News Of The Month

Liver and the Gallbladder

April 2021

Now, it is important to note that from a Chinese Medicine perspective, when we talk about a particular organ, such as the liver or gallbladder, we are not talking about the physical organ that sits inside your body. Rather, we are talking about a complex system of energy that flows within particular pathways and has a particular physiological function.

The gallbladder is one of the most commonly treated yang organ energetic systems we treat with acupuncture. Each system in Chinese medicine is designated as either yin or yang. Very generally speaking, the yin organ systems store vital substances, whereas yang organ systems fill and empty themselves more dynamically. Each yin organ system is paired with a yang organ system and vice versa. In modern acupuncture practice, we as acupuncturists speak a lot of the yin organs, but the yang systems are very important too.

In Chinese Medicine, one of the essential functions of the gallbladder system is to control the flow of bile. This is its yang organ function of filling and emptying. Each yang organ is paired with a yin organ - the gallbladder is paired with the liver. The liver and gallbladder work together on many physiological functions, including bile production and excretion.

The gallbladder system controls the sinews (or ligaments and tendons.) Thus, points on the gallbladder meridian are often treated for any sort of soft tissue injuries, such as tendonitis, muscle sprains, strains, and tendon tears. The gallbladder meridian itself runs along the sides of the body - making it doubly useful for musculoskeletal pain affecting the neck, shoulders, ribs, lateral abdominals, hips, IT Bands, knees, shins, and ankles.
On a mental-emotional level, the gallbladder system is related to decisiveness and courage. A strong gallbladder gives us the ability to make decisions, and the courage to see them through. A weak gallbladder leads to lots of second-guessing, timidity, and fearfulness.

On both a physical and a mental/emotional level, the gallbladder is about stability and the boundaries of self. Physically, the gallbladder meridian traverses the borders of our body - when its function is impaired, musculoskeletal problems easily arise and our balance and equilibrium are weakened. Emotionally, a weak gallbladder means our sense of self is endangered - we are unable to fight for what we believe in, we waver in our opinions and we are apprehensive with our interactions with the outer world.

Nourishing the Liver and Gallbladder with Food

Luckily thanks to the gallbladder’s close relationship with the liver, any liver nourishing foods will benefit the gallbladder as well, such as liver, mustard greens, goji berries, beets, broccoli, and sprouts. Because the gallbladder is closely tied to digestive function through bile production, when trying to balance the gallbladder energy, it is important to limit fried and greasy foods, as well as dairy, sugar, caffeine, or highly acidic foods.

Lifestyle Adaptations for Liver and Gallbladder Health

Move. Of all the systems in the body, the gallbladder system perhaps craves movement the most. The gallbladder meridian will become cranky and painful with a lack of movement. So do your best to incorporate some sort of exercise each day.

Stretch! Stretching enlivens the connective tissue, which the gallbladder system controls. Take a yoga class, or devote some extra time to stretching post workout. In particular, try to incorporate stretches that get to the sides of your body, as this is gallbladder meridian territory.
Work out the muscle knots. Use massage, acupuncture, or foam rolling to break up adhesions in the connective tissue of the IT Bands, neck, and shoulders or back. Physically, this will help you to recover more quickly after exercise and help alleviate pain and tension. Emotionally, it may also let you free from old emotions, as emotions are often stored in the body in the form of tension, knots, and pain. Releasing those knots, particularly along the gallbladder meridian, can help you find strength and flexibility you didn’t know you had.

Accupressure Points for Gallbladder Health


Acupuncture is not just for allergies

March 2021

Relieving pain is what acupuncture is most frequently used for. The pain associated with allergies can lower individuals’ quality of life. But regular acupuncture treatments may help resolve many ailments and allow people to be more active and happier.

REASONS to get Acupuncture for Allergies

Allergies, seasonal or otherwise, are a significant health issue, currently affecting more than four million Australians. Unfortunately, this statistic has only been on the rise in the past decades.
 
One reason for this increase is the change in our agricultural practices over the past 40 years – for example, the growth of genetically modified foods and the use of excessive amounts of pesticides. Our bodies are just not accustomed to dealing with these additives.
 
We are also being over-medicated with antibiotics, which is commonly used in the livestock we eat and what we are being prescribed by our doctors. Our immune systems just can’t keep up.
 
Unless we proactively seek to understand and research the root causes of allergens and treatment options, the population affected by allergies will only continue to increase in prevalence.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a solution to seasonal allergies and relief from everyday allergies. Here are 5 very good reasons why you should consider booking with us:

A natural approach: TCM attacks allergies differently to Western Medicine. When using TCM to treat allergies, practitioners focus heavily on the concept of Wei Qi (pronounced “Way chee”) which is similar to the immune system in Western medicine. Wei Qi protects the body against foreign materials that can lead to inflammation and eventually allergies. People with lower Wei Qi are more susceptible to allergies and frequent colds. Acupuncture helps to boost the Wei Qi, making it more difficult for allergens to attack the body. This is one of the best reasons to get regular acupuncture treatments if you suffer from allergies of any kind.

Customized to be effective: TCM looks at the body as a whole and uses an elemental system to determine where there are excesses and deficiencies in each person. As treatments are completely customized to each patient, TCM is much more effective than one-size-fits-all over-the-counter medications.

Long Term Solution: The aforementioned points have shown in studies to have benefits for people in the long term because TCM helps bring the body back into balance.

