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Why does my Acupuncurist want to look at my tongue?

Might seem strange right? After going through your intake form together and finding out about how you’r sleeping, if you have any pain in your body, how your digestion is etc. often your practitioner will ask you to stick your tongue ALL the way out so they can get a good look.
Today I thought I might explain to you why we do this. In Chinese medicine there is something called the “four examinations” and this includes:
1.Looking
2.Listening/smelling ( apparently these two words are one word in Chinese?)
3.Asking
4Touching
Looking means to examine the body and the tongue is a an important part of this.
The tongue gives us a picture of what the internal environment of the body is.
A healthy tongue is light pink and slightly moist anything that is different from this may be a clue that something in your body is not functioning optimally.
There is also a lot we can see on the surface of the skin, the eyes, nails hair but the tongue really gives us amazing insight into what is out of balance and it also will change quite quickly in response to the changes that are happening internally which makes it a great tool when trying to gauge how your treatments are helping or how the changes to your diet for example are benefiting you.
Some of the things we are looking for in the tongue is:
The colour, it’s shape, if there is a coating and if so the colour of it and thickness as well as markings in certain parts of the tongue.
A lot of people have heard of reflexology and this is a similar concept. The tongue is a microsystem where the different organs in your body are reflected on different parts of your tongue. For example, a very common sign that is displayed in clinic are teeth marks on the sides of the tongue which is representative of weak digestion.
You can see after some acupuncture or herbal medicine/ diet changes that the teeth marks disappear and the edge becomes smooth again.
Tongue diagnosis is wonderful tool when used in conjunction with the above mentioned “examinations”.
Hope to see you in clinic soon.

Morning sickness and Acupuncture.. save this post if you’re wanting to become pregnant! 

Pregnancy is the most incredible, awe inspiring time. You kick back, live your life and grow an entire human. Nails, eyelashes and all. It’s miraculous.

For many women, the being pregnant part.. sometimes does not feel like it.

Nausea in pregnancy can affect up to 70% of women in their first trimester. It can be easily dismissed as ‘just part of pregnancy’ but it can be a real affliction for many women striking at any time of day or night. It can make living a normal life very challenging, finding it hard to work, socialise and find enjoyment out of activities you once did. I’ve had clients tell me they felt quite low and even depressed in their first trimester as they battled their intense feelings of nausea and fatigue.

As Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners we take an individualistic approach. We use Acupuncture to strengthen the energetic function of the digestive system and balance out any individual disharmonies. There are also empirical points that have been shown to reduce feelings of nausea, using acupressure on these can have an instant affect and can provide a helpful tool to women.

When managing morning sickness it’s very important to stay hydrated and keep your blood sugars balanced. This means eating smaller meals and more often, trying to avoid the empty hungry feeling. Avoiding anything too sweet and sugary that might spike blood sugars, slower releasing carbohydrates can be useful here such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes.

Some other helpful tips at managing morning sickness include:

Staying hydrated, sipping on water frequently throughout the day. Even being slightly dehydrated can exacerbate symptoms

Eating small portions and frequently can help.. protein is ideal or whatever you can stomach.

Don’t judge your food choices or craving choices! Just let it be. Do what you need to do.

Keep biscuits or plain food in an air tight container next to the bed, in your handbag, in the car, at your desk.

1000mg of ginger per day has been shown to reduce feels of nausea. Slicing up ginger and letting it simmer in boiling water for 20 minutes before sipping throughout the day can help.  Or pieces of candied ginger can also help.

Chomomile or peppermint tea

Gingerale or ginger tea

Mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon

Potato soup or roast potatoes.

If you’re really struggling with morning sickness, make sure you book in with your GP or midwife to talk through options that might be available to you. As unpleasant as the feelings might be, they won’t last forever but there is always support available for you.

Are you suffering from Sinusitis?

This would have to be the worst winter for illnesses that i can recall. In clinic I have seen the flu (as in the real one), horrendous colds, sinus problems and gastro. Everyone I speak to is recovering from something and still has a lingering cough or snotty nose. I would have to say in clinic Sinus related issues has been the most common.

