Herbal medicine for gut health

Herbal medicine for gut health

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, gut health is an integral component of living a healthy and balanced life. However, we are seeing an increased number of new patients seeking support in regards to a variety of digestive issues.

Often, patients seek the support of a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner after trying various Western treatments to which they have experienced little to no success – and in some cases, even experience an increase in their symptoms.

A powerful alternative, herbal medicine strives to heal the body naturally by eliminating the root cause and looking at all of the different elements that may be contributing to the digestive upset. 

During consultations, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners prescribe a unique blend of herbs to combat your individual symptoms, and closely monitor the effects, tweaking the prescription where necessary to ensure each patient achieves the very best results.

Here are some of the common ingredients that may be included in your prescription.

Geng Mi (Semen Oryzae)

A rice extract powder which can help to soothe the stomach and manage thirst, diarrhea and fatigue.

Ji Nei Jin (Endothelium Corneum Gigeriae Galli)

A chicken extract used to promote digestion and remove stagnant food as well as aid in eliminating nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, moving undigested foods, and severe indigestion.

Shan Zha (Fructus Crataegi)

A berry extract that is known for its ability to reduce food stagnation as well as it’s cardiovascular benefits.

Mai Ya (Fructus Hordei Germinatus)

A barley extract most commonly used to promote the digestion of carbohydrates and starches.

Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae)

An extract made from orange or mandarin peel that is used to regulate the whole digestive system and support the spleen and stomach, while reducing nausea, vomiting, belching, abdominal fullness, and distention or pain.

To find out more about improving your gut health with herbal medicine, contact us on (03) 9576 8538 or book a consultation online

How screens could be stopping you from getting a good nights sleep

How screens could be stopping you from getting a good nights sleep

For many of us, screens have become an important part of our everyday lives – but mounting evidence suggests that utilising them to close to bedtime could be wreaking havoc on our sleep patterns.

According to sleep experts, watching television, looking at our phones or using a computer before bed can affect our sleep in the following ways.

Disrupts sleep cycle

One of the most important things to be aware of when looking at screens before bed is their ability to disrupt the bodies sleep cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. Essentially, the blue light emitted from screens can restrict the bodies ability to produce melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm, thereby making it harder to fall into a deep, restful sleep.

Encourages alertness

Rather than preparing you to drift off to sleep, using screens before bed typically encourages alertness and trick your brain into thinking you need to stay awake. While it may seem harmless, an exciting movie or an interesting article can stimulate your brain more than you might realise, and ultimately cause you to stay awake longer than you need to. 

Unexpected wake up calls

In fact, mobile phones in particular have become such a key component in our everyday routines that many people rely on them as their morning alarm, meaning they tend to keep them on the nightstand or beside the bed. However, forgetting to switch your phone to silent can be seriously problematic to your sleep, as unexpected calls, messages and notifications can wake you during the night.

While there’s no need to give up screens altogether, we’re sure that we could all benefit from cutting down our screen time – and making a conscious effort to put away the gadgets at least 30 minutes before going to bed. For further support on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, contact us on (03) 9576 8538 or book a consultation online.

Treating eczema with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Treating eczema with Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

Eczema… It’s either itchy, painful or itchy and painful at the same time. While not life-threatening, it’s an uncomfortable condition that for some can even be a source of embarrassment. 

Affecting 1 in 3 Australians at some point in their lives, many eczema sufferers are prescribed medicines such as topical or oral corticosteroids, antihistamines, and immunosuppressants. However, these treatments can often come with a long list of side effects, and usually aren’t recommended to be used long-term. Fortunately, there is a way to combat this condition naturally. 

While Western medicine considers eczema to be an allergic condition, and aims to control the symptoms caused by an imbalance in the immune system, Traditional Chinese Medicine sees eczema as a symptom of another illness – and aims to treat the root of the cause. 

To treat eczema with Traditional Chinese Medicine, you will typically encounter a mixture of acupuncture and herbal medicine. 