Save Money: People can spend a fortune on over-the-counter allergy medications, most of which only give minimal relief and have side effects like drowsiness and immune system suppression. TCM could provide relief without adverse side effects and could be more cost effective.

Immediacy in Outcomes: Many people who receive acupuncture treatments report they notice changes immediately. When the body’s flow of energy becomes blocked due to inflammation caused by allergies, symptoms will flare back up. Acupuncture guides the body to re-establish this flow of energy, helping alleviate allergy symptoms. Acupuncture has been shown to decrease heat associated with allergies. This can manifest as a sore throat, swollen sinuses and red eyes, and various pains around the body and head. There are specific acupressure points on the body that can almost instantaneously relieve these symptoms.

Accupunture for Fatigue

February2021

Acupuncture is used to balance the energy within the body. Specifically, acupuncture is used to remove blockages and to improve blood circulation and oxygenation to the cells, all of which can be contributing factors to fatigue. Studies show acupuncture could increase serotonin levels, which help with sleep. Acupuncture improves mood, lessens pain and boosts the immune system, all of which are factors that can affect a person’s energy levels.

The points to look for:
Yin Tang - Yin Tang is located directly between the inner edges of the eyebrows. It is a reflex point of the pituitary gland. Yin Tang

calms the mind and relaxes the body by helping control hormone secretions, which can aid in more peaceful sleep.
Governor Vessel (GV) 20 - There’s a tender spot on the top of your head, also called DU20, right at the vertex. To find it, bring your thumbs behind your ears with the palms facing out (making a “moose head” type shape) and bring your fingers together. Where your index fingers meet is near DU20. Feel around for a tender spot, and you’ve found it.
Stomach (ST) 36 This point is located bilaterally on the outer side of the lower leg, about 4 finger-widths from the lower border of the patella or knee cap. This point is considered an overall energy and immune-boosting point.

NUTRITION for Fatigue

When it comes to fatigue, nutrition for the spleen, liver and kidneys is particularly crucial. The kidneys are the source of our vital essence. The liver and spleen help produce blood and vital energy that sustains the body. Foods like black beans, kidney beans, asparagus, plums, blueberries and blackberries are all beneficial for strengthening the kidneys. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are good for building blood and energy via the liver and spleen. Sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, quinoa and oats are all good for tonifying the spleen. Also, healthy oils and fats such as avocado, salmon and coconut oil
can be very beneficial.
 Get in touch with us to learn more! 

Dr Li's clinic prescribes customised teas based on individual needs teas. The tea used for fatigue is helpful for increasing energy within the kidney and liver energetic pathways. This formula might increase energy by clearing out excess phlegm and dampness in the body.

Massages and Sleep

January 2021

Get Better Sleep with MASSAGES and TCM

TCM has been practiced for more than five thousand years in China and is an alternative to Western medicine as a result of the accumulation of a different history and culture. From the Chinese Medicine viewpoint, insomnia and other sleep disorders are the effect of an imbalance in Qi, known as energy.


More about Qi

The Qi flows in the meridian network, which are 12 paths in our whole body-system, that includes the lungs, heart, liver, stomach and more. The meridian system can be divided into two groups, which are yin and yang. The first six principal meridians are yin and the other six are yang. These energies in our bodies are always changing, so is yin dominating at the night and yang takes over the day. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, insomnia is a lack of yin, while oversleeping is a yang deficiency.

Therefore, TCM aims to balance yin and yang and is a highly evolved medicinal technique in that it approaches healthcare on the foundation of the meridian system. Dr Li’s TCM clinic specializes in acupuncture, which is often used to alleviate symptoms of insomnia, like stress and anxiety which are part of sleep disorders.

When the body is in balance, the Qi travels smoothly through the channels in a specific direction. But sometimes when the Qi is out of balance, it will stagnate or gather in particular points along the meridians. These are the points where Dr Li places the needles to move, disperse or re-route the Qi thus restoring balance.

Not only does the clinic offer acupuncture, Dr Li provides incredible  massages, which are also helpful for your Qi flow. Massaging encourages the blood circulation in your whole body. For example, a foot massage can bring miracles to your body, because the blood can flow easier away from an overstimulated brain. That means it helps in relieving stress and other disorders such as depression.

Massages have many physiological and psychological advantages.

Another area of TMC is the traditional herbal medicine, which comes in many forms such as raw herbs, powder, capsules or tablets. Raw herbs may be the natural help you’ve searched for because your practitioner can combine a variety of herbs specific to your condition. Raw herbs require special preparation, similar to making tea or soup. Contact Dr Li today to book a consultation and start your journey to a better, rested and healthier lifestyle.

Acupuncture for Allergies

December 2020

Spring is on it's way out but your allergies won't take the hint?

Still suffering from a runny nose, sneezing, itchy watery eyes...also known as symptoms of allergies? Allergies can really be a pain.

