanding the ‘why‘ it is difficult to treat the ‘what‘, and this is where you can really benefit from a practitioner assessing you.

We have 5 excellent Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture practitioners here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe, Melbourne. Mention this article to receive $20 off your first session. To book, click here or call us on 03 9486 5966.

Written by Dr. Heather Dowall

Dr Heather Dowall

Acupuncturist

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.

Mention this article to receive $20 off your first session. To book, click here or call us on 03 9486 5966.

 

References

Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017). The full document (81 pages) is available from the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) http://www.acupuncture.org.au.

Orange & Passion fruit Buckwheat Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

Pancakes
6 each Eggs
3 each Egg yolks
1/4 cup/30g/1oz Buckwheat flour
1/2 each Banana
1 tsp Natvia/ Stevia
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1 tbsp/20g/0.7 oz Greek yogurt
1 tbsp/7g/0.2oz Milled flaxseed
1 scoop Vanilla whey protein

Orange & Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt
1 small tub Total Fage Greek Yogurt
1 each Orange, Juiced and zested
1 tsp Natvia
2 each Passion fruit
Servings: 10 mini pancakes

Directions

Preheat Oven 180°.

Pancake batter – in a large mixing bowl add eggs, buckwheat flour, banana, Natvia, baking soda, greek yogurt, flaxseed and whey protein. Use an electric mixer to blend the pancake batter to a smooth, runny consistency.

Cooking – in a large frying pan add some coconut oil (1/4 tsp.) place egg rings on the pan, leave some space between them. Pour pancake batter into egg rings using ¼ cup measurement, don’t fill to the top, half fill the egg rings. Once you see bubbles forming remove from pan. Finish cooking in the oven. See next step.

Oven- on a lined, greased baking tray, place the egg ring on the tray and gently remove the pancake by gently pushing it out. Give it a quick wipe to remove the excess batter and repeat the process until pancake batter is completely gone.Regularly flip pancakes over in the oven to ensure they are cooked evenly.

Orange and Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt- in a mixing bowl add greek yogurt, juice of an orange, orange zest, natvia and passion fruit- stir until combined.

Viola – plate up and enjoy.

– See more at: http://www.sweeterlifeclub.com/recipes/orange-passion-fruit-buckwheat-protein-pancakes/#sthash.TDTQTOJ5.dpuf

Hay fever Prevention Is Now

Have you noticed the wattle blooms and flower blossoms lately? Have you seen the bare trees with buds forming? Do you feel that wind and occasional afternoon sunshine? Yup, Spring is around the corner.

Now is the best time to treat hay fever with Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture to prevent an itchy, sneezy springtime. That’s right. Before you have symptoms.

Want some more information and evidence? Here is some.

Did you suffer with hay fever last spring? Well you needn’t. We can help.

Click here to book online. Or call 9486 5966.