Sleeping Through the Night

SleepIs deep, solid sleep starting to feel like an illusion for you? We all know that good sleep is essential for good health. But what do you do if you just can’t seem to get sufficient sleep? And what is adequate sleep anyways? It is about quantity and quality. Extensive research has shown that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to perform at our optimum¹.  When it comes to quality, we need blocks of uninterrupted sleep. Frequent sleep disruption causes you to transition to the lightest sleep stage which detracts from  recuperative sleep. Quality sleep is the amount of time which is set aside for sleep spent in the recuperative stages.

Here are 15 tips for better sleep:

  1. Create a relaxing wind down routine before going to sleep (read a relaxing book, listen to music, practice relaxation techniques, take a warm bath)
  2. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day (keeping a regular sleep pattern, even on weekends, helps to develop a sleep-wake rhythm that encourages better sleep)
  3. Create a comfortable sleep environment. You can try to control a number of the elements in your bedroom that will promote a good sleep, such as:
    • Temperature – for most people, cool is better than hot.
    • Light- keep your bedroom as dark as possible. You can also try wearing an eye mask
    • Noise- Less noise means more sleep. You can reduce noise levels with rugs & drapes, earplugs, background “white” noise) eg. Fan, or soothing music.
    • Comfort – A good mattress can improve the quality of sleep
    • Function- Try not to use your bedroom for work activities or studying. Make your bedroom a stress-free zone.
  4. Have a midday rest if possible (any time between 11am – 2pm)
  5. Avoid eating or drinking anything 2-3 hours before bedtime
  6. Avoid stimulants in your diet (refined sugar, caffeine, nicotine, artificial sweeteners)
  7. Avoid watching the clock
  8. Exercise regularly
  9. Drink Camomile Tea
  10. Try taking Valerian
Dr. Elaine Hickman
Dr. Elaine Hickman B.H.Sc. TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing) Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

If these steps don’t help or if your sleeping trouble is severe ie. disturbs your ability to function during the day, then you need help tailored specifically to you. The cause of your sleeping trouble needs to be determined and what the best solution will be. Chinese Medicine excels when it comes to individualised, effective help for insomnia. And at Freedom Chinese Medicine, we excel in Chinese Medicine.

We have a combined experience of over 70 years, so we more than enough skill and experienced to help you. And we pride ourselves on providing a professional, relaxing experience. To help you with your sleep, we may suggest Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, Qi Gong, Meditation, Massage or a combination of these therapies to get you sleeping soundly as soon as possible.

Best of all, with Chinese Medicine, you can get better and stay better. If you are suffering with sleep trouble, I strongly suggest you don’t put up with it, seek some help. I see sleeping problems alleviated every day in the clinic.

I appreciate that trying new practitioners or therapies can be a tad scary. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the practitioner who is helping you. That is why I’m offering an initial health assessment, in which I do a brief assessment of your health and advice a treatment strategy for you. It gives you the opportunity to see if me and my team are the right people to help you. Please call us on 03 9486 5966 today to book your consultation with us. Flash special ~ 20% off your initial consult if you mention this offer. For 1 week only! Expires 4/11/16 


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Freedom From Pain Services

Freedom101At Freedom Chinese Medicine, we offer a combined experience of over 70 years. With 5 Acupuncturists, 3 Remedial Massage Therapists & a Myotherapist, you’re bound to find what you need.

We also offer low cost, Open Room Acupuncture to help make freedom from pain more achievable.

If you suffer from one of the annoying pains below, we can help you!

Back PainHeadachesSports Injuries
Neck PainMigrainesArthritis
Tennis ElbowMuscle TensionJoint Pain
SciaticaShoulder PainNerve Pain

How Can We Help You?

1. By providing drug-free pain relief.

2. Effective treatment and free from unpleasant side effects.

3. We pride ourselves on providing a safe, gentle, professional, confidential and wonderfully relaxing treatment.

4. Experience – We have a combined experience of over 70 years, in Australia and China. We have special interest and knowledge in many areas, check our website for details.

5. We listen to you – We are practitioners who listen carefully to your needs, and are open to all forms of health care.

6. Value for money – We provide quality care at a fair and reasonable price. We offer low cost, Open Room Acupuncture for $30/$40.

7. Convenience location– The Centre is open extended hours, we have a carpark and public transport is nearby.

We expertly & passionately provide care which is:

  • Safe and Gentle
  • Natural and Caring
  • Amazingly relaxing
  • Confidential and Informative

Please call us on 03 9486 5966 to find out how we can provide the best solution for your pain with our range of services.

