A Gentle Detox

Leading up to and after the ‘silly season’ is a GREAT time to cleanse our bodies of all the gunk of the past year – and will help us to process all the coming attributes of this time of year. Marney Murray has an easy way to cleanse your system – turning away from all these unhealthy quick fixes we see so often.

There are several benefits from a gentle cleanse, including: A feeling of lightness and more energy, More mental clarity and ease of getting up earlier (the sun and the birds are up earlier now too), Release of the stiffness felt as the liver clears acids from the tendons and ligaments, And a boosted immune function and prevention of minor complaints – like summer flu, sinusitis, sluggishness and winter weight gain.

How long will it take, and what is required?
This is designed to be a gentle cleanse, so to not disturb your body – it take 2 weeks. One week to shift your diet to a cleansing one, and one week of doing the same with more focus.

  • Enthusiasm at the fantastic results that await you!
  • A departure from alcohol
  • Abstinence from animal products, including dairy products.
  • A reduction or removal of tea and coffee
  • Abstinence from refined flour and sugar products i.e. Commercial breads and cakes.
  • You will require patience and gentleness with yourself. If you eat something that is not beneficial, don’t scold yourself. Acknowledge it and just keep going!
  • Also listening to your body and resting adequately.
  • You will find you have more energy if you do a gently walk, stretch, or both everyday.

Ingredients List

You will need: A bag of lemons, (one for each day). Spirulina, powder or tablet form (powder is preferred), Fresh fruits and vegetables (esp. Leafy greens and seasonal produce), Sprouts of any kind – snow pea, alfalfa, etc. (Sprouted bread is okay to eat during a cleanse), Beans (dried or tinned), tofu, tempeh, meat alternatives and Whole grains, such as brown rice, millet and pearl barley.

Method

  • Plan the dates of your cleanse so you can have your pantry and fridge stocked. Also it gives your time to become mentally prepared and enthusiastic about the results you will achieve. Begin whenever you like, I tend to shop on a Saturday and cook staples Sunday, then officially begin Monday.
  • Prepare some foods that will keep for a day or two, like bean and rice patties or zucchini fritters. Try things that may be new to your cooking repertoire, as these can be good to snack on or combine with main meals of fresh leafy greens and vegies prepared on the day.
  • Every morning, squeeze half to one lemon and have it in water before you eat or drink anything. This helps the liver to cleanse and the lemon becomes alkaline in the body, which is essential to help clear acids from the tendons and muscles and support your flexibility.
  • If you are getting a thick tongue coating in the morning, your digestive organs are cleansing themselves. You can scrape the coating off with a teaspoon and rinse your mouth with water. (You can do this before your lemon juice).
  • With tea and coffee, be gentle with yourself. Reduce slowly or you may get a detox headache. This is a very gentle cleanse, not a strong detox, so I would suggest reducing your intake ASAP and during the first week bring your consumption down to 1 cup per day, until you feel you no longer need it.
  • One or two teaspoons of Spirulina in juice or water per day. If you have never tried Spirulina start with half to one teaspoon, as it is very nutritious and a cellular cleanser in its own right. The Spirulina is essential for energy during ‘the cleanse’, especially if you are going to continue working. The protein in Spirulina has digestive absorption that is four times greater than in beef. A teaspoon of Spirulina is equivalent to 36 g of beef!(Available in most health food shops)
  • Leafy greens! Add them to most of your meals. Lettuce, Rocket, Baby Spinach, English spinach, Bok choi or Pak Choi, and herbs, like fresh parsley, basil, mint, oregano… yum! Seasonal vegies like asparagus, snow peas and beans are delicious right now! Crunch!!
  • Most foods can be lightly steamed, poached, boiled or baked. If you are particularly robust or have ‘heat’, you can eat more raw foods (see your practitioner to clarify ‘heat’)
  • If you are tired or are cleansing mucous from your system, eat lightly cooked foods and avoid dairy. Mucous can manifest as runny nose, sinusitis, asthma, allergies, Candida, excess weight and thick tongue coating.
  • Beans need to be soaked. If you are using dried beans, you will need to acidulate them (soak them in water with half a lemon for 8 hours). Do this in the morning before you go to work, drain them off and put fresh water in and cook for around 1 hour when you return home at night, or on the weekend. When soft, strain and put in an air tight container. Add to salads or other recipes. They also freeze well. By doing this you will increase the digestibility of beans and avoid uncomfortable gas!
  • You may continue with your standard multi vitamins or vitamin C. Flaxseed oil or fish oil supplement can also be continued as they are essential fatty acids. Colloidal Minerals are an excellent way to boost the minerals of the bones while you cleanse your organs and tissues.
  • Drink plenty of pure water, and experiment with herbs and teas to keep your fluid intake up. Green tea can be a gentle alternative to reducing your caffeine from tea and coffee as it also contains small amounts.
  • Enjoy the experience, experiment with new recipes, encourage your family and friends to eat some of your healthy new foods options!

