A study of 17,000 women by the University of Technology, Sydney, found that in one year acupuncture was used by around 1 in 10 women aged 34-39 years, and around 1 in 16 women aged 62-67 years.
A large proportion of the younger women had been diagnosed with endometriosis, low iron levels, anxiety disorder or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Women in the middle-aged group who consulted an acupuncturist were more likely to have low iron levels, anxiety disorder, depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or arthritis.
If you have a health issue you are wanting to sort out, we suggest booking in for a Comprehensive Assessment at our clinic. We can then have an in-depth look at what is happening in your body, what is causing the problem, and what can be done to sort it out. (Terms and conditions- the Assessment is a completely free service, with no obligations whatsoever.) Most people find their assessment to be very helpful, interesting and informative.
Most people are familiar with acupuncture, where very fine filaments (‘acupuncture needles’) are inserted into specific acupuncture points on the skin to relieve pain or otherwise help sort out health disorders. (Performed correctly, with Japanese style acupuncture there is no discomfort when this is done, and most people find their treatments to be comfortable and relaxing.) However, not many people would know that the most concentrated area in the body for acupuncture points is the ears. So far we have discovered over 200 points in this small area, so it takes an experienced therapist to locate and treat them properly.
As there are so many points here, almost any part of the body can be treated just using the ears. Here is a small selection of some of the points and areas in the ear.
Interestingly the ear has been described as being similar to an inverted foetus, and most of the acupuncture points in the ear match this model. For example,
Ear points are most often used as part of a regular acupuncture treatment with points on the body as well. However, occasionally they might be used on their own.
The jury is still out on this, but the experience of many senior acupuncturists is that there is a very slim chance that ear piercing may result in a negative effect on the body. For example, on very rare occasions piercing the eye point on the lobe has caused a sudden deterioration of that person’s vision. To avoid any problems, we suggest
In the hands of an experienced therapist, auricular (ear) acupuncture points can be powerful tools to relieve pain and resolve health disorders, and as you can see the range of conditions that can be treated is very extensive. We are here to help, so if you have any questions about ear acupuncture or any health issue you may have, please feel free to get in touch.
Considerable evidence exists for the benefits of acupuncture in the management of pain, and especially chronic pain. Some Australian emergency departments already offer acupuncture when trained staff are available, and several Brisbane hospitals provide acupuncture treatments in a limited capacity. Acupuncture is used in many hospitals in western countries such as the United Kingdom, USA, and Sweden, and it is of course widely used in hospitals in many Asian countries, especially China. (There is a hospital in Japan which ONLY uses acupuncture.)
The withdrawal of codeine as an over the counter medication, and the potential opioid crisis, have made acupuncture an even more attractive treatment.
As a result, The Chief Medical Officer has recommended an application be made to the federal Minister for Health for acupuncture to be included in the Chronic Disease Management Program. Under this Program, doctors can refer a patient to an allied health therapist, and Medicare covers part of the cost of the treatment.
Some of the advantages of acupuncture in resolving pain are
As pharmaceutical drugs kill many more Australians than heroin does, these are important considerations.
The wheels of government turn slowly, but hopefully acupuncture will be included under Medicare soon. This would be fantastic news to all our clients who come to us to resolve their pain.
Did you know that acupuncture is the second most-used therapy on earth? It has been used for thousands of years on billions of people throughout the world.
Despite extensive research, the exact mechanism of how acupuncture works is still unknown. One of the areas acupuncture is best-known for is resolving pain, and in this regard it may be the result of
or a combination of these.
However, acupuncture is used for many conditions other than pain. On a more general level, one of the best ways to understand how acupuncture works is to think of the acupuncture points as tiny controls for the body, that can be turned up or down to adjust the way the body is behaving. There are many hundreds of these points, and over thousands of years we have learnt the ways they influence the body.
Acupuncture is known for resolving pain, however this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what conditions it can treat. As a small sample, is has been proven to be effective for anxiety, fatigue and nausea related to many chronic diseases, hayfever, morning sickness, etc. Many health practitioners may also recommend acupuncture as an adjunct treatment that may assist with IVF.
Acupuncturists as Health Professionals
As a result, acupuncturists are coming to be recognised as genuine health professionals.
The federal government performed a review of the evidence of effectiveness for all natural therapies, and in 2019 stopped health funds from covering any natural therapies except acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, remedial massage, and myotherapy, as there was strong evidence for the effectiveness of these treatments. (An appeal has been lodged in relation to naturopathy, as the latest evidence was not used in this regard, and naturopathy is likely to be also added to therapies health funds can cover.)
