What’s on the menu for good friday?

With Easter a few days away, l thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share a delicious Salmon bowl recipe and some important nutritional information. Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fats are integral for immunity, skin health, healthy brain function and nervous system function and are powerful anti inflammatories It is good practice to aim to include some sort of fatty fish such as salmon in your diet at least three times per week.

This salmon bowl provides a wonderful flavoursome balance of macronutrients. The wholegrain brown rice is a complex carbohydrate, the salmon provides protein (and good quality fats as mentioned above), The salad is high in fibre and abundant with nutrients. Matcha -Studies show that just 2grams a day of green tea in the elderly population equates to a reduction in oxidative stress The potent antioxidant potential of EGCG, a constituent of green tea, quenches free radicals reducing oxidative stress in the body. Studies show EGCG can reduce liver cell damage, cardiovascular mortality and has also been shown to be effective in treating hypertension and diabetes.

Green tea supports the GABA pathway in the brain due to its theanine content, helping to ease the effects of anxiety and stress. Green tea is also rich in chlorophyll, great for liver health and for also enhancing the secretion of secretory IgA in the gut. Secretory IgA is vital for healthy digestive function and keeping the mucosal lining of the gut wall in tip top shape. 

Bone broth is packed full of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It also provides gelatin, which facilitates digestion and helps with joint recovery and hair, skin and nail growth. Bone broth is full of glutamine, which is essential for small intestine integrity, digestion, exercise recovery, muscle building. Bone broth contains collagen, which is essential for cell integrity and healing. Bone broth heals and in turn, improves nutrient absorption. While everyone will benefit from adding bone broth, it is absolutely essential for those with leaky gut, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions.

Serves 2

Ingredients

 1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice

 1 tsp matcha powder (if you don’t have this you can just have normal brown rice!)

 2 cups of chicken bone broth or water

 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar

 200g salmon (preference wild caught)

 few drops sesame oil

 1 tsp soy sauce

 a few slices of fresh ginger

 Salad

 1/2 a continental cucumber

 1/4 cup spring onion, finely sliced

 1 cup fresh mint leaves

 3 Tbs pickled ginger, roughly chopped

 1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

 1 tsp black sesame seeds (optional) untoasted

 1/2 tsp soy sauce

 1 tsp rice wine vinegar (or just use some of the pickling liquid from the ginger)

 a few drops sesame oil

 Lime wedges to ser (optional)

Directions

Rinse rice well. Combine rice, matcha powder and bone broth or water in a small pot and bring to the

boil. Cook at a simmer for 15 minutes. Add vinegar, fluff with a fork. Allow to stand with a lid on for 10

minutes after cooking. If your packet of rice specifies a longer cooking time or more water, do it! Place a small plate in a steaming basket (large enough to hold your salmon fillet. Put your fresh ginger slices on the bottom, top with salmon, skin sized down. Add a few drops of sesame oil to the salmon. Steam over the simmering rice for 8-15 minutes depending on your thickness and how cooked you like it. Check the salmon by attempting to flake with a fork, if it comes away easily and your happy with how cooked it is it’s done! Once just cooked drizzle the whole fillet in the soy and

allow to sit for a couple of minutes before flaking.

Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to peel long slices of the cucumber, or cut into half circles a few mm thick, or do both. Add to a bowl along with the spring onion, mint leaves, pickled ginger and sesame seeds. Add the soy, vinegar and sesame oil and toss to combine.

Assemble: Add rice to the bottom of your bowl and top with salad and flakes of steamed salmon.

Serve with a wedge of lime.

Stress. Is it really that bad for you?

Chronic stress is serious business and it shouldn’t be ignored.

The implications it can have on your health and wellbeing are real and today is the best time to start taking action to make changes.

A lot of people say “yeah i’m stressed so what?” or “isn’t that just part of (insert reason here eg.the job, being a mum….)” but just because it’s been normalised does not make it ok.

Stress affects your whole body. A lot of people think it’s “just in your head” and that mental issues are just of the mind but couldn’t be further from the truth.

Stress can:

– affect your sleep.

-upset your digestive system.

-lower your immune system.

-trigger anxiety and depression and cause relationship issues.

-cause tension in your muscles and connective tissue, which can become painful and cause injuries.

-cause hormonal imbalances and more!

In short, it pretty much impacts all of our bodies systems and organs and it can be a major driving factor in us becoming sick and unhappy which is why managing your stress levels are just as important as exercising regularly and eating well.

In clinic we try to educate our patients on this topic and one way of explaining it is discussing how the nervous system works from a very simplified point of view.

When it comes to our nervous systems we have two main gears that our body switches between. Let’s call them 1st gear. (REST and digest) and 2nd gear. (FIGHT or flight).

As we go about our day and are met with different physical and emotional challenges we are supposed to switch between 1st and 2nd gear.

Our bodies perform differently depending on which gear we are in and will focus on different tasks internally depending on whether we are in gear 1. to gear 2.

Blood flow will get directed to different areas of the body and certain chemical reactions occur for regeneration and activity depending on what gear we are in.