If at any time you need any help or have any questions, make an appointment with your practitioner and we can help you work out a detox that’s right for you, and help with herbs and teas and information!. Don’t hesitate to call us! (07 3843 3555)

School Holidays coming up! ATTENTION TEACHERS AND SCHOOL WORKERS!!

Well, we may be scratching our heads and looking around for answers as to how and why – but another year has come flying past us. Scary how these things sneak up, isn’t it? In just a few weeks (depending on schools etc) the school holidays of 2009/10 will be upon us – giving all our teachers, aides, admin staff, groundsmen and teachers-to-be a well deserved break. It’s been a big year, and after all that end of year marking of report cards, exams and assignments they can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief. At Alba Therapies, we can hear you a mile away… So, we’ve got a special offer JUST FOR YOU!.

Teachers, aides, school staff etc can come in to Alba Therapies and receive 10% off an hour long treatment! Try a relaxing massage, or even a remedial massage that goes a little deeper to work out those knots that have been building up all year. If you want a full body overhaul, why not try some acupuncture combined with Chinese herbs? We can tone you and get your body in fighting form for the Christmas break!

Don’t spend your holidays just getting over the last year – Relax, rejuvenate and replenish with the Alba Therapies team. Send yourself back into the new year with high spirits! Wind down and let yourself recover from the hectic year – with a fresh mind and body to make the next one even greater!.

We’ve got your health on our minds, so check it out. Let all your teacher friends and school staff members know – Maybe even a gift certificate for your favourite teacher? (Remember – some of them were looking after your kids whilst you had your treatment!!)

So hopefully we’ll see you during this Christmas break, we’ll keep you informed of our opening hours around the festive season a little closer to the date.

Peace!

Elly, Your friendly receptionist

Alba Therapies.

Spring, Pregnancy and Acupuncture – Monica Seelig

pregnany1Spring is all about birth and growth, so it seemed appropriate that I should write and article about pregnancy and birth. If you can manage it, I can thoroughly recommend Spring as the best time to have a baby – I’d have to be a little biased of course, as my youngest turns 3 this month. I have had 2 wonderful pregnancies and births and want to let you know that there are many ways we can help women on their journey into motherhood. And being a practice of 5 women, we all just love anything to do with babies!
In my experience, I have often seen women coming to acupuncture for the first time with morning sickness as they are acutely aware of avoiding medications and any unwanted ill effects to their baby. They are pleasantly surprised that something so natural and painless can ease their symptoms and let them enjoy those early days of pregnancy. In Chinese medicine, we attribute morning sickness to the major changes taking place in the body during those first few months impacting on the energy meridians and causing changes to the way the Qi and Blood moves – e.g. it can get stuck, go up instead of down (you can guess what would happen here!), there might not be enough energy or it can generate heat. It can also be complicated by the pre-existing state of the woman’s digestive system.
Therefore, pre-conception care is also important. We all know you can’t beat good genes; it is without doubt the best gift you can give. Optimizingyour health before you conceive is beneficial for both yourself and your
baby if you are planning a pregnancy. The people we most often see in thiscategory are those who are having difficulty conceiving. An increasing number of women are using ARTs (Assisted Reproductive Technologies).
There have been some good studies published recently showing that combining acupuncture with egg pick up and transfer produced a statistically significant increase in the number of pregnancies. It’s great to
see acupuncture getting the limelight it deserves and an increasing number of gynecologists are now recommending acupuncture to their IVF patients. After the intensity of medical treatments, most women benefit
from the relaxation they receive from acupuncture.
If you are having difficulty conceiving, the focus of our treatment is often the regulation of the menstrual period. Too little or too much bleeding, too painful, too often, infrequent periods and PMT will all need to be
examined and regulated. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, a normal period should last between 4-6 days, should come every 26-32 days, should not be painful or cause any disruption to your everyday life.
Anything other than this is not “normal”. Because acupuncture is holistic, all other areas of your health are looked at. Women often report improvement in their sleep quality, energy and reduction of stress levels as major added benefits.