Medical services are exempt from GST, and acupuncture, naturopathy and herbal medicine are all specifically listed as exempt services in the GST Act.
Acupuncture is of course widely used in hospitals in many Asian countries, especially China. (There is a hospital in Japan which only uses acupuncture.) However it is also used in many hospitals in western countries such as the United Kingdom, USA, Sweden, and in some hospitals in a limited capacity in Australia (including 2 in Brisbane).
Acupuncture to be Covered under Medicare?
The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) has approached the federal government to include acupuncture in the Chronic Disease Management Program. Under this Program, doctors can refer a patient to an allied health therapist, and Medicare covers part of the cost of the treatment.
Considerable research evidence was provided to the Chief Medical Officer on the management of pain by acupuncture, and especially chronic pain. As a result, he has recommended an application to the Federal Minister for Health for acupuncture to be included. So as a proven drug free alternative, acupuncture is being looked at favourably for the management of pain. The withdrawal of codeine as an over the counter medication, and the potential opioid crisis, have each made acupuncture an even more attractive option.
The earliest written records of acupuncture are around 200 BC, making it one of the oldest health care systems in the world. However there is some evidence that the practice is much older than that. Sharpened stones and long sharpened bones appear to have been used around 6,000 BC for acupuncture treatment.
Also, the body of a 5,300 year-old man was discovered frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991. ‘Otzi’ was covered with 61 tattoos (including dot-like points around joints), which some researchers believe may have been used as an early form of acupuncture. Some lines and dots were directly over areas which suffered from degenerative diseases, and many corresponded to traditional acupuncture points. So a simple form of acupuncture may have been practiced in Europe over 5,000 years ago.
There are 2 main styles- Japanese and Chinese acupuncture. The Japanese style
All of our acupuncturists use the Japanese style, We also only use the finest quality, pre-sterilised, disposable needles, which are made in Japan rather than in China. (These needles are hair-thin and designed for maximum comfort as well as effectiveness.)
If you have a health issue and would like to find out if acupuncture can resolve it, we offer a free Comprehensive Assessment. (Terms and conditions- the Assessment is a completely free service, with no obligations whatsoever.) Please call us on 3376 6911 if you have any questions at all, or ring or book online if you would like to make an appointment.
If ever you walk into our clinic and notice a light smoky smell, don’t worry, it just means that moxa has been used in one of our treatment rooms. Moxa is one of the least-known but most effective methods of treating in Chinese and Japanese medicine.
(It is normally used on acupuncture points, so it can also be used to treat people who are scared of the idea of having acupuncture.)
Moxa is made by drying, crushing and sifting the leaves of a special herb (Artemisia argyi). The use of moxa is an important part of any acupuncture training, and we use it in most acupuncture treatments we perform at our clinic.
There are said to be over 50 methods of using moxa, but the main techniques we use are:
It is important to realise that the warmth from moxa has a completely different effect on the body to other types of heat. There has been plenty of research into how moxa produces its effects on the body, and many theories have been put forward, but there are no clear answers yet. Originally it was thought that the essential oils in the plant may have produced the benefits, but now it is believed that the unusual frequency of the far infra-red heat produced by the smouldering moxa causes the changes.
For rice-grain moxa, we only use the highest grade from carefully selected, superior quality plants gathered from the Ibuki Mountain in Japan during midwinter. This moxa consists of the hairs from the leaves of the plants, and is so pure that virtually no smoke is produced when it burns. This grade is known as ‘Gold moxa’ due to its colour (and possibly its scarcity and price!).
For cone and warm-needle treatments, we use Extra Pure Wakakusa Grade moxa, a very high quality moxa from the leaves of the plant.
Moxa has been used as part of acupuncture treatments for around 3,000 years, and some people believe that it was even used to treat people before acupuncture was developed. In Japan, it is traditional for a child to receive a moxa treatment from the head-man of their village whenever they have a birthday, to ensure good health for them.
After World War II, the Americans occupied Japan, and banned the use of acupuncture and moxa, believing them to be barbaric and primitive practices. They had no idea how much opposition they would encounter! Traditional practitioners banded together and mounted a massive campaign, enlisting the help of doctors and scientists who understood the value of these practices. After a long legal battle, the therapists prevailed, and so these practices survived.