Now, the problem a lot of people today who are suffering with chronic stress is that they are stuck in 2nd gear.

2nd gear is supposed to be reserved for times of emergency. It uses up a lot of our energy and resources so it should only be used in short bursts.

Being stuck in 2nd gear is like you don’t have an “off” switch. You are always “busy” and on the go.

This will eventually make you sick!

In some cases where stress and anxiety is becoming a pattern and returning regularly then counselling might be a good option as well as other activities such as meditation, yoga or walking where you connect with your breath, get some fresh air and relax.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are also excellent ways to help your body change gears and give your nervous system a gentle push in the right direction when it comes to needing some help to switch off.

Ironically, when you “switch off”  you are actually “switching on” your bodies healing powers of regeneration and detoxification which we need to be healthy and disease free.

The treatments we provide as like a re-set button for your nervous system or at the least give you a chance to remember what it feels like to switch off. 

We hope that this message today will motivate you to dedicate some time to self care and check in to see if stress is affecting your life and to take some steps towards reducing it.

Is Acupuncture Proven? What evidence is behind what you do?

As someone who studied science before I found TCM, I found it hard to explain to people why I decided to make the switch. For many who hadn’t tried acupuncture I was met with “Oh TCM, so you believe in that do you?”. In contrast, there was very little negativity or disbelief shown from anyone who had tried it. I often hear stories of people engaging with TCM as a last resort, and finding they had gained huge benefit from it’s discovery. I always thought, well the proof is in the pudding, but could very much empathise with anyone who didn’t understand how putting needles in someone’s body (and not always at the site of injury) could have such effects.

TCM is a form of holistic medicine that has formed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years by many contributing physicians of the time. How thinking and practices so historic lasts to this day, whilst gaining mainstream acceptance in the Western world, speaks of it’s efficacy and impact.

But is it proven? This is the question not far from most minds when they are considering trying acupuncture or TCM for the first time.

The Acupuncture Evidence Project was commissioned by The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) when they identified the need for an updated review of the evidence for Acupuncture and TCM with greater rigor. Contemporary TCM literature and teaching was analysed using evidence currently available in systematic reviews and meta analyses. The review also looked at the safety of treatments and their cost-effectiveness. The findings concluded that there is now sufficient evidence for the effectiveness of 117 conditions with “stronger evidence of Acupuncture effective for some conditions more than others”. It Is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain.

The Australian medicare system class Acupuncture and TCM as a required treatment and a large proportion of referrals to the clinic come from local Doctors and Nurses.

The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture for over 100 conditions.

I have been fortunate to work alongside practitioners with collectively 100s of years of experience who can anecdotally tell you the impact this mode of treatment can have. The industry has come a very long way from a research perspective over the last 10-20 years. I feel so grateful to the researchers and practitioners dedicated to this field and to making this form of treatment more accepted by mainstream science, and therefore more accessible for people where it may be a life changing discovery to get the relief they need to enjoy the quality of life they deserve.

Stressed? See how Chinese Medicine can Help..

I’m naturally a nervous person, so believe me when I say I’ve tried every trick in the book to calm down when stress gets the better of me. 

So for me when i was anxious and wasn’t sleeping well – something like Chinese medicine for stress relief,  may have been a better fit than the pills I was prescribed.

The concept behind traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is, essentially, that your body already has the tools it needs to heal itself from the inside out. To better understand this, think about what your body’s like when you’re sick: Your muscles feel achy, your head is congested, and you feel crummy both on the inside and on the outside, right? Well, according to Chinese medicine, it works both ways: Stress and anxiety can affect your physical health, and in order to guarantee that that doesn’t happen, there are little, everyday behaviours you can adopt.

1. MAKE SMALL ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR EATING HABITS

I am a living, breathing example of how anxiety can affect your gut health and spiral into a  physical and psychological mess. When I’m stressed, my stomach starts to bother me with cramps and constipation – others will lean more towards looser stools.  

Now, eating more of the good stuff (fruits, veggies, etc.) and less of the bad stuff isn’t exactly an automatic quick-fix – however things like mushrooms — which are known to have adaptogenic elements, meaning they can help reduce stress — dark leafy greens for their vitamin B, and whole grains should be added to your meals to “help rebalance [the nervous system].”

Also think about eating at regular times – especially your breakfast – as well as eating slowly and uncomplicated foods.

2. BREAK SOME EGGS (LITERALLY) OR DO SOME BOXING

Finding a physical outlet is an epic way to let out some stress this all comes back to your liver, as Anger / stress are the main emotions related to the Liver, When you’re feeling particularly stressed out or irritable, the worst thing you can do is hold all of that in. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to find ways to let the stress of even the most minor annoyances out of your system.

The Liver being stagnant can be responsible for physical muscle pain, period pain, headaches, digestive upset and twitches. 