What if there were ways to help combat allergies without the harsh side effects of medications, an approach that gets to the root of the problem instead of simply masking the symptoms? Look no further than Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe, holistic approach to allergies that could end up saving you money in the long term. Western medicine sees seasonal allergies as a hypersensitive reaction that occurs when antibodies interact with airborne particles such as pollen. Interestingly, the places in the body where these antibodies are produced align with the energy meridians most strongly connected to allergic reactions in TCM. Both Western medicine and TCM map these sensitivity points onto the gastrointestinal tract and the spleen. Both schools of thought also connect inflammatory foods such as sugar with allergy flare-ups. Through TCM, patients could find allergy relief through a holistic wellness plan that doesn’t necessitate a reliance on synthetic medications

ACUPUNCTURE for Allergies

Acupuncture helps build or tonify the energy within the respiratory system and the immune system. This energy is called Qi (pronounced “chee”). When lung Qi and the Wei Qi (aka the immune system) are strong and the body is balanced, then allergies rarely become an issue. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow, which carries oxygen to every cell in the body. The increased blood flow boosts the immune system, dilates the bronchioles and produces anti-inflammatory agents that help improve breathing by relaxing the muscles.


The points to look for....

Large intestine 20 This point is located bilaterally on the face, on either side of the nose, in the middle of the nasolabial groove. Large intestine 20 is used to open nasal passages and clear heat from the sinuses.
Lung 5 This point is located at the end of the outer crease of the elbow, just to the outside of the tendon. This point opens up the airways and the throat, while reducing wheezing.
Ren (CV) 17 This point is located in the middle of the chest, midway between both nipples. It is used to open the chest, loosen up congestion, stop coughing and encourage full breathing.

NUTRITION for Allergies

For the lungs and respiratory system to be strong, they need proper nourishment, just like the rest of the body. Certain foods are good for increasing immunity, while also opening up the lungs and increasing circulation. Foods like garlic and onions reduce inflammation and fight off infections. Chili peppers open up the nasal passages, stimulating the mucus membranes and fighting off pollen, bacteria and viruses. Peppers, berries and parsley all contain quercetin, which can reduce histamine reactions that occur when allergies flare up.
Get in touch with us to learn more!
 

Chinese HERBAL formulas for Allergies

Combinations of herbs, known as formulas, are used frequently in TCM. One of the most commonly used formulas is Yu Ping Feng San or Jade Wind Screen. This formula builds up the Wei qi, while decreasing allergy symptoms like sneezing and rhinitis. Another popular formula choice of TCM practitioners is Bi Yan Pian. 



This formula works to clear the nasal passages, and it usually works within five days to a week. Compare that with the weeks of symptoms many people spend trying to mask with Western medicine. The herbs in Bi Yan Pian work to disperse wind, expel toxins, relieve inflammation and dissolve phlegm.

This information is provided only to educate and inform, it is NOT A SUBSTITUTE for the advice of a licensed and registered health care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Please contact us or another health care provider for specific health concerns, and before starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.

Liver and Acupuncture

October 2020

There is a saying from the Dalai Lama, "Today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live." And we couldn't agree more. Today is also the best day to start your journey to healthier, happier living, so why not book a consultation and discover how we can help you start strong. Contact us today, click the link.

Book Appointment Now

Liver and Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine, a medical system that has been around for thousands of years, views the human body quite differently from Western medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are energetic pathways are associated with specific organs in the body. When these pathways, or meridians, and the energy flowing through them, are out of balance, then the body may become diseased.
A study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine looked at how acupuncture might be able to inhibit injury to the liver caused by the prescription combination of morphine and acetaminophen. The researchers discovered those who received acupuncture after the prescription combination, also had less damage to their livers. This occurs because of the antioxidant-stimulating effects of acupuncture treatments. The researchers concluded acupuncture may provide a safe alternative detox method for people chronically taking morphine or acetaminophen.


In TCM, the liver and its corresponding pathway are responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) or energy, blood and emotions. The liver is easily affected by excess stress and uncontrolled emotions. The liver is paired with the gallbladder and the two work very closely as a unit. When one is imbalanced, the other may display the symptoms.
Anger is the emotion commonly associated with the liver and gallbladder. If a person gets angered easily, frequently feels frustrated, has difficulty relaxing or letting things go, and is unreasonable, it is safe to guess their liver energy isn’t flowing smoothly. There are many methods of balancing liver energy and returning proper flow throughout the body. Learning to stay calm and channel one’s anger appropriately is a good place to start. Practice some deep breathing, meditation, yoga or even take a walk. All of these things are great for balancing stagnant liver energy. 

Alternatively, there's a technique known as dry brushing to smooth liver energy. Using a hairbrush with rounded bristles or a soft bristle brush, one can lightly brush down along the liver energetic meridian, which runs along the inner thighs and inner calves, all the way down to the inside corner of the big toe. This can be done for about five minutes per leg. Dry brushing gently stimulates the liver meridian, allowing the blood and energy to flow more freely and relaxing not only the liver, but the whole body. 
Acupuncture is another great way to balance the liver energies. Regular acupuncture treatments help balance the body holistically and without any real side effects. Acupuncture can increase the flow of energy throughout the body, remove blockages and stagnation and allow the liver to function properly, which will ultimately allow the body to detox more effectively. 

If you deal with anger, stress or have a history of gallstones, it might be a good idea to give acupuncture a try. Give us a call, find out how we can help guide you through balancing the energy of the liver meridian.

                 

               ACUPUNCTURE                      

August 2020

You are unique. Every individual walks their own path, and experiences different hiccups along the road. Dr. Li's TCM Clinic has been helping individuals look and feel healthy, naturally and holistically, for over 20 years. Among the wide range of expertise, both traditional and no-needle (laser) acupuncture is available at all our clinics, to help your life journey be as enjoyable as possible.