In Japan, moxabustion (treatment by burning moxa) is considered a therapy in its own right, and there is separate registration for acupuncturists and moxabustionists. However, most acupuncturists incorporate some degree of moxa treatments in their practice. It is common in Japan for acupuncturists and moxabustionists to teach their clients how to perform simple moxa treatments on themselves at home for their condition, and platform or ‘stick-on’ moxa is commonly sold in various shops as a form of self-treatment. The person sticks the small cylinder of moxa on the painful spot, lights it, and removes it when the right level of warmth is felt.
So if you notice a light smoky smell when you come to the clinic, you know that someone has just enjoyed moxa as part of their treatment.
For more information about moxa and how it may be able to help you, please talk to Peter or one of our other acupuncturists.
 Practical Moxibustion Therapy, by Junji Mizutani, R.Ac., 1998
Several of our Brisbane acupuncturists attended a seminar recently on the latest developments in Japanese acupuncture. There were some excellent new treatments, including one for chronic pain that is not improving with regular treatment. It is called the DLPFC treatment, and treats the part of the brain that relates to long-term pain (the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex). The belief is that sometimes this part of the brain can get 'stuck' and keep registering the pain even after it has gone. The treatment is designed to help this part of the brain to switch off so that the person stops experiencing the old pain.
This treatment is not for everyone; it only works in cases where the condition has already been treated but the pain is still there. Having said that, some of our clients with very stubborn pain are reporting great results.
If you think that you may be a candidate for this treatment, please book in for an Assessment with Peter.
An Australian trial of acupuncture in our hospitals has found the therapy is more effective than morphine when it comes to relieving acute pain.
Here are the full details of the study, showing that the "Success rate was significantly different between the 2 groups (92% in the acupuncture group vs 78% in the morphine group)."
Do you still feel tired when you wake up, even if you have had a really good sleep? If you feel like you have poor energy all the time, you could be suffering from Adrenal Exhaustion or Adrenal Fatigue. Your adrenals produce adrenaline, which is part of your body's emergency response system. If a tiger jumps out at you from behind a tree, your heart suddenly beats faster, your breathing gets faster, various muscles will tighten, your blood sugar levels rise, and non-emergency systems in your body are suppressed (such as your digestive system). Your body is now in 'fight or flight' mode. This is great for emergencies, but if your body gets stuck in this mode, it will eventually make you feel very run down, and it doesn't seem to get much better no matter what you do. (In the long run, it can also put a strain on your heart, and increase your chances of developing diabetes).
The main symptom of adrenal exhaustion is constant tiredness, but because the body gets very run down it can often cause stress, irritability, depression or anxiety. The immune system is very sensitive to your energy levels, so immune weakness, allergies, or auto-immune diseases can develop. Adrenaline is part of your hormone system, so adrenal exhaustion can also cause all types of hormone imbalances, including PMS, menopause symptoms, thyroid problems, or low libido. Poor sleep and digestive problems are also very common symptoms.
Adrenal Exhaustion is a quiet health epidemic that is becoming increasingly common. In fact, it may surprise you to learn, that adrenal exhaustion is an underlying factor in almost all illnesses. Adrenal exhaustion is often caused by an overly stressful and busy lifestyle. The links between problems with the adrenal gland and excessive stress are well-known but recent research also suggests they can be exacerbated by poor diet, caffeine and smoking. Because adrenaline is the body’s ‘fight or flight’ hormone, the body is very sensitive to there being too much or too little of it in the blood stream. Almost any type of stress, whether it is physical or psychological, will cause an increase in adrenaline levels.
In this fast paced age, we hear that every minute counts. Day after day, week after week, all this pressure to achieve, meet goals, finish daily tasks, begins to build up inside of us until one day we are locked in the throes of time pressure. A chief contributor to time pressure is emotional identity. This happens when you invest a great deal of mental and emotional energy in a situation. All that energy can create tunnel vision, leaving you unable to see or appreciate other important things in your life. When someone or something interferes with that focus, the result frequently is irritation, anxiousness and frustration, especially when deadlines must be met. You push people away, neglect other areas of your life, but still proceed until eventually you lapse into emotional chaos. In the end, time pressure can seriously damage not only your relationships and quality of life, but even the situation in which you buried yourself to the exclusion of all else. Time pressure takes a toll on our nervous, immune and hormonal systems, and left unattended will likely produce cycles of anxiety, fatigue and temporary despair. As this process continues it makes us more susceptible to health problems.