Acupuncture Eases Alcohol Cravings

Acupuncture reduces alcohol cravings in alcoholics. Researchers note that acupuncture is both safe and effective for reducing cravings in alcohol dependent patients. They add that acupuncture is an inexpensive modality of care for the treatment of alcoholism and “produces significant results.”

Traditional Acupuncture

This study breaks from other research on this topic. Prior research focused on National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) acupuncture point prescriptions for addiction. This typically involved use of auricular acupuncture points including Kidney, Sympathetic, Shenmen, Liver and Lung. However, this study used only one acupuncture point that is located on the lower leg. The researchers note of this acupuncture point, “Traditionally, it has been used as an acupoint for detoxification.”

What’s the Point?
The acupuncture point investigated in the research is Zhubin (KI9) that is translated as “guest house.” It is located on the medial aspect of the lower leg and is 5 cun superior to KI3. It is approximately 1 cun posterior to the medial border of the tibia at the lower end of the gastrocnemius muscle. It is placed on a line drawn between KI3 and KI10.

KI9 is the Xi Cleft point of the Yinwei (Yin linking) vessel. This is the channel that connects the yin meridians of the hand and foot to the Conception channel. The Yinwei vessel may also be accessed by acupoint PC6, the confluent point of the Yinwei vessel. To achieve this, PC6 is often paired with SP4, its paired confluent point for the treatment of heart, chest and stomach disorders.

This study used only KI9, whose Yinwei vessel connection makes it especially suitable for the treatment of heart issues. In particular, this point benefits patients with heart shen (spirit) issues due to phlegm and phlegm-fire. This includes the treatment of mania, raving, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and other forms of severe mental illness. Here, there is a logical consistency with the application of KI9 for the treatment of alcohol cravings given alcoholism’s propensity for causing phlegm-fire in the heart.

The Protocol
An acupuncture treatment group was compared with a placebo controlled group in this single-blinded, randomized investigation. The acupuncturist was aware of the group allocations but the staff and patients were blinded to allocation of placebo vs. real acupuncture groups. This was made possible through the use of the Park Sham Device (PSD). Made by Acupuncture Needle Inc., Korea, this unusual sham acupuncture needle device simulates acupuncture needle insertion but never actually penetrates the skin. The researchers note, “It has a 15 mm diameter round plastic base and a shaft telescopes into the handle when downward pressure is applied. Placebo needles have blunt tips and are put into the tube to mimic the insertion of a needle.”

Exclusion criteria included drug abuse, use of psychotropic medications, cognitive impairment and other factors. The treatment procedure commenced after three weeks of patient admittance to the study to avoid intoxication and withdrawal symptom complications. All real acupuncture and placebo group patients received group therapy, education and standard hospital care. The real acupuncture group received acupuncture at KI9 using a needle guide tube with a 0.25 X 40 mm needle (Dongbang Acupuncture Inc., Korea). The Park Sham Device was used for all placebo group patients. All subjects had treatment periods of 15 minutes, twice per week for a total of 4 weeks.

Testing of cravings was performed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for assessment. The researchers note, “We used a horizontal line, with 120 mm in length. At the left end, the subject feels no craving for alcohol, while he feels a maximum craving for alcohol at the right end. The subject marks on the line the point that they feel represents their craving for alcohol in their current state.” Testing of cravings was performed after provoking cravings at week 1, 2 and 4 of the study. In all cases, the acupuncture group had significantly less cravings than the placebo group.

Individual needle insertion is shown here.

The cravings for alcohol were provoked by giving the subjects sips of liquor once every 30 seconds for 3 minutes. This was followed by a 3 minute interval and another period of sipping liquor every 30 seconds for another 3 minutes. The researchers note that the acupuncture group showed significant reductions in cravings and the placebo control group showed no improvement. The research team notes of the 4 week study, “The results showed that the acupuncture treated group had a significant craving reduction compared with the control group. Acupuncture treatment on Zhubin (KI9) was effective from the 1st week of treatment and its effect lasted through the 4 weeks.”

Lee, Jin-Seong, Sung-Gon Kim, Taek-Geun Jung, Woo Young Jung, and Seong-Yeon Kim. “Effect of Zhubin (KI9) acupuncture in reducing alcohol craving in patients with alcohol dependence: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Chinese journal of integrative medicine (2014): 1-5.

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