For personalised support and advice to maintain your health, click the button below to learn more about how our services can most benefit you. 

The Founder and Owner of Dr. Li's TCM Clinics, with over 19 years clinical experience in China and Australia, Dr. Li also lectures in TCM at the Faculty of Pharmacy, in the University of Sydney.
With a great passion for Acupuncture and her wealth of experience and knowledge, backed by an incredible team makes Dr. Li's clinic the one to visit.

Acupuncture for Stroke

The tragic death of 49 year old Mythbusters legend, Grant Imahara, has left many shaken because aneurisms and strokes are a frightful reality, even for those under 45's. Strokes are quite common, and are a leading cause of resultant long-term disabilities. 
 

A stroke results from an acute lack of blood supply to a portion of the brain. Because brain cells are very dependent on oxygen, a few minutes without proper blood flow can be quite damaging. Symptoms of a stroke may include numbness or weakness of the limbs, difficulty swallowing, headache, mental confusion, paralysis, problems with coordination, sudden visual loss and slurred speech. Modern imaging such as MRI’s can help detect how bad the brain damage is following a stroke. 
 

Acupuncture could be beneficial for those who have already suffered a stroke. However, it could be just as beneficial in preventing strokes which is simply another great reason to add acupuncture to your arsenal of weapons when it comes to your health. 

Typical post-stroke care starts with seven days of hospitalization followed by a couple weeks of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Unfortunately, even after all of this, most stroke victims still have deficits and disabilities. Acupuncture could help to repair these deficits and disabilities. After a stroke, acupuncture should be started as quickly as possible. Three treatments per week is recommended to begin following a stroke. 


Studies show when acupuncture is added to the recovery treatments that patients get well faster, require less nursing and rehabilitation, perform better self-care and use less money to recover

Scalp acupuncture views the scalp as a microcosm of the wholebody and works on zones rather than specific points. Acupuncture increases blood flow and oxygen to the areas of the cerebral cortex damaged from stroke and helps revive the cells and nerve function. It also incorporates a lot of what we know about the brain from a biomedical standpoint, like the idea that one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body so if a patient had paralysis of the right leg, the acupuncturist would needle the left side of the scalp. 
Scalp acupuncture seems to be the most effective method of treating stroke patients. Scalp acupuncture has a couple of different systems, but Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture is the most commonly used. Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture prevents or reduces brain swelling or edema, thus halting further damage to brain tissues. It promotes perfusion in the brain, which restores blood and oxygen to the brain cells. It helps break down blood clots and it can accelerate functional recovery. 

 


The best DEFENCE is a good OFFENCE


Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine could also be used in a preventive way to stop a stroke from occurring. The sooner a person starts their journey to health and recovery, the higher the chance to avoid future issues. Getting regular acupuncture treatments can help with relaxation and relieve stress that could contribute to strokes. Also adopting a traditional Chinese diet can be beneficial, as it is high in fiber, low in fat, sugar and dairy products. It is proven that for populations that eat this kind of diet, they have a decreased chance of stroke and heart attacks. 

Still Falling Sick? 

July 2020

Fall is the season associated with the lung and large intestine energetic meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and it is often the time people start to catch cold.

The two meridians of the lung and large intestine work in a symbiotic way to control the immune system from both inside and outside of your body. The large intestine channel runs up the arms, across the shoulders, up the neck, over the face and ends next to the nose.

As many people now know, the health of our large intestine and gastrointestinal tract overall plays a big part in our immunity. Keeping the large intestine channel warm and preventing exposure from the elements will help to keep you healthy. Cold pathogens can enter the body through the pores or nasal cavity. OUR ADVICE TO YOU: By wrapping the neck and shoulders with a scarf during the chilly months, you can help ward off the pathogens and prevent catching a cold or the flu. The large intestine also has the function of transporting all waste products out of the body or to other areas for excretion, it absorbs liquid and releases anything that is no longer needed. This can be food, toxins or even emotions. This helps to cleanse the body and mind.

Wei Qi

The lungs are the paired organ system to the large intestine in TCM. The lungs have a special kind of energy called Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). Wei Qi is similar to what Western medicine calls this the immune system. Wei Qi provides a barrier that protects the body from pathogens. When the Wei Qi is depleted or low, then the body is unable to fight off infections. Strong, healthy lungs could enhance the function of the whole body. Lung health can be weakened by poor food choices, pollution, poor genetics, emotional stress, and even unexpressed emotions such as grief or sadness.

Your lungs control breath and energy, while assisting the heart with the circulation of blood throughout the body. The lungs also control the skin by breathing with the opening and closing of the pore, thus regulating body temperature. The pores regulate body temperature both through perspiration and shivering. This mechanism is another way the lungs help to protect the body – when we perspire, we usually release toxins from the body. Fewer toxins means less chance of getting sick.



OUR ADVICE TO YOU: It is a good idea to start focusing on the health of your lungs and large intestine. One way to do this is by getting regular acupuncture treatments. Check in with us if you’d like to schedule extra appointments this winter to support your lungs and large intestine!

 

How Positivity Affects You

June 2020

There is nothing more important than having a positive attitude. The attitude you display toward your day-to-day activities can make a huge difference in improving the quality of your life! Positivity makes the world go round and helps to ensure everything functions harmoniously. It’s a no-brainer that positivity, well, positively affects you.

