“How are your migraines going?”
“Very good! I haven’t had one for two months!”
I am always pleased when my clients get relief from their migraines – I know that migraines and headaches cause lots of suffering and can really limit people’s lives.
Acupuncture plays a big role when I am treating someone’s migraines or headaches. It is important to regulate the circulation of energy and blood to the head using points such as Feng Chi (风池) and Feng Fu (风附). Also it is vital for me to do body work on the shoulders, neck and upper back. This will include massage and cupping.
Every one is different and for some people distal acupuncture points are very effective for getting rid of headaches and migraines. These are points that are in the feet or hands. I often have success with points in the feet like Kun Lun (昆仑) and Tai Chong (太冲), or with points in the hands like He Gu (合谷) or Ling Gu (灵骨).
Chinese herbs such as Chuan Xiong (川芎), Dang Gui (当归) and Bai Zhi (白芷) can make a big difference for people who suffer from migraines or headaches from blood deficiency (Xue Xu). There are also may lifestyle factors that can have a big impact such as – the glasses you wear, the type of lighting you are exposed to, what you eat and drink and of course your emotions.
Emotional factors can have a massive impact on the frequency and severity of migraines. A common pattern that many of my clients experience is having a migraine hit just after a period of stress has ended. Say you have a work deadline for the end of the workdayon Friday and then the migraine starts on Friday night. In this type of case changes to lifestyle can make a big difference. If you can find ways to bring more relaxation and exercise into your life then you won’t be so subject to those periods of intense stress that then can lead to blinding migraines once the stress crisis has passed.
Lots of my clients develop ways to monitor their level of stress accumulation and when the stress does start to build they are aware of it and have ways to get rid of it without the necessity of enduring a headache or migraine.
By Stephen Clendinnen
By Stephen Clendinnen, Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the early stages of winter, when our bodies have not yet acclimatised to the new season, many people become unwell. Cough, running nose and sore throat are often experienced by people at this time. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help to restore wellness and prevent recurrences of these types of problems.
From a TCM perspective the main threats to our health in winter are Cold and Wind. The organ that is first attacked by these factors is the lungs, and from there the disease pathogens might attack to a deeper level in the body. If this happens the person experiences lingering cold and flu like symptoms that might start to upset other systems in the body like the digestion or our sleep wake cycles.
TCM treatment can help protect the lung Qi (energy) and assist in the expulsion of the disease Qi from the body. Therapies from TCM such as cupping, herbalism and acupuncture can have a good role to play here. If this is done early then the duration of the illness will be shorter and the symptoms will be less severe.
In particular cupping therapy is very helpful for winter colds. The Chinese cupping glasses can be put on the upper back for about five minutes. Over that time the pores of the skin open, and from a TCM point of view this allows the Cold and Wind which has attacked the surface of the body to exit. The cups are removed after this time and the skin’s pores will slowly close again. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can increase and complement the effectiveness of this treatment and help the body back to health.
As a preventative measure TCM advises that we protect ourselves from cold winds to prevent us falling ill. In particular the neck needs protection from winter cold. High collars and/or scarves when we are outside can make a difference here. Tea made from fresh ginger can also help prevent colds and flu. According to TCM ginger has a warm and pungent character. Because of this it can reinforce the surface of the body – which is governed by the lungs – against attack by Wind and Cold.
At Sentient Being we are keen to meet all your health needs and help you stay vital no matter what the season. Please contact us on 9431 3950 if you have any questions about our services.
By Blaise Stowers Naturopath BHSc. Nat., BHSc. CDT
Have you wondered what foods you should be eating to keep you healthy and warm in winter? Below is a list of the foods that are in season for the cold winter month of June.
- Cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables such as: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage.
- Beetroot, Asian greens, carrots, celery, fennel, pumpkin, shallots, parsnips, spinach, swedes, turnips, spring onions, silver beet.
- Apples, grapefruit, pears, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, olives, passion fruit, rhubarb.
- Parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, coriander, bay leaf.
- Chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.
You’re probably wondering why it’s so important to eat foods that are in season. Firstly, they are easily accessible at your local farmers markets and secondly, they are a lot cheaper than foods in the supermarkets that are out of season. Foods that aren’t in season are often packaged and shipped in from other parts of the world; this also affects its quality and taste.
We know that food can act as medicine. Now being winter, we need to eat foods that will help us stay strong, preventing infections and help give us the tools we need to recover from that awful cold and flu!
Lets look at Thyme the herb for example. Thyme is from the mint family and has sixty different varieties that I bet you didn’t even know about, such as French thyme, lemon thyme, orange thyme and silver thyme, there are so many to discover.
Thymol the most active component in Thyme has been shown by research to possess antibacterial actions, specifically treating upper respiratory tract infections. However when applied topically it provides strong fungicidal properties. Goodbye wet football fungus feet during winter! Not only is it antibacterial and antifungal, it also acts to help improve brain function by improving memory!
Lets not stop there; cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain large amounts of phytochemicals and vitamin C. They are also low calorie, which is a great winter food, especially when we want to eat more in those cold wintery days. Feel like making a soup now to help prevent and fight infections? Below is my quick delicious winter soup recipe, containing wonderful Wintery June produce!
Thyme and Cabbage Soup
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ cabbage, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
9 cups of broccoli (stems included)
2 cups of water
4 cups of homemade chicken broth or stock of choice (chicken/vegetable)
¼ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
Pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat and add onion and celery. Cook until softens.