Acupuncture

With acupuncture, your practitioner will work to activate the body’s natural healing processes where it is needed most. In the case of eczema, they will seek to reduce stress, as well as ensuring that the spleen and liver are functioning properly, you have good blood circulation and more. 

Herbal medicine 

As part of your herbal medicine treatment, your practitioner will help you to identify foods that can trigger a flare up and again, reduce stress. Once these physical and mental triggers have been removed, the next step would involve a mix of Chinese herbs. Some herbs that you may encounter are to improve spleen health are cablin patchouli and fortune eupotorium, and others used to treat liver health are Chinese thorowax root, tree peony bark and liquorice root. 

Are you an eczema sufferer that has tried Traditional Chinese Medicine to help alleviate symptoms? If so, let us know how it worked out for you in the comments below! To book a consultation, call us on (03) 9576 8538 or book online today.

What is Most Important?

What is Most Important?

Money? Sex? Fame? Sleep? Food? All of those things are important, and one or two are probably particularly important for you, but what is most important?

Recovering from a major stroke gives you a lot of options to choose from to answer that question. Let’s see.., my scalp acupuncture sessions, those are pretty important. Ok, uhh, my Chinese medicine herbalist, I have to include her, she prescribed me two kinds Aconite. Wait a minute, what about Flint Rehab, I’m learning so much from them right now.., I don’t know, which one is it?

Typing up this article on my iPhone with my right hand (that was affected by the stroke) is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but if I want to recover full function, I don’t have a choice. Each tap with my finger sends a signal to my brain that helps initiate neurogenesis (growth of new neurons in the brain), and it’s not just a few taps that I’m talking about, it’s probably something on the order of hundreds of thousands, even millions of taps over the next few years that will lead to restoring my finger’s full function (more specifically my brains full function). Tapping away with my right finger is something I’ve been putting off for the last two years. Granted, first I had to lift my hand to my face (that took about 6 months). Then, I had to have my finger steady enough to tap each key on the iPhone (another 6 months, and another year, well, for good luck). At that point it was just a matter of trying, having a mind that is willing to try a million times or more; a “try mind” as my teacher used to say.

My finger’s not that steady, believe me, spastic is a better word to describe it, but I figured at some point I’ve just got to jump in. Tapping each key on the phone is more of an understatement, really it’s more a matter of tapping a hundred times to select fifty of the right keys; thank God for auto-correct. It also helps to tap slowly, allowing my mind to concentrate on what I’m actually trying to say.

My friend Amanda is a great source of inspiration for me, she has encouraged my recovery since day one. Even with us not talking and being out of sorts lately, it has forced me to begin writing letters to her by hand, my right hand. That was two weeks ago and look at me tapping away now!

A good friend and partner is perhaps the next most important thing you can have. If that person is helping you to connect with your own heart through loving them, they are bringing you closer to God and feeling love in your heart sure helps with all this damn tapping! So, if you asked me what is the most important thing, I wanted to say a try mind at first, but I’m leaning towards a mind (mind and heart are the same character in Chinese —心) that’s full of love — which is really the source of a try mind when you think about it.

Post with permission by Morgan James

3 ways that acupuncture can help improve our mental health

3 ways that acupuncture can help improve our mental health

From depression to anxiety and general bouts of stress, mental health issues are increasingly becoming more common. In fact, one in five Australians aged between 16-85 will experience a mental illness in any given year. 

Unlike a physical injury, many people tend to let their mental health go without help. However, it’s important to recognise that improving our mental health involves a little TLC and assistance, and acupuncture can be a great way to help activate the body’s natural healing process and improve your overall sense of health and wellbeing. 

Here are some of the ways in which acupuncture can help us improve our mental health.

1.Balance nervous system

Put simply, acupuncture can help put your nervous system back in balance. Not sure what the nervous system is? It’s a system in your body that controls everything from the way you move, to how you think and feel. By tapping into the nervous system with acupuncture, it can help the system adapt to stress and re-educate itself to operate in a more optimal way.