You should allow the enhancing effects of positivity to start impacting your day as soon as possible. Start your day by letting small amounts of sunlight into your room, enjoying a cup of warming herbal tea and just reflecting on what it is you plan to accomplish today. A simple morning routine such as this can boost productivity and positivity throughout the day.

Once your day is started you should make sure to keep the positive energy going.

 It’s easy to allow the stress of your work day to get to you, and, this can crush the positive energy you have worked so hard to embody. The funny thing about this is positive thinking works to eliminate stress and improves well-being. So, in order to not let the work day stress get to you, simply think positive!

Positive thinking will not only help to eliminate stress, but it will improve your skills, your work ethic and the amount of success you will achieve in life. In addition to the morning routine, there are some other tips and tricks to help you gain a more positive mindset and apply consistent positive thinking to your lifestyle.

Exercise.  Exercise is very important to both your physical and mental health, make sure you schedule time throughout your day to get some exercise or play-time in, by doing this you can help maintain a positive lifestyle. 

Meditation.   Meditation can be extremely beneficial to enriching your life with positive energy. If you do not happen to be an expert on meditation yourself, or you have never done it before, reach out to those in your community who can assist you with mediation and help you harness its benefits.

Writing.    Writing down your thoughts and journaling can help reduce stress and induce positivity. It is important to catalogue our thoughts, this way we do not bottle them up. So, start a journal, a blog or even write some poetry. A little writing can go a long way to making you stay positivity.

Herbal Tea.  Having something nice and warm to start your day can ensure positivity throughout the rest of it. Start your day with a soothing cup of herbal tea and think positive thoughts as you drink every sip. The combination of a good tea and positive thinking can be very beneficial for staying positive. For a personalised herbal tea plan, speak with your registered TCM practitioner. You could enhance this relaxing practice while enjoying extra health benefits!

Learn to live as one with positivity and you will succeed in all your long-term goals.

Personal Protection & Immune Support

May 2020

Personal Protection & Immune Support

Personal Protection Tips


Everyone can take simple steps to not only prevent the spread of diseases, seasonal Influenza and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you or a family member is sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces
  • Clean your produce thoroughly


Homemade Disinfectant

  1. Fill a 16 oz spray bottle most of the way full with 99% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
  2. Add the following essential oils:
    • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
    • 15 drops lemon essential oil
    • 15 drops lavender essential oil
    • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil


As always, get plenty of rest, drink water and find ways to reduce stress.

Immune Supportive Vitamins

Vitamin C


Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system supporters. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health. Foods rich in vitamin C include - oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that could help your body fight off infection. Some foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.


How Stress Physically Effects Your Body

March 2020

Many people get a migraine now and then, it is estimated that 4.9 million Australians suffer with migraines. And usually they can be cleared up quickly with over-the-counter medication or other treatment method.

Symptoms of a migraine can include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and even difficulty speaking. For some, migraines become so intense they actually have to miss work and put their lives on hold. 

Migraines tend to be more debilitating than regular headaches and can literally ruin someone’s life. Unfortunately, science still can’t explain what causes migraines, it makes it virtually impossible to find a cure. But this is where natural medicine and nutrition excel in the treatment of migraines.

There are many natural approaches to treating migraines. We’ll examine five ways to naturally approach migraines. 

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a part of the Traditional Chinese Medical system that has been around for nearly 3 000 years. Acupuncture uses pressure points on the body to help decrease pain and inflammation, while balancing the energy within the body. When somebody is suffering from a migraine, all the energy is rushes to their head. By stimulating or poking pressure points on the feet, this energy can then be drawn down and reduced, thus potentially decreasing the intensity of the migraine. Acupuncture may also help with the treatment of the other symptoms frequently associated with migraines.

2. Diet

Your diet plays such an important role in your life. For many migraine sufferers, gluten sensitivities can be the main cause of pain. Gluten is a component found in wheat and it is known to increase inflammation in the body. Magnesium and B vitamins are also very important for migraine sufferers. Studies show many migraine sufferers actually have low levels of both magnesium and B vitamins. Magnesium blocks pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain, while B vitamins help decrease oxidative stress in the body that may lead to chronic pain and inflammation. 

3. Biofeedback

Another suggested natural cure for migraines, biofeedback provides information about muscle tension, skin temperature, brain waves and


other body signals that helps reduce stress levels. Small sensors are placed on the skin to measure the aforementioned items. Using that information allows the migraine sufferer to change the blood flow to the brain, which helps manage the pain.

4. Exercise

Everybody knows exercise is good for the body. But for people with chronic pain, it is even more important. Just by sitting at a desk, working on a computer all day, we are adding an additional 9-14 kilograms of pressure to our necks! This can create stress and tension on the muscles and tendons in the neck and shoulder area, which can contribute to migraine pain and frequency. Studies show by merely adding in 20 minutes of stretching daily, migraines and other chronic pain levels can be significantly reduced. Plus exercise gets the blood pumping and increases oxygenation to the tissues. Both are important for relieving pain and inflammation.

5. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is another area proven beneficial for migraine sufferers. Chiropractic manipulation helps reduce oxidative stress at the cellular level. Oxidative stress damages tissues and can ultimately lead to disease. Studies show chiropractic adjustments can help decrease tension and relieve pain almost instantaneously.