Thankfully Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine has been helping but most of all it’s dietary changes that i am sending sufferers home with. You see, in Chinese Medicine an accumulation of phlegm is discharge is considered to be a damp pathology. Damp is derived from a weak or overly exhausted digestive system, heavy and greasy foods, dairy, raw veggies, fruit, alcohol, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants all wreak havoc on you stomach and spleen and give rise to damp pathologies – such as sinusitis, phlegm nodules, indigestion, foggy head, pressure headaches, heavy sensation and a weakened immunity.

The best way to resolve damp is to incorporate the medicinal properties of food is through excluding the wrong foods as above and including the right foods – some favourites are; Adzuki beans, green tea, rice, olives, tangerine or mandarin peel, mushrooms, parsley, garlic and seaweed.

If you are suffering from frequent bouts of sinus issues call the clinic and book in today 02 8406 0679 or book online http://www.nbip.com.au

Chloe Player

Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Stages Of Stress And Acupuncture Support

When it comes to stress and managing “life stuff” through lockdown, you may be feeling the effects of either an increased workload, accommodating work changes, lost work, feeling the effects of a lack of physical connection with others and how that plays into your life, or you might find yourself secretly relieved that you get to just… pause.

It’s so normalised to be constantly on-the-go that for those being forced to stop and sit with our “stuff” can be really confronting for a lot of people. In a lot of ways, stress is a protector; it feels like there’s never enough time to process the things we’re working through.

Our bodies don’t actually know the different between “good” stress and “bad” stress, so while you might have the type of personality that thrives on pressure or training as a release, it’s good to not only have some practises that require stillness, but also be able to identify how your system responds to the stressors in your world.

There are three distinctive phases with stress:

In ‘alarm’ stage we get that classic cortisol release. Our heart rates up, we have adrenaline, and we’re ready to react. In our everyday lives, this might get spiked regularly by daily work, family needs and general time pressures, and become a familiar feeling to the ever-increasing demands of city-living.

‘Resistance’ stage sees a slight lowering or cortisol, and the body starts to recover from the stressful situation. Hormone levels are able to begin repairing again (in ‘alarm’ stage, your body brings all its attention to the ‘emergency’, and as a result, lots of regulating processes go on pause).

During prolonged periods of stress, your body adapts to living with higher levels of stress & coping mechanisms come in. Common signs are being irritable, frustrated, and having difficulty concentrating. All things we often perceive as our ‘normal’.

Chronic stress leads us into ‘exhaustion’ stage. So many of us see the associated key symptoms as relatively common lived experience, whether it be personally, or someone you know; fatigue, burnout, depression, anxiety, and a decreased stress response. These can all contribute to a weakened immune system and stress-related illnesses popping up. Feeling drained physically, emotionally, and/or mentally is increasingly being tolerated while living through a pandemic.

Dosing our stress and modulating our stress response is where Acupuncture and TCM is ever-appreciated adjunct in these routines. Acupuncture gets us into a parasympathetic state (aka our rest-and-digest mode) and facilitates those healing responses that get us back to a healthier baseline; pre-cursers to better sleep, energy, digestion, and hormone repair.

As AHPRA practitioners, we fall under an essential service for those requiring care. It’s more than just adjusting to tolerating a stressful block. Listening to your body is not always an easy thing to do!

Appointments available to book via phone or online to get some support.

Laelia is available in clinic on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday’s.  You can find more from her on insta @chi.and.chill

How to transform your life through Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Matrix Therapies

Most of us have a conscious understanding that our past experiences and emotions have an effect on the way we think, act and behave, positively and negatively. If we are wanting to achieve more than what we have right now but find that we are self sabotaging, getting stuck in procrastination or overwhelm then it makes sense to get curious
about what in our past might be hindering us from being who we want to be, doing what we want to do and having what we want to have!