2. Relieve symptoms

Mental health issues can often manifest themselves as physical symptoms in addition to emotional ones. As the acupuncture needles can tap into the nervous system, your practitioner can signal the brain to direct blood flow to the affected area of your body, relieving common symptoms such as tension headaches, and the inability to maintain a healthy weight. 

3. Improve general wellbeing

Acupuncture can also improve your general wellbeing in ways such as increasing your quality of sleep, and balancing out your mood. But how does it do all of this? In technical terms it can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters as well as develop the production of dopamine, serotonin and so much more. 

To find out more about how acupuncture can improve your mental health or to make an appointment, please contact us today.  

How herbal medicine can help balance hormones

How herbal medicine can help balance hormones

Chinese herbal medicine can provide many invigorating effects, utilising powerful herbal formulas that have been used successfully for centuries… But did you know that Chinese herbal medicine can even help to balance out your hormones?

Hormone imbalances can occur for a variety of reasons, but typically occur due to lifestyle habits such as too much stress, a poor diet, ill health, excessive exercise, prescription medicines and a toxic overload that end up throwing us ‘out of whack’.

So, let’s delve a little deeper into why herbal medicine could be beneficial if you are experiencing the symptoms of hormonal imbalances. 

Safe and gentle
Herbal medicine is safe and gentle, using all-natural ingredients which are effective and promote a healthy equilibrium. There is no need to worry about the potentially harmful side effects of prescription medication, and our experienced practitioners will take into account any existing injury, ailments and prescribed medications to ensure maximum efficiency and the best results for you. 

Continual monitoring and adjustment
Rather than a one-size fits all approach to medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine is tailored specifically to you, and the symptoms that you are experiencing. You will be given a formula and the effects of it will be closely monitored by your practitioner on a continual basis. If the formula isn’t working for you, it will likely be reviewed and adjusted at your next appointment – keeping your best interests in mind.  

For even better results, try herbal medicine in conjunction with acupuncture. Acupuncture is a regulator for the body, and herbs are hormonal balancing – both playing a vital role in regulating, balancing and healthy organ function. Luciferous Traditional Medicine Acupuncture Clinic in Ormond, Greater Melbourne can help you on this issue.

Why every athlete should invest in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Why every athlete should invest in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Athletes training regimes are renowned for being strenuous on the body, with little time for recovery between sessions more often than not leading to injury and mental stress.

While many athletes utilise western remedies like physiotherapy, some have begun to turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine for a different answer. Why? From cupping to acupuncture and Gua Sha, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help benefit athletes of all levels to maintain a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, ease pain and so much more. 

We go into more detail below.   

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient practice which is used to promote recovery, relieve pain and activate the body’s natural healing process. Involving the insertion of needles into specific muscles and joints – your practitioner can help pinpoint your pain and release it. On top of relieving pain, acupuncture can also provide relief for many other conditions such as digestive, musculoskeletal, psychological disorders and more… Perfect for the athlete in need of a little help!

Cupping

Cupping is ideal for athletes who are looking to soften painful, tense muscle tissue and reduce their recovery time. The process involves creating a vacuum-like suction through placing a cup on the body – gently withdrawing inflammation and toxins out from the specified area while also increasing the blood supply needed in stagnant areas to nourish and promote recovery. This means that athletes can be back on their A-game much faster than expected. 

Gua Sha

With pain being a major issue that athletes experience, Gua Sha is a natural, immediate and drug-free pain reliever which focuses on correcting soft tissue injuries and other medical ailments. Another plus? Gua Sha can also boost immunity and help prevent common illnesses, helping athletes stay in tip top shape for longer. 

Are you an athlete who’s incorporated Traditional Chinese Medicine into your lifestyle? Let us know your experiences in the comments! 