At the end of pregnancy, many of you may not realize that acupuncture and moxibustion are effective in turning breech babies. The optimal time to come in for treatment is 34 weeks as success rates are higher. Leaving it
to the last minute leaves no room to maneuver. Having baby in the “OA” positioning gives you the best chance of having a natural and quicker delivery.  Acupuncture can help with labour preparation and we have some
wonderful information on acupressure techniques that are great to use during labour.mother and baby
So if you or anyone you know is planning a pregnancy or is pregnant,
Alba Therapies offers a comprehensive and flexible approach to support
you through this wonderful journey.

HRT Alternatives

So you’re a woman at a change over point in your life and instead of celebrating the liberation from the monthly bleed; you are suffering hot flushes, sweating, sleeplessness, anxiety and a host of other symptoms you weren’t expecting or wanting. You’re not too enthused about the prospect of HRT and you’ve tried all the off-the-shelf products and have had little or no relief.

Thchinese-herbsen its time for a herbal prescription tailored to your needs. We (at Alba Therapies) don’t use Black Cohosh in any of our successful individualised herbal prescriptions. Why? There is a herb called Black Cohosh in Chinese herbal medicine but is a different species to those used in pre-packaged preparations. It too reduces heat, but it is recommended not to be used long term in cases of Yin deficiency, which is the main syndrome in menopause. Notice I said “main” not only.  Perhaps once or twice in over ten years of practice has anyone walked into the clinic with only one syndrome. Menopause is hardly ever only one syndrome but a complex interactions of various systems in the body. It all depends on how you have treated your body in the last 20-30 years on how many syndromes present themselves. Our herbs are in a convenient granule format, no boiling required. Add acupuncture to your treatment plan and speed up the whole process.  Herb preparations equate to the cost of your daily capuccino. So you can be free of your symptoms and truly celebrating this part of your life.

Benefits of Not Smoking

The media and the powers-that-be like to focus on the negative effects of smoking, but rarely mention the benefits of not smoking? The positive aspects of doing something always motivate me more that the negative. So what are the benefits of quitting:

• Within the first few hours after quitting, nicotine and carbon monoxide leave the body, halving in 8 hours.

• Within 2 days, taste and sense of smell improves.

• In 3 days, breathing is easier and energy levels increase.

• Within 1 month, blood pressure returns to the normal level and lung function improves.

• Within 2 months, circulation improves.

• One year after quitting, the risk of heart disease decreases by almost 50%.

• Ten years after quitting, lung cancer risk is halved.

• Ten to 14 years after quitting, the risk of dying from cancer decreases to nearly that of non-smokers.

• After 15 years the risk of heart disease is almost the same as for a non-smoker.

• People who quit live longer than those who continue to smoke eg a smoker less than 50 years of age who quits now has half the risk of dying in the next 15 years compared to someone who continues to smoke.

(Sourced www.cancercouncil.com.au)

The other benefit is Cost. In one year, a non-smoker saves $4,745.00 (based on one packet per day, average cost of $13 per packet of 25). That beats a stimulus package any day!