Firstly we need to understand how our minds process the human experience… at any one moment the world around us is feeling us 2 million + bits of information through our 5 senses, our conscious mind can only hold on & understand 134 bits of that information, so it needs to go through a process to decide what’s important and how to interpret what is happening. It does this through a process of deleting, distorting and generalizing, a filtering process of sorts. Our personal filters are influenced by what mood we are in and where we are, who we are with, our interpretation of words being used, old memories, experiences, our values, beliefs, attitudes and internal programming till we get an internal representation of what is happening. This then affects our state, behaviour and physiology. So this is why 2 people experiencing the same event can have 2 totally different recounts of what happened. As for the remaining 1.9 million + bits of information… well this is sent to the subconscious mind to be archived away…

So if, let’s say you watched a parent go through bankruptcy as a child and saw, heard and sensed all the emotional turmoil that went along with it and you are now wanting to start your own business but you can’t seem to make it happen, then it could well be your filters and amygdala triggering a response to keep you safe from perceived danger.

Thankfully the tools and techniques used in Coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Matrix Therapy allows you to effectively goal set, find the route causes of your current situation and through a safe and gentle process allow you to neutralize the effect of past events / limiting beliefs / negative influences etc. Hypnosis and Self Hypnosis then cements all of the new learnings allowing for new neural pathways to be formed in the brain to create new resourceful thoughts and behaviours and allow you to pull out and strengthen your unique abilities so you can step up as the best version of yourself possible in authentic alignment.

The Presuppositions of Neuro-Linguistic Programming are incredibly supportive to the client. We as practitioners understand that;
• No one is “broken”
• We are all doing the best we can with the experience, knowledge and resources we have available to us
• We are not our behaviour
• We are so much more than we think we are
• We have all the resources we need to be, do and have all the things we desire
• There is no failure, only learnings and feedback

Do you find yourself coming up short when it comes to getting what you want in life?

To book in a discovery call with our Transformational Neuro-Linguistic Coach & Hypnosis guru Kate, head to the website at http://www.nbip.com.au

Optimising your Recovery

There is more than just exercise that is associated with recovery. A hard day warrants a long rest. A special occasion of celebration, with party food and alcohol, is sensibly followed with plenty of water, and hopefully a sleep in to allow extra hours for the mind to replenish and the detoxifying organs to neutralise the alcohol… There is ebb and flow with a myriad of things of nature, and in our social and professional lives. Recovery is even geared into our psyche, hence why we place head to pillows collectively and repair for 7-10 hours.

For now, in the context of muscle recovery after stress such as exercise, recovery models which aid the healing process and get us back to being optimal – are the big 4! 

Number 1. Cold Water Immersion. CWE has been given much awareness from people such as Paul Chek, Stig Severinsen, Wim Hof and our very own, Australian Nam Baldwin. I have experienced the teachings of Paul and Stig, and soon I’ll learn from Nam. Wim’s teachings has a stronger correlation to cold and ice exposure, yet all gentleman demonstrate breathing techniques and breath holds, which still are administered in many situations, to buffer or regulate and match the body to the environment.

If you choose to expose yourself to this contrast therapy, start easy! Try a temperature regulated shower and wet the limbs first, then the the torso which is a graduation. A client of mine once completely doused herself in a cold shower and it was lucky she did not faint! I

remarked that the cold will constrict blood vessels, whereas heat or warmth will dilate. What happened for her, was that the blood left her periphery and headed straight for the organs and gut. I will share more on contrast therapies / exposure on the next blog.

Understanding the effects of treatments such as cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation within skeletal muscle after exercise is important. Cold water immersion is a

widespread practice among various sports, and a growing body of evidence suggests that this strategy may affect muscle recovery from strenuous exercise. Repair of skeletal muscle tissue following injury is complex.