3. MEDITATION

It can be daunting at first to sit down and bask in the quiet (or loudness) of your own thoughts, but given the purported benefits of meditation, it’s got its merit. And if the idea of sitting makes you restless, there are other forms of meditation out there for you to try, such as journaling or listening to a guided practice. Me personally? I gave my mediation wheels and take it with me on a walk. That’s when i empty my head the best. 

4. WALK AROUND BAREFOOT

Going sock-less at the office might sound a little gross, but traditional Chinese medicine says barefoot is the way to be. The idea behind this concept — which is called “earthing,” I regularly recommend my patient to get in nature , showed off and back to the sun – think of your back like a solar panel for your organs and it needs to be charged, 

The addition of being barefoot during this process seems to really augment the benefits for anxiety. I direct them to visualise the anxious feelings being absorbed by the earth and dissipating from their bodies. I wouldn’t suggest ditching your entire collection of Adidas sneakers, but try going barefoot occasionally. 

5. GET YOUR BODY MOVING WITH QIGONG

Qigong is a full-body experience that combines meditation with tai chi movements. According to the wellness website Energy Arts, this exercise is meant to be gentle, and it requires you to repeat a sequence of movements over and over again, “building awareness of how the body moves through space.

In traditional Chinese Medicine, the belief is that most of your physical ailments are a result of mental stress and instability, and when you nurse the latter, you’re better able to heal the former. Qigong is physical in practice, but the focus is on mental clarity, in order to produce that calming domino effect.

6. RELEASE MUSCLE TENSION WITH ACUPUNCTURE

When you’re stressed, do you tend to feel a kink in your neck, or sore in your back? A stress doesn’t just make you feel tense; it makes you physically tense, too, so it makes sense why acupuncture is a popular traditional Chinese remedy for stress.

Stress and anxiety would have to be one of the top things i treat in clinic. 

Foods That Give You Energy In The Morning, So You’re Set Up For Success

I am suggesting  that you pay attention to your food choices, how your first meal affects how you feel for the entire day, and to make adjustments accordingly. Oats, Eggs, Salmon, honey and greens are some of my favourite staples. –  We all know I am a big fan of soup for breakfast.

Most of the foods that aid the circulation and dispersion of stagnant qi caused by stress are spices or foods with a pungent flavour. The pungent flavour helps to move qi upwards and outwards, preventing it from stagnating. However, it is important to avoid foods which are very hot and spicy as these can contribute to the formation of internal heat.

Some of the best examples of foods that prevent qi stagnation are:

  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne
  • Cloves
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Turmeric
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Radish
  • Watercress
  • Peaches
  • Plums

There is not one of our practitioners in clinic that can’t help you with your stress – give us a call today and see who is right for you. 02 8406 0679

Acupuncture During Pregnancy for Musculoskeletal: Sciatica, Pubic Symphysis Pain & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Common symptoms during mid-late stages of pregnancy can leave you feeling exhausted and uncomfortable. We see a variety of pregnancy presentations in clinic, and people seeking relief from pain, inflammation and swelling is high up on the list of common concerns. For those seeking drug-free pain relief, Acupuncture is a well-tolerated modality that may further assist in reducing any localised inflammation and oedema that could be aggravating your symptoms.

Three of the more common musculoskeletal presentations during later stage pregnancy include carpal tunnel syndrome, pubic symphysis pain & sciatica. The good news is that treatment for any of these concerns can be started immediately, without having to wait-it-out till after birth.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pain, numbness and oedema in hands occurs frequently in later stage pregnancy. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes numbness, tingling or burning due to the median nerve being restricted as it passes through the carpal tunnel, and that nerve irritation can lead to daily activities becoming difficult. Pain is often exacerbated with overuse as a result, & Acupuncture for carpal tunnel symptoms provides an option for local relief.

 

Pubic symphysis pain

Pain that presents around the pubic bone and may also radiate into the groin or lower back can be particularly noticeable after a day of walking around, or shifting from a seated to standing position. From 24-26 weeks onwards, the pubic symphysis joint starts to separate in birth preparation as the hormone relaxin rises, however in some women, this also leads to inflammation which results in pain. Research has shown that women who undergo acupuncture had a greater reduction in pain compared to those undergoing more conventional treatments such as physio, putting it in the mix as an effective treatment approach.

Sciatica

Acupuncture for Sciatica is becoming an increasingly popular option for women suffering from pain and discomfort. Thankfully, pregnancy related sciatica is usually both temporary and treatable. This is particularly reassuring when ibuprofen is no longer a go-to option.

Sciatica is a shooting, burning pain that typically radiates from the pelvis at the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) down either the back or side of the leg and may run all the way down to the feet. It occurs due to the sciatic nerve, which innervates the lower body, being compressed or irritated. During pregnancy there are a number of reasons why sciatica may be present; aside from the rapid change to the body as baby grows or changes position, sciatica can also result from weight changes, postural changes, or hormonal changes which can result in sciatic symptoms starting or being amplified, and impacting both your movement and sleep.

As with all treatments, frequency will vary based on your presentation and severity of symptoms. If you’re unsure whether it’ll be the right fit for you, book in for a discovery call to learn more!