- Add Broccoli, cabbage, water and broth. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat.
- Once broccoli and cabbage has softened. Add thyme and garlic. Adding thyme at the end will reduce the loss of it’s volatile oils therefore maintaining its flavour. Garlic is best warmed, as this will reduce its main constituent being damaged.
- Puree soup and stir in pepper and salt.
- Serve and enjoy!
By Rebecca Lembcke
Winter is rapidly approaching and there are plenty of questions about what to do about dry and dehydrated skin. The words are used interchangeably creating a lot of confusion but once you understand the difference between the two, it makes treating your skin so much easier.
How can I tell if i’m dry or dehydrated?
Are you feeling:
Irritated and inflamed
Or seeing a lack of luster and even tone?
A true dry skin is a lack of oil. It can also suffer from dehydration.
Dry skin may become more vulnerable with seasonal change particularly if there is dehydration present from outside aggressors such as climate and lifestyle.
A dehydrated skin can affect any skin type; even oily skins can still feel tight and dry.
This may fluctuate seasonally, with lifestyle factors or incorrect product use.
Dehydration occurs when there is water loss from the body resulting in a lack of moisture on the top layer of the skin.
This top layer acts as our first line of defense- a protective barrier. When it is impaired or gone completely- our skin is vulnerable and sensitive to many things.
A good way to think of it is that dry is a ‘skin type’ which cannot be changed, and dehydration is a skin ‘condition’ which can be treated by eliminating or protecting against the trigger.
What are some triggers of dehydration/impaired barrier?
Topical (product use)- The incorrect products for your skin may be ‘stripping’ away your protective top barrier- leading to moisture loss through evaporation and also may create sensitivity.
Some things to avoid topically- perfumes and fragrances in skincare (natural or synthetic), avoiding harsh micro bead scrubs and toners, avoid any product which makes your skin feel tight.
Things to use- Well formulated cosmeceutical skincare to replenish, hydrate and protect your skin without the drying, sensitising effects.
Environmental – Exposure to the sun can lead to excess water loss as can icy cold wind in the cold winter months. There is less water in the air throughout winter which makes the skin less dewy. Your indoor environment can be equally as dehydrating from artificial cooling and heating pulling away the moisture within your skin.
Tip- A biomimetic moisturiser is essential in protecting you from the harsh elements, and preventing redness and irritation while plumping your skin visibly. (http://www.ultraceuticals.com/red-action-complex)
Lifestyle- Certain diets could be missing essential vitamins and minerals that your skin needs to function and stay healthy. Reduction in water consumption may also affect the levels of moisture in your skin.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon and tuna are wonderful for boosting the skin and provide amazing anti-inflammatory benefit.
Almonds and Walnuts are rich in Biotin and help return moisture to your skin from within. Your diet really is essential in delivering the nutrients necessary for all round health, which is essential for healthy skin on the outside.
Sentient Being offers many facial treatments, advanced Skin Analysis and stocks the Australian made and owned Cosmeceutical skincare range Ultraceuticals. Your therapist can treat your skin in clinic and prescribe a tailored home care system if desired to achieve optimum results.
To provide a pick me up for your Winter skin concerns, we are offering a $50 Microdermabrasion to kickstart your skin for you!
For more information about your health, dietary needs and how you can incorporate nutrition into your regime, make an appointment with Blaise our Naturopath, available every Wednesday.
Are you frustrated about having acne? So is 90% of the population. Symptoms can be so bad it’s no wonder you want a quick fix! You’re probably thinking Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) is the only option you have right now. Wrong! First let me begin to tell you that it’s not worth all the nasty side effects that come with it. Reports have been made that people taking Isotretinoin have been left suffering from permanent hearing loss. Could you imagine how horrible that would be! That’s not all either; you can end up with severe depression leading to suicide, alopecia (hair loss), vision loss, liver damage, pancreatitis, skeletal calcification, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, constipation, photosensitivity and much more. Oh and let’s not forget that if you become pregnant whilst taking it, it is guaranteed to cause birth defects to your baby. It has the strongest warning available for any drug category and was given an FDA pregnancy category X rating. This drug is not to be considered lightly and the best decision for you is to pursue other options that will be just as effective, if not better and without those nasty side effects.
Being a Naturopath and Dermal Clinician, one of the most important things I consider when seeing someone presenting with acne is finding out what the cause is. There are so many factors to consider; typically sex hormones play a major role, such as imbalances with testosterone, androgens, oestrogen and progesterone. Women can often present with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and/or endometriosis consequently being the cause of their acne.
There are however many other countless factors that can contribute to acne such as digestive disturbances and food allergies, increased stress, autoimmune diseases, liver burden (from chemical exposure and alcohol intake), external causes (skincare and makeup). Diet also plays a major role as it can interfere with hormones, increase sebum production and lead to oxidative stress.
So ditch Roaccutane and try this instead:
- Get your Naturopath to help you find the cause of your acne and modulate your diet to reduce acne symptoms.
- Seek professional advice in regards to skin care that’s right for you.
- Drink plenty of water to help facilitate cell growth and repair as well as eliminating unwanted wastes! An extra bonus of hydration is it will help prevent wrinkles!
- Make sure you get plenty of sleep to help decrease stress and increase healing.
Last but not least, remember this: “Your complexion is your health’s reflection!”
By Blaise Stowers Naturopath
BHSc. Nat., BHSc. CDT