Simple ways to stay active on those hot summer days

Simple ways to stay active on those hot summer days

As we enter into the heart of summer, finding time to keep fit can be a real challenge, but it’s important to remain consistent if we want to maintain our best possible health into the New Year. Read on for our best tips on how to stay active and beat the summer heat!

Time it right

When it comes to working out in warm weather, timing really is everything. Ideally, you want to avoid exercising in peak temperatures which generally tends to be around midday to early afternoon, and instead get your workout in first thing in the morning before the sun has had time to heat up. 

Stay hydrated

While you should be making an effort to stay hydrated when working out all year round, this step is especially important when you are exercising in high heat. Keep a cool bottle of water handy and try to sip before, during and after your work out, even if you don’t feel like it. 

Listen to your body

Most importantly, be sure to always listen to your body and don’t push yourself further than you feel comfortable with. While you may be striving to reach a certain target or set a new personal best, doing so on a hot summers day may not be the best idea. Heat stroke and heat exhausting can have some very real consequences, and as well as making you unwell, any recovery time could even set your training back even further.

For more advice on how to stay in shape all year round, book an appointment at Luciferous Traditional Chinese Medicine today. 

3 easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine

3 easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine

For many of us, it seems our lives are becoming busier and busier – so much so that it can often be difficult to find time to take a break and switch off from the world. However, insufficient rest can lead to increased stress levels as well as a whole host of other ailments.

Thankfully, mindfulness can help. Defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, mindfulness is a highly effective therapeutic technique used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Want to try it for yourself? Follow our three easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine and start experiencing the magic of mindfulness today.

Spend time with your thoughts

Start by setting a few minutes aside each day in which to simply sit with your thoughts, and focus your awareness on the emotions that follow. While it may seem simple, many first-timers are likely to be surprised at how challenging it can be to avoid distraction!

Switch off your autopilot

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? An important part of mindfulness is learning how to switch off your autopilot and making a conscious effort to bring your awareness back to the task at hand. 

Engage your senses

One of the key elements of mindfulness is to stay in the present moment. Rather than allowing your mind to wander, try to think about your surroundings. Brining your awareness to things like the sun on your face or the scent in the air is a great way to train yourself to do this is by engaging your senses.

Do you practice mindfulness as part of your regular routine? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

How to stick to your routine throughout the holidays

How to stick to your routine throughout the holidays

With the holiday season fast approaching, it can be difficult to stay on track with your regular health and wellness routine. From Christmas parties to family gatherings and end of year celebrations, we can often find ourselves eating and drinking far more than we usually would, and losing track of our regular fitness regime.

While we all deserve to treat ourselves from time to time, it’s important to be aware of our excess consumption and make a conscious effort to move our bodies a little more and do our best to stick to a good routine throughout the holiday period. Here are our top tips to help you enjoy the holidays without compromising your health!

Plan ahead

One of the best ways to ensure you stay on top of your health regime is to be aware of all of your upcoming events and plan ahead. If you have a get together where you expect there might be a lot of tasty treats on offer, try to fit in an extra workout earlier on in the week. If you’re likely to be eating a large meal for dinner, enjoy a lighter meal for lunch and ensure you stay well hydrated.

Stay accountable

December can be one of the most chaotic times of the year, and with so much else on our minds it’s all too easy to skip a few workouts here and indulge in a few treats there – but in time, these things can really add up without us even realising! Try to stay accountable by recording your workouts in a schedule, or you may even want to recruit a friend to workout with. If you’re having trouble with all the extra treats, you might even consider tracking your food intake in a diary. For some, seeing it all in black and white can really help put things into perspective and give you the willpower to say no!

Don’t overdo it

At the end of the day, the holidays are here to be enjoyed – and it’s important to remember that you don’t need to deprive yourself, as long as you don’t overdo it! Like most things in life, the key is to find a happy balance between enjoying yourself and not undoing your hard work from throughout the year.

For further support on staying healthy throughout the holiday period and bringing balance back into your life, contact Luciferous Traditional Chinese Medicine today. What helps you stick to your routine throughout the holidays? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!