If you are one of the 4.9 million Australians who suffers from migraines, you are not alone, but the silver lining is that there are natural cures out there that may help you get your life back. Hopefully one or more of these remedies will help you too.

Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic has been helping patients look and feel healthy for over 20 years, and our team wants to help you restore your health naturally. Both traditional acupuncture and no-needle (laser) acupuncture are available at all our clinics.

5 Myths About Acupuncture That You Should 

Stop Believing Right Now

Acupuncture is part of a medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been around for nearly 3,000 years. The practice uses hair-thin needles to stimulate acupressure points - specific points on the body that regulate the flow of energy through pathways called meridians. The free and balanced flow of this energy, or Qi, dispels pain and illness from the body according to TCM. For many years in the Western world, in fact for most of the 3,000 years acupuncture has existed, people have been sceptical about placing their faith in a medical system that looks at energy pathways instead of veins. 

Today, a growing body of research on acupuncture is going a long way to prove the efficacy of acupuncture for a variety of afflictions, and the practice is growing in popularity. If you’re one of those people still on the fence, take a closer look at these five prevailing myths about acupuncture before deciding it’s not for you.

Myth 1:  Acupuncture is Painful

It’s understandable to think being pricked with multiple needles

would be painful or at least uncomfortable as our experience with needles is with injections and hypodermic needles. Those needs are significantly larger than acupuncture needles, which are only about twice the diameter of a human hair. Acupuncture needles are also extremely flexible and can bend to a 90-degree angle without breaking. Rather than pain, most patients report a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache around where the needles are inserted.

Myth 2:  Acupuncture Only Works to Treat Pain

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In Asia, acupuncture is used to treat just about everything, and in the US, research is showing that it may alleviate a multitude of ailments. Acupuncture may help anything from allergies to arthritis. Some hospitals are now offering acupuncture to help alleviate stress and anxiety in the emergency room, and the US military is using acupuncture on the battlefield to help with PTSD.

Myth 3:  Acupuncture is Just a Placebo Effect

Over the past decade, scientific studies have come a long way in disproving this claim. Most studies

February 2020

today test the efficacy of acupuncture treatments by performing true acupuncture on a portion of the study participants and sham acupuncture on another group. The sham acupuncture, placing needles in people at random points rather than known acupoints, is meant to test the strength of the placebo effect in acupuncture. Several studies have found that while people in both groups report some change (pain relief, less nausea etc. depending on the study), the group that receives true acupuncture consistently reports more significant change, for a longer period of time, and system-wide change rather than just localised effects where the needles are inserted. In May 2018, the Journal of Pain published a study that looked at acupuncture and chronic pain using data from nearly 21,000 patients. In their study, patients who received sham acupuncture did not see significant changes in their pain whereas the group that received true acupuncture did, adding to the body of evidence showing acupuncture may not be explained away by the placebo effect.

Myth 4:  Acupuncture Works Miracles & it Only Takes a Couple of Needles to Cure You

The truth is that acupuncture works on a cumulative basis, just like building muscle or losing fat by going to the gym. You can’t expect to go to the gym once and look like Dwayne 

Johnson.  It takes time, and depending on how long you’ve been dealing with your ailment, it may take quite a bit of time and multiple treatments. There are no instant fixes when it comes to health.

Myth 5:  Acupuncture is Expensive

This all depends on the practitioner, the type of acupuncture being performed and whether or not you use private health insurance. While prices may vary, as more and more insurance policies start to cover acupuncture, it is becoming more accessible to more people.

Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic has been helping patients look and feel healthy for over 20 years, and our team wants to help you restore your health naturally. Both traditional acupuncture and no-needle (laser) acupuncture are available at all our clinics.

Stand Taller without Lower Back Pain!

Reviewed by Dr. Ying Min Li

Statistics show that almost eight out of ten people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. Seeking medical treatment for this issue is very common. Typical back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and anti-inflammatory medication. However, once the damage is done, the pain can return much more frequently due to our muscles and tendons becoming less flexible over time. This often happens due to our lifestyles – people are often too sedentary which leads to weight gain and increases pressure on the lower back.

October 2019

TCM has a few key methods that may help remedy your lower back pain:

  • Acupuncture. Studies have shown that acupuncture may help to reduce inflammation and produce endorphins, which assist in reducing pain. As such, acupuncture might help to prevent the need for costly surgeries or prescription medicines.
  • Nutrition. Certain nutrients may significantly help lower back pain. Fatty fish like tuna and salmon provide omega-3 fatty acids that may reduce inflammation. Grapes and berries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that may help to reduce pain. Hemp seeds may also be helpful if you are suffering from lower back pain as they can help to decrease pain and inflammation as well.
  • Chinese Herbs. Herbs are a typical treatment in TCM, and they can be applied topically in the form of balms or salves, or internally. One common herb used to help treat lower back pain is Xu Duan, which is said to strengthens sinew, promote blood circulation and alleviate pain. Other herbal formulas exist such as Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang which may also alleviate pain and inflammation.

As you can see, TCM has many great ways that might help reduce lower back pain, and the treatments are always specialised according to your symptoms and condition. So if you are suffering from lower back pain, you might benefit from coming into Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic for a consultation. To make an appointment contact us now.

Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic has been helping patients look and feel healthy for over 20 years, and our team wants to help you become your best. Both traditional acupuncture and no-needle (laser) acupuncture are available at all our clinics.

Relax and Recuperate this Father's Day!