Always rushed, too much to do, not enough time; mentally scattered, not feeling in control, tunnel vision, irritation at anyone or anything that breaks your focus, internal pressure, a gnawing feeling in you solar plexus, impatience, lack of compassion for self and others, feeling a constant slow burn inside, low-grade stress and strain, feeling disconnected from life, decreased enjoyment of projects, relationships or life in general.
Other causes of adrenal exhaustion are
When treating Adrenal Exhaustion, it is important to address 3 areas.
If you suspect that you may have Adrenal Exhaustion, please book in for a free Comprehensive Assessment so that we can check and let you know if you do, and inform you on how best to treat it.
(The first section below is from a newspaper article.)
'It was 2005, and after nine months of IVF treatment and a positive pregnancy test, 36-year-old Jill King was having a routine ultrasound to check that all was well. But when she turned to the screen, expecting to see a heartbeat, there was just an empty embryonic sac. In a cruel biological hoax, the sac minus its embryo - called a blighted ovum - was causing positive signs of pregnancy. There were more disappointments to come. By the time she discontinued IVF two years later, King had produced 50 embryos, but no babies, at a cost of about $50,000.
"People talk about the grief of miscarriage, and I've experienced that, but to me each embryo was also a potential baby lost," she recalls. "Whenever I had an embryo transfer [where the embryo is passed through the cervix into the uterus], I'd be calculating when its birthday might be." ...
"My message to other couples is be open-minded about alternative treatments," says King. ...
Some cases of unexplained fertility may have a cause that is overlooked if IVF is used as a first, rather than a last, resort, says Dr Anne Clark, medical director of Fertility First, a clinic in Sydney's Hurstville.
Being overweight, smoking or drinking too much - even a lack of vitamin D or iodine - can sabotage conception or increase the risk of miscarriage, points out Clark. While the clinic offers IVF treatment, 25 to 30 per cent of couples conceive without it after correcting certain lifestyle factors.
"Women are hammered for being overweight or for smoking, but we know that with men, nine kilograms of extra weight can lower fertility by altering hormone levels," she says. "We also know that fragmentation of DNA in male sperm is a common cause of miscarriage, and that factors such as smoking, alcohol and possibly caffeine may be contributing."
Her study in 2008 of 800 men who were attending Fertility First found 58 per cent had sperm damage, but that lifestyle changes and vitamin supplements could help prevent this. "Unlike eggs, which are as old as the woman herself, sperm is freshly made every three months," says Clark. "Because of this, you can often reverse the problem quickly."
This was the case for Matthew Lake, a 34-year-old landscaper whose partner, Amanda, had had three miscarriages by the time she was 29. Test results showed she had no obvious problem, but Matthew had fragmented DNA in 33 per cent of his sperm.
At Clark's suggestion, he reduced his weekly beer consumption from 24 to seven, stopped drinking Coke and took a daily multivitamin. He also took supplements of coenzyme Q10 and vitamins E and C, antioxidants that, according to some research, help reduce sperm damage.
"After six months, the number of fragmented sperm had dropped to nine per cent - a month later I was pregnant," says Amanda. "I don't think people realise the problem can often be with the male partner, and that the solution can be simple."
In Clark's experience, men are often only asked to provide a sperm sample, and if that is problematic, the couple are directed to IVF rather than addressing a man's underlying health problems. The pressure of ageing impels couples towards IVF, too, she says.
Francesca Naish, from the Jocelyn Centre for Natural Fertility Management in Sydney, agrees. "People are in a hurry to conceive, but they need to take about three months to clean up first."
The "cleaning up" regimen recommended by the centre, which employs medical practitioners, naturopaths and an acupuncturist, entails both partners eating whole food – preferably organic - taking herbs and vitamin and mineral supplements, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins.
"Take the example of a hairdresser or a motor mechanic," says Naish. "She's exposed to bleaches and solvents, and he's working with solvents, heavy metals and paints. This doesn't mean hairdressers and mechanics can't make babies together, but if their fertility is already compromised, these exposures can make conception - especially of a healthy baby - harder." Other workers who come into contact with pesticides, such as farmers, may experience problems, too, explains Naish, as can people who spend a lot of time flying (sperm and eggs can be affected by radiation at high altitude). Some studies have linked heavy mobile phone use to reduced sperm count and sperm health. In isolation, these factors may mean nothing, but an accumulation of them, plus increasing age, can make a difference.
Although there's evidence that the miscarriage rate is higher with IVF, says Naish, "this isn't necessarily to do with IVF technology, which is fantastic. Miscarriages can occur because other problems aren't being sorted out first," she says. "IVF helps sperm and egg to meet and then gets the fertilised egg to the uterus, but it doesn't solve underlying problems that can impede a pregnancy."