That brings us to Number 2. Massage! In 2018, Frontiers in Physiology, a leading research organisation in the field published a meta-analysis study* (multiple studies addressing the same subject / question) was performed evaluating the impact of recovery techniques on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), perceived fatigue, muscle damage, and inflammatory markers after physical exercise. We have all felt this right! I also check in with new clients after their initial session, as this can be the same for Remedial Therapy. The muscle fibres ‘micro-tear’ which is a by-product rather than an intention from my perspective when I treat, allow for blood, oxygen and water to nourish these once hypoxic or adhered tissue, thus generating a healing response and building the muscles back more resilient. The study found – Active recovery, massage, compression garments, immersion, contrast water therapy, and cryotherapy

induced a small to large decrease (−2.26 < g < −0.40) in the magnitude of DOMS, while there was no change for the other methods. Massage was found to be the most powerful

technique for recovering from DOMS and fatigue. In terms of muscle damage and inflammatory markers, we observed an overall moderate decrease in creatine kinase [SMD (95% CI) = −0.37

(−0.58 to −0.16), I2 = 40.15%] and overall small decreases in interleukin-6 [SMD (95% CI) = −0.36 (−0.60 to −0.12), I2 = 0%] and C-reactive protein [SMD (95% CI) = −0.38 (−0.59 to−0.14), I2 =

39%]. All molecules and active properties that constitute muscle growth and repair.

In summary – the most powerful techniques for reducing inflammation were massage and cold exposure. I have many clients that book, immediately after an event, at the conclusion of a training cycle, whether weekly or biweekly, or on a Monday post weekend shenanigans, or and ultimately conducive in nature, as a resilience method to prepare their bodies or life! Optimal Balance and Optimal Recovery are now modern day needs. Wellness is the precursor to Fitness, and this can be evident when our bodies are dictated by time constraints or an unawareness of what is needed for our health. Please seek a Remedial Therapist or allied practitioner and learn or share your

Insulin Resistance – The Pathway to Many Chronic Diseases

Insulin is a hormone produced in the body that is responsible for the transportation of glucose into the body’s cells to create energy. Insulin plays an important role in metabolism by breaking down protein, fats and carbohydrates for energy stores.

When the body’s sensitivity to insulin declines, known as insulin resistance, we are more susceptible to poor health. If insulin resistance continues to develop, those conditions often become chronic in nature making them more difficult to resolve.

Insulin resistance is associated with:
o inflammation
o PCOS
o type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
o some cancers
o blood lipid disorder and elevated cholesterol
o fatty liver and liver disease
o cardiovascular disease
o obesity

Factors such as inactivity (leading a sedentary lifestyle), weight gain (particularly around the abdomen), hormonal imbalances, genetics, some pre-existing health conditions and poor dietary choices can lead to insulin resistance.

Adopting healthy dietary and lifestyle habits can significantly reduce insulin resistance and enhance the body’s sensitivity to insulin. These include regular (daily) exercise, weight management (for those overweight) and cutting out sweet foods and drinks. Adequate sleep and keeping a regular sleep-wake cycle has been shown to positively influence insulin resistance by regulating hormone levels.

Taking a slow and steady approach at weight loss and weight management is more sustainable and successful in managing insulin resistance.

Choosing foods that stabilise blood sugar levels and avoiding those foods that cause fluctuations to blood sugar levels is helpful in managing this condition. A diet high in fibre and protein with some healthy fats and lower in refined carbohydrates supports insulin sensitivity. Reducing animal products, unhealthy fats, junk food, sugar, caffeine and alcohol is beneficial along with increasing foods such as psyllium, legumes, whole grains, onion, garlic, green beans, alfalfa, fenugreek and oats.

Specific nutrients such as chromium, taurine, zinc and magnesium play a role in maintaining the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Depending on symptoms and disease progression, it may be necessary to supplement key nutrients in order to increase insulin sensitivity and restore balance to the endocrine system.

Together with a healthy diet and lifestyle, certain herbal medicines work to enhance insulin sensitivity by stimulating the secretion of insulin, reducing glucose uptake and stabilising blood sugar levels. Taking this holistic approach will reduce inflammation and may negate the need for short or long term medication. For more information or to book an appointment, contact our Naturopath, Belle, on 0405 128 213 or at belle@nbip.com.au

The simple art of eating

Rule 101…..Always eat in a relaxed state, we want to REST and DIGEST

We are all guilty of eating in a stressed state at some point, have you every wondered where the last bite of your lunch went because you don’t remember finishing it.