Reviewed by Dr. Ying Min Li

September 2019

As Australia’s premier TCM professionals, we pride ourselves in providing services and products of the highest quality and value for money – those which are the best and most affordable for our loyal customers. All our practitioners are fully qualified and have significant experience in all the traditional techniques we offer, and we are constantly looking to innovate by regularly attending seminars to update our knowledge and skills with the newest, best techniques to improve YOUR well-being. We are best known for our Massages, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine treatment techniques, which might be helpful for that special someone this Father’s Day!

A great gift for dad this Father’s Day could be to get him a gift card for Dr. Li's TCM Clinic if he’s experiencing any discomfort. Acupuncture is a treatment method that consists of inserting thin, disposable needles into the skin, 

and in TCM it works by promoting the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body and is commonly used to break Qi stagnations in certain parts of the body. If you try Acupuncture, it might help to treat a variety of chronic conditions including:

  • Tendinitis
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Constant Stress

If your dad is suffering from any symptoms like this, he might benefit from coming into Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic for a consultation to see if the alternative TCM treatments are right for him. If he’s suffering from any chronic conditions, rest assured, Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic is here to help. To make an appointment contact us now.

Avoid Sickness with these Simple Tricks!

Reviewed by Dr. Ying Min Li

Why do I get sick so easily?

From an acupuncture perspective, your body is made up of lots of different types of Qi, or energy, all with their own specific functions. One essential type is the Wei Qi, roughly translated as “immunity”, which is your body’s natural strength and ability to fight off pathogens like viruses and bacteria.

The Wei Qi flows in the space between the skin and muscles, and is the first line of defence against sickness. It also controls the opening and closing of your pores, so spontaneous sweating is a sign of weakness in your protective Wei Qi.

When the Wei Qi is not strong enough, it is unable to fight off outside pathogens, and you are likely to get sick. 

What could be damaging my Wei Qi?

There are a number of other energetic imbalances that can weaken the body’s Wei Qi:

  • When there is Qi Stagnation in the body from stress or mental tension, this halts the flow of Qi through the body, so the area where the Wei Qi flows is not supported properly, and the Wei Qi suffers.
  • When the digestive energy is weakened due to a poor diet, overwork or stress, it cannot transport nutrients throughout the body, which deteriorates the Wei Qi.
  • When the lung Qi is weakened through too much talking, grief, pollution, illness or allergies, it cannot turn our breath into the Qi we need to protect ourselves. The lungs are also said to control the Wei Qi, so when they are weakened, the Wei Qi suffers by direct extension.
  • When our Jing, or essence, isn’t strong due to constitutional and genetic factors, all of our body’s systems suffer, including the Wei Qi.

How can I boost my Wei Qi?

Fortunately, there are a few key ways to bolster your Wei Qi and avoid sickness:

  • Eat right. The food we eat is transformed into Wei Qi by our digestive energy, so it is important to eat the correct foods to strengthen your Wei Qi. Be sure to limit processed foods, eat warm and hearty meals, eat at regular times, get enough protein and eat a balanced diet.
  • Get outside. The air we breathe is turned into Qi within our bodies by the lungs – try to get outside for at least 10 minutes every day for some fresh air.
  • Get enough sleep. Many deeper energy levels are replenished during sleep, and so the Wei Qi will be working overtime if you cannot get enough sleep, which will weaken your immunity.
  • Bundle up. In TCM, many pathogens enter the body through the back of the neck during cold weather. Try to keep your neck warm and covered during cold periods to avoid this.
  • Get acupuncture. There are specific points on the body that nourish the Wei Qi to help sickness. Acupuncture can also support other energy systems to indirectly boost the Wei Qi.

If you find that you're prone to getting sick, rest assured, Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic is here to help. Contact us now.

July 2019

Restore your energy and well-being by taking care of your Extraordinary Vessels!

Reviewed by Dr. Ying Min Li

June 2019

What are Extraordinary Vessels and the Ren Mai?

Some of the most important energy channels in the body aren’t the primary acupuncture meridians, but rather deeper channels of energy flow called the Extraordinary Vessels. These help the body regulate the 12 main channels. They are a deeper source of our body’s fundamental physiological energy. One of the most important vessels is called the Conception Vessel, or Ren Mai. It is one of only two Extraordinary Vessels that has actual acupuncture points along its pathway.

The Ren Mai originates between the kidneys, flows down to the perineum and then runs up the mid-line of the front of the body to the mouth. There are 24

acupuncture points along the Ren Mai, but the whole of the vessel is accessed through the opening points on the kidney and lung meridians on the ankles and wrists.

Functions of the Ren Mai

The Ren Mai is referred to as the Sea of Yin, and exerts an effect on all of the yin channels. Based on TCM theory, yin represents all the cool, watery, passive, inward and resting physiological forces within the body. The Ren Mai may be used relieve to numerous afflictions due to this association:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sweaty palms
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Types of anxiety

The Ren Mai flows through the uterus and is said to regulate the uterus and the blood, and can therefore be responsible for a number of bodily functions for women, including:

  • Puberty
  • Menstruation
  • Fertility
  • Menopause

Therefore, it is particularly important for women at a younger and older age to ensure their Ren Mai is healthy – those going through menopause may be experiencing a natural weakening of the yin.