Anne Clark acknowledges that with IVF offering a monthly pregnancy rate that is two to three times higher than nature, it will always appeal to couples in the stressed-out 21st century. When she recommends waiting until the lifestyle changes kick in, some couples feel pretty thrown to begin with. "But achieving a pregnancy can be a bit like painting a wall." she says. "It's all in the preparation."
The Role of Folate
Dawn Piebenga knew getting pregnant in her late 30s wouldn't be easy. "I'd had a history of fertility problems in my 20s and early 30s with my first marriage. I was told that it may be because of scar tissue around my Fallopian tubes."
When a pregnancy in her second marriage ended in miscarriage, she consulted fertility expert Francesca Naish. "Because I was older, I knew my egg quality wouldn't be as good, so I felt my best shot was to make my body as healthy as possible," she says.
Tests revealed that Piebenga had a problem shared with about one in eight women: difficulty metabolising folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent some birth defects. At 39 and after four months on a preconception-care program and a high-dose folate supplement, Piebenga got the go-ahead to try to conceive. She became pregnant within a month, and now has a 15-month-old son.
(End of article.)
Natural therapists consider that a woman’s periods can reflect how well her hormones and reproductive system are working. So one of the aims of any course of treatments is to help improve her periods as much as possible, which may include the timing and length of the period, making sure the flow is not too heavy or too light, and treating any period symptoms (in conjunction with normal medical treatment).
It is becoming more common for our acupuncturists to work in conjunction with medical fertility specialists whilst a woman is undergoing ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF, IUI and ICSI). There is continuing research about how acupuncture can assist with the effectiveness of IVF treatment, and there is also broad agreement by acupuncturists and other health practitioners about using acupuncture in these cases. Please contact our Principal Practitioner if you would like to find out if acupuncture may be able to assist in regard to your specific situation.
The outcome of acupuncture for fertility Brisbane treatments depends on the skill and expertise of the therapist, and on the methods that they use. We only use Japanese acupuncture techniques at our clinic, since when performed by a highly-trained therapist, we have found this style to be more effective that the standard Chinese acupuncture. (All of our acupuncturists were originally taught Chinese acupuncture, but since being trained in the Japanese style they now only use that method.)
Naturopathy is the use of natural medicines (such as high potency supplements, herbal treatments, diet therapy, etc.) and may be able to assist with many fertility and women’s health issues. Naturopathic medicine involves looking after the chemistry of the body, including improving essential nutrition levels and reducing toxin levels. It aims to improve hormone health, as well as helping to regulate periods, cycle length and ovulation times.
If you are trying to conceive, looking to start trying in the next 12 months, or are going through IVF, we recommend having a Comprehensive Fertility Assessment by our Principal Practitioner. During your Assessment we will identify and explain to you
It is recommended that you and your partner each have an Assessment, and if possible sit in on each other’s appointment. An Assessment is normally $120, but is currently available free of charge. There is no obligation with an Assessment; we simply provide you with information and an understanding of what is happening with your body. Places for a Fertility Assessment are limited, so if you would like to reserve an appointment for you and your partner, please ring or email soon. Please also feel free to contact the Clinic if you would like more information about any aspect of fertility improvement, and we look forward to helping you soon.
Strange though it sounds, sometimes sinus infections can cause problems with ligaments or tendons in the body.
Your sinuses are a magnificent structure of tunnels and caves running throughout your head that connect to your respiratory system. The body does not have good access into the sinuses, so they often become the site of what is called a ‘focal infection’. This is an infection in which bacteria are localised in some region (such as the tonsils or the tissue around a tooth), from which they may spread to other organs or tissues in the body. Sometimes your immune system keeps the focal infection under control, but does not completely eliminate it. Because of its nature to “hide out”, you many not notice any symptoms from the infection. However, the low-grade inflammation becomes a source of irritation for the body, inflaming connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, as well as depressing the immune system, so that other types of inflammatory processes such as bladder irritation, digestive problems or period pain may keep occurring.
With any condition, it is always important find out the full picture of how the person's body is working, and then treating the causes as well as the symptoms. Otherwise, good long-term results are unlikely.
Valued at $120, your Assessment will help to uncover:
All this will be fully explained to you, and you can ask as many questions as you like. That way we can be sure to give you all of the right information, understanding and advice you need. Terms and conditions: This is a free, no obligation offer.