I have observed that people have a lot of reasons for quitting e.g. “for the kids”, “for my parents”, “for my partner”, “for my job”. Noble as all these reasons are they should never be the real reason. I have found that if the reason is external to you then you will tend to fall back into the habit. The best reason is “YOU”. If you believe you are worth it then you will succeed.  The acupuncture treatment methodology used at Alba Therapies has seen people quit within 1 to 4 treatments. We don’t charge extra for these treatments and you don’t have to wear things in your ears. Call 1300 253 669 if you want to know more or want an appointment.

May 31st is “World No Tobacco Day”.Are you worth it?

Are you worth it?

New Staff

Tomorrow (8/04/2009) our new receptionist starts at Alba Therapies. This is a first. Up until now the practitioners have handled their own appointments, receipting and general reception work. Her name is Ellyce Kielly. She did work experience with me about 4-5 years ago and impressed me greatly then. At 16, she was mature, efficient, thorough and hard-working. At the time, I was working on my own and could not afford to pay staff. Regretfully I was not able to offer her employment at the time. But life has a way of coming full circle, and she has just finished up with a government contract and has become available. Now that there are 4 practitioners other than myself, it was becoming hectic and problematic in reception. So Elly, you are most welcome.

West and East, hand-in-hand

Recently, I have been fortunate enough to be invited to practise at a medical centre in Wellington Point on Fridays (phone 1300 253 669 for appointment) and it is working to our mutual (including clients) benefit. This is something, I’d like to see more of. In China, western medical practitioners work hand-in-hand with TCM practitioners and it works well. There are limitations to both systems of medicine and if all practitioners just admitted this, we could achieve so much more for our clients (“patients”, gives me the impression that someone is waiting for someone else to fix them and not taking responsibility for themselves. The seriously ill  and children are the only ones, in my view, that fit the “patient” category ) . I view TCM, not as an alternative but as a modality that can work with western medicine.

The World Health Organisation of the United Nations lists the following conditions that acupuncture can be used for:

Infections: colds and flu, bronchitis, hepatitis

 Internal: asthma, high blood pressure,
 ulcers, colitis, indigestion, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, constipation, diabetes
 
Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat:
Tinnitus, earaches, dizziness,
sinusitis, sore throat, hay fever
 
Dermatological
Eczema, acne, herpes, dermatitis
 
Musculoskeletal and Neurological:
Arthritis, Neuralgia, sciatica, back
pain, bursitis, tendonitis, stiff neck, Bell's palsy, trigeminal neuralgia,
headache, post stroke treatments, sprains
 
Geneto-Urinary and Reproductive
Impotence, infertility, PMS, PID,
vaginitis, irregular periods or cramps, morning sickness
 

Mental-Emotional

Anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia

What’s it all about?

Alba Therapies front entrance from car park

Alba Therapies front entrance from car park

Hi folks, my name is Rosalba D’Agostino. I have a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic at Carina Heights in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Myself and 4 other TCM practitioners practice acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Oriental massage (no we don’t walk on anybody!).  The other practitioners are Monica, Louise, Sue and Liz. So this blog will give an insight into the goings on at Alba Therapies. Note, NO client names or details will be published. Alba Therapies is at 94 Willard St, Carina Heights, Qld 4152 Ph 07 3843 3555

The clinic has been in existence for 11 years but in this location only 6 years. I started out in 1999, in Camp Hill, by myself. After two years, I invited a beauty therapist, Leah, to join me. The idea was that she worked on beautifing the outside and I worked on balancing the internals. In 2004, we moved and spent 3 months working on remodeling the inside of this Carina Heights house to suit. A lot of hard work and long days.  Monica (who had her own practice for several years before having her boys) joined me at this point, working Mondays, so I could have a 5 day week, instead of six. Four years ago, Leah decided to shut her side of the business, leaving me alone with three consultation rooms.  At the time of Leah’s departure, I was a bit lost as what-to-do now. Then one day a phone call followed by a talk with a handsome gentleman called Weaver and I was doing the Business Mastery course at the National College of Business, Brisbane and I’ve never looked back. I hired my first full time staff member, Julie. Then Louise came on board followed by Marney and our lovely receptionist Elly. Times change and people move on and are replaced and so it goes on. We often gets comments on the serenity and lovely fragrances that wash over you as you enter the clinic. I know I love working here and helping people regain their health.