The Ren Mai is not just designed to nourish. It also moves energy in the uterus and the organs around the pelvic cavity. As such, it may be used to solve symptoms such as:

  • Chronic bladder problems
  • Hernias
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Not only that, but the Ren Mai can also help to promote the descending of lung Qi (which can stop coughing and wheezing), and helps the kidneys grasp the Qi.

The Ren Mai performs a wide variety of functions for the body as an Extraordinary Vessel, and can be treated with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and certain nourishing foods.

Fortunately, Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic is here to help. To make an appointment, contact us now.


Dr. Li’s TCM Clinic has been helping patients look and feel healthy for over 20 years, and our team wants to help you become your best. Both traditional acupuncture and no-needle (laser) acupuncture are available at all our clinics.

Getting help with Respiratory Issues

Reviewed by Dr. Ying Min Li

Our lungs are a very important part of our body. Without them functioning properly, we would not be able to live. In the United States alone, nearly 200 000 people die yearly from respiratory diseases. These include acute and chronic conditions; everything from the flu to emphysema. While many of these ailments can be prevented, there are others that are unavoidable due to factors like genetics.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the lungs play a strange role because they are considered the most external of the internal organs. With every breath taken, the lungs come into direct contact with the outside world. Also, any part of the body that helps us breathe is considered part of the respiratory system, such as the nose, bronchi, sinuses, diaphragm and even the skin, to some degree.

What’s great about TCM, is how the treatment of any condition is approached on an individual basis. Every person gets a different treatment regimen depending on their own specific symptoms and diagnosis. There are various modalities that might help your respiratory system function better, such as cupping to remove toxins from the lungs, or herbal formulas, but each patient’s treatment is approached separately. Here are some ways that TCM may help those suffering from respiratory issues.

Acupuncture for Respiratory Issues: Acupuncture may help to build or tonify the energy within the respiratory system. This energy is called Qi (pronounced “chee”). When lung Qi is strong, and the body is balanced, then respiratory issues are rarely problematic. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow which carries oxygen to every cell in the body. The increased blood flow could boost the immune system, dilate the bronchioles and produce anti-inflammatory agents that might help improve breathing by relaxing the muscles.

Acupuncture Points for Respiratory Issues

Kidney 27

This point is located bilaterally on the chest, just below the collarbone. Kidney 27 may open the lungs, reduce coughing and encourage full breathing.

Lung 5

Lung 5 is located at the end of the outer crease of the elbow, just to the outside of the tendon. This point may open the airways and the throat, while reducing coughing and wheezing.


March 2019

Ren 17

This point is located in the middle of the chest, midway between both nipples. It may open the chest, loosen up congestion, stop coughing and encourage full breathing. 

Chinese Herbals Formulas for Respiratory Issues

Combinations of herbs, known as formulas are used frequently in TCM. One of the most commonly used herbs is Wu Wei Zi, also known as Schisandra. This herb might be used to treat asthma, wheezing, and boost immune function.

A popular formula choice of TCM practitioners is Bi Yan Pian. This formula might be used to clear the nasal passages and it may accomplish this within five days to a week. The herbs in Bi Yan Pian work to disperse wind, expel toxins, relieve inflammation and dissolve phlegm.

Nutrition for Respiratory Issues

For the lungs and respiratory system to be strong, they need proper nourishment, just like the rest of the body. Certain foods are good for increasing immunity, while also opening up the lungs and increasing circulation. Foods like garlic and onions reduce inflammation and fight off infections. Chilli peppers open the nasal passages, stimulating the mucus membranes and fighting off the invasion of nasty bacteria and viruses. Carrots and pumpkin are rich in vitamins A, C and lycopene. All these vitamins affect lung health by lowering the chances of developing lung disease.

As you can see, TCM could be a great way for you to deal with respiratory issues. If you are having difficulties dealing with these types of conditions, contact us now and we will see what we can do to get you back on track.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for Stress Relief Research Article

WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY CLINICAL TRIAL - ANTIOXIDANTS FOR SPERM HEALTH

A nutritious diet, a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and attention to other preventive factors, are all ways that you can increase your chance of having a baby. But sometimes this isn’t enough. Having healthy sperm is one of the important factors in getting pregnant. Unfortunately, sperm can be sensitive to physical stresses from things like medications, heat, and even having a high fever. But scientists think that antioxidants and other nutrients may be able to help protect sperm from damage, and keep them healthy and on the move.  

So, researchers at NICM, Australia’s leader in integrative medicine research and policy development at Western Sydney University, are looking for men to volunteer for a clinical study which will test the effects of a nutritional supplement on sperm health. If you have been told that your sperm health could be better, you might be eligible for this study. You do not need to be actively trying to conceive to volunteer for the study. The estimated time commitment is three hours over six months, and travel reimbursements of up to $100 a visit are available.  

What is involved in the study? Well, you will be randomly allocated to take either the nutritional supplement or a placebo for 26 weeks. You will be asked to provide three semen samples for analysis over the six months, and to have two blood tests. And of course, you will be playing a vital role in helping scientists figure out how to protect sperm from damage. 

Find out if you are eligible by using the confidential online questionnaire at: nicm.edu.au/spermhealthstudy  

For more information, visit: westernsydney.edu.au/nicm/research/clinical_trials/sperm_health_study 

OR contact: 
e. hominax@westernsydney.edu.au 
p. 02 4620 3810
m. 0414 357 363

October 2020

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