Eating in a stressed state might not be what you think, you may be trying to do multiple things at once such as work at your computer, whilst eating lunch, driving and eating or standing at the bench eating and feeding the kids at the same time. When we eat in a stressed state our bodies are in the sympathetic state or fight and flight mode which is going to send the blood away from your digestive system and into your limbs so you can run which means we are no longer able to rest, digest and heal. Our brains won’t get the signal that there is food coming and the knock on effect is the digestive enzymes won’t be released, and you won’t be able to absorb the nutrients you are eating. Do you suffer from bloating, indigestion, malabsorption, changes in bowel habits and feeling unsatisfied?

These are the symptoms you may be experience as a reminder that you are eating in a stressed state. The following technique is a simple yet powerful tool to make sure you are digesting your food and absorbing all the beautiful nutrients you put on your plate. And it’s for the whole family.

  • Digestion starts simply by the thought, sight and smell of food.
  • Before eating stop look, smell and appreciate your meal.- Take 4 deep breaths- Diaphragmatic breathing brings your body into the parasympathetic state sending a message that food is coming it needs to get ready to digest, absorb, assimilation.
  • Add bitter foods to each meal or have a small bitter salad before each meal. Wild rocket with ACV dressing will help to secrete HCL in the stomach and get other enzymes ready to digest. Other bitter foods – artichoke, radicchio, rocket, asparagus, chicory greens.
  • Be mindful and present, chew your food 20 times or until liquid, this may take training…. put your knife and folk down between each mouth full enjoy the texture and flavours. Food that is left unchewed places burden on our digestive system and immune system triggering immune responses.
  • Avoid drink large amounts with meals this will dilute your digestive juices, if you need to just sip.
  • Don’t eat standing, watching TV or working at the computer

Acupuncture for facial rejuvenation

As we age our skin cells turn over rate slows down which increases signs of ageing but there are secrets for ageing gracefully which I would love to share with you today!
As a Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner we are trained to recognise that the health of our skin is related to the quality of our blood. It will also be impacted by internal imbalances such as excess heat, dryness or damp accumulation. Stress and emotional imbalances will also impact the shape and appearance of the face as well as where lines start to show up.
Taking a wholistic approach to facial rejuvenation is checking for and addressing the roost cause of:
-How stress is impacting the tension in your face and how you hold certain expressions or are clenching your jaw. How can we encourage the nervous system to relax more?
-If you have a red skin tone or pimples what is creating the inflammation? Can you modify your diet to improve this?
– If you have dull or dry skin – why is it not getting nourished?
After the full picture is painted for the practitioners a acupuncture treatment can be administered to help improve the imbalances that are presented then extra needles and facial massage techniques are applied around the face to stimulate blood and qi which in turn softens lines, improves skin tone and reduces puffiness. So, when you come and get a facial rejuvenation acupuncture treatment don’t expect the face to be the only part of your body that’s treated!
You will also get a mini Gua Sha ( facial massage tutorial) so you can keep working on getting the benefits at home between acupuncture treatments.
As a guide for the number of treatments needed, its suggested to come in once a week for the duration of 1 skin cycle. As a rough guide for someone who is 30 they will have a 30 day skin cycle and this increases with age ( eg.60 year old person has a 60 day skin cycle).
So if you looking for a non invasive, natural way to boost your skins appearance and overall vitality give cosmetic acupuncture a try

Acupuncture and Inflammation

Inflammation, triggered by our immune system, is crucial to fight infections. What is becoming more present is inflammation in over drive. Excessive chronic inflammation is a key factor behind many diseases and health issues seen today.

Explained simply, excessive inflammation in Chinese Medicine can be seen as ‘heat’. There are many ways your practitioner may treat patterns of heat or chronic inflammation and may use a couple of tools to help their clients get the best outcomes. Acupuncture alone has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. The reported anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture include an antihistamine action and down regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are involved in the process of pathological pain, so down regulating this mechanism should have a positive outcome on the management of pain and inflammation.

Along with Acupuncture, there are many simple mind-body techniques that have also been shown to reduce inflammation such as breathing and meditation and other techniques that reduce stress and help to regulate the nervous system.

To find out ways your acupuncturist can assist you in managing your health concerns call 84060679